Magnify His Glory!

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1  Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
    but to your name goes all the glory
for your unfailing love and faithfulness.
— Psalm 115:1 NLT
 
 
Our purpose while we are here on earth is to praise the Lord and to give all the glory to Him.  Why does God deserve and expect all the praise? Because it is His “unfailing love and faithfulness” that has saved us and kept us safe this far.  We have nothing else to offer God.  There is nothing that God needs from us but He desires to hear our praises to Him and to fellowship with us at all times.  Our God is the only true and living God. Others worship gods that are lifeless, unable to love and unable to communicate.  Others have to go to their gods while our God is with us all the time.  He is our foreguard, the One who goes before us. He is our armor and our present help, the One who provides for us and surrounds us with His love and protection.  He is our rearguard, the One who washes away every stain from our past.  He was with us in the past, He is with us now and is already ahead of us preparing the way.  No religion has a god that can make such a claim.  Our every thought, word and action should let the world know that “our God reigns” in majesty and in love. Our lifestyles should magnify His glory.  As John the Baptist said, “we must decrease so that He can increase” in our lives.
Post 08-20-2016

The Desires of Our Hearts – Part 2

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14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.  — 1 John 5:14, 15 NLT
I believe God has obligated Himself to answer every prayer that a Christian prays.  I also believe that He does answer every prayer in one of four ways: Yes, No, Wait or gives a completely different answer than we expected and we don’t recognize the event(s) as the answer.  It would be foolish to think that God would give a positive answer to any request that required Him to violate His own Word or to give us something that would not be the best for us.  Just as parents, we realize that our kids often ask for things that aren’t good for them and we have to say “no”,  how much better does our heavenly Father understand and know what is best for us.  His great love for us requires Him to only give us His best.  The words we use or the format of the prayer are not the important things.  What is important is whether or not we have un-confessed sin in our lives.  Sin separates us from God and moves us from His umbrella of protection.  How much faith is required?  I believe that if we have enough faith to ask God for something, that is enough faith.  God has made precious promises to His children and He has never failed in doing exactly what He said He would do.  The fulfillment of those promises is based on His faithfulness, not ours.

 

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  — Romans 8:32 NIV

Post 07-10-2016

Amen!

even-smaller-bug-light130 Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? 31 It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, 32 but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.” — Mark 4:30-32 NLT

Earlier in this chapter, Jesus had told His disciples that they were permitted to understand the secret of the Kingdom of God.  He also stated that there would be some who would hear and refuse to believe (outsiders) and they would not be able to understand His teachings in the parables that He used (Mark 4:11,12).  So, if the disciples were permitted to understand the Kingdom of God, then so can we understand it.  Jesus told Nicodemus to enter the Kingdom that it was necessary for him to be born again.  So, we become a part of the Kingdom of God when we receive Christ as our Savior.  In doing so, we become eligible for all the benefits of that Kingdom here and now, not just in the future.  As the birds nest in the shade of the mustard tree, so we live under the umbrella of God’s protection now.  Right now, it is a spiritual Kingdom inside of us.  When Jesus comes back, He will establish a Kingdom here on earth that will encompass all of His creation and creatures except those that refuse to hear and believe (Daniel 2:44, Rev.11:15).  We are preparing to live in that Kingdom in our present life and one day that process will be completed when we are changed into immortal beings (1 Cor 15:50-53).  Jesus taught us to pray “may Your will be done on earth even as it is in heaven”.   So, while we are preparing for eternity, we live with the assurance that the hope that we have will one day be fulfilled. And it will be so — His will “will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.  That is why we end our prayers with “Amen” which means “let it be so”.   Partially now and completely in the future.
Post 02-20-2016

Little Sins, Really?

even-smaller-bug-light116 There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17         haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18         a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19         a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. — Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV

Somewhere at sometime,​ satan deceived someone into thinking and/or believing that God has a prioritized list of sins ranging from “little” to “big”.  That lie has been propagated throughout the generations, much to satan’s delight. A short study of Scrpture will quickly prove that untrue.The above verses in Proverbs and this one from The Revelation are good examples.
 

8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” — Rev. 21:8

God doesn’t see lies as black and white, to Him, lies are lies, period.  While the external effects of some sins are greater than others, the internal effect to each of us committing those sins is the same.  Sin, any sin, separates us from the love of God.
 But your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear. — Isaiah 59:2
As long as there is unconfessed sin in our lives, we limit what God can do for us and through us.  Just as the rebellion of the children of Israel limited God in the wilderness, we do the same thing. If we continue to live a lifestyle of rebellion and unconfessed sin, God has no choice but to withdraw His blessings and protective covering over our lives. The children of Israel were defeated in battles when they were disobedient to God.  We live defeated lives, when we refuse to obey and confess our sins. 
 
40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness,
And grieved Him in the desert!
41 Yes, again and again they tempted God,
And limited the Holy One of Israel. — Psalm 78:40, 41
God knows every minute part of us and every thought that we have, we cannot hide it from Him. When we have sinned, instead of running from Him, we need to run to Him, He is waiting with outstretched arms.
 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. — Hebrews 4:16
Post 10-09-2015

Christ is the Amen

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19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” 20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. — 2 Cor.1:19-22 NIV

​There are testimonies upon testimonies of God’s faithfulness​, not just in the Bible, but in the lives of Christians since the first century until today.  I am constantly amazed when reading the personal testimonies of our brothers and sisters who are persecuted, imprisoned and questioned by the authorities on a daily basis.  They tell story after story of how God strengthens them and comes to their rescue.  We have all of these testimonies plus the stories of modern day miracles with which God still so richly blesses us.  Then, of course, each of us have our own stories of how God saved us from eternal punishment and condemnation, the miracle of resurrection power. We can look back over our own lives and see how the hand of God has delivered us from bad situations and even saved us from physical death. If we don’t see any, perhaps, we are looking for what we consider to be “big” things.  Every good thing that happens to us is a fulfillment of the promises of God. The fact that we are alive today is a gift from God. 

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. — James 1:16-17 NIV

He has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us and He has kept that promise. Because He put His Spirit in our hearts, we can never go anywhere without Him. We are constantly surrounded by angels who watch over us and protect us. 

16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. — 2 Kings 6:16, 17 NIV

We thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness and your mercies which are new every morning!​
Post 09-14-2015

In His Steps

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
22 He never sinned,​ nor ever deceived anyone.
23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted,​ nor threaten revenge when he suffered.​ ​He left his case in the hands of God,​ who always judges fairly.
24 He personally carried our sins​ in his body on the cross​ so that we can be dead to sin​ and live for what is right.​ By his wounds​ you are healed.
25 Once you were like sheep​ who wandered away.​ But now you have turned to your Shepherd,​ the Guardian of your souls.–2 Peter 2:21-25 (NLT)

​As Christians, the only person we can use as our example is Jesus Christ. He is the standard that we should strive to live up to. We, of course, will never reach that standard but, as Paul said, we should continue to “press toward the mark”
13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.–Phil. 3:14,14 (NLT)
​Any cases of injustice and​ offenses should be left in the hands of God. He will deal with those that are unjust in His own way and in His own time. We were once as helpless as sheep and needed a Shepherd and a Guardian. Jesus came to fulfill every need we have and He has done so abundantly. We are to walk in His steps. We will fall and when we do, He will carry us just like a shepherd carries a helpless lamb. We can lean on His everlasting arms and rejoice evermore.
11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;​ let them sing joyful praises forever.
​Spread your protection over them,​ that all who love your name may be filled with joy.​ 12 For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.–Psalm 5:11,12 (NLT).

Post 09-14-14

We Have Safety, Security, and Peace in the Palm of God’s Hand

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.

11 I, yes I, am the Lord, and there is no other Savior. 12 First I predicted your rescue, then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world. No foreign god has ever done this. You are witnesses that I am the only God,” says the Lord. 13 “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.”–Isaiah 43:11-13 (NLT)
​Although​ God was speaking to the children of Israel in this instance, it is still true for us today. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is immutable and omnipotent. He exists outside of time as we know it. God divided time into segments for our benefit, but He is not bound by hours or days. He is our Lord and Savior and no one else could do what He has done for us. No one can undo what He has done. He has promised to never leave nor forsake us. He never has and He never will. His faithfulness has no limits. It continues forever.
1 I love you, Lord;​ you are my strength.​ 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.He is my shield, the power that saves me,​ and my place of safety.​–Psalm 18:1,2 (NLT)​ We owe Him all our love. He gives us peace beyond our understanding which causes us to tell the world about the goodness of our Lord and Savior.
Post 02-06-14

Protected by His Power

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.


1 Peter 1:5-7 (NLT) 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. 6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
Once, we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and our Lord, we are under the shelter of His wings. It is God’s power that keeps us in His hand. No matter how many times we fail and we all do fail, we are kept securely by His Spirit. God knows exactly where we are in our walk with Him. He allows us to be tested so that we know where we are. As Paul shared with us, we miss the mark but we press on toward the High Calling in Christ Jesus. In our weakest moments, God is with us and it is during these times that we are most likely to allow Him to mold us into His image. Just remember that nothing, absolutely nothing, in heaven or on earth can ever separate you from the love of God. We may fail God, but He cannot fail us. All of His promises are Yes and Amen! So praise God with hearts full of joy that no one can take you from Him or His joy from you!
Post for 9/17