Sunday, October 26, 2014

Are You Bearing Witness To The Truth?

My Utmost For His Highest
Jesus said to them again, ’. . . As the Father has sent Me, I also send you’ —John 20:21
A missionary is someone sent by Jesus Christ just as He was sent by God. The great controlling factor is not the needs of people, but the command of Jesus. The source of our inspiration in our service for God is behind us, not ahead of us. […]  In missionary work the great danger is that God’s call will be replaced by the needs of the people, to the point that human sympathy for those needs will absolutely overwhelm the meaning of being sent by Jesus. The needs are so enormous, and the conditions so difficult, that every power of the mind falters and fails. We tend to forget that the one great reason underneath all missionary work is not primarily the elevation of the people, their education, nor their needs, but is first and foremost the command of Jesus Christ— “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations . . .” (Matthew 28:19). […] When looking back on the lives of men and women of God, the tendency is to say, “What wonderfully keen and intelligent wisdom they had, and how perfectly they understood all that God wanted!” But the keen and intelligent mind behind them was the mind of God, not human wisdom at all. We give credit to human wisdom when we should give credit to the divine guidance of God being exhibited through childlike people who were “foolish” enough to trust God’s wisdom and His supernatural equipment.” CHAMBERS
Why did Jesus say He was sent? Why did He say He had come to the earth? (John 18:37-38) “Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" (John 14:6)  “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life, No one comes to the Father except by Me”
Pilate, apparently did not wait for an answer … and didn’t realize he was speaking to the answer!  In Haiti, the physical needs of the people are overwhelming.  It is so easy to shift your eyes onto those things and lose sight of why primary motivation for being in this place.  the primary motivation … for this cause we have come to Haiti, to bear witness to the Truth.  Everything else is secondary to that.  Yet that is the one thing that we abandon as we are drawn to meeting the physical needs of the people.  We lose our eternal perspective.  Jesus did not come to bring riches or food … He came to bring salvation …. Read the Bible, many people followed Jesus only because He was meeting their physical needs.  When pressed on the spiritual things, they fell away.  We experience the same thing here … and you will experience the same thing we you are. If meeting physical or emotional needs becomes the most important thing for you, then you will abandon your primary purpose.

That is not to say that you ignore the physical or emotional needs of people, God provides resources to meet those needs, often through the same ones that bring the Gospel.  But we must never abandon our primary purpose.  So you might be wondering, “What does this have to do with me? I am not a missionary.”  Well, actually you are.  Not in the foreign country sense .. Jesus said to share the Gospel, to make disciples, in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)  Most people focus on the “go” and don’t think much about the fact that He first, said we need the power of the Spirit to do what He is telling us to do.  Anyone, Christian or not, can hand someone a cup of water.  But only a Christian can hand someone a cup of living water so the person will never thirst again.
We are in the uttermost parts .. where are you … Have you remembered your primary purpose or are you too busy with this life to think about that? Time to refocus, my friend. ELGIN
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Will You Go Wherever He Leads?

My Utmost For His Highest
“I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” —1 Corinthians 9:22
“A Christian worker has to learn how to be God’s man or woman of great worth and excellence in the midst of a multitude of meager and worthless things. […] All of God’s people are ordinary people who have been made extraordinary by the purpose He has given them. […] It is not that you have gotten God, but that He has gotten you. God is at work bending, breaking, molding, and doing exactly as He chooses. And why is He doing it? He is doing it for only one purpose— that He may be able to say, “This is My man, and this is My woman.” We have to be in God’s hand so that He can place others on the Rock, Jesus Christ, just as He has placed us.” CHAMBERS
We don’t really understand the spiritual significance of our obedience to the call of God.  There are things at work, secret spiritual things, that God is doing in the lives of others in light of our obedience to Him.  He has a purpose for you.  You can choose to fulfill it or not.  God will not be swayed either way, but you will miss out on something eternal if you choose to go your own way.  I was talking with Samuel Mezidor, the Haitian that works with us as we delivered food for the children at the schools yesterday.  I was telling him that I often test men’s hearts by asking them to do something menial … like sweep the floor or something else.  I told him that their response to that request tells me about their hearts … are they servants?  Are they willing to do something that they normally don’t do?  Or do they think that they have too much to offer that they should not be asked to do something that is “beneath” them. Perhaps they feel they are too skilled or too educated.   Some pass and some fail.
Matthew 20:25-28 “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."”
What are you willing to do?  Where are you willing to go? What are you willing to give up? ELGIN
Wherever He Leads I’ll Go
“Take up thy cross and follow Me,"  I heard my Master say;  "I gave My life to ransom thee,  Surrender your all today."
Wherever He leads I'll go,  Wherever He leads I'll go,  I'll follow my Christ who loves me so,  Wherever He leads I'll go.
He drew me closer to His side,  I sought His will to know,  And in that will I now abide,  Wherever He leads I'll go.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, October 24, 2014

He Gives SIght To The Blind

My Utmost For His Highest
“Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ . . .” —2 Corinthians 2:14
“[..] Be careful that you vigorously maintain God’s perspective, and remember that it must be done every day, little by little. Don’t think on a finite level. […] The proper perspective to maintain is that we are here for only one purpose— to be captives marching in the procession of Christ’s triumphs. We are not on display in God’s showcase— we are here to exhibit only one thing— the “captivity [of our lives] to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). […] But Paul said, in essence, “I am in the procession of a conqueror, and it doesn’t matter what the difficulties are, for I am always led in triumph.” Is this idea being worked out practically in us? Paul’s secret joy was that God took him as a blatant rebel against Jesus Christ, and made him a captive— and that became his purpose. It was Paul’s joy to be a captive of the Lord, and he had no other interest in heaven or on earth. […] “We are to God the fragrance of Christ . . .” (2 Corinthians 2:15). We are encompassed with the sweet aroma of Jesus, and wherever we go we are a wonderful refreshment to God.”  CHAMBERS
Our lives are made complete in Jesus Christ.  As a Christian, we are to submit to the will of the Father. Obey the voice of the Son.  Not worry about our personal goals and ambitions that would give us confidence and self-gratification … but to live for Jesus.  The more I consider the choices I see people making and their blindness to the contradictions between what they say they believe and how they actually live their lives .. the more I understand why the Lord included these admonitions in the Word.  We are blind to some things, but Jesus gives sight to the blind.
We must make constant course corrections in our Christian walk. Many will go to church and then run on the truths they heard  for the rest of the week.  It is daily that I must consider my ways and the Lord’s will.  We should not underestimate the power of our culture and the draw it has on our behavior.  I see it every day here.  A profession of faith in Jesus, an expression of fidelity to the brotherhood of Christians, and then an embracing of some cultural practice that is clearly in contradiction to their faith and their relationship with other Christians.  Then I am reminded what Jesus said “And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5)  It is a struggle that we all face … and a failure that we all suffer.
But ….
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:1-3) Hallelujah!  ELGIN
A Haitian Worship Song
“My Lord I know you are God, And I know that you reign.  I know that that you died, And I know you rose again. I know that you are the source of life.  Yes I know you are the prince of peace. And I know you have all power. And I know that you will always reign”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How To Leave A Godly Legacy

My Utmost For His Highest
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” —2 Corinthians 5:17
“Our Lord never tolerates our prejudices— He is directly opposed to them and puts them to death. We tend to think that God has some special interest in our particular prejudices, and are very sure that He will never deal with us as He has to deal with others. We even say to ourselves, “God has to deal with other people in a very strict way, but of course He knows that my prejudices are all right.” But we must learn that God accepts nothing of the old life! […]  It is part of our moral education to see our prejudices put to death by His providence, and to watch how He does it. God pays no respect to anything we bring to Him. There is only one thing God wants of us, and that is our unconditional surrender.[…]  How are we going to get a life that has no lust, no self-interest, and is not sensitive to the ridicule of others? How will we have the type of love that “is kind . . . is not provoked, [and] thinks no evil”? (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). The only way is by allowing nothing of the old life to remain, and by having only simple, perfect trust in God— such a trust that we no longer want God’s blessings, but only want God Himself.“ CHAMBERS
When my dad, Don Pierson, would be talking to someone about an issue in their life, he would typically say “Let’s see what the Bible has to say about it.  He never went beyond high-school in his secular education, but was a great Biblical scholar and a man of Godly character.  When we face issues in life .. when we examine our lives and the way we are living them, the only standard that we can use is the Bible.  God addresses all of the issues of life either specifically or in principle.  All too often, we use our culture’s definition of right and wrong. Some of what our culture believes to be truth is actually Truth .. biblically based, but much of it is not.  So, if you ask “Is it wrong to think or say or do something or the other?” and look to your culture for the answer, you might very well get the wrong answer.  You can equate that to choosing sin.  If that thought makes you feel uncomfortable .. that is a good thing .. it should if you are a Christian.
What a culture believes comes with a new Christian .. it is embedded in the way they see right and wrong, That is why we must be familiar with the Word of God.  I heard a saying once “Sin keeps you from the Bible and the Bible keeps you from sin.”  That is an indirect reference to Psalm 119:11 “You word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You.” The more your are familiar with what is Truth in the Bible, the easier it will be to recognize what is not truth in your culture.    James 1:22  “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
One last note.  If you were not fortunate enough to have a dad like I did ... maybe you can be the godly parent that your children tell others about.ELGIN
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Our Spiritual Life Support System

My Utmost For His Highest
"The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit . . . "—Romans 8:16
"[…]  We are inclined to mistake the simplicity that comes from our natural commonsense decisions for the witness of the Spirit, but the Spirit witnesses only to His own nature, and to the work of redemption, never to our reason. If we are trying to make Him witness to our reason, it is no wonder that we are in darkness and uncertainty. Throw it all overboard, trust in Him, and He will give you the witness of the Spirit." CHAMBERS
Dr. Henry Blackaby, in Experiencing God, said that God speaks to us by His Spirit, through prayer, the Word, circumstances and other Believers.  Jesus said that He was sending a helper to teach us (John 14:26), guide us (Romans 8:14), to pray for us (Romans 8:26) and to convict the world of sin (John 16:8).  The Bible cautions us to not quench the Spirit.  In other words, don’t resist the Spirit and do what we think is best instead.  Dr Blackaby also said that knowing it is God speaking to us is never the problem.  Doing what God says to do, obedience, that is the problem.
Each of us is sealed by the Spirit at the moment of our rebirth (2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13).  Our bodies are the temple of the Spirit.  (1 Corinthians 3:16) He is with us 24x7.  I am sitting here this morning, glancing out of the window now and again.  I see the dark shape of palm trees, mountains, the hint of blue in the ocean,   and a red band on the horizon blending into a dark blue sky.  The sun is coming up.  Just like it does every morning.  It is beautiful.  By why is this happening?  I know the earth rotates about itself and about the sun .. but what makes it do that?  Why would it do that?  Because God has set it all in place.  He makes it work …. He keeps it working.
And so it is with His Spirit.  God put His Spirit in us, because it is necessary for us to live this new life of ours.  The Spirit is our life support.  Keep your heart clean from sin and listen for God to speak to you.  He knows what is best .. how could we possible think we know better than the creator of the universe?  He could ask us just as He asked Job, ‘Where were you when I set all of this in place?”  Remember who you are and who He is.  And guess what, He loves you with an everlasting love. Oh , here comes the sun! ELGIN
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Changed From The Inside Out

My Utmost For His Highest
"But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith . . ." —Jude 20
“There was nothing of the nature of impulsive or thoughtless action about our Lord, but only a calm strength that never got into a panic. […] Impulsiveness is all right in a child, but is disastrous in a man or woman—an impulsive adult is always a spoiled person. Impulsiveness needs to be trained into intuition through discipline. Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. […]  But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, going through drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God—but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people—and this is not learned in five minutes.” CHAMBERS
Living in this world will provide ample opportunity to abandon our new life of the old.  To stop trusting in God and trust in ourselves.  Particularly when things are not going like we think they should.  How we respond to this life and what it brings each day is a reflection of the spiritual discipline that we practice every day.  We are to be salt and light.  Our saltiness, the intensity of the light,  comes from an abiding relationship with God, not a decision to do better, to try harder  or be different  on our part. I must remember that it is not me but God in me that makes the difference.  My part is to be obedient, to draw close the God.  Zechariah 4:6 “It is not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord God of Hosts.”  The Spirit changes us from the inside out.  ELGIN
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Monday, October 20, 2014

We Are Called To Be Salt Not Salty

My Utmost For His Highest
“This is the will of God, your sanctification . . .” —1 Thessalonians 4:3
“Sanctification is not a question of whether God is willing to sanctify me— is it my will? Am I willing to let God do in me everything that has been made possible through the atonement of the Cross of Christ? […] It is a holiness based on agonizing repentance, a sense of inexpressible shame and degradation, and also on the amazing realization that the love of God demonstrated itself to me while I cared nothing about Him (see Romans 5:8). […] Sanctification makes me one with Jesus Christ, and in Him one with God, and it is accomplished only through the magnificent atonement of Christ. Never confuse the effect with the cause. The effect in me is obedience, service, and prayer[…]because of the atonement through the Cross of Christ.” CHAMBERS
As Christians we are to be like fish in the sea.  They live in salt water and yet they are not salty.  We live in a sinful world, but we are to be unblemished by it .. we have been sanctified …. One of the great temptations for Christians is to believe that we can live the sanctified life and embrace the world at the same time.  We love certain things, even though they are contrary to the Word of God.  We make excuses for them … and sometimes, even conceal the fact that we like them from other Christians … to protect our image . .forgetting that God looks at the heart … If you pursue sanctification, it will be reflected in your life … obedience, service and prayer … if you don’t it won’t.  Pretty simple.  Paul asked the rhetorical question “Should we sin so grace can abound” He answered “God forbid”.  We have been called to a new life in Christ … leave the old behind and seek the new … you will be better for it. Stop trying to live on both sides of the fence.  ELGIN
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Take It To The Lord In Prayer

My Utmost For His Highest
“Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” —Matthew 9:38
‘The key to the missionary’s difficult task is in the hand of God, and that key is prayer, not work— that is, not work as the word is commonly used today, which often results in the shifting of our focus away from God. The key to the missionary’s difficult task is also not the key of common sense, nor is it the key of medicine, civilization, education, or even evangelization. The key is in following the Master’s orders— the key is prayer. “Pray the Lord of the harvest . . . .” In the natural realm, prayer is not practical but absurd. […] Our Lord calls us to no special work— He calls us to Himself. “Pray the Lord of the harvest,” and He will engineer your circumstances to send you out as His laborer.’ CHAMBERS
Prayer is key to our relationship with God.  How do you regard prayer? Is it something you do if you find the time.  If prayer is the key … imagine you are standing outside of your house and the door is locked. The only solution is to get the key to unlock the door.  But you decided that having the key with you was really not that important.  The problem, there is no other way to open the door, but with the key.  So it Is with our life in Christ.  God wants to have a relationship with us.  God speaks to us in various ways .. His Word, circumstances, other Christians, but also through prayer.  There is only one way that we can speak back to Him, prayer.  We should not pray because we have to .. we should pray because we want to.  It is unnatural for a Christian to not pray. I don’t talk to my wife because it is my obligation say to “something” to her, I talk to my wife because I love her and I know she loves me.  I want to hear what she has to say .. and I want her to hear what I have to say .. my joys and my sorrows … my victories and my failures … why? Because I know she want sto spend time with me and cares about what is happening to me . .what I am feeling … what I am thinking …  in much the same way, your Father is waiting to hear from you … so what are you waiting for, an invitation?  I just gave you one. ELGIN
1 Peter 5:17  “Cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Don't Just Think About - Do It!

My Utmost For His Highest
He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world —1 John 2:2
The key to the missionary’s message is the propitiation of Christ Jesus— His sacrifice for us that completely satisfied the wrath of God. Look at any other aspect of Christ’s work, whether it is healing, saving, or sanctifying, and you will see that there is nothing limitless about those. But— “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”— that is limitless (John 1:29). The missionary’s message is the limitless importance of Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins, and a missionary is someone who is immersed in the truth of that revelation. […] The missionary’s message is not nationalistic, favoring nations or individuals; it is “for the whole world.” When the Holy Spirit comes into me, He does not consider my partialities or preferences; He simply brings me into oneness with the Lord Jesus. A missionary […] is not to proclaim his own point of view, but is only to proclaim “the Lamb of God.” It is easier to belong to a faction that simply tells what Jesus Christ has done for me, and easier to become a devotee of divine healing, or of a special type of sanctification, or of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. CHAMBERS
I can remember years ago, my brother, Rick, was attending Dallas Theological Seminary.  He talked to me about “propitiation” and, frankly, I was not familiar with the word.  Seemed like “pastor-speak” … but the more I understood it, the more I realized its significance.  The word itself is not what is important, but what the word means .. now that is important.  The word refers back to the mercy seat that was on the ark of the covenant.  It was on that seat that the blood was poured on the Day of Atonement by the high priest in the Holy of Holies to satisfy God’s wrath for the sins of the people of Israel.
So why do you need to know that?  Because Jesus is the mercy seat and He is the sacrifice and it is His blood that was poured out to satisfy the wrath of God toward our sins. Not once a year, but once for all.   John 14:6 Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father but by Me.”  Unless people accept the gift of salvation .. the work of propitiation … Jesus Christ .. they are going to hell.  Think about that the next time you are spending time with you unsaved friends.  We are not only supposed to be light but we are also to tell with words.  We are all missionaries of some form … we are people with a mission … If you love someone .. why would you stand by, watching them follow the path to an eternal hell, and say nothing?  Something to think about. But don't just think about it, do it! ELGIN
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

You Remind Me Of Moses

My Utmost For His Highest
. . . when Moses was grown . . . he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens —Exodus 2:11
“Moses saw the oppression of his people and felt certain that he was the one to deliver them, and in the righteous indignation of his own spirit he started to right their wrongs. […] In the beginning Moses had realized that he was the one to deliver the people, but he had to be trained and disciplined by God first. He was right in his individual perspective, but he was not the person for the work until he had learned true fellowship and oneness with God. We may have the vision of God and a very clear understanding of what God wants, and yet when we start to do it, there comes to us something equivalent to Moses’ forty years in the wilderness. It’s as if God had ignored the entire thing, and when we are thoroughly discouraged, God comes back and revives His call to us. And then we begin to tremble and say, “Who am I that I should go . . . ?” […]  We are focused on the right individual perspective of things; we have the vision and can say, “I know this is what God wants me to do.” But we have not yet learned to get into God’s stride. If you are going through a time of discouragement, there is a time of great personal growth ahead.” CHAMBERS
You may not think of yourself as a Moses, I certainly do not … but then again in some ways, we are.  Moses was a baby that was supposed to be killed .. the Egyptians’ solution for population control (some nations still practice killing babies).  But God intervened.  Moses was taught to be a leader among men in Egypt, but then God intervened.  Moses went to the desert, tended sheep for 40 years (and you think you have had to wait on God?) , was taken advantage of by someone he trusted, and learned to be humble, but then God intervened.  You see God had not forgotten Moses .. He had a purpose and a plan that Moses was part for.  So in some ways you are like Moses.  God has not forgotten you.  You are part of God’s plan for humanity.  God has told us in His Word ….
Jeremiah 29:11  “For I know the thoughts (plans) that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts (plans) of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Ephesians 2:10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
So do not lose heart . . the Word says in  Isaiah 35:4  “Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you."
Don’t let your present circumstance or your past failures define you.  Continue to press on in the faith.  Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and not your circumstances.  God has a plan .. He has a purpose .. and He has not forgotten you.  ELGIN
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Forgotten By God -I Don't Think So!

My Utmost For His Highest
“When He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was” —John 11:6
“Has God trusted you with His silence— a silence that has great meaning? God’s silences are actually His answers. Just think of those days of absolute silence in the home at Bethany! Is there anything comparable to those days in your life? Can God trust you like that, or are you still asking Him for a visible answer? God will give you the very blessings you ask if you refuse to go any further without them, but His silence is the sign that He is bringing you into an even more wonderful understanding of Himself. Are you mourning before God because you have not had an audible response?” CHAMBERS
What is happening in your life where you want to hear a word from God?  Some kind of confirmation that He is there and that He cares about you.  Can you imagine the confusion and disappointment when Jesus did not show up to help Lazarus.  Jesus helped absolute strangers, but when His very close friend was sick and dying, He did nothing. Martha told Jesus that had he come “on time” Lazarus would have been healed and would not have died.
Have there been times in your life when you expected God to show up and He did not, causing you to wonder and maybe even doubt?  Here is the Truth.  God is sovereign in all things.  Just because you don’t understand what is going on .. or think that things should go another way does not change that Truth.  For Lazarus there was a bigger purpose . .a God glorifying purpose in Jesus waiting for Lazarus’ death.  So what about your life?  Are you willing to trust God even in the most difficult moments of your life?  When it feels like God has forgotten you or forsaken you?  Are you willing to be used for God’s bigger purpose.  A purpose  that goes beyond your comfort, maybe your physical health?  Here is another truth.  There is a song that the children in the orphanage sing … Bondye pa bliye mwen, Li konnen nom. (Bone-jay paw blee –yah mwhen, Lee conan gnom) God has not forgotten me, He knows my name.  It’s true you know … ELGIN
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, October 10, 2014

It Is Not Enough To Know It, You Must Do It

My Utmost For His Highest
‘It is a matter of obedience, and once we obey, the relationship is instantly perfected. But if we turn away from obedience for even one second, darkness and death are immediately at work again. All of God’s revealed truths are sealed until they are opened to us through obedience. You will never open them through philosophy or thinking. But once you obey, a flash of light comes immediately. Let God’s truth work into you by immersing yourself in it, not by worrying into it. The only way you can get to know the truth of God is to stop trying to find out and by being born again. If you obey God in the first thing He shows you, then He instantly opens up the next truth to you. You could read volumes on the work of the Holy Spirit, when five minutes of total, uncompromising obedience would make things as clear as sunlight. Don’t say, “I suppose I will understand these things someday!” You can understand them now. And it is not study that brings understanding to you, but obedience. Even the smallest bit of obedience opens heaven, and the deepest truths of God immediately become yours. Yet God will never reveal more truth about Himself to you, until you have obeyed what you know already. Beware of becoming one of the “wise and prudent.” “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know . . .” (John 7:17). CHAMBERS
It was Adam’s disobedience that set this world on a course for hell.  It was Jesus obedience that brought another possibility.  It is through our obedience that we walk in the light as He is in the light … Jesus is the light … The Bible says to be doers of the Word and not hearers (or readers) only.  (James 1:22)  To be successful in this Christian life we must not only meditate on the Word but do it (Joshua 1:8).  To be obedient to the Word is to yield your heart to God.  To trust Him and not yourself (Prov3:5,6)
Easy to say … but as you know, the challenge is in the doing not the knowing.  Praying for you to that end.  ELGIN
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Jesus Is The Cure For What Ails Us

My Utmost For His Highest
‘I cannot save and sanctify myself; I cannot make atonement for sin; I cannot redeem the world; I cannot right what is wrong, purify what is impure, or make holy what is unholy. That is all the sovereign work of God. […] The greatest need we have is not to do things, but to believe things. […] Beware of that human holiness that is not based on the atonement of the Lord. […] We cannot do anything pleasing to God unless we deliberately build on the foundation of the atonement by the Cross of Christ.[…] Obedience means that I have completely placed my trust in the atonement, and my obedience is immediately met by the delight of the supernatural grace of God.  Beware of the human holiness …. CHAMBERS
If we live our lives trying to be good and look good, we will live miserable lives.  Lives full of failure. Oh, we may deceive others .. but that is because they cannot see our hearts.  But there is no fooling God. The Bible says God prefers obedience - loving Him - over sacrifice – doing external things.  Obedience begins in the heart.  In Psalm 51, King David prayed .. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. In Matthew 5:8, Jesus says “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God”.  Being right on the inside is only possible if God does it, we cannot. Being right on the inside requires faith in Jesus and submission to the Holy Spirit.  Jesus, speaking to the Pharisees who were really good at looking good,  said “it is not the outside of the cup that makes it unclean” Matthew 23:25-26  So you can be beautiful on the outside – even seem very spiritual, and be  quite the contrary on the inside where it counts.
Why did God want us to know about these things?  Because He knows that they are a problem for us. Everyone in the world suffers from the same struggles.  That is why the Gospel works in all countries … we all have the same heart problem … and God has the cure for what ails us. ELGIN
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Convicted or Condemned

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Sin is a fundamental relationship— it is not wrong doing, but wrong being— it is deliberate and determined independence from God. The Christian faith bases everything on the extreme, self-confident nature of sin. Other faiths deal with sins— the Bible alone deals with sin. The first thing Jesus Christ confronted in people was the heredity of sin, and it is because we have ignored this in our presentation of the gospel that the message of the gospel has lost its sting and its explosive power.
The revealed truth of the Bible is not that Jesus Christ took on Himself our fleshly sins, but that He took on Himself the heredity of sin that no man can even touch. God made His own Son “to be sin” that He might make the sinner into a saint. […] “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us. . .” and by so doing He placed salvation for the entire human race solely on the basis of redemption. Jesus Christ reconciled the human race, putting it [the human race] back to where God designed it to be.’ CHAMBERS
Jesus is called the second Adam.  Where the first Adam failed, the second Adam was victorious.  1 Corinthians 15:45-49 ‘If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last [or second] Adam, a life-giving spirit.  The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.  The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.  As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven.  And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.’
Through Him we have new life.  We are no longer slaves to sin, but we still sin.  We no longer belong to the god of this world, we belong to the God of heaven.  We still struggle with sins because God has not taken our free-will away from us. So we choose poorly.  We hate the fact that we have this struggle, but don’t you think God knows that we will struggle?  There must be a divine purpose in that allowing.  Not that God takes pleasure in our disobedience, but He allows it.  Why? I think, because He desires our obedience … it is a demonstration of our love for Him.  Before Jesus, we did not have the capacity to do anything that would please God … Jesus gave us that capacity .. ability … by redeeming us … and then by giving us the power to live in a way the glorifies God and points others to Jesus.
The simple difference between conviction and condemnation is motive.  The words can actually be the same.  When you read the Word or perhaps these devotions, you may feel the weight of your wrong choosing.  We all struggle with wrong choices ( that is a softer way of saying ‘sin’).  The Spirit brings conviction with the motive of encouraging us to choose a better way, reminding us of our new life.  The world condemns with the motive of tearing us down, demoralizing us, discouraging us, reminding us of our old life.  Be encouraged. ELGIN
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Monday, October 6, 2014

How To Keep The Spiritual Fire Burning

My Utmost For His Highest
‘If Jesus Christ is going to regenerate me, what is the problem He faces? It is simply this— I have a heredity in which I had no say or decision; I am not holy, nor am I likely to be; and if all Jesus Christ can do is tell me that I must be holy, His teaching only causes me to despair. But if Jesus Christ is truly a regenerator, someone who can put His own heredity of holiness into me, then I can begin to see what He means when He says that I have to be holy. Redemption means that Jesus Christ can put into anyone the hereditary nature that was in Himself, and all the standards He gives us are based on that nature— His teaching is meant to be applied to the life which He puts within us. The proper action on my part is simply to agree with God’s verdict on sin as judged on the Cross of Christ.  […] But I must get to that point. God cannot put into me, the responsible moral person that I am, the nature that was in Jesus Christ unless I am aware of my need for it.’ CHAMBERS
I just doesn’t happen.  The change in our lives, I mean.  Galatians 2:20 says “I have been crucified with Christ, yet it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.  And the life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  If we don’t work intentionally on our relationship with Jesus, just like other people you have known over the years, you will drift apart, and one day, you might even stop thinking about Him.  Sound impossible?  It is very possible. I am not saying you stop going to church, but you might.  I am not saying you will stop reading your Bible, but you might.  I am not saying that you will stop praying, but you might.  I am not saying you will stop hanging out with people of faith and associate primarily with people who are lost, but you might.  (We are supposed to be salt and light to the lost, not indistinguishable from them.  If someone watched your life and what you do, listened to your speech . .would they know that you are Christian?) The Spiritual fire that once burned so intensely can become but a dying ember.  It doesn’t happen all at once, but slowly, day by day.
Have you ever said “I wonder whatever happened to (fill in the blank)?  Just the other day, I was thinking about some good friends that Martie and I had in past years.  We loved them and they loved us.  Now, we don’t know where they are or how to contact them.  How did that happen?  It happened because we stopped working at the relationship.  We allowed it to die through neglect.
We have been called to a new life.  But a temptation is always to abandon it. To let it slide.  To not do what the Spirit is prompting you to do.  So I want to encourage you to be careful.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, October 3, 2014

How To Be A Successful Christian

My Utmost For His Highest
‘His disciples asked Him privately, ’Why could we not cast it out?’ ” (Mark 9:28). […]  We can remain powerless forever, as the disciples were in this situation, by trying to do God’s work without concentrating on His power, and by following instead the ideas that we draw from our own nature. We actually slander and dishonor God by our very eagerness to serve Him without knowing Him. When you are brought face to face with a difficult situation and nothing happens externally, you can still know that freedom and release will be given because of your continued concentration on Jesus Christ. Your duty in service and ministry is to see that there is nothing between Jesus and yourself. Is there anything between you and Jesus even now? If there is, you must get through it, not by ignoring it as an irritation, or by going up and over it, but by facing it and getting through it into the presence of Jesus Christ.’ CHAMBERS
What happens to us on the outside is not what is important as far as our new nature is concerned.  We are sure to face difficult times, loss, rejection, failures, hardships, illness, even death.  But how we live in spite of those troubles is completely dependent upon the level of our relationship with the Lord.  Have you ever been in one of those stores that sell notions?  I have always thought that was a strange description but perhaps not.  The store is filled with trinkets.  Things that you put on a shelf after you buy them and really don’t think much about them afterward .. except to dust them off from time to time.
Is that how you treat your relationship with Jesus?  If you do, you will not be happy with the result.  Your successful response to life is dependent on the quality of your relationship with the Lord.  If He is merely a “notion” sitting on a shelf, then you are in trouble in difficult times.  Galatians 5 describes the fruit of the Spirit which is evidenced in a Christian’s life when they are living by faith and walking by the Spirit.  The love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness will be evidenced in your life in spite of the hardship you face when your relationship with the Lord is strong … primary …
Joshua 1:8 says “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.”  So what are you waiting for?
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

What To Do When The Glory Fades

My Utmost For His Highest
‘We see His glory on the mountain, but we never live for His glory there. It is in the place of humiliation that we find our true worth to God— that is where our faithfulness is revealed. Most of us can do things if we are always at some heroic level of intensity, simply because of the natural selfishness of our own hearts. But God wants us to be at the drab everyday level, where we live in the valley according to our personal relationship with Him.’ CHAMBERS
It is easy to bask in the mountain top moments.  Where our spiritual nature flourishes .. our hearts resonate with the beat of God’s heart.  We come off the mountain and our faces shine like Moses  Exodus 34:29 “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.” Eventually the glory faded for Moses and it does for us as well.
In the ‘90s I was involved with a ministry called Promise Keepers, some of you may remember that ministry.  Thousands upon thousands of men attended the conferences.  They would come back renewed, refreshed, ready to apply the truths they had learned or re-learned over the weekend.  Their wives were thrilled .. for about two weeks until the glory faded.  This is not true for all of the men, but for many.  The wives saw their husbands drift back into the same old habits and attitudes.  The application of the truths we discover on the mountain is done in the valley.  And like Chambers said “we live in the valley according to our personal relationship with [Jesus].”
These men failed to persist in the valley because they did not pursue their relationship with the Lord.  The glory shining from them was a reflection of their being in His presence.  So it is for you and me.  This principle was true for Moses, true for Peter and it’s true for us.  Our ability to live the Christian life, to respond to life in a way that brings glory to God,  is dependent on our dependence on the Lord and not on our determination to be better Christians.  It is not an act of the will … it is the result of a humble heart and our choosing to follow Jesus in all things.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mindful Of The Mountain But Serving In The Valley

My Utmost For His Highest
‘It is a wonderful thing to be on the mountain with God, but a person only gets there so that he may later go down and lift up the demon-possessed people in the valley (see Mark 9:14-18). We are not made for the mountains, for sunrises, or for the other beautiful attractions in life— those are simply intended to be moments of inspiration. We are made for the valley and the ordinary things of life, and that is where we have to prove our stamina and strength. Yet our spiritual selfishness always wants repeated moments on the mountain. We feel that we could talk and live like perfect angels, if we could only stay on the mountaintop. Those times of exaltation are exceptional and they have their meaning in our life with God, but we must beware to prevent our spiritual selfishness from wanting to make them the only time. CHAMBERS
Mark 9:2-5,7 “After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.  And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah….. Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”"
We live in a small house in Jacmel, Haiti.  It is situated right next to the ocean.  The sound of the waves crashing on the shore is constant .. never ceases .. sometimes so loud it is hard to hear. There are two floors in this house.  To go downstairs you must go outside. I normally make the journey early in the morning to make coffee as I prepare mentally and spiritually for the day ahead. The door I exit faces East.  So, I get to see magnificent sunrises every morning.  But each morning, I am reminded that we were not called to live here .. although we probably could stay if we chose to … we were called to bring the Gospel to the people of Haiti.  We cannot do that from our “little mountain”, we must leave the mountain (the beach in this case) and go to the people.
Peter was so impressed with the transformation experience, he wanted to stay .. why leave? But Jesus was sent to lay His life down .. His purpose was not yet fulfilled … some Christians prefer to not come off of the mountain … they don’t want to walk among those who are “possessed” and minister to them .. but just to hang out with the Saints .. to bask in the warmth of the fellowship .. and isolation from a sinful world.  God has called all of us to minister to the sinners .. the lost …  to those who don’t know Jesus.  He has called us to “listen to His Son” and go … I tell people that when I face the ocean to enjoy it’s beauty, I have turned my back on the people I was sent to serve. It can happen so easily and it can feel so right … but it is not God’s will.  Something to think about and pray about. ELGIN
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)