Monday, June 30, 2014

Showing People Jesus

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Wanting to make sure that my adversary gives me all my rights is a natural thing. But Jesus says that it is a matter of inescapable and eternal importance to me that I pay my adversary what I owe him. From our Lord’s standpoint it doesn’t matter whether I am cheated or not, but what does matter is that I don’t cheat someone else. Am I insisting on having my own rights, or am I paying what I owe from Jesus Christ’s standpoint?’ CHAMBERS
Everyone would like to be treated fairly.  When we are not, we are upset .. maybe even angry … we feel justified in the emotion … we might even call it ‘righteous’ anger.  Is it? Or is it pride? The Lord did not promise that we would be treated well … but He did say that we are to show grace and mercy in every circumstance.  Do you have something “tucked away” in your heart that is always simmering and can be brought to a boil very quickly when you focus on it?  Some unkind word … poor treatment … something that wounded you deeply?  We should not hold on to those things, even if we feel justified … God want us to trust Him … to cast all of our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) …. To forgive others, just like God forgave us … when we did not deserve it … That does not mean that the offender will care .. or change … but it really isn’t about how they respond .. but how you respond …. you need to show them Jesus through your life .... Let your little light shine .. let it shine .. let it shine ...
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Grab Your Glove And Hit The Field, It's Game Time

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Never choose to be a worker for God, but once God has placed His call on you, woe be to you if you “turn aside to the right hand or to the left” (Deuteronomy 5:32). We are not here to work for God because we have chosen to do so, but because God has “laid hold of” us. And once He has done so, we never have this thought, “Well, I’m really not suited for this.”’ CHAMBERS
God calls, prepares and sends.  That pattern can be clearly seen in the Bible. Serving God is not like you are deciding what you will be when you grow up.  It’s God’s choice whom He uses for what purpose.  Ours is to obey the calling.  For some it means physical, economic and emotional hardship.  For others it means not much change in how or where they live.  You know if God has called you .. the only issue you face is whether or not you will say “yes Lord”.  Can you accomplish what He has called you to do?  No, but He can accomplish it through you.  When I was a young boy, I played with others in the neighborhood.  Baseball, basketball, whatever.  The biggest part was not actually the playing of the game, but being picked to be on a side.  There always seemed to be someone that neither team wanted.  No one wanted to be that person and everyone, I think, secretly feared they might be.  What a relief when a team captain would say ‘I’ll take Billy’ (that was my nickname when I was growing up).
You don’t have to be worry about not being selected by God … if you are a Christian, you are on His team.  Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  God has always had something for you to do … He knows what position He wants you to play.  So grab your glove and hit the field .. it’s game time!
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Are You Ready To Follow God's Call?

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Wherever God sends us, He will guard our lives. Our personal property and possessions are to be a matter of indifference to us, and our hold on these things should be very loose. If this is not the case, we will have panic, heartache, and distress. Having the proper outlook is evidence of the deeply rooted belief in the overshadowing of God’s personal deliverance.’ CHAMBERS
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” 1 John 2:15
I can’t tell you how many times people have told us that “If only I did not owe money, then I would be free to follow God” Proverbs 22:7 says  “..the borrower is servant to the lender”  The problem is not actually in the owing of the money, the problem is why you owe money.  You find yourself living at a certain level, wanting certain things and our culture makes it easy to satisfy those wants.  I see billboards along the highway offering title loans.  Then is see billboards offering ways to get out of the burden of title loans.  Tax preparers offer same day tax return payments, but you must give them a significant amount of it first.  In a TV commercial, the actors are saying “It’s my money and I want it now!” suggesting that if you have some sort of regular source of money that you can have it all, right now.  Actually they get a big part of that money and you only get part of it.
1 John 2:16 says that “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
We have redefined our Wants and call them Needs.  We want to satisfy the flesh and the world presents the opportunity. Does it cost you something?  You bet. The cost is way beyond money … It may cause you to say “no” to God’s call … You see the problem really isn’t in your wallet or purse, it’s in your heart. Jesus asked Peter “Do you love Me?” and He asks us the same thing. And if you say “yes” Jesus will say “deny yourself … follow Me”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Jesus Knows All About Our Stuggles

My Utmost For His Highest
‘The only way to find yourself is in the fires of sorrow. Why it should be this way is immaterial. The fact is that it is true in the Scriptures and in human experience. You can always recognize who has been through the fires of sorrow and received himself, and you know that you can go to him in your moment of trouble and find that he has plenty of time for you. But if a person has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous, having no respect or time for you, only turning you away. If you will receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people.’ CHAMBERS
You don’t have to look far to find someone who has dealt with sorrow in their life.  Perhaps they are still struggling with it and “it”, the source of the sorrow, has shaped their view of life.  Perhaps they have lost hope .. they cannot see the promises of the Lord because of the burden they carry …. They may have forgotten that … Isaiah 53:3 “He [Jesus, the Messiah] was despised, and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised; and we esteemed him not.”
People don’t need your words, they need your love.  Remember, “we love because He first loved us”.  1 John 4:19 We give comfort to others because He first comforted us.
God uses us … jars of clay who have met sorrow ourselves … to minister to others … 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”  Our job is not to fix them, but to understand the burden of sorrow and to love them.  Usually when people greet you and ask how you are doing, they really don’t want to know the details … a simple “I’m fine” is what they are looking for.  You must willing to go beyond that … Ask them how you can pray for them … don’t try to identify with the particular source of their sorrow … The balm of Gilead referred to in Jeremiah 8:22 was used to heal wounds.  Jesus is the Balm for our sorrows, for our wounds.  “There is not a friend like the lowly Jesus, no not one. Jesus knows all about our struggles, He will guide till the day is done.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Do Not Give Satan A Foothold In Your Life

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Jesus Christ never trusted human nature, yet He was never cynical nor suspicious, because He had absolute trust in what He could do for human nature.’ CHAMBERS
Do you know someone who is a professing Christian and yet you see sin in their lives.  It is sin that they deny or perhaps ignore.  You see it as a great inconsistency in their verbal testimony.  They say “God is good” and “Praise the Lord!” but at the same time … are doing things that are clearly contrary to the teaching of the Word.  That someone might even be you.  But let’s say it is not, this time.  You must be on your guard that you do not allow the sinful actions of others to make you cynical towards them and others.  To be cynical is to have contempt or distrust concerning a particular person or group of people.  This can easily happen when you are ministering to others or serving with other Christians even.  They may prefer their culture over the Word … your purpose may well be to help them see the error of that way of life.  But instead, what often happens is that you become frustrated and cynical … which leads to a judgmental attitude, which … in the end, causes you to sin.  You don’t have to accept the sin, but at the same time, you must guard against cynicism.  It will only lead to division and more sin. The devil is always looking for a foothold …
Ephesians 4:27,31-32 “and do not give the devil a foothold. … Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less Than Jesus and His Righteousness

My Utmost For His Highest
Pray with the realization that you are perfect only in Christ Jesus, not on the basis of this argument: “Oh, Lord, I have done my best; please hear me now.” How long is it going to take God to free us from the unhealthy habit of thinking only about ourselves? We must get to the point of being sick to death of ourselves, until there is no longer any surprise at anything God might tell us about ourselves. We cannot reach and understand the depths of our own meagerness. There is only one place where we are right with God, and that is in Christ Jesus. Once we are there, we have to pour out our lives for all we are worth in this ministry of the inner life.’ CHAMBERS
We were dependent upon Jesus to begin this new life of ours and we are still dependent upon Him as we live it.  We did not have the power in our old nature to be righteous before God.  It required the Cross and faith. We are saved by grace through faith and not by our own effort … Ephesians 2:8,9  We forget that at times .. we start to think that we can live the Christian life in our own power.  We take on an attitude of pride in our faith and a feeling of independence.  Do you find that you still sin? Perhaps it is a sin that you thought you had left long ago .. something that no longer had any power over you.  Yet, there it is … again …  I think that God allows those times to remind us that we are His and we are not independent agents.  That we need Jesus … that we live this new life by the power of the Spirit in us.  That we are perfect only in Christ Jesus.  There is only one place where we are right with God, and that is in Christ Jesus.
"My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus and His righteousness.  On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground (including my prideful thinking that I can do this on my own) is sinking sand."
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, June 20, 2014

It's Me Oh Lord, Standing In The Need Of Prayer

My Utmost For His Highest
‘If you are not now receiving the “hundredfold” which Jesus promised (see Matthew 19:29), and not getting insight into God’s Word, then start praying for your friends— enter into the ministry of the inner life. “The Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends.” (Job 42:10) As a saved soul, the real business of your life is intercessory prayer. Whatever circumstances God may place you in, always pray immediately that His atonement may be recognized and as fully understood in the lives of others as it has been in yours. Pray for your friends now, and pray for those with whom you come in contact now.’ CHAMBERS
Prayer is not optional .. it is a necessity.  The Bible tells us to do it.  But we don’t … well some do often .. most do when there is a problem they can’t overcome.  Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Prayer must be a habit … not a last option when all else fails.  It is a vital part of our faith and relationship with the Lord.  Ephesians 6 may be best known for the armor of God that the Christian should put on each day, but after you suit up, Paul says … “with this in mind” pray …
Ephesians 6:18-19 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel”
One of the most striking parts of worship in the Haitian churches is the audible prayer time … when all of the people are praying out loud … it is beautiful … hearing the cries of the people going to the Father.  I love to hear the encouragement of the pastor saying “Priye, priye, priye, priye”, “Pray, pray, pray, pray”.  And so to you Christian I say this … “Priye, priye, priye, priye”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Putting God First Makes All The Difference

My Utmost For His Highest
‘People do not really want to be devoted to Jesus, but only to the cause He started. Jesus Christ is deeply offensive to the educated minds of today, to those who only want Him to be their Friend, and who are unwilling to accept Him in any other way. Our Lord’s primary obedience was to the will of His Father, not to the needs of people— the saving of people was the natural outcome of His obedience to the Father. If I am devoted solely to the cause of humanity, I will soon be exhausted and come to the point where my love will waver and stumble. But if I love Jesus Christ personally and passionately, I can serve humanity, even though people may treat me like a “doormat.” The secret of a disciple’s life is devotion to Jesus Christ, and the characteristic of that life is its seeming insignificance and its meekness.’ CHAMBERS
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was He responded with two commandments not one.  (Matthew 22:36-40) “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
It is so easy to focus on the needs of people and believe that serving them is the most important thing.  Although it is important, it is not the most important.  Everything you do in the name of Jesus must be done because of Jesus … as a result of your intimate relationship with Him.  There is a spiritual dynamic in that kind of service … we serve as God’s agents of that dynamic … I don’t pretend to understand it, … how it works is a mystery  … but I have seen the results … the affects .. time and again … Don’t underestimate the power of God and don’t underestimate the importance of keeping God first in your life .. it makes all the difference.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Who Made You The Judge?

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Judge not, that you be not judged’ —Matthew 7:1
‘Criticism is one of the ordinary activities of people, but in the spiritual realm nothing is accomplished by it. […] The Holy Spirit is the only one in the proper position to criticize, and He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into fellowship with God when you are in a critical mood. Criticism serves to make you harsh, vindictive, and cruel, and leaves you with the soothing and flattering idea that you are somehow superior to others. […]  You must constantly beware of anything that causes you to think of yourself as a superior person. […] If I see the little speck in your eye, it means that I have a plank of timber in my own (see Matthew 7:3-5). Every wrong thing that I see in you, God finds in me. Every time I judge, I condemn myself (see Romans 2:17-24).’ CHAMBERS
It is so easy to see faults in other people.  Pastor Greg Laurie spoke at a men’s conference on 1993.  He said that we should not be judges but fruit inspectors.  There is a subtle difference.  Galatians chapter 5 addresses the fruit of the flesh (verses 19-21) and the fruit of the spirit (verses 22-26). You can see plainly what people do .. you can hear what they say … the question is .. how do you respond to it.  If you are judgmental, you will be condemning in your attitude. You know the feeling .. it is almost like righteous anger that wells up in you … you feel justified in the thoughts that race through your mind.  “If they were really a Christian .. they would ….”  “If they were like me … righteous .. they would not do those things …”  You know, those thoughts.  You want them punished for what they have done or said …  But for you .. well, you want forgiveness … “Let’s pretend I never did that.” We are like the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:21-35)  That servant did not want to be held accountable for his sin, but wanted to hold others accountable for theirs.
When someone falls short in your eyes … I am not talking about crimes against humanity … I am talking about the things that you do every day … instead of condemning them .. pray for them .. Show the same grace and mercy that God has shown you .. but first .. ask God to forgive you for the sin you committed in your judgment.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Laying Our Lives Down For One Another

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Jesus does not ask me to die for Him, but to lay down my life for Him. […] It is much easier to die than to lay down your life day in and day out with the sense of the high calling of God. […] “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16). Yet it is contrary to our human nature to do so. If I am a friend of Jesus, I must deliberately and carefully lay down my life for Him. It is a difficult thing to do, and thank God that it is. Salvation is easy for us, because it cost God so much. But the exhibiting of salvation in my life is difficult. God saves a person, fills him with the Holy Spirit, and then says, in effect, “Now you work it out in your life, and be faithful to Me, even though the nature of everything around you is to cause you to be unfaithful.”’ CHAMBERS
Just as we are to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1), we are to also love others in the same way.  In the Army, I was taught to dig foxholes.  They were called Depuy fighting positions.  The fighting positions were unique because your field of fire .. or where you could see to shoot was in front of the foxholes next to you, not in front of your own.  In other words, you were protecting the men next to you.  And those men, in turn, were protecting you.  Your wellbeing was dependent upon others.  God wants us to be interdependent .. not independent.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Don’t isolate yourself from other believers.  That is not God’s design and is not healthy for your spiritual wellbeing.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

They Are Looking In All The Wrong Places

My Utmost For His Highest
‘In the matter of drudgery. Peter said in this passage that we have become “partakers of the divine nature” and that we should now be “giving all diligence,” concentrating on forming godly habits (2 Peter 1:4-5). We are to “add” to our lives all that character means. No one is born either naturally or supernaturally with character; it must be developed. Nor are we born with habits— we have to form godly habits on the basis of the new life God has placed within us. We are not meant to be seen as God’s perfect, bright-shining examples, but to be seen as the everyday essence of ordinary life exhibiting the miracle of His grace. Drudgery is the test of genuine character. The greatest hindrance in our spiritual life is that we will only look for big things to do. Yet, “Jesus . . . took a towel and . . . began to wash the disciples’ feet . . .” (John 13:3-5).’ CHAMBERS
We are not of this world, be we are in this world.  In a world that is searching for something .. looking in all the wrong places … finding poor substitutes for God only to have them fail .. to fall short  … You have the great honor to show the world what they are looking for … to show them Jesus.  This world is getting darker .. more desperate by the day … let your light shine … show them the way to what they are looking for ….
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

How To Change The Way You See The World

My Utmost For His Highest
‘The Spirit [..] is put into me by way of the atonement by the Cross of Christ. I then have to build my thinking patiently to bring it into perfect harmony with my Lord. God will not make me think like Jesus— I have to do it myself. I have to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). “Abide in Me”— in intellectual matters, in money matters, in every one of the matters that make human life what it is. Our lives are not made up of only one neatly confined area.’ CHAMBERS
Ephesians 1:13-14 “When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”
We have the Spirit in us to enable us spiritually and to teach us how to live our new life in Christ.  Paul said in Romans 12:2 that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds … the Spirit plays a vital part in that transformation.  Are you watching the events in this world and wondering what on earth is going on? I pray that God will open your eyes like Elisha’s servant (2 Kings 6:13-17) That you will see world events in the same context that the Lord does.  Remember .. God is sovereign .. no matter what men may do or scheme to do.  You may face a great trial in your life … you may be rejected because you choose to believe the Bible and not the mandates of your culture … Having a spiritual perspective on life changes the way you respond to life and its events.  So keep your eyes on Jesus … look full on His wonderful face .. and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.  And remember Christian  . .this earth is not our home, we are just passing through.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Guard Against The Subtle Shift Of Devotion

My Utmost For His Highest
‘We have the idea that we can dedicate our gifts to God. However, you cannot dedicate what is not yours. There is actually only one thing you can dedicate to God, and that is your right to yourself (see Romans 12:1). If you will give God your right to yourself, He will make a holy experiment out of you— and His experiments always succeed. […] In the life of a saint there is this amazing Well, which is a continual Source of original life. The Spirit of God is a Well of water springing up perpetually fresh. A saint realizes that it is God who engineers his circumstances; consequently there are no complaints, only unrestrained surrender to Jesus. Never try to make your experience a principle for others, but allow God to be as creative and original with others as He is with you. If you abandon everything to Jesus, and come when He says, “Come,” then He will continue to say, “Come,” through you. You will go out into the world reproducing the echo of Christ’s “Come.” That is the result in every soul who has abandoned all and come to Jesus.’ CHAMBERS
When we left the secular to follow after God, we left behind all that would hinder is on the journey that God had laid before us.  Since then, many people have marveled at what we have “given up”.  The truth of the matter is that none of it was really ours.  Everything is God’s.  That is why we are called stewards.  Stewards take care of what is owned by another. What we did was decide to fully trust God and not the things of this world.  We must always be on guard against the subtle shift of devotion that will lead us far from God.  We stop trusting God, the Maker of heaven and earth, and start trusting what God has made for our security and well-being.  Big mistake.  What Martie and I did was visible to people, leaving our jobs and selling our possessions.  But what people did not see was what first had to happen in our hearts.  They saw our faith by our works … but the faith springs from within, resulting in action or works. We ask people not to marvel at we have done but marvel at the God who called us, who shaped us, and who provided for us.  This is our encouragement to you.
Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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.”
You can do it with God’s help!
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Those Old Clothes Won't Fit

My Utmost For His Highest
‘“You are Simon . . . . You shall be called Cephas” (John 1:42). God writes our new name only on those places in our lives where He has erased our pride, self-sufficiency, and self-interest. Some of us have our new name written only in certain spots, like spiritual measles. And in those areas of our lives we look all right. When we are in our best spiritual mood, you would think we were the highest quality saints. But don’t dare look at us when we are not in that mood. A true disciple is one who has his new name written all over him— self-interest, pride, and self-sufficiency have been completely erased.’ CHAMBERS
A new name symbolizes a new relationship with God.  A new life in Christ.  A new understanding of who I am now versus who I was just a moment ago before my new birth. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Do you have some clothes hanging in your closet that you never wear anymore?  You would like to wear them, but they don’t fit … but maybe someday, you tell yourself.  That is like our old nature .. We know that we should get rid of what is hanging in our closet … that doesn’t fit us anymore …  but we find ourselves yearning for the day when we could get into … but the truth is .. it will never fit you again … so the answer is .. get it out of your closet and “for-ged-aboud-et” … your old life will never fit again …
And you can praise the Lord for that!
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Don't Be A Spiritual Chameleon

My Utmost For His Highest
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters. . .” (Isaiah 55:1). Are you thirsty, or complacent and indifferent— so satisfied with your own experience that you want nothing more of God? Experience is a doorway, not a final goal. Beware of building your faith on experience, or your life will not ring true and will only sound the note of a critical spirit. Remember that you can never give another person what you have found, but you can cause him to have a desire for it.” CHAMBERS
Is your life a reflection of your faith or is you faith merely one aspect of your life?  For some, their faith is an occasional thought about God or maybe a verbal reference now and then … but their lives are so blended with the culture around them .. unless they tell you they are a Christian, you would never know.  They are like spiritual chameleons.  Why do you suppose that God does not whisk us away to heaven when we are born again?  Ding!  Time’s up.  Ok I will tell you, it is because He has a purpose for us here .. on the earth.  He changes us from the inside-out by the power of His Spirit and His Word. We are not supposed to be a closet Christians .. but we are to let our light shine.
Do people know you are a Christian by how you live and talk and treat others?  Or are you invisible, blended in … living like those who don’t know Jesus, but desperately need to?  Christian ….
Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 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, June 9, 2014

Be Careful Why You Ask For What You Ask For

My Utmost For His Highest
‘“If any of you lacks wisdom . . . .” If you realize that you are lacking, it is because you have come in contact with spiritual reality— do not put the blinders of reason on again. The word ask actually means “beg.” Some people are poor enough to be interested in their poverty, and some of us are poor enough spiritually to show our interest. Yet we will never receive if we ask with a certain result in mind, because we are asking out of our lust, not out of our poverty.’ CHAMBERS
Asking and receiving .. believing and receiving … There are so many views on this.  So many sermons have been preached .. books have been written …. This is what the Bible says in James 4:2-3 “ […] You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
Receiving from God does not mean that He will or should sustain our level of affluence in our culture. Or worse yet, that He will give us even more.  Think about this .. God gives you more than you need so you will have resources to help support those who are going to spread the Gospel .. to help those who have no food .. no water .. no help .. not so you can spend more on yourself ..
When we ask .. we should be at the end of the list … Asking implies prayer .. that is how we ask from God … Have you ever known someone who only calls you when they want something?  They are really not interested in ‘you’, but what is in your pocket.  It can be frustrating .. what you would like is a sincere relationship … and the help that comes from that relationship would be wrapped in love not obligation .. or manipulation … or feigned affection … Well, that is how it is with God.  There is a bigger picture than this life we live .. it is an eternal picture .. it is a story of how God has reached down from heaven to offer eternal life to a lost people devoid of hope.  He wants to use you for that purpose … He has given you opportunity through provision beyond your needs to be part of the greater story …  So be careful why you ask for what you ask for.
1 Timothy 6:6-11 “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, June 6, 2014

His Will Is My Will

My Utmost For His Highest
The will is the essential element in God’s creation of human beings— sin is a perverse nature which entered into people. In someone who has been born again, the source of the will is Almighty God. “. . . for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” [Philippians 2:13] With focused attention and great care, you have to “work out” what God “works in” you— not work to accomplish or earn “your own salvation,” but work it out so you will exhibit the evidence of a life based with determined, unshakable faith on the complete and perfect redemption of the Lord. As you do this, you do not bring an opposing will up against God’s will— God’s will is your will. Your natural choices will be in accordance with God’s will, and living this life will be as natural as breathing. Stubbornness is an unintelligent barrier, refusing enlightenment and blocking its flow. The only thing to do with this barrier of stubbornness is to blow it up with “dynamite,” and the “dynamite” is obedience to the Holy Spirit.’ CHAMBERS
Living the Christian life is not a passive experience.  If it was passive, then when we are born again .. and we would live another life … all we would have to do is “be” and the rest would be a byproduct of our new life.  Anyone who has been a Christian for more than a minute knows that living this life is more of a challenge than that.  The “stubbornness” or resistance from our old nature is always present and we must be “focused”, deliberate to stay in line with God’s will.  The power source for this new life is the Holy Spirit in us.  We overcome and walk in the will of God by the power of the Spirit … the food we need to build up our spiritual strength is the Word of God.  It is our “manna” from heaven.  God’s provision for this new life.
My Will” DC Talk
“I`m setting the stage for the things I love. And I`m now the man I once couldn`t be.
Nothing on earth could now ever move me. I now have the will and the strength a man needs.
It`s my will, and I`m not moving, Cause if it`s Your will, then nothing can shake me. It`s my will, to bow and praise You
I now have the will to praise my God. Complexity haunts me for I am two men. Entrenched in a battle that I`ll never win.
My discipline fails me, my knowledge it fools me. But You are my shelter, all the strength that I need

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Fear is Reaf spelled Backwards .. It Means Nothing When God is With You

My Utmost For His Highest
‘What are you fearing? Whatever it may be, you are not a coward about it— you are determined to face it, yet you still have a feeling of fear. When it seems that there is nothing and no one to help you, say to yourself, “But ’The Lord is my helper’ this very moment, even in my present circumstance.” Are you learning to listen to God before you speak, or are you saying things and then trying to make God’s Word fit what you have said? Take hold of the Father’s assurance, and then say with strong courage, “I will not fear.” It does not matter what evil or wrong may be in our way, because “He Himself has said, ’I will never leave you . . . .’ ”’ CHAMBERS
(Joshua 1:8-9)This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
These were words that the Lord spoke to Joshua to encourage him.  Joshua had followed Moses .. now Joshua had taken Moses’ place as the leader of the nation.  Courage is not action with the absence of fear .. but action in spite of fear .. What are you facing that causes you to fret .. to lose sleep …. put your trust in God … and then do what He says in spite of what you may see or feel or fear.  The breath of the lion may be real .. but the lions' mouths were shut (Daniel 6:16).. the heat of the furnace may be overwhelming  .. but there was a fourth man walking  (Daniel 3) … the promises of the Lord are true and He is faithful. So Christian "be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)