“When the Father speaks…”

There is a lot of inner dialogue that goes on and there is a lot of outer dialoguing that goes on.  The inner dialogue comes from the person within.  It talks to oneself sometimes words of encouragement, and that’s okay.  But, when it begins to express doubt, confusion and rehearses hurt repeatedly, it becomes a dangerous voice causing one to lose out on some of the best stuff God has for them.

The outer dialogues we hear daily comes from the voices all around.  Again, sometimes one may hear words of love, but when these voices speak criticism, discouragement, and put-downs, their words need to be silenced and replaced because they are not doing anything to one up or to help along the way.

Any voice, inner or outer, which speaks contrary to the words of the Father, must be made to shut up.  When the Father speaks, His is a heavenly dialogue, and what He has to say far outweighs any word on earth.

When the Father speaks His words are power.  “God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God,” (Psalm 62:11).  Every other speech will fail and grow weak when it meets up against the strength of what He has to say.  “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword…” (Hebrews 4:12).

When the Father speaks His words are fulfilling.  “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it,” (Isaiah 55:11).  In the sea of worthless words that drown the hearing of this world, God’s Word can be trusted to do what He said He would do.  It will succeed at everything spoken of it.

When the Father speaks His words are truth.  False speech seems to dominate this world.  Whatever the platform, people are careless and deceitful with the words that they throw around.  But God’s words are dependable and faithful.  They are “truth” (John 17:17) and His words don’t lie (Numbers 23:19).  “For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth,” (Psalm 33:4).

When the Father speaks His words are life.  Jesus said, “…the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life,” (John 6:63).  Not only are His words filled with life-giving power in the here and now, but when He speaks they are words of eternal life (John 6:68).  For those who believe in His Word, it will provide them with everything they need to live.

And, when the Father speaks, it is forever.  “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever,” (Isaiah 40:8; see also Matthew 24:35).  There will never be a time when His Word will not be.  All the inner and outer dialogues that take place daily will eventually pass away.  But, everything declared in His Word, shall be forever.  It’s not going anywhere.  Therefore, we can stake our very lives on it, live by it, and hope in it.  Because, when the Father speaks, His Word will always be there for us through it all.

Today, when the Father speaks, let His voice be louder than all others and let His words be the strength for your day.

“Think of His Grace!”

It amazes me how quickly we, as humans, and operating in our human nature, want to write things in the story of others that God never intended, nor did it come to His mind.  We tend to write negative responses in the lives and the stories of others while forgetting that the very grace that was poured into our life, can be poured in another as well.

When we were in our messes; when we, as individuals, were outside of the will of God, God didn’t give up on us.  He didn’t give things in our story that were not going to work out for our own good.  Rather, in His grace, He made a way for our personal redemption.  In His grace, He wrote a better ending to our story than we could ever imagine.

Before you judge another or look down on someone because the season they are in right now doesn’t look right to you, remember the grace that was once shown to you, and freely extend that same grace to another.

God’s grace is a beautiful thing and without it, none of us would be here today, and none of us could make it.  None of us had the power to save ourselves.  None of us was capable of doing for us what Jesus did.  But God’s grace stepped in our lives and He raised us out of the muck and mire of our sins.  He lifted us out of our personal ruts and restored us to something wonderful and with purpose.

Think on God’s grace today.  Let it be that gentle reminder of what God has done for you, and let that motivate you to share this same grace toward another.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” Ephesians 2:8.

“God’s Got You Covered!”

 

Do you ever feel opened and exposed during the trials of life?  Do you ever feel that the enemy has free pickings when it comes to your heartache?  Well, he doesn’t!  The enemies of this life may chase you, hunt you down and all together seek to make your life miserable, but the enemies do not have the last say over anything.  God, in His complete sovereignty, has you covered!

If anybody knew about being constantly chased by enemies seeking to take their life it was David.  Saul, in a jealous pursuit, saw something special in David, the favor of God, and wanted to destroy David.  There were days when David may have felt like giving up.  There were days of hiding in caves and pretending to be a mad-man to seek solitude in other countries.  But, through it all David dealt best with his enemies through prayer.  He declared who his God was and committed his trust to Him.  In Psalm 140:7, “O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.”

To be covered means to be concealed and to be protected.  The battles of this life may at times make us feel that we are an open target to everyone who can’t stand the favor of God on us, but be of good cheer, God’s got us covered!  “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever,” (Psalm 125:2).  And, if God is like a mountain surrounding us then there is no adversary that can break through the covering He has over us.  It may feel like we are on the run sometimes but God is still that protecting force that “covered my head in the day of battle.”  Commit your heartaches, your battle and your enemies to God and let Him be your covering today.

“BELIEVE WHAT GOD SAYS. ALL WILL COME TO PASS!”

 

In the sixty-six books that make up the Bible,
there is one truth that stands forever: God’s
Word can always be trusted. God’s Word will
never fail to accomplish what it was purposed to
do. God’s Word will always be the absolute final
truth to every question in our life that needs an
answer. His word will fulfill every promise
spoken to His people.

Hold on, dear friends, to the promises of God
for they will all surely come to pass. The Bible
says, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of
my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it
shall accomplish that which I please, and it
shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it,”
(Is. 55:11). Believe what God says.
All will come to pass.

“God, I need help.”

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

Do me a favor.  Right where you are, close your eyes and think of something you are dealing with, going through, or praying for.  Utter these words before God in prayer” “God, I need help.”  And then, proceed to tell Him what you need help with.

Sometimes we make things more complicated than they need to be.  So it is true when it comes to our prayer life.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have times when I spend a great deal of time before the Lord in prayer.  But I have also learned that sometimes I need to stop over-spiritualizing my prayer, and simply ask God for help in doing or going through what I am involved in at that particular moment.

Those four words, prayed with a sincere heart before the Lord, can change the scope of everything.  Whatever is before you, don’t be afraid or hesitant to pray, “God, I need help.”  God is there as your “very present help in trouble.”  He’s there for you.  All you need to do is ask for help.

“May I help you?”

“After that He poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet …” John 13:5

 I wonder if anyone in our day and age really understands the concept of service.  Does anyone really grasp the meaning of what it is to serve another?  If you’ve recently gone to a fast-food restaurant or a big box store or any consumer outlet where things are acquired, purchased or eaten, you know what I mean.  The lack of good customer service drives me away from some establishments regardless of how cheap their prices are.

I remember when one of my daughters, who was a teenager at the time, was working her first job in a national fast-food chain, and how much the idea of good customer service rang out to me by what I witnessed there.   At this establishment where she worked,  they would take servicing the customer very seriously.  If it was raining outside, some of the employees were on post at the front door, umbrellas in hand, waiting to assist patrons to and from their cars who didn’t have one.  This company did many small things and details that let people know that they mattered to them and they were important.

Although things like this are considered uncommon in our day, what those employees did really spoke to the fact that they were at that place of employment to work according to that company’s standards.  Every day they were urged to step outside of themselves to assist others.  Oh, if more would catch on to this concept!  But, the infectious, self-serving mentality, which permeates this world’s culture doesn’t allow people to see or even consider others over themselves.

That is far from the teaching Jesus laid out for those who would follow Him.  He has given us many examples to follow but the one that really sticks out to me  is Jesus stooping to the level of the lowliest servant in the house and performing duties that were detested by all in that day,  “He began to wash the disciples’ feet.”  Can you imagine what those feet must have looked like after walking many miles in sandals?   Can you imagine what they must have smelled like?  Yet, He took a towel and wrapped it around His waist, took feet in hand and began to carefully administer this duty to them.

We all know that Jesus always considered and worked for the betterment of those around Him.  He did this to the point of laying His life down on the cross for the sins of the world.  But, what Jesus showed them on this occasion, was a one on one lesson with those who would be responsible for carrying the gospel to the world.  He showed them that there are everyday occurrences where one can serve, where one can put another before themselves.

We are so thankful for the many areas of missionary work that go on throughout the world.  Those who render themselves to such service are able to reach the unreachable and set up foundations for Christ in far off lands. But every day, right where you are, there are opportunities to let the love of Christ shine in this dark world.  The world is already used to seeing the inconsiderate side of man, so now it’s time for the church to rise up and show them the loving side of God.  How?  Through our service to them.  Through everyday occurrences where you show somebody that you value them.  Oh, how would that make them feel?  I’ll tell you.  It would make them feel loved!

It makes people feel as if they matter also.  That someone cares enough to let them go first in line, or take your right-of-way in traffic.  These are little things – but, can I tell you, little things done in great numbers make a great impact.  If each of us would show the character of Christ’s service and stop placing so much focus on other things, I think we could make a tangible difference in this world.  It would still be an infectious cycle. Instead of the world’s disease permeating the church, the church could infect the world and really show them how much Christ loves them.

“God Knows Best!”

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LordFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isiah 55:8-9

We all want the victory in life, but we don’t always know how to go about doing it.  There is a right way and a wrong way of getting things done.  If you have ever purchased one of those DIY furniture kits, then you know what I mean.  If the directions are followed incorrectly, often we will end up with a product that doesn’t look the picture describes or a product that doesn’t function as it should.  One misstep in the procedure of putting it together can really derail the end result.

So it is true in life.  We can see in our minds how this or that will work out, but the process it takes to get there is a little more obscured.  We know how we want the end to look, but allusive is the way to get there.  And despite what the world shouts, there is a way that is right, holy, and just.  There is a way that is not hidden or playing hide and seek.  It is God’s way!  And sometime human nature has a hard time letting go of their own way to take on His perfect will for their lives.

There is this beautiful word called “omniscient.”  The word itself means to be all-knowing and the only one to whom that can be referred to is God Almighty.  The Bible tells us multiple times and in multiple ways of the infinite understanding of God (Psalm 147:5); that He knows everything there is to know and to be known (1 John 3:20).

So, why am I telling you all of this today?  Because all of us deal with times, situations, and decisions where we simply don’t know.  We barely know how our story starts, let alone each step necessary to walk through the process to reach the finished end.  But, God does.

We are told to “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not to thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct our paths,” (Proverbs 3:5-6).  We are told to let go of our own perceptions or preconceived ideas and notions and lean in complete trust in God, and what He knows, and let Him guide through all of those processes we are so struggling with.

Whatever we are undertaking or engaged in, do not be overcome or feel overwhelmed with what’s before you.  Lean on God.  There is so much in this life that we carry the full weight of when God is offering to take some of the weight off of you if you will just trust Him to do it.

Trusting Him is not passive, it’s a walk of obedience.  It is following His way all the way through.  Abraham, a great man of faith, didn’t become that way by just saying he had faith.  He was given the privilege of that title because the faith he had in God caused his steps to walk in obedience in His will for his life (Genesis 12-25; Hebrews 11:8-10, 17-19 ).  Trusting that God knows best is actively walking out one’s faith in obedience, and depending on God for the final results.  It is not just quoting that His ways are higher than ours; it’s knowing and believing they are and leaving the outcome of everything we are dealing with; all of those times, situations, and decisions in His more than capable hands because God’s knows best.

Our victory begins and ends with knowing above all else, God is in charge of our story and He knows best.  All we have to do is follow Him.

“Today I Believe I am Big Enough!”

“And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight,” Numbers 13:33

Feeling outsized in life?  The fact of the matter is that many of us feel too small for the task ahead.  Goals, dreams, and possibilities are alright to fantasize about, but when it actually comes down to implementing what needs to be done, we often feel inadequate, as if we don’t have enough in us to see it all the way through to the end.  We feel too small to go in and take hold of what we can be.

Too often we get stuck in a rut because of this line of thinking.  The pressure of what it actually takes to step out into something new, to believe there is a chance for you to be better and to have better, is a little overwhelming to most.  Dealing with the unusual and stepping into the unfamiliar takes a strong act of courage.  It involves one having enough strength and faith to look past what they view themselves as now and see something bigger.

For any area of life where we want to see improvement, there will always be barriers.  There will always be “giants,” whether real or imagined, that will say and make you believe that you are too little; that you don’t have enough in you to be big.

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world,” (1 John 4:4).  The world doesn’t want you to make it.  And, he that operates in the world wants your faith to diminish to the point that you feel like you’re a little “grasshopper.”  It is time for you to stop listening to the world and turn a deaf ear to the “giants.”  If God brought you to the edge of the promise, then, He is most certainly able to bring you all the way into it.  The main factor that can hinder you is you!  It is what you believe about yourself!   It is what you believe God can do in and through you!

“Greater is He that is in you!”  Our belief in ourselves and what God can do through us rises when we realize who it is on our side and what He can do.  That’s the beautiful thing about this.  Life may outsize us but it will never outsize God!  God dwarfs to nobody!  He is greater than all.  So much so, that when He was telling Abraham about his promises, “He could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,” (Hebrews 6:13).

God is the greatest there is.  The buck stops with Him.  He can’t be outdone.  He can’t be belittled.  He is king and will be king forever.  And, He is “in you!”  That means you are big enough!  You are nobody’s grasshopper!  You can do it because of who you have on the inside of you!  Your job is to wholeheartedly believe, understand and know His bigness, so that you can believe, understand and know that today, “I am big enough!”

Photo Credit: Pixabay

“THERE WILL BE A TIME WHEN JOY CANNOT BE TAKEN AWAY!”

 

Jesus gave these words of encouragement to
His disciples before His death. He recognized
that what they would feel in the present
circumstance of His crucifixion would cause
great sorrow. But, when they see Him again,
that joy would be permanent and no one will be
able to strip them of it.

Present circumstances are sometimes sorrowful
but there is coming a day when we will
experience uninterrupted joy because we will
see Jesus face to face. Everything we are
going through now cannot compare to that time
of rejoicing “with joy unspeakable and full of
glory,” (1 Peter 1:8).

 

“Restored!”

When my computer shuts down unexpectedly while I’m online, when I sign back on, in the corner of my screen there appears a button that says “restore.”  This button is designed to take you back to the tabs and sites you were visiting or working on before the crash or shut down occurred.  It is there to bring you back to the place where you once were.

Have you ever experienced a shut down moment in life?  A time when is seems that the walls came crashing in and you lost sight of where you were?  Has there ever been a time when you just need a refreshing?  You needed to step back, evaluate everything presently before you, and start again?  I’m pretty sure we can all raise our hand to attest to being in similar situations at one time or another.  A time when you just felt depleted and needed to be restored.

Restoration is right up God’s alley.  Everything in the Bible points mankind to His holy desire to see people restored.  God cares about us.  Not only the spiritual us, but He cares about all of us.  Every tidbit in life, He is well aware of.  Many people only look to God in the big and dramatic areas of life, but God is concerned about your well-being in the whole of your life.

John once wrote, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth,” (3 John 2).  I believe that John wanted us to walk out the restored life in our daily living.  Not just claiming it for our salvation (which, needless to say, is very important), but to have it as an active mindset that goes before us and prospers us in every part of our daily living.

Slumps are all around us, but we are not called to be slump dwellers.  We have a choice how to handle the strains and afflictions we face in this life.  Peter gives us this advice:

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” (1 Peter 5:6-10)

In these few verses, Peter doesn’t hide the adversities one faces, but he highlights what to do with them.  First, he states to humble yourself before God and let Him exalt you (vs. 6).  When God is the one exalting you, you are restored!  Next, in verse 7, he tells his readers what to do with all those cares that are weighing you down, all those things that are making you feel like you are in a shut down mode.  He says to get rid of them.  And, we are not to dispose of them any kind of way.  We are to give these burdens to God because He is the One who truly cares for you.  Once again, if God is caring for you and helping you to deal with your burdens, you are in a restored position.

There are things that can try to hinder and rob you of the restored life.  Following the above two verses, we see some of the afflictions and dealing with the enemy that people face and how we are to be on guard against the advances of it and be steadfast in our faith through it all. We have a responsibility to protect our restored status while pushing forth in the faith.

And lastly, in verse 10, Peter lets us know that though there may be suffering at times, it will never compare to the glory that we inherit by our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is He that will see us through.  It is He that will make us perfect.  It is He that will “stablish, strengthen, settle you.”  It is through Him you can be restored!

In our everyday life, as well as in the time to come after we pass from here, in Christ, we live a restored life.  Once in a while we may feel that we have been knocked off our rocker, but remember who you are and whose you are.  In Him, we don’t have to stay in that “knocked off” state.  Follow Peter’s advice and give what you are dealing with to God and ask Him to hit the restore button in your life.

God wants you to be blessed in Him.  He wants you, more than anyone else, to live a successful Christian life.  Let Him in your world, your circumstances, and your situations and lean on Him for complete restoration and healing.  He will pick you up, polish you off, and make you like new again.