He Knows What Lies Beneath

When people are impressed with us – or when they see the “value” in something we are doing – we tend to bring them readily into our circle of supporters. Jesus, however, knowing all things — took a different route — one that should be taken note of.

Instead of allowing the praise to go to our ego — we must take a step back and remember the nature of men. One minute, they love you — the next, they don’t. A man’s heart — yes, our hearts – are deceitfully wicked and not to be trusted. Because we cannot know what lies beneath the praise that man gives — we would be wise no to entrust ourselves to men – instead we must get and stay firmly in the grip of God’s unfailing grace.

Jesus had no issue discerning the hearts of men – because He knows every man and because of this, He did not put His confidence in their faith … only in The Father.

Please Father, do not allow us to be deceived by our own pride when people rush to praise us because of what they see us do. Remind us that it is You, who is at work within us – to accomplish ALL that we do. And that it is You to whom the glory is due. Remind us of our own hearts so that we might judge well the hearts of others. Help us to put ALL of our hope in You. Humbling ourselves as we wait for Your perfect exaltation!

Victim — it’s not where God desires that I dwell

I AM NOT A VICTIM!

I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.  I’m a child of God.  I’m a branch of the One True Vine; a conduit of blessing to the world.  I’m free from the law of sin and death.  I’m accepted by Christ and am a joint heir with Him.  I am a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.  I am God’s workmanship, created for good works.  I am complete.  I am holy and beloved.  I am loved and cherished.

The craziness swirling around us right now can trick us into believing that we are victims – losers – without hope.  But the Word of God tells me that this is not so.  When I am careful to set my mind on His kingdom each day my heart will want to give and not receive; to serve and not rule over; to forgive and not avenge.  I will see the world and all its happenings as my Father in Heaven sees them and not as a person separated from His Spirit.

My feet are surely on this earth – but my mind is the mind of Christ and it must be my aim to help make this earth more like heaven.  Both my outward life and practical pursuits and my inward life and spiritual focus will reflect the image of The One True God.

It is my given role to practice the presence of God every single day no matter what!

Many people in America are being victimized right now – abuse, injustice, false accusations, and violence – but as a believer in Christ we are assured that we will overcome and that these sufferings will be glorifying to our Lord dependent upon how we endure and how we choose to walk after being mistreated.  How do you adjust your attitude?  By setting your mind on things above – including your identity according to the Lord your God! Instead of dwelling in the ‘what you see’ – choose to have a mind that dwells on our true lives which are hidden with God in Christ Jesus.

God has never misled us telling us that we’d walk on a bed of roses in this world — in fact He was quite clear in John 16 that we would have many and various trials; but just as Christ overcame by renewing His mind with the truths of the Father — So Can We!  2 Timothy 2:3-4 tell us that we are to “Suffer hardship … as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” and reminds us that “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”

It’s alright to feel hurt and even to demand that the offender see what they have done to you.  But at the end of the day none of us will ever get the justice we want from men – it will only come from God.  If you don’t believe me have a conversation with a family whose offender was executed on death row and they’ll tell you that they expected to feel vindicated, but it did not happen.

I encourage you to give God your hurt and lean into His truths about you and you will walk victoriously! and when God gives the victory it cannot – will not – be taken away from you! His plans for you include victory – His way.

Use them or lose them!!

Do we ever think about what it means when we, who believe in Christ, just believe and do nothing to show the life of Christ to the world?!?! Christ tells us that this kind living is useless!

Unless we are living out our righteousness in the world by sharing the truth – by showing others the way to Christ … we may as well just STOP!!

We may be a preservative for some — keeping the hand of the Lord from the wicked because we are here keeping good alive and active. We are meant to cast out darkness so that people will know in Whose name we have come. In the words of Fred Hammond, “not called to sit upon a shelf”!

Our salt and light are meant to preserve goodness and illuminate this world with the light of Christ … Not Just To Sit Upon A Shelf! We are not keys hidden to ourselves.

Father, Help me to see the importance of giving my life to the people of this world. Use me to show many the way to Christ. Have mercy on the people who worship other gods, who worship the enemy. May an encounter with Your children be an encounter with You. May our lives be lived in such a way that people have no doubt Who we serve!

What is drawing us? What do we want?

Miracles, in the Bible, brought people’s hearts toward the Lord – the people became adherent to; to trust in; and, relied on the Savior.

Today, however, prosperity preachers and healing ministries are rampant… and are not leading people to want Him … just to want the miracles that His power can bring. So – it occurs to me that we, followers of Christ, should be concerned about what affect these ministries are having on the hearts of men. Are they, because of miraculous deeds, being drawn to trust in Jesus as Savior? or, are they drawn to want more of the same from Jesus as magician?

Those whom God uses to show the world the miraculous should treat it lightly. The miracles should be drawing people to desire God’s truth. A great picture of that is the woman at the well … His knowledge of her never made her said, ‘now, tell me … what did I do this morning?’ No! His knowledge of her life made her go back to the place she lived and tell them to come and meet The One. Miracles… in place to confirm The One, not to impress anyone.

If people aren’t being moved by their need for this power to change their lives and hearts, the is for naught. What is it that draws us to these ministries? And are they left still needing a Savior?

In God’s Word time and time again – He showed people His hand. Their – ‘who is this?’ – moments always showed interest in the truth that was behind that miracle. They want to know The One who made the miracle happen … The One whose Word was going everywhere as He did what they saw. Those who believed in The One who performed the miracles, believed that He was … and they turned to Him – embracing what He taught, submitted to any decree He taught … submitted their lives to Him. Evangelism in a most beautiful way!

We need to be grateful for the miraculous work of His hand. We need to be drawn by our need of Him and not for our want of a miracle. We need to ask His forgiveness for every time we find ourselves longing for miracles, while neglecting Our Savior.

We need to be responding to His work in our lives that makes all people in the world want to see His hand and be moved by all weakness and inadequacy to come to Him for strength and salvation.

Praying that each of us will seek His salvation for the lost, and His presence in their lives as the miracles above all others.

His Need – Our Need

It is almost impossible to for us to say, “The Lord needs”. We have relegated ourselves to t faith that places no responsibility at all on us because we say that He doesn’t need us, but He chooses to use us. If that were true, it would mean we could neglect the work of the Kingdom. In fact it would mean that we were useless to the Kingdom. But, the Word reminds us that we colts have a part to play in lifting the King and carrying Him in to places where there is need for Him. Oh! that we would learn that He has need of us!

Our Lord has dominion over each one of us … He can use us when and how He chooses to. Who He is (Our Lord, King of Kings, Lord of All) – takes a great post over – who we are (Servants of God, Children of God, New Creatures).

When He has an occasion for our service, we have to learn and submit to His place as our Savior, Our Lord. We are supposed to be ready to allow Him to use us as soon as He needs us to carry out the task He created us for. I know for myself that this world tries to convince us that each of us is supposed to be this amazing servant of God that is known. But that’s just not the truth. Not at all! Our Lord uses the mundane, small, and ordinary! I mean come on! If He had them to say “The Master needs it” regarding a donkey, He can certainly use you too!!

This missionary heart of mine is pleading that the Lord will move all of our minds and hearts to hear Him and submit. I’m praying that Our Father will help us to stop using His Word as a way out of Kingdom work. I’m praying that He will remind us that there is a need for us to do what He has created us to do … no matter how small, mundane or ordinary the task may be! I’m praying that we will, each one of us, cry out to Him to use us and give us willing hearts … obedient hearts.