Friday, November 30, 2012

I Made a Vow to the Lord

Psalm 119:15 (ESV)
"I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways."
How can we be sure of what God has for us?  By studying His Word, listening to His voice, and meditating on His precepts.  It is very easy to get busy for the Lord, and lose sight of what exactly it is that He has called us to do.
Sometimes we just need to take a step back, meditate on His precepts, and fix our eyes on His ways.  Meditation on God's Word involves emptying our minds of all the clutter that we've collected over the years of what we should be doing, how we should be doing it, and where we should be doing it.  Often times that fresh word we've been asking God for is right under our noses.  The WORD has been there from the beginning, but our understanding of it evolves as our relationship with Him grows.
I made a vow to the Lord to trust Him, to believe in Him, and to have faith in what He is doing in my life.  I can't fulfill that vow without taking His yoke upon me and learning of Him.  Complete surrender involves complete trust.  I cannot give up this, but hold onto that and expect to truly know Him.  I have to give Him everything I have, everything I do, and everything I am - completely.  He will guide me into His perfect will for my life, day by day, and step by step.
I end with the words from a traditional song: I'm yours, Lord; everything I've got; everything I am; everything I'm not; I'm yours, Lord; try me now and see; see if I can be completely yours.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Is You Is or Is You Ain't?

Romans 8:8-10 (NKJV) So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.  And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  Wow.  CANNOT is a pretty strong word.  It doesn't even give the option of trying.  Don't bother to pretend because it isn't going to happen.  If pleasing God is our motive for whatever we do, how can we ensure that we aren't in the flesh?  If you have the Spirit of God in you, you are not in the flesh.  This passage doesn't give a whole lot of scenarios or situations.  You have the Spirit or you don't.  There are no gray areas involved here.  Either you are His or you aren't.  If Christ is in you, the body is dead, but the Spirit is LIFE.
Now, with all that being understood, it sounds to me like there is a whole lot of repentance and sacrifice necessary for us to daily live a life of complete surrender to God.  The flesh has to be murdered on a daily basis for us to be filled with the Spirit.  Murdered, Jennifer?  I use that word because it implies there is an intent to kill it.  It's not going to happen accidentally; no manslaughter charges with this.  We have to wake up in the morning with the intent of allowing the Spirit to dwell in us.  I can only speak for myself, but my flesh likes to rise up and take over.  I have to make a conscious decision to strip my flesh of its power EVERY SINGLE DAY (and multiple times each day, depending on what's going on), and surrender to God's authority.
Let's stop pretending.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

God Will Take Care of You

God Will Take Care of You

Text: Civilla D. Martin
Music: W. Stillman Martin
Tune: MARTIN, Meter: CM with Refrain

1. Be not dismayed whate'er betide, 
 God will take care of you; 
 beneath his wings of love abide, 
 God will take care of you.

 God will take care of you, 
 through every day, o'er all the way; 
 he will take care of you, 
 God will take care of you.

2. Through days of toil when heart doth fail, 
 God will take care of you; 
 when dangers fierce your path assail, 
 God will take care of you.

3. All you may need he will provide, 
 God will take care of you; 
 nothing you ask will be denied, 
 God will take care of you.

4. No matter what may be the test, 
 God will take care of you;
 lean, weary one, upon his breast, 
 God will take care of you.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bad Tree = Bad Fruit

Matthew 7:15-20 (NASB) “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?  So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.
This passage very clearly explains how you will know false prophets: by their fruits.  Everyone prophesying in the name of the Lord isn't necessarily His.  If ever there was a time for us to study God's Word for ourselves, it's NOW.  We have become complacent and lackadaisical about what we are accepting from the pulpit.
We have turned mere mortals into objects of worship, fearful of questioning what they claim is God's message.  I guarantee that God's message today will not contradict God's message of yesterday because HE CANNOT CHANGE.  God is perfect now, as He was then, as He will be for all eternity.  There is a trend among our churches to offer a thinly-veiled version of Universalism to include all people without a call to repentance.
Packing the pews with people dead to sin without offering the life Jesus so freely gives is a farce!  We have a lot of bad fruit out there, friends.  We have motivational speakers masquerading as preachers, while people continually perish.  We have a responsibility to make sure the truth is taught and heard.  You may want to keep the peace, but when you know a teaching to be contrary to the Word of God, you must speak up.
Pray and ask God to open up the truth of His Word to you as you study.  Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the boldness you need to stand up to false teaching.  Once you know the truth, you can no longer sit under the bad tree.  That bad tree cannot produce good fruit, and that isn't judging anyone.  That is the truth of God's Word.