“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us....”
Ephesians 3:20 NKJV
Regarding today’s Scripture I would like to ask you a question. Have you ever had a REALLY BIG IDEA? A thought, of something you’d like to do and your initial thought is, that’s not possible? No way, not going to happen?
Listen there will be times when God will drop a REALLY BIG IDEA in you. Something way beyond what you could possibly accomplish. I mean it staggers you at first!
The Bible is filled with people who did great things for God, directed by Him, but lacked what was necessary in the beginning to fulfill the mission.
We’ve held back on doing things because we haven’t gotten a hold of what God has said and promised.
God said He “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think...”
Notice the responsibility for “doing” is based entirely on His ability.
And all of this is “according to the power that works in us....”. That word power in the Greek is dunamis and is also translated force, miraculous power, ability, might and strength.
I like how the Message Bible puts it:
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”
Ephesians 3:20 MSG
So the next time God drops that REALLY BIG IDEA in you, embrace it. Let Him know you are ready for the mission and He will empower you and provide all the resources you need.
“So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.”
Luke 5:1-7 NKJV
These guys had been fishing all night and they caught nothing. These are experienced commercial fishermen who made their living from fishing. Yet on this particular night they had gone out and labored all night and ended up with nothing. For these guys catching nothing meant there was no income for that day!
The Scripture says that they had left their boats and they were washing their nets getting them ready for the next nights fishing.
I would suspect these guys were bummed out, probably a bit agitated and upset! Their labors produced nothing! What’s the wife going to say? How are we going to feed the kids? How are we going to pay the bills?
Simon is on land tending to the nets and here’s Jesus in his boat. It causes me to chuckle when I think about this! I can see Jesus climbing into his boat and then asking Simon for his help.
He speaks directly to Simon, after getting into Simon’s boat, He asks him to move out from the shore so He could speak to the people, this multitude that had come.
Simon had a choice to make. Either help Jesus or finish cleaning his nets.
Simon said yes to Jesus and because of this one decision it would forever change his life. He would go from catching fish to being a fisher of men. Joining the Master on the most amazing faith adventure one could ever imagine.
Simon’s decision would not only lead to him and his fishing partners being blessed with an unbelievable catch of fish but it would cause the multitude to hear the message the Master brought.
After Jesus had finished ministering to the people He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon and his fishing buddies were about to be rewarded by the Lord!
Simon had another choice, another decision to make. Do what the Master says, or call it a day. Go home, go to bed and hope for a better tomorrow?
Simon didn’t hesitate and said, “nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”
“And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.”
The Master needed to deliver His message and Simon cooperated with Him. He allowed Jesus to use his boat and as a result not only would Simon be blessed but all of his fishing partners as well.
Simon partnered with Jesus in His ministry and he was rewarded mightily! Simon sowed his boat and he received a NET BREAKING BOAT SINKING HARVEST!
God always rewards His children when they obey him. That’s His nature!
My friend, as your partner in God’s Kingdom business, expect to receive a NET BREAKING BOAT SINKING Harvest!
“It is the Lord who gives wisdom; from him come knowledge and understanding.”
Proverbs 2:6 GNT
Several days ago the Lord said this to me, “You cannot fight today’s battle with yesterdays battle plan.”
When He said that, it kind of startled me, because I was not thinking about being in a battle. But I’ve learned the Father knows best and He knows how to get to us exactly what we need.
And if it’s not for you or me at the time it may be for us in the future or it will be for somebody else.
I quickly wrote down what He said and I’ve been thinking about that. I would encourage you, if you are not doing this already, to write down things the Lord speaks to you about.
“You cannot fight today’s battle with yesterday’s battle plan.”
We must hear from him! Often we go about planning and strategizing with yesterday’s plan having not checked with Him.
I’ve been in enough planning meetings over the years and I’ve heard comments such as, well what we used before worked, it’s proved itself, why not? Why reinvent the wheel?
I’ve said that before myself but I have since learned God may want to do something entirely different!
Be flexible with God!
What’s wrong with this picture as far as God‘s plans are concerned? Just because it worked that way before, may not be the way God wants it done now.
He’s very particular you know! He knows the end from the beginning! He knows what will work and what won’t!
So instead of developing the plan and asking God to bless it why not go to Him first to get
His plan! And if it’s His plan it’s blessed and anointed.
Jesus did not do anything while He was here on earth, that the Father had not instructed Him to say or do. And it would be wise for you and I to do the same!
“For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.”
John 12:49 NKJV
“Then Jesus answered and said to them, Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”
John 5:19 NKJV
Here are two different strategies used by Jesus with the same outcome. Strategies that came directly from His Father.
Look at these two examples of two blind men whom Jesus healed differently:
“Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.”
Mark 8:22-25 NKJV
Jesus spit on his eyes then laid hands on his eyes (He didn’t pray!) And asked him what he saw. The man didn’t see clearly and then Jesus laid hands on his eyes again. The man’s eyesight was restored.
“Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging. And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.”
Luke 18:35-43 NKJV
In this instance Jesus spoke to the man, “receive your sight your faith has made you well.”
Both blind men were healed and received their sight but in each instance Jesus handled it differently.
It’s so very important that we hear what God wants us to do and then do exactly He says to do, exactly the way He says to do it.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:16 KJV
As I was praying about what to share in this devotional I heard the Lord say, that many of My children have felt overwhelmed at times. It wasn't an audible voice but it was in an inward witness. He said they are burdened because of all the difficulties they face.
God has the answer to everyone of our problems.
Stuff happens in life like the washer has quit working, more bills than money, kids are sick and the husband got laid off from his job. And we wonder could things-possibly get any worse. And they do!
We get a phone call saying that one of our family members has been diagnosed with an incurable disease and the doctor says there is no hope.
Wow it’s like the devil is piling on!
What to do?
Today's Scripture tells us exactly what we are to do! We are to go to Him, with boldness and confidence (because we are His kids) asking for His help, He will give it!
Remember, God will get us through every issue that you and I face, if we leave ALL of our worries with Him.
“Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7 GNT
Glory to God! Leave them with Him!
Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Isaiah 43:19 AMPC
I am so grateful for all that God has in store for us. Not just because it’s a brand new year, but because that’s the way He is.
He wants you to be well taken care of! As you read through the Scriptures you will see that He is in the business of piling on the blessings. He piles them on so that you can be a vessel of blessing to many others.
Oh He may ask you to give up something, but it is always to get something else to you.
What He gives is always better than what we have and it’s always much more than you could possibly imagine.
In today’s Scripture God says, “I am doing a new thing...”
I like new! God is doing new things in your life.
Expect to see these manifested in your life. New horizons, new opportunities, new vision, new provision, new territories, new connections, new life and new strength.
He also says, “I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
When I think about Him making a way in the wilderness, I see Him clearing the way for you to walk and live. Even though it’s a wilderness He has a way through. Other translations say, “He makes a road...”
Glory to God!
And not only that, but He will provide a river of water in the midst of a dry land. That river is a river that brings refreshing, life giving and sustaining power to you. Thank You Lord!
Oh our Good Father will certainly take good care of us each and every day!
God is making a way through any wilderness you may encounter and He is refreshing you as you go. Be refreshed in Him today!
“Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.”
Proverbs 16:3 AMPC
As I was thinking about today’s Scripture I was reminded how often I have failed to do this.
It reminds me of those times when I purchased something, you know one of those things that states on the package, some assembly required.
Well you lay all the pieces out on the floor and it looks like a giant jigsaw puzzle. And there is that proverbial bag of screws, pegs, nuts and bolts, and another gizmo's.
In my early years my first inclination was to set aside the instructions and try to put that thing together. Well that usually ended up with me being frustrated, the thing not being assembled correctly, and THEN I would go to the instructions.
I didn’t have to go through that at all!
Today’s Scripture says that we should “Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him...”
Not committing and not trusting our works to him is like me not reading those instructions. It will always end in futility!
That’s scripture goes on to say, if we have committed everything to Him, “He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.”
You and I cannot afford to not go to Him first and seek out His will and mind regarding the matter.
One thing I do know, is that if we do what the Word says we are to do, we can expect to see the results of what the Word says will happen.
Happy New Year to you and your family! Linda and I pray that this New Year would be a GREAT YEAR and an AMAZING YEAR, filled with all that God has promised to you in His Word!
Many people start off their New Year with resolutions. Things that they resolve, that they purpose to do, during the New Year. They resolve to be nicer, more caring, save more money, take a vacation, lose weight, etc. All those things are good but what might we resolve to do concerning the things of God?
I heard the Lord the say, First things first!
What Jesus offered is not a suggestion or something that we might try to do. But Jesus, the Master Himself, commanded us that this was something we were to do.
God first! His plan and priorities, His business, His things. God first!
I would encourage you in this New Year, with God’s help, to seek putting Him first in all that you do. His plans and priorities, His business and His things for your life.
When we do that everything else is taken care of!
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
James 1:17 NIV
This season is always a wonderful time of the year where gifts are given. I know growing up as a child I could hardly wait to open my Christmas gifts. On the days before Christmas seeing them under the Christmas tree and wondering what was in them. And I must admit little has changed as an adult!
Finally the wait was over and it was time for our family to open our gifts. I don’t know about your household but we were always very orderly one person opening one gift at a time. Oh the agony as a kid wanting to get on with the program!
But what would that be like if all those wonderful, beautifully wrapped gifts were never unwrapped and enjoyed?
For too many in the body of Christ there are many gifts, promises of God, that have been given but they’ve never been received, unwrapped and enjoyed.
Promises our Heavenly Father Himself has provided. Truly amazing promises! These gifts, His promises, are far better than anything we could find under a Christmas tree.
Promises of salvation, deliverance, healing, health, wholeness, love, joy, peace, victory, guidance, prosperity and so many more.
I would encourage you to open your Bible and look for those gifts, His promises. And for each you find receive it by faith as yours. Receive it, unwrap it and enjoy it!
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
May this be a wonderful season of blessing and that the Lord would open up the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that you would not have room enough to contain it. You would be so blessed, even, the blessed will call you blessed!
Also as we celebrate this very special time of the year, let us remember what this season is all about.
So much of what we see in the world today about the “holiday” has nothing to do with what Christmas is really all about. Every time I see a commercial on television and they are talking about the “holidays” and the need to buy their particular product I think to myself, what about Jesus?
What about our Lord? What about the One that came into this world so that none would be lost?
Jesus they have forgotten You!
Oh there are so many wonderful things about Christmas such as family and friends gathering together. Wonderful fellowship taking place over a wonderful meal. Christmas cookies and all of the treats. Children excited about their gifts, joyously unwrapping each and every one.
It really is a special time of the year and all of those things we enjoy and cherish as well. Enjoy every moment, these times are truly special!
But what about Jesus?
It can be very easy with all of the hustle and bustle of Christmas for us to lose sight of the real reason for the season.
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins....Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
Matthew 1:21,23 KJV
So let’s focus on our Saviors birth and the reason for His coming!
Oh come let us adore Him!
“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Psalms 34:1 KJV
I would like to ask you a question. I ask this of myself as well. When was the last time, you took time, to bless the Lord? Not asking for anything but just taking an opportunity to bless Him, thanking Him, adoring Him!
Often we are asking God for His blessings on our lives and the lives of others. Asking for something in prayer. That’s a good thing! He wants us to come to Him asking.
In today’s Scripture David said he was going to bless the Lord at all times and that his praise would flow forth from his mouth continually.
Did you see that? ALL TIMES and CONTINUALLY.
If it’s at ALL TIMES and it’s CONTINUALLY, then there is no time left for words that do not bless or praise.
This is an area where we need mind renewal. Thinking differently. Ministering on to the Lord should be a vital part of our relationship with our good God!
Do you think it’s possible that we could bless Him or praise Him too much? Of course not!
So go to Him not asking Him for anything but simply blessing Him and praising Him.
Telling Him how much you love him and to bless Him. Thanking Him for all that He has done, is doing and will do in the future.
“I bless GOD every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise.”
Psalm 34:1 MSG
" I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance, to the full, till it overflows"
John 10:10 Amplified Bible
Here’s a question to ask of yourself. Are you living your life in a "survival mode" rather than in an "abundance mode”?
Do you think God Himself is struggling to get by in heaven? Make ends meet? Just trying to survive all the chaos of the earth?
I don’t think so! Jesus himself said that God’s plan and His will for you and I here on earth, was to be exactly like it is in heaven.
Our Heavenly Father is not a barely enough God but He's always a more than enough God.
Every miracle of provision in the Bible was always a miracle of abundant provision. Always more than enough! Way way more than enough!
In today’s Scripture Jesus Himself said, " I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance, to the full, till it overflows" (John 10:10 Amplified Bible)
Stop settling for less than what Jesus said is rightfully yours! Start expecting you will have more than enough! Start confessing God is bringing you into the best shape of your life! You are a Kingdom Citizen and you are blessed! Expect it!
“They did not remember his power and how he rescued them from their enemies. They did not remember his miraculous signs in Egypt, his wonders on the plain of Zoan.”
Psalms 78:42-43 NLT
God delivered His children from the oppressive life they lived in Egypt. From under the brutal hand of Pharaoh. And not only that, but He sustained them day by day, when they came out of Egypt.
Time and time again the children of Israel complained. God called them to be winners and He was setting them up for total and complete victory, yet all they did was whine! They were whiners and not winners!
God’s plan was to take them from Egypt directly into the promised land. But they forgot what God had already done for them in Egypt and how He delivered them from Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea.
God had brought them to the very entrance of the promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey, but they balked at entering because they had forgotten. They had forgotten what had said and and what He had already done for them.
Because they had forgotten what God had done for them they even came to the point where they wanted to go back to Egypt. How crazy is that!
Oh my friend how easy is it to give in to the devils lies or our flesh and forget what great things are good God has already done.
I would encourage you today to refresh your memory, by the Spirit of God, to all that our good God has done for you!
If you do that, you will see time and time again, how God has protected you and sustained you.
God’s destiny and plans for you is a complete and total victory in every area of life. So don’t be a whiner but realize that with God you are a winner.
With God all things are possible!
“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”
Luke 17:15-19 NKJV
Oh friends we have so much to be thankful for!
In today’s Scripture there were 10 lepers that Jesus healed but only one came back to give glory to God. Only one came back to show his thankfulness.
Let me ask you a question? Will you be like that one, or the nine? The nine missed a wonderful opportunity return and say thank you. One did not! May we be like that one!
Let’s develop an Attitude of Thanksgiving, an Attitude of Gratitude! Let’s make it a lifestyle!
“Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 GWT
“Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.”
Psalms 62:1-2 NKJV
In today's Scripture let's look at the word salvation. That word salvation, is an amazing word which we need to understand it to its fullest meaning.
Most often the first thought that comes to mind concerning salvation, is that of being saved, brought into the Kingdom of God, part of the Family of God, through Christ's sacrifice on the cross.
Thank God for that! But it means so much more to us as believers!
Latch on to this! It means deliverance from danger or difficulty. Preservation from distraction or failure.
It speaks about our spiritual and material preservation. Deliverance from fear and danger as well as pardon, restoration, healing, wholeness and soundness in our spirit, soul and body!
It also means to be delivered (see Psalm 91) from pestilence, which includes serious sickness and disease, famine, earthquakes and other calamities. It means protected from sudden death that comes by the weapons of man. It promises you a long, satisfying life and deliverance from every kind of trouble that comes your way.
So whenever you see the words salvation, saved, delivered or deliverance think about all that it means to you as a child of God in covenant with Him.
Boldly declare, according to the Word of God, that you have been delivered from danger and all fear! Delivered from poverty, sickness and lack! Whatever God's Word says you have been saved and delivered from, be in agreement with it.
Thank you Jesus for all that you have done through your sacrifice!
“But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”
I Corinthians 2:9-10 NKJV
Today's Scripture is taken from First Corinthians 2, which I recommend reading so that you understand it in it's context. Very enlightening!
In verse four Paul talks about how his speech and his preaching we're not with persuasive words of human wisdom. He didn't know the things he taught and preached by his natural senses nor his human intellect. What he gave them came directly from God, by the Holy Spirit.
I believe the majority of the body of Christ, see God as so mysterious, that His thinking and ways are so far beyond us. They believe we will never know what He thinks or can understand His plans. Because He's so mysterious in His ways and you just never know what's God and what's not in this life.
We don't have to wonder anymore, because we have His Word and He has given us His Holy Spirit.
In verse nine from today's Scripture Paul, by the Spirit of God, tells us we are not going to understand or know these things because of our natural senses.
You know the natural world by your natural senses but spiritual things are only known by the spirit. Our human reasoning is so very limited compared to what God knows!
So if you want to know those things that God has prepared for those that love Him, you! God will reveal those things to you through His Spirit. Because the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, "probes all things, even the profoundest depths of God." (Complete Jewish Bible)
“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”
John 14:27 Amplified Bible
In John chapter 14 Jesus shared many things with his disciples. In the previous chapter He had just broken the news that he would be betrayed and would be going away.
Peter was shocked at what Jesus was saying. Really, how could this possibly be happening things, were going so well!
That's why Jesus tells his disciples in the very first verse in John 14:
“DO NOT let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me.”
John 14:1 Amplified Bible
The understood subject in these verses is YOU. You are not to let your heart be troubled. You and I are to take the necessary steps to not become worried, upset, or as the Amplified Bible says distressed or agitated!
We may have a reason to be troubled or distressed but we do not have to live our lives, troubled or distressed.
Maybe it's a bad news report (terror attack in NYC), bad doctors report, checking account balance looks rather anemic. Too many bills to pay and maybe the children are acting up, just to name a few.
Well God has a solution! Jesus said He has given us His peace. That's the peace of God! God is not worried or trouble or distressed about anything. And that's the way He wants us to live our lives. Stress free!
Oh by the way what Jesus is offering us is not some wonderful suggestion. He did not say, give it your best and see what happens. No this is a direct commandment from our Master Himself.
As Jesus said in versus one, He says again in verse 27, we are to take the initiative and not let all of the bad stuff affect us.
We are to not allow ourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and we are not to allow ourselves to be fearful and intimidated, or act cowardly and unsettled.
The devil wants to steal your peace but we are not going to allow him to do that! Right?
So when trouble rears its ugly head and the devil tries to bring fear upon you. Don't except it! Fear is a tool of the enemy and is a spiritual force. It is the exact opposite of the God kind of faith.
We must do exactly what the Scripture says we are to do:
"So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.”
James 4:7 AMPC
So when fear comes, don't accept it! Resist it, command it to go in Jesus Name.
Then find yourself a promise of God, in the Word, for your situation and meditate on that! Declaring that to be true in your life.
For instance, if it's healing, I am all ready healed according to 1 Peter 2:24. If it's finances, Philippians 4:19, all of my needs are taken care of!
Glory to God He is so good to us!
Have you ever had this happen to you when you are reading the Scriptures? While you are reading there is a quickening, a coming alive of what you are reading.
It's as though God has taken out His yellow highlighter pen (or whatever color is your favorite) and highlighted certain words or certain portions of Scripture as you read. It's like those things are jumping off the page at you. Like a flashing neon sign in a store window at night.
God speaks to each and everyone of us by the Spirit and He knows exactly what each of us needs to hear and know. He wants to get to us exactly what we need to live victorious in this life!
The Holy Spirit is so precious to each and everyone of us! In John 6:63 Jesus says it is the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, that quickeneth, brings a quickening. Quickeneth also can be translated vitalize, make alive or give life.
Jesus went on to say in this Scripture, "the words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life."
That word life in the Greek, is the Greek word Zoe, which can be translated absolute life or life as God has it. Glory to God, what a precious promise that is!
So the next time you are reading and meditating on Scripture watch for God's highlighter pen. Because He is trying to show you something, that will bless and help you!
“THE Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.
Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.”
Psalm 23:1, 6 AMPC
Over the last several weeks we have been looking at Psalm 23. It is such a wonderful Psalm and it reveals God's love and desire to care for and bless His children.
Verse 6 is referring to God's goodness, mercy and unfailing love. Thank you Lord!
When I read Scripture I often like to picture in my mind what it is saying. So let's practice on verse 6. Picture in your mind that God's goodness, His mercy, and His unfailing love is following you right now.
Upon further review, that word follow, is also translated in our Bible as to pursue, run after, hunt and chase down.
Now picture in your mind God's goodness, God's mercy, and God's unfailing love pursuing you, running after you, hunting and chasing you down.
Finally, picture yourself in His presence, dwelling there, not only for the moment but for the rest of your life. Oh what an amazing picture that is. Basking in His presence where there is fullness of joy, rest and peace. And we don't have to wait to get to heaven to realize this but it is for the here and now!
When you make Him your Shepherd, trusting in Him and Him alone, God's goodness, mercy and unfailing love will hunt you down!
Thank you Father for such precious promises we find in Your Word. Thank you Father that you pursue your children with your goodness, your mercy, and your unfailing love. Glory to God!
“The Lord is my shepherd. I will always have everything I need.....You prepared a meal for me in front of my enemies. You welcomed me as an honored guest. My cup is full and spilling over.”
Psalms 23:1, 5 ERV
When you make Jesus the Lord of your life He works on your behalf as your Good Shepherd. Remember this! God is good, and the devil is bad! Most of the bad things that happen in the world are often blamed on our Good God.
The 23rd Psalm is a great reflection of His goodness and His willingness to take care of us, if. If is a qualifying word. Not everyone qualifies, but those who truly make Him Lord over their entire life, they qualify. Sold out to Him.
Oh what a precious promise verse five is to us today. The table spoken of is not the marriage supper of the Lamb in Heaven but its right here in this world, on planet earth.
It is a revelation, a revealing, of His love for you His child, the honor He bestows and the provision He provides.
Get a picture of this in your mind seeing yourself sitting at this amazing feast He has set before you. Nothing left out!
He has honored you by anointing your head with oil, as the honored one, when you entered the room. And He pours out His provision, which is always more than enough, too much, upon your life. Nothing left out!
Glory to God! I think it's time for a happy dance! Go ahead!
“THE Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack....Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.”
Psalm 23:1,4 AMPC
David's declaration, here in verse four of the 23rd Psalm, is a powerful one. One thing for sure about this life, there may be times when we are confronted with what seems like a "deep, sunless valley of the shadow of death."
David boldly said "I will fear or dread or evil". That's a declaration of faith! David knew deep down within him his Good Shepherd would take care of him. No need to be fearful or dread what is before him!
Fear and dread are tools of the devil to stop His kids. They are spiritual forces sent from the enemy. But my friend the Bible declares, that greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
The greater one lives within you! Greater than anything in the world or the enemy can throw at you!
The devil hates to hear you make that declaration as David did. Just when the devil thinks he's got you, declare boldly and confidently, and say no to the spirit of fear and bind it up and command it to leave, in Jesus name! And it will go!
You see, David could take that strong faith stand, because he knew that his Good Shepherd would take care of him.
So when the devil tries to put something on you, resist it, take authority over it, and commanded it to leave and carry-on with your life!
Our Good Shepherd will take good care of you.
"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcomes the world—our faith."
I John 5:4 NKJV
I want you to know that God has set you up for a complete and total victory over everything that raises its ugly head against you. Every demon from hell will tremble at your presence because of the presence and the power of God that resides within you. The devils acted that way around Jesus. When Jesus showed up they got nervous? God has given you that same potential!
Now potential is a wonderful thing but potential by itself is not enough. You must move from potential into power!
The power of God being manifested in our lives every day destroying the works of the devil - that's living the Christian life.
You are a carrier of His presence and power and have an amazing potential but unless that power is released nothing happens.
Father, I thank you that you have enabled us, with the same devil destroying, yoke breaking, anointing that was upon Jesus. And you have given us the authority over every work of the enemy. Glory to God!
In Deuteronomy 28 God clearly shows us how to live the blessed life! He also shows us the result of disobedience, our failure to do what he says we must do. Ouch!! It may step on your toes!
"Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God"
Deuteronomy 28:1-2 NKJV
He loves us beyond anything we can imagine or think and He wants only the best for His children!
I look at Deuteronomy chapter 28 as a warning to us and it must be taken seriously. I would encourage you to take a moment to read the entire chapter.
God shows us exactly what we are to do in His Word and He also speaks to us on a daily basis what we are to do. Listen and obey!
When we fail to do what he says we are to do we are in rebellion. It's a dangerous place to be! Here's what God said to Saul through the prophet Samuel:
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king."
1 Samuel 15:23 KJV
Oh my friend let's not go there, but diligently do what He says we are to do. And when we do that, we will enjoy all the blessings God has for us.
Father I thank You that have clearly laid out the path, the way! Help us to be diligent in obeying what you say. Both through your Holy Word and by the inward witness.
Have You Discovered Your BIG WHY?
“Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things.”
Matthew 6:33 Good News Bible
Have you discovered your BIG WHY? Before I came to Christ the one question I had about life was why am I here? I had been very successful up to that point achieving success in my work and attaining higher levels of position where I worked.
We had a beautiful home in the suburbs, two cars and two beautiful children. Our marriage was very good.
But through all that I had that one nagging BIG question on my mind. Why am I here on planet earth? What is my purpose in life?
If it's being successful in the workplace, earning an excellent income, living in a wonderful home, with two beautiful children and a good marriage with a caring and loving wife then I missed something along the way!
It was none of those things! And it wasn't until someone sat down with me and shared the Gospel with me that I understood there truly was a purpose for me here on planet earth! Something significant and important to be accomplished through my life!
I prayed a prayer to receive Jesus that night 39 years ago and it was then that I knew there was a plan for me. The person that prayed with me to receive Christ didn't tell me what the purpose was but I knew within me I now have one and God would show me. And He has!
You may have discovered your BIG WHY, but if you haven't you want to discover it. For every day that passes it's a lost opportunity.
One thing I learned is that God's plan for my life is not about me. It's about Him. It's about His things, His plans and purposes for me.
Our lives are to be lived walking out His plans and purposes. Doing the Word and doing what He says is what that means.
If you reverence and take care of God's things he will take care of you and reveal to you your BIG WHY!
Everyone talks about how loyal and faithful he is, but just try to find someone who really is!
Proverbs 20:6 GNT
It was early on in our ministry and we were pastors of a church in northern Ohio and as I was setting up folding chairs in the auditorium for our Sunday service a young man came up to me and asked me a question.
I had not seen him before but I assumed he must have come for the Sunday service.
He asked me "Pastor I believe God has called me to full-time ministry, what should I do?" I remember this like it was yesterday, but it was 30+ years ago!
All I said to him was, come back next Sunday morning and help me set these chairs up. He looked at me with a rather quizzical look on his face and said thank you. To me it was very obvious that he expected a different answer. You know, receive some Bible training, get ordained and get on the platform and start preaching. Leave the "little things" to the Ministry of Helps because I am called to full-time ministry.
A number of things actually came to my mind when he asked that question. But one of the key prerequisites for ministry, for being one entrusted with the things of God, is can you be entrusted with what He gives you?
That young man had an opportunity! God was giving him with an assignment, I believe from God as I spoke to him.
Well next Sunday came and went and I never did see him again. That grieved my heart that day and still does today. I don't know if he ever went into ministry but this I do know, God is looking for faithful people. People He can trust!
God is looking for people who can be faithful in the even the smallest, seemingly, insignificant assignments.
Being faithful in the "little things" will bring more opportunities in life from God. But it always starts with the small things.
"If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities?"
Luke 16:10 NLT
Can God trust you?
I like what the Apostle Paul said to young Timothy whom he was training for the ministry.
"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry"
1 Timothy 1:12 KJV
“Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.....So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”
Luke 14:25-27, 33 NKJV
This is one of those, what I would call, hard Scriptures in the Bible. One thing about our Master He did not mince words. And He told us Himself that whatever He would say would be exactly what the Father has told Him to say. So this is what the Father thinks about this.
Always remember we are to read the Bible in its context. Very important! The Bible has lots of Scriptures about loving others and honoring others.
What Jesus is saying is that we must be willing to give up and leave behind all of those things that we consider as precious to us. And follow Him. Here's how the Message Bible renders Luke 14:33:
“Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple.
It's a matter of deciding what comes first in our life? His things or mine?
It won't be easy! But with His help we can do exactly what He says we must do to truly be a disciple and follower of His.