Saturday, April 30, 2016

Do You See The Cup Half Full Or Half Empty?

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us (2 Corinthians 1:20). Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place (2 Corinthians 2:14).
Do you see the cup half full or half empty? Our attitude in life determines our perspective and our success in God. The Apostle Paul kept a positive attitude in spite of the negative circumstances he encountered.
Difficult circumstances are part of living in a fallen world and must be faced until we leave this planet for heaven. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
 
During times of great struggle, I remind myself of the promises of God. His Word is forever settled in heaven. He watches over His Word to make it good. During one particularly grueling test years ago, I found scriptures that proved to help in keeping my attitude positive. Take these scriptures that follow and make them yours. If God be for you, then who can be successful against you? You and God make a majority!
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock (Psalm 27:5).
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all (Psalm 34:19)
But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them, Because they trust in Him (Psalm 37:39-40).

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me (Psalm 50:15).
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea (Psalm 46:1-2).
Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him (Psalm 91:14-15).
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32).
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37).
See the cup half full today!

Friday, April 29, 2016

While You May Focus On Your Weakness, God See Your Strengths!

But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with Himself and took possession of him, and he blew a trumpet, and [the clan of] Abiezer was gathered to him (Judg 6:34 - Amplified).
When you first see Gideon in Judges, he is hiding behind a piece of farm equipment as he threshed wheat to hide it from the Midianite army. The Midianites would attack Israel during their harvest season and steal their food. It was a great oppression to Israel. And an angel appeared to Gideon and called him a mighty man of valor while he was in hiding!
Gideon’s response was to remind the angel that he born on the “wrong side of the tracks” and that he was the smallest in his father’s household. The bottom line was that God saw Gideon differently than he saw himself. Gideon focused on his weakness while the Father focused on his strengths.

God saw in Gideon the leader that he was, even though the circumstances showed his personal cowardice! Your opinion of yourself may not agree with God’s! He knows you better than you know yourself and he sees the latent abilities that you can’t see in you!
Then to top it off, God told Gideon that he would defeat the Midianites. So Gideon amassed an army of 32,000 men for the task. When God was finished telling Gideon the criteria the men must fulfill to fight this battle, the army dwindled to 300 men! What looked impossible from natural human thinking was so easy from God’s perspective.

The Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with Himself, and took possession of him. You see, God and one man make a majority! God has the ability and wisdom. All He needs is yielded flesh and blood. Not Charisma! Not Wit! Not raw human power! God only needs a human emptied of self-ability who is willing to be clothed with power from on High!
 
You may face impossible circumstances today. Failure may seem inevitable. On your own, it may be. Take the time to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. He sees what you can’t see. What seems impossible to you is so easy to Him! Take His word into your mouth today and begin to say what the Father says about you, your circumstances, your life, and your future.

Call those things that be not as though they were. Confess that you have God’s strength, power, wisdom, and ability, and that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. The Father working in you makes the impossible possible. What He did for Gideon He will do for you.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

What Do You Do When You Are Tempted To Sin?

But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions). (James 1:14 – Amplified)
 
The most dangerous person in my life is me! Self deception hinders more people in God than perhaps any other one thing. We all must ruthlessly deal with ourselves, honestly admitting our areas of weakness to the Lord, to ourselves, and if necessary, to another trusted friend.
The verse above is written to believers. Every believer has a built in Achilles heel, a place of weakness in your flesh. Notice that every believer is tempted when he or she is drawn away by his own evil desire. What is this? This refers to what you allowed in your life before Christ. And it may be different for each person.
 
The seeds of the sins of the flesh committed before Jesus came into your life are still in the recesses of your soul. They lay there latent, dormant, waiting for you to feed them. They are fed by giving them attention in your thought life. You allowed your mind, emotions, will, and flesh to do certain things before Christ that, if you do them now may break your fellowship with the Father. This is your personal strong desire mentioned in the above verse. And these things must be guarded against for the rest of your life. It may be anger, a tendency towards holding a grudge, fears of any sort, gossip, jealousy, envy, self-centeredness, or any of the sins of the flesh like adultery, fornication, or lust. It may overeating, drug or alcohol use.
The key is to know yourself and be aware of what tempts you. Here are three keys to keep you free from your past. The first one is to maintain a close, regular, and daily intimate fellowship with the Father in the Word and in prayer. Our spiritual life should be the energy center of life. And the spiritual resources of sincere prayer and quality time in the Word give us a tune up spiritually and help keep our flesh under. If you don’t keep your spirit well fed, your flesh will rise.
Secondly, watch your close friendships carefully. 1 Corinthians 15:33 - Amplified reads:  Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character. Close association and friendship with those who have no spiritual values will dampen your spiritual life and lessen your spiritual fervor. Their values and ideals will rub off on you. I am friendly with unbelievers and with believers who are carnal and refuse to discipline their flesh. But I refuse to “hang out” with them in a close way. It wouldn’t work anyway, because I would challenge the wrong behavior! At some point, you either make a decision to step away from those who compromise or you may become like them.
Lastly, draw the line of demarcation in your life. That is, refuse to go places or do things that will stir up past sins in your life. Don’t hang around the person that gossips if that was a previous problem. Don’t look at the risqué movie or TV program; it will only entice the lust problem you had before. Don’t hang out with those who are casual drinkers if that was in your past. Apply this rule to whatever you were involved in pre-Christ!
Daily fellowship with the Father, godly associations, and drawing the line of demarcation in your life will help shield you from falling into previous patterns of living! Above all, when temptations come, run to Jesus immediately. Tell Him what you think and feel, and ask for His help to overcome. Confide in a close, trusted friend to keep you accountable. We’re all tempted, but thank God, we don’t have to yield!
 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Don't Be Overcome By The "World"

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:15-17).
 
The “world” is one of the enemies of the believer. Theologian Kenneth Wuest defines the “world” as all the floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, beliefs, and values that are current in the world. Smith Wigglesworth defined the world in his simple way as “that which cools my affection towards God.”
We’re admonished not to be friends with the world (James 4:4). Friendship with the world leads to being “spotted” by the world (James 1:27); which leads to “loving” the world (1 John 2:15); which leads to “conforming” to the world (Romans 12:2); which leads to being “condemned” with the world (1 Corinthians 11:32).
Demas was a companion of the Apostle Paul in ministry and left Paul and the ministry because he was overcome by the world. We all must examine ourselves regularly, confessing our faults to one another and our sins to the Father can cleanse us and help us.
Shun the world. Snuggle up to Jesus and to the Word. Fellowship with Him. Pour your heart out to Him. Ask Him to help you overcome temptations that come your way. His throne is full of grace and mercy for your time of need.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

An Attentive Ear, A Steadfast Look, And A Full Heart

My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh (Proverbs 4:20-22).
God’s will is that we walk in Divine health. Healing is a part of our salvation. Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases. The above verse gives the necessary ingredients we need in order to walk in health. We need an attentive ear, a steadfast look, and a full heart.
 
Notice that the verse says attend to my Words, incline your ears to my sayings. That means that we must take the necessary time to think on the Word of God concerning healing. Attending to the Word means making the Word a top priority.
The Word is like a seed we plant in the ground. A seed that is watered and cultivated will produce. Plant the seeds for healing daily by giving attention to the scriptures that promise healing.
 
Then this verse above says do not let them depart from your eyes. A steadfast look at the Word is necessary to receive healing. You can’t focus on your symptoms and on the Word at the same time. Hebrews 12 mentions our looking unto Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith. This word look in the Greek language means to look away from everything else and to focus on Jesus. We do this by looking away from the symptoms and focusing on the Word.
 
Lastly, the above verse says keep them in the midst of your heart. For healing to come we must have a full heart. We are to let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly. Meditate daily on the verses that promise healing. Meditating on the Word is like a farmer watering the seed he’s planted.
 
The Father watches over His Word. He sent His Word and healed us. The Word will accomplish healing in your body if you’ll give it strict attention. Take your focus off of your symptoms and keep your gaze on the Word. Read it, quote it, meditate it, and then act on it. Believe that you receive the health God’s Word promises. The Word is God’s Medicine!
    

Monday, April 25, 2016

What You See Is What You Will Have!

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2).
 
The phrase looking unto Jesus is from a Greek that means to look away from everything else and to look at something with an attentive and unwavering gaze. To look at Jesus this way, we must look away from our own failures and insecurities. We must look away from past experiences. We must look away from our personal fears and weaknesses. When we see only Jesus, life takes on new potential.
  
Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus. His sights were set on harming the Christian church and hindering its purposes. His vision was transformed by the blinding light of Jesus’ visage. Three days later, Ananias laid hands on Paul and not only was his physical sight restored, but his life vision was changed! For the rest of Paul’s life, he looked at the Son of God, and became one of the greatest saints of the church age.
 
Noah found grace in God’s sight, and was chosen to save a remnant of humanity from the deadly flood. For 120 years after God spoke to Noah, he “looked unto” the flood, and worked feverishly to build the boat God designed. Noah’s vision set him apart from his generation. His vision of the coming deluge moved him past the criticism and sarcasm of his age. The mocking and ridicule continued unabated decade after decade, and Noah never moved from his convictions because his continually looked at the coming flood and God’s command.
  
Abram was called out of a city of idolaters who worshipped the moon. God’s promise that he would father a child with his 65 year old wife changed his life forever. Abraham became the Father of faith as he gazed at the stars in the nighttime sky. God promised that he would have as many kids as the stars he could see. As Abraham gazed upon the sand on the shoreline of the ocean, he was reminded that he and Sarah’s days of barrenness would end with the blessing of being the father of a multitude and of the whole world benefitting from God’s promise to him. Abraham’s life changed because he no longer focused on his inability but on the promise of God.
  
Keep the vision of your intimacy with Jesus every before you today. In Him we live and move and have our being. You are seated with Him in heavenly place far above Satan’s rule and power. You are loved and favored by the Father. You never face one life event alone. The Greater One is in you to enable you in each task today. He is intimately involved in every relationship and in every circumstance. Keep looking unto Jesus and there will be no room in you for discouragement, darkness, and dread. What you see is what you will get!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A New Life Starts With A New Mouth!

He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction (Proverbs 13:3).
Our words rule us. From the cradle to the grave, our life is largely a product of our words. Words set the boundaries, the landmarks in our lives. Words literally have the power of live and death.
When going through a tough place in life, words will make you or break you. The old adage sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me is just not true! Words can destroy you. When you speak of your failure, your weakness, your inability, those words set a dynamic in place. You can almost feel the energy drain from you when you speak those negative assertions.
On the other hand, when you verbalize your faith when you’re in a tough place, you can feel the strength of God rise up within you. Talk about the Father’s love, the Father’s care, the Father’s provision, the Father’s comfort, the Father’s strength, and you’ll find a new confidence buoy up within.
Jesus said that we’d give account for even the smallest words we speak. He understood the power of words. He calmed a raging storm with three words; Peace Be Still! He raised a man from death with three words; Lazarus, Come Forth! All things are now held together by the power of His Words.
Learn to use words to your advantage. Speak words that will motivate, inspire and challenge you. Let your words today be instruments of life, healing, blessing, grace, favor, strength, and inspiration to others. The most powerful force in your life today is your words.
Don’t let your lips be used to carry gossip and negative things. Let your words be a cut above. Regardless of where your life is right now, you can rise above it. Lack, weakness, and inability will flee if you release the Father’s blessing into your life with right words, positive assertions that come from your heart.
I should not have been successful in my life endeavors. I was raised in the wrong atmosphere, one of hesitation and doubt. But I learned a valuable life lesson at age eighteen: Words will take me where the Father wants my life to go.     
I started my new life with a new mouth. I overcame insurmountable odds. The Father’s will overcame my human tendencies of self-doubt. My words, agreeing with God’s Word, produced in me the ability to do what the Father wanted for me.
Start where you are today. Never mind the past. Don’t relive it. Give voice to the Father’s will for your life by saying what He says about you. Let the weak say, I am strong. At first, it feels awkward to change your course in mid-stream, from negative to positive. Be keep at it. Confidently affirm God’s Word verbally every day, and one day you’ll wake up, and you’ll be surrounded with the product of your words. Death and life are produced by your words. Guard your mouth closely today.