"All together now - applause for God! Sing songs to the tune of His glory, set glory to the rhythms of His praise. Say of God,'We've never seen anything like Him!'" (Psalms 66:1-3 LB)David says he blesses the Lord at all times.In another place he says seven times a day I praise the Lord.The Apostle Paul says he prays without ceasing, "I pray with my understanding and I pray in the Spirit. I sing with the understanding and I sing in the Spirit."Jude tells us to pray in the Holy Ghost to build ourselves up.We're admonished over and over throughout the scriptures to give God the glory. He is worthy. How about stopping right now...sit back in your chair or stand up and begin to applaud the Lord and sing Him a song of praise.Maybe you're reading this at work or at a local coffee shop with internet access and feel you can’t make a public display of your praise. Well, do it silently...
I heard a statement that 60,000 thoughts go through our brain everyday.
As I pondered this it seemed to me that most of those thoughts can be categorized into a few buckets.
Discounting or minimizing our accomplishments and our progress to date.
Discounting or minimizing God's ability to come through when life is tough.
Discounting or minimizing God's promises to us.
Discounting or minimizing our faith in God to fulfill His words to us.
Believing God and believing in ourselves to do well and overcome.
If you had those 5 buckets listed in columns on a piece of paper and checked off each time a thought went through your mind...I wonder which of the 5 buckets would fill up the fastest? (click here to download the 5 thought buckets template)
Consider Abraham, our father of faith, who received amazing promises from God. He was UP IN years (aka "old") when God called him.
He had to wait, exercise patience, endure long, 20 MORE years until God's promise came to pass at its...
"Do not be mislead: 'Bad company corrupts good character.'' I Cor. 15:33
We're living in a day where good is being called evil and evil is OK if it feels good to you.
You decide what's morally right and wrong.
Never mind what God says is His standard of Holiness.
Three times God told His priests to give careful thought to an example He used to explain holiness and unholiness. (Haggai 2)
In my paraphrase, God was saying if you are holy and touch something unholy does that unholy thing become holy? The answer: NO.
If you are holy and something unholy touches you does that make you unholy? The answer: YES.
Holiness is not infectious. Unholiness is infectious.
Let's look at it in another way. If you have a glass of pure water and add in a drop of salt; is the pure water now salty? YES.
If you have a glass of salt water and add some pure water is the water now pure? NO.
What about a bowl of fruit? If the bowl is full of good, healthy fruit and one...
"In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat - for He grants sleep to those He loves." (Psalm 127:2)
Solomon recognized something important. Verse one gave us an insight into human natures' vanity, building a home, establishing a career and raising a family in our own strength and wisdom.
He wisely stated that attempting to do these things without God's involvement...well, it turns out that all of our labor would be for naught in the end.
Human vanity is to attempt to do life without giving God His rightful place in the process.
As The Master Creator and Architect of all life, He knows the ins and outs of each and every situation that we will ever encounter. Not allowing Him to be the foundation upon which we build and the CEO of our lives is indeed unwise.
It also robs us of a balanced life. Verse two clearly states that we can see when we are out of bounds...we rise early and stay up late toiling for (fill in the blank).
The Psalmist poured out his heart to God. David admitted his misgivings, his sense of being treated unfairly and his angst as his enemies seemed to prosper beyond what they deserved (in his humble opinion).
He continued his lament by saying, "Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence." (Psalm 73:13)
He further stated that as he tried to make sense of it all, what's fair and unfair...he couldn't figure out God's system.
Have you ever been in that quandary?
You felt like you were doing everything you could to live right, to live for God, to serve Him and others and ???
I've yet to come across anyone who hasn't felt that exact same way at some point in their life.
"When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply til I entered the sanctuary of God (His presence); then I understood their final destiny." (eternity without God...unfathomable.) (17)
Having a relationship with God, knowing Jesus ever lives to...
Have you ever said, "God, I want patience and I want it NOW?"
What's really going on?
Delays...or so it seems to us. In reality God uses the perceived delays as part of His strategy to bring us into His purposes at precisely His time.
Some discoveries I've made while sitting at the yellow light waiting for it to change to green:
1. He's thwarting the enemy's schemes. I Corinthians 2:8
2. He's testing our hearts. Will we humble ourselves or get hardened towards Him? Are we frustrated that He's not getting things to happen quick enough for us and our time table. Is He really the potter are we the clay?
3. He's allowing us opportunity to bless others in the midst of our trial. Do we really have JOY? Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last? Or do we pout and withhold because we're not happy about our situation?
4. He's sifting out unbelief and distrust while strengthening our trust in Him.
5. He's replacing our murmuring and complaining with hearts...
"For, if, by the trespass of the one man,
death reigned through that one man,
how much more will those who receive
God's abundant provision of grace and
of the gift of righteousness reign in life
through the one man, Jesus Christ."
Life has a way of throwing curve balls. One minute it seems "all is well" and the next like "all hell broke loose." Ever noticed that?
When things are going well we have the tendency to have a song in our hearts and a whistle on our lips. BUT, when things go sideways and upside down, oh my. That's often a different story. Gone is the song AND the whistle.
In our text notice the Power of One.
Through ONE man, Adam, death reigned. We were sold out to being born with a sin nature.
Through ONE man, Jesus Christ, that debt was paid on our behalf. When we accepted His gift, invited Him into our lives to be our Lord and Savior...that changed everything.
Now, through the ONE man, Jesus Christ we receive some powerful gifts to see...
"Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other." (Mark 9:50 NLT)
Salt is a purifier, a perpetuating agent and has antiseptic qualities. These various aspects are to be present in our lives as believers.
Saltiness can also be described as being our passion, the purpose, the reason God has for you and I here in the earth.
What floats your boat?
What puts a song in your heart and a dance to your feet?
What do you do that "makes your day" happen for you?
Chances are if you answer those questions you'll realize what makes your salt salty.
Sometimes in life our "dreams" get smashed and we settle for "whatever." In so doing, we lose our saltiness, that which makes us, us.
God intends to use our saltiness in order to draw people to Himself through us; to taste and see that the Lord IS good.
Salt is so essential to human life that we have a...
Do it different! This declaration seems to be my mantra these days. It's so easy to get stuck in the "same-ol, same-ol", "this-is-how-I'VE-always-done-it", syndrome.
That mentality rocks us to sleep. We settle into routines that no longer stretch us or forces us to seek the Lord for His help in the tasks ahead. Lukewarm, yuck!
"There are moments in history when a door for MASSIVE CHANGE opens. It is in these moments that key men and women RISK EVERYTHING to BECOME THE HINGE OF HISTORY. That pivotal point determines which way the door will swing." (Lou Engle)
When I read that I shouted "Hallelujah!"
May we all let God arise in our lives and be risk takers for Jesus.
The Apostle Paul wrote: "Companions as we are in this work with you, we beg you, please don't squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us.
God reminds us, 'I heard your call in the nick of time; the day you needed Me, I was there to help.' Well, now is the right time to listen...Don't...
How do you react to conflict? Difficult circumstances? Unjustified character attacks on yourself? People arguing? Confusing situations you can't control?
These and more are all woven into every person's life. We can't escape what's happening around us.
The only thing we can control is our reaction.
I was reflecting on the life of Moses in Exodus. He was definitely a reactionary. Whether it was an unfair fight between two men, dealing with complaints from the 2 million people he was commissioned to lead out of Egypt, a burning bush that wasn't consumed, his family and close advisors attaching his character, or a myriad of other issues...
Moses found that he often reacted unwisely.
God began to teach him to react wisely. God put Moses through the school of The Spirit.
You and I are in that same schooling process.
God is working in us to become like Him in and through the various issues of life we face today.
While reading and meditating about Moses and...