Saturday, January 27, 2018

Drastic Measures

Drastic Measures

We are at war: spirit vs flesh, righteousness vs wickedness, and light vs dark. And for the combatants in this war, the stakes are very high: eternal life in Heaven vs eternal death in Hell. As a soldier of light (follower of Jesus), how far are you willing to go to become the amazing ambassador warrior God has called you to be? Do your prayers express the urgent need for extreme change in your life; change that can only occur as God’s Truth and Spirit continually and radically remake you to be more like Christ? Desperate times call for drastic measures.

Are you actively dealing with the sin in your life? Are you asking Father God to give you victory over the struggles and stumbling blocks that inhibit your faithful service to Him?

I am consistently and desperately asking Him to:

Destroy My Pride
That You might lift me up!

When I elevate myself, I become useless as a weapon to God. But when I lay myself at His feet, He wields me as a mighty weapon of war. How does my pride hinder His use of me?
  • 1 Peter 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,

Crush My Rebellion
Because I cannot bear the weight of my sin!

When I fight against my Savior King, my sin brings His correction. As a soldier for Christ, I must surrender all I am to Him. How am I rebelling against the One who died for me?
  • Proverbs 17:11 An evil man seeks only rebellion; Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him.

Denounce My Doubt
So that my desire to know You brings honor!

Trust in God is one of our greatest weapons in the battles of this life. To accomplish His purposes, I must believe in Him. I must always seek His wisdom, instruction, love and blessings. In this there is honor. Do I trust Him completely?
  • Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Eradicate My Fear
That I may grow in Your love!

My flesh may be weak, but in Christ, my spirit is strong and willing. In His love, I will not succumb to fear. Fear is ejected from my life as I grow in His love. How is fear impacting my effectiveness as a soldier for Christ?
  • 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

Drown My Worry
Or else it will engulf me!

If I am overwhelmed by my worries about tomorrow, I will be useless in the battles He has planned for me today. My worries must be buried under the mountain of His promises. Is my worrying diminishing my usefulness?
  • Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Extinguish My Complaining
Lest the smoke from its flames obscure Your light!

A disgruntled Christian brings shame to the army of God. Bad attitudes are like thick smoke that makes it hard to see the light of God’s truth. Do my words and attitudes bring darkness where there should be light?
  • Philippians 2:14-15 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

Sever My Selfishness
As You bond me to others through selflessness!

While a selfish soldier will risk nothing for the benefit of others, brotherly bonds are built on the self-sacrifice of those who put other’s needs ahead of their own. Who is suffering because of my selfishness?
  • Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

Weed Out My Laziness
It works in me to produce only a harvest of shame!

There is no place for laziness in war. The enemy is always searching for any opportunity to lie, kill and destroy. What doors have I left open to the enemy by the things I have left undone?
  • Proverbs 24:30-31 I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; 31 And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down.

The nature of humans is to sin (miss the mark of God’s principles, standards and requirements) – that never changes. Seek the Lord in prayer and Bible study. Identify the areas of your life that need to change. Beg him to annihilate the sinful ways in your life. Surrender all that you are to Him and the powerful working of His Holy Spirit. Be a faithful, obedient and effective soldier for Christ. Witness His love and power in your service, sacrifices and relationships.


Cleanse me, Father, of any persistent sin, that I may serve You well. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, so that my life brings You glory. Use me according to Your plans and purposes, for You are my Lord and Master. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for making a way for me to be reconciled to You. May Your will be done in all things. I humbly pray these things in the name above every name, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

I Want It

I Want It

There are a lot of things I want (the list below is a very small sample).
  • If I make something, I want it to fulfill its purpose.
  • If I study something, I want it to enlighten me.
  • If I teach something, I want it to be learned.
  • If I believe something, I want it to be true.
  • If I repair something, I want it to function.
  • If I lack something, I want it to be mine.
  • If I build something, I want it to stand.
  • If I want something, I want it!

And just because I (or anybody else) want something, that doesn’t make it good, or right, or glorifying to God. God’s Word and Spirit help us to understand who God is, what He does, and what He wants for us. And because of Jesus Christ, I can have what God wants for me.

He wants to Provide for me.
God’s Riches

Our Heavenly Father is a provider. He provides for His creation. Although we may be in dire circumstances, His provision is perfect, His timing is just right, and His intentions are good. Some things we just won’t fully understand until we are in Heaven with Him. The greatest thing God has provided is a way for us to be reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ.
  • Matthew 6:25-30 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

He wants to Protect me.
God’s Refuge

Our Heavenly Father is a protector. He has the desire and power to defend us. Even if lose our lives, His protection is perfect, His timing is just right, and His intentions are good. Some things we just won’t fully understand until we are in Heaven with Him. The shed blood of Jesus Christ protects us from eternal separation from God when we surrender our entire lives to Him.
  • Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
  • Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

He wants to Prepare me.
God’s Requirements

Our Heavenly Father is a preparer. Through His Word, His Spirit and His church, we are prepared for any assignment, battle or task. His preparations are perfect, His timing is just right, and His intentions are good. Some things we just won’t fully understand until we are in Heaven with Him. When we build our lives on Jesus’ teachings, we will not fall.
  • Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 27 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

He wants to Position me.
God’s Rule

Our Heavenly Father is a positioner. He puts us in the right place at the right time. Even if we think we are completely out of place, His placement is perfect, His timing is just right, and His intentions are good. Some things we just won’t fully understand until we are in Heaven with Him. In Christ, we are righteous in our position before God.
  • Psalm 127:1-2 Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain. 2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.
  • 1 Samuel 2:7 The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up.

He wants to Perfect me.
God’s Rest

Our Heavenly Father is a perfecter. He causes and/or allows the trials of life because they act as a fiery furnace to rid us of impurities. Even when our worries distract, overwhelm, or disable us, His process is perfect, His timing is just right, and His intentions are good. Some things we just won’t fully understand until we are in Heaven with Him. Jesus Christ is our way to perfect and permanent peace.
  • Matthew 6:31-34 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Perhaps I am not being direct enough.

God is perfect.
His timing is just right.
His intentions are good.
He wants us!

Some things
we just won’t fully
understand until we are
in Heaven with Him!

I don’t want 'it'.

I want Him!


Father, please help Your children want what You want. Help us to want You. I pray this in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Are You There?

Are You There?

In the depths of misery, in the heat of the battle, when you feel completely alone, when everything appears to be going wrong, when the pain and emptiness of loss have engulfed you, when the shame and regret of failure seem to define you, when the darkness of this world has engulfed you, when you don’t know what to do; nothing, absolutely nothing compares to the peace, comfort and hope found in the presence of the Lord. His consolation, His guidance, even His correction brings warmth and light to the cold dark depths of despair. To sense the presence, power and protection of God brings unsurpassed joy, reassurance and motivation.

God Comforts Us
  • Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
God Lifts Our Heads
  • Psalm 3:3 But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.

But when it feels like He is distant or disinterested, we can be overwhelmed with distress, doubt and discouragement.
  • Psalm 44:23-26 Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord? Arise! Do not cast us off forever. 24 Why do You hide Your face, And forget our affliction and our oppression? 25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust; Our body clings to the ground. 26 Arise for our help, And redeem us for Your mercies’ sake.

But no matter how we feel, the Bible clearly teaches us the truth – our God is always with us.

Omniscience – An Attribute of God
God is all places at all the times – The power, truth and light of The Sovereign Lord inhabit all of creation.
  • Psalm 139:7-12 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me; 12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
Indwelling Presence of God’s Holy Spirit – A Gift and Pledge from God
God’s Spirit lives forever in those who have trusted Him for eternal life through faith in Christ.
  • Luke 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
  • Ephesians 1:13-14 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

As with every area of our walk of faith, and with many areas of our life, we must look beyond our feelings. As wonderful as feeling safe, positive, happy, relaxed, rested, etc. can be, and as awful as scared, sad, worried, stressed, exhausted, etc. feelings can be, we have to be careful about using our feelings as the sole indicator of our situation or status. What we know from the Bible and our experiences with God and Godly people must be used to clarify and guide us as we navigate the treacherous paths of the crazy sinful world we live in.

Whether we feel it or not – our God is always with us!
  • Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
God is our Shelter and our Savior. He longs for us to rest in His presence, power and protection.

Psalm 46:10-11

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

So, what do I do when my feelings deceive me?

I talk to You.
I trust in You.
I diligently seek You.
I patiently wait for You.
I stand in the truth that is You.

Are You always there?

My soul knows it! 
Creation declares it!
Your Word proclaims it!
My life is a testimony of it!
Your Spirit bears witness to it!

Our God is always with us!


Ever present faithful Father, forgive me when I rely too heavily on my feelings. Truth supersedes feelings. Your truth surpasses human wisdom, worries and wishes. I pray Holy Father, that You will help Your children trust in the truth of Your Word, rely on the guidance of Your Spirit, and lean on the collective strength of Your Church (which is only found in Christ Jesus). You do comfort us. You do lift our heads. Your love and timing are perfect! Please help us to see beyond this broken world to your faithfulness. I pray in the name of Christ my Savior. Amen.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Pure and Complete

Pure and Complete

There are many sources of information: internet, television, radio, books, newspapers, billboards, magazines, mail, flyers, people, …, or even face-to-face conversation. As for me, I just want the truth. I am not very interested in opinions or protracted commentary. When I am contemplating, planning, deciding or just forming an opinion, I want the information I consume to be unpolluted and comprehensive. But the fact of the matter is, you can often find multiple sources of information that present conflicting information. So much of the information available to us today deviates from reality/facts. This can be caused by ignorance (oblivious to the truth/facts), agendas (driven by personal objectives), naivety (trusting unreliable sources), delusion (influenced by mental/emotional health, drugs, false teachings/beliefs), or anything else the degrades or diminishes the truth.

Thankfully there is one source we can always turn to for pure and complete information.

Proverbs Chapter 30

Verse 5 Every word of God is pure;
He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

Verse 6 Do not add to His words,
Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

Verse 5 tells us that God’s Word is Pure.
The Word of God is absolute truth. It is not contaminated by error or deception.
  • Psalm 12:6 The words of the Lord are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times.
    • The power of this purity is protection from false teachings about God. The Bible teaches us clearly and correctly about God and how to be in a reconciled relationship with Him.
  • Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.
    • Regardless of what Satan, this fallen world and our sinful flesh attack us with, when we trust in Him based on the truth of His Word, He is all the protection we need.

Verse 6 tells us that God’s Word is Complete.
The Word of God is all He intended it to be. Adding to it would defile it, taking from it would diminish it.
  • Deuteronomy 4:2 You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
    • The consequence of this completeness is confidence in a reliable standard. We can’t ignore the parts of the Bible we don’t like or don’t completely understand. Nor can we add to it to accomplish our purposes.
  • Genesis 3:4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
    • Satan deceived Eve by directly contradicting the Word of God. We face the rebuke of God when we distort, delete or add to the teachings of the Bible.

To ensure we are embracing, living and sharing God given truth, it is always best to take the time to verify that what others are teaching us agrees with what the Bible teaches.
  • Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.


Thank You Father for the purity and completeness of Your Word. Thank you for continuing to increase access to the Bible around the world. Your Word is the Way. Your Word is Truth. Your Word is Life. Please use Your Word to bring many to salvation in Jesus Christ and to help all who follow Him to grow in faith, hope and love. I pray these things in the name of Jesus, Amen.