Overwhelm Me

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Isaiah 61:10 (NLT) I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels.

Life can be overwhelming. Circumstances, conditions and even change can overcome our mind, run rampant through our emotions, and stir up anxious thoughts and feelings. I would rather face an issue in my body then to deal with my mind. Sickness in our body, in my opinion, is much easier to overcome than weakness in our mind holding us captive in our mind, will or emotions. Physical ailments are one thing, but mental impairment is twice as debilitating. Our spirit, mind and body must work together in our pursuit of Christ and all that He promises, but it is our flesh that fights for its life. It is our will that refuses submission and clings to stubbornness. There will always be things that overwhelm us in this life. We choose who holds us captive. Will I live in bondage to negative thinking and limited vision or will I be captivated in the inconceivable yet always perceivable love of God? Lord, overwhelm me with Your Love today!

2 Corinthians 4:7-8(NLT) We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.

The pressures of life are inevitable. There will always be something attempting to weigh you down, block your path, pull you back or divert you altogether. The enemy is relentlessly and ruthlessly attempting to quench that tiny fire burning inside you. He wants to make sure that it does not become a bright and shining light representing God’s Love, Goodness and Faithfulness that will lead others from the dark and dying places in the world. He is after that seed of faith. If he can just pluck it out of you or maybe overcome the Word in you with the weeds of problems, troubles or trials – you will stop this foolishness called faith, hope and love.

The word “overwhelm” means to load, heap, treat or address with an overpowering or excess of anything. The word itself is not negative. How one responds to it determines the meaning? How do you respond to pressure in life? Do you press in? Do you give in? There will always be pressure. There will always be something that is trying to overwhelm you. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed! We have the freedom to choose that which overwhelms us today! Will it be the great load of temporary things that threaten us in this moment or will it be God’s Faithful and Abiding Love that is greater than death and the grave? Will it be the sufficiency of His Amazing Grace that empowers me when I am weak and flailing? There will always be a “master” in our life. Jesus gives us the right called freedom to choose who it will be. I choose the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! How about you?

Philippians 3:12-14 (NLT) I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Generally, it is not the problem that brings the pressure but our perception of the problem. Have you ever looked in the side mirror of the car? There are words written on it that warn us – “OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR.” We look back rather than looking ahead. Our focus should be on the future but the past is bearing down on us. It seems like the enemy is hot on our heels. Out of breath. Losing hope. Wondering if today is the day. Will I fall? Will I fail? Oh Lord, I am so overwhelmed! The Lord says to us today, “Look again!”

Psalm 23:4-6 (NLT) Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

What if that “thing” you think is after you is really the Lord? Is it Him who is the one pursuing you and positioning you for an outpouring of His Goodness and Unfailing Love? When I was in fifth grade, I had an unwanted suitor. He would taunt me at the bus stop at school every afternoon. Rocking back and forth poised on his bike. He would push me to run away threatening me with the most heinous and horrendous threat – a kiss. I didn’t want to kiss him. I didn’t want him to kiss me. He would chase me around in circles until a teacher came along or the bus arrived. One kiss – it was harmless but to an unsuspecting child an unwanted advance. Fast forward forty years to now, I will chase my husband around or let him catch me just to steal a quick kiss. It is all about perception. It is all about possibility. What if the seemingly impossible situation is just a divine set up for the Lord to catch us and keep us just a little closer? After all, His People are His Bride. His Heart longs to connect with us. His Spirit to remain intimately acquainted with our soul. Jesus is pursuing you and me with His Goodness and Unfailing Love.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NLT) We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. 

We are human. I wish for just a moment even the strongest Christian would be transparent enough to admit this is true. Everyone sins and falls short of God’s Glorious Standard every single day. The message of the Gospel is not good news that sin is completely extracted from us making us flawlessly perfection but that in our absolute and complete imperfection that His Grace is enough to cover me in His Love. We must use God’s Mightiest Weapons to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and destroy all the false arguments arising between humans. All humans. All people. God desires every single one who He created. Jesus died for them just like you and me. The Spirit of the Lord full of His Faithfulness, Goodness and Unfailing Love is after them equally. We must destroy every prideful obstacle IN US until our complete and total focus is on Jesus Christ. We must capture the religious and rebellious thoughts that give us some kind of superiority. The truth is that I fail in my attempts to be faithful every day, but God never fails at being faithful. In fact, He overwhelms me with His Love and Commitment to me even when I fall, fail or quit.

No matter how hard I try, I will mess something up today when it comes to my good fight of faith. (Romans 7) I will find myself off shadowboxing rather than doing what I know to do and resting in the Peace that God has offered me. Like a toy – wound too tightly – bumping into the wall with wheels still spinning but getting nowhere at all, I will get distracted and caught up in temporary troubles or momentary weakness. I am human. So are you? The true character of Christ is His Love. The identity of God is He is love. Love is the challenge that I am given. To accept His Love and then distribute it throughout the world. This is a far cry from religion, but a genuine invitation to a real relationship with the Living God. Obedience to Christ is not in one’s ability not to sin. It is in my ability to love the Lord and His People. It is that simple even though we make it so hard. It begins with allowing God to overwhelm the strongholds in our mind. Releasing us from every fear, doubt and insecurity and drowning us in His Love. This is what allows us to become real light in this world. The kind of light that attracts others to Jesus rather than driving them farther apart.

Romans 8:37-39 (NLT) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Despite all these things, every situation, problem, people, trial or circumstance, overwhelming victory belongs to me. I win. No matter what the weapon is I am victorious. I believe it. Do you? The Power of God is made available to me by His Grace. His Love provides all the grace that I need to endure this life. He has made us more than conquerors. If I find my place in Christ, I will never now the agony of defeat again. I will always have the opportunity for the impossible to be made possible in my life. It is all according to what I believe, and my ability to hold on to that hope.

There is absolutely nothing in heaven or on earth that can or will every separate me from the Love of God. Nothing. No sin. No shame. No regret. Nothing in my past. Nothing in the present. Nothing in the future. Even if I wander off or wonder more, God is still pursuing me with His Unfailing, Unconditional Love. So today if a care or concern begins to overwhelm you, overwhelm it instead. Tell it what the Word of God says about. Remind the enemy who your Daddy is. Take captive every single thought that is contradictory to God’s Word and hold it subject to His Promises. Praise, praise and praise some more. Protect that little light inside you until it burns passionately. Fan the flames until the whole world can see it burning again. The Spirit of the Living God lives in you and me, too. Every detail in our life works for our good and His Glory according to His Plan that is unfolding. We must only wait and watch because God will make it happen for those who believe. Let your mind be totally overcome and your heart fully apprehended by the Love of God today. Nothing can ever separate us from Him or snatch us from the folds of His Mighty Hand. His Love is overwhelming. Lord, wash over me today and overwhelm again with Your Amazing Love.

John 16:33 (NLT) I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Life in the Light

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Psalm 84:10-12 (NLT) A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you.

According to The American Heritage Science Dictionary, “our living language” is photosynthesis. Almost all life on earth depends on food made by organisms that can perform photosynthesis. These organisms make carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water using light energy from the sun. The energy is captured from different wavelengths of light once absorbed facilitate the process. As a plant reacts to the light, it will use the energy to break down water molecules into oxygen, hydrogen and electrons. This is called cellular respiration. Cellular respiration refers to the metabolic reactions that produce energy. All living creatures must have successful cellular respiration to live. Our blood operates on a similar system.

Although never much of a science fan, I managed retain the process called photosynthesis maybe to use in this reference. Thinking about this process, I wondered if people needed the light in similar fashion as plants, algae and bacteria, etc. Sure enough, science adds humans to the list as well. Plants produce the oxygen used in human respiration. Vitamin D from the sun is needed to absorb calcium for healthy bones. Light allows us to see as it reflects in our eyes. It allows us to differentiate color. Scientists now believe without life there would be no you. Not to mention if there were no sun, the earth would be very cold and uninhabitable. If we do not agree on another point, it is safe to say that everyone concurs that human beings need sunlight to survive.

Genesis 1:1-4 (NLT) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.  Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness.

The creation of light was the first recorded words of God, “Let there be light.” There was light. The first miracle recording if you will but nevertheless important even if was only God and His Spirit that witnessed it. God spoke and something happened. Light is important to all growth naturally and spiritually in life. God also thought it important to separate light and darkness. He called the light “good”. There is a clear line drawn in the Word of God between darkness and light. It bears noting. It is worth remembering. As we sow and reap in life, the light is important. It is necessary to grow things in our life. It is essential and the one thing that science and theology agree on. Not necessarily where light originate but that it is vital to growth and survival.

The Lord God is our sun. When a seed is planted into fertile soil and then nurtured, it dies to former state and begins to grow upward. What is it looking for? Light. Even potatoes that grow under the ground, produce leaves above the ground to absorb the sunlight and facilitate photosynthesis. What about seeds sown in the human heart? Do we need the Light to survive? Of course, we do. Light is representative of Jesus Christ. To sow naturally, sun produces a process of cellular respiration that repeats itself. It releases energy or growth potential in every cell of the organism using it to perpetuate life. In spiritual sowing, the Son is the Light vital to producing a new life and making us the new creations that He promised. As we die to self, the Light of His Love becomes our life source.

John 3:19-21 (NLT) And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”

Judgment, ultimately life or death, is determined by this one thing. God’s Light came into the world. His Name is Jesus Christ. People loved the darkness more than the Light. Those who do what is right come to the Light so others can see that they are doing what God wants. Well, there you have it. No splitting hairs or gray areas, just two distinctive choices. Do I live in the Light of God’s Love? Do I prefer darkness and sin? No one can achieve a sinless state. Grace is sufficient for the removal of sin and recreation of our life in Christ. There is no possible way to earn the Gift of Eternal Life. We must choose to live in the Presence of God and the Person of Jesus Christ.

Colossians 2:6-10 (NLT) And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

The seed planted in our heart is salvation. The saving knowledge of Jesus Christ that starts a process deep under the thick layers of our hard heart breaking new ground. The Holy Spirit waters the Word in our heart enabling it grow within in us. As the Word of God grows roots, it seeks the Light more and more. Faith is convinced that the Light that cannot be seen is worth having so it pushes through the touch spots, dry seasons, and hopeless situations to find more of His Light. The Light is the Presence of God. In order to grow deep roots in Jesus Christ, it must be our full motivation in life.

A plant in a pot is limited to the size of its container. The roots cannot grow beyond the barrier of the pot. It is subject to those who move it around. Others must water it, or give it access to sunlight. If forgotten in the cold, it becomes subject to the natural elements. However, a plant in the ground can grow according to its conditions. The roots are deeper and more secure. It can change according to the seasons. The rain will water it. The sun shines on it. It will grow under the right conditions far larger and stronger than the plant limited to a pot.

You are a new creation. When you decided to love the Light more than darkness, you planted yourself in Jesus Christ. This is not salvation. Salvation is the seed of change. It must be planted in the person of Jesus Christ to have unlimited potential including a future and hope. This is the decision to call Jesus our Lord. No longer calling on Him to come to us, our life is committed to allowing our roots to grow down in Him. To let our lives be built on Him. Our faith will grow as the Truth rises up within us. Christ is the fullness of God available to us when we are committed to life in His Presence. This is not a religious practice, but to pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Psalm 37:5-7 (NLT) Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

I am completed by my union with Jesus Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. My union with Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, is essential to spiritual productivity in my life. I must believe that He is the head over every ruler, authority and power. Faith releases trust just as photosynthesis releases oxygen. A plant takes carbon dioxide, the waste of human respiration, using it to produce oxygen which is vital to the survival of all living things. Every cell of a plant must be committed to this process for it to survive. Every cell of the human body must participate in respiration to live. However, our body is still born dying. It is spiritual resuscitation that produces future and hope that delivers us from the natural to become supernatural. It requires commitment to be still in the Presence of the Lord rather than running back and forth into and out of the darkness. We must wait patiently while God through Jesus Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit grows spiritual fruit within us. If a farmer continually plants seeds, digs them up and replants them somewhere else because they failed to grow overnight, he will never have a harvest. To reap requires waiting, watching and believing. Are you willing to wait? It is a must in all growth processes even with God.

John 1:1-5 (NLT) In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

Still not convinced? Many believe that the sufficiency of grace allows them to conduct business as usual, but are quickly discouraged when their life does not yield the fruit and favor of God’s Word. You reap what you sow. Sowing God’s Word in our heart without seeking to live in His Presence is to commit robbery. It defies the very law of sowing and reaping. You are planting seeds of faith without a desire or taste for spiritual fruit. We can thank the prosperity gospel and its false teachers for this problem in the church.

Let’s go back to the beginning, in Genesis God, His Spirit and His Word existed. In John 1, they are clearly defined. The Word existed in Genesis 1. The Word was with God, part of God, and in God. God created everything through His Word. The Word gave life to everything. “His” life brought light to everyone. “His” now the word is personified and no longer just a noun. It has taken on a form. The Light shines in the darkness.

John 1:10-14 (NLT) He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

The Word is Jesus Christ. His Presence is all that is needed to become complete lacking no good thing in our life. He was from the beginning. He is the One through which everything and will be in the End. Our life begins and ends in Christ alone. If we do not understand the importance of light in our life and choose to live in it, we choose darkness. Church participation is not required but it enhances our knowledge and allows us to share the Light of His Love with others. Grace is sufficient. Like photosynthesis, every dead thing in our life submitted to Christ and nailed to the Cross will be exchanged for something better even our good. Every detail is subject to change in the Presence of God basking in the Light of His Love. We are free to choose our dwelling place. The Presence of God requires faith, trust, commitment and new mercy every day. Those who choose such a life and devote themselves to living in His Presence will experience God’s Glory.

Ephesians 5:8-14 (NLT) For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.  It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

Galatians 6:7 tells us,Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.” This is not meant to be a threat but it is a biblical Truth to be considered. Every day our life is filled with seeds that are planted for the next day, next year, or coming season. We must carefully consider the seeds sown in our life each day. The Light of His Love in us will cause all seeds to grow because it was ordained by God. The Word never ever contradicts itself. Choices are seeds planted today that yield consequences tomorrow. The end of consequence is to plant and harvest better choices. God will make good every detail of our life but will never interrupt the process of sowing and reaping in our life. It is important to plant the Word in our heart each day, to ask for His Spirit to show us any way that is offensive to God or contradictory to His Plan and act accordingly. Presence is only available by faith through the Grace of Jesus Christ. If I am not “in” Christ, I cannot make my way into the Presence of God. I need the Light of His Love and I desire His Glory to fill my life therefore I must leave darkness behind and do my very best to avoid sin out of love and respect for my Lord, Jesus Christ.

Jesus went to the Cross bearing the weight of our sin and shame. He took the stripes required for our healing. He has all power and authority over death and the grace. The Light of His Love shines for all who choose to enter. It is only in His Presence that change is possible. We choose each day what and where we plant the seeds of potential for our life. If faith is our choice it will always require planting without seeing the product but believing and trusting it will come. This is the hope that anchors our soul like giant roots holding us in the Presence of God until His Power reaches us. No plant can live without sunlight. No person can live without the Light of His Love.

Revelation 22:1-5 (NLT) Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.

Merry and Bright

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Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT) “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

The holiday crush is on. Busyness and rushing around is inevitable. Planning and preparation in full swing. My daughter and I went to a store yesterday to pick out some new Christmas decorations. The place was a wreck. Deep discounts created a feeding frenzy with garland, ornaments and ribbon everywhere – kind of made me think of Santa’s Workshop on December 26th. You could not navigate the buggy through the place. Shameful. One more stop on the way home to another home store was much nicer. This store was dimly lit. The aroma of cinnamon and apples wafting through the air. No hurry just people strolling and browsing. When the clerk asked one group of ladies if she could assist them, they replied, “We just stopped because it was so pretty and inviting when we drove by and saw the warm lights.” Hmmm. Made me think…

People put a great deal of effort and money into Christmas. Creating the perfect holiday is really what they are after with memories to match. The stress and pressure of perfection robs of us the joy of Christmas so often. The need to perform and produce mounds of gifts causes great anxiety. Schedules overfilled and routine completely shattered, it is easy to become overwhelmed. In all our busyness, even as Christians who insist on “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays”, I wonder if in all the form and fashion – our light goes out. The Christmas pageant and production with all its extravagance means nothing if it does not project the Light of God’s Love to all those who come searching sitting in the crowd. We need the Light. We are carriers of His Light. We must learn to make this Christmas merry and bright or miss it altogether.

2 Corinthians 4:3-6 (NLT) If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

Jesus tells me, in Matthew 5, that I am the Light of the world. See it. “You are the Light of the world.” Got it. Or do I truly understand the origin or importance of the Light that God has given me along with His Grace. I must know the Light to appreciate what I have and effectively express it to other people The Gospel is no good without the light. It becomes do as I say not as I do which we all know never works on people. Just saying.

We are first introduced to light in Genesis 1 the first few moments of existence that we are privy to thanks to God’s Word. The earth was formless and empty. It was covered in darkness over deep waters. The Spirit of God (Jesus) hovered over the water. The God said, “Let there be light.” There was light and the light was good. Jesus illuminated the world at God’s Command. God was pleased.

Moving into the New Testament, God has sent His Son to redeem His People. At the baptism of Jesus, the skies opened and the Holy Spirit descended like a dove so people could see that this indeed was God’s Son… the Messiah. (Matthew 3) Anyone who spent any time in church can usually recite John 3:16, “For God so loved the world: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” Woo Hoo! We are saved. We win. My life will be perfect because my Savior has come…but wait there is more. Jesus did not come to judge us but that we may be saved through Him. Okay, I get that commence celebration again. No wait…keep reading there is more.

John 3:18-21 (NLT) “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.

Jesus is the reason for the season. I am sure every believer concurs with this familiar sentiment. However, there is a house in our neighborhood with a sign in their yard with this slogan on it. Nothing more. Nothing less. There is no Christmas tree by the window. Not a string of lights on a limb. The porch light of the house is off and all the blinds closed. No light just a yard sign stuck in the ground. Now I do not know the situation or the traditions of the family who live there and I am certainly not challenging anyone’s convictions, but here is what I am saying: We are the Light of the world. Have we our lights go out? God’s Light came into the world. His Name is Jesus. He did not come to judge or to condemn but make a Way to the Father. He did that and then put the Light that lives in Him in us to light the way for others. The merry message of this season is not “turn or burn” but come and see what the Lord has done for me.

Can we keep it simple? My mission in this life is to be light. Jesus illuminated unconditional love and never ending grace for those who flock to the Light. Is my light even shining? Is it the Light of His Love? Our “good deeds” should relay the Truth of God’s Love who was present in the beginning and filled this world with light. The One who came down as a baby born in a manager to bring hope to the hopeless and ignite the Light of God’s Love in our hearts. Jesus was quite frank when He said, “I am the Light of the world.” (John 8:12) He told us that we are the light of the world as His Followers. When Jesus was transformed during his transfiguration, He was covered in bright light. Our flesh covers a light that attracts others to God’s Love. Can we take a moment to get us out of the way so the Light makes its way to the darkness?

There is no question that a momentary experience with Christ can change everything. Just ask Paul who as Saul encountered a bright light from Heaven. When he asked who was speaking, the voice said, “Jesus.” Do not every downplay the power of the Light that lives in you but strive to let it emanate from your life. Perfect Christmas’s should be merry and bright. The Light of His Love is the brightest light of all.

2 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT) We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

Our family missed out on adopting a family for Christmas this year. When the opportunity to take some children who had not received anything came about – I was ecstatic that God allowed us to participate. I love to give. It is my favorite part of Christmas though this has not always been my favorite time of year. I struggled with Christmas for many years for many reasons. Not the meaning of Christmas, of course not. Some may be able to relate, as a child it was a power struggle between parents. A stressful time of having Christmas and dinner at one house and then at noon doing it all again which to a child of divorce only exemplifies the painful stress of loving two parents who don’t love each other. So when my own children were born, I became militant about staying at home for Christmas. I became overwrought with doing all the “things” and making all the “traditions” to make it like a Christmas card. I hated decorating our house, putting up the tree, planning the menus, organizing events and all the parts of making it a successful holiday season. The only part I truly enjoyed was giving. Can you relate?

For some Christmas only makes the loneliness and depression they live in more prominent. Others become anxious in their inability to meet the expectations of others. I could go on and on. Yet a whole lot of people pretend it is the most wonderful time of the year when deep down inside they are only enduring its passage.

The light given to us is placed in fragile clay jars. God knows what we are made of for He is after all our Creator. He put the Light of His Love into broken vessels so it could make its way into a waiting and watching world. The same place that is filled with darkness and death. You are the Light of His Love. I am the Light of His Love. We are the Light of the World. What if for a moment our mission became uniting as one light and making this season merry and bright together. Admitting that our flaws and weaknesses are real but sharing the Message of Love and Grace that has been given.

John 12:35-36 (NLT) Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.”

Do you trust in the Light of His Love today? Do you trust it enough to let Him change your holiday tradition into a Christmas Experience? Tear up the list. Stop fussing over the tree. It doesn’t matter if there is one light or a whole strand out on the house. He says, “Come to me all who weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest.” Jesus wants to ignite a spark in your heart today so that we can have a merry and bright Christmas. It doesn’t matter if the Christmas play is not perfect. Truthfully it is all the mistakes and miscues that keep it real. What would happen if rather than trying to make Christmas perfect, we focused on the One who perfected it? Jesus is the reason for this season. He is the only one who really matters. What difference does it make if we create the perfect Christmas but do not experience the Living Light that is within us trying to make His Way out of us so others will come to know our Savior, too?

Like our neighbor with the simple statement posted in their yard, what good is the Truth without the Light that comes with it. I can tell people that God loves them. I can even tell them all the ways that He has blessed me. But until I become like the Light and immerse my words in the Light of love and good deeds, the words continue to fall on cold, untrusting hearts. The Light of His Love is the warmth that melts hard hearts and attracts weary souls. We must walk in the Light even when it makes us a little uncomfortable. Through us, Jesus will make this season merry and bright for those who we choose to share the Light of His Love with and in the process will change our hearts and minds, too. Lord, make my light shine before others so they will experience the Light of Your Love today, too.

John 8:12 (NLT) Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

Always Light

always-light

John 8:12 (NLT) Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

We all need a little sunshine in our life. No really, according to scientific and medical studies the human body needs the sun. It is vital to the production of vitamin D in the body. However, over the last several years with the sudden awareness of skin cancer the question is raised do we need the light or not? We do. In fact, the proper production of vitamin D is a cancer-fighter. It prevents the overproduction of cells that form certain slow-growing tumors. It is essential in the development of strong bones. A whopping 90% of our vitamin D comes from light in this world.

Light is also necessary to promote good mental health as well. Light is the very thing that keeps us in sync with the earth around us. Our biologic clock thrives on it. This is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hormone control center of the brain in the hypothalamus. When light enters our eye, it activates the control center and reduces the melatonin produced so we wake up. It also releases a variety of body functions including other hormones as well as affecting body temperature. God created us to live in sync with the light. It also impacts our emotional well-being as in the long, dark winter when depression and melancholy is notably higher. How do we keep the proper amount of light in our life?

Jesus said if you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness because you will have the light that leads to life. Funny, how God does things sometimes isn’t it? We need sunlight to live a healthy life body, mind and spirit. We need Jesus, the Light of the world, to thrive in our body, mind and spirit. The Word of God once again reminding us that all of creation points to God and His Son. There is always light. We do not always seek to walk in it. This is true naturally and spiritually.

John 1:6-12 (NLT)  God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

The Light of God’s Love is for everyone. God shines His Light on all mankind. He sends rain to the just and unjust. The message of the Gospel is for everyone but not everyone will choose it for themselves. Jesus is the One who is true light. This world is full of artificial light fueled by false prophets, false teachers, and full of religious doctrine. Light is not a complex endeavor. The sun rises each day. We have the opportunity to pursue it or hide from it. He gives us new mercy each day to do away with the darkness and step into the Light of His Love completely. Will we do it? Well not that is up to you? To believe and accept the Light of God’s Love, His Son Jesus, gives us the right to become the Children of God.

 

John 3:18-21 (NLT) “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”

 

May I be so bold as to simplify the Gospel for you today? God sent His One and Only Son, Jesus to save a dying people. He sent Him clothed in Light. The people had one task in this endeavor. Will I choose the Light? Or remain in the dark? Why oh why do we make our choice in God so complex? God offers us light or darkness. Blessing or cursing. Life or death. It is not about anything or anyone else in this world. Family, friends, coworkers or brothers and sisters in God do not matter. It is the moment when you awaken and the sun (Son) is shining on your face. It is that second that you decide to live to know Him today. To trust Him for the next 24 hours. To soak Jesus in body, mind and spirit. To avoid sin so that no darkness may come close to that Light. Do you love the Light of God today that shines in your every moment? If I do not experience the Light of His Love in every single second of my existence, it is not because Jesus is not shining on me but rather those times that I chose the darkness instead. This is the only time that judgment comes close to me.

So often church becomes a circus filled with smoke and mirrors, elaborate productions, and trick pony shows. God doesn’t want all that. Jesus is the Light of the world. Just as the sun would be sorely missed, do we miss Him from our homes and churches? Have I become comfortable in the dark and stopped pursuing the Light? I was sitting in a youth service a few months back. The sanctuary lights were very low. It is how the young people seem to like them. A mighty saint of God leaned over and said, “Why are the lights off?” I didn’t think much about it. But now I wonder…has the church begun to let the darkness into our sanctuaries again? Do we lower the lights because others are comfortable in the dark? Have we stopped sharing the message of One True Light because it might expose the darkness hidden within? Why not live openly in the Light again? Lord, show us the places that I have drifted into darkness? Shine the Light of Your Love on my life, in my home, at my job and in my church chasing away any and all darkness that may be hidden there. I want the Light of Your Love always and forever to shine in my life, on me, for me, and through me until it shines forth from me as you intended.

John 12:35-36 (NLT) Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.”

Whatever time of day it is for you right now is the perfect time to reconnect with the Light of this world? To look into the corners and crevices of the heart and mind to remove any darkness that may be hidden there. Here’s a hint: light always overcomes darkness. Don’t believe me. Walk into a dark room and turn on the light. See darkness flees from the light. Get in that prayer closet and invite the Lord to permeate your life with His Light again. Open the door to your heart and window of your mind to let His Light shine inside of you. It will change your perspective completely. Guilt, shame, and remorse cannot live in the Light of His Love. Fear, doubt, insecurities and depression are washed away when bathed in His Light.

When we learn to trust God’s Love enough to walk in it every single day, our natural life will be changed for the better. Our spiritual life will begin to grow. We will one day live in His Light forever. We do not have forever. This world will one day pass away and the sun will go with it. Only Jesus the Light of the World will shine forever. Our message to the world must shine from us rather than becoming simply lip service…“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.” (Matthew 5:14-15) This little light of mine…I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine.

Revelation 21:22-24 (NLT)  I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory.

Ready to Move

Ready to Move

John 15:9-11 (NKJV)

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My Love. If you keep My Commandments, you will abide in My Love, just as I have kept My Father’s Commandments and abide in His Love. These things I have spoken to you, that My Joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

 

We are moving. The house is not for sale yet. A new location not secured. I know in my heart that the Lord is moving our family to a new place, new season, and new thing. I trust the Lord. Even though nothing is certain yet, I can feel the stirring of change in my heart and the need for fulfillment. It has happened before. When it was time to leave my career with the school system, before another offer had been presented or a new position found, I began cleaning out my office. In my heart, I felt the tiny hooks of responsibility give way to sweet release. God prepares us to move. He knows our hearts. The Lord understands our need for comfort and security. Yet, to live in the Presence of God will always require trust. Faith is what we know about the Lord and not what we see. Hope is fostered and matured by faith but if you can visualize it naturally – there is no need to hope for it. Hope is the confidence and full assurance that God’s Word is true and active in our life. It motivates us to respond to His Word rather than the events around us.

 

If you were to take a long hard look at our circumstances, life is pretty good. We both have short commutes to work. Our house is exactly what we dreamed of and prayed for. It has grown larger with each bird that has flown from the nest. It is comfortable. It is ours. We know how to live here. We know the schedule and routine. Waste collection on Monday. Yard trash every other Thursday. Mailman just after lunch and Fed Ex all the time. We have lived here more than ten years. Why move? The Lord has laid it on our heart. He is preparing and pressing us for change. Our commutes will double. Everything will be new. It will require change. Showing our house which means keeping it ready at all times on high alert. Not a challenge? I have two teenage daughters make a bedroom and bathroom look like the aftermath of Armageddon shortly after awakening each day. Not to mention, two little dogs who believe that run things and will yap incessantly at the slightest sound or movement. Yet, in all of this a soft, gentle whisper says, “It’s time to go!”

 

Abide. Yes, this is the word for the day. I am a lover of His Presence. The Peace and Joy that prevail in our home is born of His Spirit. I give God all the glory and honor for this family and its means of survival. We have done more than that here. Learning to thrive. It is time to go with God. Move with His Calling. Following His Lead. Stepping out of comfort to “where His Name abides”. Hold right here. To abide means remain, continue and stay. To dwell. To continue in a particular condition, attitude and relationship. To wait. To accept without opposition or question. To submit to. To comply. Abiding in the Lord is obedience. It is to offer our lives to Jesus even when we must move with the Lord and go where He goes.

 

John 14:1-3 (NKJV)

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Jesus went to prepare a place of us. The place prepared is called righteousness. It is the foundation of faith that allows us to believe AND receive the Lord’s Promises. Grace is not a provisionary endorsement that adds to our love covenant with God but the attachment. We can abide in God’s Love because Jesus handed us the keys to the kingdom. In doing so, when we walk by faith and not by sight using those keys of spiritual power and authority, it is possible to open the impossible making it a reality in our life today. I have seen the impossible happen. I know that miracles still happen. I believe more in what I cannot see than anything I can see. This perspective is only possible when we abide in His Love. Live in it. Dwell there. But right standing with God has a requirement – the absence of sin, obedience and submission of our life to His Kingdom. Grace didn’t change that. It just made it a beneficial and prosperous position again.

 

When I began to study the Word of God today – I searched for passages with the word “abide” in them. I came across four passages in Deuteronomy with the words “where His Name abides”. It caught my attention. I find that in our relationship with the Lord from the beginning it is evident that there is only one way. We can try to change it or map out a new direction for holiness but there is already a Highway to Holiness. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father (God) except by the Son (Jesus). It is plain. We make it complicated and gray. Before Jesus died on the Cross for our sins, the Holy Spirit could not inhabit us. Sin would not allow it. It was in the perfect sacrifice of Jesus and the application of His Grace that now we have His Spirit. I am getting ahead of myself.

 

Back to the Old Testament, two things are mentioned to gain entrance to the place where “His Name abides”. Deuteronomy 12:10-11; 14:22-25; 16:5-8; and 26:1-3 – all discuss what to bring to the place where His Name abides. It all about offerings and obedience. If tithing and offerings offend you – please do not read these passages. The new-age, modern-day, spoon-fed religion requires nothing of us to rob the coffers and pillage the vaults of Heaven. We can plunder His Kingdom with no regard for His Beauty, Sovereignty or Righteousness. Wiping our feet on the white robes of righteousness to gain entrance in, stepping over the Blood not to offend, and avoiding the Cross as it is barbaric at best, there is a lie being mass produced that there is no requirement in taking up our Cross to follow Jesus. In fact, don’t worry about the Cross just come as you are, stay where you are, and do as you like. Well…it’s simply not true. God is not concerned with your money or your mess. The Lord desires our heart. He wants to prosper our soul. He has prepared a place for us where His Name abides. To enter this place will always require the Bloody Cross and repentance of sin. It will mean turning our life over to the Lord and trusting Him. We have been given the opportunity to live in the Presence of God and all things are possible in this place. Will we move our life to achieve it? You cannot move the lines of righteousness, change the rules of holiness and avoid obedience to prosper in the Lord. You must move your life into His Presence.

 

John 8:34-36 (NKJV)

 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

 

John 14:15-17 (NKJV)

 If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

 

It is time to move. I know it in my heart even though at times, I am still trying to wrap my head around it. The Holy Spirit is pressing and prodding me to step out in faith and live in the freedom offered in full obedience. That’s right, my obedience to God increases my boundaries and enlarges my borders as I step fully into the Light of His Love by faith in Him alone. I am not a slave in the House of God but a child of the Living God. Sin binds and restricts my life apart from Him. Each act of right standing and obedience to My Father yields dramatic, life-changing results. The Holy Spirit helps me find God’s Way and accompanies me when I move into it.

 

My husband asked me last night if I am sure. It will take me almost an hour to get to work. I am time-challenged as it is. No comments necessary, please. At first, I groaned on the inside because I am willing to admit promptness is a weakness. Our grown daughter who is married and living in another state does not embrace the notion of change. She calls this “her house” even though she has made another home. I understand that and it pulls at my mama heartstrings to take that from her. But our home is not this building, it is the place in us that Jesus lives and has changed so that together we have a home. Home is where the heart is. We plan on taking that with us and just leaving the shell that once housed our home behind. Jesus is in each one of us. He is what binds this family together with all our faults and imperfections into something cherished and beautiful. We must go where He leads to maintain this lifestyle in which we thrive.

 

John 12:45-47 (NKJV)

And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.  And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

 

The Love of Jesus is a beacon. The Light of His Love draws us closer. Those who desire to live in the Light will leave darkness behind. But please understand that forced love is not love at all. Jesus invites us to abide, dwell and live in His Presence. He will never make us. He did not come to judge or condemn us so He doesn’t punish those who choose not to obey or offer their life to His Holy Inhabitation. He just continues to pursue them with His Grace, Mercy and Love. Consequences are produced by sin and cannot be changed or dismissed without repayment. His Grace is sufficient in our surrendered weakness. Otherwise, we are rejecting a new life with new outcomes in His Goodness, not because He is withholding, but simply because we chose something else.

 

With this in mind, what is the Lord telling you to do today? Are you avoiding it? Or fully embracing it by faith? Faith will always include the unseen, illogical and totally impossible. Hope is formed on these things. Trust is required to go deeper with God. To live fully and completely in His Presence demands obedience, needs offerings and requires obedience. Not out of obligation but respect. God will not lower His Standards for you. He only wants you to have His Very Best. The “fear” or to “respect” the Lord giving Him proper placement leads to life and full satisfaction. (Proverbs 19:23) It will always give us fulfillment. It will be a challenge. It will always be worth it.

 

Psalm 91:1-2 (NKJV)

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

 

I love Psalm 91. I also love Psalm 15. They both are all about living and abiding in the Presence of God. To know the depths of His Love and reside there changes our life. We are on the move to the place where His Name abides. When we prayed about getting a new car, yes, we prayed about getting a new car. I knew that when it was time that I would know immediately. The Holy Spirit would confirm it and we would know. Sure enough after months of searching, wandering car lots, doing research, an ad popped up for a shiny, new-to-me, Honda Pilot. When I saw it, I knew immediately that it was my car. There was not a doubt in my mind. We went to the dealership who told us another person had already begun the process of purchasing the car, but that we could essentially buy it out from under them. I knew God was giving me this car and I didn’t have to do anything underhanded or manipulative to have it. The next morning they called to let us know the time on the offer had expired and after multiple attempts to contact them it was clear the other party was no longer interested. The night before we had cleaned and prepared our old vehicle to trade in – by faith. The next day on the way to the dealership, the Suburban who had been so faithful and reliable became demon possessed and we almost didn’t make it there. I prayed all the way.

 

I share this to say that the Lord will give us His Word and show us what to do. We step out on faith to do it. It seems in that moment that natural circumstances start to rise up and all hell breaks loose around us. Of course, it does. The enemy does not want us to abide in God’s Love, experience His Goodness, or dwell in His Presence. This is where our heart becomes secure in Who He is not what He does. To experience the Power of His Presence and fulfillment of abiding in Christ, will change us forever. We will begin to take steps of faith that don’t make any sense but our need to move closer to our Lord makes it a lifetime pursuit. We cannot live apart from our Lord and Savior anymore. Obedience becomes faithfulness. Offerings become surrender. The “things” we once thought were so important become vessels to serve Him more. All those things we strive for, all those things we want to do, all those places we desire to go is all culminated in our need for fulfillment, longing for peace and desire for joy. These are found in His Presence. We can have all these “things” added to us when we desire His Kingdom, His Presence more than any “thing” else. (Matthew 6:33) We are moving. Not to a place, but rather deeper and closer to our Lord. It is obedience that takes us there. The offering of our life secures our place.

 

What has the Lord laid on your heart today? Where are you going? Are you ready to move?

 

Psalm 61:1-4 (NKJV)

Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your Tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your Wings.

King Jesus

King Jesus

Colossians 1:15-17 (NIV)

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 

King Jesus. We call Him Lord Jesus, but not King Jesus. Listening to a worship song called “Spirit Break Out” it says, “King Jesus You’re the Name we’re lifting high, Your Glory shaking up the earth and skies, revival we want to see Your Kingdom here, we want to see Your Kingdom here.” My mind grabbed hold of “King Jesus”. I mulled over it. I whispered it. It began to move from my thoughts to careful meditation as I continued to contemplate Jesus as our King. I have envisioned Him as a baby in a manger so fragile and small with the world set against Him from the start. I picture Him walking through the earth teaching, healing and delivering those who came in contact with our Lord. All the while, He was interrogated, plotted against and destined to die. How could anyone ever hurt such an innocent, well-doing man? Of course, there is the torture and abuse of the Cross as my Savior laid down His Life for me. All the blood from the beatings and the heavy burden of sin on His Shoulders yet when just one more came to Him hanging next to Jesus, He invited Him home. All the images are vivid and clear, but what about the one that labels Him King of kings. What if believers added this image to the many of their Savior and Lord calling Him, King Jesus? What would happen?

Jesus is the image of God. He is the firstborn of all creation makes Him the One who inherits. All things have been created “through” Him giving Him power over them. All things were created for Him which means that we belong to Him. He is before all things. He holds everything together. King Jesus presides over every throne, power, ruler or authority.” Stop and think about that for a minute. When we accept Jesus as our Savior and decide to make Him our Lord, we submit our life to King Jesus. This is not a powerless, helpless position but rather taking our human imperfection and weakness, surrendering it to Christ and in exchange, we have all of His Power and Authority. Still don’t get it…you will.

Revelation 17:13-14 (NIV)

They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.

The end gives us the picture of Jesus as King of kings. The enemy has one purpose to steal, kill and destroy God’s Kingdom. Every soul that he can overtake and cause to fall is his victory bringing him overwhelming joy. He relentlessly pursue those who will be the “called, chosen and faithful followers” roaring and seeking who he can cause to waver, give up and quit. Note: The Word of God says they “will give their power and authority to the beast.” Who will? Every single living, breathing human being that can be persuaded to. To good news is that the Lamb wins. He is triumphant in all things and will overpower the enemy and with Him will be “his called, chosen and faithful followers.” Those who do not give the power and authority of their life over to the enemy but delivers it into the Hands of King Jesus and leaves it there. We must live in allegiance to our King. (Romans 6:16-18)

We are living in the end times. I not suggested it to be so, I am telling you so. As the news lines up with prophecy and the Book of Revelation, one must choose a side and pick their battle. This is not a “turn-or-burn” message but a simple and straightforward statement. You have to pick a side. You are with King Jesus or you are not. There is not gray area. The lines of mediocrity drawn by modern ministry and radical religion are the pit where many will fall into a clever trap set by an enemy. You love the Light or live in darkness. (John 3:19-21) The verdict is in. You love Jesus or you don’t. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. Philippians 2:9-11 makes it plain. “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Jesus is our King. He has power and authority over all of creation so at some point, everyone will kneel before Him and confess that He is Lord. We decide beforehand if we are with Him or against Him.

I Corinthians 15:23-28 (NIV)

But each in turn: Christ, the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.  For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

 

I believe that Jesus is King of kings. I believe that the earth shakes and rumbles at the close proximity of our Lord. The last great push and revival are coming to make way for His Return. Many people I know are feeling a sense of urgency to step into the power and authority of Jesus Christ. We don’t live in it anymore but we can. Looking at the life of Jesus offers a clear potential of the power in us. Jesus did not struggle with “rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.” (Ephesians 6:12) Not at all, when Jesus told a demon to come out of its victim, it came out. (Luke 4:35-36) Everyone who came into the Presence of Jesus Christ was healed, cured, and delivered of every infirmity and weakness. (Luke 6:17-19) We have been given the same power. (Luke 10:18-20) Where is that power being manifested in the Body of Christ today? Why is the church powerless over sin, darkness, demons, and disease? Perhaps, they have not fully accepted or perceived the picture of King Jesus! What is Jesus waiting for? Why doesn’t He just come back and take care of it?

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) The Lord is waiting on us. He is giving us time to pick a side and live there. He is sending His Grace, Mercy and Love in abundance so that His called and chosen will become faithful followers. What must I do to be that kind of follower? How can I experience God’s Power and Authority released in my everyday life? Jesus must become our King.

2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (NIV)

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

We are fragile beings so whatever we have inside us and what we believe has a tendency to A out no matter how we try to hide it. There is purpose in us to live for the Glory of God. To shine as a beacon in the darkness of this world. It was never intended to be a weak and defenseless position. However, our abhorrence of the words “surrender” and “submission”. Jesus modeled these two things when as King of kings and Lord of lords, He knelt and washed the feet of His Disciples. (John 13:3-8) We are forsaking defeat, disappointment, disease and discouragement to become more than conquerors. (Romans 8:37) This is what we give up, surrender, and submit to Jesus. Under the Grace of God, we have power and overcome every obstacle in life. The authority that makes demons flee and darkness hide. However, a lack of submission and surrender to Christ obstructs the Power of God in us to make its way into the world around us. If only we could grab hold of the image of King Jesus. His Power and Authority provides a solution to every problem we have. Every barrier breaks at His Word. Strongholds tremble and fall beneath the Hand of God coming in defense of His Children. We are Children of the King. He will not let any weapon formed against us prosper. To have such power manifested on our behalf to the Glory of God requires leaving the darkness behind and surrendering our life at the Feet of Jesus.

Acts 4:32-35 (NIV)

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

The early church of believers understood who Jesus was and exercised His Power and Authority as God’s Grace was so powerfully at work in them. God’s Power and Authority is not to make our life easier. In fact, makes us a prime target of the enemy. However, the more of our life given to King Jesus the greater the overflow of His Power in our life. It means that no matter how impossible our situation or circumstances become that our faith in King Jesus and His Power and Authority make all things possible because we believe. To live what we believe means that we give our all for the Kingdom of God in service to our soon and coming King no matter how much or little we have. Giving our hearts for His Glory to become one in faith and purpose that the Kingdom will grow. There are so many in the valley of indecision. They do not know Who Jesus is or the power available in His Service. Do you?

Ephesians 3:16-21 (NIV)

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

My prayer for you today is that you will get just a glimpse of King Jesus. His Power and Authority is available to all who venture into His Presence. It is a lifestyle for those who choose to remain there. So many promises wrapped in His Unfailing Love and Great Grace entrusted to weak human beings is more than I can bare. God loves us so much that He gave His Son so that His Power could live in us and permeate through us to a dark and dying world. I want to be one of those called, chosen and faithful followers on the day that Lamb overcomes the enemy completely and finally. To do so, I must believe now that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords. Bigger and stronger than any force coming against my life. I must place Him on the throne of my heart and fight my flesh to keep Him there. Then and only then will the last great revival come and the Power of God pour out over the Body of Christ again. The last great harvest begins with you and me deciding to live submitted and surrendered to King Jesus.

Jude 1:20-25 (NIV)

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

 

Burning Inside

Burning Inside

Matthew 5:13-16 (NLT)

 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

I know better. I knew better when I did it from the first bite to the last. Actually I was in a moral dilemma before I went to the store and bought them that this may not be such a good idea. I already had been eating foods that did not agree with me throughout the day, but now to pile some chicken wings on top. I ate a salad with them hoping it would count even enjoying a piece of Hawaiian bread that I am quite certain is baked in Heaven thinking it would absorb some of the grease. Yeah, I knew better. I could feel my stomach begin to churn before I even left the table. Heading straight for the Tums, I ate three. Surely that would take care of it as I cleaned the kitchen. No, not so fast. I ate three more. I lost count after that as the churning to burning. My stomach was so hot I could feel it through my shirt (or at least I thought I could). I drank copious amounts of water hoping to put out the inferno raging inside my gut. The whole time thinking you knew better. Why do something so dumb? My sweet husband realizing my pain and listening to my groaning offered to go grab another antacid, but first I decided to get a medical opinion. I “googled” burning pain in stomach to see what the “experts” had to say. I found the answer.

Heading to the kitchen, rummaging through the cabinet, I found some baking soda. According to the Internet, a half of a teaspoon mixed in 4 ounces of water should stop the burning inside. Made sense since I learned in Home Economics in seventh grade to use it to put out a grease fire in the kitchen. Quickly mixing it in a small glass, I downed it like a cowboy taking a shot before a gunfight and waited. Glory Hallelujah! It worked! As the pain began to subside, I noticed a strong salty taste in my mouth. As my belly bubbled and popped, I read the ingredients on the box – “sodium bicarbonate”. Drained from the whole ordeal, firefighting is no joke. I went to bed. When I woke up, the same salty taste was in my mouth. So then I had to take it to Jesus, and find out what was up.

We are the salt of the earth. This does not mean that we are perfect but in the process of becoming so. This means that even when we know how to act or what to say that sometimes we do what we want to do anyway knowing it is not the best thing for us. Those who choose to be the salt of the earth or light on a hill must do something to right the wrong in their way or suffer the consequences. Not God’s Consequences, He is also ready to give us His Grace providing New Mercy each day for His Wandering Children. Consequences are the natural outcomes in life. I know that I am sensitive to grease laden, deep fried food. A few years back, I completely changed what I ate in order to stop taking antacids on an ongoing basis. Many nights sitting up to sleep because it felt like I was having a heart attack cured my need to overindulge in foods that clearly no longer agree with me. Young people enjoy those ironclad tummies while they still work. We cannot continue to do the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Loving and serving God is not and will never be an excuse to sin or not use good judgment. Preaching to me this morning…as I sit with a smoldering gut reminding me that I knew better and did it anyway.

Romans 7:21-25 (NLT)

I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

Working out one’s salvation is a daily process lived moment by moment. We are free to choose how we live and what we pursue. God will never force us to chase after righteousness. Jesus simply gave us the keys to open the door to the Kingdom of God. We must decide that it is indeed what we want and make the commitment to go after it. God will not make you give up sin to embrace His Goodness. I will continue to sin for the rest of my life. I will make mistakes along the way. Yet, I must still work daily to serve and satisfy my Savior and Lord if I love Him. Before you bustle in your seat or beg to disagree, just think of everything you do in a single day to gain the affection, affirmation and acceptance of other people. Why would it be appropriate to do less for the One who died to save your soul and give you forever? Just saying.

I love God’s Word with all my heart. It has led me to victory over and over again. The fight that we face is not a battle against the adversary but a war raging in our very soul. Our humanity does not want to die to self and take on Christ’s Identity. The power of the human mind is to convince us to do our own thing, live our own way, and say what we think rather than to submit our mind, will and emotions to the Holy Spirit for careful cultivation. The Holy Spirit produces certain fruits in our life – the last one listed is “self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23) but maybe that should be listed first as it would allow all the other fruits to flourish.

I Corinthians 10:23 (NLT)

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.

 

I am allowed to do anything. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed! (John 8:36) Free indeed means that you have not given up one form of “slavery” for another. When we make Jesus the Lord of our life, it is an act of submission and surrender by choice. If you want all the benefits offered by salvation and through deliverance from sin and darkness, you must live in the Light of His Love. Why do we think logically about life but fail to see God’s Way differently? Like we can do anything, yet still expect better outcomes. For example, if I have a headache and there is ibuprofen in the cabinet, why wouldn’t I take a couple for relief? They are not illegal or toxic. Should I pray? Yes, of course. But if God has already given you a solution, why not try that first? Come on – don’t act like you don’t understand. We all do. God’s Way is not like our own. It is often uncomfortable and requires an effort to make the changes to necessary to have His Best according to His Word. We pray for the Lord to do things that His Word already tells us how to achieve because we do not want to do what He says in the first place. God is not a man. He does not lie or change His Mind. He doesn’t give trophies to everyone who shows up or participates. He gives it to the winners who overcome sin by TRYING to do what the Word of God says and relying on His Spirit for help. God is looking at our hearts today. He is looking for champions of faith who no matter how many times they have tried to follow Jesus but stumbled, fell down or wandered off course still try to love and serve Him every day. Your plight will be different than mine and everyone else you come in contact with. What matters is that you give your all to Jesus even when it’s hard or requires a little self-control. You cannot continue to do the same thing and expect different results even the world calls that insanity.

Proverbs 20:25 (NLT)

Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost.

 

Our daughter, who recently married and moved away, and I were recently talking about healthy eating. They eat out quite a bit with their busy schedule. She expressed her objection to the fact that to eat healthy costs more than the “Dollar Menu” at McDonalds. It’s hard to make better choices when the unhealthy ones are way more economical on a fixed budget. This is true in our walk with Jesus Christ. To make better choices will cost us something rather resources, relationships or routines – there must be a change for better outcomes. It may be uncomfortable. We may not like it but if we want God’s Very Best it is going to happen.

James 3:11-13 (NLT)

Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring. If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.

Not too long ago, one of my girls started calling the other one “salty”. I finally asked her what she meant. “Salty” is an urban reference to someone who is “agitated or bitter” toward someone else. Don’t you love how the enemy will take something and twist it like that? The word “salty” if used in direct correlation in the Word of God would mean just the opposite. We use the “salt” of God’s Word and His Spirit to purify our mind, soul and body. It is that which neutralizes all bitterness and strife within us. We cannot draw fresh water from a salty spring, but if we are overcome by sin the only solution is to add a little salt. It certainly cured the burning inside my stomach last night. Today the message is clear in my mind and soul as well. The Lord wants to settle some things inside me today that have nothing to do with the physical issues in my life but everything to do with some spiritual issues in my heart. He is reminding me that I am the salt of the earth and light on a hill.  I must keep my salt salty and my light bright to successfully complete my mission on earth and be welcomed into forever. I hear you, Lord. I am offered wisdom in the Word of God. It is up to me to use it. I am afforded the secrets of the Kingdom whispered to me by His Spirit. I must listen. I prove that I love the Lord by how I live, what I do, how I act and the words I speak. I must be mindful of this to overcome myself and be an overcomer in the heated battle raging deep inside of me. I must stay salty. I must tend my light. Thank you God for your Love and Grace today! Thank you that they let me learn from my mistakes! Thank you for the freedom to choose a different path and live in Your Love forever!

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NLT)

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Gatherers – A Devotion

Gatherers

James 1:16-18 (NLT)

So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

 

Blame it on the cold medicine if you want to, but I had the craziest dream last night. I was walking in a field. It was huge and the sun was shining almost surreal as I could not hear anything or maybe I was just overtaken by the beauty of the image with all its fuzzy edges. Jesus was walking along scattering something as He went. The image of my Lord was not like that which we often depict with long flowing hair or a radiant robe. I couldn’t even see His Face. He was covered in a soft glow of light seemingly oblivious to me. I was still a little girl in my dream. We were the only two people in my dream lost in this huge field of nothingness. Every so often, Jesus would drop something out of His Hand. I could not make out what it was falling to the ground. All I knew was that the instant He let it go, I would run behind Him and scoop it up like a lost treasure suddenly found. The smile on my face and sheer elation could not be contained. Immediately, I would drop it in my basket and go back to running, skipping, walking and discovering alone the way. When I opened my eyes to the darkness of morning, I smiled at the image still dancing in my thoughts. Lord, if it was only that easy to find your goodness. I could hear that familiar voice travel from my heart to my head and say, “It is if you will only follow me!”

We are gathers of the Goodness of God, the Father through Jesus, His Son. We journey through this life as temporary residents but God never left us behind to suffer. Jesus said that even though He was leaving that we would never be alone much less forsaken. Why do we insist on acting as though we are on a survival mission of some sort traveling through the history of life rather than just following Jesus to be where He is? This is not a question that I am posing directly to you but rather sharing my innermost thoughts and introspection about a God filled with Goodness designated for my life. He has every intention to get these blessings and promises into my life even creating a life plan containing a future and a hope. Why do I struggle so to follow Jesus? I keep a safe distance just in case something goes wrong. I carry extra burdens afraid that He cannot handle my load. I fill my life with unnecessary things that I do not need or really want because I need the comfort of having rather than believing God for what He wants for me. We have been mislead into thinking that Heaven is a place and not a person. We can have Heaven on the earth. Jesus said it to Paul. He is no respecter of persons and loves us all the same. I need to come to my senses like the boy feasting with pigs and decide to live in the Presence of my Savior following closely in His Steps gathering all the Goodness that is mine and He is freely giving.

James 1:5-8 (NLT)

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

 

To be a good gatherer, I cannot be mislead. Distractions, diversions, delays and deception are all the work of the enemy to steal, kill and destroy the Destiny that God planned for you long ago. He cannot take your inheritance but we are certainly capable of forfeiting it in the fight. Satan tries to convince us that money will solve our problems. Friends will make things right. Lovers will end our loneliness. Influence will give us power in the fight. But in the end, it is sad to find that none of these things lead to anything of worth. Satisfaction is what we are after and contentment is a gift. The Lord gives us those things as His Spirit produces every fruit we need to gather every bit of goodness that God has already provided for us. The enemy kills that fruit with worry, fear and doubt that strangles and destroys faith that makes it impossible to please the Lord and live in His Presence. If only he can convince us that the Love of God is ending and the Grace of Jesus not enough, we will gladly settle for much lesser things pursing darkness instead of His Light! It is up to me to focus on the Plan of God rather than the things of this world. What did He tell me to do? Follow Jesus. God will give you the wisdom you need if you want it enough to ask and pursue it. Faith makes us stable. It erases fear, guilt and regret leading us into the Love of God that gives us peace and joy all the days of our life.

Psalm 84:10-12 (NLT)

A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you.

 

To be a good gatherer, I must believe completely that God is always good. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. What joy for those who trust in the Lord. Do you believe that God is good? This is not flippant question but a total declaration of faith because if you believe that God is truly good all the time concerning you than you would not struggle in faith when bad times come. When challenged it is possible that you may begin to physically and emotionally sway and buckle but your faith in God will not be moved. Though my knees may grow weak and my hands fall to my side, He is the Strength of my heart forever. Whatever is good and perfect in our life comes from God. We have the potential to live in His Goodness every single day but it requires living in His Presence. Simply put – we must be where He is, go where He says go, do what He says do, and be who we are supposed to be that new creation in Christ. We want God’s Best our way and it will not happen. The Lord withholds no good thing from those who do what is right. When we decide that life with Jesus is better than anything this world has to offer, we will follow Him with our whole life. We do that when we decide that God is always good.

John 8:12-15 (NLT)

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” The Pharisees replied, “You are making those claims about yourself! Such testimony is not valid.” Jesus told them, “These claims are valid even though I make them about myself. For I know where I came from and where I am going, but you don’t know this about me. You judge me by human standards, but I do not judge anyone.

Don’t be a Pharisee. To gather from God requires humility and submission to Jesus Christ who is our Savior and Lord. He is the Light. In my dream last night, that was completely evident. The Light that He radiated enlightened the entire image in my head. There was no sun that I could see just Jesus. “I am the Light of the world.” James 1:17 says that God is the Father of the Light. He gives birth to us as Children of God through His True Word. Again, Jesus Christ was the Word of God wrapped and flesh and sent into this world not to condemn or judge but that we could be saved. Religion empowers people to live when it is solely based on surrendering our life to Jesus Christ and walking His Way. (period) Religion is manmade and has a tendency to get wrapped up in itself. We must untangle the way that we worship to be sure that it is in Spirit and Truth. The gathering of men, women and children for corporate worship should only be an expression of our constant and abiding relationship with Jesus Christ. It is not the job of religion or church to lead us into worship but give us a platform to express it in love, grace and mercy to others. We must decide to walk in the Light of His Love for ourselves before we will ever lead another, join another or be ready to contribute. We don’t really need religion anymore because we have total access to God. We need to gather with other believers and express the worship flowing from hearts and mind who are living in agreement with God through Jesus Christ.

The Pharisees judged Jesus. Are we? Do we hold Christ to a human standard rather than bow in submission to His Will and His Way? Do we expect Him to act like everyone else? Of course we do. When the Lord does not perform on time or in a way that we are comfortable with, how do we respond? Certainly not like He is the Highest Authority and Power in the Universe, that’s for sure. To be a good gatherer, we must submit our life to the Lord. This is much easier to do when we believe completely that God is always good and that Christ is our only standard by which we compare our life.

Numbers 23:19 (NLT)

God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?

 

Good gatherers believe that God is not a man, cannot lie and does not change His Mind. This is critical thinking in our Christian walk. Until we secure this as a faith factor in our life, we will always be wanderers and squanderers in this life. Faith demands that God is always good. His Word is true. He does not lie. He does not change His Mind. Reliable faith must believe all these things. Why? Before we get to the good part about God’s Goodness, James shares these truths – “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.” Faith will be tested to be found genuine. Only those who believe that He is good, faithful and true will make it to the other side of trials and testing with faith intact. Blessing comes pouring out when we do. His Promises come to pass when we refuse to move from our platform of faith no matter how big the storm, strong the wind or hot the fire that we are facing. The enemy will give you a means of escape every time to distract, delay, discourage and detour you from God’s Very Best. Only those who truly believe that God is not a man, He does not lie and He does not change will be strong enough to hang on to the anchor of hope until it passes.

John 1:14-15 (NLT)

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

 

To gather everything that God has designated in our lives requires a consummation of our relationship with Christ. We must become personally involved with Jesus Christ. Jesus gave us His Spirit to live inside of us. The Word of God connects with the Spirit. (John 4:23) This creates a true worshipper. We have an inheritance that belongs to us now as God’s Children that is released to us as we worship together. Have you made the connection? The Word of God is essential in order to complete our relationship bond to Jesus. It is our marriage contract and our covenant with Christ. You cannot gather the good things in life if you don’t know what that it. When we collect things that do not belong to us rather than gathering what Christ is giving us, we have made a substitute. It is a compromise so it will never deliver full satisfaction. We compromise to make earthly relationships work because people are made of sinful selfish natures. We do not compromise with Christ but yield completely to His Way and Will because we know through His Word that it is always better!

Matthew 7:7-11 (NLT)

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

 

If God predestined our life and has a plan, it is certain that He is going through with His Intentions regardless of what we do. We have already determined that He does not lie or change His Mind. That means that the Goodness intended for our life is already being released and we are missing it. Perhaps you are thinking, I am praying, asking and believing but nothing is happening. Do you believe that God is good enough to follow His Son? God is a good Father with Perfect Gifts for His Children. They come through Christ alone. We must focus on our position behind Christ to have all the good things that He promised. This is not religions but relational. Living surrendered to Christ makes His Goodness something we only gather but do not have to promote. God knows the desires of my heart and releases them regardless of what I do. When I choose to live “right” behind His Son, all I must do is bend down and scoop them up. His Goodness abides in the Light of His Love. I do not have to make my life good – I just need Jesus. Can it really be so simple? I have tried my way and it is not working. But what I have found in times of total helplessness that required complete surrender, it always does! Lesson learned! Or maybe I should say, “Learning?” I am learning to live in total submission to Christ to become a frequent gatherer of His Goodness!

Matthew 6:33 (NLT)

 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Divided and Conquered – A Devotion

Divided and Conquered

Romans 12:15-18 (NLT)
Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

I have a little friend. Her name is Raven. She is four years old. She is quite precocious and adorable. She is very petite with a high-pitched voice. When she enters a room, she turns a light on with her presence. Her appearance tells the tale of the journey of her short life. Raven is fighting cancer. She is not sullen or living in remorse. When she sees you – you are named friend before she even knows your name. The next time she sees you it is with instant recognition and fervent love as she hugs you tightly confessing how much she missed you since your last encounter. The love that pours out of her tiny frame is amazing. She leaves a smile on every face along the way as she skips down the halls of the hospital that no child should ever have to travel. Yet in each step she leaves a footprint of love and joy for all mankind. I believe that Raven lives the life that we are all called to live as the Body of Christ.

Be happy with those who are happy (even if your life seems like pure hell). Weep with those who weep (no matter how far you want to separate from their grief). Live in harmony with each other (even when people let you down or do you wrong). Enjoy the company of ordinary people (even if they are ornery, arrogant and rude). Don’t think you know it (because we don’t). Never pay back evil with more evil (no matter how right you are). Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable (living a Christ-like example). Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone (even if that means dying completely to yourself which it does). I have paraphrased heavily but there is a grave danger and potential risk for the Body of Jesus Christ today in its inability to get it together. We are being divided. We are being conquered by an enemy who knows that if he can lure us away from the Great Shepherd and if we are willing to leave His Field that he can steal, kill and destroy us – person by person. The Light of His Great Love is dimmed in the midst of such destruction. Who needs enemies when we are turning on ourselves? It is time to get it together so that the Light of His Love can reach the furthest corners of this planet. Raven although very young has every reason to be sad, bitter, mad and indignant. She practically lives in a hospital rather than a schoolyard filled with her peers. She has a port in her chest that is poked weekly. She has been tested, uncomfortable and sick more than she has been well. She is monitored and medicated daily. There is no time to experience the fun and frivolity that we so often take for granted. Yet, in all this she manages to be a Light in this world radiating love and joy to all who she encounters.

Luke 12:49-53 (NLT)
“I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning! I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished. Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other! From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against. ‘Father will be divided against son and son against father;
mother against daughter and daughter against mother; and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’”

Jesus came to set the world on fire. He came to create a clear division between the darkness and light for all to see. Sin would lose its power when Jesus died on the Cross. It would no longer be all men for themselves, but we know could become part of something much greater – the Kingdom of God. We are the Body of Christ granted access by His Grace to the Righteousness of God so we could enter a relationship with the Lord AND every other brother and sister in Christ. Well, about that. Our belief in Jesus Christ will cause division to the things of this world and those who choose this life as their final destination. Those who remain in the darkness are still to receive our love and kindness, but there will be some division. As we learn to live what we believe by faith, there are things that we will not do and places we will not go as we honor Jesus Christ with our life. There may be things we do not watch or entertainment that we no longer find entertaining in comparison with remaining in a righteous relationship with the Lord. This will cause some separation. You may even feel lonely as a result. This is to be expected just as Jesus instructed.

Matthew 12:24-28 (NLT)
But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons.” Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart. And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is divided and fighting against himself. His own kingdom will not survive. And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said. But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.

We are part of God’s Kingdom. The only problem is that you cannot see it with natural eyes. Any kingdom that is divided by civil war is doomed. The Body of Christ is having some trouble in this area. It is the enemy’s tactic to divide and conquer. It is working better than one may admit. Churches are splitting. Congregations are broken. People are hurting. This should not be the case. The division comes on the character and identity of Jesus Christ. We don’t know who He is or what He expects so we choose our own agenda for religion that harms our relationship with Christ and everyone else. The Gospel is ineffective in the midst of division. If people want to get in the middle of a mess, just turn on the television or hang out at the water cooler at work. There is enough drama there to keep us busy for a while. But if what we are after is the Kingdom of God manifesting on the earth so that people will be saved and Heaven increased than we must change the way that we live especially when it comes to other people.

John 7:37-43 (NLT)
On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”(When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “Surely this man is the Prophet we’ve been expecting.” Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others said, “But he can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee? For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born.” So the crowd was divided about him.

Jesus was ready to pour out His Spirit on the people and began preparing them for it. But the people were still stuck on figuring out who Jesus was in the first place. We are stuck in the same rut. Trying to divide the Word of God to fit comfortably into our life as not to offend anyone especially our flesh. Countless miracles, signs and wonders and they still refused to believe enough to make Him their Savior and Lord. What about you? Are you living according to two kingdoms today? It may be why you feel all alone. Jesus promised to never leave us. (John 10:11-13) He is the Good Shepherd laying down His Life for the safety and wellbeing of His Sheep (that’s us). It wasn’t enough to die for us but He wanted to remain with us so His Spirit was poured out. (John 14:17-19) Now we can know what pleases God and remain in His Righteousness – free from sin and shame. More importantly – free to love without an expectation for anything in return because we are never alone, never forsaken and always filled to overflowing with the Love of God! So what’s the problem…

I Corinthians 1:10-17 (NLT)
I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ.” Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not! I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, for now no one can say they were baptized in my name. (Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.) For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.

We have got to get it together and learn to live with one another in love. The enemy has had a hay day destroying the credibility of God’s Kingdom through His Wayward People. It doesn’t matter what religion you are if you do not produce god-like relationships in your life that bond together the Body of Christ in Spirit and Truth. We worship God in our relationships – every single one of them. He expects us to produce the fruit of the Spirit (dying to ourselves – John 12:23-25). Jesus Christ will satisfy your soul when you love and trust Him to be with you always releasing you from expectation from people. This is a tough lesson to learn. Unfairness is never welcomed but we are called to endure. The Gospel message is God’s Love for the world and everyone in it. How does my life compare? Is it preaching the Gospel or tooting my own horn? In our isolation from one another, we have weakened the Body of Christ and its message making it disjointed and dysfunctional so every other relationship in the world we live. It does not have to be that way. Our Body has many parts that are to be used for one purpose – to honor God! (I Corinthians 12:12-13) Every part (including every person) has an important role as we are Sons and Daughters of God who He calls by name. We should approach everyone who we encounter as my little friend, Raven, does. “Hello friend!” Raven was not having a good day the last time we saw each other. In fact, she burst in the room breathlessly running from her mother and the nurses who were chasing her. Tears running down her face and screaming, “Leave me alone!” All I said to her was “Hi Friend”. She instantly stopped the chase and came over to see me. She crawled on my lap completely compliant as they poked her tiny port once more skipping away happily! Could you change a person’s day the same way? Anything is possible when we stop acting like the world and become a functioning member of the Body of Jesus Christ! In the moment, I encountered Raven took me out of the ugly truth that I am there because my own child is battling cancer. We all were laughing in the midst of adversity and loving in the midst of hardship.

James 1:5-8 (NLT)
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

Like a strong current trials and troubles in life will suck you out of the refuge and sanctuary of God’s Refuge that is His Presence leaving us vulnerable and susceptible to attack. The enemy wants to steal, kill and destroy anyone he can. He has nothing to lose. He is on the verge of destruction anyway. Like a dead man walking causing destruction in every step to his demise. He wants to take you with him. Jesus is desperate to change your destination. God longs for you to live in His Presence. But you are going to have to decide on your destination. There is no division of loyalty that will withstand on Judgment Day – you are either for Christ or against Him. I know that on the long drives back from our son’s treatments, I often feel very alone. As if the life has been sucked right out of me. We have been doing this for over two years now. Even though, I am never alone sometimes it feels that way. Sometimes, you just have to wrap up in God’s Unfailing Love and wait for that feeling to pass. (Psalm 33:21-22) We must protect our heart and mind from taking hold of loneliness allowing it to become bitterness. These partners are satan’s tools to lure us from God’s Love out in the open for quick devastation. My fortress is faith and trust in the Lord that He will never leave me or forsake me which gives me the ability to reach out to others and love them as instructed by Jesus Christ. (John 15:13) The Lord wants me to lay down my life for my friends. This will build a strong Body of Christ changing our philosophy of “all men for themselves” to “we are all in this together!” We must live in harmony with everyone. We are made to be helpers. (Genesis 2:18) God intended for us to unite and join together on our journey to Eternity taking everyone with us who will go. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) You must lose your life to save it. Our inability to love beyond ourselves grieves the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 4:30-32) We must stir up the Holy Spirit and learn to love each other living together in harmony! If you need help, ask God. If you are lonely, call on His Name. Fight to be faithful in loving other people. Do not be divided between God and this world, always in every situation choose faith, hope and love for it is forever.

2 Corinthians 4:3-9 (NLT)
If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.

Life is hard. It is totally unfair most of the time. Bad things will continue to happen to good people. Godly people will continue to be pressed on every side by troubles, perplexed by problems, hunted down by the enemy and knocked down by the storms of life. But we will not be crushed, driven to despair, abandoned by God or destroyed ever. He is with us always. There is a light shining in our heart that is reserved for the world to see that shines a little brighter in adversity. Raven has every excuse to hate her little life. She has experienced extreme hardship in just a few short years of living. She chooses to love instead. There is no bitterness in her little heart just overflowing affection for all mankind. She exemplifies Jesus Christ in so many ways! I believe Raven will win her battle by love alone! We can never please Jesus or maintain residency in His Kingdom if we oppose it. To live a life of anything other than love is in direct opposition to the Cross! We must learn to love. We must learn to love everyone ripping out any bitterness hidden in our heart to plant more seeds of love, kindness and compassion for others. Our love will empower the church once more as revival breaks out reuniting the Body of Jesus Christ once more. No longer will we live lonely, broken lives without purpose but thrive in our mission of love. It is in this that we live in the exact likeness of God just like Jesus. It is time to make new friends with everyone we encounter. Hello Friend!

Acts 2:42-47 (NLT)
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

I Must Confess – A Devotion

I Must Confess

Romans 10:9-10 (NLT)
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

There are two steps to salvation: 1) Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and 2) Believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. To believe in our heart makes us right with God, but what we confess with our mouth ultimately leads to salvation. Everyone can recite the old Scottish proverb, “Confession is good for the soul.” But if that confession does not line up with true belief that overflows from our heart that Jesus Christ is Lord – then it is a problem. We have no problem calling ourselves “Christians” but living a life committed to such a confession can be challenging. It is a stumbling block for believers and unbelievers alike. Without a heart full of faith and trust in the person of Jesus Christ – our confession is weak and ineffective.

A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thorn bushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? (Luke 6:44-46) Our words are a clear indication of what we truly believe in the depths of our heart. The fruit of our lips is produced from the seeds in our heart. We will one day be judged for every idle word we speak. (Matthew 12:36) The words of our mouth choose life or death to the faith growing in our heart each day. Complaining and grumbling is disbelief that nullifies any confession of faith that we make indicating that we do not truly believe in God’s Plan or that it is the best course for our life. Lying and backstabbing defy the Lordship of Jesus Christ as a blatant act of disobedience. (Ephesians 4:31) Our confession and belief must always agree. This is a monumental challenge for all mankind. If we could only make our confession valid with a heart full of faith and belief in Jesus Christ and His Power, our life would begin to prosper as our soul does. Our tongue is called a “flame of fire.” (James 3:4-8) But as it is clearly detailed in His Word, we do not do much with it other than burn down what God is building up. Jesus came to set the world on fire. (Luke 12:49) It is time to allow our hearts to be surrendered to the Lord so our confession will be empowerment to the world. We will be the Light of the World when we set the world on fire with His Love.

I John 4:14-16 (NLT)
Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.

We confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead to be saved. (Period) It is a total surrender of our life and love to the Lord. (Period) Our confession is not an opportunity to tell God everything that we need. (Hint: He already knows and has already provided it.) It is an acceptance of His Amazing Grace that allows us to step out of darkness and back into right-standing with God. Our inheritance awaits and is accessible by believing. (Romans 4:16-17) The confession of the church has become convoluted as well-meaning Servants of God try to sell salvation by elaborating more on the benefits of salvation rather than the desperate need for it. Salvation is a matter of life or death. It is a choice that absolutely must be made to be saved. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord on that day without exception whether you believe that there is a God or not. (Philippians 2:5-11) Your religion will not save you on that day. Doctrine is of no use. The only thing that will be reviewed is our confession backed up by the belief in our heart.

I John 1:8-10 (NLT)
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

Confession is not a “been there, done that” event in the life of a believer but a day-by-day, moment-by-moment and step-by-step occurrence. Grace is sufficient when it is applied. To confess means to acknowledge, to own or admit as true, to declare (to make known) and to acknowledge one’s belief. We must confess our sins to God daily believing that He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us. There is more to the story though, our confession must line up with the motives of our heart. Our motive in life is not to sin but remain in righteousness with the Lord. Right? You cannot use your confession to try and convince God to accept anything less than righteousness. Right standing with God is dependent on the fact that we leave sin and darkness behind. As we learn to walk in His Way and follow His Word, we will begin to discover un-surrendered areas of our life that require immediate attention so we confess them to the Lord. Our confession that Jesus is Lord must line up with what we say and do to be valid. Otherwise it is a lie. Faith is based on what we do not see and confident hope in what is to come via the Father and His Great Love. (Hebrews 11:1) Therefore, it matters how we live, what we do and what we say. It must all line up to produce confident hope that allows us to live what we believe even when we don’t see it. To confess that Jesus is Lord and our soon Coming King but live in sin and darkness is to live a lie that will be exposed in the Light of His Great Love. It is time to confess the sin in our life and surrender it to the Lord choosing fasting and prayer over disobedience and complaining to step into the Promises of God. You cannot demand them as a Child of God if you do not live like one!

Daniel 9:3-5 (NLT)
So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I also wore rough burlap and sprinkled myself with ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed:
“O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands. But we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations.

I believe in confessing the Word of God in our life every single day. But if we do not live a life that demonstrates our confession that Jesus Christ is Lord and I have a desperate need for His Salvation that it is not the Word that governs my life. To be a Child of the King, one must be part of the Kingdom. You cannot live a life as traitor and still be considered a citizen. For example, a convicted felon cannot register to vote in the United States. They forfeit that right when convicted of a felonious crime. Thanks to Jesus Christ, we have been restored to right-standing with God and have our rights fully restored. Daniel confessed the sins of the people before the Lord with fasting and prayer. He petitioned God on their behalf. As we read the account of his personal prayer, it consists mostly of bearing his soul and pleading with the Lord to forgive their transgression and wipe away their shame. (Daniel 9:3-14) But look what happens as soon as Daniel finishes praying. “I went on praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people, pleading with the LORD my God for Jerusalem, his holy mountain. As I was praying, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came swiftly to me at the time of the evening sacrifice. He explained to me, “Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding. The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God. Listen carefully so that you can understand the meaning of your vision.” (Daniel 9:20-23) The Lord didn’t wait for Daniel to ask for a thing, but gave the command the moment the man of God began to repentance. God doesn’t need us to tell Him what to do or what we need. God needs us to repent of every sin that stands between us so that He can make it to us.

Psalm 66:16-20 (NLT)
Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me. For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke. If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.

The more that we use our prayer life to repent and realign our life with the Lord, the less we have to worry about remembering to send God our long laundry list of demands. Faith tells us that He knows what we need and He will deliver. So we wait on the Lord making sure nothing comes between us especially sin. Sin creates a barrier between God and His People. Grace must be applied in order to bridge the gap. We must confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart enough to change the way we live to follow the Way of Jesus Christ. In doing so, God has open access to our life. He can now do all that He has promised to do because we are in right-standing once again. Sin will take away your joy. It will allow shame to overwhelm our faith so that we no longer believe that God is able based on our own inability to love and trust Him. We will become overridden with sin until if affects us physically. Our health can even be compromised. (Psalm 38:17-18) But through confession of our disbelief and disobedience, God comes rushing back in with peace, joy, understanding and empowerment. (Psalm 32:1-5) He does not want to punish you but make every single promise a reality in your life. The time has come for us to confess that Jesus is Lord and live like we believe it.

Matthew 10:32-33 (NLT)
“Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.”

People tend to overcomplicate a relationship with Jesus Christ as religion. Jesus tells it like it is and simply says – “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in Heaven.” He goes on to warn us that to deny Him means that Jesus will deny you in heaven to the Father as well. There goes the whole misuse of grace in the church today. Our life must be an acknowledgement of the Lord – it must be our confession. Our mouth and motives must line up for us to prosper in the Kingdom of God as His Children. We are to confess the Lordship of Christ now and He will do the same before the Father. I must confess, acknowledge, own and admit to my faith in the Lord, declare the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and acknowledge the Lord by living what I believe for my faith to be valid as acceptance of the marvelous gift of His Grace, Mercy and Love. It must be my confession.

Proverbs 3:5-7 (NKJV)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil.

Have you taken ownership of God’s Gift for your life? God has given you the Gift of Eternal Life to live like a Child of the King. Do not accept His Gift and then ignore it (2 Corinthians 6:1-2) or your confession becomes invalid. You must live what you believe. We cannot be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for it is our salvation and mandate to share it throughout the world. (Romans 1:16-17) At the end of our life, we should agree that “now I know that none of you to whom I have preached the Kingdom will ever see me again. I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it’s not my fault, for I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know.” (Acts20:25-27) Our declaration must be matched with dedication. (I John 1:5-6) If our head and heart do not agree, then there is unresolved conflict keeping us from the benefits of true confession when our heart builds a firm foundation of faith that is evident in all that we say and do. Maybe if today for just one day we would stop telling God what we need, what to do, how to act, and when to move choosing to line up our life with our confession, then maybe the Lord could make it past our unbelief, disobedience and sin to get to us with everything that He promised. Just a thought…so today I must confess.

I Timothy 6:11-15 (NLT)
But you, (your name goes here), are a man (or woman) of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses. And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. For at just the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.