Archive for the ‘Provision’ Category

DO NOT FEAR

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Day 263

“Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord”
2 Chronicles 20:17

A Transjordan coalition of Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites formed as an invading army against their common enemy Judah. Jehoshaphat, King, was warned about the invasion and his immediate response was fear. Considering the frailty of our human nature, it is not uncommon for fear to be a first response to threatening situations. We all succumb to it. But, Jehoshaphat knew that God had sovereign dominion over everything.

“Do not fear” is based on God’s sovereignty. Jehoshaphat did not muster his armies, but set himself to seek the Lord. He declared God’s sovereignty, proclaimed a fast and prayed, professing his entire dependence upon God. He sought refuge in Him. He also recognized that he could not fight the enemy under his own power. He needed to have God’s strength.

Jehoshaphat teaches us a great lesson; do not look at the circumstances, but look at the Lord. The word declares that even if a mother forgot her child, our Father would not forget or abandon us. He is sovereign and has dominion over everything. We are far more secure by abandoning ourselves to God’s care than to rely upon the arm of the flesh.

“Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and
Mount Seir, who had come against Judah;
and they were defeated”
2 Chronicles 20:22

COMPLETE TRUST

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Day 213

“They have no wine”
“Do whatever He tells you”
John 2:1-11

The scene was a wedding feast, where customarily the best wine was put out first. An embarrassing situation developed when the wine ran out. Mary, the mother of Jesus, approached her son to resolve the problem.

“They have no wine,” she told Him, although her son is now an adult and has begun His public ministry. He is revealing His Father in His life and deeds. Did Mary understand that? We’re not sure, but she trusted Him and turned to Him for an answer to this problem. His first reply to her qualifies what He’s doing. Responding in respect, He immediately establishes that He now was governed by His Father’s eternal time schedule and everything is now according to His eternal decree. He was her Lord now, and she understood that.

Show Him our need, tell Him with trust, and He will provide.

“Do whatever He tells you,” she tells the servants. There is a total confidence in His provision to meet the need. An opportunity exists for the glory of the Lord to be revealed. What is this glory? It’s a revelation of the Father through Jesus. It is the revelation of love that meets a need for wine at a wedding feast. Six large jars were filled to the top with water. Jesus turned these to wine — not just wine, but the finest of wine. This sign now reveals Jesus in His glory, full of grace and truth. It’s Christ Himself, the Bridegroom, bestowing gifts, supplying abundantly in the physical realm, and more so in the spirit.

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
Revelation 5:12

GOD HIMSELF WILL PROVIDE

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

Day 210

“Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and . . . sacrifice him there as a burnt offering”
Genesis 22:2

The story of Abraham provides an interesting study of God’s covenant with man. It is also contains one of the most dramatic events in the entire Bible. Abraham had longed for a son and finally, in his old age, he had Isaac. Long waited for, he was greatly loved. Isaac also was the object of remarkable promises made by God. He was and represented the very promise of God Himself to Abraham.

Some years later, when Isaac was probably a late teenager, God visits Abraham and requires him to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering. We know Abraham’s love for Isaac was very deep. We cannot imagine what ran through his mind. Although the recorded account does not give us a glimpse into his inner thoughts, it would not be hard to believe that he wrestled greatly with God on sacrificing his promised son. Yet, the only testimony of Abraham is that he obeyed the Lord.

Abraham hears God in the night and the very next morning he leaves with Isaac to fulfill what God has told him. He tells no one. Three days later he reaches the mountain, leaves the servants behind, and takes Isaac up to the mountain top. When Isaac questions his father about where the sacrifice is, Abraham says God Himself will provide. Finally, at the very moment he has Isaac bound for the sacrifice and he is ready to slay him with the knife, God intervenes stopping him. In the place of Isaac the Lord provided a ram for the sacrifice. Here on the mountain top, Abraham found God as His provider in a depth he never knew before. Long before Abraham was, God saw his need and made provision. Long before we were, God saw our need and made provision.

“The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore” Psalm 121:8

WHO WE ARE

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Day 196

“We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes,
and we looked the same to them”
Numbers 13:33

What has changed?

God not only set His people free, He gave them provision for every step of the way. And the proof of His promise was in their hands; “…they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs.”

Yet, when problems mount, crises comes, and there seemingly is a mountain before us, we suddenly see ourselves as weak, powerless, and defeated. And all these are suddenly giants in our life! What has changed? It certainly isn’t God who has changed. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Our heart fails us! What a contradiction! We suddenly are a defeated people that are led to accusing God of not keeping us. We’re holding the fruit of the land in our hand, His provision and treasures for us while declaring, it’s all over and we’re finished.

How foolish we are! Even if God permits circumstances in our life that are troubling, His promise is that He will take us through them and we will emerge untouched. Nothing happens in our lives except what He has permitted. And He declares for those who love Him that it is to our good. Stand up and be courageous, you are a son of God and all is well. He is your God and is with you to the end.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
The flames will not set you ablaze.”
Isaiah 43:1b-2

HE FREELY GIVES

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Day 182

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered
Him up for us all, how will He not also with
Him freely gives us all things?”
Romans 8:32

We are subject to many passions, moods, emotions and feelings. It is our state and none escape, even in maturity. These areas of our life often are enemies of who we are Christ. We tend to judge and measure our position in Christ according to our current state. Have you ever doubted your salvation? God’s forgiveness? His love? His protection?

As powerful as salvation and grace are in our lives, it is amazing how we see our performance related to our acceptance by God. Consider the verse today and the depth of what God has done for us. First, He made a sacrifice of His own Son for you – ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.’ Yes, God Himself did not spare His own Son. And on the heels of that powerful and compelling truth, another great declaration is made – God our Father and His Son will freely give us all things! Do you realize what this means?

He will give us all that is necessary to keep us from now until we are called home. His Fatherhood and powerful love will not permit human weakness, demonic activity, sin, trouble, hardship, persecution, or any other thing separate us from Him. Saints, listen; He did not shed the holy blood of Christ to lose us or for waste. He is determined to rescue, restore and perfect us until the day of Christ Jesus. You are His forever.

“Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid”
Isaiah 12:2

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

KING OF KINGS

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Day 89

“In those days there was no king in Israel;
everyone did what was right in his own eyes”
Judges 21:25

As the prophet Samuel was getting old and coming into his last days, a terrible thing happened in Israel. All the Elders of Israel met with Samuel and said, “appoint us a king to lead us as the other nations have” [1 Samuel:8:5-7]. They looked all around at other nations and decided they wanted a human king to lead them. What they did was “right in [their] own eyes.”

God’s own people rejected Him once again. Instead of having a government headed by God, they chose a human government. God Himself said they rejected Him, and pointed out they had done this “from the day I brought them up out of Egypt.” They set the standard for their own conduct; they decided what morality was. Instead of trusting and leaning on God, they wanted what others had. They permitted deception to enter their hearts.

When we do not have a proper understanding of God and His sovereignty in our lives, we can easily do the same. We may permit finances, the banking system, unions, insurance, health system, careers, and even the government to be our providers. We lean on them, thinking we are made secure by them. Yes, we may believe in Christ and be faithful, but it is also very easy to substitute these human institutions for Him. We need to acknowledge our total reliance on God every day, recognizing that he is our only true source of provision

“He satisfies the thirsty and fills
the hungry with good things”
Psalm 107:9

GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Day 72

“When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not
lead them on the road . . . that was the shortest
way from Egypt to the Promised Land”
Exodus 13:17

God led the Israelites on a road that trapped them between the wilderness and the Red Sea. Pharaoh came after the Israelites with everything he had – his entire army of horses, chariots, and charioteers were committed to the chase. It wasn’t long before he caught up to the Israelites, and when they saw Pharaoh’s army approaching they began to panic and cry out to the Lord for help.

It got worse. Being caught with a sea to your back, and the only way of escape occupied by an army that wants to crush you, can strike fear in your heart. To the Israelites, it looked like the end. They turned against Moses, accusing him of leading them there to die. Things got bitter and they lost hope. How many times have we faced situations in our life that looked like the end? The great test of our character comes when we can find no answers, and see the absolute end of everything approaching.

But those Israelites were led into the impossible by God. He positioned them where they would find no answers. They believed they were going to die; it can’t get worse than that! But it was all for God’s purposes, because He is the answer, and only He could rescue them. And in the end, they did not have to lift a finger in their defense. This is our God: the God of the impossible. And He loves nothing more than to demonstrate His glory by rescuing us from the impossible.

“Don’t be afraid. Just stand where you are and
watch the Lord rescue you. . . . You won’t
have to lift a finger in your defense”
Exodus 14:13-14

DIVINE DELAYS

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Day 24

“Yet when He heard that Lazurus was sick,
He stayed where He was two more days”
John 11:6

“Lazurus is dead” (vs 4).

We live by time; minutes, hours, days, months and years. Our prayers concerning crises, important issues, and matters that we perceive will happen soon, are usually made looking for an answer right away. Our sense of need is framed in time, but God does not seem to always answer in the time we think He should. Often an answer does not seem to be forthcoming at all.

Consider some of the biblical situations where God delayed answering. Abraham received the promise of a son, but it was over 20 years before it was fulfilled. Elijah was sent to a brook to wait and was there several years. David was anointed by the Lord to be king, but ended up fleeing to save his life, living in the wilds as a fugitive; and it was 15 years or more before he became king. Job suffered severely in the loss of his children, servants, cattle and then was personally afflicted. His wife urged him to give up, but he endured a long period of suffering. Peter was told by Jesus to wait by Sea at Tiberias, and when He did not show, he went fishing.

Have you experienced this? Have you cried, “how long O Lord,” or, “I am worn out calling for help” [Psalms 13:1, 69:3]? And like Martha, have you said, “If You had been here . . .”

Yet, even when it seems to us that God has not heard or answered, He has an appointed time for everything. Delays remove any illusions of our self-sufficiency. They dissuade man’s attempts to make an answer, and permit all to see His glory.

“Did I not tell you that if you believed,
you would see the glory of the Lord? ”
John 11:40