Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Elijah! My God is Jehovah


1 Kings 18:37-38 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back." (38) Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.


Although the prophets of Baal "raved all afternoon," no one answered them. Their god was silent because it was not real. The gods we may be tempted to follow are not idols of wood or stone, but they are just as false and dangerous because they cause us to depend on something other than God. Power, status, appearance, or material possessions can become our gods if we devote our lives to them. But when we reach times of crisis and desperately call out to these gods, there will only be silence. They can offer no true answers, no guidance, and no wisdom.

Using 12 stones to build the altar took courage. This would have angered some of the people because it was a silent reminder of the split between the tribes. While the 10 tribes of the north called themselves Israel, this name originally was given to all 12 of the tribes together.

God flashed fire from heaven for Elijah. He will also help us accomplish what he commands us to do. The proof may not be as dramatic in our lives as in Elijah's, but God will make resources available to us in creative ways to accomplish his purposes. He will give us the wisdom to raise a family, the courage to take a stand for truth, or the means to provide help for someone in need. Like Elijah, we can have faith that whatever God commands us to do, he will provide what we need to carry it through.


The name Elijah literally means, "My God is Jehovah!" So Elijah shows up in our text as an obscure prophet whose very name declares to these backslidden Israelites that they were serving other gods beside the One True God. My heart has been so full the past few days as the truth of "Elijah" has been peculating in my spirit, in the "crock pot" of my mind! I want to declare "Elijah" every time I am tempted to bow at the feet of Baal. Who is baal? As simple as I can declare it, he is the god of sensuality, doing whatever feels good and right at that moment. The god of pleasure. Our flesh tempts us several times a day to bow to "baal" but the Spirit of God wants to declare through us, "Elijah! My God is Jehovah!" Every time we make that declaration, in the midst of an ungodly culture, we are dying to our flesh and choosing to walk in the Spirit.

Elijah had spoken for God and declared that there would not be rain or dew on the earth because of the worship of baal. So it had been over three years since it had rained. The Israelites were desperate for physical rain to fall. My friends, I am desperate for spiritual rain...a raining of God's Spirit. However, there are few things that really minister to me from Elijah's story in 1 Kings 18. Things that we must take note of IF we desire a fresh rain:

#1 The worship of baal had to stop. Rain would never come until they began to worship Jehovah, and stopped bowing to Baal.

#2 After baal worshipers desperately tried to get a dead gods attention, and failed, Elijah REPAIRED the altar. The Hebrew word for repair here is "rapha" which means healing. He had to bring healing to the altar. If we want to see a rain of God's Spirit, we must repair our altar. Our family altar, personal altar, church altar! We MUST cry out to Jehovah God in prayer.

#3 He then placed a sacrifice on the altar. The sacrifice that we need to put on the altar is ourself. Romans 12:1 tells us that we are a "living sacrifice". The problem with a living sacrifice is that we can crawl off the offering whenever we want to. I want to stay on the altar and allow God to purify me.

#4 After a simple prayer, the fire of God fell. Fire signifies purity. The fire of God will burn away ME if I stay on the altar. I need God to burn away the selfishness, pride, anger, lack of dependence on God...burn away ME so I will DECREASE so Jesus can INCREASE in me.

#5 Then the rain fell, for the first time in years. We love to talk about the rain of God's Spirit, but the fire of purity must be allowed to fall upon our life before the rain saturates us. The rain is much more enjoyable than the fire. Fire isn't comfortable as we confess, repent, admit we have been wrong. These things MUST happen BEFORE we experience the rain!

So, daily I want to declare "Elijah! My God is Jehovah." When faced with temptation..."Elijah!" When I feel alone..."Elijah!" When I am depressed, discouraged, mad, frustrated, helpless, at the end of my rope...declare "Elijah!"


"Lord, thank You for this Word today. I desperately crave a rain of Your Spirit in my life, but there are some things that I must do before that will happen in my life. I need to stop bowing to baal. I need to die to my flesh who tries to lead me to the feet of baal. I need to repair the altar in my life. It is so easy to just go through the motions in my devotional life. I want my daily time with You to be life changing, every single day. I want to crawl upon the altar, and stay there as Your Fire burns ME away so that Jesus can INCREASE in me. Burn purity into my life Lord. Then, Your rain will fall in my life. I declare today...ELIJAH! My God is Jehovah!" In Jesus name, amen!"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Salt or a "Moron"?


Matthew 5:13 (ESV) "You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet."

Matthew 5:13 (AMP) You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men."


If a seasoning has no flavor, it has no value. If Christians make no effort to affect the world around them, they are of little value to God. If we are too much like the world, we are worthless. Christians should not blend in with everyone else. Instead, we should affect others positively, just as seasoning brings out the best flavor in food.

Our Lord shows here what the preachers of the Gospel, and what all who profess to follow him, should be; the salt of the earth, to preserve the world from putrefaction and destruction.

But if the salt have lost his savor - That this is possible in the land of Judea, we have proof from Henry Maundrell (1600's theologian), who, describing the Valley of Salt, speaks thus: "Along, on one side of the valley, toward Gibul, there is a small precipice about two men's lengths, occasioned by the continual taking away of the salt; and, in this, you may see how the veins of it lie. I broke a piece of it, of which that part that was exposed to the rain, sun, and air, though it had the sparks and particles of salt, Yet It Had Perfectly Lost Its Savour: the inner part, which was connected to the rock, retained its savor, as I found by proof." See his Trav., 5th edit., last page. A preacher, or private Christian, who has lost the life of Christ, and the witness of his Spirit, out of his soul, may be likened to this salt. He may have the sparks and glittering particles of true wisdom, but without its unction or comfort. Only that which is connected with the rock, the soul that is in union with Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit, can preserve its savor, and be instrumental of good to others.

To be trodden underfoot - There was a species of salt in Judea, which was generated at the lake Asphaltites, and hence called bituminous salt, easily rendered vapid, and of no other use but to be spread in a part of the temple, to prevent slipping in wet weather. This is probably what our Lord alludes to in this place.


This verse really challenges me when I study the phrase "lost its taste", or in the KJV is says, "lost its savor". What does that mean? The Greek word is "moraĆ­no" from where we get the word "moron" or "fool". It means "to act foolishly, to prove a person or thing foolish; to make flat and tasteless".

This same Greek word is used in Romans 1:21-22 "For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (22) Claiming to be wise, they became fools" Again, this word "fools" is "moraino", "acting foolishly" or moronic!

The Bible says in Psalm 14:1 that "the fool has said in his heart there is no God." I have been reading a book about Christian Atheist, people who say they believe in God with their mouths, but in their hearts they really don't, so THAT belief effects their actions. They act as if there is no God in their daily walk in this life. Moronic, and a sad place to be.

Jesus told Christians that we must NOT lose our "savor" or "saltiness" or we would be used for nothing but "asphalt" for people to walk over and drive their carriages, or cars over. Jesus didn't pay the ultimate price for us to be "moronic". He didn't purchase us to act like a fool. He didn't sacrifice His life, body for us to lose our effectiveness, influence and witness for Him.

Too often, we act "moronic" when we get away from our Christian friends. In the USA there are too many people who say they LOVE our God, but hate His church and His people. Why? Because many have become "moronic", living as a fool that believes there is no God, in our hearts. So we have lost our influence and impact.

That must change. We must come running back to Christ and ask Him for forgiveness for being a moron (moronic), and help us to never again lose our "savor" or "saltiness" in our walk with Him. There will have to be some changes made. We may need to change our habits, our friends, our disciplines. But in the end, it will be worth it, and our world will be better off because of it!


"Jesus please forgive me for acting like a moron! Forgive me for allowing my life to lose its effectiveness for You. I am sorry for living, acting, talking like a fool that says there is no God in my heart. I choose today to come running back to You. I want to be SALT and not a MORON. In Jesus name, amen!"

Friday, August 26, 2011

"Cut the cord!"


Colossians 3:12-13 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. (13) Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.


What does it mean to put on your new nature? It means that your conduct should match your faith. If you are a Christian, you should act like it. To be a Christian means more than just making good resolutions and having good intentions; it means taking the right actions. This is a straightforward step that is as simple as putting on your clothes. You must rid yourself of all evil practices and immorality. Then you can commit yourself to what Christ teaches. If you have made such a commitment to Christ, are you remaining true to it? What old clothes do you need to strip off?

Every Christian is in a continuing education program. The more we know of Christ and his work, the more we are being changed to be like him. Because this process is lifelong, we must never stop learning and obeying. There is no justification for drifting along, but there is an incentive to find the rich treasures of growing in him. It takes practice, ongoing review, patience, and concentration to keep in line with his will.


Are you refusing to forgive someone for something that isn't half as bad as some of the stuff you've done? Forgive them, or you'll never be free to enjoy the relationship God wants you to have with them.

Are you struggling with a parent who abandoned or abused you? Forgive them and release them; otherwise you'll spend all your emotional energy keeping them in the prison of your resentment. Think what that will do to you! Whatever you don't forgive, you're destined to repeat! When you harbour bitterness, it causes you to keep striking out at others, and in the process, robs you of the joy of loving and being loved. What a loss! Betrayal is what someone does to you. Bitterness is what you do to yourself!

You're tied to the past through the umbilical cord of unforgiveness. When you forgive, you cut that cord. When you refuse to, you remain tied to a memory that can hurt you for the rest of your life. That's how issues pass from generation to generation. Rise up today and say, "It ends now, and it ends with me!"

Learn how to receive forgiveness from God and also from those you have hurt. Then, offer that same forgiveness to those who have hurt you. When you can do that, your heart will be tender, your spirit light, your mind free, your vision clear and your speech filled with kindness. What a way to live!

A group of doctors was asked which emotions cause the most physical illness. Their answer was "anger and unforgiveness," because over time they release deadly toxins into your body. That's why Paul says, "Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry" (Ephesians 4:26).

So, when you've been treated unfairly what should you do? Take these 4 steps:

Confront. There's a right time, place and way to do this. Before you do, pray and ask God to guide your thoughts and your words. Then say what's in your heart in a low-key, non-judgmental way. After that, leave the rest to God; He'll do a better job of changing things than you will.

Release it. Not only does God require us to forgive each other, He gives us the grace to do it. You may let someone off your hook but that doesn't mean they're off God's! He'll deal with them the right way and bring about the right result - something you can't do.

Remember how often God forgives you. Paul says, "Forgive… as the Lord forgave you." When you're tempted to lick your wounds or lash out, recall the price Jesus paid to take away your sins. Looking through those eyeglasses will help you to forgive anybody.

Pray for the offender. Forgiveness means refusing to let the wrongdoer keep on hurting you. God said, "Pray for those who hurt you" (Matthew 5:44). Without showing mercy, life becomes an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation. But as you walk in love, you experience freedom.


"Lord, thank you for reminding me of the importance of forgiveness. When I choose to forgive, I am making a decision to stop poisoning my spirit man. There are those who have wronged me, but I am so tired of being tied to my past through the "umbilical cord of unforgiveness." My prayer today is that I will 'dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. (13) Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.' I will live this way today. I choose to cut the cord, in Jesus' name, amen!"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Danger of Sexual sins


Proverbs 6:27 (ESV) Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?

Proverbs 6:27 (TM) Can you build a fire in your lap and not burn your pants?


Some people argue that it is all right to break God's law against sexual sin if nobody gets hurt. In truth, somebody always gets hurt. In the case of adultery, spouses are devastated and children are scarred. Even if the partners escape disease and unwanted pregnancy, they may lose their ability to fulfill commitments, to feel sexual desire, to trust, and to be entirely open with another person. God's laws are not arbitrary. They do not forbid good, clean fun; rather, they warn us against destroying ourselves through unwise actions or running ahead of God's timetable.


When we sin sexually (mentally or physically) we are sinning against our own bodies. Whether we can feel him or not, God’s Spirit lives in us. Our spirit is joined with his Spirit. Sexual sin attempts to unite God’s Spirit with whatever we’re having sex with. It could be a porn picture, a prostitute or even a person in our memory. Since our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, we are defiling God’s temple when we use our body for sexual sin. While researching for this blog, I came across some great info from that I felt compelled to share with everyone today.

Sexual sin produces consequences that will affect us deeply. Viewing porn is a form of sex sin committed through lust and idolatry. If you are looking at pornography, you are susceptible to the same consequences that result from other forms of sexual sin. The consequences may not be easily absolved, but God will forgive you of your sin through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

Whether you have already sinned, or are thinking about doing so, the point here is to encourage you not to sin. Here are some examples of the consequences of sex sin:

Sex sin defiles your body and damages its ability to fulfill God's purposes. Sex sin is unique in that we commit it against our own bodies (1 Corinthians 6:17). Our bodies function as temples of God's Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:12-20). When we use our body for sex sin, we dishonor our body and defile God's temple. We're also defiling the people that we are sinning with. Our lack of respect for the body (and for God) damages our relationship with God.

Sex sin grieves God's Spirit. Any sin we practice will grieve God's Spirit (Ephesians 4:31). It puts out the "fire" of the Holy Spirit in our life (1 Thessalonians 5:19). The more we quench God's Spirit, the less we will be inclined to live a changed life in righteousness.

Practicing sin forms a stronghold for evil in our lives. When we repeatedly sin, we give evil an increasingly protected place in our lives. The more we give in to our sinful lusts, the more they have control over us. Paul described this as slavery to sin in Romans 6:16. Sexual strongholds are particularly powerful, since they involve our body, soul and spirit. Thankfully, Jesus provided the means for us to break out of any stronghold and live for God in righteousness.

Sex sin can give evil spirits footholds to influence your life. Romans 1:28-32 provides a vivid account of how sexual promiscuity and idolatry opened the door to many other forms of evil. The Bible offers plenty of additional examples of sex sin and the ensuing consequences. Perhaps the most famous is David's sin with Bathsheba. His adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband produced family strife, the death of his son and opportunities for enemies to blaspheme God (2 Samuel 11-12).

Sex sin can bring spiritual confusion. Spiritual confusion begins when we start pursuing the pleasures of sin and disregard our conscience of right and wrong. The more we pursue sin, the more our conscience becomes dulled (1 Timothy 4:2, Titus 1:15). A dull conscience causes us to be susceptible to enemy's lies which will draw us progressively further from God (James 1:14). Eventually we may not even think our actions are sinful and our ability to repent can be hindered (Hebrews 6:1-8). Two examples of sex-related spiritual confusion are found in Romans and 1 Kings. The people in Romans 1:24-32 sinned through sexual immorality and idolatry and were filled with all kinds of evil. 1 Kings 11 illustrates how Solomon, the wisest person that ever lived, descended into spiritual confusion through sexual idolatry with his pagan wives.

Sex sin can cause emotional confusion. Sex creates emotional bonds ("soul ties") with our sex partner. These bonds will vary in strength depending on the relationship. God intended this emotional bond for marriage partners. When we bond with people other than our spouse through sex, emotional confusion results. This confusion can manifest in many ways. Here are some examples:

Recurring dreams and/or thoughts about former lovers
Inability to achieve emotional intimacy with spouse
Regret or bitterness toward people who hurt us in past relationships
Comparing our spouse with former lovers in sexual performance
Distorted understanding of true love (corrupted by lust or other selfishness)
Increased promiscuity, in attempt to find true intimacy and love
The danger of emotional confusion is that it can hold us back from experiencing true intimacy with our spouse and God. Emotional confusion can also act like a curse, fueling sex addiction and other struggles we may be having.

Sex sin causes lasting memories. Sex memories are created in our brains with the help of special hormones released during sexual arousal. The devil uses these memories to condemn us and keep us in bondage to lust. These memories can cause difficulties in our sexual relationship with our spouse. Here are some examples:

Our sexual experiences with our spouse are corrupted by thoughts of our former lovers or porn images we've viewed
We idolize past sexual partners...especially when we run into difficulties in our marriage
We feel less satisfied with our spouse's sexual performance
Our minds are conditioned to gratify our lusts through sex instead of showing true love and affection
We get angry and resentful when our spouse won't help us relive past sexual experiences or perform sex acts we've seen in porn

Thankfully, when we follow Jesus Christ, we receive power to overcome the memories, purify our minds and regain control of our thought-life.

Sex sin can expose us to sexually transmitted disease. Porn's sexual fantasies do not portray the reality that sexually transmitted diseases often accompany a life of promiscuity. There are many different kinds of sexually transmitted diseases, most of which bring unpleasant symptoms. The worst of these diseases, AIDS, can cause death.

Sex sin can destroy marriages and families. Adultery often destroys marriages and families. The husband and the wife will suffer emotional, spiritual and even physical damage when the bond of fidelity is broken. Major healing will be needed to repair the breach. Memories created during a marriage breakup can last the lifetime of the family and the effects can be felt for generations. Viewing pornography is a form of adultery (Matthew 5:28), and its potential to damage a marriage is real and significant. Too often it is justified as a harmless necessity by the addicted, suggesting that it is not as damaging as physical adultery. This is a lie!

Sex sin can lead to an unbridled pursuit of lust and perversion. Sex sin usually feeds a growing fire of lust in our minds. If we continue to feed that fire, we can easily drift further and further into decadence. Paul described this state as indulgence in every kind of impurity, with continual lust for more (Ephesians 4:19, Romans 1:24-28).

If you have already reaped these consequences, there is hope for recovery through Jesus. Though every consequence may not be completely removed, God can help you make the best of your circumstances, and get back on track in a life of happiness and blessing. If you allow a "fire to build in your lap" you will be burned!


“Lord God, I affirm my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I accept your ownership of my body. Please forgive me for any sin that I’ve yielded my body and mind to. I repent of it now. I present my body members to you now as instruments of righteousness to do your will today. Holy Spirit, please lead me in truth and strengthen me to walk in purity. Help me to daily check what is in my heart, and in my lap. Thank you, Lord! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Forgiveness is about GRACE


Ephesians 4:29-32 (TM) Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. (30) Don't grieve God. Don't break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don't take such a gift for granted. (31) Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. (32) Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.


We can bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit by the way we live. Paul warns us against unwholesome language, bitterness, improper use of anger, harsh words, slander, and bad attitudes toward others. Instead of acting that way, we should be forgiving, just as God has forgiven us. Are you bringing sorrow or pleasing God with your attitudes and actions? Act in love toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, just as God acted in love by sending his Son to die for your sins.
Paul said "Forgive each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." In other words God's forgiveness is underneath ours and creates it and supports it. So that if we don't give it to others-if we go on in an unforgiving spirit-what we show is that God is not there in our lives. We are not trusting him. And not trusting him will keep us out of heaven. And cause us to be handed over to the tormentors (Matthew 18)


What Is Forgiveness? Let me share with you, ten things that Forgiveness is:

1. Being aware of what they did, and still forgiving them.
2. Choosing to keep no records of what they did.
3. Refusing to punish them back.
4. Not telling others what they did.
5. Being merciful.
6. Gracious.
7. It is an inner condition and surrender of our wills to forgive.
8. It is an absence of bitterness.
9. It is forgiving God.
10. It is forgiving ourselves.

The Lord's Prayer says: “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Three hundred years ago Thomas Watson, asked regarding this verse: “When have we really forgiven others?”

We know we have forgiven when we…

1. Resist all thoughts of revenge: Romans 12:19 “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord.”
2. Don't seek to do them mischief: 1 Thessalonians 5:15 “See that no one repays another with evil for evil.”
3. Wish well to them: Luke 6:28 “Bless those who curse you.”
4. Grieve at their calamities: Proverbs 24:17 “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles.”
5. Pray for them: Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.”
6. Seek reconciliation with them: Romans 12:18 “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”
7. Be always willing to come to their relief: Exodus 23:4 “If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey wandering away, you shall surely return it to him.”

Here is forgiveness: when you feel that someone is your enemy or when you simply feel that you or someone you care about has been wronged, forgiveness means,
1. resisting revenge,
2. not returning evil for evil,
3. wishing them well,
4. grieving at their calamities,
5. praying for their welfare,
6. seeking reconciliation so far as it depends on you,
7. and coming to their aid in distress.

All these point to a forgiving heart. And the heart is all important Jesus said in Matthew 18:35-"unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

What, then, is forgiveness? The most important thing I can say is that forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. God never says, “Forgive them if you feel like it.” Forgiveness is not about your feelings. If you have been deeply hurt, you will probably never “feel” like forgiving someone. Forgiveness is a choice, a decision you make in your heart. It is a choice to release others from their sins against you. That's why I Corinthians 13:5 tells us that love keeps no record of wrongs.

Forgiveness means letting go of the anger and the desire for revenge. Seen in its true light, forgiveness is an act of mercy toward the offender. Sometimes we hear people say, “He doesn't deserve to be forgiven.” Of course he doesn't. No one “deserves” forgiveness.

Forgiveness isn't earned, and if a person could “earn” forgiveness, he wouldn't need it in the first place. It is a gift of mercy that you give to someone who has hurt you. But note this qualifier: The gift is given to the other person but it remains between you and God. The other person may never know about it. When you forgive, God knows and you know, and that's all that matters. And the end result is a change in the way you feel and act toward that other person.

Forgiveness is not about fairness, it's about grace.


"Lord, forgive me for the times I have had more passion about my hurt and offense than I do You. Forgive me for the times I have allowed my hurt feelings to effect my walk with You. Forgive me for the times I have not been salt and light to a lost and dying world because I have been consumed with my pain and anger. This morning I see that 'betrayal is what someone does to me, but bitterness is what I do to myself.' Today I make the choice, not by my feelings, but because of Your Word, and my love for You to release this stronghold on my RIGHT to be angry and hurt. You paid it all for me, the least I can do is to let go of this betrayal, in Jesus' name, amen!"

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nitpicking wears everyone out!


2 Timothy 2:14-16 Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God's people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out.


Paul urged Timothy to remind the believers not to argue over unimportant details ("fighting over words") or have foolish discussions because such arguments are confusing, useless, and even harmful. False teachers loved to cause strife and divisions by their meaningless quibbling over unimportant details. To explain the word of truth correctly, we must study what the Word of God says so we can understand what it means.


We're hardly surprised when God condemns profane, sinful words, saying they "come from an evil heart" (Matthew 15:18 NLT). But how about the "careless words" you speak without considering their effect on others? If you think He just winks at them, think again! Listen: "Every one… is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning… take them seriously" (Matthew 12:36 TM). Your words create or destroy, discourage or inspire, heal or hurt, so choose yours carefully today!

A wise person said, "Blessed are they who have nothing to say and who can't be persuaded to say it!" Careless words are often the meaningless chatter you engage in when you've nothing important to contribute. As harmless as they seem, the more you do it, the more likely they are to deteriorate into gossip and criticism. The Bible says we should be, "swift to hear, slow to speak" (James 1:19 NKJV). And Solomon adds, "Even fools are thought to be wise when they keep silent" (Proverbs 17:28 NLT). Would you trust someone who has a frivolous comment for everything?

Our verse today says that "pious nitpicking" chips away at the faith, and wears everyone out. Think about that for a moment. My words can either encourage someone who is battling or wear them out. They can either give hope to someone who is struggling in their faith, or cause them to want to give up. Have you ever been around anyone who wants to discuss about everything negative they can think about? Where you try to avoid discussing certain people because they are going to "go off" on them? I have, and it does wear you out! I want my words to be refreshing, not draining today! I want my words to strengthen someone's faith and not weaken it.

So, pause and think about what comes out of your mouth. Would you get more respect and cause less confusion if you kept it closed more often? Or were more discerning about the kinds of stories you tell? Or thought twice before 'shooting from the hip'? David prayed, "May the words of my mouth… be pleasing to You" (Psalm 19:14 NLT). Today make that your prayer too!


"Lord, truly my prayer today is that the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing to you. I want my words to refresh not drain. Please forgive me for my careless use of words at time. It is so easy for my flesh to jump right in and run off with my mouth before I realize that I am speaking "draining" words. Please forgive me, and I will not wear anyone out today by my words, in Jesus' name, amen!"

Friday, August 19, 2011

"Manna, Manna, Manna or Holy, Holy, Holy?"


Numbers 11:1-6 The people fell to grumbling over their hard life. GOD heard. When he heard his anger flared; then fire blazed up and burned the outer boundaries of the camp. (2) The people cried out for help to Moses; Moses prayed to GOD and the fire died down. (3) They named the place Taberah (Blaze) because fire from GOD had blazed up against them. (4) The riff-raff among the people had a craving and soon they had the People of Israel whining, "Why can't we have meat? (5) We ate fish in Egypt--and got it free!--to say nothing of the cucumbers and melons, the leeks and onions and garlic. (6) But nothing tastes good out here; all we get is manna, manna, manna."


The Israelites complained, and then Moses complained. But God responded positively to Moses and negatively to the rest of the people. Why? The people complained to one another, and nothing was accomplished. Moses took his complaint to God, who could solve any problem. Many of us are good at complaining to each other. We need to learn to take our problems to the One who can do something about them.

Every morning the Israelites drew back their tent doors and witnessed a miracle. Covering the ground was pale yellow, fluffy manna-food from heaven. But soon that wasn't enough. Feeling it was their right to have more, they forgot what they already had. They didn't ask God to fill their need; instead, they demanded meat, and they stopped trusting God to care for them. "Give us meat to eat!" (Numbers 11:13) they complained to Moses as they reminisced about the good food they had in Egypt. God gave them what they asked for, but they paid dearly for it when a plague struck the camp (Numbers 11:18-20; Numbers 11:31-34).

When you ask God for something, he may grant your request. But if you approach him with a sinful attitude, getting what you want may prove costly.


How does this apply to me?

Dissatisfaction comes when our attention shifts from what we have to what we don't have. The people of Israel didn't seem to notice what God was doing for them: setting them free, making them a nation, giving them a new land. They were so wrapped up in what God wasn't doing for them. They could think of nothing but the delicious Egyptian food they had left behind. Somehow they forgot that the brutal whip of Egyptian slavery was the cost of eating that food.

Before we judge the Israelites too harshly, it's helpful to think about what occupies our attention most of the time. Are we grateful for what God has given us, or are we always thinking about what we would like to have? We should not allow our unfulfilled desires to cause us to forget God's gifts of life, food, health, work, and friends.

The Children of Israel did just that however. They found themselves complaining about the "blessings of God." Every morning God would literally pour out blessings from heaven. They would look around and Manna from heaven was all around them. They became so accustomed to God caring for their needs, that their daily thanksgiving and praise slowly, and subtly turned to complaining. Then the words from their mouth and the meditation from their hearts were..."Manna, Manna, Manna."

How often does my attitude reflect the same disregard for the loving care of provision of God? "Manna, Manna, Manna" I may say in disgust, instead of what should flow from my mouth when I think of my awesome God... "Holy, Holy, Holy."


"Lord, I am so guilty of waking up in the morning and focusing immediately on the problems of the day instead of the potential. Focusing on the storm of the day instead of the peace. Focusing on the sickness of the day instead of the Healer. Focusing on the need of the day instead of the provider. Focusing on the battle for the day instead of the King of Kings. Focusing on the lack of today instead of the Lord for this day. I ask you to forgive me, for I truly repent of that kind of attitude. Every single day you bless me in ways that I often overlook. I find my attitude the same as the Children of Israel, and even though my words may not, my actions declare, "Manna, manna, manna." I choose today to be thankful. For I am a blessed man, who serves an awesome, loving, providing God. You are creative in the ways that you bless me and my family. I love you Lord, and thank you for this day. I will rejoice and be glad in it...and thankful! In Jesus' name, amen."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Reconciliation or Retaliation?


Ephesians 4:32 (ESV) Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32 (TM) Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.


This is Christ's law of forgiveness as taught in the Gospels (Matthew 6:14-15; Matthew 18:35; Mark 11:25). We also see it in the Lord's Prayer-"Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us" (Luke 11:4). God forgives us, not because we forgive others, but solely because of his great mercy. As we come to understand his mercy, however, we will want to be like him. Having received forgiveness, we will pass it on to others. Those who are unwilling to forgive have not become one with Christ, who was willing to forgive even those who crucified him (Luke 23:34).

We can bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit by the way we live. Paul warns us against unwholesome language, bitterness, improper use of anger, harsh words, slander, and bad attitudes toward others. Instead of acting that way, we should be forgiving, just as God has forgiven us. Are you bringing sorrow or pleasing God with your attitudes and actions? Act in love toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, just as God acted in love by sending his Son to die for your sins.


Fellowship without forgiveness is impossible. We MUST learn to forgive quickly and thoroughly. Holding a grudge against someone and REFUSING to thoroughly forgive is sin, and not only effects our relationship with that person, but effects other relationships, as well as our relationship with God the Father. He will not have an intimate relationship with anyone who refuses to forgive quickly and thoroughly.

The reason God tells us to forgive QUICKLY is because if you do not, a BITTER SPIRIT could develop. Listen to what God warns us about this bitter spirit:

Hebrews 12:14-17 Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you'll never get so much as a glimpse of God. (15) make sure no one gets left out of God's generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time. (16) Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God's lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. (17) You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God's blessing--but by then it was too late, tears or no tears.

Retaliation and revenge is truly trying to satisfy a SHORT-TERM appetite. Esau later regretted attempting to satisfy this type of appetite and you will as well. The sad thing about bitterness and RETALIATION is that it not only effects you, but others as well. I know people who are not in church today as adults because their parents couldn't get past hurts and bitterness' of the past. These same parents who couldn't get past the hurt, are now hurt because their grown children don't want to have anything to do with God. Why would they? They grew up with parents that never learned the importance of LETTING IT GO, and forgiving in Jesus' name. I have seen it time after time after time.

I plead with you today, strive for RECONCILIATION, not RETALIATION. The bitterness will suck the life out of you and your family. It simply isn't worth it, and you will regret it one day, just like Esau did. You can FORGIVE and move on TODAY, but it is your CHOICE.

As believers, we're called "to settle our relationships with each other." (2 Corinthians 5:18 MSG) We need to consistently forgive others and receive forgiveness from others, or we'll "give up in despair." (2 Corinthians 2:7 CEV)

Whenever we're hurt by someone, we have a choice to make: Will we focus on retaliation or reconciliation?

The Bible speaks candidly about settling the score: "Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else." (1 Thessalonians 5:15 NIV)

In God's economy, it's not enough to say we won't seek revenge; we're to press into the very heart of forgiveness, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave us. (Ephesians 4:32 NIV)

The Bible is very clear that forgiveness is not optional for the Christ-follower. God sets this high standard because he knows how much is at stake in your life: Bitterness and unforgiveness are a cancer that eventually will destroy you from the inside out. Forgiveness is the scalpel that removes the tumor.

This doesn't mean you'll always be able to immediately forgive and be done with it. As you become more and more Christ-like, that will become possible, but for now you may have to work at forgiving someone who has hurt you in a particularly painful way. In other words, you may forgive this person but soon begin to feel a root of unforgiveness growing in your heart.

When this occurs, you can go to King Jesus and ask him to help you with this cycle. He will help you release the offender, and the Holy Spirit will guide you in your effort.

A major point here is that forgiveness is a choice you can make. The power of God, working within you, means you no longer have to remain a slave to unforgiveness or bitterness.

In Colossians, the Apostle Paul provides the basis and motivation for forgiveness: "You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others." (Colossians 3:13 NLT, italics added). When we remember the price Jesus paid to forgive us, how can we not forgive? (Romans 5:8)

What now?

· When you forgive, you're not pretending it didn't hurt – Forgiveness means you no longer hold the offense against the offender. It means you've pardoned the debt, and you've intentionally chosen to release the one who hurt you. We're to love deeply, because "love covers over a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8 NIV)
· Stop right now and talk to God – Have an honest conversation with God about someone you need to forgive. Our heavenly Father knows that it's not easy to let go of our hurts, but he will give you the grace to forgive.
· Be honest with God – Cry out to God; tell him exactly how you feel. He won't be surprised or upset by your anger, hurt, insecurity, or bitterness.


"Lord, I ask and and believe that TODAY, even RIGHT NOW, You will give the inner strength to focus on RECONCILIATION and not RETALIATION. Retaliation is from the "god of this world" satan, but RECONCILIATION is from the God of my heart, Jesus Christ! We put our broken relationships, hurt feelings, and anger into Your capable hands and move on in victory and by faith. It is satan's plan to divide and conquer. He wants me to isolate myself from others. He wants you to quit church, even though that is COMPLETELY against Your Word, Lord. So, it is my choice TODAY to get off of the "TREADMILL" of no progress, just doing the same thing over and over and over. Lord, I am reminded that the definition of insanity is "doing the same things over and over and expecting different results." As I choose to get off of the treadmill of unforgiveness and retaliation, then I make another choice to get on the ROAD of great progress and choose to forgive. I know we can do it, Lord, because you promised that I "can do all things through Christ who strengthens you." In Jesus' name, amen!"

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Whispering Campaign


Act 13:49-14:3 And this Message of salvation spread like wildfire all through the region. (50) Some of the Jews convinced the most respected women and leading men of the town that their precious way of life was about to be destroyed. Alarmed, they turned on Paul and Barnabas and forced them to leave. (51) Paul and Barnabas shrugged their shoulders and went on to the next town, Iconium, (52) brimming with joy and the Holy Spirit, two happy disciples. (14:1) When they got to Iconium they went, as they always did, to the meeting place of the Jews and gave their message. The Message convinced both Jews and non-Jews--and not just a few, either. (2) But the unbelieving Jews worked up a whispering campaign against Paul and Barnabas, sowing mistrust and suspicion in the minds of the people in the street. (3) The two apostles were there a long time, speaking freely, openly, and confidently as they presented the clear evidence of God's gifts, God corroborating their work with miracles and wonders.


In Chapter 13 we find ourselves in the assembly at Antioch, and in the midst of the independent action of the Spirit of God. Certain prophets are there, Saul among them. They fasted and were occupied with the service of the Lord. The Holy Ghost commands them to separate unto Him Barnabas and Saul for the work to which He had called them Such was the source of the ministry of these two. Assuredly it bore testimony to Him in whom they had believed, and whom Saul, at least, had seen, and it was under His authority they acted; but the positive and obvious source of their mission was the Holy Ghost. It was the Holy Ghost who called them to the work. They were sent forth (Acts 13:4) by Him - an all-important principle as to the Lord's ways upon earth.

As they preach and teach the Word of God, people begin to stir up trouble and caused a large group of people to turn on Paul and Barnabas and forced them to leave. Paul and Barnabas dusted off the dust from their feet, or as the Message says, "shrugged their shoulders and went to the next town brimming with joy and the Holy Spirit, two happy disciples."


This truth speaks into my spirit man as I read over it again and again, and meditate upon it's truth. In spite of people turning on them (I'm certain that some of those that turned on them were some of their new found friends and converts), they were able to move on: without bitterness, without getting "mouthy", without feeling the need to retaliate, without trying to defend themselves, without becoming so offended that they stop working for God, without allowing their spirits to become poisoned, etc. I literally could go on and on.

The devil often uses a "whispering campaign" to do his work. He uses whatever available and willing vessel that he can. There are so many "carnal christians" (I used that term christian lightly) that he usually doesn't have a hard time finding someone willing to do his work. God takes a "trouble maker in the family" very serious. Listen to what Proverbs 6 says:

Proverbs 6:16-19 Here are six things GOD hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion: (17) eyes that are arrogant, a tongue that lies, hands that murder the innocent, (18) a heart that hatches evil plots, feet that race down a wicked track, (19) a mouth that lies under oath, a troublemaker in the family.

In the KJV it says, "he that soweth discord among brethren." The sower of discord, the troublemaker in the family is the one that God "loathes with a passion." In a whispering campaign the enemy uses people in a very covertly way. Phone calls, emails, text messaging, Face book, Twitter that very slyly put doubt in someone's mind about a person. My friends, this should not be happening among Christian men and women. If someone sends you a message via any vehicle of communication that puts a brother or sister or church down, please KNOW they are not being used of God but being used of the devil. We ALL have to search our hearts daily and declare to the Holy Spirit, "I will not allow my flesh to dictate and determine how I will be used today! I die to my flesh, my carnal nature!"

It is so easy when someone is treating me in an unkind manner to respond in the same way to them. Afterwards, I can allow guilt, anger, bitterness, discouragement, and even depression to come over me. It is very easy to think that because someone points out the negative in my life, to allow their negative to become a negative determent to my heart and spirit. My prayer today is that I will respond to attacks like Paul and Barnabas did. I want to be able to shrug my shoulders and continue on with what God has called and equipped me to do. I must refuse to allow anything or anyone to hinder me from "brimming with joy and the Holy Spirit".

May I walk out of conflict the way Paul and Barnabas did...they went on their way, following God's Spirit, "two happy disciples." As I go into the next chapter, I see that they faced conflict once again, as people sowed "distrust and suspicion in the minds of the people in the street." Isn't that just like the devil? He uses whomever will allow him to. And his plan is to hinder the gospel of Jesus Christ from being spread. However, if I respond like Paul and Barnabas I can expect to see "God corroborating their work with miracles and wonders" in spite of the conflicts and opposition.


"Lord, my prayer today is that you help me to understand that NO ONE has the power within their actions or words to keep me from brimming over with the joy of the Holy Spirit. No one but me. I ask you to help me to shrug off the attacks on my faith today. I ask you to help me shrug off the discouraging things that are constantly bombarding my mind. I ask you to help me shrug off the doubts that tell me my prayers will never be answered. I ask you to help me shrug off the fears that permeate my mind when I am attempting something for your name and glory. I ask you to help me to shrug off the whispers in my ear in the middle of the night that tries to tell me that this situation is too big for even God. I could go on and on, Lord, with the things that I need to shrug off today. As I shrug these hindrances off, may I also go on about the work and business that you have for me today. And as I do it, help me to walk through today, brimming over with the power and person of the Holy Spirit, and at the end of the day, may I still be a "happy disciple" for you. I know in my heart that you will corroborate your work with miracles in YOUR time. I love you Lord, and thank you for this day that you have made. I will continue to rejoice and be glad in it. In Jesus name, amen!"

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What's in your CROCK POT?


Psalm 1:1-6 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; (2) but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. (3) He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (4) The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. (5) Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; (6) for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.


You can learn how to follow God by meditating on his Word. This means spending time reading and thinking about what you have read. It means asking yourself how you should change so you will live as God wants. Knowing and thinking about God's Word are the first steps toward applying it to your everyday life. If you want to follow God more closely, you must know what he says.

This "law" means all of Scripture: the first five books of Moses, the Prophets, and the other writings. The more we know of the whole scope of God's Word, the more resources we will have to guide us in our daily decisions.

The people God blesses not only read the Word daily, but they study it, memorize it, and meditate on it during the day and night. Their mind is controlled by the Word of God. Because of this, they are led by the Spirit and walk in the Spirit. Meditation is to the soul what "digestion" is to the body. It means understanding the Word, "chewing on it," and applying it to our lives, making it a part of the inner person.

The nutritious benefit of food doesn't come in the "chewing" only. After chewing, I must then digest. To digest, I must swallow it, then the digestion begins to take place. It wouldn't be very beneficial if I chewed up my food then spit it out. In our habits with God's Word, if we just read our chapter "quota" for the day, that is chewing the Word. But if you do not deposit it into your mind, you are just spitting out what you chewed up. The benefit to your spiritually is then very minimal.


Very often, on Saturday nights, I will put a pot roast into our crock pot at home. I will brown the roast, put water, onion, different seasonings into the crock pot, then add the pot roast. It cooks all night long. Every single time, I will wake up early and get hungry because of the aroma that is filling my house as the crock pot does its job. I will get up, dress for church, and as I am preaching I begin to smell my pot roast. Why? Because the aroma has attached itself to my suit. So I preach hungry because of the constant aroma. That aroma affects my morning, my church going, my preaching, and after we eat the roast, the residual aroma is with us the next day. What I put in my crock pot ends up affecting my life for a couple of days.

My friends, that is really what meditating on God's Word is. Putting a Word from God into your mental, spiritual crock pot. You read God's Word, a verse jumps off of the page at you (Rhema Word) you read it again, and again. You think on it, you pray it out loud, you memorize it. Then throughout the day you are affected by the "aroma" that is coming from your spiritual crock pot. When you are talking with someone, you can't get away from that aroma that is percolating in your crock pot. You face a trial, but right as you are about to panic, you smell that aroma, you remember that Rhema Word that was deposited into your Spirit, and you are lead, affected, and blessed by that Word.

Every single day, when you are reading God's Word, you should not walk away from God's table until you have placed a Rhema Word in your crock pot that you come back to all day long. You think about it at night. The effects of it goes with you through the day and into the night. The aroma fills your home. It effects the way you talk to your family. It effects your attitude. Our text says that when you do this, you are blessed and like a tree planted by a stream of water that will bear much fruit! Wow, what a promise.

So, please read the Word, chew it up, but don't spit it out as soon as you have chewed it up. Don't forget about what you have read. Dwell on it (Crock pot), and let it effect your day today. Make sure you get something from God this morning in your Bible reading that will go with you all day. If someone asks you "What is God saying to you?" you should be able to immediately describe to them what you have in your spiritual "Crock Pot" today. You will be amazed at how much the Word interacts with you throughout the day!


"Lord, I am so thankful for Your Word. Thank You for giving me this analogy of the crock pot. Too often I read the Word, then symbolically spit it out after chewing it up (reading) and receive no spiritual nutrition from it. Today, I will place this Word in the crock pot of my mind, I will come back to it several times this day, and I know the Holy Spirit will bring it back to my thoughts several times this morning, afternoon, evening and in the middle of the night. Thank You for this truth! In Jesus' name, amen!"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Give GLORY to God


Psalm 100:1-5 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! (2) Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! (3) Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. (4) Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! (5) For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.


David tells us to acknowledge that the Lord is God! How can we do that? We acknowledge him when we shout our praises, appreciate his status as our Creator, accept his authority in every detail of life, enthusiastically agree with the guidance he gives us, and express our thanks for his unfailing love.

God is our Creator; we did not create ourselves. Many people live as though they are the creator and center of their own little world. This mind-set leads to pride, greed, idolatry, and if everything should be taken away, a loss of hope itself. But when we realize that God created us and gives us all we have, we will want to give to others as God gave to us (2 Corinthians 9:8). Then, even if all is lost, we still have God and all he gives us.

God alone is worthy of being worshiped. What is your attitude toward worship? Do you willingly and joyfully come into God's presence, or are you just going through the motions, reluctantly going to church? This psalm tells us to remember God's goodness and dependability, and then to worship with thanksgiving and praise!


This Psalm is teaching us to honor and recognize God's PRESENCE. To honor and give GLORY to God.

I believe “the glory of God” is the great unifying reality of the Bible and the universe. All is springing from and flowing toward the glory of God. All that is, is for the glory of God. The ultimate value in the universe is the glory of God, not the soul of man.

In Romans 1:21-23 you can see that two times Paul says that the fundamental, bottom-line, root problem with the human race has to do with what we make of the glory of God. In verse 21 Paul says, "Even though they knew God, they did not honor him [literally: glorify him]as God." That is the fundamental problem with the human race. We do not acknowledge, value, treasure, savor, honor, or make much of the greatest value in the universe, the glory of God. That is our wickedness and our disease and our great mutiny against God.

And then in verse 23 Paul puts it another way: "we exchange the glory of the incorruptible God for an image." So the great problem of the universe concerns what humans are making of the glory of God. This is the issue of your life and this culture and this country and this century and every century, and the issue of all the nations of the world. When Paul reaches to describe the depths of man's sinful condition under the wrath of God in Romans 1, he does not first deal with the sexual sins of verse 24-27 or the list of 21 sins in verses 29-31. He deals first with the fundamental problem: What do we make of the glory of God? Do we magnify it by treasuring above all things? Or do we belittle it by preferring other things and exchanging it for created things?

That my friend is what Psalm 100 is all about. Recognize, honor, give thanks to, praise, worship, declare the glory of God. To do this, we must be constantly aware of His Presence in our day to day life. Give Him Glory today!


"Lord, again forgive me for the times I have not recognized or honored Your presence in my life. Forgive me for the times I have not given You glory by failing to recognize worship, praise, or give thanks. This Psalm has convicted and taught me what I need to do every day to put my focus back on You. In Jesus' name, amen!"

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Aware of His Shadow and Presence


Psalm 91:1-2 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. (2) I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."


God is a shelter, a refuge when we are afraid. The writer's faith in God as protector would carry him through all the dangers and fears of life. This should be a picture of our trust-trading all our fears for faith in him, no matter how intense our fears. To do this we must "live" and "rest" with him (Psalm 91:1). By entrusting ourselves to his protection and pledging our daily devotion to him, we will be kept safe.

The verb to dwell means "to remain, stay, tarry, endure, have one's abode." It suggests continuance and permanence.

Jesus identifies His disciples as those who "abide" or "dwell" in Him through eating His flesh and drinking His blood (John 6:56). They also dwell in His Word (John 8:31). Above all else, they dwell in Him as branches dwell or abide in the vine (John 15:7-9). This abiding life, to live and remain in Jesus, is the New Testament counterpart to "dwelling in the secret place of the Most High." But what is that "secret place?" It is a "covering," a "hiding-place," a "shelter." It can refer to the temple (Psalm 27:5), but only because God's presence is there (Psalm 31:20).

This secret place is the intimacy of God's presence; it is our secure communion with Him. By dwelling or living in the surrender of un ceasing worship and prayer (1 Thess 5:16-17 ), we are like Moses, who was put in the cleft of the rock and covered with God's hand while His glory passed by (Exodus 33:22).

God's presence in verse Psalm 91:1 leads to His protection. The person who dwells in the secret place "shall abide ["lodge") under the shadow of the Almighty." The metaphor is that of a mother hen who gathers her chicks under her feathers. David prays, "Hide me under the shadow of Your wings, from the wicked who oppress me" (Psalm 17:8-0).

In response to God's promise in verse Psalm 91:1, the psalmist now gives his confession in verse Psalm 91:2. He will say to Yahweh, "He is my refuge and my fortress," or, better, in direct address: "God, my refuge and my fortress." The imagery here is military; God is his defensive position against all enemies. Moreover, He is personal, My God. The psalmist concludes, "in Him I will trust" ("feel secure, be unconcerned").

The theme of this psalm is now clearly established; God will give complete security and victory to the person who dwells in Him and puts his trust in Him. Intimacy and faith will bear this fruit in our lives.


Exodus 33:1-3 The LORD said to Moses, "Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, 'To your offspring I will give it.' (2) I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. (3) Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people."

God told them to go on to the land He had promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He would keep His promise and give them the land. He would drive out their enemies, but "I will not go with you." This is a stunning statement that stops you dead in your tracks. "In other words, 'you can have my promise, but not my presence.'"

I am afraid there are times we are move concerned about God's Promise than His presence. Moses declared later in Exodus 33, "Lord if you do not go with us then we do not want to go further. We don't want the Promised land without Your presence." May that be the cry of our heart today. May we not attempt to go forward without dwelling in the SHADOW of the Most High. To dwell in anyone's shadow, you have to be pretty close and AWARE of where that shadow is.

I believe God wants us to be aware of His Shadow and dwell there, so we will be aware of His presence today. Without God's presence I don't want to go forward!


"Lord, You truly are the air I breathe. You are my everything. Please forgive me for the times I haven't lived like that is the truth. I am so sorry for the times I have seemed more interested in Your PROMISE than Your PRESENCE. I want to dwell under Your Shadow today. I want to be very aware of Your presence. You allow me to go through somethings to remind me that You will never leave me nor forsake me. Thank You for that promise and reminder. In Jesus' name, amen!"

Monday, August 8, 2011



Psalm 3:1-8 O LORD, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; (2) many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. Selah (3) But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. (4) I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah (5) I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me. (6) I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. (7) Arise, O LORD! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked. (8) Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessing be on your people! Selah


Selah- This word is of very obscure meaning. It probably denotes rest or pause, both as to the music and singing, intimating something emphatic in the sentiment.

It is used 71 times by itself in the Psalms. It invites the reader to pause and to ponder (meditate) and reflect on the message, then to praise. One example is Psalms 3:2: "Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah." So every time I see selah it reminds me to pause, ponder and to praise.

In our text, David felt like he was in the minority. As many as 10,000 soldiers may have been surrounding him at this time (v. 6) did David's enemies view life differently, they actively sought to harm him. David was not sitting on his throne in a place of power; he was running for his life from his rebellious son, Absalom, and a host of traitors. When circumstances go against us, we may be tempted to think that God also is against us. But David reminds us that the opposite is true. When everything seems to go wrong, God is still for us. If a circumstance has turned against you, don't blame God-seek him!

As king, David could have trusted his army to defeat Absalom. Instead, he depended upon God's mercy (v. 4); therefore, he was at peace with whatever outcome occurred, knowing that God's great purposes would prevail. We can overcome fear by trusting God for his protection in our darkest hour.


Sleep does not come easily during a crisis. David could have had sleepless nights when his son Absalom rebelled and gathered an army to kill him. But he slept peacefully, even during the rebellion. What made the difference? David cried out to the Lord, and the Lord heard him. The assurance of answered prayer brings peace. It is easier to sleep well when we have full assurance that God is in control of circumstances. If you are lying awake at night worrying about what you can't change, pour out your heart to God, and thank him that he is in control. Then sleep will come.

David had learned the importance of Selah: pause, ponder, and praise. My friends, too often we lose sleep, lose our health, lose our peace because we never take the time to pause, ponder and praise. Or when we do pause, we ponder on the wrong things, and those thoughts do not lead to praise but to worry and complaints. We must bring selah back into our life if we are going to walk in peace, and joy.

There are so many things that are attacking the faith, hope and trust of God's people today. We are so busy we do not have regular selah moments.

Look at our texts again, and you can see these the three "P's" of Selah:

O LORD, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; (2) many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. Selah (Pause)

(3) But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. (4) I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah (Ponder)

I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me. (6) I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. (7) Arise, O LORD! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked. (8) Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessing be on your people! Selah (Praise)

True selah's always lead to pause, ponder, praise.

Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"

Exodus 14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.

Every morning, before my day gets going, I need a selah in my life: pause, ponder, praise. Pause and think of God's goodness, grace, and greatness. Ponder His Word, worth, and ways. Praise His Nature, Name, and nurturing. Selah!


"Lord, too often my day is filled with activity as I rush from task to task. If I do not have these intentional still times in the morning, my next still moment will be when I crawl in to bed this evening. I purposely will look for at least three selah moments today where I pause, ponder, and praise. Holy Spirit please prompt me, and help me as I change my habits beginning today. In Jesus' name, amen!"