BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

DEVOTIONS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE, EDIFY & MAKE YOU THINK!!
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Stop by and check them out from time to time to see what has changed. May God's blessings to you be abundant. rlkeller


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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

DON'T FORGET GOD

Proverbs 3:1-2 (NIV) “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.”

3 John 1:2 (NKJV) “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

I believe the prosperity teachings are all wrong. Yes, we are children of the King of Kings. Yes, He fulfills every desire of our hearts. However, He is NOT our sugar daddy in the sky who grants us our every wish like some spiritual genie. He is Almighty God, Creator of the Universe and man’s first breath.

I feel that the two verses sum up what prosperity means in God’s economy very nicely. The prospering of our soul is far more important to God that honoring our request for financial prosperity. Oh, there is nothing at all wrong with amassing wealth, but the key question to be asked in response to that is “what are you doing with your wealth?” Are you hording it for yourself or are you liberally dispensing it where it can be utilized as an implement of blessing? I don’t think God is at all interested in money. We need it to sustain our existence, but God has everything at His disposal that He doesn’t give it a second thought. He is more interested in the condition of your soul.

Proverbs 3:1-2 say “do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart … “. How can we do that? We would need to read them first in His word, right? And then reread them again and again. Perhaps commit them to memory. It is ridiculous to think that we could ever read a teaching or command of God once and forever hold it in our memory, but you would think that were the case, so infrequently do we spend time in His word. Oh I am not pointing the finger at anyone. I am guilty of doing everything during any given day BUT spending extended time in God’s word. God is not a tough task master. He woos us by His Holy Spirit to come join Him in fellowship. I believe, although I cannot back this up with scripture, that God is sad when we neglect our time with Him. He misses us. He loves us.

When you find you have fallen in love with someone that you can hardly stand to be apart from for one second, you do whatever it takes to be back in their company. I feel that is what God desires of us. If we would only take the time DAILY to speak with Him (the operative word there being WITH and not TO) … which includes you speaking AND listening to God, our lives would be so much more blessed. Why is it 24 hours never seems to be enough time? We can’t find 5 minutes to spend quietly with our Heavenly Father, yet we expect Him to “pony up” with the goods when we are in need. I don’t think we do that on purpose. I think we don’t really think about it like that at all. We hear sermons regarding our loving Heavenly Father who meets our every need and expect that He will … and HE WILL, but then we go about our business, at times forgetting to even thank Him. Remember this; God owes us nothing … NOTHING! He loves us because He has CHOSEN to love us. He forgives us because He has CHOSEN to forgive us. He meets our needs because He has CHOSEN to do so. He is not obligated in any way to do anything for us … He has chosen to do so because it is His nature to do so.

If we learn His word and tuck it in our heart for safe keeping, living for Him without reservation, our lives will be blessed and prolonged and we will prosper in all the ways that are most important. We will prosper psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. Money tends to be irrelevant in God’s economy. If it were not, we would be taking it to heaven with us, but as the old saying goes, “you can’t take it with you”.

During this advent season, strive to be a better disciple of Christ. Seek to be more like Him is every way. Be more considerate of others. Seek to bless those around you for no other reason than that you can; it is the only suitable response for all the blessings God has bestowed upon you.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TOMORROW


Genesis 1:5 (NIV) “God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”

I am happy to report to you that no matter what has happened to you today, there is always another day … a new day; a clean slate day; a day where everything is fresh and bright and yesterday is history. Isn’t that good news?

In an effort to explain why bad things happen to good people, I will attempt to show with my own words how things work in God’s economy. Here goes:  I believe all things happen for a reason. I believe God is aware of everything that happens in His universe; every single thing. I believe that God is in ultimate control of all things, because simply put, if He were not, He could not possibly be who He says He is. Scripture is clear, He is all knowing, all seeing and all powerful. How can a created being know more, see more and be stronger than its creator? It is impossible.

Now if everything that happens to a person happens for a reason, wouldn’t they want to know what the reason is?? Of course, it is human nature to be curious. But I suggest the following; rather than knowing WHY, wouldn’t you rather know what God is trying to show or teach you?? I would. Every negative event in my life has come with a lesson attached to it. It was my job to be quiet and attentive so that I might determine what God was trying to teach me. Millions of people spend their time griping and complaining about the terrible events that have befallen them, when they COULD be learning how to be more like their Heavenly Father. I’ve spent my fair share of time, belly aching about this or that … have gotten quite angry and upset at times as well, I am embarrassed to admit. But fortunately, once the dust had settled on that day I allowed myself to calm down and it was then (and only then) that I was able to seek God regarding the matter. Because I feel I know Him. I know He loves me and wants only what is best for me. I don’t believe for one moment that He causes Tornados, Tsunamis, Hurricanes, murders and all other sorts of horrifying things to happen. I believe they are a result of the fall of man. However, they all provide a glimpse of God working during the aftermath. Oh the wonderful stories of redemption and miracles that would be lost had these events never taken place. We live in a broken and sin sick world. Bad things happen to good people all the time. But the good people are able to rise above the cling and clatter of this world and enjoy peace, through God, the peace giver.

It is a new day for me today. I have shed myself of some baggage last night that was weighing me down. I am grateful for God’s unconditional love and patience with me as I dealt with this “thing”. But it is now gone; washed under the blood of Christ. Praise be to God, I am free of it. I don’t totally understand why I ended up in this place. It was a hurtful place and it caused pain to some around me, but God heals and God restores and for that I am also very grateful. In the end, it is our lives at stake here. Not your spouses, not your friends, not your parents … yours and yours alone. When we stand before God as believers we will stand before the Mercy Seat of Christ, rather than the White Throne of Almighty God. When we do, we will stand there alone and give an account of all we have done for Christ. I am happy to be able to say that I now have a new clean slate to work with once again. Unfortunately, because I am not a perfect man, I will stumble and fall on my face again throughout the remainder of my life. But I will have learned THIS lesson well and not pull a repeat performance in the future.

How about you? Have you done something you feel is unforgivable? Are you involved in something you know you shouldn’t be? There is hope for you my friend. There is peace to be found, but it can only be found one place … in the arms of God. He casts no stones. He offers a free pardon. All He asks in exchange is your surrender to His will. It is both the hardest thing you will ever have to do, yet the easiest as well. How so? Once you realize that it is NOT all about you, but that there is something and someone that is much bigger than you, it becomes easy to surrender. You cannot defeat the enemy alone, but with Christ you can be victorious in all things each and every day. And remember, tomorrow is a new day.

WALK WITH THE KING MY FRIENDS AND BE A BLESSING!!


Monday, November 28, 2011

REST

Genesis 2:2-3 (NIV) “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

It is interesting to me that we humans think our lives are so complex and we are sooooo busy all the time. In Genesis 1 we see all that God accomplished in six days. And we gripe about a 5 day work week (lol). If God had known all the grief mankind would cause Him, do you think He would have reconsidered with regards to creating him? Well, He DID know and He created us anyway, although at times I know I myself have wondered why He even bothered.
< chuckle - smile >

The point I am building up to is this: we will rush about to work and at work and from work to our homes or apartments and crash land for the evening eagerly awaiting the weekend when we can run to the stores or do our chores or take off for the lake or go hunting or fishing or whatever we decide to do and many times don’t take the time to rest. Our bodies need rest. Sure we rest at night when we are asleep. But what about the stress we put on our bodies all the rest of the time. God saw fit to rest “from all the work of creating that he had done”. Okay, we didn’t create the universe, but we weren’t meant to. We are to live for God in whatever way He calls us to.

It is a curious thing that we get so wrapped up in ourselves and our little dramas and conflicts and we seem to think that quietly sitting watching TV or reading a magazine or whatever is going to revitalize us. Now don’t misunderstand me … there is nothing wrong with any of the things I have mentioned above. But do they take place to the exclusion of God in our lives. Have we boxed Him out with all we are doing? Have we neglected our time with Him. I know I have more times than not, so don’t think for one minute I am pointing a finger at anyone.

This is not meant as a entry of condemnation, for scripture clearly tells us that there is no condemnation for those who walk uprightly:

Romans 8 (NIV) There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

I am just trying to make us all think about what we are doing with our lives.  I know it is so easy to slip into habits. Don’t think I don’t come home from church and sit in front of TV and watch football the rest of the day, because I do. All I am saying is maybe we should be a little more God conscience with our actions rather than inwardly conscience. We’ve not been short changed in this life by God; by others perhaps, but not by our Heavenly Father. And NO, I am not advocating spending your entire Sunday locked in a dark room meditating on the heavenlies unless God is calling you to do that. But without God where would we be? Think before we act or react to things that are around us. Ponder the greater questions. Spend time with God. Practice listening, for if we don’t, we will miss hearing the “still small voice” of His Spirit when He is speaking to our spirit.

It seems a mystery to me that He loved us before we ever even knew Him. But He did and He does. For that we should be eternally grateful.

Lord, forgive us for being selfish with the time YOU have given us. Help us not to be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good, but rather help us to be Your hands extended and a blessing to those needing a touch from You. In Jesus name … amen.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 6

Well, the holiday season has officially begun. Thanksgiving is already behind us and Christmas is looming its head on the horizon. Ever notice how stores have taken over the holidays. Christmas decorations go up in the stores earlier and earlier each year. Mega Sale flyers are sent to your mailbox daily and extra loud, obnoxious commercials on TV bombard us continuously until the 2nd week of January. According to society, the holidays are special unless you pack a plethora of presents under your tree each year. Baby Jesus is all well and good, but after all, let’s be practical … Jesus doesn’t come with 4G speed or help us look good with the latest fashions.

Have we sold out? Have we surrendered to the gods of Christmas; Target, Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Saks 5th Avenue … have we forgotten the true meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas? Is it really normal to go deep in credit card debt to meet the trumped up expectations of family members with gifts they want, but may not need. I know, I know, gifts are supposed to be something you wouldn’t normally purchase for yourself, but could definitely use. I love gifts. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with giving or receiving gifts. It is when the event shoves Christ out of the celebration that it becomes questionable.

While I fail to achieve this on a regular basis, I understand that as believers, our main focus each day is to be set squarely on our Lord.  If God gave us an unexpected pop quiz (we all know how much we hated them in school), regarding our comings and goings each day and what our mind was fixated on, we would probably fail. This is a tough thing, living for God, but He wants to make it easier. We are just bucking the system He has set up. We come up with our own little plans and schemes and ideas for living a good life and as a result, miss the mark.

God is patient; His mercy and grace are at our disposal. So what are we doing? Go, buy your gifts, but don’t go into debt doing it (yes, I am meddling). Put up your decorations. Trim your tree. All wonderful family traditions. Just don’t forget about Jesus. He WAS a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, but he grew up to be a man. He walked the earth for 3 years ministering to all whom He came in contact with. Christmas commemorates the birth of Christ. We understand the importance of praising Him for Who He is, now praise Him for coming in the first place. God didn’t have to do that. He chose to because He loves us even before we knew Him.

That reminds me of the chorus from an old Pentecostal hymn from about 30 yrs ago … “Such love, such wondrous love, such love, such wondrous love; that God should love a sinner such as  I, how wonderful is love like this.”

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

HAPPY THANKSGIVING ONE AND ALL.
In the true spirit of the holiday, thanks be to our God and Heavenly Father for the multitude of blessings that He liberally bestows upon His children on a daily basis. May we never take His grace for granted and may we always live our lives as if Christ were right there with us, for He is by His Spirit, which dwells within all believers.
Amen!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

GIVE THANKS

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV) “… give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. “

This is a wonderful time of the year. I love the holiday season. Since I didn’t become a believer until I was just out of college, I have different memories of Thanksgiving than a Christian would, but as I reflect back on my upbringing, there was nothing paganistic or unholy about my family or our celebration of Thanksgiving.

My mom may have been more responsible for that then my dad. My mom and I went to 1st Presbyterian Church “Atop the hill” in Red Bank, NJ. I sang in the children’s choir for 10 years until I graduated high school. We had what America would consider a normal Thanksgiving celebration. It was the one time all year that we prayed as a family. It was short and sweet and to the point, I mean, stomachs were growling and folks were beginning to salivate quite heavily around the table, so it had better be quick. We had a big ol’ turkey sitting in the center of our extended dining room table. The menu consisted of creamed onions, buttered corn, mashed potatoes (REAL potatoes; my mom would rather die than put out instant), handmade stuffing (my mom took a loaf of white bread and diced it herself, added celery, onions and seasoning and actually stuffed it in the bird), REAL turkey gravy from the drippings, sweet potatoes and whatever we were drinking. My mom was an excellent cook. She could also bake mean pumpkin and apple pies … topped off with the obligatory scoop of vanilla ice cream. After the meal the men all went to sit in front of the TV to watch football for the rest of the day.

In looking back, it makes me smile at those good times; however, I had come to realize some time ago that Thanksgiving or the act of giving thanks to our Heavenly Father should not be relegated to one day a year. We should give thanks to our God each and every day that we awaken. Why? Because we are alive! We are still above ground and breathing. We still have the opportunity to bless someone. We still have the opportunity to make a difference in this world we live in.

What a blessing and a thrill it is to see the face of someone you have encouraged or edified in some small way. Do you understand how vital you are to those around you? You have the ability to touch lives that NO ONE ELSE IN THIS ENTIRE WORLD can touch. Don’t squander the days, because no matter what your situation, YOU ARE BLESSEDbecause of your relationship with the Most High God. And be eternally thankful and grateful for the gift God has given you. He has given you, if you are born again, a second chance. He has wiped your slate clean. He has given you a full pardon. Now go live like it. When we wake up the sun should be a little brighter and the bird’s song sound a little lovelier. God loves us and will never fail us. THAT is something to be thankful for every day. The fact that our sins have been forgiven is something we need to be grateful as well. Without God there is NO HOPE; but WITH GOD, there is immeasurable hope and abundant blessings.

So THANK HIM. Thank Him freely and thank Him often. For He is more than worthy of our praise and worship and thanks.

To all my faithful readers, I humbly thank you and wish you and yours the Happiest of Happy Thanksgivings! May the love of God be evident in all you do.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

EXERCISING OUR FAITH

Romans 1:17 (NIV) “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Hebrews 11:1 (AMP) “NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].”

Okay, so we are asked by God to not only believe in Him, who is an unseen Deity, but also believe that those things we need and/or hope for are here, in spite of the fact that they have not yet materialized. Crazy stuff, eh? But that is what faith is; believing in the unseen as if it could be seen.

In the words of our pastor, “we need to exercise our faith all day long, each day”. The Pastor’s right. We need to keep our faith ‘locked and loaded’ and ready to use at a moment’s notice. We never want to have to dust it off, for that would mean we have not been exercising it at all. We need faith for a lot of things. Frankly, we need faith that the chair we are about to sit in will hold us. That is an area where my faith was tested several weeks ago when the chair I was sitting on crumpled to the ground … the legs splitting which caused a crashing fall. My ego was bruised, nothing else.

Faith is a gift that is bestowed upon us by God Himself. His Holy Spirit, which dwells within us if we are born again, reminds us who we are and whose we are. He shows us when and where to utilize our faith. It is based on standing on the promises God has given us in His word. If God says He “will never leave us, nor forsake us”* … it will require faith to not only believe that, but also to stand firm in the face of our adversary.

Did you know that it is impossible to please God without faith?

Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

It stands to reason that you would have to have a modicum** of faith just to believe in God to begin with, wouldn’t you agree? And let’s face it; we all place our faith in something or someone, do we not? We believe that things will happen even though they have yet to happen. That is faith. Faith in God is much more difficult though. When we exercise our faith in God it is a little more complicated than having the faith to believe that your team will win their game. We are talking about eternal issues here; at times issues of life and death … important, at times, life altering issues. It is then that we must exercise our faith and believe that God is in control. This is when we summon our greatest recollection powers to remember all the times God has failed to do exactly what He has promised. You will be thinking about that one for quite some time, but the answer is simple: because He is perfect and the definition of truth, He cannot fail and has never failed to do what His word declares He wThis is tremendous news for the believer.

Faith and trust are the main pillars of our belief system. Faith and trust give birth to hope and hope is vital to believers. Having no hope breeds despair and ultimate defeat. But we have no reason to lose hope, for our adversary the devil has already been defeated; he just hasn’t the good graces to lie down. So exercise your faith, trust in God and allow His presence in your life give you hope for tomorrow.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!
* Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Joshua 1:5; Psalm 9:10; Psalm 37:25, 28; Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)
** a small or token amount.

Monday, November 21, 2011

PRAISING GOD

Psalm 100:1-3 (NKJV) “Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”

It is interesting to me that people will go to a sporting event and scream themselves hoarse for their team, then attend church the next morning and say nary a word. Of course, they may have lost their voice, that is always a possibility, but even when that is NOT the case, we are mum. Is God not worthy of our praise?

We go to concerts and yell until we can yell no more for mere humans, talented musicians to be sure, but created beings. Then we go to church and are uninspired, even bored and at times nod off during the service. Okay, some churches may not have the Spirit of God flowing and moving. Services done under human power alone are mundane and lifeless. However, there are millions of churches, both large and small, that are moving and shaking for the Lord. Yet we remain silent.

David tells us to MAKE A JOYFUL NOISEto the Lord. SERVE THE LORDwith gladness. COME BEFORE HIS PRESENCEwith singing. We are talking about the creator of the entire universe … of everything in existence; even you and me. Sometimes it’s as if we need a pep rally to conjure up enough enthusiasm to utter any praise at all for God.
This should not be.

We need to realize exactly why we attend church to begin with. Is it to see friends? Perhaps. Is it to “punch a clock” so we can say we went? I hope not, but many do. They wouldn’t miss a service, but they never let God touch and change their lives. A vibrant church can lift our spirits. An anointed message can inspire and bless. Praising and worshipping God can edify us and help us see God’s presence in our lives.

Is God not worthy of our worship? Is He not deserving of our praise? Yes, a thousand times yes. Why? He can do what no mortal man can do … He can save a down trodden, sin riddled soul and give it new life … a fresh start; a clean slate. Who else can do that? Who? No one, that’s who. God stands alone as the one true Almighty Jehovah, provider and sustainer of our faith and our life. He has never and will never fail us. Surely He is more than worthy of our praise.

David points out our frailty, but stating that it is God who has made us and not we ourselves. We are the sheep, He is the shepherd. The flies in the face of those of us who do not wish to be controlled by anyone or anything. However, we HAVE a free will. We don’t HAVE to praise God or even serve Him for that matter. But without God we may have it all, yet still be bound for perdition.

Recognize God for Who He truly is and then stand up and be heard. Praise Him for Who He is. Then praise Him for what He has done for you. Never stop praising Him. It is one of the main reasons we were created … to worship and praise our Creator.

NOW GO WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 5

Churches can be very peculiar places. Just when you think you’ve figured out what they are supposed to be from a Biblical perspective, they go and make alterations. I have been to many churches in my lifetime and the bad ones far outweighed the good. This is where I put my DISCLAIMER: This piece is nothing more than my opinion and not an indictment of all denominations or churches or pastors throughout the land. Okay, now that I’ve gotten THAT out of the way, let me get down to business.

Most people, I believe, would like to go to a church whose congregation is friendly. I was the member of one such church in Texas. In my search for a church home several years ago, I went to a church that seemingly herded their parishioners into the service where they sat, stood, sat, stood, sat and then got up and left en masse, just as they came in. Oh, there were greeters at the doors going into the sanctuary, but it was obvious that they were only saying HI because they were told to. The message was great, but I have never darkened their door again because I was seeking fellowship in addition to spiritual food.

Denominations are man’s invention. Nowhere in the Bible will you find the words Catholic or Protestant, Methodist or Lutheran, Pentecostal Holiness or Primitive Baptist … well, you get the idea. Man came up with these institutions. Basically, I guess they felt it was necessary because not everyone could agree on the peripheral doctrines. Is healing for today or not? Do we speak in tongues or is it of the devil? Do you get saved when you are baptized or when you ask for forgiveness at the alter or in your car driving down the road. Sad thing about that is that no one ever went to hell for believing or not believing in any of those issues, but churches through the years have divided over things such as that.

Some pastors are longwinded … as if the people will get what they are trying to say if they speak for a looooooong time … say an hour. Yeah, that sounds right. No matter how anointed a man is, if he can’t get his point across in 30 minutes or so, then something is wrong. Some churches sing two hymns from a Psalter, played on the piano and organ and THAT is their worship service. Some churches refuse to have music of any kind claiming it is a sin. Others, in an effort to attract a younger congregation into their services have a band. Why one church I attended ONE time, played worship choruses SO LOUD that it hurt my ears. They essentially had a group of young people who sounded like a rock band. I didn’t even make it through the worship service. I should say at this point that I have no problem with Christian rock music or some secular rock music for that matter, but what they presented was a bit much. When you have the entire group encased in sound deadening Plexiglas, you might be overdoing it a tad. Just a thought …

Where is Jesus in all this? Some churches have no place for divorced people in their churches, as if it were the unpardonable sin. Divorce isn’t God perfect plan for couples, but Jesus doesn’t shun them or turn them away. Folks that are bruised and battered are not given an ear when they need to be heard, but rather told it is not the right time or place and they should make an appointment. What has happened to the church of today? When mercy is routinely not shown to those who need it most and healing has not occurred because, according to an elder in the church, the sick individual didn’t have enough faith. Really. How much was required for that woman’s cancer to be healed? Perhaps in the grand scheme of things she was to go be with the Lord at that time? Once in heaven she would no longer be sick … now THAT is what I would call a healing. But as a result of the elder’s callous statement, which he stood in the midst of the congregation and shouted out, the widowed husband and his children, who had been charter members of that church, never darkened the door of the assembly again.

Jesus shows compassion for the people all around Him. We fail to even notice them. We say we want to be more like Jesus, yet look the other way because of a persons’ appearance. What is wrong with us? Why are we so prideful and spiritually arrogant? Why do we think everything we do IN THE NAME OF THE LORD is so righteous? And frankly, I may be the worst of the lot. I constantly miss opportunities to share my faith. God understands and wishes to embolden us … that is what the Holy Spirit’s indwelling is supposed to be for among other things.

Lord forgive us all for our misguided efforts and help us to truly act each day the way YOU would have us act. The church is just a building … a meeting place. WE are the church. I maintain that even though I encourage church attendance and understand scriptures’ call to not forsake it, going to church doesn’t make you a good Christian and it doesn’t secure your place in heaven. Your personal relationship with Christ does. We all (me included) need to treat church as what it is and branch out on our own to BE God’s hand extended. Lord help us all to truly see others the way YOU see them and act as YOU would have us act, in spite of what the elders say or the pastor says or your brothers and sisters say. Because when we stand before our Lord on Judgment Day, no one will be standing there with us. It is what WE did for Christ.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

GOD'S WORD A LAMP

Psalm 119:105 (NKJV) “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Ever take a walk down a dark dirt road without the benefit of street lights? I have. It’s kinda spooky. You begin to imagine that every sound is something far worse than it actually is. A flashlight definitely comes in handy at a time like that. Well, God is telling us through David that the His word acts like a lamp for our feet and a light to show us where to go, just like a flashlight.

It is important for us to see where we are going, but I believe what this verse is really saying here is that the word of God provides the light of His commands and precepts for us to follow. Without His “guide book”, how on earth would we know about His character, His commands or His promises? His word shows us the way to go. It points us in the proper direction. Whether we walk that way is up to us … you know, free will and all that. But without commands and promises, boundaries so to speak, we would wander about aimlessly thinking we knew where we were going but never arriving at our destination.

When I used to go camping many years ago, I had a Coleman kerosene lamp. You would fill the canister on the bottom with kerosene, turn on the lamp and light a match to the mantels hanging in the globe. My how very bright that lamp would light up … it was bright enough to light the entire campsite. This is like God’s word as well. It shines light on all that is around you so that you feel safe. Evil lives in the darkness. It cannot abide in the light for it exposes it for what it truly is. Once we become more and more familiar with scripture, we are able to see things for what they really are. Do you remember when you first gave your heart to Christ? Wasn’t it like blinders were taken off your eyes and you felt like for the very first time you could truly see things? I felt like it was. Things that you never noticed before stood out before you as if they were lit up like neon. This is what God’s word and His Holy Spirit does for the believer, whether new or old.

God has a path for each of us to travel. He leads us by His Spirit and lights the way by His word. This is why it is important for us to be IN His word; to learn and understand His precepts and know how to act and react in various situations and circumstances. He will never fail us. His word is true and everlasting. His Spirit resides IN us if we are a believer. No matter where we are or what we are doing, we are always within the reach of God. He cares for us and will never allow us to fall if we put our trust in Him.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

GIVE THANKS

Psalm 118:1 (NKJV) “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”

ENDURE (def): To continue in existence; to carry on through.

FOREVER (def): For everlasting time; at all times; without end.


“So I'll ask one thing
Just one thing of you;
Don't ever turn me loose
Even when I turn my back …”*


The mercy of God is a pretty incredible thing. It is unmerited, as in we don’t deserve it. It is free to us, if we surrender to Him. Yet there are times in the non-believers life and even in the believers life unfortunately, that the thing that is right in front of you becomes the thing you feel you MUST have and therefore takes precedence over any mercy that God is offering. When will we ever learn. I haven’t learned my lesson yet. It’s sad really. I fall down more times than I stand up lately and once I get up again still go the wrong way. I know better, but always seem to justify my actions. Being wrong and knowing it is not good enough. An end must come to that which is ungodly. It is a trap. Still I stumble towards that which is wrong. Will I ever learn? I am trusting the Lord that I will, but the decision to walk away from it is mine.

His mercies carry on in existence at all times and are without end. That is comforting. Still, making His grace and mercy a cheap thing is unacceptable. Why do we do it? Sin is fun. Let’s be honest with ourselves. If sin WASN’T fun, then there would be no draw to commit them. It IS fun … for a time. The consequences of that fun can vary from mild to devastating depending on what has been done. Is it worth it? Not usually. As a matter of fact, hardly ever. There is always a price to pay that we are unprepared to dole out.

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us. It is the time when we give THANKS to the Lord for our many blessings. Sadly, it may actually be the only time all year that some folks stop to acknowledge the goodness of God. Based on scripture, we are admonished to give thanks to the Lord at all times … whether in good times or bad. Our feelings toward our God should not be effected by our circumstances, but many times they are. God hasn’t changed, we did. He is the lone constant in our created universe. He never changes. His opinion of us is always the same. He loves us unconditionally and His love knows no end.

So what have we learned today? That God is constant; that He is good; that His mercy continues on at all time without end; and we are to give thanks for all things at all times. How difficult is it to praise and thank God for difficult times? Pretty dang difficult sometimes; but you know what, difficulties are allowed to teach us. They exist to make our faith strong. If we look at our trials in THAT way, we may be able to endure them with a little more patience. One practice I have acquired during my trials is to ask the Lord to reveal what He wishes me to learn from it. We ALL face trials of many types. The duration may vary from believer to believer, but they WILL come. If they don’t you will stagnate. If you don’t move forward, you are losing ground, because others around you are probably not standing still.

When you think about the blessings God has bestowed upon you and your family, you will begin to develop a gratitude that will lead to praise. So go off somewhere quiet and consider where you would be without God. Reflect on your troubles and how they were resolved. There is no such thing as coincidence. There is no such thing as luck. God is at work, 24/7 … He never sleeps. He knows all about it. He is at work on our behalf. Nothing is impossible for Him. There is nothing He cannot do. That is something worth thanking Him for. Look heavenward and praise your Heavenly Father, for He is good; His mercies endure forever.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSSING!!

* from Sahara by Reliant K off their 2009 album “Forget and Not Slow Down”.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

DELIGHT IN HIS COMMANDS

Psalm 119:143 (NIV) “Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight.”

Ever have problems? Have they ever seemed overwhelming to you? Just say ‘yes’ … I know you have. We all have.
The commands this Psalm is speaking of is the Ten Commandments. It has to be them because the Psalms are in the Old Testament, prior to the birth of Christ.

Do you know why God’s commands are important to believers even today? We are not required to live by them the way the patriarchs in the OT were, because our salvation is a gift given to us by the grace of God. In the OT, the forgiveness of sins came from the blood sacrifices that were made by an individual for his own sins. They had to make these sacrifices each year to blot out their sin. Christ’s blood covered our sins once for all time. See the difference? So why are the OT commandments important to believers today? They provide a boundary for us.

Let me conclude the above thought about the commandments and our not being required to live by them for our salvation. While we are not required, we end up doing so anyway. If we are truly seeking a righteous life in obedience to the word of God it will become our natural desire and inclination to obey the 10 Commandments even though it is no longer required. Does that make sense?

So God’s commands provide for us what rules in a household by a parent provide to their child, a boundary for them … so you know just how far you can go without straying into a danger zone. Ever use a shock collar on a dog to keep them from running off your property? I have and it works like a charm. Doesn’t hurt the dog, just gives them a little shock to get their attention and stop them in their tracks. When you have dogs that dig out under your backyard fence and run away, it becomes a necessary tool to avoid the breakout. While we aren’t dogs, I think you can see where I am going with this. The wire buried under the fence provides a barrier or boundary that the dog cannot pass through without receiving a warning. The Holy Spirit provides the warning when we stray to far from where God knows we belong.

We are to take delight in these commands from our God. It can be looked at as just another way He shows us His great love for us. If He didn’t care about our well being, then why would He care where we went? He wouldn’t, that’s the point; but He does.

So next time you are in a mess with turmoil all around you, remember His word and the fact that He is will you wherever you go AND delight in His commands, for there is life in them.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

NEVER FORSAKEN

Psalm 37:25 (NIV) “I was young and now I am old and I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”

Have you ever wondered where your next meal was coming from? Been down to your last dollar and wondered how things would all work out? Perhaps you have lost your job and are living on unemployment, which we all know is temporary financial assistance, with no jobs on the horizon. If you are at the end of your rope my friend, then this verse is for you.

David, a man after God’s own heart, had many ups and downs in his life. He was a righteous, God-fearing man who was also an adulterer and murderer. He had as many lows as highs and yet even when things looked their bleakest he could still look to God and say, “You are my Lord and my God.” David is a vibrant example of the above verse which has been credited to him.

We truly have nothing to worry about when we serve God. Oh we worry anyway; it seems to be in our nature to worry, but it’s wasted energy. I often wonder if I worry because my mind is idle at that particular time and the “waves and winds” of circumstance seem overwhelming. I forgot how big my God was. I forgot all that I have learned and know about my Heavenly Father. I forgot, because I allowed my mind to dwell on that which is around me rather than His Spirit which is within me. His Spirit within us is a constant reminder of His presence in our lives. He is Omnipresent. Do you understand what that means? He is everywhere at one time. There is nowhere that He is not. And to top it all off, He understands our concerns. He knows we are but dust. He made us from nothing and knows we are frail and fault ridden. He knows all about it. And it is because He knows us so well that He will never allow us to be forsaken. You see, God knows we can’t do this thing called life without Him. Oh we think we can. We try to cut Him out and do things our own way, but He knows better. And He is patiently waiting on the other end of our man made adventure with reassurance that everything is under His control and will be alright if we turn to Him as our sustainer and provider.

We can be so foolish at times, can we not? We actually think we know what we are doing. If you think about it it’s laughable really. We don’t have the faintest clue what the heck we are doing at any given moment. It’s only when we concede that fact to our Heavenly Father that we can “right our ship” which has been listing and starting to take on water. When will we finally accept the fact that God knows exactly what He is doing at all times and we do not?

We tend to use our “free will” as a ticket to adventure. Whatever we ‘feel’ like doing at a given time is alright because we truly can do as we please. And God is watching. And God is waiting patiently for us to come to our senses. And when we do He shows us just how we are never forsaken by being there for us. And He shows us how we will never have to beg for bread by providing our every need according to His riches in glory. Silly humans. When will we ever understand? Probably never. But that will not change our unchanging God. His love is unconditional and His forgiveness available. It’s our move. Which move will you make?

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

GOD IS GOOD TO US

Psalm 13:5-6 (NIV) “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.”

Have you ever been so distressed at your circumstances that you cry out to the Lord? I have. So has David. It is interesting to me that in the first 4 verses of Psalm 13 he cries out to the Lord “How long? How long will my enemies overtake me?”

The word ‘but’ is an interesting word. The dictionary shows all sorts of meanings for this word. It all depends on how you use it. In this particular case I believe its’ meaning could be: contrary to expectation.

So David really could be saying: “In spite of my complaining and crying out to the Lord for relief from my enemies, I will trust in the unfailing love of God.” Solomon was the same way in Ecclesiastes. He tried anything and everything he could find to see what all the fuss was about and in the end always came back to the same conclusion: vanity … all is vanity. Serving the Lord is all that matters. So you see, no matter what occurs during your day, in the end, our unchanging God is still there, waiting for our acknowledgement.

Will we trust Him? Will we rejoice in the salvation He has so graciously provided for us at no charge? Will we praise Him, acknowledging His goodness to us? We should. We need to. Have you ever thought of where you would be without His hand upon you? I have and it is a gruesome thought. God can survive without us, but can the reverse be said? Uh, no. Our lives would be chaotic at best and out of control. Right would seem wrong and wrong, right. We would live for ourselves and our own selfish gains. Is that what you want? Well, is it?

David saw the wisdom in serving God and trusting Him. Asking God questions, even complaining or crying out to Him over apparent injustices that we feel have been done to us, is alright, as long as you realize who you are speaking to. Don’t you yet realize that it only takes ONE SINGLE WORD FROM GOD to alter your entire situation? Meditate on that. Realize who you are serving here. He isn’t some two bit King who was born on this earth and to this earth shall return when he dies. We are speaking of the Creator of everything that exists. Not only is He worthy of our love and praise, He is worthy to be trusted. Think back on your life … has God ever failed you? Well has He? Of course He hasn’t. The only reason some people think He has failed them is because things didn’t turn out the way they would have liked. If we are truly honest with ourselves we will admit that is true.

So it is settled then. God’s love is eternal and unfailing. We must trust Him because of His consistent nature; He never, ever changes. Sing praise to our God for who He is and what He has done for you, because you know He has done a whole lot. Take it from a man after God’s own heart – King David.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 4

Discouragement; disappointment; despair … 3 very real emotions that can cripple a believer. I don’t happen to buy into the whole line of Christian thinking that to experience one of the 3 D’s means you have a lack of faith. Dwight L. Moody, famous American preacher/evangelist, I have read, suffered from great bouts of depression during his short life*. I believe it is safe to say that DL Moody was not lacking faith.

DISCOURAGE (def): to deprive of confidence, hope, or spirit.
DISAPPOINT (def): to fail to satisfy the hope, desire, or expectation of; to frustrate or thwart;
DESPAIR (def): the feeling that everything is wrong and nothing will turn out well.

Is it any wonder that God encourages us to dive into His word. For it is THERE that the 3 E’s are found: encouragement, edification, endurance. We need not wallow in self-pity any longer. We have all the help we need. It is in God’s word. Why would someone NOT want to be strengthened, built up and brought to a place of great blessing? There is a fairly simple answer to that question. People don’t want to relinquish control of their lives to ANYONE … not even God.

Surrendering your life to an unseen Deity is a preposterous concept to millions of people. “Why I’m not so bad”, they proclaim proudly; however, just because you haven’t committed robbery or murder, haven’t cheated on your wife or been a booze hound doesn’t make you a good person. If all it took to get into heaven was being a good person, who would decide what was good enough and not good enough? You? Me? A government appointed agency? No my friend, I am afraid that the final judge in all this is Almighty God. Either that or we die and rot in the ground and there is nothing more.

It is a matter of belief. Everyone believes in something. Many would rather believe in a benevolent God who allows us to live life as we choose as long as we put a few “coins in the coffers” as the old saying goes, in church on Sunday. People don’t happen to want to be told that they are not quite as good as they seem to think they are. We all need a major renovation. Even those who KNOW Christ, could stand a purging or two … I absolutely could.

When I get “down in the mouth”, I write. What do I write? Things like what I am writing here. It helps remind me of the goodness of God; of His promises to us; of His steadfast faithfulness even when things look pretty bleak. God NEVER fails! He never has and He never will. Now we must kick our faith and trust into overdrive and simply believe. It WILL come to pass. Whatever it is you are seeking WILL come to pass as sure as God is in His heaven.

Do you know the old saying “a watched pot never boils”. I believe we can all figure out what that means. Don’t just sit there waiting for your answer from God. Go about your business. Cling to your faith and trust in God and move on. When you least expect it God will bless you with an answer. He knows. He knows all about it. He knows you are ill; He knows how badly you need a job; finances; a mode of transportation … . He knows all about it. Trust Him. Rely on Him to work things out for you. Then thank Him. Bless His name. Give Him and Him alone all the glory. He is most worthy of our worship, wouldn’t you say?

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

* Moody died at the age of 41; suspected cause of death, congestive heart failure.

Friday, November 11, 2011

GOD IS WATCHING

Proverbs 15:3 (NIV) “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.”

What would you do if you knew no one was watching you? Would you do the right thing or try to get away with something you knew was wrong. An interesting point was made to me yesterday by a brother in Christ. It was interesting to him that when we are in the midst of trials we cry out “Lord, you see me and know what I am going through. Lift this burden from me.” However, when we are doing something that is less than alright, the thought that He is watching us never … I mean NEVER crosses our minds. Why is that?

I’m not sure I have the answer to that one, but I know that if and when I do something that I know I probably shouldn’t do, it is rarely spontaneous. It is carefully planned out. And God is watching. I make a call or go to a website or watch something on TV or read a magazine that perhaps isn’t in my best interest as a believer and all the while God is watching.

You’ve heard the adage “wherever you go you take Jesus with you”. Well, it’s true in the form of the Holy Spirit who is inside you. He is there wherever you go and whatever you happen to be doing. Are you willingly “dissing” God by doing what you want “come hell or high water”. I have been like that. At times, I still think I know better than God and insist on doing things MY way. How foolish. Yet God continues to watch … always watching.

We should praise Him that He DOES watch us at all times. For He is the only one Who can save us from destruction. He is the only one Who can save us from our worst enemy … ourselves. We just never seem to learn.
Just when we think we’ve reached a plateau in our relationship with the Lord, we take a step backward and fall off, down to the last level we just came from. And all the while God is watching.

We CAN take solace in the fact that He has His eye on the wicked as well. They only prosper for a season. Now God determines the length of that season, but the fact remains that God, Who is in ultimate control of ALL things, calls the shots and not the wicked. To say otherwise would mean that Satan had more power than God and that is a false statement. Satan is a fallen angel. Satan can do nothing to us lest God allows it. Read the opening chapter of Job for verification of that.

It is a sad thing that so many believers are actually afraid of the fact that God is watching them. I wish I could say I was not one of them, but there are times when I am embarrassed or ashamed of my words or worse yet, my actions. God loves me. Oh His love is unconditional, but how effective could I ever be if I continued down some of the paths I had embarked on … and all for temporal things with no eternal value. Does this describe you as well?

You are not alone. Unfortunately, there are many of us. But God forgives. He watches us and forgives. We must seek forgiveness. It isn’t some blanket pardon that comes no matter what we say or do. But once we ask for it with a sincere and contrite heart, He says to us “I already forgave you before you even asked”. The asking is the key. And change must follow. Otherwise we make His grace a cheap thing. And we never want to do that. Christ paid too high a price for that.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

LYING

Proverbs 10:19 (NIV) “When words are many, sin is not absent; but he who holds is tongue is wise.”

I can tend to be a little chatty at times. I like to talk to people, not that I feel what I have to say is so earth shatteringly important all the time, but I find people to be interesting. If I latch onto a topic that I find interest in, then according to my dad, I don’t “shut up”. Okay, that may be a little strong, but I do tend to be on the chatty side. While I agree with the verse above, I don’t believe it is referring to a chatty person.

You have no doubt come across a person or two who is talking quickly. They may be fidgeting. Their eyes may be darting about or looking down or simply looking anywhere but at whom they are speaking to. I worked with an executive of a company once who behaved exactly like that fairly frequently. Turned out he was lying through his teeth about whatever he was talking about at that time. It is easy to spot liars. I regret to say that I have lied a time or two. I am not proud of that admission. In fact, I am ashamed that I even have that admission to give. Forgiveness from God has been sought and given, but I still bear the scars of the lies I have told. None of us are exempt from avoiding the truth. God is not in a lie. Not ever. It is either the truth or it is a lie. There is really not any gray area here, unless you consider some things to simply be no one else’s business. Some might call that a lie of omission, but I digress.

It has been said that “the less you say the better off you are”. That isn’t a verse in the Bible; however, it happens to be true. You can talk too much about something and even begin to give the impression that you are lying even though nothing could be further from the truth. How? By rambling on about something you really no nothing about as a means of impressing someone else. Hold your tongue.

Proverbs 17:28 (NIV) “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”

A liar is a fool. No question about it. But as Solomon states in the above verse, even a foolish can may appear wise if he keeps his mouth closed. Knowing WHEN to keep it closed is the trick. If you don’t know what you are talking about, keep your mouth closed. It is aptly said that you since you have two ears and only one mouth, you should listen twice as much as you speak. I know quite a few people who would do well to take that advice.

It is also true that it takes a lifetime to build a solid, respectable reputation and one lie to tear it all down. Don’t lie. As I like to say, there is no profit in it. There I do not mean profit as in monetary gain, but that there is nothing good that will come of it; nothing to be gained. The aftermath of a lie can bring heartache and pain. It is unnecessary. It could be avoided if only we would be truthful in all our dealings. In this day and age where people take the easy route and lie continuously as a matter of course, especially if they knew they would never get caught, telling the truth is beginning to become a bit of an oddity. Sad really. We know better as believers, but somehow we find that “the end justifies the means” and we do it anyway. “Lord God in Heaven, save us from ourselves and direct our paths towards righteousness for Your name’s sake. Amen.”

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND SPEAK THE TRUTH UNDER ANY AND ALL CIRCUMSTANCES!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

COMMITMENT

Psalm 37:5-6 (NIV) “Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

COMMIT (def): To put in trust or charge; entrust; to hand over, as for safekeeping.

Commitment can be difficult for people at times. It involves trust and reliance. We make a commitment when we get married. We make a commitment when we decide to do anything really … we commit to doing this or that.
In the case of committing to God, we are entrusting Him with our lives. We are handing them over to Him, as it were, allowing Him to guide and direct us. But making that commitment isn’t where it all ends. We DO have a free will you know.

Just as divorce occurs in marriage, we can divorce ourselves from the directives of God. We decide that our way of thinking is better, more beneficial to us than Gods. Typically, it has something to do with God playing the role of spoiler as in spoiling our fun. Godly living can be a wonderful blessing, but it can be considered a curse if you let it appear that way to you.

Proverbs 13:21 (NIV) “Trouble pursues the sinner, but the righteous are rewarded with good things.

Psalm 34:10 (NIV) “The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.”

God has only GOOD THINGS in store for you. It depends on what you consider good things though. If you are involved in unsavory activity, then the good things YOU desire may not line up with what God has in mind and in store for you. God knows what you need. He knows what is best for you. That is where your faith and trust MUST kick in. Proverbs 3:7 (NIV) tells us to not be “wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.” Who are we that we think we are greater than God? The problem is we don’t see it that way. We just get blinded by the light the enemy shines in our eyes. We travel down paths that are not ordained by God and expect fulfillment to be waiting for us at the end.

We serve a loving, patient, forgiving God who sees us wherever we go and knows we have a proclivity towards doing that which WE desire, rather than that which HE desires for us. He knows us so much better than we know ourselves. Knowing this fact is why I pray regularly, “Lord, please save me from myself.” Because I know that in my own stubborn stupidity I will insist upon traveling down that lone dark path despite God’s persistent warnings. Some people never, ever learn their lessons. I tend to be one of those type of people. Oh, I learn my lessons well enough, but sometimes they have pain and scars attached that didn’t need to be there. And THAT is not God’s fault, but my own.

So learn from your own mistakes. COMMIT your life and your way to the Lord … trust in Him for all things and He WILL make your righteousness shine like the dawn and the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. His word declares it and therefore it is so. It has to be, for if we believe in God at all, we must take Him at His word or why bother taking Him seriously at all.

God loves us with an abiding, everlasting, unconditional love that we couldn’t fathom if we spent all our days trying. He sent His own Son to a criminals cross to die for your sins and mine. He would do it again if necessary, but it is NOT necessary, for unlike the sacrifices of the Old Testament, Christ’s sacrifice on that cross was once for all, for all time. It is truly overwhelming if we allow it to sink into to our feeble minds. That anyone would actually give up their own life for mine or yours. Willingly; without hesitation; without reservation; without conditions. It is truly amazing. Don’t let His grace become a cheap thing by doing your own thing. Submit to the will of God and live an abundant life … not in the eyes of the world, but rather in the eyes of Almighty God.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

MAJESTY

Psalm 8:1a “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth; …”

There was a Sunday morning in Springfield, MO back in mid-1980, the Mecca of the Assemblies of God domination that was rather unusual. The pastor, Rev. Wannamacher, fortunately was a man of God who believed that the Spirit of God should be allowed to move as it wills. On THAT particular Sunday morning, the sanctuary was thick with the Spirit of God. It was moving amongst His people. Hearts were being touched, lives were being changed, healings were taking place … the worship was so sweet and precious that when the time came when Pastor would preach his sermon, he stepped up to the microphone and said this: I was going to preach a sermon this morning, but God is moving is such a profound and special way that I am going to sit back down and stay out of the way while He finishes His business.* So we spent the entire time that service praising and worshipping our Lord.

Have you ever had a time like that? Where the Spirit of God was so real to you that you could feel it moving amongst the people. Believe it or not, in all the years that I have gone to services that was the first and only time that has ever happened in a service where I attended. Now, I have no doubt it happens quite often throughout the world, but since God is who we are worshipping, I wonder why it doesn’t happen more often?

Now understand me when I say that, because I am in no way attempting to diminish in importance the preaching of God’s word. Our spiritual sustenance depends on it. However, it is my humble opinion that the bulk of our services should be spent worshipping and praising the One Who set us free from sin. When we get to heaven, do you think we will be sitting in nice neat little rows listening to someone preach? No way. We will be praising our Creator.

Psalm 8 is dedicated, as many Psalms are, to glorifying Almighty God. David was the King, the apple of God’s eye, who danced in the street to honor and glorify God. Today we are too worried about what people will think. David didn’t care who thought what. His heart was bursting forth with praise for God and he danced in front of the people of Israel for His God. We ought to be free enough to do the same. God is worthy of any and all praise. There aren’t enough words in any human tongue to properly praise Him for who He is and what He has done for us all. Allow God to set your spirit free to worship Him as your heart so desires. He is worthy of all worship.

NOW WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND PRAISE HIM FOR ALL YOU ARE WORTH!!!!

*I attended that service and while I don’t remember his exact statement, which is why I didn’t use quotation marks, what I wrote was the basic gist of what he said on that morning.

Monday, November 7, 2011

TEMPTATION

Psalm 7:10-11a “My shield is God Most High, Who saves the upright in heart. God is a righteous judge … “

God watches over His children and provides an invisible shield of protection over them. That should make us feel safe. Knowing that His Holy Spirit is IN us should also encourage us. How come we forget these truths so easily?

David was the “apple of God’s eye” … a “man after God’s own heart”. Yet he sinned against God. God knew his heart. It didn’t make the sin alright. There were still consequences for the actions David took, but he remained faithful to his God in spite of his sin. That sounds peculiar, doesn’t it? How can someone stay faithful to God in spite of his sin? Temptation comes in many forms. Physical, mental, emotional, financial … the enemy knows your weaknesses all too well. God gives us so many warnings in scripture to avoid temptation; however, there are times when the temptation overwhelms us. We are caught in a trap of our own making and find that we cannot get out without gnawing off our own paw. Wanting to remain whole, we ride out the storm temptation brings. God provides a way of escape, but we are too busy entertaining the temptation to see it. The sowing and reaping principle cannot be avoided. We must then endure the consequences that ensue.

God is a righteous judge. He does not wink at sin, nor does He stay His hand when punishment is required. However, punishment from God always has an element of mercy and compassion. He does everything with instruction in mind. Learn from your mistakes, He seems to be saying. Don’t continue to make the same ones, for it is a dead end road. God follows us, watches over us, provides wisdom and guidance when asked and never forces His will on us. He knows that we are but dust, formed by His own hand.

This posting is not meant to be a blanket excuse for those who stumble and fall, but rather a warning to look to our Mighty Shield, our Most High God to lead us out of the darkness that so easily entangles us. Why do we find it so easy to stray? Is it fun? For a time. Is it beneficial? Hardly ever. And even when it IS, it is only for a season. You see, God is over all things. His ways are righteous and true. Evil cannot abide with Him. Sin will be struck down. We must fight our temptations. We are given the tools; the weapons of our warfare are mighty, honed by Almighty God Himself. Guard your heart and do not do that which you know to be against the will of God. For in the end, YOU are the one who will suffer.

May God be merciful to us, sinners saved by His grace, that we may attain all He has planned for us. In Jesus mighty and matchless name I pray … amen.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 3

There are times in every believer’s life when we want to ask the question: “Why God? Why?” At times we ask it quietly, sometimes loudly … there are times when we wish we could scream it at the top of our lungs. God doesn’t hear the question any more clearly; it just seems to make us feel a little better. It is probably a physiological thing. Something to do with releasing stress or the like. No matter how we ask the question or how often, we usually will get the same response from our benevolent Deity … silence.

Does He not care? Did He not hear us? Is He hard of hearing? Is He ignoring us? Has He forgotten us? In answer to these questions, YES, YES, NO, NO, NO. Okay, so then where did He go? Is He asleep? What gives?

Yes, He does care very much. Yes, He DID hear us; no matter what volume we happen to say it. No, He is absolutely NOT deaf or hard of hearing. No, He is not ignoring us. And no, He has not forgotten us. He didn’t go anywhere and does not sleep. So what DOES give?

Our Heavenly Father sees every tear drop that wells up and falls from your eye. When we have a need, no matter what it is, the wheels in heaven are turning to provide the answer. I believe that God would create something that had never been in existence before, if necessary, to meet the need of one of His children. In the end, what it really all comes down to is TRUST.

Do we TRUST our unseen Father enough to take care of our every need, no matter what it is? It is with unspoken understanding that that which we request lines up with His word and His will, which is laid out in scripture. It is interesting to me that we want instantaneous answers to our every question and immediate solutions to our every problem, yet do not feel any unction to spend any more time with God than we have to. Oh, trust me when I tell you, I am NOT pointing any fingers here. I am as guilty as the next person for neglecting my quiet time with the Creator. Yet this is what He desires from us. Time. Alone. With Him. Praising. Worshiping. Glorifying. Thanking. And then, if needs be, beseeching, imploring, questioning and then, by design, finding some semblance of peace.

God will answer. Yes, He will. But God does not operate on our time schedule. Scripture tells us that “a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day” to our Lord. Time is irrelevant to Him. This moment in our lives is a microscopic nothing compared to eternity. He will provide what you need, whether it is an answer, a material possession, finances, employment, healing … you name it … when He knows the perfect time is. We are in such a hurry. We must engage our faith and put our trust in play. Relying on God is never an easy thing. Just imagine what those of us who are “control freaks” go through. But God is always there, always watching, always listening. Sometimes I believe He wants to see if we are learning the lessons He is trying to teach us about faith and trust. He knows what He is doing. Failure isn’t in His nature. Impossible is not in His vocabulary. He is Almighty God, Creator of everything that was and is and is to be. Praise Him for who He is, take a deep breath (maybe two) and let your faith kick in. It’s in there … inside you. It’s that smoldering ember in the core of your spirit that is looking to ignite into a flame. Allow it the oxygen it needs to burst forth into a blaze that cannot be extinguished.

Now go WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING to someone today!

Friday, November 4, 2011

NO SWERVING ALLOWED

Proverbs 4:25-27 (NIV) “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

I can tend to be easily distracted. My peripheral vision is such that any movement to the left or right catches my eye. It is one of the reasons I struggle with alone time. Even with my eyes closed my mind begins to whirl, thinking about all the things that I need to do and all the troubles that belie me. I allow it. I have not learned in my over 30 yrs of walking with Christ to shut out that which is around me. I have also not asked God for His assistance with this on a regular basis. I am painfully human. How about you?

Solomon gives us good instruction here. The only way to keep from taking a tumble is to keep your eyes on where you are going. He uses very descriptive words here: fix your gaze.

FIX (def):To set or place definitely; establish; to correct or set right; adjust.

God knows we all struggle with what we are gazing upon. In that regard, you might say we ALL have a bit of A.D.D. Our attention is always somewhere else and not where it needs to be. We all need to take a deep breath and refocus ourselves on that which is truly important. God has given us a tool to decipher right from wrong, good from evil. We don’t know His word well enough most of the time to act properly in a given situation (and trust me when I say, I am just as guilty of this as the next person.). God knows us so much better than we know our own selves. He patiently attempts to lead us to the places where He knows the greatest benefit for us lies. But we think we know better. We try to go it alone. God watches … He is always watching. We must make Him dizzy with all our daily comings and goings. Ever moving about, never sitting still to listen.

Why are we like that? I do not know. I think in part, no matter who we are and no matter how faithful we think we have become, there is always an occasion when we feel we can handle something on our own. We forget the simple word that Christ is the vine and we are only the branches … without Him we are capable of no good thing. We can do nothing significant or worthy of God Himself without His assistance. We are constantly trying to rewire ourselves to bypass our conscience. If we suffered no guilt or shame then we could do as we pleased without consequences. Wrongo! God’s Word and His laws are immutable, they never change. Whether we feel guilt or shame doesn’t ever mean that something that was wrong is suddenly alright now. It means you are ignoring the warnings of the Holy Spirit. Brother, have I ever done that a time or two (or three).

In the end, once again, we find that seeking the face of God and His wisdom and guidance always keep us safe and at peace. If we ever DO swerve to the right or left, we most assuredly find evil waiting by the side of the road ready to pounce. Take heed of Solomon’s cautionary proverb. Look where you are going; seek God re: all your doings and remember, no swerving allowed.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

GOD HAS A PLAN

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”

Life is full of ups and downs. From one day to the next we do not know what it will bring. Good news? Bad news? Death? Tragedy? Exhilarating joy? Trouble? It is a mixed bag at best and can be frustrating at times. For the believer, life is equally perplexing. Just because we know Christ doesn’t make us exempt from this world’s issues. We are told to live IN it but be not OF it. Christians bleed if they are cut; they suffer and become upset at circumstances that rage around us. Having said that, I must quickly add that though we endure the same types of trials as those who do NOT know Christ, we have words from God like the scripture up above from Jeremiah to bolster our faith and encourage us.

God has plans for us. His perfect will entails more than just us praising and worshipping him. He wants to use us. He has given each of us gifts, talents, and tools to use for His glory. We are to speak His word to those who would receive it. He has a plan for you. His plans will not bring about our ruin. Never. If we travel down a rabbit trail that is not of His choosing then we may end up with regret, but that is not by the design of God. He has plans for us.

He has plans for our good. He has plans that will benefit us. They may come with their fair share of heartache and disappointment, but it is all by design to build our character and make our faith strong. What God desires from us is unflagging devotion, not the kind that wilts in the heat of the first trial we encounter.

Why does He have plans for us? His desire is to not only give us a future we can look forward to, but one with hope. Hope is a wonderful thing to have. Without hope we are a people most miserable. Without hope we are left with despair. Without hope there is nothing to look forward to. But be of good cheer because the Word states that God has plans that are good plans that are designed to give us a future with HOPE.

You see, the devil cannot compete with what God offers us. God is a giver, Satan is a taker. The only things Satan gives us are evil, ungodly, despicable things that perhaps look appealing on the surface, but under the attractive covering are rotten, decaying garbage. He is a stealer and a destroyer. God on the other hand, builds and creates and blesses and heals. The only plans Satan has for you are to spend all of eternity in HIS kingdom, hell.

God’s plans are pure and wholesome. They are righteous and just. There is nothing false or unsavory about them. They are individualized as well. God has a plan for YOU. What is it? Pray and find out. Seek His face consistently to see what He has in mind and in store for you. God wants you to succeed. He wants you to be victorious. It is His desire for you to be “prosperous, even as your soul prospers”. He wants you to see your future through the eyes of hope.

It’s now time to say the following little ditty that we all learned as a child in Sunday school or children’s church: “God said it, I believe it and that settles it!” Amen? Amen!

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

ATTAINING WISDOM

Proverbs: 1:1-2 (NIV) “The proverbs of Solomon, son of David: King of Israel, for attaining wisdom and discipline, for understanding words of insight … “

If we are familiar at all with scripture, particularly the Old Testament, we know the story of Solomon, son of David, who sought great wisdom from God to rightly judge the people of Israel. We read that God not only blessed him with great wisdom, but because of His unselfish request, gave him all that he did NOT ask for as well; wealth and material possessions. Throughout his life, Solomon experienced many things which I suppose could be considered experimentation or a flirting with behavior that was not pleasing to God, however, he always came back from the edge saying that wisdom is truly found in God alone; that everything else is a “chasing after the wind”. If you think about that phrase, you realize exactly what Solomon is saying. Essentially, what he is saying is that ANYTHING apart from God is useless; it is unattainable. Just when you think you have it, it slips right through your fingers and is gone. Like “chasing after the wind” … you may chase after it, but you will never catch it. It goes where it wills … and is not a solid, so it cannot be gotten hold of.

When we approach the book of Proverbs, we need to take seriously the few 7 verses in particular, for they define the reason for reading it in the first place. If you seek wisdom, discipline and understanding of insightful words, read Solomon’s proverbs. Do not read them quickly. Do not scan them as if to meet a daily reading requirement. Read them slowly, line by line, word by word. Soak in what is being said. It is there for a specific purpose; for your wisdom and knowledge. If you rip through it as if in a race, you will miss the nougats of truth that are lying within.

A wise man isn’t void of weaknesses. He is not exempt from failure or frailty. Wise men down through the ages have defied logic with some of the personal decisions they have made. However, what truly made them wise was their ability to seem the folly of their own ways and make self-correction so as to right their own ship, as it were.
THAT is a sign of true wisdom, in my humble opinion. To make corrections in your own thought processes your own direction through introspection and self inspection. Being willing to learn something new. Being ever mindful that no matter how wise you are, you know from Whom your wisdom comes.

Do you seek knowledge? Fear the Lord. Do you seek wisdom, not for wisdoms sake alone, but to serve others more effectively? Revere your God. Seek HIS face daily. Seek to be like your Lord in all you think, say and do. Wisdom will come when you show a humble, NON self seeking heart. God will never deny that which is sought selflessly, according to His will for the assistance of others. To coin the phrase made popular by Rick Warren in the Purpose Driven Life, “It’s not all about you!” It’s not about us at all. It is all about God. And not what God can do for us. He did for us all we need and will ever need. It is about what we can do for Him. Seek His wisdom today.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A NOBLE WOMAN

Proverbs 31:30 (NIV) “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

In this day and age when “sex sells” and appearance is made paramount, we read this in Proverbs. The title of this portion of scripture, Proverbs 31: 10-31 is Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character. Young women are so bent on being beautiful and when age encroaches on their lives they become bent on STAYING beautiful, yet there is a natural beauty that radiates from within. It is present in women who are children of God. It is the light of their spirit that shines forth. They study scripture and know what is required of them by the Lord. They are not subservient by any means, but a true woman of God is fruitful and productive, a great help to her husband in every way.

In this day and age women seek to be equal with men and climb the corporate ladder, as if that was a goal worthy of them, but scripture speaks of a woman who conducts business for her household, buying and selling, providing for her family, as an integral counterpart to her husband.

Our society has it all wrong; it has it backwards. Women are to be viewed as pivotal yes, but to their family, not to themselves. Today they strive to better themselves to the exclusion of all others. They give themselves over to nefarious doings, seeking pleasure where it may be found. The Godly woman finds herself shunned in our society today; ridiculed for her subservient nature. However, those women who feel they have achieved some sort of pinnacle, a mountain top of success, are nothing more than empty shells of what they were intended to be. You see, for all they may have accomplished, there is no lasting fulfillment as a result. They are just as empty as when they first started up that hill.

God’s Word is an outline, a blueprint as it were, of a fulfilling life IN HIM. Yes, we are NOT our own boss. We can be in our world, but if the truth be told, none of us are our own boss. God IS in ultimate control over all His creation. The sooner we acknowledge this fact, the sooner we may find true fulfillment this side of heaven. That goes for men, just as it does women. Fulfillment is not to be found in looks, strength, intelligence, monetary success … no. All those things are temporal. As Solomon says in Ecclesiastes, “it is a chasing of the wind”. You may catch fire in a bottle, but without oxygen, it will go out.

The truly important, even vital things of this life are found between the covers of God’s Word. Believe it or not, that is your choice, but without guidance and direction from Almighty God, you are only spinning your wheels, no matter how far ahead you feel you are getting from the competition.

Women need to stop striving for that which will fade away and look intently in the mirror at themselves and what their lifestyle has produced. Stripped of makeup, designer clothes and a professional hair styling, they are the same person they were when they were a child, only older. What are your dreams, your aspirations … what do you truly want out of life? If it involves being the best anything that puts the focus on you rather than others, perhaps your vision is blurred. See others as more important than you and you have a good start. Pick a husband that is a Godly man and you will avoid heartache somewhere down the road. Being a good wife doesn’t involve being your husband’s slave; not at all. He has obligations as well to see you are a jewel from God. He is to cherish you and treat you as scripture teaches a man to treat his beloved.

In the end, God is faithful and good. He is forgiving and patient. If you find yourself on the wrong path, it is never too late to jump the track to the one that leads to life and that more abundantly. Need to know how? Simply ask the Lord to show you the way. He loves you and wants to bless you even more than you want to be blessed.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!