Friday, October 14, 2016

Goodbye Blogger - Hello WordPress!

Dear Friends:

I've had this blogger account since 2007, and today is the last day that I will ever post on it. My new blog is found on WordPress and my URL is:

I hope that you will continue to enjoy the articles and the new features as we add them.

God Bless!

Mitch Horton

Thursday, October 13, 2016

What We Do With Our Time Determines Who We Are What We Value

Teach us to use wisely all the time we have (Psalm 90:12 – Contemporary English Version).

Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16 – Amplified).

My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you (Proverbs 3:1-2).
Someone said that time is life measured out. What we do with our time determines who we are and determines what we allow the Father to do in us and through us. All of us have 168 hours a week to accomplish what we value in life.
For me, I must have time for ministry, for organizational and managerial tasks, and time for personal ministry and staff relations. I must also make time each day for my relationship with the Father and with Jesus through the Word and in prayer. I must also spend time with my wife and children, as well as have time for leisure and hobbies, relaxation and rest. My goal is to include in my everyday the things that I value and that I want to be a part of my tomorrow. So, tomorrow, I want to be close to the Lord, to my wife, and to my children. Tomorrow I want to be healthy mentally, physically, and spiritually. So today, I make sure those values take up a portion of my time.
Time is a commodity that we can’t reclaim once it is wasted. We must take full advantage of each minute of each day. And we must do this in a way that honors God and doesn’t violate His kingdom principles of love, faith, trust, and rest.
To use wisely all the time we have, we can start by tithing a portion of our day to the Father for time in the Word and in prayer. He’s promised us length of days if we will honor the Word! My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you (Proverbs 3:1-2). We can extract more out of each minute, each hour, and each day, and have time to spare if we will allow Him to be our wisdom each day through the Word.
Making a list of necessary priorities for the day keeps us focused on the important, so that the urgent doesn’t move it out of sight. Keeping that list before us is essential to keep our focus on what must be accomplished.
In doing this, we must also make room for the providence of God to override any plans that we make. That causes us to see interruptions to our plans as the plan of God for our life, and that keep our attitude joyful and expectant when what we planned doesn’t happen. Father knows best.
He will show us how to best use our minutes. Phone calls can often be returned in the car on the way to an event. We can listen to the teaching of the Word in the car as we commute. Wonderful times of meditation and prayer can accompany a long commute to work or an appointment. A chapter in a book can be read during lunch. Ask the Father how you can seize each minute and extract blessing out of it!
Let’s give God our best efforts to work with today. Let’s make the most of our 168 hours this week. Let’s carve out of each day the purpose of God for our tomorrows. Time is life measured out!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

God's Covenant Names Reveal His Care For Us

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe (Proverbs 18:10).

God revealed Himself in the Old Testament through covenant names. Through these names, He reveals Who He is, and What His attitude towards us is like. Let’s examine this for the next couple of days in this blog.

The Father is absolutely committed to our care. He calls Himself the Shepherd by the Hebrew name Jehovah Raah in Psalm 23:1. We are His sheep. He has loved us enough to make an eternal covenant with Abraham and include us in it! His covenant care for us is guaranteed by God’s own integrity. A shepherd takes care of his sheep day and night. He assumes the their total care including food, shelter, safety, guidance and personal oversight. That is how our God treats us!
Another covenant name God has is Jehovah-Jireh (found in Genesis 22:14) which means the Lord our provider. God provided the lamb of sacrifice in the place of Abraham’s son Isaac as Abraham walked up the mountain in obedience to God’s request of Abraham to give Him his only son. God’s provides what He requests from us.
God’s nature is wrapped up in His name El-Shaddai (found in Genesis 17:1; 28:1-4; Psalm 91:1), which means the giver and sustainer of life. This term has wrapped in it the idea of a mother who is the all sustaining force in a newborn baby’s life. She provides all the nourishment and care for that little child. The child is always safe and secure in the love of the mother. That’s how our Father God is to us!
The Father has revealed Himself to us as El-Elyon (found in Genesis 14: 18-23; Daniel 5:18; Psalm 83;18), the possessor of heaven and earth. It means that He is the Most High God! When things look bad and the enemy seems to be winning, don’t forget that our never changing God is El-Elyon, the MOST HIGH! We always win. Winning is our destiny! He has our back when problems arise, and will show us the path to victory regardless of the circumstance!
The Father has revealed Himself as El-Roi, the One who sees. This is found in Genesis 16: 13-14. God saw Hagar, Abraham’s handmaid’s and the great needs she had. God met her needs as she was alone in the desert after being kicked out of Abraham’s house. The Father sees everything about us and knows intimately every detail of our lives; the good, the bad, and the ugly. He know why we do what we do, and know how to minister to us in minute detail. He is El-Roi, the one who sees. Pour out your heart to Him and expect Him to help you. He cares!
The Father is Our Shepherd, our Provider, our Life Sustainer, the MOST HIGH, and He is the One who sees and knows all about us. Pour your heart out to Him today, and expect Him to meet you in today’s life details! I’ll continue this tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

God's Goodness Has Been Deposited Within Us!

Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men! (Psalm 31:19)

He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord (Psalm 33:5).
Goodness is one of the attributes of our Father God. One of the definitions that I found for goodness is moral excellence that reaches out to meet others’ needs. Our God is a God of Goodness. He is morally excellent. His heart of compassion reaches out to all of creation.

You can see the goodness of God in splashes of color displayed during the fall season. You can see the goodness of God displayed in the varieties of smells, tastes, textures, shapes, colors, and in all the various created things that we experience every day of our lives. He thrives on blessing His creation. God is good. All the time!
When we’re born again, a measure of this goodness is placed within us by the Holy Spirit. One of the spiritual fruit is goodness. This goodness enables us also to display moral excellence that reaches out to meet the needs of others.
Goodness is manifested as salt and light in the believer. Jesus said that salt is good (Mark 9:50). Salt protects, flavors, and hinders.
Jesus told us to have salt within ourselves. Salt enhances flavor. That means that we are to allow this goodness to season our lives. The influence of the Spirit of God within us changes the atmosphere wherever we go. A room full of people is affected by your presence. Let the salt called goodness loose within you and allow it to influence others for God and for good.
Salt protects. Meats can be preserved with salt, needing no refrigeration. Bacteria have a difficult time growing in the atmosphere of salt. So does sin.
Salt also hinders. Armies in antiquity would sow the fields of conquered nations with salt. Salt will allow nothing to grow in the soil. While the church is on earth, we hinder the growth of evil. It’s our job!
Goodness is also expressed as light in the New Testament. Notice Matthew 5:16 (Amplified): Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven. Our works display the goodness of God to others. When they see our works, they should be drawn to our Savior.

Listen to Paul elevating the importance of our after salvation works: This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men (Titus 3:8). And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful (Titus 3:14). Our works don’t save us, but they should show others how wonderful and Holy our God is.
Let the attribute of God called goodness exude from your life today. Allow the salt and light of Jesus to manifest in your words, attitudes, and actions. Others are watching you. Let it shine!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Allow The Gift That God Places In You To Develop

Do not neglect the gift which is in you, that special inward endowment which was directly imparted to you by the Holy Spirit by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you at your ordination. Practice and cultivate and meditate upon these duties; throw yourself wholly into them [as your ministry], so that your progress may be evident to everybody (1Tim 4:14-15 –Amplified).
Each of us has been given a special gift, talent, or ability by the Father. It’s just an embryo within us at first. Sometimes it manifests as a faint desire that glimmers faintly in the background of our thoughts.
This special ability won’t develop on its own. In fact in many people it lies dormant year after year, longing to be activated, but never given opportunity. Paul’s admonition to Timothy shows the practical way the gifts of God develop in  us. You must practice, cultivate, meditate upon, and throw yourself wholly into them.
I was eighteen years old when I first sensed the call of God on my life to preach the Word. To begin with it came as an embryo of desire to begin. I changed the course of my life from pursuing a career to pursuing this call or desire. It was a general call to ministry at first, and following that desire I enrolled in Bible College.
Then I began to notice a strong desire to help people understand who they are in Christ and to help them apply the scriptures to their own lives. It was faint at first, but as I began to talk with people, it seemed like a “switch” would turn on inside and I found words pouring out of me with passion. Those words pouring out was the gift God placed in me seeking to manifest.
A while later I was asked to speak in the morning devotions for our large church staff. I was petrified by fear! But I said yes, and spent weeks studying, praying, and preparing. That “switch” cut on again as I spoke for the few minutes each day that week and the words just poured out. Later I ministered in hospitals, taught Bible studies, ministered to people one on one, and said yes anytime a need arose for someone to minister in a small meeting. The gift kept growing, until today, it flows through me like water!
The Father has placed a gift in you. Develop it. Allow it to grow by giving in to it. It may be only a faint desire, but go after it! Pursue your passion. Give yourself to the godly desire that rises from within you. This desire will “tickle” your thoughts over and over again until you yield to it. Fear will seek to override it and keep you from acting, but go ahead and do it scared!
It may be a spiritual or natural desire, but give yourself to it. Some have a gift to make money and finance the kingdom of God in earth. Others yearn to stay in the background and be a support for those called into full time ministry. Some have a strong desire to teach and mentor children. Still other have a desire to reach out to the lonely, the down and out and provide practical relief. Some yearn to pray. Whatever the desire, you must give in to it and allow it to develop. It will not until you act.
With practice, this gift from the Father that He has placed within you will make room for itself. Make room in your life for it, and watch what the Father will accomplish with it. He’s waiting on you to faithfully act!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Are You Willing, Like Jacob, To Walk WIth A Limp?

A man came and fought with Jacob until just before daybreak. When the man saw that he could not win, he struck Jacob on the hip and threw it out of joint.
They kept on wrestling until the man said, "Let go of me! It's almost daylight." "You can't go until you bless me," Jacob replied. Then the man asked, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered. The man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have wrestled with God and with men, and you have won. That's why your name will be Israel."(Genesis 32:24-28 - Contemporary English Version)
Even before birth, Jacob, whose name means deceiver, was in a struggle. Since birth, he had pushed his way through life, doing whatever was necessary to make it. He took advantage of others, and thought nothing of deceiving to get his way.
One night of wrestling with an angel (the angel was possibly Jesus Himself!) changed Jacob from deceiver to Israel, prince with God. After that night of struggle, He walked with a limp. He was never the same again. His character was transformed.
Don’t ever give up on yourself. No matter how long you’ve struggled with issues in your life, keep going forward! The Lord can transform you. It usually requires that you come to the end of yourself just like Jacob. When his best human efforts failed, Jacob finally realized his need to yield to God’s plan for his life, and he changed. His walking with a limp was an outward sign of his inward submission.
Moses was transformed at the burning bush. David was transformed from a shepherd to mighty warrior when he faced Goliath. Peter was transformed after denying Jesus and being filled with shame. The power of God’s mercy created within him a pastor’s heart. Saul was converted on the Damascus Road and was transformed into Paul, one of the greatest men of the church age.
In my own life, I was an extreme introvert, ruled by fear and rejection thinking. My only sense of value was through accomplishment. When I came to the end of my own ability, I found God’s grace to change. He replaced the fear with genuine love, the rejection with a knowing that I am accepted in the beloved, and the goodness by works attitude with a knowing that it’s not my deeds, but His grace that make me acceptable to God.
Take your personal frustrations with yourself and your failures to the foot of the cross. Lay them by faith at the feet of Jesus. Humble yourself to Him and like Jacob, he will change your name! He’ll create in you the ability to be what He has called you to be.
At the end of your self-striving to accomplish, to be something, or to succeed, you’ll find the power of God to transform. But you must be willing like Jacob to walk with a limp.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Don't Give Up Your Spiritual Inheritance!

Jacob then gave Esau some bread and some of the bean stew, and when Esau had finished eating and drinking, he just got up and left, showing how little he thought of his rights as the first-born (Genesis 25:34 - Contemporary English Version).
The story of Esau despising his first-born birthright is an excellent example to us of how yielding to the flesh can cost us the blessings of God.
Esau was born struggling. Before he and his brother were born, they were wrestling in the womb. When He was born, his twin brother Jacob had grasped his heel. Jacob means deceiver, schemer. These brothers were always disagreeing and fighting. Their personalities were opposite extremes. Jacob was a shepherd and stayed close to home. Esau was a hunter and loved the open field.
Esau came in from hunting one day and was overcome with hunger. He asked Jacob for a bowl of the soup he had made. The aroma had filled the house. Jacob was only willing to give Esau the soup if he would trade his firstborn birthright to him. Esau so little regarded his birthright that he gave it away for a simple bowl of soup!
The firstborn birthright meant that when his father died, he received 2/3 of the inheritance. The 1/3 left was divided among all of the rest of the siblings! This birthright was both an honor and a great responsibility! And Esau gave it away for next to nothing. He despised it.
As believers, we have a great heritage. We are heirs of God, and equal heirs with Jesus! We have inherited every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). Everything we need for life now and into eternity. We have God’s delegated authority, His favor, His nature. The Greater One lives within us. The gifts of the Spirit are available to us. Healing belongs to us. The Father has promised to prosper us as we honor Him. We have such a rich heritage!
But if we yield to the flesh and refuse to walk in the spirit, we stand to lose it all. It’s just like Esau giving away his inheritance!
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21 - NLT).

It’s just not worth yielding to the flesh to stand losing all that Jesus made available to us. Don’t allow Satan to dangle the carrot of the flesh in any area before your eyes! Just like the forbidden fruit, it may look good and taste good to your flesh, but it’s not worth the end result! Let’s respect our God given inheritance and walk in the spirit today!

Let’s cry out to God today and keep our spiritual life built up in the Word of God. Let’s stay in constant fellowship with Jesus through maintaining an attitude of prayer. When the yearnings of the flesh rise up, let’s acknowledge them to God, and ask for His ability through the Holy Spirit to help us rise above the temptation. When we slip up and sin, let’s not brood over it and do nothing. Instead, let’s confess our sins immediately and ask God to forgive us and cleanse us. In this way, we can keep the works of the flesh from stealing our spiritual birthrights in Jesus. Our inheritance has been freely given to us by Jesus’ sacrifice. Let’s not give it away!