Friday, July 20, 2018

How Would You Behave In The Presence Of God? He Is Always With You.

Those who wait on the Lord…shall walk and not faint. —Isaiah 40:31

“To “walk and not faint” is the highest stretch possible as a measure of strength. The word walk is used in the Bible to express the character of a person— “…John…looking at Jesus as He walked…said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’ ” (John 1:35-36). .. Having the reality of God’s presence is not dependent on our being in a particular circumstance or place, but is only dependent on our determination to keep the Lord before us continually. Our problems arise when we refuse to place our trust in the reality of His presence. The experience the psalmist speaks of— “We will not fear, even though…” (Psalm 46:2)”  OSWALD CHAMBERS

Having an awareness of the presence of authority has an effect on behavior.  I remember words like “Mom’s coming!” or “The Teacher’s coming!” resulted in order being restored when only moments before there was chaos in the room.  When I commanded untis in the Army I can remember walking into the room and someone calling the room to attention.  The commander – not to be confused with the person Charley Elgin – had just entered the room.  If you are a believer, born again by the Spirit of God through faith in Jesus Christ, then there is no time that the presence of God is not with you.  And yet, we act as though the Spirit had stepped out of the room.  Why is that? I think, because we ignore His presence.  We are insensitive to it.  It’s like the teacher being in the room and the students behaving as if the teacher was not there.  Why would they do that? Because they don’t respect the authority of the teacher.  In the same way, if you don’t cultivate your spiritual nature – prayer – meditation on the Word of God – fellowship with spiritual Christians – then you will no longer acknowledge God’s authority in your life.  You don’t have to look far to see a Christian living in rebellion to the Lordship of Jesus.  

(John 14:15-17) “If you love me [Jesus], you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” Jesus said you are going to need help which is why you have the Spirit.  Don’t ignore the help you have been given. Do you love the Lord? Well, you heard Him.   CHARLEY

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Making Choices – There Are Really Only Two Options

You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. —John 13:13 

“Our Lord never insists on having authority over us. He never says, “You will submit to me.” No, He leaves us perfectly free to choose— so free, in fact, that we can spit in His face or we can put Him to death, as others have done; and yet He will never say a word. But once His life has been created in me through His redemption, I instantly recognize His right to absolute authority over me.” OSWALD CHAMBERS

I have often said that I wish menus at restaurants only had one choice. Then “I think I’ll have that” is what I would say.  So easy.  Instead I stare at a thousand choices and have no idea what I want.  All I know is that I am hungry.  Why else would I be in a restaurant?  Our new life in Christ is a bit like that.  God has purposefully given us choices.  He certainly didn’t have to.  He is the Creator.  He makes the rules. All of them good, but rules just the same.  He formed us.  He could have easily left the “choice part” out. Like our appendix.  Why put it in there if we don’t need it.  Some say because in ages past we did need it.  So it is kind of like buying a new car with an 8-track tape player in the dash.  But I digress (it’s one of my many talents!) 

God has given us the ability to choose who we will serve.  Him or the god of this world.  That would be Satan. So there are two items on our menu.  What to do.  Our flesh says pick the one that will satisfy my earthly passions.  God says pick the one that offers you what you really seek – love, joy, peace.  We are faced with this choice every day.  For the Saint, the first choice is called giving in to temptation and the second is called being obedient to the will of God.  We all struggle with choices every day.  Joshua said (Joshua 24:15) “And if it seem evil to you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” 

So what will you have to eat today?  CHARLEY

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

God’s Blessing Always Follows Obedience – Blessing Before Obedience Is Enabling

He said, "Who are You, Lord?" —Acts 9:5  

“It is not natural to obey, yet it is not necessarily sinful to disobey. … Jesus will never insist that I obey, but if I don’t …. I am backing away from the recreating power of His redemption. It makes no difference to God’s grace what an abomination I am, if I will only come to the light. But “Woe is me” if I refuse the light (see John 3:19-21).” OSWALD CHAMBERS 

“Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”  Today obedience has a negative connotation.  If your dog does not listen to you, you send the dog to obedience school. If your children misbehave, you must correct them to change their behavior.  The thing is, unlike your dog, with respect to your children there must be a heart change.  I don’t want my children to fear me and that be the reason they do what I say.  I want them to trust me and know that I only have their best interest in mind. 

That is the way it is with us and God.  Obedience is born out of trust and trust is born out of faith. I often quote (Proverbs 3:5-6) “Trust in the Lord and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Or some translations say “make your path straight”.  In other words obey God and trust that He knows best.  And that is where the trouble begins.  It started in the Garden. Satan suggested that God wanted to deny Adam and Eve what was best.  You are faced with choices every day.  Opportunities to choose God or choose another way.  That is called temptation, by the way.  (read 1 Corinthians 10:13)  The Word says (James 4:17) “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them.”  
Listen, blessing always follows obedience. Blessing before obedience is called enabling.  Faith and obedience come first.  In Psalm 51 David wrote “a broken and contrite heart is the sacrifice that God desires.” God doesn’t need our promises.  He doesn’t need our “stuff”.  He wants to have a relationship with us.  He wants the devotion of our hearts.  When Jesus asked Peter if Peter loved him, Jesus was asking Peter if he loved Jesus enough to lay his life down for Him and others.  It’s the same question that He asks of us.  So what do you say when He says .. “Do you love Me? Then do what I say” (Luke 6:46) CHARLEY

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

God Wants To Use You As A Stepping Stone For Others On The Path To Their Salvation

My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom… —1 Corinthians 2:4

“Belief in Jesus is a miracle produced only by the effectiveness of redemption, not by impressive speech, nor by wooing and persuading, but only by the sheer unaided power of God. The creative power of redemption comes through the preaching of the gospel, but never because of the personality of the preacher. … If it is only because of my preaching that people desire to be better, they will never get close to Jesus Christ. “And I, if I am lifted up…, will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32).” OSWALD CHAMBERS

I have often marveled at how God uses mere men and women to proclaim the Gospel to the world. But it is not the messenger but the message that brings salvation.  And not just any message.  I think we often get the “cart before the horse”.  I never precede God … The Spirit of God has preceded me.  I am but a part of the salvation process.  Paul said “Some plant and some water, but God brings the increase.”  (1 Corinthians 3:6) A seed was planted in my dad’s heart in 1951 on a hill in Korea.  A Chaplain gave him a bible with a reference to John 1:12 written on the inside cover. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—”  It was not until 1969 did he pray to receive Jesus as his savior and Lord.  Don’t think more of your role in sharing the Gospel, but then, don’t think less of it either.  In His wisdom, God has chosen to use us for the hearing of the Gospel. 

(Romans 10:14-15) “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Don’t believe for a minute that you have the power to save. At the same moment, don’t think that you telling someone about Jesus when the Spirit prompts you is not necessary.  You don’t know which stepping stone you are on the path someone takes to salvation.  But God does! CHARLEY

Monday, July 16, 2018

Living Like The God of Heaven Is With You, Because He is. Whom Or What Shall You Fear? No One and Nothing!

…how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! —Matthew 7:11 

“Fill your mind with the thought that God is there. And once your mind is truly filled with that thought, when you experience difficulties it will be as easy as breathing for you to remember, “My heavenly Father knows all about this!” This will be no effort at all, but will be a natural thing for you when difficulties and uncertainties arise.”  OSWALD CHAMBERS

So you sitting somewhere reading this.  Are you aware of the clothes that you are wearing?  I know that you know you are dressed, but do you feel the clothes?  Do you have a constant awareness of them?  Probably not.  Well, maybe the pants that are too tight around the waist or the shoes that look good but are “killing” your feet .. but they look good! My point is this.  God is sovereign.  One of His attributes is that He is omnipresent.  That word is not used much from the pulpits these days.  It means He is everywhere all the time.  You are sealed on the day of your salvation with the Holy Spirit.  (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.”  That has given you a constant connection with God.  You no longer have to go to the temple to seek God.  You are the temple. (1 Corinthians 6:19) “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” Where the Spirit was once in the Holy of Holies, the Spirit is now in us.  And as if that is not enough! (Romans 8:26) “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”  

God has made provision for us.  He is present even if we don’t feel His presence. There is nothing in your life that God is not aware of and bigger than.  He will be with you in the fire.  He will be with you when you are surrounded by troubles which would devour you.  He will be with you when your enemies number in the thousands.  When you stand before the giants.  When He leads you into unknown places.  God is always there! So rejoice and be glad!  (Joshua 1:9) “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” CHARLEY

Friday, July 13, 2018

Do You Love God Or Do You Only Like God – How You Live Will Tell

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord… —Isaiah 6:1

“What I need is God’s surgical procedure— His use of external circumstances to bring about internal purification. Your priorities must be God first, God second, and God third, until your life is continually face to face with God and no one else is taken into account whatsoever.” OSWALD CHAMBERS 

If I were to tell you that You must love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, you would most certainly nod your head in agreement or maybe even shout amen.  Actually Jesus said that.  Read Matthew 22:37-39.  He said that all the law .. the essence of the direction that God has given us .. the foundation of our life with respect to God and man is summed up in two commands … Love God, first and love others next.  As you well know, that level of relationship is not automatic .. you can’t just flip a switch.  It requires that each of us lay our own life down - daily.  There is an old hymn that goes “All to Jesus I surrender.  All to Him I freely give.  I will ever love and trust Him.  In His presence daily live.”  In John 21 Jesus asked Peter, three times, “Do you love me?”  Recall Peter denied Jesus three times before Jesus’ crucifixion.  We need to be careful about our attitude toward Peter – wondering “How could Peter deny his relationship with Jesus so easily?”  We should be careful lest we go the “way  of Peter”.  When Peter denied Jesus he feared men more than God.  Remember, Peter was on his own at that point.  After Pentecost, Peter was filled with the Spirit of God.  The same Spirit that inhabits every Believer.  What God asks you to do, you cannot do on your own … it is spiritual that manifests itself in the natural.  We look at the natural … everyday living … as if it is separate from the spiritual .. it is not.  

Everything we do, think, speak, and desire must be in the context of who God is and our love for Him.  God’s expectation for that level of devotion is not reserved for the super-saints or the zealots …. It’s for me and for you.  You want to know what’s missing in your new life?  At the root, it’s the level of your love for God. CHARLEY

Thursday, July 12, 2018

When You Have A Heart For God You Have Humility Before God And Man

“We are not here to develop a spiritual life of our own, or to enjoy a quiet spiritual retreat. We are here to have the full realization of Jesus Christ, for the purpose of building His body. Am I building up the body of Christ, or am I only concerned about my own personal development? The essential thing is my personal relationship with Jesus Christ— “…that I may know Him…” (Philippians 3:10). To fulfill God’s perfect design for me requires my total surrender— complete abandonment of myself to Him. Whenever I only want things for myself, the relationship is distorted. And I will suffer great humiliation once I come to acknowledge and understand that I have not really been concerned about realizing Jesus Christ Himself, but only concerned with knowing what He has done for me.” OSWALD CHAMBERS

I met a guy yesterday while I was working on a house in Houston.  He had come to measure for replacement windows. As it turned out, he owned the business.  One of the first things you notice about this particular guy is that he is very strong .. Arnold Schwarzenegger strong.  It is obvious that he spends a lot of time in the gym.  Getting past that and the unspoken challenge to your own manhood, the next thing you notice is that he is very kind.  As we talked, I learned that he was a man of faith and a Brother in Christ. When I posted a picture of us on Facebook someone commented about his biceps. That is because they are disproportionately large for his stature.  But what you could not see on Facebook was the size of his heart and the depth of his faith in the Lord. Although he obviously was concerned about building up his body, He was more concerned about the Body of Christ.  He told me that he would not charge anything for the windows or the labor - it was a gift for Mrs. Smith, the home owner.  When I mentioned he might be recognized for it, he balked at the thought.  Why? Because with his heart from God comes humility before God.  In Micah 6:8 the question is asked “What does the Lord require of you, oh man?”  then the answer.  “But to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

If we do anything for God then we should be ready to give all the credit to God.  My new friend spoke a lot about God’s grace.  Unmerited favor.  He was shown grace in his life and was showing grace to others.  Showing grace and mercy to others will cost you something .. but when your heart is right, it is a price you will gladly pay.  (John 15:13) “No greater love has one man than this, but to lay down his life for his friends.”  That is not a simple act of benevolence .. it is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1-2). CHARLEY

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Struggling In The Pit Of Despair, A Place Where Faith Is Waiting

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.… —Hebrews 11:1

As I watch so many people struggle in this life, in my family and those we serve on the mission field – my thoughts come to the issue of faith and living by it.  So much of our attitude  about our life and its quality, about contentment and a sense of satisfaction, is dependent upon what happens or does not happen to us and the people we care about. Our plans fail.  We suffer loss and are disappointed which leads to depression, and perhaps even desperation.  But that is where Faith is waiting.  The capital “F” is not a typo. The Faith I am talking about is the Faith that comes from Heaven not something that you must up - stiff upper lip and all that. Faith is having confidence in the One who is Faithful.  Even when all of your senses tell you that certain  doom is looming. That the situation is hopeless.

To have faith and hope in the midst of a crisis makes no earthly sense. The pre-condition of faith is not that it makes sense, but confidence, hope, and peace through faith will always stand in defiance of “common sense” and human understanding.   The root of faith is found in a relationship with the Creator God through Jesus Christ.  That is as certain as the fact that gravity will keep you  connected to this planet and you will not float off into space one day.  Once you are able to grasp that, to believe it, to embrace it, the result will be peace in the midst of any storm that might come your way.  That my friend is a promise of God. 

(Philippians 4:4-7)  “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  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.”  Charley

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

We Don’t Fulfill Our Purpose In The Bowl But In The Pan

Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together… —Hebrews 10:24-25

“The true test of our spirituality occurs when we come up against injustice, degradation, ingratitude, and turmoil , all of which have the tendency to make us spiritually lazy…. We use God only for the sake of getting peace and joy. We seek only our enjoyment of Jesus Christ, not a true realization of Him. … The real danger in spiritual laziness is that we do not want to be stirred up— all we want to hear about is a spiritual retirement from the world.” OSWALD CHAMBERS

Why do you think we need to be stirred up?  I recently started making crepes for my wife, Martie.  I do it because she loves them and, well, I love her.  Pretty simple really … not making the crepes … I mean the reason I make them.  When I put all of the ingredients into the bowl, they just sit there.  If I poured them immediately into the pan, trust me, Martie would not be happy with the result.   I must stir them .. whip them .. until the texture is right .. then I have to let them sit or set, I always get that wrong, for 15 minutes. Then I can put them into the pan to become what they were intended to be.  Something wonderful.

Chambers uses the term “lazy” to describe the ingredients just sitting in the bowl before they are stirred together.  The writer of Hebrews – most believe it was Paul , some Luke, Martin Luther thought it might be Apollos – the writer says that the Saints must be stirred up to love and good works.  That suggests that it is not our nature.  We need encouragement from the Lord, certainly, by the Spirt absolutely, but also from one another.  (Proverbs 27:17) “As iron sharpens iron, so one “Christian” sharpens another”.  [I changed the word from man to Christian] We need someone behind the spoon, as it were, to get us moving.  To be what God purposed us to be.  Not “merely” saved for our place in eternity, but engaged in God’s purpose on earth through good works produced by faith.  We are to encourage one another.  We are not on this earthly journey alone.  We were born again not to hide in a cave.  Not to isolate ourselves hoping to somehow live a trouble-free life. Jesus said “I came to serve, not to be served” (Matthew 20:28)  “If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom you must be a servant of all.” (Matthew 20:26) So what are you waiting for?  Your 15 minutes are up!  Charley

Monday, July 9, 2018

How To Avoid A Failing Faith

Joshua said to the people, "You cannot serve the Lord…" —Joshua 24:19

“Will you examine yourself by asking these probing questions? It really is true to say, “I cannot live a holy life,” but you can decide to let Jesus Christ make you holy. “You cannot serve the Lord…”— but you can place yourself in the proper position where God’s almighty power will flow through you.” OSWALD CHAMBERS

All to often Christians live as if they think that they need the power of God through Jesus to be saved but they don’t need the power of God to live their new life in Christ.  (Galatians 2:20) “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  You cannot live your new life on your own.  Living without making a daily connection with the Father through the Spirit by faith in Jesus. If you think that going to church on Sunday and then immersing yourself in a lost culture is sufficient, think again friend.  Doing that means that you are on a certain path to spiritual failure.  God wants to conform you into the image of his son (Romans 8:29)  His intent is that you be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2) But, if you fill your mind with and your treasure in your heart the things of this world instead … Well need I say more.

Dwell on the following verses this morning and then be intentional to obey it … for the rest of your life and let the transformation begin!  Someone once said “You only believe the part of the Bible you obey.” Charley

(Philippians 4:8-9) “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Are You Pursuing The Vision God Has Given You?

The parched ground shall become a pool… —Isaiah 35:7

“We always have a vision of something before it actually becomes real to us. When we realize that the vision is real, but is not yet real in us, Satan comes to us with his temptations, and we are inclined to say that there is no point in even trying to continue. […] God gives us a vision…. Every God-given vision will become real if we will only have patience. He is never in a hurry. Yet we are always in such a frantic hurry.”  OSWALD CHAMBERS  

Do you believe that God would give you a vision?  Or is that something that you have relegated to Biblical characters or super-saints, but not to you?  I believe that God has given us all a heavenly vision … perhaps not like Paul when God took him to the third heaven – (2 Corinthians 12:2-4) “ I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—  was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.”    However, on the day that you said “yes” to Jesus and were born again, you were given a heavenly vision.  Your spiritual eyes were opened and you became aware of a new reality .. an eternal one.  You saw the possibility and, at the same time, the impossibility of your new life in Christ.  You experienced a joy that you had never known. 

I can recall many experiences in my life, but over time most of the details have become blurred.  That is the way it can be with our faith as well.  God is no less God.  The Spirit is still in us.  But time, spiritual neglect, and the constant attraction of the things of this world have caused the vision to fade.  Friend, I want to encourage you to be spiritually refreshed.  God’s purpose and plan for you was laid before the foundation of the visible creation.  

(Romans 8:28-30) “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”   Charley

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Christian - Your Circumstances Don’t Define You .. Nor Does Your Past

"Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." —Psalm 37:5

“We get ourselves into circumstances that were not chosen by God, and suddenly we realize that we have been making our plans without Him— that we have not even considered Him to be a vital, living factor in the planning of our lives. And yet the only thing that will keep us from even the possibility of worrying is to bring God in as the greatest factor in all of our planning. In spiritual issues it is customary for us to put God first, but we tend to think that it is inappropriate and unnecessary to put Him first in the practical, everyday issues of our lives.”  OSWALD CHAMBERS

Something that I noticed as I was driving along the interstate … there are a lot of people around me that I don’t know and will never know.  (Brilliant deduction you are thinking!) Each one has a personal life with personal relationships.  Some have money troubles and some do not.  Some have broken hearts and some do not.  Without hope.  Each has a unique set of circumstances shaped by seemingly random events …  some of those events out of their control and some not.  But is that really the case?  I can say with confidence .. yes and no.  Yes, if you are lost and bound for hell … But it is not the case if you have been born again by the Spirit of God through faith in Jesus.  You are not just one of the rats  … you have a unique distinction … in this rat race that we call life on earth.

Our struggles comes when we live like we are just like those on this planet who are not born again when it comes to our daily choices and manner of living and relating.  Listen, you are always a Christian no matter what is going on around you.  God is always your Father .,. Jesus is always your Savior … The Spirit is always in you … the Word is always true and applies to every life situation .. every second of your life on this planet and every moment into eternity. You must embrace that to live with hope and not despair.  Jesus said “I came that you might have life” (John 10:10)  Living above your circumstances .. enduring in the face of trouble .. having hope when the situation seems hopeless … it’s all yours … it’s within your grasp .. but not if you disregard the One who is the source of hope.  Living like all of those around you.  Think about it.  Charley

"Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." —Psalm 37:5

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Insanity Of Trying To Hide Your Sins From God

Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips… —Isaiah 6:5

“Our conviction (of sin) is focused on our specific sin, and we realize, as Isaiah did, what we really are. This is always the sign that a person is in the presence of God. The effect of Isaiah’s vision of the holiness of the Lord was the directing of his attention to the fact that he was “a man of unclean lips.” The cleansing fire had to be applied where the sin had been concentrated.”  OSWALD CHAMBERS

After Adam and Eve sinned and God came to the Garden, they hid from Him. What made them think they could hide from the creator God?  We all do the same thing.  We sin and then hide it inside from the view of those around us and believe even from the knowing of God.  In doing so we live a life of self-deception.  God knows our hearts .. (Jeremiah 17:9-10) “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind…” We may be able to deceive other people .. hide our sin from them .. but not from God.  And why doesn't that bother us?  Why do we continue to life that life?  Because we do not understand God’s nature nor love Him with our whole heart.  We find that it is easier to live a life filled with sin, submitted to the leading of our old nature.  And why? Because living any other way requires that you agree with God, confess your sin to Him and yield your will to Him. 

So many Christians live in fear.  They fear what they cannot control .. that, in itself,  is an indicator that their self-will is dominate .. that they, like Adam and Eve, want to be like God and decide what is the best way to live and relate.  Listen – If you have the Spirit of God in you .. and if you have been born again, you do … then you will never be happy .. be content .. be at peace .. until you surrender your will and say “Here am I Lord, a person with unclean lips … cleanse me Lord” And He will .. He promised.  We find eternal restoration through Jesus … and sanctification though the Spirit.  Jesus said it this way. (Matthew 23:25-26)  “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean”  These guys looked good on the outside to men but were full of sin on the inside - and God knew it!

You can’t be clean by trying harder … only by giving up and yielding to God.  Charley

Monday, July 2, 2018

How You Can Jump In The Deep End With Your Eyes Open

If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also…. likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. —Luke 14:26-27, 33

“If the closest relationships of a disciple’s life conflict with the claims of Jesus Christ, then our Lord requires instant obedience to Himself. Discipleship means personal, passionate devotion to a Person— our Lord Jesus Christ. … To be a disciple is to be a devoted bondservant motivated by love for the Lord Jesus. Many of us who call ourselves Christians are not truly devoted to Jesus Christ.” OSWALD CHAMBERS

What are you willing to give up for your faith .. to follow Jesus in obedience to what He has called you to do?  Do you remember the first time you did something even though you were afraid to do it?  Maybe jumping into a swimming pool at the deep end.  With your eyes open! That is a trivial example, but doing that required you to go against what your mind was telling you not to do.  In a similar way, we face that battle when the Lord calls us to do something that our mind is telling us not to do.  Jesus did not say you must hate your family and friends.  He did say your love for them as compared to your love for Him should look like hate because there is such a huge difference between them. God  will always ask you to jump into the deep end of the pool … trusting Him alone.  He will and does ask you to abandon your earthly affections in favor of your heavenly ones.  Each of us know exactly what those are in our lives.  Maybe it means to leave your nets and the family business like Peter and John.  Maybe to stop associating with some people or stop doing some things.  It’s different for each of us but requires the same faith by all of us.

You can’t do what God asks of you on your own.  God never asks you to do anything for Him on your own.  He says follow My Son.  When you jump into the pool you are holding Jesus’ hand.  Oh, that just reminded me of a song … please indulge me for a moment ..   Charley

“As I travel through this pilgrim land .. There is a friend who walks with me

Leads me safely through the sinking sand … It is the Christ at Calvary

This would be my prayer, dear Lord, each day .. You help me do the best I can

For I need Thy light to guide me day and night … Blessed Jesus, hold my hand

Jesus, hold my hand … For I need Thee every hour

Through this pilgrim land … Protect me by Thy power

Hear my feeble plea O Lord, look down on me

When I kneel in prayer I hope to meet You there

Blessed Jesus, hold my hand” Albert E. Brumley, Jr.