“Wait Upon the Lord”

Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. — Acts 1:4


Acts 1:1-5 NLT

Sometimes when God first starts to reveal our part in His plan, we want to start “doing” right then.   There are times that we should move instantly because it might be the only chance we have to witness to a particular person.  But if God is calling us to do a work that requires coordination and acceptance by others, we may have to wait while everyone else involved gets lined up.  God never sends us unprepared.  Jesus was tested for forty days before He began His ministry.  Saul spent years in the desert becoming Paul.  David spent years fighting battles, running from Saul and was anointed three times before He actually took the throne.  Preparation requires patience, prayer, persecution, perseverance, provision and power. There are usually people who disagree with what we think God has called us to do and/or the methodology we use to do it.  We must not only be patient with God but with others involved as well.  We must endure the negativity and the discouraging remarks.  If we persevere, God will give us the provisions and the power.   God had prepared the disciples to “go and make” but now He has commanded them to “wait”.  Waiting can sometimes be the hardest part.  But success will only come if we adhere to God’s battle plan and His timing.  We must wait until all the ifs, ands, buts, perhaps, and maybes are gone.  Then when the Commander says “charge”, we will be successful in the war.

14 Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.— Psalm 27:14 NLT

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

Post 02-07-2019

Prepared, Provisioned, Protected

7 Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” — 1 Kings 19:7 NLT
1 KIngs 19:1-8 NLT

God had just used Elijah to defeat the 400 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, after that, God had given Elijah supernatural physical strength so that Elijah could catch and outrun Ahab’s chariot to Jezreel.  Now, Jezebel had threatened his life.  She promised to kill him before twenty-four hours had passed.  After seeing the miracles God had just performed, how could any human being think that they could do anything to one of God’s chosen people?  Even worse, after all Elijah had experienced, how could he possibly believe that God could not protect him from the threats of Jezebel?  Is the God on the mountain not still God in the valley?  Yes, He is!  We want to spend our lives living mountain top experiences.  We should take notice that there is very little life on the mountains above the timberline.  The view is great and the atmosphere is exhilarating, but there is not enough dirt or oxygen to sustain life.  The life-giving elements are down in the valley and we need to spend some time there as well.  Elijah was having his valley experience, wallowing in self-pity, as we so often do.  God said “get up and eat”.   He was preparing Elijah for a journey that would take all of his strength.  When God calls us to do a work, He always provides everything we need to accomplish the task.  It is up to us to decide whether or not we are going to “eat” the spiritual food that will prepare us for the trip through the valley and to the next mountaintop. 
If  we don’t eat the spiritual food God provides, the road will be rough and the journey will be miserable.  But if we do eat and prepare, the road will seem to be smooth and the journey will be a joy as we experience the presence of Jesus leading us home.

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

Post 01-02-2019

God Provides Abundantly

even-smaller-bug-light139 You will need 75 pounds of pure gold for the lampstand and its accessories.​ – Exodus 25:39 NLT​

Exodus 25:36-39 NLT

For those who think God has something against money, prosperity and being rich, here is something to think about. Seventy-five pounds of gold is 1200 ounces.  On today’s market, gold is listed at $1203.00 per ounce.  That means that in today’s world, the cost of the lampstand and all of its accessories would be $1,443,600.00 in US currency. Extravagant?  If you own all the gold in the world, does extravagant even have a meaning?  One could object that God took all this money from the poor, homeless Israelis.  Why would He do that?  But, we must remember when they were slaves in Egypt, they had nothing and when God called them out of Egypt, He caused the Egyptians to give the Israelis all of their jewelry and gold.  He was the reason they had the gold in the first place, they were just carrying it for Him.  The same is true of us today, anything that we have came from God and we are just carrying it for Him. The next time the offering plate is passed, we need to remember where our gold came from and give a goodly portion of it back.  When we  have an opportunity to share the bountiful gifts God has so freely given to us, let us share it with a joyful, thankful heart. Take a moment to remember and thank God for His extravagance in giving us His Son.  We will never be able to give to God more than He has given to us.  When we seriously think about it, God doesn’t really require much of us.

8  No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:​ to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.  — Micah 6:8 NLT​

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

Post 09-27-2018

Whatever You Need, It’s On It’s Way to You Now!

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Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it. – John 21:6 NLT
 
As the disciples head for shore, someone on the beach, calls to them and asks if they have had any success. They tell Him “no” . So, He says throw your net on the right side of the boat. Put yourself in their situation. Here is a boat with at least seven highly experienced fishermen in it and someone (at this point, they haven’t recognized that it is Jesus) on the beach is telling them that all they need to do is throw the net on the right side of the boat. What do you suppose quick tempered Peter was thinking about now? What would you have been thinking? Whatever the discussion might have been, they decide to follow His suggestion and they catch so many fish they can’t haul in the net. At this point, John recognizes Jesus and tells Peter. Peter has his normal reaction and jumps into the water, the others stayed with the boat. (Does that sound familiar?) Jesus is waiting on the shore with breakfast ready. Just as they had given up, Jesus shows up and there is an abundance of fish. then he serves them breakfast. At our lowest point and when we have given up, Jesus comes to us with his abundance and serves us with all we need and more. No matter how you feel right now, Jesus knows about it, He is waiting to fill our nets. He is never late, He will show up on time.

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

Post 12-14- 2017

God Specializes in the Unusual

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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
 
 

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.

Post 07-29-2016

More Than Enough!

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8 “Moreover, I hereby decree that you are to help these elders of the Jews as they rebuild this Temple of God. You must pay the full construction costs, without delay, from my taxes collected in the province west of the Euphrates River so that the work will not be interrupted. — Ezra 6:8 NLT
In Exodus, we saw that when God brought the Israelis out of the bondage of Israel, He brought them laden with gold and the treasures of the land. God had instructed Moses to tell the people to ask their Egyptian neighbors for whatever they would give. In this way, Egypt was plundered.  God had sent the Israelis into bondage again when the Babylon army ransacked Jerusalem and took the people to Babylon.  When the time of their bondage was fulfilled, God brought them out of Babylon to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple.  Cyrus had decreed that they could go in peace and do this.  He gave them the bowls and utensils that had been brought from the Temple.  Cyrus also decreed that their neighbors should “contribute toward their expenses” by giving them voluntary offerings of gold, silver, livestock and anything else they might need for their journey to Jerusalem.  The people of the provinces west of the Euphrates opposed the rebuilding of the Temple.  When Darius became king, they wrote him a letter requesting that that he, Darius, should tell the Israelis to cease and desist.  Instead, Darius had the records searched and found the decree that Cyrus had written years before.  He not only decreed that everything in that letter would be fulfilled but that the peoples of the provinces west of the Euphrates would not help the elders rebuild the Temple but they would bear the cost of the reconstruction using the tax money they usually paid to Darius.  You would need to read the whole book of Ezra to get even a small grasp of all that God provided for His people so the Temple could be rebuilt.  They received gifts worth billions in today’s economy.  God never sends us anywhere or asks us to do anything that He does not provide “more than enough’ to complete the mission.  “Dayenu” is Hebrew for “sufficient for us” and it is a beautiful Passover song that reminds us of just how great God really is. 
 
Post 06-10-2016

We Never Walk Alone

even-smaller-bug-light1It is not because you are so good or have such integrity that you are about to occupy their land. The Lord your God will drive these nations out ahead of you only because of their wickedness, and to fulfill the oath he swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You must recognize that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land because you are good, for you are not—you are a stubborn people. — Deut. 9:5, 6 NLT

It is very easy for us to read the account of the journey from Egypt to Canaan and criticize the children of Israel for all their stubbornness and lack of faith.  God chose them, called them out of Egypt, provided for them and kept them safe by His own arm and great power.  Their response was to moan and groan about the things they didn’t have instead of being thankful for what God was doing for them. Had it not have been for the prayers of Moses, God would have compeletely destroyed these people and started over with just the family of Moses. ​God reminds them that it is not because of any goodness in them that He has allowed them to come this far.  It is because of the wickedness of the people that live in Canaan and the oath He has sworn to Abraham, Issac and Jacob.  Let us look at our lives today.  How often do we, who live in the lap of luxury compared to ninety percent of the world, moan, groan and complain?  How often do we consider what we don’t have instead of being thankful for what we do have?  Let us honestly and truthfully consider our thoughts and how we spend our time and resources.  Are we not just as stubborn and rebellious as these people were?  If Jesus came to our house today, would He feel welcomed by what He sees or would He wonder if we even knew Him?  If Jesus walked with us everyday, is there anything in our lifestyle that we would change?  If the answer is “Yes”, then let’s not be stubborn, let’s change it today because Jesus is walking with us everywhere we go.
 

20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ​ — Matt. 28:20 NLT​

 

Post 03-07-2016