“Your Motives Are All Wrong”

3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.– James 4:3 NLT

James 4:1-3 NLT

God always answers our prayers. He answers us in one of four different ways.

1. Do it now–and of course that is the answer we want so we recognize it right away.
2. Delay–It wasn’t what we wanted to hear so we assume God didn’t answer our prayer.
3. Don’t do it – I’m not hearing that so God must not have answered
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4. Dynamically Different–He answers in such a better and highly effective way than what we anticipated that we don’t recognize it as His answer.

When our prayers are from wrong motives and for selfish reason, His answer is always no. Then, because of our pride, we get angry with God and accuse Him of all sorts of things. God understands that anger and when you get through pouting and ask Him, He will forgive you. God is not bound by our desires or our timetable. Even the “yes” answers are not always immediate. We have to wait on His timing. Do we really want our answer or would we prefer God’s answer?  Remember in​ ​1 Kings 19:3-5  when Elijah prayed “I have had enough, Lord, just take my life.”?  Then think of how God answered that prayer in 2 Kings 2:9-12 when God took him up in a chariot of fire!  If God had taken Elijah’s life when Elijah wanted him to, Elisha would not have been trained to become Elijah’s replacement and Elisha would never have seen all the great miracles. God answered Elijah’s prayer in a way far better than Elijah could have thought of or dared to ask. So when we don’t get the answer we want or it is not in the time frame we wanted relax, God is still in control.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-30-2019

God’s Plan and Timing Is Always Better Than Ours!

22 “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! 
Nathan, the prophet has told David that God will not allow David to build a permanent temple for God.  Nathan also tells David that God will establish David’s house as a dynasty.  There would never be a time when someone from David’s lineage would not rule in Israel.  Instead of being upset that his idea was rejected, David rejoices in the better plan that God has for he and his family. David then prays this prayer of thanksgiving to God.  Then David goes on to be obedient to God and God gives him victory after victory on the battlefield.  David collects all the materials necessary for Solomon to build the temple.  Though God rejected David’s request, He gave David something better.  God always hears and answers our prayers.  When God says no to our request, it is usually for our benefit, so that He can give us something better.  Either the plan is wrong or the timing is wrong.  But, like David, we should accept God’s answer and praise Him for all the things He has brought us through.  We should realize, as David did, that there is no God like our God.  David had never even heard of a God that could do what our God does and neither have we.  Our God fulfills every promise He has ever made.  He does this in His timing, not in ours.  Too often, we are willing to settle for good things and not wait on God to give us the better things He wants for us.  This is true, spiritually, physically and financially.  Don’t rebel against God when He doesn’t answer yes to every request exactly when we want him to do so.  Wait on the Lord, He has a better plan.  Praise Him for Who He is, not what He does for us. He has already given us His Son, why would He withhold any good thing from us?
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-14-2018

To Live or to Die?

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21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. – John 11:21 NLT

As Jesus traveled toward Bethany, He learned that Lazarus had been buried four days ago. Many had already come out to comfort Mary and Martha about the loss of their brother. Martha heard that Jesus was coming and ran out to meet Him, but Mary stayed home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” She had no idea that this death would be used for the glory of God. But Jesus assured her that Lazarus would live again. Martha, still not understanding, thought Jesus was referring to the final resurrection. But Jesus told her that those that believe in Him will never die. Jesus asked Martha if she believed this. She said, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ…. “. But her answer did not acknowledge what Jesus had asked her. If she truly believed, would she have thought that Lazarus died just because Jesus wasn’t physically present?
The Holy Spirit had not yet been sent to remain on the earth and would not be here until Jesus ascended, so we can understand how Martha and the others might have thought that Jesus had to be physically present to heal Lazarus. But, thank God, we have His promise that Christ, in the form of the Holy Spirit, abides in us and that we are in Christ Jesus. We are never without Jesus. He will never leave us or forsake us.

20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.—1 John 5:20 (NASB)
If we truly believe this, why do we worry and fret? Isn’t dying for and in Christ to be much more desired than living in this sinful world? As Paul said:

To Live or to Die


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 10-12-2017

The Pause That Refreshes

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1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, — Hebrews 12: 1 NIV

With all the “busyness” we are involved in each day, it is very easy to become fatigued. We rush here and there, doing this and that. This is the time satan is most likely to choose to attack us. All the “doing” leaves us tired and open to his attacks. When satan attacks us, we lash out at those around us. At the end of the day, sit down and evaluate what you have accomplished. Have you given of yourself and your time to help others? I know, you wanted to but you just didn’t have time. Do you want to do better? Then try this. Spend the first minutes of your day with Jesus There is nothing that will refresh us more than spending some downtime alone with Him. In Luke 3:5, we are told that Jesus fills the valleys, lowers the mountains, makes the crooked roads straight, and He makes the rough roads smooth. (my paraphrase) Your day will be better and you will be ready to keep on keeping on and you won’t even want to quit.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 01-14-2017

Father Knows Best

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 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. — John 1:12 NLT
 

Anytime of any day is a good time to bring our requests before the Lord, He is always awake and waiting to hear from us. No, more than waiting, He is waiting expectantly wanting to hear from each of His children.  We have such a great honor bestowed upon us to be called “the children of God”. We should never be hesitant to talk with Him about any subject that is on our mind. After all, He already knows what we are thinking, but He created us for companionship and worship. We should talk with Him daily. Morning is the best time to talk with God because our minds are not yet cluttered with all the worldly stuff. It is truly amazing how smooth a day goes when we start it with directions from our Father, our King, and our Friend. We have plans, but they might not be the same plans He has for us. His will be much higher and better than ours. Before you leave home today, spend some time with our best Friend.

Psalm 5:1-3 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 11-14-2016

A Better Plan

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22 “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! — 2 Samuel 7:22 NLT
Nathan, the prophet has told David that God will not allow David to build a permanent temple for God.  Nathan also tells David that God will establish David’s house as a dynasty.  There would never be a time when someone from David’s lineage would not rule in Israel.  Instead of being upset that his idea was rejected, David rejoices in the better plan that God has for he and his family. David then prays this prayer of thanksgiving to God.  Then David goes on to be obedient to God and God gives him victory after victory on the battlefield.  David collects all the materials necessary for Solomon to build the temple.   Though God rejected David’s request, He gave David something better.  God always hears and answers our prayers.  When God says no to our request, it is usually for our benefit, so that He can give us something better.  Either the plan is wrong or the timing is wrong.  But, like David, we should accept God’s answer and praise Him for all the things He has brought us through.  We should realize, as David did, that there is no God like our God.  David had never even heard of a God that could do what our God does and neither have we.  Our God fulfills every promise He has ever made.  He does this in His timing, not in ours.  Too often, we are willing to settle for good things and not wait on God to give us the better things He wants for us.  This is true, spiritually, physically and financially.  Don’t rebel against God when He doesn’t answer yes to every request exactly when we want him to do so.  Wait on the Lord, He has a better plan.  Praise Him for Who He is, not what He does for us. He has already given us His Son, why would He withhold any good thing from us?
Post 04-19-2016

The Old Me Painted Over

even-smaller-bug-light121 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”– Mark 2:21, 22 NIV

It’s that time again, the time when we make all those resolutions to do better and be better.​  The gyms will be full of those determined to slim down and/or bulk up. The sales of salads will probably be at their annual high. Some might even venture so far as to read a good book and do a daily good deed.  The flames of love and hope are burning brightly.  But then, a few weeks later, the moaning and the groaning will start.  The weight is not coming off as the diet plan promised, the muscles aren’t noticeably bigger, they are just sore,  I just haven’t had the time to finish that book and nobody even notices when I do a good deed. A few more weeks later and it’s “I weigh more than I did before I started.”   (Believe me, I know that feeling). Those programs just don’t work for me.  Why are these failures so prevalent?  Because the flesh is strong and has strong desires that we, as humans, are not equipped to defeat.  How many times did I eat things that weren’t on the diet?  How many mornings did I sleep in rather than go to the gym or spend a few minutes reading that book?  How many times did I fail to do a good deed to someone who was really in need and not a neighbor or a friend? The problem is that we are focused on externals rather than internals.  The changes have to come from the inside out.  To win the war, we have to lose the battle.  We have to get to the point that we say to God, “I can’t but you can.”   Allow God to make the internal changes and He will direct you in the externals.  Otherwise, the patches tear off and the wineskins burst.  Don’t  gloss over the old self, get rid of it and start anew with Jesus.
Post 01-02-2016

Gotta Tell Everybody!

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

12 So the soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up. 13 First they took him to Annas, since he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest at that time. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had told the other Jewish leaders, “It’s better that one man should die for the people.”—John 18:12-14 (NLT)
​Once Jesus has been arrested, He was tied up and taken to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest. This was the same Caiaphas that had prophesied that it was better that one man should die than the whole nation. If Caiaphas had have fully understood the situation, he probably would have preferred that Jesus not die for the people. God was allowing satan to use the unbelief and stubbornness of the high priests and religious leaders to accomplish His plan. God’s plan has been in existence since before the world was spoken into existence. No thing or no one had or has the power to stop what God has decreed will be. The reason that Jesus had spoken in parables to the crowds and early in His ministry had told those He healed not to tell anyone was to accomplish the mission that God has sent Him here to do. If satan had figured it out, he would not have wanted Jesus to be crucified on the cross.
7 No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. 8 But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord–1 Cor.2:7,8 (NLT)
​Jesus said:
13 That is why I use these parables, For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.—Matt. 13:13 (NLT)
​There are still those who look but don’t see and hear but they aren’t really listening. But since we aren’t able to know the minds and hearts of others, we cannot be selective in who we witness to. We are to tell everyone the Good News and let God be in charge of the results.
Post 02-25-2015

God Will Not Forget Our Good Deeds

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

9 Dear friends, we are saying this to you, but we really expect better things from you that will lead to your salvation. 10 God is fair; he will not forget the work you did and the love you showed for him by helping his people. And he will remember that you are still helping them. 11 We want each of you to go on with the same hard work all your lives so you will surely get what you hope for. 12 We do not want you to become lazy. Be like those who through faith and patience will receive what God has promised.–Hebrews 6:9-12 (NCV)
​This passage should not be interpreted to mean that we must work for our salvation. That would be in direct conflict with other passages that clearly state that we are saved by”grace through faith”. What the writer of Hebrews is saying is that dong good works after we are saved is how we lay up rewards in heaven. This should encourage us to help our neighbors and others that we see in need of food, housing, clothing, etc. God gave Adam and Eve the job of tending the Garden of Eden. Work in and of itself is not a curse. God expects each of us to be busy doing good works. We are instructed to “redeem the time”. James tells us that we show our faith in Jesus by doing good works. If we want to enter into the rest mentioned earlier in Hebrews, we must continue in faith and be patient. The day will come soon enough when we will receive our rewards.
Post 07-22-14