Saturday, May 31, 2014

It Won't Get Better If You Are Bitter

My Utmost For His Highest
‘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. […] 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
“Who can I trust?” I have asked that question many times while serving in Haiti.  It is hard to know … There is a Haitian proverb, "Bèl dan pa vle di zanmi: dan pa kè."  (Nice teeth do not mean friends: teeth are not the heart.) Another way of saying that is “just because they smile does not reveal the heart”  I have never met a used car salesman who did not smile when he greeted me … So often because people appear to be friendly we ascribe qualities to them that they have not yet proven to be theirs.  When we discover that those qualities are absent, we soon have a bitter attitude towards those people.
That is not to say that no one can be trusted .. but that we must not become bitter when some are found not to be trustworthy … who they seem to be.  The Bible helps us understand the sinful nature .. but it also helps us understand God’s grace and mercy … While we should not expect people to be perfect … we should also remember that Jesus went to the cross for them.  That “all have sinned” and God loves the world .. even those people who disappoint us.  On a final note … remember that bitterness is more painful for the one who has it than it is for the one who caused it.  Bottom line .. bitterness is a sin .. you need to confess it and move on. Just sayin’
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Expect Great Things From God .. Attempt Great Things For God - Wm Carey

My Utmost For His Highest
Suppose God tells you to do something that is an enormous test of your common sense, totally going against it. What will you do? Will you hold back? […] Again and again you will come right up to what Jesus wants, but every time you will turn back at the true point of testing, until you are determined to abandon yourself to God in total surrender. Yet we tend to say, “Yes, but— suppose I do obey God in this matter, what about . . . ?” Or we say, “Yes, I will obey God if what He asks of me doesn’t go against my common sense, but don’t ask me to take a step in the dark.” […] In the spiritual realm, Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold on to or believe through common sense, and leap by faith into what He says. Once you obey, you will immediately find that what He says is as solidly consistent as common sense. […]Trust completely in God, and when He brings you to a new opportunity of adventure, offering it to you, see that you take it.’ CHAMBERS
William Carey, the famous missionary in India, said “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.”  What God asks each of us to do is not the same.  It is a function of the grace given and the faith applied, all in the context of His purposes and plans.  Purposes and plans that he made long before any of us were born. Look at the people of faith in the Bible and you will see that they were “ordinary” people chosen by God for His work.  God selected them … but they had to say “yes”.  They had to trust the One who called them.  It is a mystery why God uses us … He can do whatever He wants to do … and He did and does … He uses mere men and women to accomplish “great things” for the kingdom.
A longtime friend and Brother shared this scripture with me the other day.  It sums this up quite well.
2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (The Message) “If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Look To The Hills

My Utmost For His Highest
‘the Father’s love is evidence that our union with Jesus is complete and absolute. Our Lord does not mean that our lives will be free from external difficulties and uncertainties, but that just as He knew the Father’s heart and mind, we too can be lifted by Him into heavenly places through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, so that He can reveal the teachings of God to us.’ CHAMBERS
When you are struggling with life, yo need to look up.  Look unto the hills from whence your help cometh (Psalm 121).  That was my grandma Elgin’s favorite psalm.  I didn’t know that until her life on this earth was nearly over.  Now whenever I reference it, I think of her and of her quiet influence when I was a small boy.  The Haitians have a proverb .. Dye Mon gen Mon which means behind a mountain is another mountain ... but I tell them ... I look to the hills for my help ... and with faith as small as a mustard seed, I can cast those mountains into the sea!
Christian, God really is sufficient in any circumstance.  He is the creator God … everything starts with Him.  Why wouldn’t we want to put our trust in Him?  Why wouldn’t we seek His counsel when we are face with life’s challenges.  Remember Whose you are.  Let God be glorified through you as you walk in the valley.  Let the people around you see that God is real .. your faith has value … and they need Him.  Bring glory to God by the way you live this life …
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

It's Time To Get Your Fender Painted

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. “In that day you will ask Me nothing.”’ (John 16:23) CHAMBERS
True Spiritual Nature.  Think about that.  You were not saved from your true nature .. but you were saved “to” your true nature.  Walking in fellowship with Him is what God intended .. it was sin that denied us … that robbed us of our true nature.  I think for many Christians, they see their life in Christ as almost a side-note to their life on earth.  As if it is “what” they are but not really “who” they are.  It only becomes “who” they are when they submit their lives to Jesus.  Your whole life .. every facet .. should be immersed in your true inner nature.  Have you ever seen a car that had a fender replaced but the fender had not yet been painted the same color as the rest of the car? That is what our lives are like when we are not immersed in our true inner nature.  Some people will drive their car like that … maybe until it won’t drive anymore … content with the way it is.  God has saved you to a much greater life than living with the an unpainted fender … accepting some things from your old nature that are comfortable and seem to work.  Jesus prayed that we would be one with the Father …
John 17:11  “Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world [the disciples] , and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.” John17:20-21  "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word [that would be you and me]; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
You see it is not about being just another pretty car … it is being a witness to the world that Jesus is the Christ … the Lamb of God .. who took away the sins of the world .. so all who believe will not perish but have eternal life … So don’t think it doesn’t matter what you do … your life can make an eternal difference for someone.  Don’t you think it’s time to do something about that fender?
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Working On Your Awareness

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
Awareness … it makes all of the difference.  Once you put you clothes on .. you really don’t “feel” them on your body soon after. Even though you are clothed … you are not aware that you are.  Unless they are too small .. for some of us that is a “growing” problem.  Or you walk by a mirror or reflection.
Over time, if we are not careful, like our clothes, we can become unaware of the Holy Spirit’s presence.  And when we are unaware of His presence .. we can easily drift from His influence.  We have been sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13)  at the point we are born again, by the Spirit.  (John 3:5-8) And so our bodies become the place where the Spirit resides. (1 Corinthians 6:19)  The Holy Spirit is our helper and teacher (John 14:26) … our partner in prayer (Romans 8:26) … We must be intentional about staying aware of His presence throughout the day … “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25) It will make  all the difference in your day and in your days ahead.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Staying Connected Through Prayer

My Utmost For His Highest
‘” Pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:17   The correct concept is to think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts. Our blood flows and our breathing continues “without ceasing”; we are not even conscious of it, but it never stops. And we are not always conscious of Jesus keeping us in perfect oneness with God, but if we are obeying Him, He always is. Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life of the saint. Beware of anything that stops the offering up of prayer.[…] The things Jesus taught about prayer are supernatural truths He reveals to us.”  CHAMBERS
God created us in such a way that we don’t have to think about breathing … making our heart beat .. and many other things that go on inside your body …. it’s called the autonomic nervous system.  Imagine if every second you had to say to yourself .. heart beat … lungs breathe … eyes blink .. you would have time for nothing else …  If you have ADD you would be in real trouble!  So God set some things in motion that happen on their own and we don’t have to think about them.  There are some things that are not autonomic that you do so often, you actually don’t remember doing them.  Taking the key out of the ignition is one that I do and really don’t even remember putting the keys in my pocket.
Praying should be another.  Praying is conversation with God.  There is no special language you must use .... some pray using King James English ... but that is not necessary ... most Christians in the world don't know King James English (that would be the "thee" and "thou" language you find in the King James authorized version of the Bible).  But whatever language you speak .. speak you must .. maybe not so others can hear ... put God can hear you ....
Dallas Holmes sang a song and the lyrics went something like this. "The eyes of God are upon me.  He knows everything I've done. The arms of God are around me, they keep me safe and secure. And He knows where I am every hours of every day. He knows each thought I think He knows each word that I might say. And although there are times I have been out of His will, I've never been out of His care."
"You stay connected with people by talking to them .. Well .. it might be “Facebooking”  with them … but you stay connected … But in an even more intentional way .. you need to stay connected with the Father through prayer.  Living a successful spiritual life means that you must do spiritual things .. keep your focus …. praying is at the top of the list.  It requires that you be intentional until it becomes natural … until you don’t even realize you are doing it … just like breathing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-23) “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

He Keeps You Safe In The Storm

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
There is a Haitian Proverb, “Bondye do ou: fe pa(kab) ou, M(wen) a fe pa(kab) M(wen)” – “God says do your part and I'll do mine.” We all know we have limits … that is what brings so much stress in our lives.  But that is the point of scripture that tells us to trust God.  We should do what we can just short of stressing .. just short of worry, and then we leave the rest to God.  Were you ever afraid in a thunderstorm as a child? Did you seek your parents for comfort?  They didn’t make the storm go away .. but they were with you through it.  You do not have to face the storms of life on your own.  Draw close to God.  Look to Him. And the peace of God that passes all understanding will keep you. The God of all comfort will comfort you in the storm.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, May 23, 2014

How To Whittle Down Your Worry List

My Utmost For His Highest
Matthew 6:25 “don’t worry about your life”
“Don’t take the pressure of your provision upon yourself.  It is not only wrong to worry, it is unbelief; worry means we do not believe that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is never anything but the details that worry us. […] We say, “I will not trust when I cannot see” – and that is where unbelief begins.  The only cure to unbelief is obedience to the Spirit.” CHAMBERS
If you were to list your, let’s call them “concerns”, what would be at the top.  How long would your list be?  Now ask yourself … do these concerns have to do with wants or needs.  We all, every one of us, have issues in our lives.  That is not the point.  The point is, are you trusting yourself or are you trusting God.  Many if not most of the problems we face are beyond our ability to resolve them.  Some we have brought on ourselves .. some are just part of living in a fallen world.   We just can’t see how those concerns possibly can be resolved … and that is when our heart rate goes up and our hands get sweaty.  Many times, we have put ourselves in that situation … we have done something and then have sought God’s blessing .. that is backwards my friend.  We have given in to lust … not necessarily sexual lust …
1 John 2:15-16 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”  Those were the things that Jesus was tempted with in the desert.  That is what we are tempted with when we give in to our impulse .. impulse = temptation … It can be a relationship … or a purchase … whatever, you see it .. you want it … you take it … you regret it.  Do you remember how Jesus responded to the temptation? He said to the Devil,  “It is written … “ He responded with the Word of God.  And what is the Word?  The sword of the Spirit …
In Galatians 5:16-17, Paul wrote … “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”
You can cut the list of concerns way down by trusting God, recognizing temptation …  and then dealing with it before it leads you to sin.  You can’t do that on your own … it requires faith and it requires that you put the Word of God in you.  Then as Joshua 1:8 says, you will be successful .. maybe not rich … and the concerns list … well just hand it over to Jesus.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

In Christ We Have Nothing To Worry About

My Utmost For His Highest
‘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. Jesus prayed nothing less for us than absolute oneness with Himself, just as He was one with the Father. Some of us are far from this oneness; yet God will not leave us alone until we are one with Him— because Jesus prayed, “. . . that they all may be one . . . .”’ CHAMBERS
The truth that Oswald Chambers shared does not leave much “wiggle room”  for us.  If we want to be successful in this life .. live it well … we must draw close to God.  We must seek Him out.  I can remember my dad (Don Pierson was technically my step-father but I grew up under his influence and reflect his character) said that once you become a Christian your troubles have just begun.  The reason is that before you only had one nature to contend with .. after you have two and they struggle against one another.  Many people live their Christian lives using their old nature as the lens through which they see life and respond to it.  We must strive to become one with the Father … having the mind of Christ .. seeing life and its challenges through the lens of our new life in Jesus.  We must always have this question and answer in mind .. no matter what comes our way ….
Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Put Your Hope In God

My Utmost For His Highest
‘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. […]  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.” […] Jesus is saying that the greatest concern of life is to place our relationship with God first, and everything else second. It is one of the most difficult, yet critical, disciplines of the Christian life to allow the Holy Spirit to bring us into absolute harmony with the teaching of Jesus in these verses.”  CHAMBERS
What are you worried about right at this moment?  OK, maybe you don’t want to admit to worry .. what concerns you?  Does it have to do with this natural life that you are living? Jesus did not say deny the existence of those circumstances, He said do not let them dominate you … but look to the Father … Trust .. Love .. God  with everything you have (Proverbs 3:5,6 .. Matthew 22:37) .. it leaves room for nothing else to be the motivation for what you think, feel, and do.  As a Christian, your life begins and ends with God.  By comparison, nothing else matters.  Of course other things do matter .. but not more than your relationship with the Lord.  And when you are right with God .. everything else comes into focus and is set in its proper place.  And then, there is no need to worry because you know that … God is in control.  Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33)
Psalm 42:5 “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What Cha' Thinking About?

My Utmost For His Highest
‘We must learn to express this new life within us, which comes by forming the mind of Christ (see Philippians 2:5). […] The Christian life is one of spiritual courage and determination lived out in our flesh.’ CHAMBERS
Having the mind of Christ.  Seeing the world the way He does.  Responding to the world the way He did.  Relating to the Father the way He is. Romans 8:29 says “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son”  God intends for us to be like Jesus.  The only way we can be like to Jesus is to know Jesus … to think that way He thinks … to want what He wants … and that was to do the will of the Father.  Romans 12:1,2 says that we should not, any longer, be conformed to this world .. but be transformed by the renewing on our minds … to think like Jesus .. to have the mind of Christ.  I can tell you, the worldly part of you does not want to make room for that.  You have to crowd the world out by filling your thoughts with those things that honor God .. with His word ….
Philippians 4:6-9 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
So there you have it!
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Monday, May 19, 2014

SDG - Soli Deo Gloria - Glory to God Alone

My Utmost For His Highest
Romans 8:31-15,37  “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? […] No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
“Either Jesus Christ is a deceiver, having deceived even Paul, or else some extraordinary thing happens to someone who holds on to the love of God when the odds are totally against him. Logic is silenced in the face of each of these things which come against him. Only one thing can account for it— the love of God in Christ Jesus. “Out of the wreck I rise” every time.”  CHAMBERS
In Christ, there is a power to stand in the face of any hardship with hope and confidence.  It does not mean that you suddenly don’t have the trial anymore.  It means that you have the strength to persevere through the trial … to suffer the loss .. to endure the pain … In our weakness, Jesus strength, in us, is demonstrated.  What I am talking about is not like having a can of pepper spray with you.  Something you can ignore until the time that you are in trouble and you can pull it out and use it.  No it is more like have a black belt in martial arts.  You have the ability because of many, many hours of training.  Because you have disciplined yourself.  Prepared yourself. And when the time comes, you are ready. You stand!
If you have been a Christian for any time at all, you know that trouble will come, and it will come more than once in your life.  Your response to life, particularly the hardships, is the greatest witness you have.  The fruit of the Spirit is manifested in you in spite of what you experience, not because of it. It is that fruit that people see and marvel at.  In Christ, we have supernatural endurance … an endurance which brings glory to God.
Johann Sebastian Bach wrote the initials "S. D. G." (Soli Deo Gloria a Latin term meaning Glory to God alone)  at the end of all his religious compositions.  I pray that that can be your signature on every trial that you face.  Let God be glorified through our lives. For His glory and the good of others.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, May 16, 2014

You Are My Strength When I Am Weak, You Are the Treasure That I Seek

My Utmost For His Highest
‘We talk as if our heavenly Father has cut us off without a penny! 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
Mark 12:41-44  ‘Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”’
Do you think the widow was thinking “I just gave everything I have to the Lord, I will just have to do the best I can to survive”.  She was devoted to God .. the God who provides.  We should not measure our security based upon what we have in the bank .. or 401K.  The test of our well-being is not our bank book … it is our relationship with the Father.  As I am typing this I am looking at the waves rolling in from the sea.  Over the horizon is Jamaica … We’ve never been there. Maybe we should walk over for a visit.  Oh, wait, we can’t walk on the water can we?  But we serve the One who can, Jesus.  Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink.  (Matthew 14:28-30) No matter what .. we can do it if we are trusting God and not ourselves or something else … Trust in the Lord with your all … Like Abraham and Isaac on the mountain … God will provide .. Jehovah Jireh.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hard-pressed On Every Side, Yet Not Crushed

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Remember that you have been saved so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in your body (see 2 Corinthians 4:10). [...] You did not do anything to achieve your salvation, but you must do something to exhibit it. […] God is the Master Designer, and He allows adversities into your life to see if you can jump over them properly—”By my God I can leap over a wall” (Psalm 18:29). […] First Peter 4:12  says, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you . . . .” Rise to the occasion—do what the trial demands of you. It does not matter how much it hurts as long as it gives God the opportunity to manifest the life of Jesus in your body. […]  May God not find complaints in us anymore, but spiritual vitality—a readiness to face anything He brings our way. 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. […] Once we realize this, He will make us broken bread and poured-out wine with which to feed and nourish others.’ CHAMBERS
From time to time a verse will rise up … by that I mean that I will find myself referencing that verse with several people … for the past few weeks it has been two references … 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 … God is the God of all comfort who comforts us in our affliction .. and 2 Corinthians 4: 7-11 … We have this treasure in earthen vessels .. persecuted by not crushed …
The verses have to do with responding to  adversity as a Christian … Everyone has troubles to face .. some great and some small … I would tell my children .. when they were complaining about a rule or something they thought was unfair … “The worst thing you have experienced, is the worst thing you know.” Meaning their lives were the only frame of reference they had.  They really had no idea what “real” trouble or difficulty was … I mean the gut wrenching … fear gripping …. heart breaking … trouble … not when they were younger … such is not the case today …
I don’t know what trial you are facing, but if you have the Spirit of God in you … then God will use that trial for His glory … People will or should see Jesus shining through your life in the midst of it.  That is not to say the trial is not painful … that you won’t shed tears over it .. that you may not suffer loss … but your hope in God will be a testimony to a culture that has turned it’s back on the God of heaven .. Your life will be like a beacon … So take heart my friend … God is faithful and His strength is sufficient to see you through this time.  Just turn to Him.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

No Matter What May Come

My Utmost For His Highest
‘We have to develop godly habits to express what God’s grace has done in us. It is not just a question of being saved from hell, but of being saved so that “the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” And it is adversity that makes us exhibit His life in our mortal flesh.’ CHAMBERS
2 Corinthians 4:9-11 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.”
Every trial we face is an opportunity to let the light of Christ shine to a lost and dying world.  Your faith can shine brightest when your life seems the darkest. I say “can” because we don’t always keep our focus where it needs to be … we don’t always remember if God is for us who – or what -- can stand against us.
When we say “Lord, use me” do we really mean it without reservation? What if He wants to use you while you are getting chemo-therapy … or suffering through some hardship?  God has a plan.  We are part of that plan … the question is, are we will to play our part … or do we prefer to live a life uninterrupted with hardship and disappointment … just one blessing after another … skipping through the field of daisies .. not a care in the world … that is Heaven, my friend. And we are not there yet.  We live in a fallen world that desperately needs a savior … are you willing to show them Jesus in your life .. no matter what may come?  Let your light shine, Christian and bring glory to God.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What Part Of The Bible Do You Believe?

My Utmost For His Highest
‘If I am in the habit of continually holding God’s standard in front of me, my conscience will always direct me to God’s perfect law and indicate what I should do. The question is, will I obey? I have to make an effort to keep my conscience so sensitive that I can live without any offense toward anyone. I should be living in such perfect harmony with God’s Son that the spirit of my mind is being renewed through every circumstance of life, and that I may be able to quickly “prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”’ CHAMBERS
Psalm 19:7-10 “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”
Dr. Henry Blackaby, in Experiencing God, says that God will bring you to a crisis of believe that requires faith and action (which is obedience) resulting in you making a major adjustment in your life.  We tend to think of that in terms of some momentous decision .. a should I go to Africa as a missionary kind of decision … but really it is something we face every time the spirit collides with our flesh.  Someone once said “The part of the Bible you believe is that part you obey.” We are faced with these challenges every day … more than once a day … the question is … do we obey the truth.  Maybe more important is “how” can we obey the truth.  Read Psalm 119:11 and Joshua 1:8 … God has already told us how to do it … Go figure!
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Oh Be Careful Little Eyes What You See

My Utmost For His Highest
‘The only supernatural life is the life the Lord Jesus lived, and He was at home with God anywhere. Is there someplace where you are not at home with God?’ CHAMBERS
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”
The moment you were born again, God put His Spirit in you.  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”  Consider the implications of that … you are never alone … even when you think you are alone .. you are not …  The Holy Spirit is what enables us to understand spiritual truth … The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin … If the Holy Spirit were not inside of you, but, let’s say, He was standing next to you .. are there things that you would not say .. things that you would not do … places where you would not go?  Do you pay to listen to profanity on and watch sexually explicit scenes in movies … do you call it entertainment and excuse what does not glorify God as what makes the movie “real”?  Do you minimize the wrong by saying … “It could have been worse?” Would you sit there and share pop-corn with the Holy Spirit?
My point is that we can become dulled in our spiritual sensitivity if we are not careful …. The longer we sit in the pot, the more relaxing the water is, even when Satan brings it to a boil.  Be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear, be careful little mouths what you say .. for the Lord is up above and He’s looking down with love, so be careful!
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Encouraged To Keep Running

My Utmost For His Highest
‘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
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just take a pill and “poof” you were spiritual for the next year … no worries … living by faith.  Trusting in God.  Overflowing with the fruit of the Spirit.  (Galatians 5:22-25) Yes, wouldn’t that make things simple?  Most people from the United States would like it … very convenient …. Or maybe like a fast food drive through … “Yes can I take your order?” “Uh, I would like three “happy meals”, and two peace patties … and would you super-size them?”  But God has another way … It is not handed to us … we must work at it . . apply ourselves .. make it a discipline. Our spiritual growth must be a priority or growth will not take place.   But sometimes we need encouragement.
When I was training as a new lieutenant, we had to take physical fitness tests.  Part of that test was a two mile run.  We would run around a ¼ mile track.  A friend of mine was not in very good shape and was to going to finish.  I slowed down to encourage him to not quit.  The scorers were yelling at me to leave him and finish the run .. but I would not … the point of this is not that I am a hero … the point is, he finished .. but had to be encouraged … he needed someone to come alongside him when he felt he could not take another step.
This race that we are running requires that we give it our all.  But sometimes we need encouragement. Who has God brought across your path that needs encouragement? Too busy?  Have your own responsibilities?  John 15:13 Jesus says “lay your life down for others”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)