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Can God Get Your Attention?

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Prov 3:5-6; KJV)

God has a plan for each of our lives (Ps 139:14-16) and he wants to guide and direct us. In the apostle John’s gospel, chapter 10 and verse 27, we read that God’s sheep (us) hear his voice. God does not speak to our minds but our spirits (our consciences or spiritual hearts) by way of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:14; Rom 8:16). The Holy Spirit can do this by bringing our attention to scriptures (John 16:13-14) but also by simply dropping thoughts into our spirit (Rom 9:1). How do we know this is God? Well, in the word we read that God’s wisdom is peaceable (James 3:17). The thoughts God brings us will come with a sense of peace and assurance, so that we know that it is God.

Now for most of us our minds are often so busy it is difficult to hear from God. Much like the football quarter back trying to get instructions to his team when the crowd watching the game are yelling. We need to still our minds and we can do this by renewing them in God’s word (Rom 12:2); reading it, speaking it and meditating it, so that our minds are focused on God and at peace. This takes time and effort and it is an ongoing process. We can hear from God.

Jean and I had a very major decision to make some time ago and we set ourselves to hear from God. We spent several months praying, each on our own, then we compared what God had given each of us and we had heard the same in every detail; praise God. God also speaks to us in other ways but the approaches we have discussed today are the most important ones.  Sit and rest with God today and let him talk to you. It’s wonderful.

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Grow Up, Press In

I encourage you to read Ephesians chapter 4 and verses 11 through 16 today. In this section of the Bible Paul describes the ministry gifts that Jesus gave to the Church: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers” (v11). These giftings were provided to equip us all for ministry and to help us grow and mature in our Christian walk. Notice we are all to be ministers of the gospel; have you ministered God’s love and light to anyone today? Verses 12, 13 and 16 emphasize growing in unity and building up the Body of Christ, the Church. We are the Body of Christ and in verse 16 we note that we are to be properly joined together, in unity, all doing our part so that the Church grows and is effective. Unity in the early Church brought thousands of converts and great power for signs wonders and miracles (Acts 4:32-33). In our passage in Ephesians, God directs us to grow up (v14 and 15), so we don’t stay as spiritual, children tossed about by the things people say and do that are not of God.

Please do notice that Paul tells us to speak the truth in love (v15). Love permeates the Bible so it must be important. Finally, verse 13 always blows me away. Paul tells us we can grow to be perfect and to have all the fullness of Christ in us. Don’t be discouraged, I don’t know about you, but I am not there yet and Paul did not claim to be either (Phil 3:12). However, let’s keep allowing the word and the Holy Spirit to enable us to grow. Just think what God has for us, how he wants to use you. Press in today, be built up, seek unity.

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You Can Be Perfect

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16; KJV).

We associate this scripture with Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, paying the penalty for our sins. But it is also important to remember that Jesus came to this earth born of a woman under the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). He is not a distant deity that cannot identify with our earthly, fleshly, struggles. He surrendered his deity to become a man on earth with flesh and blood just like us (Heb 2:14). The word says he had to made like us so that he could minister to us in our earthly state (Heb 2:17). He was tempted in every way but without sin (Heb 2:18; Heb 4:15). To minister on this earth, he had to be filled with Holy Spirit, just like us (Luke 3:22).

Isn’t it encouraging that Jesus knows what we go though in our lives; He knows our struggles, God is quick to forgive (1 John 1:9) and is always there to help. He calls us to be holy, godly and perfect as God is perfect (1 Peter 1:16; 1 Tim 6:11; Matt 5:48). This may seem a tall order to keep. However, he gave us his word to guide and enable us and the power of the Holy Spirit to reveal his word to us and to achieve that perfection (John 14:26). He never left us alone, he is always with us and in us and nothing will ever separate us from his love (Rom 8:39). Remember, not even Paul the apostle claimed perfection (Phil 3:12); it is a process of growth that we will still be involved in to the day we depart this earth. Be encouraged today, we can do all things though Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:13).

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Be Obedient, It's as Simple as that.

I was reading in the book of Numbers, chapters 22-24 about Balaam. Balak, king of Moab, wanted Balaam to curse Israel for him so Balak could defeat Israel in battle. Balaam was allowed to go with Balak’s emissaries but God was not pleased as Balaam’s motives were suspect; Balaam probably had his eye on a reward from Balak. As Balaam was riding his donkey an angel of the Lord opposed them but only the donkey saw the angel at first. The angel warned Balaam that his ways were perverse and told him only to speak what the Lord required.

Balaam went on to obey God and bless Israel as directed by God and prophesied against Moab and its allies. Balaam’s motives and character were suspect initially, he was spiritually less perceptive than his donkey. Once admonished, he acted as God’s prophet, rejected the bribe offered him and delivered God’s word in obedience to the Father (“All that the Lord speaketh, that I must do”; Deut 23:26; KJV).

So, what does this say to us today? We must walk in fear of God, in obedience and with pure motives. Even though we may displease people, we must only allow what God approves to come out of our mouths. Wow, Balaam got a talking to but he came through in the end. When we read these stories, we should always take away with us the message God is trying to convey to us today.

Be Obedient, It's as Simple as that.


Let God Do the Changing

There are always so many areas in our lives that we feel a need for God to change. Often, we get frustrated with our lack of progress. It is easy to want to try to do the changing ourselves, with our own effort but this does not work. We need to cooperate with God and allow him to do the doing.

So, what do we do? Well the word says the only work we need to do is to believe (John 6:29), to have faith; without faith we cannot please God (Heb 11:6). How does faith come? Well, we all have faith (Rom 12:3) but our faith grows by hearing the word (Rom 10:17). Everything in God’s kingdom is by faith, not human effort. If we want to be all God wants us to be, to be changed, then we need to be radical for him. God’s word is truth (John 17:17) and he tells us that if we know the truth it will set us free in all areas of our lives (John 8:32).

God talked to us through Moses and Joshua about being radical with the word. Moses said God’s word must be in our hearts. He said to teach it to our kids all the time, he said to write the word on our gates and doorposts (bathroom mirrors?), to bind it on our hands and hang it before our eyes (Deut 6:6-9) (have it on our computers?). Joshua said the word should always be in our mouths, we should meditate it day and night (Josh 1:8) (have it playing in the car?). Now that’s radical. But see what Joshua also said would happen if we were radical about the word. He said that saturating in the word would cause us to do the word (be changed) and that we would then have success and prosper. Wow, I want that, how about you? Let’s do it. Let’s rest in God’s love (Matt 11:28-30), do our part and see God work in us, through us and on our behalf. Have a blessed day in the word.

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