Saturday, May 27, 2017

I Was Jerusalem

I Was Jerusalem

Recently I was reading the Book of Zephaniah. When I came to chapter 3, the description of Jerusalem in the first four verses sounded like a description of who I used to be.
  • Zephaniah 3:1-4 Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted, To the oppressing city! 2 She has not obeyed His voice, She has not received correction; She has not trusted in the LORD, She has not drawn near to her God. 3 Her princes in her midst are roaring lions; Her judges are evening wolves That leave not a bone till morning. 4 Her prophets are insolent, treacherous people; Her priests have polluted the sanctuary, They have done violence to the law.

In the Words of God through the prophet Zephaniah, I saw my life as it was before I knew and accepted the truth about God.

Verse 1 – No Hope
  • How unfortunate for this defiled rebel
  • One who mistreats those nearest to him

Verse 2 – No Relationship with God
  • Has not obeyed His voice
  • Has not received His correction
  • Has not trusted Him
  • Has not drawn near to Him

Verse 3 – No Moral Restraint
  • Living like a wild animal – ruled by uninhibited appetites

Verse 4 – No Moral Compass
  • Unprincipled and untrustworthy
  • Defiling what is sacred
  • Violating God’s standards

But regardless of my shamelessness, day by day God persisted in the righteous that defines everything He is and everything He does.
  • Zephaniah 3:5 The LORD is righteous in her midst, He will do no unrighteousness. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He never fails, But the unjust knows no shame.

In His time, in His ways, according to His terms, I surrendered.

Now I am in Christ!

And in Christ,
I am a new creation!

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation; old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new.

Here is just a small sample of who the Bible says that I am in Christ.

I am delivered from the guilt, shame and punishment of my sin!
  • Romans 3:24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

I am near to God!
  • Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

I am preserved as a child of God!
  • Jude 1:1 Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:

I am made by God to do the good works He planned in eternity past!
  • Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

I am no longer condemned!
  • Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

I am a recipient of God’s gift of eternal life in Heaven!
  • Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In Christ is love, truth, eternal life and purpose.

Surrender to Him!


Holy Father, in Your perfect time, in Your loving way, draw many to surrender to the name above all names, Jesus. I plead for the souls of the lost in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Call of Wisdom

The Call of Wisdom

Wisdom is not an abstract concept. It is real and longs to be discovered, embraced and applied. Wisdom will transform your life. It is calling you. Are you listening?  

Do you hear the call of wisdom?
  • Proverbs 8:1 Does not wisdom cry out, And understanding lift up her voice?
  • Proverbs 8:6 Listen, for I will speak of excellent things, And from the opening of my lips will come right things;

Wisdom wants to know if its humility is revealed in your life.
  • James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.

This is not a call from worldly wisdom.
  • James 3:14-16 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

But the wisdom of God.
  • James 3:17-18 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

This wisdom is available to all who truly respect God and ask Him for it in faith.
  • Proverbs 9-10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
  • James 1:5-6 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

Don’t reject the call of Godly wisdom. The consequences are eternally severe.
  • Proverbs 8:36 But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death.”
  • Proverbs 1:28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.

Seek wisdom, find wisdom, and secure the blessings of God on your life.
  • Proverbs 8:35 For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the LORD;
  • Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me.

Jesus Christ is the Power and Wisdom of God!
  • 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.


Heavenly Father, please give everyone a longing for the ultimate wisdom of Christ crucified, the only acceptable payment for the sin debt of the world – reveal the Good News of salvation through Jesus to the lost. Pour out Your Word in abundance on all who respond to Your call; let the wisdom of Your truth rain down as a cleansing, saving, sanctifying flood. I ask for Your mercy and grace on those who don’t know peace and reconciliation through Christ. And I ask all this in His name. Amen.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

How In The World Am I Supposed To…

How In The World Am I Supposed To…

Here are some bold statements of truth from God's Word.
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
    • Jesus proclaims:
      • You can’t earn my love or what I have for you. And by the way, I have more to give than you will ever need. Your weaknesses are an opportunity for my strength to be displayed.
    • Paul responds:
      • Then I gladly choose to rejoice in my weaknesses! Because when I do, the miraculous power of Christ rests upon me.

And just to make sure no one misunderstands what he is saying, Paul elaborates.
  • 2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
    • Paul continues:
      • Therefore, I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties because of Christ.
      • For when I am weak, then (in Christ), I am strong.

My spirit helps me to grasp this truth – so I long to embrace and apply it in my daily life. But honestly, my flesh is vigorously protesting, ‘How in the world am I supposed to take pleasure in any of that? Be strong, fight back, avoid the difficult things, nobody has a right to talk to you like that!’ And sadly, more often than not, I give in to what my human nature is saying.
  • Galatians 5:17 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.

In these situations, when my spirit and flesh are battling, there is a wonderful, powerful and liberating truth that I cling to. There are additional confirmations, explanations and examples of what the Spirit of God has already said to my heart and mind throughout God’s Word.

How in the world am I supposed to take pleasure in
weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties?

There is no way in this world!
The way is His Word!

In His Word, I look beyond this world
to my Savior, Jesus Christ!

As I rejoice in my deficiencies, Jesus takes tremendous pleasure in holding me up. He can and will present me faultless in Heaven.
  • Jude 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
For every one of my inadequacies – He is more than adequate!!! Always and forever!
  • Jude 25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.
    • Wise
      • His Godly wisdom brings eternal perspective to every hardship in my life.
    • Glory (Praise)
      • There will come a day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. In the meantime, I can endure the insults of the world.
    • Majesty (Divinity/Greatness)
      • Nothing is too hard for God. Any difficulties in my life will fade away as His purposes are accomplished and His sovereign plan is fulfilled.
    • Dominion (Power)
      • His power makes my weakness irrelevant.
    • Power (Authority)
      • He has authority over all things – yet He humbly submitted to persecution for my sake. I should be willing to endure persecution for His.

Ephesians 6:10
Finally, my brethren,
be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.


Father, help me to embrace the reality of Your power in my life. All You do and all You are eliminates the need for me to dwell on my weaknesses. Help my thinking and my choices reflect an expectant hope and unwavering trust in You. I ask You to forgive me for my doubts, worry and fear. Forgive the pride in my life that leads me to making it all about me. Touch many lives with the truths of Your Word. I pray in the precious name of my Savior, Jesus. Amen.