Provision Follows Obedience

4 Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.”— 1 Kings 17:4 NLT

1 Kings 17:1-8 NLT

When  the children of Israel kept complaining about their food situation in the desert, God gave them meat in the evenings and bread in the mornings (Exodus 16:8) .  The manna fell from the heavens and an east wind blew in the quail.  After Elijah had told Ahab that there would be no rain or dew in the land of Israel for a few years, Ahab became angry and desired to kill Elijah.  God instructed Elijah to go hide by the Kerith Brook.  Even though there was famine in the land, God had commanded the ravens to bring Elijah bread in the morning and meat in the evening. Elijah had food twice a day and water from the brook.  God had created the ravens as scavengers.  They are able to find food and survive when others are dying from hunger.  It probably doesn’t sound too tasty but God provided all that Elijah needed to survive.  We may not be happy in our present position but God has provided that position to us so that we can survive.  Be thankful until the brook dries up and the ravens quit bringing the food.  If we are thankful and obedient, then God will open up another way to feed us just as He did for Elijah by sending him to the widow of Zarephath. The widow fed Elijah a little bread made from her last flour and oil.  That little turned into an abundance.  God blessed the widow for her obedience and her jars of flour and oil never ran out. Provision and abundance follows obedience.

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

Post 3-26-2019

The Great Commission-Part 2

19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.– Matt. 28:19 NLT

The Great Commission

In yesterday’s reading, we thought about how we might have reacted to the instructions of Jesus to “go and make disciples of all the nations”.  The important part for us in any work in which God asks us to participate is to agree and believe.  How do we get to that point?  We start by remembering that God never asks us to do anything that He has not prepared us to do and that He is ready to provide everything we need to complete the work. Look at the training that Jesus had given the disciples.  They had had three years of walking and talking with Him on a daily basis, observing Him as He interacted with people on all levels of society and healing them.  In today’s society, that would probably qualify them for a doctorate degree in Christianity.  God had used the evil Romans to build the roads necessary and to make the country safe enough to travel.  He had sent the disciples out once before with absolutely nothing but the clothes on their back and the sandals on their feet.  They had passed the survival test then and they would again.  When God calls us to participate in His Kingdom work, He just wants us to agree and be available,  He provides everything else.  So when you feel that little nudge, don’t doubt, don’t fear, don’t be a Zechariah and get struck dumb for nine months, be a Mary and become “blessed above all”

.Luke 1:39-42 NLT

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

Post 02-03-2019

Human Anger Does Not Produce Peace

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20 For human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. – James 1:20 ISV
 
As the end of time draws nearer and nearer, satan seems to be reacting like the cornered, trapped animal that he really is. That same spirit of anger and violence seems to be permeating our society.  We see it in all the headlines, the senseless murders and crimes that are being committed on a daily basis. Yes, these things have been happening every since Cain slew Abel but the frequency and the intensity seems to be magnified more and more everyday. That is on a worldwide basis, but what about each individual?  There was a time when we could laugh at our mistakes and have a little fun with each other over those issues on which we disagreed.  But, more and more we have to be much more sensitive to these things.  Statements that once would have been seen as light humor are now taken seriously and great harm is done.  Even small, unintended injustices suddenly become someone’s newest campaign against whatever was mentioned.  We see over and over the truth of the verse that “human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”  Therefore, we, as Christians must put aside all our foolishness and fill our hearts and minds with the Word of God. Meditating on and storing God’s word in our hearts is our strongest defense against any kind of unacceptable behavior.  
 
11  I have hidden your word in my heart

that I might not sin against you.
12  Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees. 
— Psalm 119:11, 12 NIV

In a world of violence and anger, we must stand as lighthouses to lead others to Jesus, the Prince of Peace. We must let the light of Jesus shine through us.  We must be the ones to show others that in the middle of the storm, there is a safe harbor, a place of calmness and peace. More and more, the world needs individual peacemakers. By blessing others with our examples of peacemaking, we ourselves receive God’s blessing.

 
Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called children of God. — Matt. 5:9
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-30-2018

“Not Just For Some, But For Everyone”

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So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith. – Galatians 3:9 NLT

Abraham lived before the law was handed down. God told Abram to leave his family and his country. Abram did not question God about how or where, he just did what God asked him to do. Because Abram believed God, it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Abram was renamed Abraham. It was quite amazing that Abram would trust a God that he hardly knew. Today, even with the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, how many of us would leave everything and go to wherever God would lead? Abraham did this by faith in God. When God told Abraham that “all nations” would be blessed in Him, it was a foreshadowing of our being saved by grace through faith. Yes, God picked a certain lineage and nation to carry His Name forward and made a covenant with them to do so. That covenant and the law that followed was not meant to exclude other nations or set aside the promise God had made to Abraham. It was meant to show all nations that we need a Savior. And at just the right time, God sent His Son to be that Savior and Redeemer.
4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.—Gal. 4:4,5 (NASB)

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

12-31-2017

The Land God Has Given Us

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“After the Lord your God has done this for you, don’t say in your hearts, ‘The Lord has given us this land because we are such good people!’ No, it is because of the wickedness of the other nations that he is pushing them out of your way  — Deuteronomy 9:4 NLT
We are blessed to live in a beautiful country where we are free to travel from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast without having to stop at any border stations. We are also free to work, play, and worship without police or military interruption. We are free to accomplish most anything we have the ability and the desire to do. But, just as the children of Israel became full and fat in the land of Canaan and forgot Who it was that gave them the land, we are guilty of the same sin. We have done absolutely nothing to merit being born and raised in a country established on Judeo-Christian principles. God established this nation and has maintained it because we have been a nation “under God”. When we, as a nation, depart from those ways and turn to wickedness, God will discipline us just as surely as He disciplined the Jewish people when they disobeyed. We have been blessed because we have always blessed Israel. If that doesn’t remain true, we will be a cursed nation. God’s Word is true and He will not be mocked.

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

Post 01-19-2017

Take Up Your Cross

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18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. John 15:18 NLT
 
Today, instead of focusing on our “problems”, I am asking you to join me in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ that have real problems, not imagined. we have such a super-abundance of “things” and we, at least still today, have the freedom to meet together and worship our Lord and Savior. Each of us spends in one day more than most of these people make in a year. We are so blessed that our lips should never utter a complaint and our voices should never stop singing praises to our Almighty God. so, as part of your worship to him, offer up a sacrifice of praise and prayer.
“So today we pray for persecuted church members who are suffering severely from Satan’s tactics of deceit and intimidation: loss of family members (Nigeria), economic deprivation (India), incarceration in metal shipping containers (Eritrea), lack of personal peace (Pakistan), fear of discovery (Middle East). As we pray, we can rest in the fact that they (and we) are part of God’s wise and caring plan, no matter how inscrutable that plan may appear to human eyes. There is hope because He hears the cry; He sees the misery; He is concerned about the suffering. When it seems dark and hopeless, the persecuted testify “God is good—all the time!”” (Excerpt from Standing Storm Through the Storm, 02-15-14)

 

23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. – Luke 9:23 NLT

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

Post 01-06-2017

It Is THE Win-Win Situation!

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25 The generous will prosper;  those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
— Proverbs 11:25 NLT
From the Old Testament to the New Testament, we are encouraged (if not commanded) to help those around us who are in need.  In the Old Testament, the harvesters of the crops were to leave any of the grain that was dropped for the poor and needy.  They were also instructed not to glean the corners of the fields. They were also supposed to leave clusters of the fruit on the vine for the poor to pick.  In the New Testament, Jesus tells us that those who help the poor and needy, visit the sick and in prison in His Name will be blessed.  If a needy person comes to our door and asks for food and we have food in the house, we are never to send that person away hungry.  Whatever we give up for Jesus and the sake of the Gospel brings hundred-fold blessing here on earth and eternal life in the age to come. It is truly the win-win situation of all times.
Post 09-05-2016

Go and Make Disciples – Part ll

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19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.– Matt. 28:19 NLT
In yesterday’s reading, we thought about how we might have reacted to the instructions of Jesus to “go and make disciples of all the nations”.  The important part for us in any work in which God asks us to participate is to agree and believe.  How do we get to that point?  We start by remembering that God never asks us to do anything that He has not prepared us to do and that He is ready to provide everything we need to complete the work. Look at the training that Jesus had given the disciples.  They had had three years of walking and talking with Him on a daily basis, observing Him as He interacted with people on all levels of society and healing them.  In today’s society, that would probably qualify them for a doctorate degree in Christianity.  God had used the evil Romans to build the roads necessary and to make the country safe enough to travel.   He had sent the disciples out once before with absolutely nothing but the clothes on their back and the sandals on their feet.  They had passed the survival test then and they would again.  When God calls us to participate in His Kingdom work, He just wants us to agree and be available,  He provides everything else.  So when you feel that little nudge, don’t doubt, don’t fear, don’t be a Zechariah and get struck dumb for nine months, be a Mary and become “blessed above all”. 
 

Human Being

even-smaller-bug-light119 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. — Deut. 30:19, 20a NLT

This choice was given to the children of Israel under the old covenant.  They lived under the old covenant and the law.  We live under the new covenant and grace.  The covenants have changed but the choices are still the same, we can choose life or death. We can choose to accept the sacrifice of Jesus as our redeemer or we can reject that sacrifice and choose death.  We were born in sin into a sinful world, we choose death by continuing that lifestyle.  We choose life by accepting Jesus, loving God, obeying Him and committing ourself firmly to Him. This choice is “the key to life”.  Choosing Jesus and life unlocks doors so that we can access the abudant life.  Life is more about “being” than about doing. We are called human beings not human doers.  Before we do anything, we need to be in the presence of God. To be in His presence means we spend time at His feet learning His teachings and allowing Him to disciple us.  Maybe that is why all the “blessed are” verses in Matthew 5 are called the “be-atitudes”.  We need to learn to have the same attitude that Jesus has so we can be like Him. If we spend enough time “being” in His presence, the “doing” will be a natural outflow of our “being”.  Then we can live the abundant, blessed life He desires to give us.
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. — John 10:10 NLT
Post 03-15-2016

From Gory to Glory

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands.When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment. –1 Cor. 4:11-1​3​ NIV
​Paul​ expands on the difference in attitude and lifestyle that he, Apollo, and Peter have as compared to the Christians in Corinth. They have given up all their earthly possessions and now they do not have an extra set of clothes nor a home of their own here on earth. They work hard physically so that they will not be a financial burden on the new converts. They respond to cursing, persecution and slandering with blessings, kindness and patient endurance. They are willing to be treated as the lowest form of life here on earth so that God might be glorified. Is it necessary for all of us to go through this kind of treatment? No, but we must have the attitude and the willingness to do it, if that is what Jesus calls us to do.
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.—Romans 5:3-5 NIV

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.—Romans 8:18 NIV

Post 05-12-2015