Archive for May, 2017

Cares, Riches, and Pleasures

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

Jesus spoke in Luke chapter 8:

11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.

14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.

15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.”

More and more people are dealing with the cares of this world, especially with adult children who have made unwise choices and find themselves in great difficulty.  This leads to the rest of the family being impacted as well with the problems at hand.  The media would have us believe that all is fine and normal with the economy but those other than the “elites” know better.  Food prices keep going up, house prices are entering into a bubble again, and good paying jobs are getting harder to find.  These all impact those who focusing on The Word but are being distracted by the above issues.

We must leave the cares of the world outside our prayer closet and focus on the pure Word which will give us peace.  In doing so solutions to problems will come forth and produce fruit to be consumed by those around us.

Riches come and go and there are more examples to refer to in this day and time.  The quest for riches is a tough road to follow unless your calling requires greater wealth.  FATHER will see to it that you have sufficiency for your calling.  If you calling does not require as much wealth, be content with what FATHER has called you to do.  Be at peace in whatever state you are in.  As Paul wrote by THE SPIRIT in Philippians chapter 4:

19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Need and desire may be two different things and if they don’t match, we need to check our intent.

The pleasures of this world are fleeting as well.  How many things are sitting in the closet or garage that were suppose to give us pleasure.  After a few years we may have a garage sale and virtually give away what was once thought to be a prized possession.  The Word is what is precious and enduring thus we need to protect that seed entering our hearts and not allow it to be taken from us by the enemy, cares, riches, or pleasures.

Our long term goal is to mature in Christ and become Christ-like.  “As He is so are we” is what we are ascending to in our daily study of The Word.  Let not the temporary things of this world take our focus away from the eternal.  Let us protect our heart and allow the seed to grow without outside interference.

Prodigal Living

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

In Luke 15 Jesus spoke:

11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons.

12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood.

13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.

14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.

15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,

19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’

The word squander means to waste (something, especially money or time) in a reckless and foolish manner.  The younger son wanted to make a name for himself so he went to a far country.  The thing he left behind was wisdom and understanding for you need both to properly handle your inheritance, whatever it may be.  Had the younger son been in communication with Our Heavenly Father and led by the SPIRIT, he surely would not have traveled to a far country with a severe famine on the horizon.  Instead, he lived for “today” and wasted his resources.

Before he left home he would have never considered eating pods given to the swine.  Your food preferences can change rapidly when you are in a crisis.  In the famine people hoarded what they had and we find that no one gave him anything.  It is clear that agape Love was not to be found in this severe famine.  Had Love been found, the young man would have be sustained.

Once he finally came to his senses with a little dose of wisdom, he decided to return home knowing that the hired servants were better off than him.  He also realized he had sinned against FATHER as well as his earthly father.  The judgment on the land impacted those who dwelled in the land.  The ultimate result of judgment was to return to where your calling lies and be restored.  His father did not reject him but instead celebrated the fact that he had returned.  The earthly inheritance was not an issue to the father for he knew that riches come and go.  His son is what mattered.

The father was not “scarcity minded” and neither is FATHER.  We must endeavor to be good stewards and not waste resources but if we don’t achieve our expected outcome, we must not condemn ourselves for the loss.  If we lead a repentant life and stay close to FATHER, HE will restore what is lost.  We simply need to learn our lesson.  We should only step out as FATHER tells us and be sensitive to the path HE has placed before us.  Sometimes the path leads back to the prayer closet because we are simply not ready for anything else.  Be patient and keep your ears and eyes open.  Don’t be tempted by prodigal living.

Our Focus

Friday, May 19th, 2017

Jesus spoke in Matthew chapter 24:

17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house.

18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.

19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!

20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.

21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.

24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

25 See, I have told you beforehand.

Jesus warned us of a great tribulation.  This warning is to prepare us for a major shift around the world so that we would not be caught unprepared.  There will be many of those who read these words and fear will rise up.  However, the elect have been prepared for this time by fully embracing FATHER’S Love and HIS Divine Intent to restore mankind.

More often than not people need a crisis in order to be willing to change.  Only then do they realize their view of life is wrong.  It has been said that there are no atheists in foxholes during a war.  When you are faced with mortality, you are willing to accept GOD.

Jesus reveals that the elect will be among those who experience this event.  They will not be swept away by angels but instead will be the guiding lights to a world in utter darkness.  They will not be moved by the signs and wonders of deception designed to keep the masses in check.  They will be the standards by which all men will know the one and only path available to them- through Jesus Christ.

Because of the elect, the days will be shortened and people will be able to endure the tribulation.  We can see the importance of the elect during this time of tribulation.  Is your focus to simply survive the tribulation or to be a solution for those who will be living in great fear?  Our focus must be to continue in a more intimate relationship with FATHER and fully embrace HIS Love.  As we do, we will be counted among the elect who will serve during this tumultuous time.  When will this time occur?  I don’t know but it is important to keep our focus on being fully mature so that whatever happens we are ready to serve mankind.  Some may say that the great tribulation has already occurred.  It still doesn’t change the focus of the elect.

No Partiality

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

James wrote by THE SPIRIT in chapter 2:

1 My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.

2 For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes,

3 and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,”

4 have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

5 Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts?

7 Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?

8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well;

9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

I have seen on many occasions over the last forty-five years where men have shown partiality to the rich and/or famous.  The ego is a harsh taskmaster and you can easily get caught up in glamor of being around the wealthy.  The ego believes if you stay close to the person, he or she might just hand over some money or other valuables.  That is a rarity especially in today’s self-oriented society.  FATHER is not impressed by wealth or glamor for HE looks at the heart and knows who HE can work with.  The poor man usually has less baggage to deal with thus he is more likely to hear FATHER.  Yes, there are exceptions.

We are warned against becoming judges with evil thoughts and should take this warning seriously.  We should treat each person we come into contact with as a future brother or sister in Christ.  After all, they will all embrace the Love of FATHER at some point and be reconciled to HIM.  At that point, the manifestation of the brother or sister is at hand.  It is only a matter of time.

The poor in this world tend to be rich in faith whereas the rich tend to rely on their wealth and assets.  Little do they realize their money can grow wings and fly away without notice.  I would prefer to be rich in faith knowing that MY GOD shall supply all my needs according to HIS riches in glory.  I know HE Loves me and wants me to be fruitful thus HE will provide sustenance to keep me going, even in the lean times.

The rich will often use the court system to bully the rest of us.  It is simply a form of manipulation which originates from the god of this world.  Those who like to sue have no clue of the commandment “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” .  Jesus expressly gave us this commandment and we have no excuse to sue our neighbor.  Some will try to rationalize why someone isn’t his neighbor and that is just another excuse to exercise selfish motives.  Lawsuits are simply designed to further the current legal system at the expense of the innocent.  Do you think FATHER will judge the system in a harsh manner since it goes directly against HIS Divine Intent of Love?

We are warned that if we show partiality, then we have been determined to do evil, and are judged as evil-doers by the law.  How simple is it to live by the Divine Intent of Love toward all mankind!  You don’t have to be concerned about being a law-breaker but instead are pleasing to FATHER and Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Good Works

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

We are here to do good works on behalf of the Kingdom.  Jesus made it very plain during the Sermon on the Mount.  Jesus spoke in Matthew chapter 5:

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

In the Book of Acts, Tabitha was noted for her good works and charitable deeds.  By THE SPIRIT it is written in Acts 9:

36 At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did.

Would we be described in the same manner or are we “undercover”?  Are we spending more time in other areas when we could be doing good works and charitable deeds?  Are we known for our generosity or frugality?  Are we providing examples that could be printed as great examples of those who do good works?

Paul wrote by THE SPIRIT in Ephesians 2:

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

We were created for good works so there is no excuse for delaying those works.  People are in need now and we are to be a light unto them so let us place a priority toward this end.  Is there ever and optimum time to begin doing good works?  Our minds can talk us out of taking action today but we must not let the mind dictate the timing of our mandate.

Paul also wrote by THE SPIRIT in 1 Timothy chapter 5 an example of a person who does good works:

9 Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man,

10 well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.

Notice that she followed every good work.  There is no “one and done” when fulfilling this mandate.  We are to live a life of giving of ourselves to others in unconditional Love.  We are not doing good works in order to gain favor with the world but instead we are letting our light shine to a dying world who desperately needs to be shown the path.  Paul also instructs the wealthy in 1 Timothy chapter 6:

17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.

18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,

19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

People with wealth are not omitted from the charge to do good works.  For some this is a great hurdle but they are called to trust not in uncertain riches.  They are to trust in FATHER that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Exercising Our Senses

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

It is written by THE SPIRIT in Hebrews chapter 5:

12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.

14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The audience were those who were well acquainted of Old Testament principles but needed to get past the imperfect sacrifice and realize the infallible purpose in Christ becoming the High Priest for our sakes.  Does this mean we need to become experts in the written Word?   I think not.  More importantly we need to be able to discern both good and evil by being taught according to FATHER’S Divine Intent of Love.  Many Old Testament students would purpose to learn all 613 commandments and statutes in order to be esteemed by man.   On the other hand, Jesus made it quite clear that the two Commandments of Love fulfilled the entire Law.

If you know FATHER’S Intent then you will be able to discern between good and evil.  Out of HIS Love comes the word of righteousness and brings us toward full maturity.  Memorizing the New Testament does not guarantee proper discernment.  Knowing HIS ways does!

Are you saying not to study The Word?  Absolutely not.  Simply don’t make it more important than your personal relationship with FATHER.  The Pharisees were experts on The Word given at the time yet they could not recognize the Savior of the world when He spoke to them.  They were blinded by their own bias.

Those who tend to be legalistic try to get FATHER to do their bidding by quoting HIS Word to HIM.  That can be a subtle form of manipulation when we try to get our way based on our understanding rather than on HIS Love for us.  What if FATHER does not respond to our request?  We must conclude HIS perfect will and purpose are allowing whatever perceived need we have to be left unfulfilled for the moment.  We must place HIS unconditional Love for us above any need or personal request we have.  Only FATHER can see the big picture and know the timing of HIS responses toward us.

The disciples resisted FATHER’S Will when it came time for Jesus to go to the cross.  One moment Peter had a revelation and the next moment Jesus chastised him by saying  “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”  Ouch!

Eternity requires a different outlook than a few short years in these physical bodies.  While on this earth we must focus on maturing in Christ and walking in Love.  If we do then The Holy Spirit is well able to provide us with the essence of The Word applicable to our situation.  As we become “sensitive” to THE SPIRIT, we are exercising our senses.

Consider that Abraham did not have the Old or New Testament to refer to when FATHER was dealing with him.  He only needed a relationship with FATHER and the bond of Trust.  Abraham knew FATHER had his best interest at heart so he was able to fulfill his calling without reading a hundred books on faith.  With that in mind we read Hebrews chapter 6:

13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,

14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.”

15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

16 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.

17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,

18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,

20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Abraham had faith in FATHER’S oath to him.  We too have an oath by FATHER sealed with HIS Divine Intent of Love.  That is good enough for me.

Our Citizenship

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Paul wrote by THE SPIRIT in Philippians chapter 3:

17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.

18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.

20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

Citizenship is the status of a person recognized under the custom or law as being a legal member of a sovereign state.  Given that THE SPIRIT establishes our citizenship status belongs to Heaven, why do so many set their mind on earthly things?  What enduring value are those earthly things?  Jesus is our example of a citizen of Heaven who journeyed through various jurisdictions of the earth.  His priority was to change people’s lives for the better and show them a better way, Truth, and Life.

Those who are not citizens are described as their god is their belly or appetite.  They look to what they can consume for themselves without thought of others.  They live their lives believing they are entitled to all that is set before them.  They are shameful in their lusts for earthly things.  They are opposed to the cross of Christ because of its perceived impact requiring them to give up what they lust after.  Their immediate worldly desires are greater than eternal life and change of citizenship for they are blinded to the benefits.

Jesus will transform our body to conform to His glorious body for He has the power and authority to do so.  Would we sacrifice this glorious future for the temporary satisfaction of today?  As each of us contemplates the things of this world and see their constant state of deterioration, why would we consider such a path?  Generally speaking, the world’s assets become liabilities at some point.  Storage units are filled with assets becoming liabilities and at some point people will simply give the contents away or take it to the dump.  This world’s assets cannot compare to the eternal life provided through Jesus Christ.

By THE SPIRIT Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians chapter 4:

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

We live by faith in Jesus Christ and rest in the fact that our inward man is being renewed day by day.  Not only is our outward man perishing but so are all of our possessions.  Those who have excess possessions should simply give those to them who are in need while they are still useful.  Those who hoard live in fear that FATHER will not provide for them.  They question their citizenship and are double-minded in their ways.  We must understand our rights and privileges of being a citizen of Heaven.  FATHER provided us with written instruction as well as verbal instruction.  Let us no longer question to what sovereign state we belong.  As guests of various countries we should seek to be lawful according to their local laws but we must not forget where our citizenship is established.  We should not be moved by local political events but know that FATHER is orchestrating the big picture on behalf of HIS Kingdom.  Be at peace!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

Choose this day to express your unconditional Love for all the mothers you come in contact with and express Christ to them.

Bearing Much Fruit

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

Jesus spoke in  John chapter 15:

1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Do the branches eat the fruit?  No, this fruit is for the benefit of those who hunger for Spiritual blessings we have to offer.  Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are all fruit to be consumed by those in need.  We are to supply those fruit and should not be “fruitless”.  By abiding in Jesus Christ we are connected to the life-giving branch which provides us the appropriate life energy to produce such fruit.  If we are fruitless then we will be pruned away from the branch and be thrown in the fire for additional purging of “self”.

Make no mistake, FATHER will prune us in order to optimize our Christ-likeness which in turn will produce even greater fruitfulness in our walk.  We will truly be able to turn the cheek and offer up the other one.  We will be unaffected by any wrong done us and will be quick to forgive and forget.  Jesus gave further instruction along this line:  “If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.  And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.  Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.”  These are not occasional or isolated examples but are meant to describe being Christ-like.  Love has no issue in fulfilling such requests.

16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

17 These things I command you, that you love one another.”

If we bear the life-giving fruit we should expect our fruit to remain and be expressed in those we minister to in Love.  We should expect positive changes to occur in their lives as they consume “our” fruit.  This is how the Kingdom advances on earth.  We need to live in this Truth everyday no matter what the world throws at us.  We do this by keeping the faith and walking in Love.

Expressing Christ

Friday, May 12th, 2017

Paul wrote by THE SPIRIT in Colossians chapter 1:

27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Stop and consider this Truth- Christ is in you and me and since He is in you and me then we should be the outward expression of Him to all the earth.  Our fruits should confirm Christ in us and if they don’t then we need to mature to a higher level.

James wrote by THE SPIRIT in chapter 3:

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

The above attributes should be present in our daily lives for Christ is in us.  As we die to the flesh then the good fruits come forth without any hindrance from the old man.  Can people around us tell that we have Christ in us?  If not, why?  In Galatians chapter 5 Paul instructs us “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”  We have the choice to walk in THE SPIRIT thus we are able to fulfill this charge.  As we do then we produce the fruit of THE SPIRIT: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  These fruit is what this world needs.

FATHER will empower our words if they arise out of the good fruit mentioned above.  HE is not obligated to respond on our behalf if we are not being led by THE SPIRIT.  HE will not participate in our frustration with others or other acts of immaturity.  This is one reason why Jesus spoke in Luke chapter 6:

37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

We should inspire people to change rather than attempt to force or manipulate them in some manner.  Let the Holy Spirit convict them of their sins and lawlessness.  We are not to heap guilt on people in order to get them to alter their path.  Love does not seek its own, Love inspires.  Love does not consider wrongdoing and does not threaten others for it knows the end of the matter.

We must not let other people change us or decide who we are for we are Christ’s, we are Love.  Christ in us is greater than any other expression which can be found among men.  Why would we settle for less?

Jesus spoke in John chapter 15:

9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.

10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

As our Love grows and produces fruit, we will become the full expression of Christ to others.  Above all, this is why we are here.