Thank God for Grace

From our morning devotion…

Whenever I think of the Grace of God, and the apostle’s earnest desire to impart it…this verse (Eph. 2:8-9), of course, comes to mind.

However, without a good definition of Grace, we can’t really identify when it’s actually operational in us. I WANT TO KNOW! I want to be able to see and know, THAT’S Grace.

Which brings me to the next verse that immediately follows the first…Philippians 2:13, “FOR IT IS GOD, which worketh in you, BOTH to will, and to do, His good pleasure.” (Emphasis is mine)

He gives me the “want to” when my flesh doesn’t…and He gives me the ability, when I just can’t get it done in my self. Thank God for Grace…Thank God for Jesus!

My prayer for you my brothers and sisters, is you be filled today with all the fullness of God!

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Focus Discipline

I had a conversation with one of my best friends today, then read 2 back to back posts on FB a little bit ago that reminded me of that…and I wanted to share this…it feels like it’s for someone in particular, I just don’t know who.
If we could ever get our minds right, if we could EVER get our heads truly into this business of the Kingdom, and TRULY living for Jesus…THERE IS NOTHING in this universe that could stand successfully against us.

Paul said, in Romans 7:25, “…So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God;…”
It’s all about what I call FOCUS DISCIPLINE.
This is why the evil one spends the majority of his time left, in massive attempts at distraction(s)… whether they be personal, marital, family, work environment, neighbors, church family, ministry, etc. You name the venue, the devil will work up a distraction to plop right down in the middle of it!
Apostle Peter commands us in 1 Peter 1:13-16, to “…gird up the loins of your minds…as obedient children…hoping to the end for the Grace that is to be revealed at the appearing of Jesus Christ… “

Paul’s instruction to us is so powerful. In 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 he teaches us the keys to bringing down strongholds (those are in our minds, by the way), is by…

1) casting down imaginations (ALSO, in our minds),
2) and high things (In the original language: lofty thoughts or idealogies) that exalt themselves against our knowledge of God. (IN…OUR…MINDS)
3) and bringing into captivity, EVERY thought to the obedience of Christ…(ONCE AGAIN…IN OUR MINDS!)

We’ve GOT to keep our minds, by the Word of God, clear and focused on God and His Purpose for us!
I love to preach/teach, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus… “. But you CANNOT do that without FOCUS DISCIPLINE! Let me re-instate my mantra of the last 15 years or so…NONE OF THIS STUFF WORKS IF YOU DON’T PRAY ON A REGULAR BASIS! Because while the focus I’m talking about happens in the mind; it is NOT a mental discipline! It’s a spiritual discipline!
The devil couldn’t whip Jesus and bend him around to his evil will and purposes because Jesus had FOCUS for His own Plan and Purpose. Let me tie these last few scriptures up for you real quick and I’ll let you go…but THIS IS SO VITAL!
Jesus, praying in the Garden, outlined to the Father what He had accomplished of His Purpose in His time on Earth…

John 17:4‭-‬6 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

  1. I have glorified You…
  2. I have finished the work You gave me to do…
  3. I have manifested Your name…

Well, I guess 2 out of 3 isn’t too bad! Did He lie or misspeak to the Father? Did He just make a mistake? You say “What on earth are you talking about?!“. Well, He told the Father in prayer, “I have finished the work You gave me to do.” But, He hadn’t been to the Cross yet…so HE HAD NOT YET FINISHED THE WORK!

So what was He talking about?
There are places IN PRAYER that we can enter into, that actually lift us above the temporal conflicts, and problems in our lives to see clearly into that holy eternal place, His plan for us, or even beyond us. And in that Faith-focused view, rejoice in His Purpose; calling those things that are not as though they already are, and KNOWING that it is so.
I’m convinced that in His prayer, Jesus was launched into that holy, eternal place where His Word is settled forever, and saw everything beyond the Cross right down to the victorious end of the age. Forget the beating, the nails, a crown of thorns, a spear in the side…forget all the anguish, and betrayal, and contradictions of sinners!
Paul in teaching about the conflicts of mind that assail us in living for God, actually proves my point for us.
The apostle tells us in Hebrews 12:1-3, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

These 3 verses are all integrally entwined with the same thought…

1) WHAT TO DO?…Let us lay aside every weight and sin, and run with patience the race set before us…
2) THE FOCUS (or the HOW) Who for the joy that was set before Him ENDURED…
3) THE ADMONITION…Consider Him, and His example here lest you be wearied and faint in your minds.
Once again, it’s time to get our minds right!
Romans 7:25, “…So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God;…”

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Overcoming One-sidedness

Just a few thoughts from the old guy sitting on the porch watching the world go by on a cold, drab day…

​Thinking about Mary & Martha again the last day or two. And if the Lord will allow me, sometime soon I plan to minister on “Overcoming One-Sidedness”.

The beauty of their story is Martha knew that after a day’s journey, Jesus would be tired and hungry…and so she provided a place to comfortably set, and went to the kitchen to fix a meal; AND Mary knowing that The Teacher in Him longed to weigh the eternal Truth in discourse, found a seat at His feet and gave Him her rapt, undivided attention.

The tragedy of their situation was that neither Mary nor Martha saw the need for each other and so were constantly at odds with one another.

So it is with us!  Usually, the older, louder, more brash argument, or whoever has more followers, wins the conflict and walks away feeling justified. The other usually walks away more quietly, albeit totally unconvinced, merely cowed by the barrage of the other’s rhetoric.  This tragedy is that both sides made points worthy of consideration, which, but for their sneering disregard of one another, if given consideration, could have brought them to consensus, but now are merely cast aside as a worthless effort.

The greatest tragedy is that the heart of God is once again grieved by His children who insist on being “right” over being reconciled, and continue to contend for their divergent views to the on-going disunity of His Body; and this, often over things that have NOTHING to do with Salvation. And the world is given another example of why they don’t want to be a part of us.

Sad day for the home team!

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​Dumb, Disabled and Destitute, but Determined

Did you know the bumblebee is unable to fly?  I was also shocked!  Imagine the bumblebee’s consternation!  

But, no, the poor thing cannot fly.  It can be proved by the laws of aerodynamics.  This is because the size and shape of its body in relation to the size, shape, and make-up of its wings; and as can be very readily demonstrated by the use of a wind tunnel; makes flight quite impossible.  However, the bumblebee being ignorant of of all these scientific facts, AND possessing considerable determination, DOES fly.  And it makes a little honey too!

I said all that, to ask you this…What have you been told you’re too dumb, disabled, or destitute to accomplish?  I use the word destitute not just in the sense of lack of financial ability, but as lacking any kind of resources. Such as physical, intellectual, emotional, or resources of any kind.

I am 61 years old, and have a few issues health-wise that on occasion slow me down a bit.  In addition, I am what your local used car salesman would call, a high mileage unit. If I were an old Buick you’d probably find me on the back of the lot. But that’s neither here nor there. I get around and do just about anything Jesus needs me to do, because I’ve found the truth of what Apostle Paul said, “I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me…”  Philippians 4:13. But, I’m rambling…let me continue. 

My point is, when I was 16 or 17 years old, I was informed that what I thought the Lord had spoken into my life was NOT valid, because those kinds of ministry didn’t even exist anymore. Furthermore, I did not have the intellectual capacity for ministry, and lastly I had no anointing.  Now, those who told me those things have gone to their reward, a couple of them having failed horribly in their assigned kingdom tasks for a number of different reasons.  And here I am, having been preaching, teaching, discipling and praying folks through for more than 45 years. To God be ALL the blessing, honor, and glory forever!

Solomon said it truly, “A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.”  Proverbs 29:23 

I ask you again, my dear friend, What have you been told you’re too dumb, disabled, or destitute to accomplish? Proverbs 18:1 says, “Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.“. Maybe you don’t have all you need to do what you feel God calling you to do!  That’s where Faith and Trust come in!  I am a witness…He will provide one way or another, all the resources you need to accomplish your task!  Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey!

Now, fly little bumblebee!  And bring home some honey!

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To Nest or not to Nest…

​H​ebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a DISCERNER of the THOUGHTS and INTENTS of the heart.  [emphasis is mine]

I thank God for the peace and liberty this scripture verse brings to my heart and life!

As a newly saved, young teenager, I used to spend DAYS repenting for every little ignorant, evil thought that came to my mind.  Until a faithful old prayer warrior broke this verse down for my understanding. 

Y’see that word DISCERNER could just as well be translated DIVIDER…that’s what Discernment does, it divides out what is, from what isn’t.  Good from bad…right from wrong… real from fake…precious from vile…etc.

So this verse tells us the Word of God DIVIDES out the THOUGHTS from the INTENTS of my heart. That’s such a blessing!  Because, especially in this electronic age where we’re flooded with audio and visual input from every source imaginable, you CANNOT avoid some thoughts that will run through your mind.  But, the trick is not allowing our hearts to dwell on the thing to where it becomes an intent of the heart. Because make no mistake, once a thing becomes an intent of our heart, even if we never actually carry out the deed…WE WILL stand in the Judgment with the intent, just as if we had done it…because it’s an intent.

The old-timers used to say, You can’t keep a bird from flying over your head…but you don’t have to allow it to nest in your hair.

So, you ask, how do I stop a thought from becoming an intent?  You stop thinking about it!  Don’t dwell on it!  Let it go!  Fill your thoughts with praise to God. Fill your mind with His Word!  Paul gave us a tremendously powerful key for this…

Philippians 4:7-8 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Thank God for His Word!  

I CAN be free!  I CAN be clean!  I’m washed with His Word. 

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