Archive for December, 2010

TRUSTING THE SON

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Day 280

“All things have been handed
over to me by my Father . . .”
Matthew 11:27

People trust their own wisdom and strength. They trust what they know, and what they do not know, they do not trust. It is human nature. We rely on our own knowledge and experiences. This form of trust often leads to a narrow ability to choose the right course because of the relying on one self.

Jesus said that unless we “become as little children” we could never get into the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:3). Being a child means knowing our need to be utterly dependent on Him. True salvation comes to one who knows their need for a Savior.

The Eternal Father has handed all things over to His Son. He has authority over Satan and demons; over human sickness, handicaps; over life and death; over all physical things; over the present and future; over the church; and over our body and soul. He is the way, the life and the truth and can save us. He is our peace, light, life, love, and joy. All things are in Him and from Him flows the fountain of life.

He knows what you need now. He knows how to reveal Himself and His Father to you. The treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ. Turn to Him now for He knows you.

“And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any
thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God”
2 Corinthians 3:4-5

ENABLING GRACE

Monday, December 20th, 2010

DAY 279

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you…”
2 Corinthians 12:9

We are familiar that grace is God’s unmerited favor to us. Some call it saving grace because we have been saved by the gift of God, not of ourselves. In addition to this grace, there is another grace called enabling grace.

God does much more than save us. He fully equips us with everything we need in this life. He gives us the ability and power to live our lives in righteousness and holiness. And added to this is enabling grace to carry out the work of the Kingdom of God as seen in Stephen; “Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power …” (Acts 6:8).

Another definition of grace is help. God’s enabling grace is to help us desire extraordinary and excellence in running the race. Grace cannot function in us when we live in our own strength, ways and thinking. The old has to die and every day we must find God’s provision in our weakness – “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

HOW GOD SEES US

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Day 278

“Do not consider his appearance or height,
for I have rejected him. The Lord does
not look at the things man looks at.
Man looks at the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks at the heart”
1 Samuel 16:7

Self-esteem is the occupation of our culture. In fact, the word itself has taken on a new life and culture. You cannot number the books, media shows and other forms of expression that center on self-esteem. Eliab, Abinadab, Shammah and their other brothers probably would have run right out to get some self-help books, go on talk shows, and ultimately get into a self-help group over their rejection by the Lord. Why is there this occupation with the self?

Being accepted and rejected are real. Identity crisis hits young people early. Many enter and live in adulthood the same way. Natural man wrestles with his identity because of our sin nature. As a child of God we take on a new nature in Christ. Unfortunately, many Christians do not walk in this and start thinking God is rejecting them. Not true.

The entire bible is the story of God pursuing us. He tells us, that if even a mother forgets a baby at her breast, He will not forget us; “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands: your walls are ever before Me” (Isaiah 49:15-16). He made atonement for us, for the past, the present, and the future. He has given us life and then sealed (guaranteed) our salvation by imparting the Holy Spirit to live in us. He has prepared a place for us to dwell with Him in eternity.

“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me;
Your love, O Lord, endures forever”
Psalm 138:8

HIS FULLNESS

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Day 277

“And you have been given fullness in Christ,
who is the head over every power and authority”
Colossians 2:10

As a child of God, just as Jesus was fully God, you are fully complete in Him. Think about that. You are completely saved. Nothing lacks in salvation.

This is a very powerful statement. There is nothing lacking in your salvation. Everything you need has been given to you. You are fully equipped for your life. Peter bears this out when he says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). Everything.

He is the head over every power and authority. There is nothing you will encounter in life that Christ does not have supremacy over. You need not rely on the world system. You need not be concerned about tomorrow. Christ is in control. You are His.

“And to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God”   Ephesians 3:19

HIS COVERING

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Day 276

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation
for those who are in Christ Jesus”
Romans 8:1

Sin started in the heavens when Satan, an angelic being, exercised his will to do evil. Because of this, Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven. Then Adam sinned bringing sin to mankind. Sin is devastating and has terrible effects on us. It attacks and afflicts us, and follows us throughout life. We tend to think of sin as something we do, an act, but it is far more than that. It is a state of our heart and a disposition of our nature.

Jesus exposed the nature of sin when He said, “when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites . . .” [Matthew 6:5-6]. Sin follows us even into God’s presence. The great wickedness of sin is the ultimate root of it – self-adulation and self-worship. How many ‘rights’ do we exercise in the midst of others? How much do we make happen by shear will power and determination? How much do we impose our agenda? Yes, we can take sin into the presence of God even as we worship Him!

It is an extraordinary thing that Christ accomplished for us. We are born into sin and are so easily inclined to sin. Yet, in spite of this, Christ died for us so we may be reconciled to our Father. He became our righteousness so we may know and have fellowship in freedom with Him. Because of Christ there is no condemnation for us who are in Him.

“For because of our faith, he has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be.”
Romans 5:2

GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY OVER OUR LIFE

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Day 275

“The Lord has established His throne in the heavens;
And His sovereignty rules over all”
Psalm 103:19

David had many peaks and valleys in his life. His life was a mixture of good and evil, and some of the evil was of great extent. David was a great man of God, but wrestled with trials, temptations, sin, and persecution. One thing was clear; he was God’s chosen one and David came to understand His sovereignty through his many dark valleys. He came to the knowledge that we need to grasp – that God is the source and controls all things, and nothing comes to be except through God.

The sovereignty of God is a paradox to our minds. Everything that has occurred in your life; the joys and sorrows, your good health and sicknesses, your financial success and poverty, your good and bad relationships, your achievements and failures, are under His sovereignty.

No matter what happens in our life, He will turn it to His purposes and good will come out of it. But, if we just see God as a way out of our trials, tribulations or unable to help us because we sinned and failed, we will live in fear, anxiety and restlessness. We will believe we are not secure in Him and lose hope.

Knowing His sovereignty comes by faith and relationship; it brings peace, rest and a confidence to our lives. God’s sovereignty causes us to rejoice in Him, for He will bring victory out of our valleys. That is why David proclaimed,

“Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me,
bless His holy name!” Psalm 103:1

OUR FATHER

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Day 274

“This is how you should pray: ‘Our Father . . .'”
Matthew 6:5-15

You are very privileged to address God as “Our Father.” Christ instructed us to pray using this introduction, as we are His children. Pray is the highest call of our walk with the Lord. To pray is to have communion with our Father. It is the time when we set ourselves apart from all else and come face to face with God.

There are many who pray, but cannot call God “Our Father.” Believing in a universal Fatherhood, they mistakenly confuse God the Creator of humanity for God the Father who has chosen us as His. Jesus specifically cited this in His high priestly prayer when He said, “I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those You have given Me, for they are Yours” (John 17:9).

God’s Fatherhood is a precious relationship. He covers us under His wings. We live in His grace, mercy and compassion. There is a total security in Him giving us a surety of eternal life. Earthly fatherhood pales in comparison to the depth of our Father’s. His love for us is so immense it is difficult to verbalize. It magnifies His glory that He took a people like us and made us His to be a praise of Him.

“God did this so that . . . we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged”
Hebrews 6:18

GOD KNOWS YOU

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Day 273

“He observes the sons of men; His eyes examine them”
Psalm 11:4

Did you know that God knew you before you were conceived? He knew who we would be. Our birth, planned or not planned, does not change that God knew us. He chose you to be His child and He knew all your days ahead; the good and bad, days of darkness, sin, failures and days filled with happiness and joy.

Consider this: He created Adam and Eve. He knew they would sin.

He chose Jacob, foreknowing he would be a deceiver, reach great heights, only to sink again.

He chose David. God knew he would commit adultery followed by planning and carrying out a murder to cover his sin.

He chose Peter, foreknowing the day he would deny Christ three times.

He chose all these men and you to be His child. He knows all the trials and temptations that you will undergo. He fully knows your infirmities, failures and sins today, tomorrow and in the remaining days of your life. He knows all your ways.

Here is the glory of the Lord: He knows our infirmities and He intercedes for us. He has experienced all temptation and endured the cross for the joy set before Him. He will complete the good work He began in us and will purify us. He has given us the Holy Spirit as a seal of our inheritance and we are eternally His. Saint, do not let sin and failures cause you to lose sight of your eternal Father.

Rise up, and drive the enemies of your soul out.

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive your out enemy
before you, saying, ‘Destroy him!'”
Deuteronomy 33:27

THE CHARACTER OF CHRIST

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Day 272

“Then I said, ‘Here I am'”
Hebrews 10:5-10

What is the most outstanding characteristic of our Lord Jesus Christ? It is the reason why He subjected Himself to become man, suffer, and die for us.

Christ stated His purpose when He said, “Here I am . . . I have come to do your will, O God.” His whole purpose and supreme object in all that He did was to please His Father. He lived for God His Father. It is a great revelation of the holy relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

That love and relationship is extended to us. He came to do what we did not do – obey the Father perfectly. He demonstrated how to live solely for God. Because of that obedience, He saved sinners. By living for God, doing His will, the Father’s purposes are accomplished.

Christ’s life shows us how to live. He said He only spoke what the Father told Him and the works He carried out were the ones the Father had given Him to do. He lived to serve others. He was despised and rejected; He suffered and never thought of Himself. He did nothing for Himself. He lived only for the glory of God.

Now that He has made a way for us, we are to walk in the same spirit.

“I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart”
Psalm 40:8

THE GOD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Day 271

“Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst for righteousness”
Matthew 5:6

If there is one theme that occurs often in the New Testament, it is righteousness. Reflecting the very character and nature of our Father, Christ now lays before us how we are to live as Christians. He is a righteous and a holy God. He died to enable us to be righteous in Him; ” Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people” (Titus 2:14). This is the beginning.

All of us are to be like this – hungering and thirsting after righteousness. We are to be imitators of Him, living and walking in righteousness. Christ emphasizes this; “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” [Matthew 6:33]. We are to set our mind, thoughts and actions on the kingdom. We are to pursue Him. It is to be our life’s work, for out of this will come blessedness and all things.

True hunger is deep and continues until it is satisfied. The prodigal son finally experienced this hunger when he came to the end of himself. Then, and only then, did he turn to his father. Many of us do not have this hunger. We are busy with programs, activities and work followed by ease and entertainment. Many have not a clue about persecution as approximately 171,000 brethren are martyred yearly. Not to mention the continue rise of persecution in other forms such as removing God from every part of our society and culture. We are comfortable; the worse circumstance possible for us.

Oh, Father, that we may truly hunger and thirst after righteousness.

“Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear”
Matthew 13:43