Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Lift Your Head

Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. (Psalms 24:7)

We are built by God to look up, to lift our heads and look to Him for our blessings and provision. We are to keep our eyes on heaven, where He dwells and rules supreme. When we lift our cares to the King of glory, He invades our world with His peace and power. So be lifted up today, and the King shall come in!

We most likely think God wants us to accomplish great things, but that is not true. He prefers to pour His power and grace through us in the most ordinary ways. If He cannot trust us to sweep the floor well, how can He trust us with weightier matters? How can He trust us with souls? Before any work of spiritual significance can be done by us, it must first be done in us. That is why we lift up our heads to the Lord, so that the King can come in and sit on the throne of our hearts. And once He does, our lives take on a spiritual significance that glorifies Him for all to see. So, lift up your head, open the door to you heart, and Jesus will come in. Do it right now.

Let’s Pray - Come in, Lord. As I look to you, let heaven settle peacefully in my heart. Thank You for every good and perfect gift that comes down upon me today. I receive all with joy. Amen.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Give No Offense

We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. (2 Corinthians 6:3)

The Christian worker must avoid any speech or action that interferes with preaching the Gospel. The Good News travels best when the messenger is one of godly and unassailable character, for that saint provides a clean vessel for the the Holy Spirit to do the work of the ministry. Jesus trusts His servants to behave wisely at all times. His reputation and ours depend on it.

Our ministries are of great importance to God, and we must be sure not hinder it with fleshly behavior. When we draw attention to ourselves, we stand in the way of the Lord's free-flowing grace, and we divert His glory to ourselves. Therefore, the Lord gives us His Holy Spirit to gently correct every deed and word that might cause someone to stumble. As careful and watchful as we may be, only the Spirit can cleanse our hearts and open our eyes to these things. When we are one with Him, we will walk blamelessly before God and men, and we will serve Him acceptably. That is God's standard, and it is only reached on our knees.

Let’s Pray – Lord, I ask for Your Spirit, that I may behave wisely today in all I do. May the light of Christ shine brightly, and men see my good works and give You glory. Amen.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Let it Be

Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him. It may be that the Lord will look on my affliction, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing this day.” (2 Samuel 16:11b-12)

How we handle unfair and harsh treatment says everything about our faith in God. Do we trust that He sees and knows all, and He will reconcile all things in due time? If so, we will be able to withstand the fierce words that will surely be hurled our way if we walk with Christ. The world hated Him, and it will also hate us, if we are in Him. We can be certain that God is good, and He will vindicate us in time. But for now, let it be.

There is grace for every difficulty we face, if we put it all in God's hands. The world is full of injustice, and if we say, "I will never put up with that!" we rob God of the opportunity to teach us and purify our faith. Jesus tells us to bless those who curse us, feed our enemy when he's hungry, and to overcome evil with good. We cannot do those things and fight for our rights at the same time. If we will be quiet and humble ourselves, even when we are wronged, He will lift us up and give us grace and glory. It takes the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to live this way. May the Lord to fill us with that power. For now, let it be! 

Let’s Pray – Precious Lord, I trust in You and Your care for me. I will resist the temptation to defend myself or strike back when I am treated unfairly. I am willing to leave all in Your hands, because I have learned to trust You. I choose to move forward in Jesus and to let it be. Amen.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Test the Spirits

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)

The Lord has given us sound minds and faculties; and most importantly, He has given us His Holy Spirit. Therefore, we are responsible for what we believe and who we receive. The Holy Spirit will give us the wisdom and discernment to know what is and what is not from the Father, and we can never be fooled if we harken to the Spirit and the Word of God. If we test them, every spirit that is not of God will fail that test -- every time.

Far too often, we harken to voices that entertain us and appeal to us, that tell us what we want to hear, that agree with us and our sense of right and wrong. Yet, the Spirit of the Lord will never witness of anyone or anything other than Jesus Christ. The men and women God speaks through will never draw attention to themselves or their cause, but to Jesus and Him crucified. That is the standard by which we must judge every spirit who speaks to the church. May the Lord give us more discernment, wisdom, and courage in these matters. 

Let's Pray – Heavenly Father, I will never be deceived or misguided if I’m found in You. I desire to be in Your will, Your house, and with Your people. Thank You for the gift of discernment, that I might KNOW that I am pleasing in Your sight. Amen.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Ordered by God

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. (Psalms 37:23)

Does the Lord delight in you and the life you live? Do your speech and behavior glorify Him? Would the people who know you best call you godly and Christ-like? Your steps (character) must be shaped and ordered by God, and if He is ordering your steps, you are a picture of what it means to live a life pleasing to God. If anyone wants to know what God’s will is, they should be able to look at you and your “steps.” Think and pray about this for a moment.

I often hear teachers speaking about God's plan, the will of God, or the purpose of God. They sometimes speak this way as it pertains to some destiny or preferred outcome in our earthly lives. The Bible never speaks that way. God is not preparing us for anything to come on earth -- He's preparing us for heaven! If we are prepared for heaven, we need not be overly concerned about anything else. The Lord will care for those things, and we are to set our hearts and minds on eternal matters, not temporary ones. Some believers are bogged down with so many worldly concerns (politics, success, prosperity, healing, legacy, etc.), that they long ago ceased to point men and women to heaven. Yet, our Lord desires that we be one with Him in Spirit and purpose-- just like Jesus, whose only concern was pleasing His Father. So must it be with us. That is what it means to walk with God. That is what it means for God to delight in our way.

Let's Pray – Abba, teach me to consider my steps and to walk in the light of Your Word at all times. I want to live in such a manner that You are glorified in me. Thank You for ordering my every step. In Jesus Christ, Amen.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Obey the Law

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (Romans 13:1-2)

The very concept of law is God’s idea, not man’s. Our Lord saw the need for governance and order, and He created the entire universe with that in mind. His desire is for us to obey His commands and the laws of the society in which He places us, so that we might be a blessing and a godly witness to everyone who observes the way we live. When God’s perfect law of liberty is in our hearts, we will have no problem submitting to the laws of the land.

God is not asking us to ignore or partner with unrighteousness in civil government. However, He expects us to respect those same authorities and to pray for them, while being healthy and productive members of our communities. His righteousness is a shield to all who submit themselves to His authority and to the governing authorities; so, let us set an example of good behavior and conduct ourselves in a way that reflects well on God and His church. May the Lord continue to give us maturity and understanding in these things. 

Let’s Pray – Abba, may we willingly submit ourselves to the governing authorities in our land, as we are instructed in Your word. May we not use the Gospel as a cloak for any agenda whatsoever, and may we be a blessing everywhere You place us. Amen.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Lift Your Hands

Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. (Psalm 63:4)

The lifting of our hands is an act of acknowledging someone greater than ourselves. It is a surrender to a superior person or power, and a sign that we offer our very selves to that person as an act of worship and surrender. Witness the scenes of worship to God in the Book of Revelation -- the numerous references of lifted hands and voices praising the King. True worshipers are a people with their hands lifted up to God, and we too, must be sure to lift our hands -- today.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (James 1:17)

It is clear that everything good on earth comes down to us from God. Therefore, the only good thing that rises up to God from us is our praise and our worship -- our lifted hands. We will find that every time we lift our hands and glorify our Lord, He responds with an outpouring of lovingkindness and provision. He is our Father, and we will lack no good thing, as we acknowledge Him and His goodness -- as we lift our hands. May the Lord touch the hands we lift to Him, and may we use those same hands to bless everyone we touch. Amen. 

Let’s Pray – Father, forgive us for cold and expressionless worship. May our praise be worthy of the great and mighty God we serve. Holy Spirit, relieve us from our fear, and teach us to offer an acceptable praise to our God. In Jesus Christ, Amen.