Saturday, May 26, 2018

He Who Comes

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. (Hebrews 11:6)

Faith simply believes God. It believes He cares even though we experience distressing times, it believes He heals even when we are sick, that He saves though the people around us are lost in sin, and that He is with us even when we feel alone. Faith won't give up due to any of these circumstances, because it is rooted in our eternal God, not our temporary plight. Faith looks at Jesus and refuses to look for another answer, another Savior. That is why nothing but faith pleases God. 

When God is pleased with us, we can ask what we will and it will be done for us. That is because faith is rooted in relationship, and that relationship brings us to a point of being one with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and that is where we find complete agreement between all parties involved. The Lord is bringing us to the place where our concerns and prayers are identical to those of Jesus, who lives to intercede for the saints. Then, my prayer life becomes a fountain of blessing through which the Lord moves mountains and crushes the works of the devil. That is faith's reward — those who diligently seek God will find Him and abide with Him, and that is where our new life truly begins.

Let's Pray - Dear Lord, I will be one who continually comes to You by faith, and I know that You will reward me for seeking You. In fact, You are my great reward! Thank You. Amen

Friday, May 25, 2018

Increase Our Faith

And the apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith." (Luke 17:5) 

Beware of a romanticized view of faith. Faith is not a tool to get what we want from God, but a means for God to get what He wants from us! Faith teaches us to wait, pray, and obey, while never imaging that God is anything but completely trustworthy, and that He will keep us and His promises to us. It is a partnership where we submit ourselves to God, believing and walking with Him toward things we can't yet see and what we don't yet have. But what we do have is most important, and that is a life hidden with God in Christ.

To increase our faith is to exercise our belief in God, so that it becomes the useful and powerful tool He intended. God is faithful, and as our faith increases, we glorify Him for all to see. Everything He permits in our lives, whether blessing or hardship, is to make us more like Jesus. He was tested and tempted, yet He remained faithful. The same will be true of us, if we abide in His love and heed His counsel. May our lives take on the sweetness of a faith-building adventure — joyful, and expectant; and may the Lord enrich and increase our faith, as we abide in Him daily.

Let's Pray - Father, may we not miss the opportunities You give us to increase our faith. May difficult times cause us to seek You more and more, and to worship You on a deeper level than we ever thought possible. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Test of Faith

But Sarai was barren; she had no child. (Genesis 11:30)

Our difficulties are not difficult at all to God, even though they can frustrate us greatly and make us wonder if He is aware of what we are facing down here! I believe the Lord tests us all at one point or another, just to teach us to believe in the power of His Word over the limits of our flesh. Abram and Sarai could not conceive a child, yet God was going to call them to be the father and mother of a holy nation, Israel. They would eventually become a man and woman of faith, and they would learn to walk with the Lord and wait on Him -- but it wasn't going to be easy; and it's not going to be easy for us, either.

It is a snare to believe that faith leads to a smooth and trouble-free life -- quite the opposite is true. Overcoming faith leads us to God, and it will bring us to a deep and abiding dependence on Him. Faith is the beginning and the end of our relationship with God, and it is generated and maintained in our relationship with Him alone; therefore, it is impossible to approach the Lord on any other basis. There is no other way to please Him than to trust and obey. That is what faith is and does; it is our trust in God, and it always trusts in God. Do you always trust in God? Do you have faith?

Let’s Pray – Lord, I learn through Abraham and Sarah that I can trust You with my life and the desires of my heart. I have come to believe that nothing is impossible for You.  Thank You, Father. Amen.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Who May Abide?

Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart. (Psalm 15:1-2)

Honesty is an essential trait of God’s children, and God can only reveal Himself to those of us who recognize and speak the truth in our own hearts. When we entertain any deception or dishonesty, we may see Jesus, but not accurately, and not as Lord and King. The longer we refuse to accept the truth about ourselves or anything else, the longer it takes for us to recognize what Jesus Christ has come to do in our lives. We will never find our true identity in what others say about us, or even what we say about ourselves. But immediately when the Lord speaks the truth and we receive it, we are set free to see Him for who He is, and to see ourselves for who we truly are.

And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me, I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified.’” (Leviticus 10:3) The Holy Spirit searches our hearts with the intention of making us aware of anything that is an offense to Him. Drawing near to the Lord is not a frivolous thing, and those who come to Him must do so with pure intentions, for He will not be compromised by sin or fleshly agenda. Oh, that more of those who call themselves ministers would realize this; that the Lord is holy, and He will not partner with anyone or anything unholy. Let those who serve the Lord remember, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom . . . (Proverbs 9:10). Take heed, men and women of God! Amen.

Let's Pray - Father God, please teach me to hallow Your presence, and may I always serve You humbly and acceptably. I tremble before Your Word. In Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Pure In Heart

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (John 1:47-49)

How is it that Nathanael received the truth about Jesus so readily, when all Israel failed to recognize their Messiah? It was because Nathanael possessed integrity, which Jesus immediately recognized and acknowledged — “. . . an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” This was a man who was honest with himself and others, a man who kept his word, a straight-shooter, one who meant what he said and said what he meant. Jesus commended him for his truthfulness, because it made the way for him to see the Messiah. “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8) The Lord is willing to share life and truth with any man or woman, as long as they are honest. The moment we lie to God or ourselves, or refuse to acknowledge the truth we've been shown, we grieve the Holy Spirit away. The Lord will not partner with lies or liars, and integrity is a non-negotiable in the Kingdom. There are those who believe they can get away with something less than uprightness, but the Word makes it clear that is not so — Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14) May we all, like Nathanael, be guileless, open-hearted, and prepared to receive the truth when it is presented to us. And remember, Jesus is the truth.

Let's Pray- Father, bless me with purity of heart today. I want to see You more clearly than ever before. In Jesus alone, Amen.

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Good Fight

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)

There are many fights in life, but only one good fight. The good fight is the battle I wage to be sure God is glorified in everything I do. One thing matters — is God glorified in this? Peter says, If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. (1 Peter 4:14)

Paul reminds and encourages us to show up every day and fight the spiritual battles the Lord sets before us, to finish the course, and to keep the faith delivered to us once and for all by our Savior, Jesus Christ. So, be encouraged today. Ignite the flame within you with the Word of God and stand with the saints like never before. Lift your hands through the clouds and darkness all around you and be the conqueror God says you are. Put on the full armor of God, get in the fight, take back all Satan and sin have stolen from you, and glorify God in all you do. Most importantly, know this — we have the victory in Christ Jesus. And remember, the only spiritual battle you can lose is the one you refuse to fight! Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)

Let's Pray - Dear Father, make me a soldier in Your army, and deploy me on the mission to bring many souls to glory. Amen.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Will You Believe?

Nicodemus said to Him, "How can these things be?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you a teacher of Israel and do not know these things? If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?" (John 3:9,10)

Nicodemus was asking the right questions, but the answers were not what he expected. That's because Jesus' words are spirit and life, and Nicodemus did not yet have ears to hear them. He was expecting Jesus to speak in the aloof, legalistic way he'd become used to -- yet, Jesus was speaking "Kingdom," and that was entirely new and unexpected. Nicodemus would never be the same after this conversation, and Jesus' words were going to draw him or repel him. How Nicodemus received those words depended on the condition of His heart, and the same is true of us. "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." (Revelation 2:7)

It is God's pleasure to give us the keys to the Kingdom, and our good pleasure to receive them. When we come to the Lord with our questions and cares, we must be prepared to hear Him in the Spirit, because that is the only language He speaks. He is the truth, and He speaks truth. Once we settle ourselves in a childlike position of trust and obedience, the mysteries of faith become clearer all the time. Are you simple enough, humble enough, quiet enough to hear and understand spiritual things? Can you handle the truth?

Let's Pray - Lord, I humble myself before Your Word. I am determined to be simple and childlike enough to hear and obey. Thank You for ears to hear. In Jesus, Amen.