Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Show Me The Love

My Utmost For His Highest
‘The fountains from which love flows are in God, not in us. It is absurd to think that the love of God is naturally in our hearts, as a result of our own nature. His love is there only because it “has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit . . .” (Romans 5:5).’ CHAMBERS
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails”
God showed his love toward us while we were still in our sin.  The world shows its love if it gets something in return.  Do you find that you have a hard time loving people that are difficult … trouble makers … maybe hurtful toward you ? In fact, you would just as soon condemn them. The measure of love we are willing to show to others is proportional to the love we have for the Father.  His love flows through us into the lives of others.  It is not something that we have to draw up in our own power and will to do.
John 7:37-39  ““Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”
Love is a fruit of the Spirit in you.  It is a result of what is going on inside of you spiritually.  Don’t blame your lack of love on other people .. the source of the love of the Christian comes from God.
“The Love of God”  Frederick M. Lehman
“Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade; To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky.
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—The saints’ and angels’ song”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Called To Be Confident In Uncertain Times

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life—gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God—it is only believing our belief about Him.’ CHAMBERS
For some people, they will not make a decision or take action unless they know all the facts.  There can be no uncertainty. I have used this quote before from the Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Lucy asks if Aslan is safe.  Mr. Beaver replies “No he is not safe, but he is good.”  Living a life of faith in God means that there will be uncertainty .. that is what underlies faith isn’t it? An uncertain confidence. Those terms don’t seem to fit together, but they are the components of faith in God. God prompts us to action in the face of uncertainty keeping our eyes fixed on Him so that we may be confident.  Confident that wherever He leads us, we can be assured that He has our best and His glory in mind.
For some that has meant a martyr’s end.  For others, that has meant a life apart from their culture and what has familiar to them.  And for others, it has meant life, unchanged, except that they were a light and were salt in the midst of the place that God had planted them.  All requiring faith in Him … uncertain confidence … It doesn’t matter what He calls you to .. what matters is that you be obedient in the following.  Wherever you find yourself, Christian, let your light shine before all men.
Matthew 5:15-16 “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Dealing With The Consequences Of Our Choices

My Utmost For His Highest
‘[…] abandon yourself to God. And once you do get to the point of total surrender to Him, you will be the most surprised and delighted person on earth. God will have you absolutely, without any limitations, and He will have given you your life. If you are not there, it is either because of disobedience in your life or your refusal to be simple enough.’ CHAMBERS
What would you give to have no worries … no feeling of dread about what tomorrow will bring?  You can find that in your life with Christ.  That is not to say that you will not face the consequences of your lust for things or your pride of life, or just the fact that you have feet of clay and live in a fallen world.  Decisions that you made in the past that were contrary to God’s Word and plan … sinful decisions … the consequences don’t just disappear.  Good people get sick and have accidents.   People want to do what they want to do and not have to deal with the consequences.  Why do you think there are so many aborted babies?  If someone wants to have sex but not deal with the consequence of that decision, have an abortion.  Why are there so many divorces.  Two people want to live together … but without personal commitment … when they aren’t enjoying the relationship anymore … they get a divorce … for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death … and they pencil in the clause … or divorce.  God does forgive us of those sins … but there are often inescapable consequences as a result of our choices …
But Christian, God is rich in His mercy and grace and will give you peace and rest.  Some people believe that God could not forgive them for what they have done .. but He can and did through His Son on the cross.  We need to go to God and seek that forgiveness by confession and repentance.  (1 John 1:9) The intent of forgiveness is not so we can go sin again .. but restoration in our relationship with the Father.  The burden and guilt from sin is more than we can carry.  You need to cast it off … (Matthew 11:28-30)  Jesus said “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”
Will you have to face consequences .. yes .. where will you find the strength? In Jesus.
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 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!”
Jesus is the answer …
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

You Need To Think Like Jesus Thinks

My Utmost For His Highest
‘If you have only come as far as asking God for things, you have never come to the point of understanding the least bit of what surrender really means. You have become a Christian based on your own terms. You protest, saying, “I asked God for the Holy Spirit, but He didn’t give me the rest and the peace I expected.” And instantly God puts His finger on the reason-you are not seeking the Lord at all; you are seeking something for yourself. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you . . .” (Matthew 7:7). Ask God for what you want and do not be concerned about asking for the wrong thing, because as you draw ever closer to Him, you will cease asking for things altogether. “Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). Then why should you ask? So that you may get to know Him.’ CHAMBERS
As we face life each day, the primary question is always .. “Who will I focus on?”  Do I focus on myself and my problems, on other people and their problems, or do I focus on God?  As a Christian, our life is in Him.  He is the source .. that is what the word ‘Father’ means … He is the provider … He is our peace … the source of comfort in our affliction … 2 greatest commandments .. love God first .. love others like you love yourself … We are to have the mind of Christ …
1 Corinthians 2:12-16  “What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”
And what was Jesus focused on?  The Father and others …. God will take care of you … You need to trust Him and then obey.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Do You Prefer Biblical Truth Or The Traditions Of Men

My Utmost For His Highest
‘The great lesson to be learned from Abraham’s faith in God is that he was prepared to do anything for God. He was there to obey God, no matter what contrary belief of his might be violated by his obedience. Abraham was not devoted to his own convictions or else he would have slain Isaac and said that the voice of the angel was actually the voice of the devil […] But you must always be willing to come to the point of giving up your own convictions and traditional beliefs. […] Abraham did not make any such statement— he simply remained true to God, and God purified his faith.’ CHAMBERS
Giving up traditions, those things, contrary to the teaching of the Bible, that were “wrongly” taught by your culture or you parents or their parents .. maybe carried back through many generations … is a difficult thing to do.  People cling to them as “truth” even in the face of Biblical evidence to the contrary.  People find comfort in traditions.  Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
This is good to remember … If God thought it important enough to include in the scripture .. there must be a reason He wants us to know about it.  What I remind the Haitians is that the Bible is truth and truth has no boundaries .. it is absolute … it is not limited by culture or language … it applies to everyone .. it is not constrained by man’s traditions.  1 Peter 1:18-19 “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot”
Matthew 15:8-9 “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
If you prefer what your fathers have taught you over the truth of the Word, then you are worshipping traditions … you can call it what you want .. make excuses all day long, but in the end, it’s sin .. you have missed the mark and convinced yourself that you are right in doing so.  I have told men that I can use God’s name in vain and they say nothing, but if I speak against their “daddy” they are ready to fight.  Now what’s up with that Christian?
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Is Church A Bother Or A Blessing?

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Be ready in season and out of season.” In other words, we should “be ready” whether we feel like it or not. If we do only what we feel inclined to do, some of us would never do anything. There are some people who are totally unemployable in the spiritual realm. They are spiritually feeble and weak, and they refuse to do anything unless they are supernaturally inspired. The proof that our relationship is right with God is that we do our best whether we feel inspired or not.’ CHAMBERS
If you are a mom or dad, you can’t decide you won’t be one on a particular day because you don’t feel like it.  You are one whether you feel like it or not.  That is not to say you are a “good” one, but one you are nonetheless.  (I love that word!)  So it is with your being a Christian.  The quality of your Christian life is a reflection of your commitment to the disciplines of your faith.  Reading the Bible, praying, association with other Christians, and witnessing with words and right living to a lost world.  I was thinking the other day about my life in the Army.  I was very strong when I was younger … but over the years .. and the absence of regular strength training … I can no longer do what I did then … The mind is willing but the body is weak.  To stay spiritually strong, you must continue to train.  Or you will atrophy.  Just like your body does.  It is so easy to get out of the habit of training … start every day with the Word and prayer … and then be ready for what the day will bring …
It’s OK to have unsaved friends, but if they are the ones you identify with then you are spiritually in trouble.  It won’t be long before you are no longer interested in being around Christians.  You will see church as a bother not a blessing.  (Hebrews 10:25) You will be a Christian in denial.  And you will wonder why your faith doesn’t seem to work.  Today is a good day to take an assessment of your spiritual life … make some adjustments to your schedule and get back into the right routines.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Taking Credit For Something God Did

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Worldliness is not the trap that most endangers us as Christian workers; nor is it sin. The trap we fall into is extravagantly desiring spiritual success; that is, success measured by, and patterned after, the form set by this religious age in which we now live. Never seek after anything other than the approval of God, and always be willing to go “outside the camp, bearing His reproach” (Hebrews 13:13). In Luke 10:20  , Jesus told the disciples not to rejoice in successful service, and yet this seems to be the one thing in which most of us do rejoice. We have a commercialized view— we count how many souls have been saved and sanctified, we thank God, and then we think everything is all right. Yet our work only begins where God’s grace has laid the foundation. Our work is not to save souls, but to disciple them. Salvation and sanctification are the work of God’s sovereign grace, and our work as His disciples is to disciple others’ lives until they are totally yielded to God.’ CHAMBERS
It is one thing to marvel at what God is doing, and another to take vicarious credit for what He has done.  As we see hundreds of people turn to faith in Jesus, it is a temptation to say “Praise God. To Him be the glory” and another to feel that your service is somehow validated by what He has done.  In fact, we are nothing more than stage hands.  The star of the show is Jesus Christ.  But we do have a part to play .. tasks that we have been given.  And we preform those not to get credit but to please the One we serve.  I am watching four Haitian fishermen in a boat … they did not make the boat, the fish or the ocean that the boat is floating on and the fish are swimming in.  All glory goes to God.  Their ability to fish .. that comes from God too.  The air they breath, the bodies they have … all of it comes from the Creator God.  Be careful what you are tempted to take credit for.  It is not the size of your church .. your Sunday school class … the number of converts … but your obedience that is important to God.
1 Chronicles 21:1-8Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, “Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are.” But Joab replied, “May the Lord multiply his troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all my lord’s subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?” The king’s word, however, overruled Joab; so Joab left and went throughout Israel and then came back to Jerusalem. Joab reported the number of the fighting men to David: In all Israel there were one million one hundred thousand men who could handle a sword, including four hundred and seventy thousand in Judah. But Joab did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, because the king’s command was repulsive to him. This command was also evil in the sight of God; so he punished Israel. Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by doing this. Now, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Staying Focused

My Utmost For His Highest
‘We have no right to decide where we should be placed, or to have preconceived ideas as to what God is preparing us to do. God engineers everything; and wherever He places us, our one supreme goal should be to pour out our lives in wholehearted devotion to Him in that particular work. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might . . .” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).’ CHAMBERS
The success that I experience in life … I am not talking about financial success … is directly dependent upon  the quality of my relationship with God.  Everything starts and ends with Him.  Joshua 1:8-9 says that I need to stay focused on God all the time … meditating on the Word of God and that the peace of God will be with me … In Joshua that peace is described as prosperity and success.  In Philippians 4, we are told that we are to pray … and the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
“O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free! Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face.  And the things if earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
Ever wonder what the writer of hymns like this one was experiencing when they wrote them?  The same struggles that we face I’ll bet.  And they shared the answer they found in song.  Stay Focused!
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Keeping Your Batteries Charged

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Allow nothing to keep you from looking with strong determination into the face of God […] A Christian servant is one who perpetually looks into the face of God and then goes forth to talk to others. The ministry of Christ is characterized by an abiding glory of which the servant is totally unaware— “. . . Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him” (Exodus 34:29).’ CHAMBERS
For many Christians, they wait until they have a “collision” in life before they turn to God.  We must start our day in His presence, and like Moses, and that time will affect how we react to the rest of our day.  It is like putting on bug spray after are already bitten.  Too late!  God’s love never fails … He is more than able to accomplish what concerns you today.  Put your trust in Him.  Begin your day with Him and then walk confidently in knowing that God is with you.
Last night I was running out of options.  We had no commercial power … the batteries for the inverter were drained.   So I was using my cell phone to access the internet .. connected to my laptop .. its battery nearly flat-lined … and a flashlight to see the keyboard.  All was going as best it could, given the limitations … and then the flashlight battery failed.  You see, I had not put the flashlight battery on the charger when I had the opportunity …. That is the way it is with us when we don’t “recharge our spiritual batteries”.  Take time with the Lord and then, let your light shine!
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Where Is God When You Need Him?

My Utmost For His Highest
‘The mystery of God is not in what is going to be-it is now, though we look for it to be revealed in the future in some overwhelming, momentous event. We have no reluctance to obey Jesus, but it is highly probable that we are hurting Him by what we ask-”Lord, show us the Father . . .” (John 14:8). His response immediately comes back to us as He says, “Can’t you see Him? He is always right here or He is nowhere to be found.” We look for God to exhibit Himself to His children, but God only exhibits Himself in His children.’ CHAMBERS
God is at work all around us … and He is at work in us.  The problem is one of spiritual understanding and vision, not in the presence or absence of God.  Elisha’s servant could only see the problem that surrounded them and not the presence that protected them.  (2 Kings 6:17) “And Elisha prayed, and said, "LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
David wrote in Psalms 139:1-7  “O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?”
When you encounter the difficulties of life … illness, heartache, disappointment…. Our God is there … Psalms 121:1-3 “I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
And don’t you ever forget it!
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

You Are What You Eat

My Utmost For His Highest
‘We are apt to say, “It is not at all likely that having been through the greatest crisis of my life I would now turn back to the things of the world.” Do not try to predict where the temptation will come; it is the least likely thing that is the real danger. It is in the aftermath of a great spiritual event that the least likely things begin to have an effect. They may not be forceful and dominant, but they are there. And if you are not careful to be forewarned, they will trip you.’ CHAMBERS
As Christians we want to walk in obedience to the Word of God.  It is our intent from the beginning.  But the truth is that we are faced with opportunities, every day, to do just the opposite .. to walk in disobedience.  1 Corinthians 10:13 says that every temptation that we face is common to people all over the world.  James 1:13-15 “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
We must always be on our guard against temptation and our “natural” tendency to yield to it.  God has provided a way to escape.  The Word of God.  Psalm 119:11 “Your Word have I hid in my heart that I might not son against You”  You must strengthen your spiritual nature through a steady diet of the Word.  You are what you eat!  Have you had your meal for today?
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Be Ready For A Word From The Lord

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Readiness for God means that we are prepared to do the smallest thing or the largest thing— it makes no difference. It means we have no choice in what we want to do, but that whatever God’s plans may be, we are there and ready. Whenever any duty presents itself, we hear God’s voice as our Lord heard His Father’s voice, and we are ready for it with the total readiness of our love for Him. Jesus Christ expects to do with us just as His Father did with Him. […] A ready person never needs to get ready— he is ready. Think of the time we waste trying to get ready once God has called!’  CHAMBERS
There was only one Moses .. one Paul .. and there is only one you.  Are you impressed with my perceptive abilities?  My point? God has a purpose for your life .. it may .. but most likely is not .. going to be on the same level as Moses and Paul … but in the eternal scheme of things, it will be very important … and you must be ready.  I was speaking to about 30 church leaders this week about being ready .. being prepared to serve .. to fulfill their purpose and calling.  When the time comes … you won’t be able to refresh yourself … go sharpen your sword (The Word) … or look to find where you put your breast plate of righteousness.  You must be ready in season and out of season.  That means that every day, you must be training .. preparing .. So when the Lord says ‘saddle up’ … “move out”  ….. you are right there and you are ready!
1 Thessalonians 5:4-8  “But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.”
2 Timothy 2:1-5  “…be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Make Jesus Your First Choice Not Your Last

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Have you ever had a crisis in your life in which you deliberately, earnestly, and recklessly abandoned everything? It is a crisis of the will. You may come to that point many times externally, but it will amount to nothing. The true deep crisis of abandonment, or total surrender, is reached internally, not externally.’ CHAMBERS
“Sell all you have and follow Me” (Luke 18:22)  “Offer yourself as a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1,2) “Deny yourself and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart” (Proverbs 3:5,6) All of these verses, and there are many more, are a call to live a life that is abandoned to everything except God.  To consider Him first.  To trust Him first. To seek Him first.  Unfortunately, all too often, we do the opposite.  We look to our own devices …  our own solutions .. to the things that we can see that we consider worthy of our trust, to the counsel of our friends or some TV celebrity advisor. And if those fail, then we might consider the Lord.
Have you known someone who was struggling with a problem, perhaps your child, and you say “I wish you had come to me first”?  Why? Because you had the capacity to intervene .. to bring relief .. to avoid trouble … to give support … And so it is with the Lord.  We acknowledge that He is Lord but then we ignore His lordship. “Why do you call me Lord, Lord…?” (Luke 6:46)
“Weak and wounded sinner Lost and left to die O, raise your head, for Love is passing by
Come to Jesus,  Come to Jesus,  Come to 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,  Cry to Jesus,  Cry to Jesus and live!”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What To Do When You Come Off The Mountain?

My Utmost For His Highest
“We all have moments when we feel better than ever before, and we say, “I feel fit for anything; if only I could always be like this!” We are not meant to be. Those moments are moments of insight which we have to live up to even when we do not feel like it. Many of us are no good for the everyday world when we are not on the mountaintop. Yet we must bring our everyday life up to the standard revealed to us on the mountaintop when we were there.” CHAMBERS
Last night I was on a mountain top … for a crusade in a little Haitian village called Bossie (boss-e-a).  Really it is just a gathering place on the road.  Those people love to sing and praise God… There is no electricity .. no ammenities … we read the Bible using a flashlight … a friend preached to about 120 people using a translator with the same name as the town we live in, Jacmel.  It was a wonderful time.  You can be overwhelmed by the beauty of the place.  You are in the midst of the mountains, there is a pristine mountain lake, and in the distance you can see the coast line and ocean.  The people are very friendly.  All in all it was a wonderful experience.  But when we came off of the mountain … back to the city … where we were met by a street filled with people celebrating RaRa (Every year during the Christian season of Lent Haitians fill the streets dancing, costumed and playing music. The rara festivals of Haiti […] celebrate […] Voodoo beliefs in combination with the resurrection of Christ. The celebrations are intended to strengthen the spirits associated with the Voodoo religion) What a contrast between what we experienced on the moutain top .. and in the valley.
When you are surrounded by a thousand or more people involved in satanic worship, it is easy to lose sight of the truth … that God is sovereign. That those people who were on the mountain praising God represent the minority … and those people walking the street to give strength to satanic spirits represent the majority.
Matthew 7:13-14  “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Our confidence in this life is not based upon what we see, but Who we know and serve.  If there is one thing that you do … keep your mind fixed on Jesus …. Jesus asked the men in the boat after He calmed the storm “Why are you afraid?, Do you still have little faith?”  Do not be afraid in this life … if God is with you .. who can be against you? The answer is “no one”!
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tearing Down The High Places .. Looking To The Father

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Beware of ever thinking, “Oh, that thing in my life doesn’t matter much.” The fact that it doesn’t matter much to you may mean that it matters a great deal to God. Nothing should be considered a trivial matter by a child of God. How much longer are we going to prevent God from teaching us even one thing? But He keeps trying to teach us and He never loses patience. You say, “I know I am right with God”— yet the “high places” still remain in your life. There is still an area of disobedience. Do you protest that your heart is right with God, and yet there is something in your life He causes you to doubt? Whenever God causes a doubt about something, stop it immediately, no matter what it may be.  […] You no more need a day off from spiritual concentration on matters in your life than your heart needs a day off from beating. As you cannot take a day off morally and remain moral, neither can you take a day off spiritually and remain spiritual.’ CHAMBERS
Where are the “high places” in your life?  We all have them.  Those things that we trust in more than God. Those things that we cling to for comfort .. stress relief .. affirmation … An old country western song has a verse that goes “Lookin’ for love in all the wrong places … hopin’ to find what I am lookin’ for” God’s creative intent was that we would only find what we are looking for in Him.  Nothing else will fully satisfy the  needs in our lives   … using food for comfort .. we get fat … using relationships for affirmation .. we get hurt … using money for security  … we get stressed … The lie we believe is that what we experience is as good as it can ever get or as good as we deserve.   Tear down those high places in your life .. stop depending upon the offerings of the world as a solution for the issues in your life … and look to your Father.
“I have a Maker, He formed my heart.  Before even life began, my life was in His Hand.  He knows my name.  He knows my every thought. He sees each tear that falls and He hears me when I call. I have a Father, He calls me His own.  He’ll never leave me .. no matter where I go.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Where Does Your Help Come From?

My Utmost For His Highest
‘“. . . the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Where do the saints get their joy? If we did not know some Christians well, we might think from just observing them that they have no burdens at all to bear. But we must lift the veil from our eyes. The fact that the peace, light, and joy of God is in them is proof that a burden is there as well. The burden that God places on us squeezes the grapes in our lives and produces the wine, but most of us see only the wine and not the burden. No power on earth or in hell can conquer the Spirit of God living within the human spirit; it creates an inner invincibility’ CHAMBERS
If you read Galatians 5:16-25 you will see a great contrast between the person who live in dependence on the flesh and the one who lives by the Spirit.  God has sent us a Helper … to live this life in Christ.  The Spirit was not sent solely for the purpose of salvation, but also for sanctification, so we would be a light in the midst of spiritual darkness, but also for edification, so we would have the capacity to live our new life in victory. The fruit of the Spirit is not for a select few super-saints, but for every Believer.  The world really isn’t interested in a life that has no trouble or sickness or loss or any of the other things that plague humans in this world.  But as we are squeezed in God’s winepress … the result is the fragrance of Christ … something super – natural … extra-ordinary … note worthy ....
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
If you are not “feeling it”.  But rather, you are feeling defeated … without hope … hurt … maybe you are looking in the wrong place.   Psalm 121:1-2 “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)