Archive for July, 2010

GOD’S DELIVERANCE

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Day 149

“In fact, we expected to die. But as
a result, we learned not to rely
on ourselves, but on God who
can raise the dead”
2 Corinthians 1:9

Knowing God our Father does not come from bible classes, reading and other’s experiences. Yes, we can know about God, but to truly know and understand Him, we must experience Him. Job found this out when he endured a severe time of trials and temptations. When confronted by God, Job said, “I had heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.”

Paul was in his Third missionary trip. He was a seasoned man of God, mature and great in knowledge when he encountered God. Suffering great persecutions, Paul said that he and his companions were crushed and completely overwhelmed. They had lost hope of continuing in life and thought they would die. It was at this point that Paul and those with Him came to know God in a greater way.

When everything fails, no other course is open to us and we are in our darkest hour where even hope is gone – it is here when all reliance on the self will end. It is also the place we can come to know Him. Paul said, “we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead.” Here we discover His faithfulness, strength, and mercy to us. He rescued Paul and his companions and they emerged with a greater knowledge of Him. Look for God to show Himself in your life.

“And the Lord shall deliver me from every
evil work and will bring me safely to
His heavenly Kingdom. To God be the
glory forever and ever. Amen”

GOD’S WORK

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Day 148

“He will rescue us because you are
helping by praying for us”
2 Corinthians 1:11

When Paul mentions his missionary trip, he recounts the hardships he and his co-workers went through. It was so severe they thought they were going to die. They were under great pressure, weighed down, beyond their own strength to endure, all of which brought them to despair. They were crushed and overwhelmed to the point they saw no way of escape from death. It was a gripping account.

Paul states, in the midst of this ordeal, “we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead.” And learning to rely on God in the face of death brought strength and deliverance. God delivered them from mortal danger. It was at this point that Paul addresses his main point – they were rescued because the Corinthian church was helping by praying for them. The results of their prayers brought gratitude to God by many others who heard this account.

God has not just saved us. He has made us co-workers and it is a great honor to be among those that labor in the kingdom of God. The Corinthians finally discovered that when they heard how their prayers assisted Paul and his companions and served to have many give thanks to God. What a great opportunity we have because all of us, men, women, and children can pray! God has entrusted us with this work.

“They were holding golden bowls of incense,
which are the prayers of the saints”
Revelation 5:8

BUT GOD . . .

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Day 147

“My flesh and my heart faileth”
Psalm 73:26

Two of the most important words in the scriptures are “But God …” These two words make all the difference to us. The word ‘but’ immediately tells us that what follows will make a difference, It qualifies, alters or cancels what previously was stated. Consider how important these two words are, “But God . . .” in your life:

“In former times all of us followed the ways of the world and we fulfilled the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others;

BUT GOD, who is rich in mercy . . . hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace are ye saved)” [Ephesians 2:3-5].

Yes, we were lost and hopeless, BUT God saved us by His grace. And even as Christians, God knows our limit of endurance:

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man;

BUT GOD is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” [1 Corinthians 10:13].

And when our flesh and heart fails us, He is our strength:

“My flesh and my heart faileth;

BUT GOD is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever” [Psalm 73:26].

Remember these words when you encounter the trials of life and think everything is lost – BUT GOD – will change everything, for He is faithful to His children.

“He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant
of love to a thousand generations of those
who love Him and keep His commands”
Deuteronomy 7:9

WHAT GOD SEES

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Day 146

“The Lord looks at the heart”
1 Samuel 16:7

Samuel was a judge and a prophet. When Saul did not honor and regard God, Samuel was sent to appoint another king. He was sent to Jesse’s household to select the new king from among his children. What takes place is an interesting scenario.

Jesse’s sons are brought before Samuel who saw Eliab and thought he is the anointed one. God spoke to Samuel and a great lesson was learned. The Lord said He doesn’t consider a person’s appearance or his height. In fact, the Lord doesn’t look at the things man looks at. Why? Because man considers the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart [verse 7]. Samuel went through the remaining children before him and God chose not one of them. An eighth child wasn’t present. His name was David and when he was brought in, it was him who was called and anointed of God to be the next king of Israel.

There is a great hope in this story. God doesn’t look at our outward appearance, but at our hearts. So many have been called into the kingdom of God who looked like they never were fit to be God’s children. And there is a danger for those of us who have been in the Lord to fall into the way man looks at people. This is not how God sees or measures man. We need to have God’s mind and see others as He sees them.

“The Lord knows those who are His”
2 Timothy 2:19

TODAY IS THE DAY

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Day 145

“This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 118:24

There is a Latin phrase that says ‘Carpe Diem,’ meaning ‘seize the day.’ It was made very popular some years ago when a movie appeared called The Dead Poet’s Society. The phrase actually has significance to us as Christians. The entire Latin proverb reads, “Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero,” which translates, ‘”Seize the day and place no trust in tomorrow.”

As Christians we need to live our lives according to God’s righteousness. Today is the day the Lord has made. The past is gone, the future hasn’t arrived. If we live in the past or in the future, then we forsake today. The only reality that exists for us is today. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:16 to redeem the time, to make use of every opportunity. Jesus taught us to pray for our daily bread – the provision we need only for today.

God made us His children and set us free. He set us free from the past and the future. Each day is given to us like a talent. We are to work with what is in our hands and He will bless it. We are to seize this day and make the most of it. Paul says in Corinthians, the time is short. The psalmist tells us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. This is God’s practicality – He gives us one day at a time. Rejoice in it and give Him glory!

“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without,
redeeming the time”
Colossians 4:5

THE RED HEIFER – PART 2

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Day 144

“The ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those
who are . . . unclean sanctify them so
they are outwardly clean”
Hebrews 9:13-14

What great provision God makes for us! Even in the days of leading His people out of Egypt He saw their need and established a Tabernacle system to deal with their sins so He could be present among them. And He not only dealt with the sins committed at the time, He made provision for the future through the red heifer offering. By this sacrifice, the people knew they could be cleansed in the future. What hope! What grace! What mercy!

The Israelites dealt with many enemies, were involved in many battles and often became unclean and defiled. We also travel in a world where we touch many things every day that influence, defile and cause us to get dirty. God has made a provision for us to be continuously cleansed through Him. Our outer man can be renewed and refreshed through Him. We’ve but to lift our hearts and mind to Him in praise and worship and He will inhabit our praises.

There is more. The red heifer offering only cleansed the outer man. In Christ the whole man is cleansed. It is not only man’s sins, but his nature of sin that is dealt with by Christ. The sacrifice of the Cross not only forgives our past sins, it forgives our present sins and makes provision for future sins. Read 1 John 1:9 in the Amplified version. He continuously cleanses us so that our nature is brought into conformity with His righteousness.

“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].” 1 John 1:9 [Amplified]

THE RED HEIFER – PART 1

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Day 143

“The ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those
who are . . . unclean sanctify them so
they are outwardly clean”
Hebrews 9:13-14

The worship order of the Old Testament and the Tabernacle in the Wilderness conveyed great principles of eternal truth through outward signs and symbols. The sacrifices, in particular, demonstrated how sin was dealt with and the price that had to be paid. All the offerings used bullocks and rams, which were slaughtered and offered to God for sin-offering, the burnt offering or the peace offering. All these dealt with the sins of the people to meet the present day needs.

In the midst of these offerings there is an exception – a heifer (female cow). Numbers 19 records this unusual and different offering. The entire ceremony that surrounds the heifer offering is different. It was not offered on the Brazen Altar, or eaten by the priests. It was taken outside of the camp of Israel, killed and all of it burned to ashes. The only exception to of being burned to ashes was a little of the blood was taken by the priests and sprinkled seven times toward the front of the Tabernacle.

What was the purpose of the red heifer sacrifice? Its purpose gives us a great truth – it wasn’t for the present need, but for future needs. God made a provision that His people sins could be dealt with that day, but He knew as they traveled they would be become defiled and unclean. The red heifer was the provision for the future – it became the way for them to be cleansed. Yes, our God has made complete provision for us – today, tomorrow and eternally.

“He is faithful and just and will forgive us
our sins and purify (continuously cleanse)
us from all unrighteousness”
1 John 1:9

THE COVERING

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Day 142

“Thou shalt make a mercy seat”
Exodus 25:17

God gave Moses the blueprints to build the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. It was a replica of the heavenlies and place where God could dwell among His people. This Tabernacle was completely enclosed with an entrance facing the east where the people could come. Right at the entrance, in the outer court was the Brazen altar, an altar of judgement where sacrifices were burned by the priests. And right behind that was the laver where the priests carried out ceremonially washings.

The next area was the inner court where the Table of shewbread, Altar of Incense and candlesticks were. Then there was the Holy of Holies where the High Priest could only enter once a year. In the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant. It was a room that was completely covered with gold. The Ark of the Covenant was a chest with three items in it: the Tables of the Law; Pot of Manna; and, Aaron’s Rod that budded. And there was a lid on this Ark.

It was in the Holy of Holies that the greatest representation of God was. It’s the lid, a pure slab of gold, which is called the Mercy Seat that has our attention, for it covered the Ark. It is a representation of the place where God sat – His Throne. Yet, God desired for us to know that it is called the Mercy Seat, a place of mercy and reconciliation. The Mercy Seat is a place of atonement and propitiation. It is a covering that was blood stained by the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. And it is here that redeemed man has a place of communion with God.

“Great are Thy tender mercies”
Psalm 119:156

THE GOOD PART

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Day 141

“Mary has chosen the good part”
Luke 10:42

There is a great revelation about the heart of the Father in John 15:14-16, where Jesus says, “I no longer call you servants . . . Instead, I have called you friends.” There is nothing greater than being His friend. Unfortunately, many do not see themselves as His friend.

Martha was a servant. When Jesus visited her, she dutifully served Him by continuing preparations while Mary went and sat at His feet. This disturbed Martha to the point of her interrupting Jesus with a protest about Mary not helping. Jesus revealed the difference between a servant and friend when He rebuked her for being worried and bothered about so many things. Much of Christ’s work today is being done by servants instead of friends, and in the course, they lose the joy, comfort and peace by being entangled in worry and troubles.

Servanthood is a great attainment, but it is not the highest attainment in Christ. Martha was right doing her duties, wrong when Her friend arrived. She should have set everything aside for Him. There are many believers, few servants, and even fewer friends. Servants desire to move the hand of God while a friend desires to know the heart of God. A servant measures things by results, a friend yearns to please the Father. A servant focuses on faithfulness, a friend on love. A servant is willing to work for the Master, but a friend wants to be with the Master. It is far more demanding to be a friend – it requires an investment. Let’s strive to be His friend.

“I have called you friends, for all things
that I have heard from My Father
I have made known to you”
John 15:15

MY FATHER

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Day 140

“For Thine is the kingdom”
Matthew 6:13

When you are a small child, your dad is everything. He earns the income, takes care of the problems in the house, protects you, and helps guide your life. He oversees you and there is a certain security in that. It isn’t until much later in life that you begin to realize, although dad ruled in the house, he didn’t have the power to do everything.

It’s true in earthly countries also. A president or king may rule over a nation, but they do not have the power to do with their country what they wish. And they do not have the power to change external circumstances that can deeply affect a country. That’s true for the United States and all other countries. Leaders have a kingdom, but not the power. And it’s true for us as individuals. We can rule over our life and body, but the older you get you realize you do not have the power to do as you wish. If you believe otherwise, show how you have power over fatal diseases, accidents and death.

But not so with our Father and King of Kings. His is the kingdom and the power. He rules over all things and holds absolute power. And what is impossible for men is possible with God. There is no limit to the kingdom of God. Psalm 103:19 says, “His sovereignty rules over all.” He never sleeps or slumbers [Psalm 121:3-4]. This is our Father who is in heaven.

“For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power,
and the glory, forever. Amen,”
Matthew 6:13