Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Dew of Heaven

A king’s rage is like the roar of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.  Proverbs 19:12
Imagine with me an early morning walk with the sun rising.  The day smells fresh and crisp.  There is moisture in the air and on the grass.  Have you ever wondered about the moisture on the grass; the dew? 
 Scripture reveals that dew is used as a sign of God’s divine grace and favor.  Grace is a key attribute of our God.  The Nelson Bible Dictionary defines grace as favor or kindness shown without regard to the worth or merit of the one who receives it and in spite of what that person deserves.  Pricilla Shirer states in her Bible Study, Gideon, “Dew is frequently a symbol of endowment of God’s kindness and approval expressed to His people.  Like dew, grace is a surprising gift that cannot be handmade or manufactured.  God extends it to humanity as a miracle from on high.” 
We see throughout Scripture that grace is most always associated with God’s mercy, love compassion, and patience.  In Numbers 11:9, God demonstrated His grace, mercy, love, and compassion to the Israelites by providing them with manna.  When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down.  Our God in Heaven will graciously meet our needs just as He did the Israelites.  Do you truly trust God to meet your needs? He will meet your needs and do immeasurable more than you can imagine.  Ephesians 3:20 – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. 
Scripture reveals in Genesis 27:8 that dew is a symbol of blessing.  May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness – an abundance of grain and new wine.  Isaac, in blessing Jacob, asked that the “dew of heaven” may be granted to him.  God willingly blesses us with the dew of heaven – His grace.  How often do you take the time to offer God a prayer of thanksgiving for the dew of heaven – His grace, He blesses you with?  Take the time.  We are so unworthy of the grace poured out upon us by our Savior and LORD, but still He willingly gives it to us.  In Deuteronomy 33:15, we see Moses offering a blessing on the Israelites.  About Joseph he said:  May the LORD bless his land with the precious dew from heaven about and with the deep waters that lie below. 
 In God’s Word, we see dew as being a symbol of refreshment.  Dew is the means of refreshing and reinvigorating all vegetation.  God’s grace does the same for us.  It is able to refresh us and reinvigorate us.  We need to be covered in God’s grace to carry out the purpose and plans He has for us.  He enables us to do what we consider impossible.  God’s grace is sufficient to meet all our needs and enable us to do what He is calling us to do.   2 Corinthians 12:9 – My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 
In Judges 6, we see Gideon asking God for a sign that he would be the one to deliver the Israelites from under the oppression of the Midianites.  God had already revealed to Gideon that He would be the one to save Israel out of the hands of the Midianites in Judges 6:14.   Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised – look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor.  If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.  And that is what happened – Judges 6:38.  Gideon didn’t want God to be angry with him but he had one more request.  Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.”  That night God did so.  Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew – Judges 6:39-40.  God reveals to us in these verses that the dew of heaven makes its target different than its surrounding.   God’s grace bestowed on us should make us different than our surroundings, our culture.  Are you different than your surroundings, your culture, or do you blend in? 
Is the dew of God’s grace seen in your life?  God’s grace will make us different.  God’s grace will refresh in us and ignite a passion in us to know him more intimately and to serve Him.  I encourage you to allow the dew of heaven – God’s grace, to reinvigorate you and inspire you to stand against the deceiving spirits you will encounter in this sinful world.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the dew of heaven – Your grace.  I pray LORD that the dew of heaven will ignite a passion in me to faithfully serve you in this sinful world.  Father, we are marked by your grace.  I pray that we will live so others will see God’s grace clearly upon our lives.  In Jesus Precious Name I Pray…..Amen.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Love is Demonstrated

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but save the world through him.  John 3:16-17

 How would you define love?  Would you consider yourself to be a loving person?  Everyone desires to be loved.  Let me tell you today, you are loved.  You are loved so much that someone gave their one and only son as a sin sacrifice for you on an old rugged cross.  God loves you dear one.  God loves you more than you can even imagine. 

God reveals to us in 1 Corinthians 13 a clear description of true love.  True love is demonstrated in our action toward others.  Prayerfully ask God to reveal to you if you are truly demonstrating godly love to others.  1 Corinthians 13:1-3 reveals to us that we can teach and share God’s Word with others but if we do not do this in love, it is meaningless.  We can minister to the needy and the poor but if we do not have love in our hearts, we gain nothing.  What do we gain when we truly love those we minister to; eternal rewards.  When we serve others without love, we are serving out of selfish gain.  Ask the LORD to reveal to you if you are serving out of selfish gain or are you truly serving out of love.  Often pride creeps in and before we know it we are serving for our glory instead of the glory of the LORD.  If our behavior not glorify our Savior and LORD, it is meaningless. 

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in them – 1 John 4:16.  One characteristic of a Christian is a loving nature.  We have the indwelling Holy Spirit who enables us to love others.  If you are not demonstrating a loving nature, you are quenching the Holy Spirit’s power in your live. I Thessalonians 5:19 tells us – Do not quench the Spirit.  Our LORD has filled us with His Holy Spirit which should be flowing forth on to others, demonstrating Christ’s love.  The Holy Spirit provides us with love to be able to love others; even those who we may assume are difficult to love.  Rick Warren stated, “God teaches us to love by putting some unlovely people around us.  It takes no character to love people who are lovely and loving to you.”

God clearly tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:4 – Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  Are you patient with others?  Do you show kindness to those you know and those you don’t know?  Love is totally unselfish.  Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, you and I are incapable of truly loving others.  True love is loving without expecting anything in return.  It is loving without ulterior motives, loving unconditionally.  The more intimate our relationship is with Christ, the more we will reflect Christ.  This will enable us to show love to others. 

You can’t live a life that dishonors someone and profess to love them.  This is not love.  Becoming easily angered and keeping score of wrong-doing is not love.  Are you someone who always wants your way and when you don’t get your way you become angry?  God’s Word clearly reveals this is not love.  It (love) does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs – 1 Corinthians 13:5.   We live in a society that professes to know what true love is.  We look to other things such as the media, other people’s relationships, and self-help books to define true love.  True love is only defined by God in His Word.  Friend, pray and ask God to help you become a person who truly loves others.  Then allow God to work in your heart and your life.  You will be amazed.  When we reflect Christ’s love upon others, it is a blessing beyond anything we can compare, to them and also to us. 

 When Jesus died on the cross He showed he truly loved you.  He desires for us to love others with a sincere heart.  Are you willing to be obedient to Christ?  He is calling us to love.  Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart – 1 Peter 1:22. 

 If we are children of the Almighty God we will love others. Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love – 1 John 4:7-8.  Love is a choice and God is the source.  Choose today to love others.

Dear Heavenly Father…..Thank you LORD for your love.  Thank you for demonstrating true love to us.  As we journey through this life, help us to love others.  Father we recognize, without you and the indwelling of your Holy Spirit we are incapable of love.  I pray that we do not quench the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  LORD, help us to truly love.  In Jesus Precious Name I Pray…..Amen.




Saturday, February 8, 2014

Where are You Searching for Peace?

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:27

Hello sweet friends.  Are you searching for peace today?  Where are you searching for peace?  There is only one place where you will truly find enduring peace and that is in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  People look in many places and at many things for peace and contentment in their lives.  They may seek peace and contentment in their careers, relationships, hobbies, material possessions, money, ect.  I will say again, true peace and contentment is found only in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Many define peace as the absence of conflict and chaos in their lives. But true peace is defined as confident assurance, in any situation and circumstance, because of the presence of Jesus Christ in your life.  You and I are blessed to have the indwelling Holy Spirit to provide us with deep and lasting peace.  I encourage you to prayerfully search your heart to determine where you are seeking to find your peace and contentment. 

Priscilla Shirer states in her Bible Study, Discerning the Voice of God, “Christ desires for His peace to govern internally and externally.  The Holy Spirit lives within us to give us a continual peaceful assurance internally, that directs us to make decisions that honor the Lord and guides our relationships with others.”  So I ask you today, is peace governing internally and externally in your life?  The closer walk we have with our LORD, the more we will experience the governing of His peace in our lives.  God reveals to us in His Word that we should let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were call to peace.  And be thankful – Colossians 3:15.  Surrender to Christ and let His peace rule in your heart.

 God will often have a personal word for us.  Remember, He has a plan and purpose for our lives and His ways are best. So how do we detect His will?   When our Lord delivers a personal word to us concerning His direction for our lives, it will be accompanied by His assurance and peace.  Often we will feel ill-equipped to do what God is calling us to do, but He will provide the power and strength for us to carry out His calling.  So even though you may feel ill-equipped, if the Lord has provided you with His peace and assurance, step forward and be obedient to His calling. 

Our Lord is Jehovah Shalom – the God of Peace.  The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace – Psalm 29:11.  God graciously blesses us with His peace to demonstrate his supernatural activity as we journey through life.  Those that have no personal relationship with Christ notice when the peace of Christ is exhibited in a believer’s life, especially when the circumstance of life are difficult for the believer. Christ reveals to us in His Word that we will experience difficult times but His peace is there for us.  I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world – John 16:33.  Only by the grace of God are we able to experience this peace from our Savior and LORD.  Devote yourself to Christ and His will and ways and He will wash over you with peace even in the mist of chaos.  You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.  Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal – Isaiah 26:3-4.

Today, take your worries and concerns to the LORD in prayer.  The peace the world gives is far different than the peace our Savior and LORD gives.  True peace comes when we trust that our God is in complete control.  Our destiny is secure and we can live victoriously in this sin filled world because of the saving grace of Jesus Christ.  Allow the peace of God to guard your heart and mind.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus – Philippians 4:7.

Dear Heavenly Father…..Help us to acknowledge that true peace is found only in a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Thank you for the peace that you so freely give to us, your children.  Father help us to stop looking and searching for contentment and peace in other people and things.  Lord help us to live our lives so that others see the peace that you provide, no matter the circumstances or situations we may be facing.  In Jesus Precious Name I Pray…..Amen.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pride - Satan's Snare

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.  Proverbs 18:18

Pride…..Have you ever wondered why it is easier to recognize pride in others than in ourselves?  The Holman Bible Dictionary defines pride as undue confidence in, and attention to, one’s own skills, accomplishments, possessions, or position.  We must come to a place in our lives where we are able recognize pride in our own hearts instead of recognizing it in others.  We can choose to do something about the pride which we have in our own lives.  Prayerfully examine your heart today and allow God to deal with any pride which may be there.  Pride is Satan’s snare.  It will destroy you and your relationships if left unchecked.  It will hinder you from developing lasting fruit for God’s eternal kingdom. 

A person who exhibits a prideful heart thinks that they are the ones in control.  They do not consider that God is sovereign and He is truly the one in total control of all things.  A person may not say this, but their actions scream it.  We need to always remember God’s hand in our situations and circumstances.  We must always give credit to who it truly belongs – God.  For us to walk in our unique calling that our LORD has preordained for our lives, we must eliminate all pride from our hearts.  We must remove self out of the way and allow God complete control of our lives.  We exhibit a prideful spirit when we think our way is the best way, rather than God’s way.  God has a purpose and a plan for us.  It is the best.  Choose today to not resist God’s leadership in your life.  Proverbs 16:5 tells us, The Lord detests all the proud of heart.  Be sure of this:  They will not go unpunished.  Search your heart today.  Allow God to reveal to you if you are harboring pride in your heart.  Deal with your own heart instead of attempting to examine the hearts of others.  Matthew 7:3-5 – Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 

God has placed in each of our lives a weakness intended to keep us humble.  Our weakness will lead us to depend on God’s strength.  2 Corinthians 12:9 – But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  Be careful to guard your humility.  Be vigilant, because pride will surface in our lives before we even become aware that it is there.  Many difficulties we encounter in life might possibility be a result of the pride we are harboring in our hearts.  Guard your heart friend. 

God reveals to us in His Word that the puffed up, proud heart will come to disgrace.  When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom – Proverbs 11:2.  Remaining humble will lead to wisdom.  What do you desire, disgrace or a heart filled with wisdom?  God’s plans and ways may at times seem illogical to us.  His ways are not our ways, but His ways are best.  God reveals to us in His Word that when we think we have all the answers, we are not nearly as wise as we think we are.  Do you see a person wise in their own eyes?  There is more hope for a fool than for them – Proverbs 26:12. 

Evaluating ourselves by worldly standards and successes can cause us to have a prideful heart.  We must always remember that apart from Christ, we are incapable of any worthy service.  God continues to direct us in His Word to have a humble heart.  For by grace given me I say to every one of you:  Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you – Romans 12:3.

Friend, I encourage you today to prayerfully search your heart and see if you are harboring pride.  Allow your Savior and LORD to help you remove all pride from your life and lead you toward exhibiting a humble heart.  Remember, pride is Satan’s snare and he is using it in an attempt to destroy you. 

Dear Heavenly Father…..thank you for your love for us.  Father, search our hearts and reveal any ounce of pride we may be harboring.  Lord, I pray we will always look to you for our power, strength, and contentment.  Help us to realize your grace is sufficient.  Help us always desire to be humble.  In Jesus Name I Pray…..Amen.