Wednesday, December 31, 2014

God's Light

I am always interested in trees that go to great lengths to find light. Here is a photo of a tree looking for light and continues to grow to the side to get to the light.

My walk with the Lord Jesus sometimes is represented by this tree. What normally I think would be good for me is not always the way it seems. As I find the life of Jesus in the Bible and the life of others as examples I am encouraged and continue to walk as I learn.

John 12:35,36
'So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. 36 While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.”

Jesus is our light. He shows the way of life. He gives us spiritual life. He says walk so that the darkness will not overtake you. If we don't do what we see to do, we will lose it. It is important to obey. The Christian life is not just understanding. It is actions of love, caring and influence for others.

How do we obey? V36 believe in the light. And how do we believe? By deciding to. By rejecting doubt by stating the promise of the light. We decide to orientate our life by the light instead of cowering to the doubt and fear.

John 1:4,5
“ In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

Jesus has life and light. Just as when you turn on light in the home darkness leaves. So when you believe in God's word darkness leaves.
NASB says darkness did not comprehend it.
Amplified: for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it.]

Darkness is the absence of light in the natural. In the spiritual darkness is the absence of life. We were in darkness before salvation. There was not life in us. At salvation light and life came.

When darkness comes all we need to do is turn on the light. This is believing the word of God and not the doubt and fear that darkness brings.

If we don't walk in the light we won't shake the darkness from us.

Psalm 119:105
“Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.”

God's word shows us the way to live. It is our light in a dark world. A dark society that rejects God's teachings, so that sinners will be encouraged to sin more.

But if we don't go down the path with our light, the light will leave us behind. We should not stand still or camp out on the path. Go down the path of life with Jesus.

Lord lead us to follow you, remind us not to camp out on the path of life.

Matthew 6:22,23
“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

What are you looking for? The desires of our life will show where our heart is. Look to Jesus and gain life from Him. Reject the darkness and turn to the light. If you stay in the darkness the darkness becomes greater. 1 John 2:8-11 When you are in the darkness you don't know what you are doing. Choose to reach out to others as Christ would lead you. Don't reject others to maintain your own life.

Thank you Lord for Your light. Let me live in Your light each day on the path of life.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Walk in the Light

Job 22:28
"You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you; And light will shine on your ways.”
decree, confess, statement
being established
light will shine as you go.
These are the steps of Job 22:28

First we speak, then we are established and then we see where we are going.

The women with the issue of blood first stated her faith, then she acted on it. Matthew 9:21 She was healed after she acted!

Proverbs 4:18
 “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.”

As you walk; walking by the direction of God, more light will be given. More light is given as you go, not before you go.

Isaiah 50:10
“Who is among you that fears the LORD, That obeys the voice of His servant, That walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.”

Walking in darkness with no light. In this condition, trust God and continue to walk even without light. And continue to walk without light. If you give up and make your own light to live by you will end in destruction. Isaiah 50:11 Don't give up on God. Don't give up on life in the Spirit.

Job 29:3
“.... His lamp shone over my head, And by His light I walked through darkness;”

Walk by God's light through darkness. IE walk with your spiritual eyes according to the promises of God. This is walking where the natural doesn't make any sense. Walk by the promises of God, not by what you can see.

Isaiah 9:1,2
As we walk in darkness with Jesus, we will see great light. First we walk, then light comes.

What is the light I'm talking about? Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” We live and walk by the word of God. You see to walk by with your spiritual eyes.

Isaiah 41:17
"The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, And their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the LORD, will answer them Myself, As the God of Israel I will not forsake them.”
Water is God's word. Ephesians 5:26

John 7:37,38
To believe what Jesus said is water to your spirit. And how do you believe the word? By deciding to. Mark 11:22 Is Jesus worthy? Is Jesus who He says He is?

John 6:63
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
The word will give life to live by united with the Holy Spirit.

What do we speak? Do we speak what we need? No we speak what God shows us after belief has sprung up in our heart.

1 Chronicles 4:9,10 Why was Jabez honorable? He sought more from God.

2 Corinthians 4:13
Believe and then speak. Notice there must be death first before this can happen 1 Cor 4:12
See my articles on the cross. 

How do we believe? By hearing the word. Romans 10:17

A seed will germinate and start sprouting because of water and the warmth of the sun (love). Then after its new leaves pop out of the ground it gets light to grow more.

Our ability to receive God's love comes after repentance. 1 Peter 1:22; Acts 3:19

It all starts with repentance and being in the Scriptures.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Live With Freedom and Responsibility

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The forboding canopy of Honey Locust

 In Romans 8:1 there is no condemnation. We are free from the repercussions of sin. In Romans 8:13 if we live according to the flesh we must die. What is it, are we free from condemnation or not? There is a tension here. Here is how I see it. When we are in  a repentant mode there is the assurance of no condemnation. When we are in the freedom mode there is the requirement of living according to the spirit.  It is like a teeter toter. If we focus on repentance there is freedom, if we focus on freedom there is responsibility. “Security without responsibility breeds passivity, but responsibility without security leads to anxiety.”  Douglas J. Moo Romans NIV Commentary p258

You can't focus on no condemnation and live without responsibility. And you can't focus on  repentance and live without freedom. Living with no condemnation and freedom without responsibility breeds a life unprofitable. Living with responsibility with no freedom brings a person to a legalistic life which also breeds a life unprofitable.

Let us live with freedom and responsibility which will bring profit to God, ourselves and others.

Friday, December 26, 2014


Jesus came in the world vulnerable and completely weak, but not alone.

Joseph had an angel appear to him in a dream and explained to Him what was going on. Matthew 1:18-25

The declaration and prophecy of Elizabeth. Luke 1:39-45

The statement by Mary to the angel of her willingness to do this and the power of God in her life. Luke 1:38 "And Mary said,'Behold the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.' and the angel departed from her."

The statement of faith of Mary Luke 1:46-55.

Angels announce Jesus' birth to the shepherds. Luke 2:8-14

John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus ministry. Mark 1:1-8

His father prophecies of the work of John the Baptist. Luke 1:67-79

Maji/wise men, men with knowledge in astronomy, astrology, and natural science.
Thompson # 3847
Gen 41:;8
Ester 1:13
Daniel 2:13,48; Dan 4:9
Matthew 2:1

Dake notes - How many there were and where they were from is unknown. They were a caste of priests, involved in prophecy, interpreting omens and using divination.

God prepared a star for them to follow. They also were warned by an angel not to tell Herod where Jesus was. Matthew 2:1-12

Jesus and Mary and Joseph received gifts from the Maji which they used to fund their trip to Egypt.  Matthew 2:11

An angel told Joseph to get out of Israel and go to Egypt and return when it was safe. Matthew 2;13-15 Hosea 11:1

When in Egypt Joseph was told to return to Israel and go to Galilee. Matthew 2:19-23

Then there is the weight of prophecy of the coming Messiah. These prophecies were the force that brought Christ to earth. If not force then the assurance of the will of God in the matter. Isaiah 53;61 etc.

So though Jesus was vulnerable He was well cared for by God. Angels, prophecy, worship of small and great. And money to conduct business.

It would not dim the power in heaven for God to provide us with direction and help in our life as well.

Let us look to God for what He is calling us to do. The power and care that was there for Jesus is for us as well Ephesians 1:18,19; Eph 3:20

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas: In Old and New Testaments


Virgin birth.
Isaiah 7:14
"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel."

Matthew 1:18 "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit."

Jesus would be born in Bethlehem
Micah 5:2 A person from eternity will be born in Bethlehem and rule Israel.
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”

Matthew 2:1 "Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,"

Jesus called a Branch from David
Jeremiah 23:5 A righteous branch will reign as king and act wisely, with justice, and righteousness in the land.

Jer 23:5
"Behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land."

Jer 33:15
'In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth."

Isaiah 11:1
"Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit."

Isaiah 53:2
"For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him."

Zech 3:8
"Now listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you-- indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My servant the Branch."

Zech 6:12
"Then say to him, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD." What is the temple of the Lord? We are God's temple.

1 Corinthians 6:19
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?"

Jesus is King and King of Kings
2 Sam 7:12,13 A king will come and establish the throne and kingdom forever. Jesus said He is the king but not of this world. 

Luke 23:3 "So Pilate asked Him, saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?" And He answered him and said, "It is as you say."

Daniel 2:37
You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory;

1 Timothy 6:15
which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,

Revelation 17:14
These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”

Revelation 19:16
And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Jesus announced by John the Baptist
Isaiah 40:3 A voice is calling in the wilderness, Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.

John the Baptist fulfilled this prophecy as he ministered at the Jordan river, baptizing the people in repentance.

Luke 3:4-6
" as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
‘Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight.
5 ‘Every ravine will be filled,
And every mountain and hill will be brought low;
The crooked will become straight,
And the rough roads smooth;
6 And all flesh will see the salvation of God.’”

A Star
Numbers 24:17
"a star shall come forth from Jacob,
A scepter shall rise from Israel,"

They saw His star in the east. 
Matthew 2:2 
"Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."

Jesus is the bright and morning star.
Rev 22:16
"I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star."

2 Peter 1:19
"So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts."

Rev 2:28 The overcomers will be given the morning star.
"And I will give him the morning star."

Daniel 12:3
"Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever."

Blessing of Simeon
Luke 2:28-32
"then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace,
According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 A Light of revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”

Blessing of Anna
Luke 2:36-38
"And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. 38 At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem."

Monday, December 22, 2014

Take Advantage of What God Has Given


Isaiah 42:1-3
“Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold;
My chosen one in whom My soul delights.
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the nations.
2 “He will not cry out or raise His voice,
Nor make His voice heard in the street.
3 “A bruised reed He will not break
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth justice."

This is a prophecy of Jesus. v1 was fulfilled in the part of the Holy Spirit coming upon Him. Matt 3:16,17

We also have the Holy Spirit. When we were saved we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. Eph 1:13 And the promise of the baptism is for all who will accept it after salvation. Mark 1:8; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:2-4. Some would say it is presumptuous to say we have what Jesus had on earth. Yet that is the truth. What Jesus had in Israel 2000 years ago we have today. We have the same ability and power and fellowship available to us. 1 John 4:17

It is false humility to say we are just poor pilgrims traveling through the earth holding on till Jesus comes for us.

It is taking the talent we have received from God and burying it in the ground. Matt.25:24,25 Don't ignore the promises of God for us today. Apply yourself to learn, believe and use what God has given. 2 Cor 1:20

v2 Have we failed to understood God because of His gentleness? He uses His word to teach us. He accomplishes all things by the word of His power. Hebrews 1:3 Don't miss God because He is not in your face rebuking you. Ask yourself, "Am I walking in obedience to God's leading?"

It is not with harshness that God deals with us. Yet there is also severity with the kindness of God. Romans 11:22

God is gentle with us and loving. Turn to Him and follow His leading. You won't regret it.

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Plow

Luke 9:61,62 “Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

The plow in those days was hard to control. It demanded a full attention to keep the plow upright and the row to stay straight. Therefore to look back would be a disaster. It is the same in serving Jesus, because of the contrast with living for the world the job is impossible if we don't give our whole attention to it.

Some people will shout hosanna one day, but if and when the crowd changes its mood they will shout crucify Him the next day. Decide to follow Jesus or you will one day turn against HIM. Matt. 21:9; Mark 15:13; Philippians 3:19

You say that is a harsh statement. But I say it is harsh not to state it like that. The consequences are awful, if we ignore the reality of life.

To follow Jesus you must be a person of decision. There can not be I will follow Jesus but. Instead there must be, I will follow Jesus PERIOD. Are we waiting for a fleece, when we know what God has told us to do? Or do we say yes sir and then go?

Do we actually believe Jesus is God, the creator of the universe? Is Christianity just a Sunday School fantasy to keep us out of trouble?

How are our actions. Do we act as if Jesus meant what he said, or do we act as if Christianity is just for looks?

Jesus is gentle and kind, Matt 11:28-30. But the world is cruel and harsh. Matt. 2:16; Ex. 1:22 To go against the world means we will go through tribulation, Acts 14:22; John 16:33. We will have the victory in Christ.

Life and death, blessing and cursing are before us. Let us believe for if we don't we will not last. Isaiah 7:9

Joshua 24:15 "If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Friday, December 19, 2014

When there is no Answer

Photobucket  Jupiter next to the moon Christmas night. Dec 25th 2012

Psalm 22:1-3 “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
2 O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;
And by night, but I have no rest.
3 Yet You are holy,
O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.”

What does verse 3 say? God is enthroned on the praises of Israel. When there is no answer worship. When we worship God rules.

What would stop the answer?
There could be sin Psalm 66:18 When we pray there is need to repent of all know sin. Part of the Lord's prayer Matt. 6:12 is to ask forgiveness for our sins. Without repentance there is a heart of rebellion against God. This rebellion will keep our prayers from being answered. Now also our enemy is not ignorant of our human frailties. He will put conviction in our heart after we have confessed our sins. Remember that all our past, all our sin, all our life is now under the blood of Jesus. We don't come to God with our own righteousness. We come to God on the basis of the righteousness given to us by Jesus. Philippians 3:9,10

Another reason why there would be unanswered prayer is unbelief. Matt 17:20. So to remedy the lack of faith is to spend time with God and hear from Him. Rom 10:17

Many times we have faith and we have stayed prayed up and are not in rebellion against God but still there is no answer. What do we do then?

Worship God. He is enthroned on our praise. Use worship as a statement of faith and trust in God. Use worship to turn from doubt to faith. Use Worship to turn from self to service.

Worship will soften our heart. In 2 Kings 3:15 Elisha had a musician come and play, this allowed the Spirit of God to move within him. If you are struggling with repentance, turn to worship and the Holy Spirit will soften your heart.

Worship will soften our heart to believe. It seems to be why the Sunday morning church service has worship before the preaching of the Bible. Worship will prepare people to receive the teaching.

Psalm 22:4,5
“In You our fathers trusted;
They trusted and You delivered them.
5 To You they cried out and were delivered;
In You they trusted and were not disappointed.”

Record of past answers gives confidence for current prayer. Our fathers trusted  and identified with past greats. Their faith proved valid. Use this encouragement for confidence God will do it for you.

The Holy Spirit put part of this song in my heart this morning.

It Is No Secret
It is no secret what God can do
What He's done for others, He'll do for you
With arms wide open, He'll pardon you
It is no secret what God can do

For all the lyrics of the song go to here:

God is not a respecter of people. We can trust Him. Acts 10:34

Isaiah 50:10
“Who is among you that fears the Lord,
That obeys the voice of His servant,
That walks in darkness and has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.”

Here is a verse dealing with people that don't have the answer yet. What are they to do? First fear God and obey His teachings. Then trust in God to meet your need and rely on Him.

Ps 124:8
“Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.”

Proverbs 4:18
“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.”

Thursday, December 18, 2014

God Leads

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Psalm 139:9,10
“If I take the wings of dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.”

The Holy Spirit brought to my mind the phrase in a hymn, “He Leadeth Me”  by Joseph H. Gilmore 1862

“Whate'er I do, whaer-e'er I be, Still tis God's hand that lead-eth me!

He led-eth me, he lead-eth me, By his own hand he lead-eth me:
His faith-ful fol-l'wer I would be, For by his hand he lead-eth me.”

I can trust God to lead me by His hand. It doesn't make any difference where I am or what I am doing God will lead me.

Because God leads by His hand, I want to be His faithful follower.

The famous Psalm 23 talks of God's leading. Verses 2 & 3 “He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.”

Again there is a promise of God's leading. We can be led into the place of rest. We can be led into a place of God's quiet waters. A place where we can be nourished and fed.

The thing about God's leading is our willingness to listen to Him. Spend time in quietness and listen to the Lord.

We can trust in God. He will protect us as well as lead us. In Ex 3:20 and Ex 7:4,5 God is showing His strength by His hand against the Egyptians. God brought miracles and judgments against the Egyptians to guide them out of bondage. God also will lead us by His mighty hand out of bondage to a life of peace and fulfillment in living for Him.

Therefore we can trust His leadership. He does not lead us to folly. He leads us to a place of provision. We don't have to be slaves to sin, Romans 6:14 “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”

Read the Word of God and gain insight to His strength for you. Spend time considering the passages that speak to you. God will show you the path of life from these passages that bring light to your way. Proverbs 4:18

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Walking in the Spirit vs Walking in the Flesh.

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Walking in the Spirit vs walking in the flesh.

Walking in the Spirit is living with your mind set on the things of the Spirit.
To stay away from sin is not walking in the spirit.

What are the things of the Spirit?
John 6:63
" It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life."

To set your mind and live according to what the Bible teaches along with being sensitive to the Holy Spirit is walking in the Spirit.

Walking in the Spirit is not obeying the Bible. John 5:39,40
Walking in the Spirit is living for Christ as the Bible teaches.

Watching TV and eating pop corn is neither of the flesh or of the Spirit. Where your mind is while you eat and watch TV will determine whether you are in the flesh or the Spirit.

Romans 8:5-8
" For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

Monday, December 15, 2014

Eyes of Your Heart

Ephesians 1:18
"I pray that the eyes of your heart my be enlightened,....."

When we pray that our heart may be enlightened we are praying for understanding in our spirit, understanding with belief and faith. But what is the eyes of our heart? How is that different?

The eyes of the heart is seeing in the spirit realm. I am not talking of vision but to imagine what is said in the spirit, (what is said in the Bible), is coming to pass in our life and ministry. John 6:63 says that the words Jesus said are spirit and they are life. When we read the Bible we are reading about life in the spirit. These teachings and promises are for us today that walk with Jesus and believe in Him. 2 Cor 1:20

In Psalm 123:1 the Psalmist is lifting up his eyes to God. Where is God? Can you see God in the overcast sky? Do we see Him above the trees in the clouds? No, when it says I lift up my eyes we are to imagine seeing God. This is seeing God with our spirit. I do this each time I have devotions.

Psalm 123:2 our eyes look to the Lord. Again it is seeing with our imagination. But this is not idle play. God is there in the spirit. God is not an idea of righteousness. God is with us in our hearts, John 14:23,26 God is with us as we go about our day, Heb 13:5 When we see God in our imagination we are seeing with our imagine the reality of the spirit. How can we know this is truth and not a game? By the word of God. We are simply imagining what the Bible says is true.

This looking into the spirit (the looking into the spirit being, Bible teachings Jn 6:63) is a way of encouragement, reminder, and hope for what is promised.

Psalm 130:1 Out of the depths I have cried to you. The psalmist is crying from an emotion of hurt. Then in verses Psalm 130:5-8 he waits for redemption. This can be seeing in the spirit of God bring the answer.

What helps me to see in the spirit is to rejoice in God and what He has promised. That way, I am worshiping Him and seeing the answer come from Him.

Jesus did this during the crucifixion. Hebrews 12:1,2 He fixed His eyes on the joy in the future of the victory that was won after the resurrection. We are to do the same thing. Fix our eyes on Jesus as we walk in the spirit by faith knowing the victory is ours. Romans 8:37-39.

Isaiah 49:12 starts with the word behold. Some commentators say that is just getting peoples attention. But the meaning of the word in Hebrew is: lo which could be drawing attention to but also to see. then in verse 18 behold is used again but a different Hebrew word. Which is to see literally or figuratively.  Then in Isaiah 49:22 it says, “....Behold I will lift up my hand to the nations. God is telling us to look at what He is going to do.

Looking at what God promised is a solidifying of our hope which faith is built on. Faith is built on hope. Let us build our faith by looking in the spirit at what God has promised to us. Live in expectation of the answer to your life.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Being With Jesus

It is with Jesus that we freely receive all things Romans 8:32 When it talks of freely you have received freely give in Matthew 10:8 we freely receive when we are with Jesus.

What does it mean to be with Jesus? Acts 4:13 talks of the Israeli leaders understanding the apostles had been with Jesus. It was the confidence of their ministry that amazed the leaders. Confidence is an expression of faith. Hebrews 11:1 says there is assurance when there is faith. With assurance there is confidence. When you are confident there is no worry. Being with Jesus takes away the worry.

John 14:1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God believe also in Me.” Belief is a way to be with Jesus. So let us believe. Not only a acknowledge the existence of Jesus as the Messiah. Not only an understanding of what He did for us on the cross. Not only a statement that we will follow Him. Not only a commitment to worship Him on Sunday morning. It is also a desire to sit down and be quiet with Him for devotions. A being with Him in devotions. Having a quiet time to listen and learn from Him. Then walking in confidence of what you have been shown by God in that quiet place of restful hearing from God.

Romans 8:17 shows insight to be with Jesus. It starts out by making a conditional promise.

If we are children of God. Have we become children of God? Are you confident of your salvation. I work in a ministry of seniors. Sometimes they don't express their lack of confidence until the very end. It takes a shaking for us to face reality at times. The shaking of our lives is the testing of our lives. Don't wait to be tested. Get right with God now. At life's end, you may be drugged up so much you won't be able to make a decision for Christ.

Be quiet before Him and let Jesus speak to you. As you hear Him there is life. Some are so involved with the moment, radio playing, or the TV going that the mind is being baby sat and not operating. Our mind allows us to grow in Christ. But if it is always busy with the internet, TV, movies, sports, shopping, music and silly talk, drugs and alcohol, then there is not opportunity to grow.

We are heirs of the bountiful promises of God IF and this is a big IF, if indeed we suffer with Christ. People are so adverse to suffering that all the things we add to our life to drown out the reality keeps us from growing in Christ. These things stunt our growth and we become chronically immature.

We can't minister in faith with confidence if we are not spending time with Jesus to hear from Him. It is as we hear from Him that we have the word of faith. Romans 10:8 Our faith springs from the Word of God. There can't be faith springing from the word of God if we are consumed with the cares of the world. Ask yourself, how much time are you spending on the Bible, prayer and listening to the Spirit? Are you honestly so busy with the cares of this world drowning out your ability to listen, that growth is stunted?

Before they perfected electronic speakers, I remember seeing teenagers walking down the sidewalk with a large radio on their shoulder listening to music. I see that today in the spirit. People have got something in their ear, they have their smart phone to look at with any spare time. This is an expression of not being at peace with themselves. They need outside influence to maintain.

Spend time with Jesus You won't regret it.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Established in Faith

Romans 1:11 
"For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established;" NASB

For I am yearning to see you, that I may impart and share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen and establish you;” Amplified

This is an interesting passage of Scripture. We are established and strengthened by receiving a spiritual gift.

Are we established by having the gift, or are we established by using the gift? Our righteousness is not based on works but on faith. But if we have faith, works will follow. So works play into our faith.

When we have faith, we are confident, we have assurance and quit striving. We rest with this confidence and assurance. Hebrews 4:2,3;11:1

Using our faith with the gift we have builds confidence with the success that comes from the grace of God. If we don't use our gift the assured confidence slips away. It is important to use what we have received from the Lord. Now if we don't have opportunity to use our gift then the assurance will stay with us.

Christians are known by their love. When we are able to minister to others in love, we are expressing our Christianity. (working in love and faith.) Ministering to others in love establishes us in the faith.

Further reading:
Romans 16:25
1 Thessalonians 3:2;12,13
2 Thessalonians 2:17;3:3
James 5:8
1 Peter 5:10
2 Peter 1:12

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Encouragement: Key to Spiritual Growth

Encouragement is key to spiritual growth. We are encouraged by the promises in the Bible. We are encouraged by the love God has shown for us by Jesus' death and the resurrection life. We are encouraged by the word of God and how it changes our life by becoming part of us. We are encouraged by the Holy Spirit as He brings the word real to us. We are encouraged by the hand of God as He leads us and protects us day by day. We are encouraged as we gather together with other believers and share how life is happening with us. We are encourage as Jesus is with us. The Scriptures encourage us. People with their testimonies of God working in their lives encourage us.

Have you ever been working and the motor of your equipment breaks down? Work stops and the hope of advancement, the hope of finances stops. Then when the equipment is started, when the equipment is fixed and starts again, the hope is restored. The power of being able to work encourages.

When we share of God's power in our lives we encourage others that God will move in their lives also.

Isa 35:4,5,6  This passage shows that speaking to the needy brings healing and deliverance.

Isaiah 49:9 speaking to the captives, prisoners those who are bond, will give them freedom.

V10 he who has compassion will feed them. It is the courage of speaking the promise and having compassion on the bound that will free them to feed and have abundant waters.

Then in verse 12 it says to behold. To look into the future with the eyes of your heart. In Ephesians 1:18 Paul prays that the eyes of our understanding will be enlightened. Why pray for the eyes to be understanding instead of just the understanding to be enlightened? It is because the ability to see in the spirit will work for the answer to come. In Isaiah 62:6,7  the watchman are reminding the Lord of the promise. They are seeing the answer coming form he Lord, waiting for it.

There is a time to see. A time to wait. A time to speak and a time to reap.

If we are about the Lord's business and are bring the people to the good waters and good pastures of the word of God. What are we to do before?

Encouragement comes after the time of seeing the answer and reminding the Lord and declaring the promises to the heavens. Eph 3:9

How are the encouragers encouraged? They are encouraged by waiting on God and meditating on the promises of God which allows them to see the answer in the spirit. Then they declare it to others to encourage them.

To preach the gospel, the good news from God and of God, comes from living the gospel and abiding in the gospel. Then we can proclaim the gospel.

Live the gospel. Abide in the gospel, then we can preach the gospel, the good news from God.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Do We Walk by Faith or by Sight?

Walking by faith vs. walking by sight. 2 Cor 5:7 Our goal, our direction from the Bible, our plan, our strength is to walk by faith.

What is the difference between walking by faith and walking by sight? To walk by faith is to walk by the promises of God and not by experiences or what is possible. To walk by sight is to walk in the natural. It is to walk in the possible. Christianity is an impossible life. We are now in the Christmas season, and thinking people reject the Christmas story because of the virgin birth of Jesus. That is impossible they say. How can a baby be born if Mary did not have relations with Joseph. Thinking people say Joseph and Mary must have had relations and they just covered it up with this wild story.

This is why I say Christianity is an impossible way of life. That is unless there is a God who is not dead. We believe this story of a virgin birth and go even further and believe that Jesus was not only born of a virgin but also raised from the dead.

Thinking people just mock these ideas. These are ridiculous ideas if all there is, is the natural.

Then Christians go on to say the Bible was written by God through man. Jonah and the whale. Noah and the ark. Moses parting the Red Sea. Jesus walking on the water. I could go on and on about the miracles in the Bible. These are just stories, they are just children's fairy tales, thinking people would say. The Bible can't be believed,

In 2 Tim 3:16 it says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;” Thinking people would reject that and say it is just man's attempt to present morality. Accept the morality but reject the stories. That is what thinking people would say.

Are we thinking people or people of faith? Now I am not saying people of faith do not think. On the contrary people of faith do a lot more thinking than the so called thinking people do.

God speaks and interjects His power on earth daily. The Bible is true and every man is a liar. Romans 3:4 If the Bible is true would we not be wise in waiting as it tells us to?

The natural man lives by what he sees and what is possible. The man of faith lives by the teachings of the Word of God and obeys the leading of the Holy Spirit as He is directed to. The Holy Spirit brings to us the word of God and teaches us the Scriptures. In John 6:63 it says, “"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”

We can live and walk by the promises of the Bible. 2 Cor 1:20 says “For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.” and because of this we can be assured in God and walk in the confidence and rest of faith.

And so when we walk by faith and not by the natural what are doing? We are trusting in, relying upon, and clinging to Jesus that He will back up His word in our life. Jeremiah 1:12 “Then the LORD said to me, "You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it."

The fight of faith 1 Timothy 1:18 is the rejection of all the doubt that comes when we walk by faith. This is explained in 2 Cor 10:3-5

Are we people of faith or do we just live like the so called thinking people?

God will enable us to live for Him and not live in the past. Let us be obedient to God in faith today!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hearing God's voice, what is involved?

John 10:27
"My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.”

Hearing God's voice, what is involved?

My sheep. It is God's sheep that hear God's voice. Are we God's sheep? Many would say yes but don't try to hear His voice. It is not just that the sheep of God will hear His voice if they need to. They will also hear His voice when God wants to direct us.

It says that the sheep of God will follow Him. Are we following Jesus? When God moves do we move with Him? He may want to do something and we aren't listening. We need to be listening to hear.

Is there so much noise in our life that when God speaks, we can't hear? I know in my experience there is. I need to get the noise out of my life so that I can hear. What do I mean by noise. It is not just TV, Internet, movies, sports, music that I am talking about.
Our flesh screams loud if it is not under subjection to our spirits. Romans 12:1,2 talk of making our life a life a sacrifice for God instead of living for the lusts the world offers. It is putting aside the lusts of the flesh that will make a major step in being able to hear God.

We listen to what we want to listen to. Change your wants by putting your mind on the things of the Spirit instead of the things of the flesh. Romans 8:5-8.

And God knows us. Our knowing God and His knowing us is important in this hearing business. Hear God and talk to God in prayer. Do we have time for God? Do we have time to read the internet, or watch movies? I would say most do. Then we have time for God.

Earlier in this chapter it says Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Life with God is better than life away from God. Serving God is better than serving yourself. We were made to live for God. Freedom comes as we live for what we were made for.

Live for God and you will come to know God better. You will talk with Him and be His friend. In John 14 it talks of the Father and Jesus coming to live with us as we live for God. Then we will commune with Him and He with us and there will be life.

You will hear God then. You will hunger for God and seek for Him by reading His word.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Highway to Zion

How blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; In whose heart are the highways to Zion! Ps. 84:5
Are we considering the Lord in all that we do? Or are we so consumed with the cares of this world we forget the Lord. It is God who enables us to get all we have. Do only problems cause us to turn to the Lord? Remember where you have come from and be thankful. God has blessed us and continues to bless us. Come to Him and receive all. If we come to know Jesus, we will have peace, joy, fulfillment, direction, victory and life eternal.

How blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; In whose heart are the highways to Zion! Ps 84:5

What does it mean to have strength in God? It means we go to God, whenever there is a need for strength. When do we not need strength from God? Always go to God. This well traveled path to the Lord is the highway to Zion. Always turn to God for direction, strength and fellowship.

Going through the valley allows us to become strong. No one gains strength by taking it easy.

A runner becomes stronger by running many miles a week and adding to the number of miles he runs as he gets stronger. It is not easy to increase the distance, but strength comes through the pain of exercise. Football players get better as they lift weights in the weight room, practice many hours on the field and spend time studying the play book. The vision is to play well, but it takes many hours of preparation to get there.

This is the meaning of "without a vision the people perish." Without a vision you will back away from the hardship you face. With a vision you press on through the problems to win the contest you are preparing for.

Return to God on the highway that is within your heart. Gain strength from Him and let Him lead you. Then you can say trouble is a learning process to strengthen and not a loss.

Isaiah 40:3-5 It is going down this highway that we will see His glory. The grace and glory of God will supply us with spiritual ability to live and serve.

The Zion highway is traveled many times because of the source of supply at the other end. Go back down that highway where your true home is. Return every day to relax, to enjoy, to be refreshed. Return down that highway to be with Jesus. Go back home to Jesus.

How blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; In whose heart are the highways to Zion! Ps. 84:5

Other Scriptures to read:
Isaiah 35:8
Isaiah 40:3-5
Isaiah 62:10

Old post from wftr

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The work of Ezra compared to the work of Nehemiah.

Ezra rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem. Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, and established the government with a standing army. Both men returned to Israel to repair the nation from the cycle of servitude.

Judges presents the cycle of servitude. 1st there was prosperity. Then the people sinned by turning away from God to serve the idols of the nations around them. Then there came a invading army to plunder the nation and put them in servitude. Then the people called out to God and God sent a judge to deliver the people from the oppressor. Prosperity resulted and the lack of vision of the people cause the cycle of servitude to continue.

The cycle of life can be like the cycle of servitude in the book of Judges.

I was driving by a forested area when I started looking for an interesting tree, I took a photo of in March 2005,  but I didn't see it. So I got out to look for it.
But the tree was not to be seen. Walking into the woods I found it now on the ground. This photo was taken in November 2007.

The cycle of nature happens just as the cycle of servitude does. This cycle happens through out history. It takes extraordinary people to not follow this cycle. People of faith. People of commitment. People that realize the consequences of their actions and look at the long range picture. People committed to God and not just going with the flow. The work of Nehemiah would build the walls of faith into people.

The issue is not only to stay out of trouble. But to storm the gates of hell, rescuing people from the fire of hell. Then to rebuild into their lives and pave the way to give them a life in God as well. To teach them to stand on their own and be adult Christians.

This rebuilding in the Old Testament is called discipleship making in the New Testament. The walls are salvation and the willingness to carry the cross of Christ. John 3:16 and; Romans 12:1,2

Nehemiah's role was putting stability in the people, while Ezra's role was establish the temple and worship. A pastor is doing the work of Ezra and a discipler is doing the work of Nehemiah. Some pastors do both jobs. In my experience, there is not much going on with discipleship.

I see Nehemiah's work mostly neglected by the tyranny of time. Sunday morning is the time for Ezra and Monday through Friday is the days most people work and establish their purpose in life.

Ezra would be a type for a  preacher today. The  Levites, the servants of the temple, would be an Old Testament type for the support staff of the preacher. Nehemiah would be a type of the New Testament counselor/discipler/leader to the people today. So they can be solders, business men, workers for the kingdom of God.

Ezra taught people to worship and provided a place for them to express this worship and learning. Nehemiah built protection and carried weapons to repel the enemy.

In the present, people see the church building and participate with those events. But they don't see the weapons, spiritual war or walls today. Like the days of old they lose sight of their purpose and focus on what is right before them. This weakens their life and they fall because of a lack of protection in their life. Women are more inclined to do the work of Levites in the temple, (church staff). While men don't see that role as appealing and quit for nothing of value to do.

The work of Nehemiah is the prayer meeting and teaching people how to get their prayers answered and to walk in faith, and the resulting service of evangelism and outreach, service in the community that builds into their lives and other peoples lives.

Is there a position for the Nehemiah ministry? Yes but most of the work should be done outside the walls of the church building.

For further reading on rebuilding:
Isaiah 44:26
Isaiah 49:8
Isaiah 58:12
Isaiah 61:4
Ezekiel 36:10
Isaiah 30:13
Amos 9:11

Friday, December 5, 2014

Light to the Nations

I like the way this tree continues to curve to find light. Most trees will curve until they get clear of obstructions. This tree seemed to have obstructions to the right and as it got taller it had obstructions to the left.

It appears now the tree is clear and can grow straight up.

Isaiah 49:6 “... I will also make you a light to the nations. ...”

God makes us light.
We are sent as Jesus was sent. 1 John 4:17 as Jesus was so also are we in this world.

How does light affect us? You can't see where you are going if you don't have light.

One time I was in a motel room and got up to use the bathroom. It was pitch black and I didn't want to wake my wife up by turning on the light. I was just groping around the walls not knowing where I was going because I was disorientated by not remembering which way the bed was located.

It is the same in the spirit. Without the light of Jesus we won't know what to do.

Jn 12:35,36 "Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. 36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

We should walk while we have the light. Jesus is our light.

John ;8:12 "Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."

 Live by the guidance of Jesus from His word. Being a light is showing others the light you have. Use the opportunities you have to share the light with others. If we don't use the light we have we will lose it.

When we have the light we will love those who are around us.

Christians are known by the love they have for each other. That does not mean we do ignorant things to help others. But love will give a hand up for those in need. 1 John 2:10,11

If we turn away from showing love to others we lose our light to walk by.

It is our confession along with our care for others that brings light to others. Hold fast your confession. Continue to proclaim what Jesus has done for you, what Jesus is doing for you today and what Jesus will do for you in the future.

The works of love and the confession of Christ together, brings people to repentance of faith.

Further reading:
John 1:1-5
John 14:6

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Whose Report Will You Believe

Isaiah 53:1 KJV ​Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

Whose report
Will you believe
We shall believe
The report of the Lord

His report says
I am healed
His report says
I am filled
His report says
I am free
His report says victory

Are we going to believe the Bible and look for and wait expectantly and work for what God has promised, or are we just going to go with the flow? Will we stand in faith on God's word for us, or will we knuckle under to the world and peer pressure? Let us stand for God and believe for His arm of victory in our life and what we are working for.

John 12:38  NASB “This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: "LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT? AND TO WHOM HAS THE ARM OF THE LORD BEEN REVEALED?"

John 12:36 while you have the light believe in the light so that you may become sons of light. We are sons by the gift of salvation. So I consider this to be speaking of living in the kingdom by reigning in life by Jesus. Romans 5:17. We live as sons when we walk and believe the light of God's word!! If we don't walk and believe the light of God's word darkness will overtake us. Passive life, a life lived not aggressively to follow God's word, will result in being overcome by darkness.

Romans 10:16 “However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”

Preachers need to be sent out for the spread of the gospel. Romans 10:8-17 So that faith can spring up in the soil of peoples hearts.

The report is true. God is not dead but is alive. So we can trust God.

Isa 61:11 NASB “For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, And as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise To spring up before all the nations.”

Righteousness comes from our belief in God and the work on the cross. Phil 3:9
Praise will spring up with faith. For praise is the expression of belief.

Psalm 85:11 “Truth springs from the earth, And righteousness looks down from heaven.”

For further reading:
Isa 32:16,17 with James 3:18
Isaiah 45:8
Isaiah 58:8
Mark 4:27

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

God's Blessing

Psalm 128 NASB

How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.
2 When you shall eat of the [a]fruit of your hands,
You will be happy and it will be well with you.
3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
[b]Within your house,
Your children like olive plants
Around your table.
4 Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the Lord.
5 The Lord bless you from Zion,
And may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
6 Indeed, may you see your children’s children.
Peace be upon Israel!

v 1 is the condition of this Psalm of promise.

How blessed is everyone. Everyone means every one. Any that will believe this passage of Scripture can move into the blessings of God. It is not for the select but for all who meet the conditions of this Psalm.

What is the condition of this Psalm?
Who walks in His ways. And what are the ways of God? They are taught in the Bible. Proverbs 2:1-12 would be a start. The whole Bible, (the 66 books translated from the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek). As taught by the Holy Spirit. John 14:26; John 16:13f; 1 John 2:20,27.

What does it mean to fear the Lord?
To respect what He says. From this respect we then follow His teachings. As we follow the teachings of God the desire of the flesh fades. Romans 8:5,6

There are times when temptation come. If our reverence for God gives out, then the fear of the Lord will truly be a fear of the result of sin. This fear will turn us away from considering or participating in sin.

What are the blessings of following and fearing God? These blessing come from the inheritance that is in Christ Jesus Romans 8:17

Our work will provide for us and our family.
For God will bless our work. Our life will have happiness and things will go well.

The fear/reverence of the Lord will bring contentment Philippians 4:11 allowing us to take the time to enjoy life given to us. Fear and trust in God will bring us rest to our souls. Hebrews 4:1,2

Some do not have it easy in this life. I am thinking of the North Koreans. Yet even in agony, there is joy in Christ. For Paul talked of his contentment in Philippians from a first century dungeon.

Our wife is a blessing to us. Prov 31 We have a good Father and His gifts to us are good blessings. James 1:17

Our children will be like olive plants around us. Olive is a type of production. Our children will be productive in life.

They will carry on from our life to the future. They are the glory from God Proverbs 17:6.

We will see and live in God's prosparity from a Godly Kingdom perspective.

Our life will be blessed with loggivit;y and we will see our grandchildren.

We will live in peace and not have a tormented soul, but one with peace with God and our family and friends.