Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

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

THE LAMB

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Day 254

“Follow the Lamb wherever He goes”
Revelation 14:4

The first call we hear in our hearts is when Jesus said, “If a man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.” He satisfies our deepest needs by reconciling us to the Father. He tells us to come and He will give us rest. If we are willing to take His yoke on us and learn from Him, we will find rest for our souls. His promise is that streams of living water will flow from within us.

The second call we hear from Jesus says, “If any one wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Now that we are his children, we find maturity by living for Him and others instead of for ourselves. We die to our own self-desires, wants and needs. We die to the world and its lusts. In its place are servanthood, humility and meekness. We become His ambassadors and bear the message of the good news. Then with Paul, we cry, “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”

Then there is a third call, one for those who know Him intimately and rely on His love. They follow the Lamb wherever He leads them. They are willing to go where they do not want to go, but they go because the Lamb of God leads them. Peter heard this the day Jesus said, “… but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Some 156,000 Christians, 17 an hour, were led where they did not want to go; they were martyred last year.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of His saints”
Psalm 116:15

CHRIST – YOUR LIFE

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Day 248

“When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory”
Colossians 3:4

We will encounter Christ in all the magnificence of His Person and glory when He returns. All will see the glory of the Lord. We will share in His glory and the great day of His return. Today, though, we are preparing for His coming.

We are to work out our salvation daily and grow in maturity and love. What we have invested in our relationship with the Lord and doing the works of Christ here on earth is what will determine our place in the final glorification. Paul gives us a command; “Set your heart on things above” and, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (3:1-2). These directions imply much more than just our thoughts. It includes how we are to invest ourselves in Him, to intimately know Him more and more.

The glory of the Lord begins today in our lives. Our life and works prepare the way to that final day of the Lord.

Who may climb the mountain of the Lord and enter where he lives? Who may stand before the Lord? Only those with pure hands and hearts, who do not practice dishonesty and lying. They will receive God’s own goodness as their blessing from him, planted in their lives by God himself, their Savior. These are the ones who are allowed to stand before the Lord and worship the God of Jacob. Open up, O ancient gates, and let the King of Glory in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, invincible in battle. Yes, open wide the gates and let the King of Glory in. Who is this King of Glory? The Commander of all of heaven’s armies!” Psalm 25:3-10

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

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

THE STORMS OF LIFE

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Day 123

“And there arose a great storm in the sea,
so that the boat was covered with the
waves; but He Himself was asleep”
Matthew 8:24

It was a routine boat trip across the Sea of Galilee. The disciples were experienced fishermen and they knew their ship and the sea. It is no different from our experiences. We carry out many of our daily tasks the same way. We are familiar with the routine. Usually everything is calm and there are no unexpected events. But, a sudden storm came on these men in the boat.

Life is like that. Suddenly there are storms. It comes on us all at once. It is unexpected. And, it seems to overwhelm us. Job said that which he feared the most came upon him [Job 3:25]. What is our reaction? The men in the boat cried, “Teacher do you not care that we are perishing?” Sometimes when we come under intense pressure we believe God isn’t present or doesn’t care. Suddenly the God we believed in appears incapable of rescuing us.

How do we know if we have faith? How do we know we have peace, rest, stability? The storms of life will test them. Jesus rebuked the men in the boat as having “little faith.” Faith comes by hearing and understanding the word of God. If you do not have the knowledge, or little knowledge, it will equal no or little faith. But, He is Emmanuel, God with us. Our Elder brother has placed us in a ship called the Church. Nothing can prevail against it and no matter how severe the storm, we will reach the other side. When you come to know this, your life will rest in Him.

“He caused the storm to be still . . .
So He guided them to their desired haven”
Psalm 107:29-30

THE BLIND SEE

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Day 108

“And he called out, saying,
‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'”
Luke 18:38

His name was Bartimaeus. He was blind. Instead of wallowing in his handicap, he chose to undertake a daily trip into Jericho and position himself at the one of the busiest sections for begging. He earned income for living by this means. It appears Bartimaeus was no slacker!

Bartimaeus was sitting by the road begging, as he had done every day. Nothing different. But, this day he heard a large crowd passing by and asked what was going on. They told him Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And, without warning, he started calling out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The ones leading the crowd didn’t like that and told him to stop and be quiet. Instead of obeying them, he yelled louder to Jesus, crying out for Him to have mercy on him. Jesus stopped, questioned him and healed him of his blindness. That day, Bartimaeus became a follower of Jesus, glorifying God.

There is a lesson here; Bartimaeus was an unusual person. In spite of his handicap, he worked for a living. He showed up every day. He didn’t give up on life. And he had hope. Yes, he was ready to go on and when the opportunity presented itself, he seized it. How did he know about Jesus? He must have heard the stories. So, when Jesus came, he jumped up and yelled with all his might – save me – have mercy on me. When we cry out, He hears us and draws near.

“Ask, and it shall be given to you;
seek, and you shall find; knock,
and it shall be opened to you”
Matthew 7:7

GOD’S PERSPECTIVE

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Day 75

“It was troublesome in my sight
until I came into the sanctuary of God”
Psalm 73:16-17

When Asaph “saw [the wicked] prosper despite their wickedness”, he got into trouble. He found himself envying them. Asaph even began to question if it was worth being a follower of God! It got so bad that Asaph nearly fell into the pit.

Mary’s sister Martha had the same problem. When Jesus visited their house, Martha was preoccupied with social graces, lost in being the perfect hostess – instead of sitting at Jesus feet, as Mary did, and learning from Him. We can be a lot like Asaph and Martha; we look at the world around us through an imperfect perspective and base our thoughts, judgments and actions on our perception of it.

Nothing will change our mind and circumstances more than having God’s perspective. We will see things in an entirely different light. When Asaph finally went to God, it changed him. First it revealed his own heart, and how it molded his character. Second he got God’s perspective – His divine plan – and an understanding of God’s sovereignty over all things. Asaph knew his thinking was wrong and that he needed to know God’s mind in his life.

Martha had to learn to let go and trust Jesus. It wasn’t until Jesus came after her brother Lazarus’ death that she finally encountered the reality of relying on Jesus. Thinking only of “if you were here when he was sick” she limited Jesus to her perceptions. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave her eyes were opened to knowing Him. Your life will change when you begin to know God and think righteously. Then you will see the glory of the Lord.

“I count all things to be loss in view
of the surpassing value of knowing
Christ Jesus my Lord conformed”
Philippians 3:8

TRUSTING GOD

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Day 62

“Trust in God, trust also in Me”
John 14:1b

When many people say “I love God”, their idea of loving God does not always include trusting Him. They are not so sure that he will do what needs to be done. The disciples had this problem. They loved Christ, but they did not trust in Him for the outcome of what was happening; they didn’t understand and they didn’t believe.

Christ comforted and reassured them and then said, “Trust in God, trust also in Me.” He told them what was happening and that He would be preparing a place for them in Heaven. They needed to hear that because in a matter of hours their faith would be put to the test through His crucifixion, death and burial.

But there were those who did trust God and we can see how they were blessed because of it. Noah trusted God when the land was dry – he built a boat. Moses trusted God when he wandered in the desert for 40 years leading millions of people. David trusted God, knowing he was to be King, even while being relentlessly pursued by armies out to kill him. And many others trusted God in the face of constant testing and adversity with no evidence of deliverance.

What a great God we have! He comforts us. He reassures us, and He proves His faithfulness over and over again by working on our behalf. He knows our weaknesses and frailties. He knows that many times we face circumstances wherein we cannot see the answers. In His mercy He has called out to us as a Father – “trust me.”

“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord,
the Lord, is the Rock eternal”
Isaiah 26:4