Friday, May 31, 2013

Who is on First?

My Utmost For His Highest
Put Trust in God First.
Our Lord never put His trust in any person. Yet He was never suspicious, never bitter, and never lost hope for anyone, because He put His trust in God first. He trusted absolutely in what God’s grace could do for others. If I put my trust in human beings first, the end result will be my despair and hopelessness toward everyone. I will become bitter because I have insisted that people be what no person can ever be— absolutely perfect and right.
Put God’s Will First.
The purpose of our Christian training is to get us into the right relationship to the “needs” of God and His will. Once God’s “needs” in us have been met, He will open the way for us to accomplish His will, meeting His “needs” elsewhere.
Put God’s Son First.
Am I allowing my natural life to be slowly transformed by the indwelling life of the Son of God? God’s ultimate purpose is that His Son might be exhibited in me.’ CHAMBERS
Jesus is the answer … if we put our hope in a person, we will be disappointed.  (Matt 22:37-39) … Love God, then your neighbor.  Placing your hope in a person is placing trust in your solution to how you should live your life.  Trust God not yourself (Prov 3:5-6) It is unfair to expect a person to do what only God can do and it will lead to disappointment and discouragement.  It is dangerous to choose your own path and reject God.  I saw a bumper sticker once that said “No Jesus No Peace .. Know Jesus .. Know Peace”.  Jesus will always be the answer …
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Praying to a Holy God

My Utmost For His Highest
“Jesus said that because of His name God will recognize and respond to our prayers. What a great challenge and invitation—to pray in His name! Through the resurrection and ascension power of Jesus, and through the Holy Spirit He has sent, we can be lifted into such a relationship. Once in that wonderful position, having been placed there by Jesus Christ, we can pray to God in Jesus’ name—in His nature. This is a gift granted to us through the Holy Spirit, and Jesus said, “. . . whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” The sovereign character of Jesus Christ is tested and proved by His own statements.” CHAMBERS
We are encouraged to pray without ceasing (1 Tim 5:17) .. to ask anything in His name (John 14:14) … to let our requests be made known (Phil 4:6).  There are many more verses that encourage us to seek God in prayer.  The assumption in all of them is that when we approach the Throne, our hearts are right before God.  That our feet are clean … remember when Jesus washed the disciples feet and Jesus told Peter that he didn’t need to wash his whole body .. just his feet?   In the same way, we don’t have to be saved again … but we need to wash our feet before we walk on holy ground and stand before a Holy God in prayer. And how do we wash our feet, spiritually? I John 1:9 says to confess our sins .. and He will cleanse us.  It is important that we don’t ignore our sins and are repentant of our sins.  We serve a holy God …
1 Peter 1:13-16  “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;  as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;  but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,  because it is written, "BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Way or Thy Way

My Utmost For His Highest
‘If anything is a mystery to you and is coming between you and God, never look for the explanation in your mind, but look for it in your spirit, your true inner nature— that is where the problem is. Once your inner spiritual nature is willing to submit to the life of Jesus, your understanding will be perfectly clear, and you will come to the place where there is no distance between the Father and you, His child, because the Lord has made you one.’ CHAMBERS
Probably one of the most challenging aspects of our walk of faith is learning to think in the context of our faith.  2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” We are new from the inside out. We are to no longer live and think and act like we did before we received the Spirit of God and salvation in Jesus.   Our natural wisdom, from our minds, and our spiritual wisdom, from the mind of God.  Our natural wisdom is limited . .God’s wisdom is unlimited.  There are many things that we cannot fix, understand, or endure by ourselves.  But there is nothing too hard for God.
The Bible is full of admonitions .. trust in the Lord, seek first the kingdom, cast all your cares on Him, I can do all things through Christ, in my weakness, His Strength, it is not by power but by His Spirit …. Why did God tell us those things? Because His Word is Truth.  We were designed to live that way, but lacked the power .. As new creations .. made alive again by the Spirit .. we can now live and think and act the way God intended in His original design ..  The key word is “can” the important question is “Will we?”
Ephesians 1:18-21 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Spirit Of The Living God, Fall Afresh On Me

My Utmost For His Highest
‘The Holy Spirit’s influence and power were at work before Pentecost, but He was not here. Once our Lord was glorified in His ascension, the Holy Spirit came into the world, and He has been here ever since. We have to receive the revealed truth that He is here. The attitude of receiving and welcoming the Holy Spirit into our lives is to be the continual attitude of a believer. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive reviving life from our ascended Lord.’ CHAMBERS
Ephesians chapter 1 says we have been sealed with the Holy Spirit by God.  He is our Helper.  He prays for us.  He lives in us. He convicts us of sin.  He leads us.  His sword is the Word of God.  Do you live each day with that awareness?  His presence is not visible, but His effect is .. or should be. Yield to his leading .. listen for His voice … and let your light shine before all men.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Don't Act Naturally

My Utmost For His Highest
God sometimes allows you to get into a place of testing where your own welfare would be the appropriate thing to consider, if you were not living the life of faith. […] This is the discipline God uses to transform the natural into the spiritual through obedience to His voice. […] Whenever our right becomes the guiding factor of our lives, it dulls our spiritual insight. The greatest enemy of the life of faith in God is not sin, but good choices which are not quite good enough. The good is always the enemy of the best. […]  Many of us do not continue to grow spiritually because we prefer to choose on the basis of our rights, instead of relying on God to make the choice for us. We have to learn to walk according to the standard which has its eyes focused on God. And God says to us, as He did to Abram, “. . . walk before Me. . .” (Genesis 17:1).’ CHAMBERS
You don’t know if you really trust God until you are tested.  Life is full of these tests … some are small and some are life changing … “trusting with all you heart” (Prov 3;5) does not leave much room for anything else.  Many times we choose our own way only to find out that it doesn’t work any better than the last time we did it. So why do we habitually rely on ourselves and not God?  Buck Owens ( a country western singer from days gone by) sang a song that said “All you’ve got to do is act naturally.”  That is our problem .. we act according to our old nature .. what comes natural to us .. trusting God is super-natural.  To follow God requires faith which means that there is uncertainty … we can’t see it .. can’t think through it .. reason it out … it is something “hoped for and not seen” ( Hebrews 11:1).  It will certainly bring about change in us .. it may very well be uncomfortable for us … but God will be glorified through us.  Which is our “chief end”…. and fulfillment of our purpose and God’s leading …
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Come To Jesus and Live

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Take a look at some of the things that cause despair. There is despair which has no delight, no limits whatsoever, and no hope of anything brighter. But the delight of despair comes when “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells . . .” (Romans 7:18). I delight in knowing that there is something in me which must fall prostrate before God when He reveals Himself to me, and also in knowing that if I am ever to be raised up it must be by the hand of God. God can do nothing for me until I recognize the limits of what is humanly possible, allowing Him to do the impossible.’ CHAMBERS
When you read about the people in the New Testament that were healed by Jesus … they were healed when they believed .. when they placed their faith in Him.  We want God to help us, but we continue to trust in ourselves .. not in God … Jesus did not seek the people out .. they sought Him.  What are you struggling with today?  Do you merely acknowledge God and what He can do or do you seek Him out?
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Chris Rice - Untitled Hymn (Come To Jesus) Lyrics
“Weak and wounded sinner .. Lost and left to die  ..O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus … Come to Jesus … Come to Jesus and live!
Sometimes the way is lonely ..And steep and filled with pain .. So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus .. Cry to Jesus ..Cry to Jesus and live!”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Look To The Hills

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Jesus summed up commonsense carefulness in the life of a disciple as unbelief. […] “. . . do not worry about your life . . . .” Don’t take the pressure of your provision upon yourself. It is not only wrong to worry, it is unbelief; worrying means we do not believe that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is never anything but those details that worry us. Have you ever noticed what Jesus said would choke the Word He puts in us? Is it the devil? No— “the cares of this world” (Matthew 13:22). It is always our little worries. We say, “I will not trust when I cannot see”— and that is where unbelief begins. The only cure for unbelief is obedience to the Spirit. The greatest word of Jesus to His disciples is abandon.’ CHAMBERS
There are so many things in our lives that press us .. demand from us … we have the feeling that we must do something .. or we worry that we can’t do something.  Sometimes we create the opportunity to worry.  We find ourselves in a particular position because we have made poor choices … debt for example … we buy things we don’t really need .. incur debt for them .. and then struggle to pay for them .. we worry how we are going to pay our bills … Maybe we should stop buying things because they are new or better and be satisfied with what we have.  It is about being a good steward of what God has given us …
Jesus is not saying forget what you did to get yourself in this mess .. and don’t worry … You may just have to take the consequence of your actions on the chin … repent ( stop doing whatever got you to that place) and then look up …
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Finding A Cure-All

My Utmost For His Highest
‘God reveals in John 17 that His purpose is not just to answer our prayers, but that through prayer we might come to discern His mind. […] God is not concerned about our plans; He doesn’t ask, “Do you want to go through this loss of a loved one, this difficulty, or this defeat?” No, He allows these things for His own purpose. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, and nobler men and women, or they are making us more critical and fault-finding, and more insistent on our own way. The things that happen either make us evil, or they make us more saintly, depending entirely on our relationship with God and its level of intimacy. If we will pray, regarding our own lives, “Your will be done” (Matthew 26:42), then we will be encouraged and comforted by John 17, knowing that our Father is working according to His own wisdom, accomplishing what is best. When we understand God’s purpose, we will not become small-minded and cynical.’ CHAMBERS
It is not the point of whether we will have difficulties in life.  The point is whether or not we are prepared for them.  Many people have searched or hoped for a cure-all for illnesses for years.  A panacea … one pill .. no more sickness of any kind … World peace … But that is not going to happen … at least not until Jesus returns.  This world is sin sick …the source of our trouble is our fallen nature .. the Garden … the solution is Jesus.
Even as Christians, we are subject to the effects, the consequences of sin … we all will have troubles, illnesses, heartaches … But God is able to see us through those times … so our light will shine in this dark world .. and people will know that there is a God in heaven who loves us and has not forsaken us.  As Chambers says … how we respond depends “entirely upon our relationship with God and its level of intimacy.”  The best way to be ready for trouble when it comes is by drawing close to God every day.
All In All
“You [Jesus] are my strength when I am weak, You are the treasure that I seek, You are my all in all. Seeking You like a precious jewel, Lord to give up, I’d be a fool.  You are my all in all.”
Is He?
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In With The Lions

My Utmost For His Highest
“When we look at these words of Jesus, we immediately find them to be the most revolutionary that human ears have ever heard. “. . . seek first the kingdom of God . . . .” Even the most spiritually-minded of us argue the exact opposite, saying, “But I must live; I must make a certain amount of money; I must be clothed; I must be fed.” The great concern of our lives is not the kingdom of God but how we are going to take care of ourselves to live. Jesus reversed the order by telling us to get the right relationship with God first, maintaining it as the primary concern of our lives, and never to place our concern on taking care of the other things of life.
“. . . do not worry about your life. . .” (Matthew 6:25). Our Lord pointed out that from His standpoint it is absolutely unreasonable for us to be anxious, worrying about how we will live. Jesus did not say that the person who takes no thought for anything in his life is blessed— no, that person is a fool. But Jesus did teach that His disciple must make his relationship with God the dominating focus of his life, and to be cautiously carefree about everything else in comparison to that. In essence, Jesus was saying, “Don’t make food and drink the controlling factor of your life, but be focused absolutely on God.” CHAMBERS
So where do you put your trust?  In God or in yourself.  (Prov 3:5,6) When Daniel was tossed into the lions’ den, he was faced with an instant challenge .. fear for his life or trust in God.  We are constantly challenged in a similar way … not with lions .. but with the choice … do I trust God .. really trust God .. or do I try to fix this myself …
Our faith is not a reality until it is tested … You can look at a chair and it may look great .. but it is not until the chair has weight on it do you know if it has strength.  You may find yourself facing the lions … the strength of your faith will be tested … perhaps you have not been reading the Word every day or praying … that does not mean that you cannot find strength in Jesus … look to Him … Jesus does not remind us of our past, but points us to the future ...
Matthew 11:28-30  Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Monday, May 20, 2013

How To Stay Strong

My Utmost For His Highest

“We fail [in our Christian walk] because we are ignorant of the way God has made us, and we blame things on the devil that are actually the result of our own undisciplined natures. […] The problem that most of us are cursed with is simply that we won’t.  The Christian life is one of spiritual courage lived out in the flesh.” CHAMBERS

Most of us need to be encouraged to remain faithful in our walk with the Lord.  We are like the little child in the grocery store … wandering off time after time .. seeing things we want to hold or have.  I have seen some children on leashes .. which I though a bit excessive on the parents part … but who knows what the child had done in the past. (My imagination is running wild at this moment!) The danger in reading something like Chambers is saying is that we think it is not us … that we are OK.

We will struggle with our old nature and with temptation so long as our feet are treading on this earth.  But … we don’t have to live as victims to our flesh or to the wiles of the devil … God has made a way for us to overcome … John 16:33  “These things I [Jesus] have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Our Father Who Is In Heaven

My Utmost For His Highest
‘The ascension is the complete fulfillment of the transfiguration. Our Lord returned to His original glory, but not simply as the Son of God— He returned to His father as the Son of Man as well. There is now freedom of access for anyone straight to the very throne of God because of the ascension of the Son of Man. As the Son of Man, Jesus Christ deliberately limited His omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience. But now they are His in absolute, full power. As the Son of Man, Jesus Christ now has all the power at the throne of God. From His ascension forward He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.’ CHAMBERS
I was teaching Ephesians chapter 6 to our Haitian staff yesterday.. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood … that our new nature is a spiritual one.  But beyond the struggles, that with our new nature we have free access to the throne of God in Jesus Christ.  Do you understand how significant that is?  You can enter into the presence of the creator God … and call Him Abba – Father?  How do you treat this amazing faith and relationship?  Should it not completely change how we live in this world?  How we see other people .. adversity … Should it not make us consider .... How great is our God .. sing with me .. How great is our God … and all will see .. how great .. how great .. is our God.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Secret Of Being Content

My Utmost For His Highest
‘We are made “partakers of the divine nature,” receiving and sharing God’s own nature through His promises. Then we have to work that divine nature into our human nature by developing godly habits. The first habit to develop is the habit of recognizing God’s provision for us. […] We think it is a sign of true humility to say at the end of the day, “Well, I just barely got by today, but it was a severe struggle.” And yet all of Almighty God is ours in the Lord Jesus! And He will reach to the last grain of sand and the remotest star to bless us if we will only obey Him. Does it really matter that our circumstances are difficult? Why shouldn’t they be! If we give way to self-pity and indulge in the luxury of misery, we remove God’s riches from our lives and hinder others from entering into His provision. No sin is worse than the sin of self-pity, because it removes God from the throne of our lives, replacing Him with our own self-interests. It causes us to open our mouths only to complain, and we simply become spiritual sponges— always absorbing, never giving, and never being satisfied. And there is nothing lovely or generous about our lives.’ CHAMBERS
As Christians contentment is redefined in Jesus Christ … what we need to feel safe, secure, at rest is not what the world has to offer … the satisfaction the world brings is only for a moment.  Our flesh is insatiable … it always wants more … It is never satisfied … it always fear being denied …. Our new life rests on the promises of God and our relationship with Christ. It must be nurtured .. strengthened … Philippians 4:11-13 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”
“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus and His righteousness.  On Christ the solid rock I stand .. all other ground is sinking sand."
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Divided Heart

My Utmost For His Highest
‘You did not do anything to achieve your salvation, but you must do something to exhibit it. You must “work out your own salvation” which God has worked in you already (Philippians 2:12). Are your speech, your thinking, and your emotions evidence that you are working it “out”? If you are still the same miserable, grouchy person, set on having your own way, then it is a lie to say that God has saved and sanctified you.
The only proper goal of life is that we manifest the Son of God; and when this occurs, all of our dictating of our demands to God disappears. Our Lord never dictated demands to His Father, and neither are we to make demands on God. We are here to submit to His will so that He may work through us what He wants. Once we realize this, He will make us broken bread and poured-out wine with which to feed and nourish others.’ CHAMBERS
Are you living for God or for yourself.  Do you seek the will of the Father or do you ask the Father to submit to your will?  Have you redefined what it means to live the Christian life?   One foot in the culture and one on the path that God has set out for you.  I am not talking about overt sin necessarily but a divided heart.  Matthew 22:37 says love God with your whole heart … that means that we cannot kneel before God and dance with our culture.
Philippians 4:8-9Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

This Little Light Of Mine ...

My Utmost For His Highest
‘The moment you obey the light of God, His Son shines through you in that very adversity; but if you debate with God, you grieve His Spirit (see Ephesians 4:30). You must keep yourself in the proper condition to allow the life of the Son of God to be manifested in you, and you cannot keep yourself fit if you give way to self-pity. Our circumstances are the means God uses to exhibit just how wonderfully perfect and extraordinarily pure His Son is.’ CHAMBERS
James 1:2-3  My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
Philippians 2:17  Yes, and if I (Paul) am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
As Christians we are not immune from hardship.  But God uses that hardship to give testimony to the sufficiency of Christ.  The testimony is found in the Christian’s response to life.  People are not really interested in how we respond to good times .. people don’t struggle when things are going their way.  But when times are bad … when hope is lost .. they look for answers.  Christians have an eternal Hope in them.  Hope can never be lost for me for that reason.  But do I draw on that Hope or do I revert to my old nature and forget that God is with me.  The fruit of the Spirit is best evidenced in the darkest of times.
Many Christians pretend that things are going well, when they are not at all.  They don’t understand that it is not the circumstance they find themselves in, but the presence and the power of God that makes things right and bearable.
Look to the Lord my friend.  Let your light shine before all men.  Glorify God through your life and how you respond to the trials you will surely face.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Trying too Hard .. Trusting too Little

My Utmost For His Highest
‘God’s commands to us are actually given to the life of His Son in us. Consequently, to our human nature in which God’s Son has been formed (see Galatians 4:19), His commands are difficult. But they become divinely easy once we obey.’ CHAMBERS
This is something that escapes most Christians.  We accept that the Holy Spirit is in us.. We accept that we are new creatures in Christ … We accept that we have eternal life … We accept that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.   We know and acknowledge all of those things  .. and then we try to live our new life in the power of our flesh and wonder why it’s so difficult …. Any ideas?
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Who Do You Love?

My Utmost For His Highest
‘ […] the Holy Spirit reveals to me that God loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was His nature to do so. Now He commands me to show the same love to others by saying, “. . . love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). He is saying, “I will bring a number of people around you whom you cannot respect, but you must exhibit My love to them, just as I have exhibited it to you.” This kind of love is not a patronizing love for the unlovable— it is His love, and it will not be evidenced in us overnight. […] I should look within and remember how wonderfully He has dealt with me. The knowledge that God has loved me beyond all limits will compel me to go into the world to love others in the same way. I may get irritated because I have to live with an unusually difficult person. But just think how disagreeable I have been with God! Am I prepared to be identified so closely with the Lord Jesus that His life and His sweetness will be continually poured out through Me?’ [CHAMBERS]
Wouldn’t it be great if we could choose who we show the love of God toward?  There are some people that are so easy to love.  Then there are others that we would prefer to never see again.  Does anyone come to mind as you read this?  Do you remember the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18.  The question posed to Jesus was about forgiveness. The principle behind the parable Jesus told is that just as God has treated us .. we who did not deserve His grace and mercy .. that we should show the same grace and mercy to others.  It is not an option .. God expects it.  But like the unforgiving servant .. we are not so quick to show that same love to other people … at least some people.
Loving others is something that springs out of my “new” nature toward everyone … if it does not, I need to examine my heart. What does that love look like?  1 Corinthians 13Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, May 10, 2013

What Are You Waiting For?

My Utmost For His Highest
‘We are in danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do. We cannot save nor sanctify ourselves— God does that. But God will not give us good habits or character, and He will not force us to walk correctly before Him. We have to do all that ourselves. We must “work out” our “own salvation” which God has worked in us (Philippians 2:12). Add means that we must get into the habit of doing things, and in the initial stages that is difficult. To take the initiative is to make a beginning— to instruct yourself in the way you must go.’ CHAMBERS
What is it that you are waiting for?  Do you know what God wants you to do, but then you are waiting for Him to divinely intervene in your life so you can do it?  You have a long wait, my friend.  I have had many people say that they would love to serve like we do.  I ask, “If God has called you, why aren’t you?”  They say “Because we own a house.”  I say “Sell it”.  That normally ends the conversation. They have the opportunity to obey God, but they don’t want to do what they perceive as the “hard things”, they just want Him to make it happen somehow.  They have a long wait too.  In fact they will wait a lifetime unless they have a change of heart and mind.
How about you?
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Form Of Godliness

My Utmost For His Highest
‘We simply begin to act on our own initiative. If we are eating only out of our own hand, and doing things solely on our own initiative without expecting God to come in, we are on a downward path. We have lost the vision. Is our attitude today an attitude that flows from our vision of God? Are we expecting God to do greater things than He has ever done before?’ CHAMBERS
There is always a temptation to live the Christian life in our own strength.  Oh, we can do good things, but we don’t see great things done.  We think up good ideas but they are not motivated by great inspiration.  Zechariah 4:6  So he answered and said to me: "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the LORD of hosts. We act with good intentions but we lack the power to achieve the supernatural. 2 Timothy 3:5  […] having a form of godliness but denying its power.
God does not expect us to do anything on our own for Him but only to obey His call and leading.  It is all God … Our challenge is not to get in the way, thinking that we can do on our own, what only God can do.  We might do good things .. but we will never achieve God’s purpose or see His glory displayed through our obedience. If that is what I am going to be satisfied with, well, I might as well be a greeter at Wal-Mart, for all the good it does the kingdom of God.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

In The Hands Of Our Lord

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Perseverance means more than endurance— more than simply holding on until the end. A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, […] Faith is not some weak and pitiful emotion, but is strong and vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. And even though you cannot see Him right now and cannot understand what He is doing, you know Him.’ CHAMBERS
Do you see yourself as an arrow?  Are you willing to be “shot” wherever God pleases?  That requires faith and trust.  Something that goes far beyond the human will … it is dependent upon spiritual strength and maturity that comes from an abiding relationship with the Lord.  Don’t expect to make withdrawals if you have not made any deposits … don’t expect to exercise faith when you have not nurtured that faith.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

It Takes Faith To Know Truth

My Utmost For His Highest
‘[…] if we ourselves are free with the liberty of Christ, others will be brought into that same liberty— the liberty that comes from realizing the absolute control and authority of Jesus Christ.’ CHAMBERS
Jesus teachings were and are an apparent paradox.  Be last and you will be first … Be a servant to be the greatest …. Love God first … others second … and you, well … offer yourself as a living sacrifice.  Finally liberty comes when we are servants of the Lord.  When He is our master.  Spiritual truth is contrary to the reasoning of men, but it is truth nonetheless.  The problem is that you cannot know that truth until you act on it by faith. Once you do, you will know true freedom .. liberty … peace and joy ….
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

When Do You Pray

My Utmost For His Highest
“God gives us discernment in the lives of others to call us to intercession for them, never so that we may find fault with them. … Vicarious intercession means that we deliberately substitute God’s interests in others for our natural sympathy with [attitudes towards] them.’ CHAMBERS
James 5:16  “[…]  and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
This is an easy one.  We don’t mind praying for people that are sick .. that we care about … or that someone we care about cares about.  Let me suggest this to you.  The next time someone asks you to pray .. pray right then .. not later.  If someone told you they were hungry and you had food in your hand, would you say .. come see me tomorrow and I will give you something to eat.  In the same way, when someone asks you to pray, you should not delay.  The request is a spiritual opportunity … Do you view prayer as a spiritual act?  Does that seem like an odd question?  Well, how you view prayer and how you respond to requests for prayer speaks about how you view your Christian life.  IS it compartmentalized .. where you are only spiritual at certain times which you have parsed out in your schedule?  Or are you always spiritually alert?  Knowing that there is another opportunity to glorify God and bless someone just around the corner.
Luke 6:27-28  "But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,  (28)  bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.”
How do you respond to people you don’t like or who do bad things to you or others?  Do you know that they need the power of God’s forgiveness and grace in their lives?  Just like you did?  Do you see ‘those kind of people’ from a spiritual perspective or through the lens of your flesh?  Jesus said . “Pray for them.” Why? Because He came to seek that which was lost … to heal the sick .. to give sight to the blind …
Luke 4:17-21  And He [Jesus] was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:  (18)  "THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE HAS ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR; HE HAS SENT ME TO HEAL THE BROKENHEARTED, TO PROCLAIM LIBERTY TO THE CAPTIVES AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET AT LIBERTY THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED;  (19)  TO PROCLAIM THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD."  (20)  Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.  (21)  And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
If you are His disciple, you are to embrace that same calling … When you hear of someone or experience the actions of someone who is living contrary to the Word of God, who has done terrible things …. pray for them .. our God is able to change even that life.  We should not sit in the judge’s seat and condemn, but pray for their salvation.