Honor The Son to Honor The Father

The telling thing about pseudo-Christian religions is their view of Jesus. The acceptance of and belief in God is easy for people. Almost every person is comfortable with thoughts about and conversations about God. But when Jesus is mentioned, you will know true believers because we have no doubt that he is the Son of God! 

Acknowledging His divinity and His oneness with the Father is at the core of real Christianity. A Christ follower will always give honor to the Father and the Son. Those who deny the deity of the Son are withholding from Him His due honor-and thus are withholding from the Father his due honor. Woe to them! 

As ministers of the gospel, we must be careful not to become satisfied when someone says they believe in, or trust in, God. We have to want to ensure that this is true. I’m not talking about pushing and challenging folks, but I’m talking about having a heart that is willing to disciple and teach them toward the truth and thus toward salvation, which is true reconciliation with the Father. 

Jesus will receive equal honor, glory and praise! This is the decision that The Father made!

I am praying that the Father will give us the boldness to speak out for Christ at all times. Teach us gentleness when we recognize a person’s unbelief in order that we may guide people to the truth. May we always proclaim the Savior and give honor to Him, thereby giving glory to the Father. Forgive us, Lord, for neglecting to take opportunities to lead people to the truth!

Tearing Down Strongholds

I’m convinced that many of us are still stuck because we have not followed his instructions and are not tearing our own strongholds down in the mighty power of God! A spiritual stronghold is a way of thinking that has become ingrained in your mind. We ought to ensure that He is our stronghold (Psalm 27: 1); because the mind is the stronghold of the soul; and the enemy attempts to acquire and dominate the minds of people. Spiritual strongholds are arguments, high beliefs, and thoughts raised against our Almighty God. Strongholds are based on pride and self-reliance. They lead to a proud heart, bad mental patterns, and recurring sins. A spiritual stronghold is whatever we trust in other than the Lord.

God speaks to you saying that He will give you victory over the thing that is tackling your faith. What is he telling you to do? Are you hearing Him and doing what He says? When the Lord speaks to our hearts and is trying to help us root out the strongholds of the enemy – we must be careful to TEAR IT ALL DOWN!!  All the enemy needs is a small space to get in and make you go the way that God has forbidden; to make you disobey or doubt.  Non of us are exempt — it is not easy!  But it IS the way of victory.

When God tells you to leave a relationship behind; resign from a job; move to a new locale; stop listening to a certain radio program; refrain from drinking; etc.; you can’t then look at your friends and say “well, they’re still doing it!” because His commands for you are for your victory, not theirs!

Every time I read through the Old Testament, I am astounded by the number of times God sends people in to battle – tells them to destroy it all; and then, they don’t!  It seems that there is always someone among the warriors (and often the king)  who decides that destroying it all means that they can keep some loot; leave some enemy alive; leave some spring unplugged; leave a wall standing; keep at least the women and/or children, etc.  Thankfully we are not being asked to slay people in these days – thank God for Jesus!  But we are asked to lay waste to the works of the enemy – in fact it is for that reason that He came!

Though we are in a difficult war, we may be confident knowing that we are on the winning side. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds! (2 Corinthians 10:4).

If you want the victory that He gives (as lasting victory!)  – do it His way!  He is not a man that He should lie! His promises are YES and AMEN!  He will accomplish His Word!  Do your part — TRUST and OBEY!

Lead Me, Oh Lord!

Lately, many who have the life spotlight have been doing some wicked things.  It can make you embarrassed to be American, or even human!  When you look at the actions of some, it can really make you look down on them; and raise your own self up a bit. Yes! Go ahead and admit it … you sometimes raise yourself up just a bit and see them suddenly .. beneath you. I think we’ve all done this at least once, even when we don’t realize we’ve done it.

This points out a truth about who we each are.  I’ll talk about me.  You see, I haven’t killed anyone; spoken with ill regard of anyone publicly; abused any child; mistreated anyone because of their ethnicity; etc. etc. etc.  So,  unlike those people I read about or see on the TV screen, I am holier than thou! Right?!?!  WRONG!

Truth is, only God knows why I refrain from what I refrain from and only God knows the things I do that none of you see.  My mind knows the blessing of trusting God completely and submitting to Him in all things; but my heart, without the leading of the Lord, is self serving even when my desire is to be good! Do you get what I’m saying?  You see, there is nothing in this world that can hide its weaknesses and failings like our hearts/minds. We can truly think that what we hope for is for the good of all people around us, but there is something within each of us that favors ourselves over others and the ONLY way to move past it … to have triumph over these thoughts/desires … is to knowingly and sincerely and deliberately place our hearts and minds in His hands. As for me … I do it every single day! I don’t hope in myself, not for one moment. My hope lies in the actions and love of my King.  He searches my heart and knows my true desires; He is faithful to see if there is any evil in my heart and His mercy and grace are powerful and can be counted upon to always lead me in the everlasting way.

I’m ever grateful that I have learned not to depend upon man – not even myself – to do the right thing.  I depend upon the Holy Spirit in me to bring about in my life what The Lord wills to be so.  Even when it seems that I’ve done a good thing, the truth is that it is only the work of the Holy Spirit in me.  Search me, O God! Lead me, O God! Omnipresent God – my soul hides in You!

“Search me, Oh God, and know my heart. Try me, Oh God, and know my thoughts. See if there be any evil in me! Lead me, Omnipresent God! Lead me, Omnipresent God! Light and darkness are both the same. I, in thy presence, Thy greatness proclaim. See if there be any evil in me! Lead me, Omnipresent God! Lead me, Omnipresent! If my make my bed in heaven, Thou art there! Thou art there! If I make my bed in hell, Thou art there, Oh God! Thou art there! If I take the wings of the morning, or dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea … even then I will find you there, Oh God, and my soul shall hide in Thee! Omnipresent God, my soul shall hide in Thee!” – the late, Glenn Burleigh (based upon Psalm 139)

Missing the Miracles

Legalists – those dressed in their own righteousness – are more concerned with keeping the law than relationships or encounters with the Savior. The Sabbath is to be kept holy — that is sure. But the Sovereign Lord is the maker and ruler of the Sabbath and can choose to do wonders as He will. We, too, can be preoccupied with observing our own religious laws to the point that we miss chances to see God at work. It can be any ritual at all – things like churches that refuse to hold “Sunday School” on Saturdays — or those that say we will never have evening service.

These actions are not sins, but they can quickly become what we worship — and take the Lord’s place. So much so that if the Lord works a miracle at an inopportune time for us — we will not even see it!

The religious Jews were concerned about breaking the Sabbath in this scriptural passage. They never acknowledged that a miracle had taken place.

Father – Help us not to be so caught up in our faith traditions that we forget the object of our faith! Help us to look for Your Hand doing Your work at all times — and teach us to join You in Your work. Teach us that no time is inopportune for you. You are the Lord of time, the Sabbath — the God of wonders!

For Those of No (or Little) Faith

Those who believe, who accept the truth of the gospel, who are living according to all that The Lord has commanded has already been called. They are responsible to live out what they have professed to believe. On the other hand, those who are skeptical, who are not certain about the truth, who are living lives contrary to the Lord’s command, are the ones that The Lord desires to call.

It is to those that WE are responsible. We are responsible to present to them the truth of the gospel, to live before them in a way that highlights holiness and exudes the love of our Father. We are responsible to allowing them to recline at our table in order that they might have an encounter with The Living Christ.

The question is … Will they see Him if thy recline at our table?

We are here for them. We must be diligent in our duty to be salt and light at ALL times.

He came to bring to Himself those who did not accept religion or opposed religion or even did not believe there was a God. He did not come for only people who were living morally or who accepted the religion of the Jews. You see … the biggest of sinners can be changed and made holy by God’s mercy and grace in Christ; how will they know, if we don’t open the door? How will they listen, if we don’t speak? How will they see any difference, if we don’t let it be seen in us.

When you think of the fullness of God’s Word to us … when He tells us that we will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us so that we can preach the gospel to every nation and tell people everywhere the truth so that they can have complete healing, true peace and eternal life. Is your door open? Have they eaten at your table?

Father, I repent of the many times I’ve avoided people who are in the shadows. I ask you to help me live a life that demonstrates the hope and truth of the gospel. Give the lost a chance to sit down at my table and please, God, let your presence be seen, felt, known. Praying that many more will come to know you and that I will keep my door and my table open at all times. Open their hearts and minds to see their need, and open my heart and mind to pour the truth of you into them.