On The Journey-Gimel

Deal bountifully with Your servant,
That I may live and keep Your word.

Open my eyes, that I may see
Wondrous things from Your law.

I am a stranger in the earth;
Do not hide Your commandments from me.

My soul breaks with longing
For Your judgments at all times.

You rebuke the proud—the cursed,
Who stray from Your commandments.

Remove from me reproach and contempt,
For I have kept Your testimonies.

Princes also sit and speak against me,
But Your servant meditates on Your statutes.

Your testimonies also are my delight
And my counselors. Psalm 119:17-24 NKJV

Gimel– (The “G” sounds like an “H”) the third letter of the Hebrew alphabet and the third segment of this acrostic poem, written by the Psalmist to express their desire to really know God and obey, in spite of those who ridiculed them.

In this segment, we see the Psalmist seeking God’s generosity in pouring out understanding of His laws. The Psalmist realizes that without knowing and understanding how God wants us to live that our lives are cut short and we do not accomplish all that God has planned for us.

Do we understand that if we do not obey God’s commandments, we will not receive all He plans for us? Are our souls disturbed when we do the wrong things enough to instantly repent and seek God’s guidance? Are we overly concerned about what people say about us–those who ridicule us for our belief in God and in keeping His commandment of love?

There are many who sit in high places as well as low places (hierarchy of either class or authority) who ridicule Believers on a regular basis. Some of them claim to be atheists and others are simply born to be obnoxious. What they haven’t learned yet is they are entitled to not believe just as we are entitled to believe–without all the vitriol constantly launched in our direction. Many claim to want to “open our eyes” to their truths so we won’t believe, but the truth of the matter is–they have no truth–other than what has been contrived in the minds of those who are influenced by the enemy–and they are many!

However, for those of us who are steadfast in our belief and faith in a living God, we have no reason to be concerned about the enemy’s attempt to ridicule us. We can stare them down, smile, remind them God loves them and keep going. We do not have to argue our faith–we simply need to live it!

The Psalmist has observed what happens to those who turn away from God and they are determined not to suffer the same fate. The testimonies of God is what we witness–what happens to other people–either those who stand firm in their faith or those who turn aside.

It is not that difficult then to understand what is happening in our world today. We see the results of a land in which many have turned aside from obeying God and all other authority in the land. If we choose to refute and live in opposition to God’s Word, we have no choice but receive what we deserve. If those who obey are blessed, then those who don’t are cursed. If we delight in obeying God’s Word, then those who don’t are bitter.

Where are we on this journey in life? Are we seeking God’s counsel or we just living by the seat of our pants–with no understanding or direction?

The path to happiness and abundant joy is accessible–we simply have to choose to follow the way God has determined for us.

 

 

Praying For a Damascus Road Experience!

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “not get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:3-6 NIV)

Many know the story of Saul’s conversion and all the great things he accomplished as Paul. But what sticks out to me the most is the fact that as Saul, he was a religious man–full of knowledge and zeal, without relationship with God. After his Damascus road experience, he was yet full of knowledge and zeal, in relationship with God, without being religious. And that’s the place we all need to be–in relationship with God, not being religious. For it is in relationship with God that we hear God when he speaks. Being religious limits our ability since we are too busy trying to please men/women and doing what they say God is saying to them. These are the modern day Pharisees and Sadducees–the religious leaders who in their zeal to control others, have missed hearing God and pleasing Him.

Father, in the name of Jesus,

I pray for the unbelieving, the doubters, the atheists, the agnostics, and all who by any other label, deny your existence and the Deity of Your Son.

Create for them, O God, an experience in which the light of truth will guide their paths to You so they’ll have a testimony of their own Damascus Road revelation. Provide them with knowledgeable people in their lives who can and will teach them Your truths and not the religious ideology that permeates the earth, yet is ineffective against the enemy who wages war within and without.

Bring all to a place where they realize they need You as their provider, comforter, healer, and counselor.

Cause the scales of unbelief and doubt to fall from their eyes so they can see You in all Your glory and begin to magnify and praise You, O God.

And before this day is over, Lord, let the number of souls won to You be increased a thousand times more than there right now and even greater numbers come to You before the end of this month.

I stand in the gap–desiring only to please You and see souls saved so we can live in peace, knowing how to love one another as we love You.

Your Word whatever we ask in Jesus’ name will be given to us when we believe and not doubt. I believe souls are won as this prayer is shared and I declare it done–to the glory of the Most High. Amen!

By Faith, Not Foolishness!

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is the what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (Hebrews 11:1-3 NIV)

Many people have varying opinions about what faith is and how it should operate in our lives, but this particular passage of scripture reminds us how God defines faith. Having faith is being confident about those things we hope to see and the assurance about what we do not see.

By faith, we sit on chairs we did not see built, expecting them to support us without collapsing.

By faith, we live in our houses made from the wood of trees we did not grow and most of us–unless we built from the ground up–did not see the framework built, the foundation poured, or the roof installed, yet we expect the house to withstand the elements and we rest with assurance that it will keep us safe–every time we go to sleep.

By faith, we eat food in restaurants we did not cook, expecting not to become ill and the food will nourish us.

By faith, we walk outside expecting to breathe in oxygen, even though we cannot see it–we never challenge it is there.

By faith, we start up cars–expecting them to get us from one point to the other and we have no idea whether the car was built correctly or even if those responsible for inspecting the finished product, even knew how to do their jobs. We keep buying cars and driving them with assurance–until there is a mechanical problem.

By faith, we buy produce and other products from supermarkets–expecting them to be good even though we did not have a hand in growing anything or manufacturing anything we purchase.

By faith, we bring children into an uncertain world–confident that we will see them survive and thrive beyond the uncertainties and we do what we can–without being able to see into the future–to make sure they have a good life.

By faith, we teach our children to be careful when crossing streets, confident that when we have taught them, they will not foolishly walk in front of moving traffic.

By faith, when we know that all the utilities have been paid, we turn on water and light switches without checking to see if the pipes and wires are working. We simply expect them to be.

There are so many things we do by faith (not feelings–for feelings are fickle) without even thing about it, but when it comes to the things of God–our faith–confidence in Him–wavers because we listen to the naysayers and doubt.

Jesus said, “When we pray, we must believe we receive” that for which we have asked so if we have received, why ask for it again? Faith–to receive what we have asked for is demonstrated in our thanksgiving until it manifests itself–not in constantly asking for the same thing.

On the other hand, those who deliberately do dumb things and expect God to save them are not acting in faith, but foolishly. We can expect God to save us from situations we did not create or know about, but to do things foolishly in anticipation of Him being a magician–is foolish.

Now–is the time–we must have faith in God with complete confidence that all He has promised–He will provide and all we have to do is–believe it will come to pass.

Why Jesus Said, “Whoever Lives By Belief In Me Will Never Die!”

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25,26 NIV)

Within John’s record of the life of Jesus, Jesus says, “believes” fourteen times and in the rest of the New Covenant, it is mentioned eleven other times. Of course in the King James Version, the word believeth is used (meaning the same thing) and occurs in both Old and New for a total of forty-five times. Since I’m expounding on what Jesus said and why, let’s take a closer look at why belief is so important.

Whatever a person believes–has immoveable faith in–good or bad, that is usually indicative of how a person lives. If they believe in a horoscope–they live their life according to the horoscope. If they believe Oprah Winfrey is wiser than God, they live their life according to Oprah. If they believe than one political party is superior to another, they live their life supporting that party and criticizing the other. If people believe they’ll become rich by gambling, they gamble on a regular basis (and the lottery is gambling). If they believe that God’s Word can ever be changed to pacify fleshly dictates, they live their lives doing whatever they want because they do not understand–God’s Word never changes and neither will His judgment. 

But let’s get back to what’s taking place in Jesus’ life when He said what He said. He had been that Lazarus was sick and instead of going to him immediately, Jesus delayed his departure. He told his disciples that Lazarus was sleep and they thought he was just asleep because of sickness. Jesus then told them, he was dead.

John 11:15-24

v. 15 And for your sake I am glad I was not there, so you may believe. But let us go to him.

v. 16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

v.17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.

v. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem,

v 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.

v. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

v. 21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.

v. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

v. 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

v. 24 Martha answered, ” I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

And after Jesus asked her the question about what she believed, she said, she believed. I can imagine the heartache Martha felt over losing her brother and some have said (their interpretations of her statement) that she was accusing Jesus of waiting too long to come to them. She didn’t understand the magnitude of what was about to happen, but she believed that Jesus would take care of it and He did.

Jesus waited until Lazarus was dead and buried so that all who observed Him would witness the miracle and share it with others. He simply looked unto His Father and then commanded Lazarus to come out of the tomb and he did. Faith–can move mountains, cause the dead to rise and the sick to recover–if we will only believe–have immoveable faith in Him.

Lazarus rose from the dead to live again, but we don’t know how long he lived until he succumbed to natural, then. What we do know is that all are appointed a time to die, naturally, but those who believe Jesus is the resurrection and when He returns, the dead shall rise and the rest of us caught up with Him, shall live for all eternity in heaven.

We simply have to believe–having faith in Him–and not man’s suppositions about death and dying, sickness and disease, sin and holiness. If we believed and lived our beliefs in Him, the world would be in a much better place. Do we believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Do we believe that His blood, shed on the cross at Calvary, was shed for us–that we might have access to heaven, through Him? Do we believe that we have the power–through Holy Spirit–to live without sin in our lives? If the answer is yes, we believe, then why aren’t we living what we say we believe? Our active obedience to God demonstrates our love for Him and our belief–our immoveable faith in Him. Lord, help us!

More about what Jesus said and why, next time.

Pointing Fingers At The Wrong People Solves Nothing!

It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. (Romans 14:11,12 NIV)

The time is coming and very quickly when we will see God’s Word–front and center–alive and blazing brightly so everyone will see and know–He lives! And whether a person has lived their life in belief or unbelief, they shall bow before The King of Kings and acknowledge Him as such.

For those of us who know this–our lives should proclaim this truth–on a daily basis so all who know us will have opportunity to see God’s Word in action. And when He returns, none will have an excuse for not believing Him.

As it is now–we know by listening to the media reports–many do not believe Him and certainly have not given Him Lordship over their lives. It is sickening to see how people have so little value for not only their lives, but for the lives of others. In one week, how many times do we have to hear about gun violence and people being killed? How many times must we see car thieves kill innocent people when they attempt to “run away” from the police?

In particular, two children–on a sidewalk–were killed yesterday when the driver of a stolen car, running from the police plowed into them. That wasn’t enough–they kept going and injured three more children and an adult before crashing. The driver attempted to run, but was caught.

Here’s the problem for me–today: Interviews with parents, witnesses, and others appear to blame the police for trying to stop a thief. I know there has been uproar about police chases, but at what point are we going to stop blaming the police for trying to stop a crime and put the blame where it belongs–on the criminal?

If the person driving the car had not stolen it, there would have been no need for police involvement. Had they had any respect for life–they would not have plowed into innocent children. THE POLICE DID NOT KILL THOSE CHILDREN! THE IDIOTIC DRIVER KILLED THOSE CHILDREN AND THE BLAME–WITH ALL FINGERS POINTED IN HIS DIRECTION–IS HIS!

This is not necessarily a popular position to take–especially in life of all the police abuse of others as we have recently seen, but let’s get real. Honestly, every time a person commits an act that requires police involvement–they are to blame, not the police. Let’s stop pointing the fingers at the police and change the culture in which we live where young people (and older people, too) think they have a right to help themselves to the property of others, trespass on the property of others, and do whatever they want–without regard for the rights of others.

If all we do is point fingers at those we think are the problem, we’re not solving any problems. Parents must be better parents in teaching their children right from wrong and holding them accountable for what they do. We need laws that are enforceable and court systems that are more interested in justice being served than serving their political agendas.

What we need is for people to believe God now and live like they believe Him! Then and only then, will we see an end to senseless violence and the loss of innocent lives.  We shall all give an account to God for what we have or have not done, so let’s get this living on earth, right!

He Sees It All!

“But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” (John 3:21 NIV)

What we do in the dark,

Always comes to the surface,

Whether, evil or good, truth or lie,

He sees it all!

What’s the point of doing things under the cloak of darkness? Do we not understand that not only does God see it all, but He knows our hearts, and whether our thoughts are good or evil? Is it because we think we are wiser than He?

For the Believer who knows the Truth and has been brought into the marvelous Light of Truth, we know nothing is hidden from Him. But for those who choose to not believe, they think their unbelief will shield them from God’s sight. Nothing is ever hidden from the One who created all things and without Him, nothing was ever created.God has said in His Word that He created the evil for His purposes. In this way, He has allowed us options. Choose good or choose evil. Whatever our choices are, they will the basis or foundation for the verdict we receive at the end.

I want to be found guilty! Guilty of believing everything God says; guilty of giving my heart over to Jesus; guilty of living a life that was pleasing to Him, guilty of presenting the Gospel to others at every opportunity; guilty of loving all unconditionally; guilty of standing tall and refusing to budge in agreement with His Word; guilty of proclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord, our Redeemer and Risen King! Guilty as charged! That is all I want Him to see!

Others who disavow His existence will hear another verdict–especially when they had opportunity to hear, but refused to accept. That is their fate because He sees it all!

No Believer can ever determine where anyone will reside for eternity–that is not our role in life. Our role is simply to tell all we meet that God is and forever will be–the only One who has established the verdicts we will–whether we walk in darkness or in the Light–He knows–He sees it all!

If anyone reading this post is yet walking in darkness, I pray they will allow the love of God to fill their hearts to overflowing and make a decision today, to walk in the Light as He is the Light!

Look, Believe, Raised!

“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”(John 6:40 NIV)

There are two ways one could interpret this verse and still be on target.  Jesus said, “It is my Father’s Will” and this could be taken quite literally for those who understand the impact of a will from a legal standpoint. A will is a document that details what a person wants after they are no longer around to oversee that which belongs to them and the conditions that must be met to receive the benefit of being in the will.

Now, before you start thinking, “she’s way off” bear with me for a moment. The document that details the Father’s Will is The Word, and we know from the first chapter in John that–“In the beginning was The Word and The Word was God, and The Word was with God” so in those terms--Jesus was not only talking about the Father, but Himself. He knew He would not be around to look out for those who believed in Him so He had to purposely leave behind His written document (which He could rightfully claim) as His Will.

The other side of this statement is just as accurate when the word “Will” is interpreted to mean “desire.” It is the Father’s desire for all to Look to the Son, Believe in Him (and obey) and when He returns, they will be raised up and reign with Him for all eternity! This is God’s desire and we know it to be true because He said, “He so loved the world (all the people in it) that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish (in their sins), but have everlasting life.”

The desire is clear and so are the conditions. We must look to the Son and see The Father since they are One, believe that He is and ever shall be, repent of our sins and live according to The Word (His Will) and when He returns, He will raise us from the dead (physically dead) and we shall rise with a glorified body (totally healed and whole) and reign with Him!

Look at how the Son conducts Himself, Believe that He is the only way we’ll get a chance to see God when we obey His Word, meeting the conditions of The Will (obedience) guarantees us eternal life when we are Raised and meet Him in the air, ready to return to the One who gives all life! Glory to God! Are we ready?

Why Faith in God? Part 2

“Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you. And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” (Matthew 9:29; 13: 58 NIV)

If we are like the two blind men who Jesus was speaking to, we must be believe that He is able to do what we expect Him to do.

The two blind men followed Him, begging for mercy (so they could see) and He stopped them and asked them, “Do you believe I able to do this?”

Their response was, “Yes Lord, we believe.”

His response was, “According to your faith (not another person’s faith, not even His), let it be done to you.”

God’s response to our petitions is based upon our faith, not our emotions. He knows every issue we have and He knows whether or not we have enough courage to ask for His help and enough faith to believe He will do it. When we speak, what we believe He will do, it is a demonstration of our faith.

Some of us need our spiritual eyes opened so we can see–all the good things He has in store for us, for the natural eye (the mind using man’s logic), cannot see into the spirit realm to understand just how much God loves us. Now, we can speak what we need–by faith–into existence, we can also speak–a lack of faith–and never see what we ask for.

When Jesus went to His home town, the people there had heard about the miracles He performed, but when they saw Him, they were full of disbelief, saying out loud, “Isn’t this carpenter’s son? Who does He think He is going around trying to make people believe He’s anything special.” I’ve paraphrased their response, but it’s accurate in intent.

Because of their dismay in who He was and their unbelief, not many people were healed and certainly not many miracles witnessed. Why? They spoke their lack of faith in Him! It was not His faith that needed to operate, but theirs if they wanted to see miracles.

Some people are doing the same thing today with their tongues–speaking their lack of faith–and then proclaiming that God doesn’t hear or respond to prayers. It is because of their lack of faith and actually their double-mindedness that keeps change from occurring. If we say–there is no God–why do we expect Him to do anything (He doesn’t exist for the naysayers, so why complain about Him). And then those same people who proclaim God doesn’t exist–dare to question the faith of those who know–He exists and He is faithful to those who call upon Him, by faith and obedience and He responds to ” our faith  in Him” not a lack of faith.

If we have no faith in Him and what He is able to do–don’t be surprised when He does not respond to our requests.

Remember this–He responds to our faith–spoken–in support of our belief--and He will do all He said He would do in His Word. “Yes, Lord, we believe You are able to do all things well for our benefit.”

Part 3 tomorrow!

Renewed Strength!

“…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)

No matter what happens or has happened in the past that drained our strength and made us feel we could not go on, when our hope is in The Lord, our strength–courage and determination–will be renewed (revived).

This is why we cannot get stuck on news reports with all the negativity. Those negative reports of violence, hatred, bigotry, and despair, drain us of hope and then some wonder why there are so many depressed and oppressed people. If we continue to simply look at all the negatives–and never look to Jesus--we will lose all hope cease to live the life that He intends us to live.

Whenever we feel like we cannot go on–our focus should be on Jesus and all He has done–and trust that He will continue to do for us. The disparaging reports of people dying should not deter us from living. The reports of bigotry of hatred should not keep us from loving. Every time we hear a negative report about anything–we should talk to the Father–praying for comfort, healing, resolution to problems, and peace and joy in the land. That should be our response to negative events–not hopelessness, but hope in The Lord.

If church leaders and those who plan “revivals” really understood the purpose of a revival (not to make money)–to strengthen the hearts and minds of Believers by turning their focus to Jesus, we would rise and soar with renewed conviction in our Risen Savior! Revival cannot occur in the Body of Christ until we make Jesus the focus–not the news or how much money we need to raise because of poor money management skills.

Until we–the Believers–get our priorities straight, we cannot hope for a world influenced by darkness to ever understand or have hope in The Lord we say–we believe and trust. Our priority–get everyone focused on Jesus–not the President, or Congress or any other person we have no control over, but turn them over to the One who can speak to their hearts and set them on the right path.

Renewed strength comes with renewed focus on Jesus and then our spirits will know true revival and hope fulfilled in the knowledge that whatever we need, will be supplied in Jesus’ name!

Just Ask!

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:12-14 NIV)

Whoever believes–will do–even greater things! Do we really believe what Jesus said? And if we do, are we doing the greater things? Are people being healed–supernaturally–because of what we do? Are we living an abundant life and blessing those around us with instruction and guidance? Are we teaching The Word and people are receiving it–getting ready to march onto the battlefield, armed, and fully prepared for victory in this spiritual warfare? Are we introducing people to our Risen Savior by how we live, not what we say?

If we’re not doing greater things, why aren’t we? Is it the environment of unbelief or our own lack of faith? Have we not studied the Word enough to understood how God will use us to do great things? Or is it that we are so consumed with desire to pacify people and fit in with the crowd that we ignore God speaking to us and through us?

We have all been given the gift of the Holy Spirit–to guide, instruct, correct, and supernaturally do–all we need to do, but if we never access the power that has been given, we will never see the greater things accomplished in our lives.

Do we not understand that in order to fulfill our destiny according to God’s plans, all we need to do is ask? But when we ask, in Jesus’ name, we must believe that all He says is true and will come to pass.

Father, we thank You for the gift of grace, salvation, favor, mercy, and love. We ask You for direction in doing the greater things that You would have us do, so You might receive the glory for all we do. We ask for supernatural healing of bodies of all who believe in You. We ask for wisdom to use our financial resources for supernatural increase so we might bless others in need. We ask for supernatural favor in the sight of all to accomplish all that You would have us to do. We ask for peace and wisdom to abide in the hearts of all leaders so that all may enjoy peace in the land. All these things we ask of You, in Jesus’ name and we receive it–as done! Amen!