Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bitterness is lethal


2 Samuel 17:1-4 Now Ahithophel urged Absalom, “Let me choose 12,000 men to start out after David tonight. I will catch up with him while he is weary and discouraged. He and his troops will panic, and everyone will run away. Then I will kill only the king, and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride returns to her husband. After all, it is only one man’s life that you seek. Then you will be at peace with all the people.” This plan seemed good to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel.


King David is being run out of the palace and place of authority by his own son. Absalom covets his dads authority and position. He also has anger and bitterness towards his dad.  He had gone to a great effort to act on his bitterness and hatred towards his dad.  He had horses and chariots, runners, and an entourage. 

It is possible that having a chariot and horses and an entourage of fifty runners could be construed as official language for status as either a king or the heir to the throne. The chariots featured two yoked horses with one or two others harnessed beside. Two spoked, wooden wheels on a rear axle supported a small platform occupied by a driver and rider equipped with bow and spear. The sides only went up to midthigh on the standing occupants. The word used here suggests an ornamental chariot of the sort used both in Egypt and Mesopotamia. The luxury transportation of the day, these were typically gilded with all variety of gold, lapis lazuli and precious stones.

Those who run before chariots proclaim the presence of the king or prince and protect his person. In Hittite texts the gods are said to run before the king's chariot leading to victory. The men who run before the king's chariot function as heralds. Fifty was a regular unit within the military. Having such an entourage gave Absalom a bodyguard as well as the rank of captain. Wherever he went, his fifty runners would have raised attention and given credence to his claim to his status as heir apparent.

When a prince wishes to displace his father the king, it is inevitable that he will attempt to undermine the king's authority with public statements about corruption or governmental malpractice. For example, the Ugaritic king Keret is denounced by his son for not hearing the cases of widows, the poor or the oppressed. Absalom employs this same strategy, taking advantage of a lack of leadership on David's part (failure to appoint judges) and of growing discontent among the northern tribes. In addition to offering them a model of efficient administration of justice, Absalom also plays the “common man,” not allowing supplicants to bow to him but kissing them as an equal or friend.


Bitterness, covetousness, unforgiveness and anger are very dangerous and can be lethal to relationships. It is hard to imagine that Absalom was so full of bitterness that he approved his own dad being murdered. 


"Lord, please help me be aware of any and all areas of unforgiveness and bitterness in my life. Search me oh God, and know my thoughts I pray. See if there be any wicked way within me. In Jesus' name, amen"

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Receiving more than we ask for

But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” (Acts 3:6 NLT)


Peter and John were going into the temple to pray as was their usual custom. On the way into the temple, a lame man began to beg for some money. Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said to the man, "look at us". The Bible says the man looked expecting to receive some money.

Peter told the man we do not have any money for you, but I have something that I will give you, and Peter reached out his hand to the man and said rise and walk. The man reached out his hand grabbed Peter's hand, and began to walk.


Peter had to have something before he could give it. He didn't have money to give to the man, but he had something much, much better...a miracle. This beggar no doubt got up that morning hoping that he would receive some money to help him buy some food, or whatever else he may have needed. But instead he received a healing, where he could walk and work without having to beg anymore. He received much more then he asked for.

James says that we have not because we ask not. May we not be afraid to ask the Lord for whatever we have need of, regardless of how large and impossible it may seem to us.


"Lord, thank you for this lesson from your word today. May I be like Simon Peter and always have something greater than money to give to people. May I walk in your blessing, favor and anointing. I want to always ask in spite of how large or impossible my situation may seem to me. Lord you are the God of the impossible. Thank you for this word of encouragement that has lifted my faith and given me hope. In Jesus's name, amen!"

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Whose in charge?


Mark 4:37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 


The "lake" is the Sea of Galilee, a body of water 680 feet below sea level and surrounded by hills. Winds blowing across the land intensify close to the sea, often causing violent and unexpected storms. The disciples were seasoned fishermen, who had spent their lives fishing on this huge lake, but during this squall they panicked. 

The Christian life may have more stormy weather than calm seas. The disciples needed rest, but they encountered a terrible storm. As Christ's follower, be prepared for the storms that will surely come. Do not surrender to the stress, but remain resilient and recover from setbacks. With faith in Christ, you can pray, trust, and move ahead. When a squall approaches, lean into the wind and trust God. 


I would like to share with you some thoughts from Max Lucado on this subject: 

When the restaurant waiter brings you a cold hamburger and a hot soda, you want to know who is in charge. When a young fellow wants to impress his girlfriend, he takes her down to the convenience store where he works and boasts, "Every night from five to ten o’clock, I’m in charge." We know what it means to be in charge of a restaurant or a store, but to be in charge of the universe? This is the claim of Jesus. 

There are many examples of Jesus’ authority, but I’ll just mention one of my favorites. Jesus and the disciples are in a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee. A storm arises suddenly, and what was placid becomes violent—monstrous waves rise out of the sea and slap the boat. Mark describes it clearly: "A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped" (Mark 4:37 NIV). 

It’s very important that you get an accurate picture, so I’m going to ask you to imagine yourself in the boat. It’s a sturdy vessel but no match for these ten-foot waves. It plunges nose first into the wall of water. The force of the waves dangerously tips the boat until the bow seems to be pointing straight at the sky, and just when you fear flipping over backward, the vessel pitches forward into the valley of another wave. A dozen sets of hands join yours in clutching the mast. All your shipmates have wet heads and wide eyes. You tune your ear for a calming voice, but all you hear are screams and prayers. All of a sudden it hits you—someone is missing. Where is Jesus? He’s not at the mast. He’s not grabbing the edge. Where is he? Then you hear something—a noise … a displaced sound … as if someone is snoring. You turn and look, and there curled in the stern of the boat is Jesus, sleeping! 

You don’t know whether to be amazed or angry, so you’re both. How can he sleep at a time like this? Or as the disciples asked, "Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?" (Mark 4:38 NIV). 

The very storm that made the disciples panic made him drowsy. What put fear in their eyes put him to sleep. The boat was a tomb to the followers and a cradle to Christ. How could he sleep through the storm? Simple—he was in charge of it. 

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples,"Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" (Mark 4:39–40 NIV) 

Incredible…Is it any wonder the disciples were willing to die for Jesus? Never had they seen such power; never had they seen such glory. It was like, well, like the whole universe was his kingdom. 

It’s only right that they declare his authority. It’s only right that we do the same. And when we do, we state without question: The ruler of the universe rules our hearts. He truly is the Master of not only the wind, but of the universe! 


"Lord, I am so thankful that You are not only the Master of the wind, but of every situation that I face. I choose to stay close to You today through prayer, Bible study, and meditation. Help me to remember this Word and story as I face whatever this day holds. In Jesus' name, amen!" 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

But God...


2 Corinthians 1:8-9 We don't want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn't think we were going to make it. (9) We felt like we'd been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally--not a bad idea since he's the God who raises the dead!


Paul does not give details about their hardships in Asia, although his accounts of all three missionary journeys record many difficult trials he faced (Acts 13:2-14:28; Acts 15:40-21:17). He does write that they felt that they were going to die and realized that they could do nothing to help themselves—they simply had to rely on God.

We often depend on our own skills and abilities when life seems easy and only turn to God when we feel unable to help ourselves. But as we realize our own powerlessness without him and our need for his constant help in our lives, we come to depend on him more and more. God is our source of power, and we receive his help by keeping in touch with him. With this attitude of dependence, problems will drive us to God rather than away from him. Learn how to rely on God daily.


Paul said he went through somethings where he didn't know if he was going to make it through or not. There were times where he was imply in the dark when it came to when, where or how he was going to make it through this dark time in his life. Dark times...dark nights...are tough. Our faith is challenged. Our trust in God is tested. Paul's words and testimony show once again that even when we are in the dark about our situation, God, who is Light, knows exactly where we are. How often do we read in God's Word that it seemed like there was no way out, BUT GOD....

Are you in the dark about the direction God seems to be leading you?

Jon Walker says, "The choice to do His will before we know the specifics... develops trust of His character. This is where many people get into a battle of wills, wanting Him to reveal His plan first. That's not how He works. God wants you to decide in advance to trust Him, believing that His will is best for your life. He knows your hesitancy. He won't be surprised if you say, 'I don't know that I'm willing to step out in faith without knowing everything that's going to happen, but I'm willing to be made willing.' One reason God doesn't give you the full picture... is you may be overwhelmed... it may appear impossible... but that's the point - there's no way you can fulfil your mission without Him."

When Joseph was reunited with his brothers in Egypt, he told them, '... do not be angry with yourselves... it was not you who sent me here, but God... ' (vv. 5-8). Joseph's brothers sold him out, 'but God' used it to preserve the Jewish race. The Israelites were in slavery, 'but God' sent Moses to lead them to the Promised Land. Jesus died on the cross, 'but God' used His death to save a lost world. Oswald Chambers calls God 'The Great Engineer, creating circumstances to bring about moments... of divine importance, leading us to divine appointments'. Think back; can't you recall some 'but God' moments of your own where you'd reached the end of your rope and He came through for you?


"Lord, you know exactly where I am today, even if I do not. There are times that I am in the dark but I know you are not. I am facing a situation today that is testing my faith and trust. I am so thankful that I have seen time and time again YOU come through for me. I have many "but God" testimonies in my life. This will be another one! In Jesus name, amen!"

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Crushed by words


Job 19:1-3 Then Job replied: (2) "How long will you torment me and crush me with words? (3) Ten times now you have reproached me; shamelessly you attack me.


Violence begets violence. Job expected his friends to help him. Instead, they turn into his tormentors. The issue is between him and God, not between him and them. Why do they add to his torture?

With all of the supports of the past and the present taken from him, Job can appeal only to the future. If only he could engrave his case in stone, he knows that ultimately he will be vindicated. Suddenly, in a flash of prophetic insight, Job knows that God is alive and will be his redeemer as well as his mediator and vindicator. While he is yearning for that moment, the reality of his torment takes over again. Turning back to his friends, he warns them that they too are open to God's wrath because of their cruelty toward him. The initiative now belongs to Job.


As I read the text this morning, verse two troubled me, "how long will you torment me and crush me with your words?"

Job is going through a crisis like very few have ever known. All of his children had died, he had lost all of his wealth, as well as his health. His wife was blaming God and telling him that he should just "curse God and die!"

At least he had friends...but his friends who had come to comfort him are not being very comforting. They are tormenting him and crushing him with their words. They weren't very symphathetic, nor were they encouraging.

The Japanese have a saying: "One kind word can warm up three winter months." In the book of Acts, Barnabas speaks words of encouragment to a young man by the name of John Mark. He reached out to him to encourage him. Don't we all need that?

So many times God can use you to reach out to somebody. You know all of us find stress and difficulty in life and you can speak a word to a person, do something for them, believe in them, reach out and meet a physical need.

Sometimes, just a note. You know a written thing is sometimes better than a verbal one and I'll tell you why. Because when you write it you'll probably express your feelings better and the recipient will have it to go back to when he needs it and read it again. I know when you get a written word of encouragement, you keep it. When you get a note that tears you up, you tear it up. The human heart needs encouragement and Barnabas was a man who knew how to do it. Job's friends had no idea how to do it. Quite the contrary actually.

What a contrast. Job being tormented and crushed by the words of his "friends" and John Mark receiving booster shots of encouragment from Barnabas early in his career.Mark had a problem and Barnabas said, "Let me help you fix it."

My question today is, "Are you a Barnabas type of person, or a Job's comforter type of person?" Do people feel refreshed after being around you, or drained? Are you careful with your words or careless?

I pray that no one will ever say of me that my words have "crushed them" or "tormented them" because of my lack of compassion. I want to be an encouragement to everyone that God brings my way today. As you read this, why not ask the Lord, "who can I encourage today" through a text message, facebook, or email. Being careful applies to Facebook and Twitter as well. 

Help us Lord!


"Lord, forgive me for the times that my words have tormented or crushed. That is not Your purpose or will for my life. Help me today to be an encouragment to someone. In Jesus' name, amen!"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Focusing on the Giver and not the gift


Judges 8:27 "Gideon made a sacred ephod from the gold and put it in Ophrah, his hometown. But soon all the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping it, and it became a trap for Gideon and his family."


Gideon was asked to be the ruler over the Israelites and he refused saying that the Lord would rule over them. He asked everyone to bring gold to him. Gideon made an ephod but before long, the Israelites began to worship the ephod.

Those who were very wealthy put ornaments on their camels as a way of displaying their riches. Women wore vast amounts of jewelry as well, often up to 15 pairs of earrings. Jewelry was also worn for good luck. After Gideon's rise to power, he seems to have become carried away with this accumulation of wealth. Eventually it led the Israelites to idolatry.

An ephod was a linen garment worn by priests over their chests. It was considered holy (Exodus 28:6-35; Exodus 39:2-24; Leviticus 8:7-8). Gideon probably had good motives for making the ephod (a visible remembrance commemorating the victory). Unfortunately, the people began to worship the ephod as an idol. Sadly, many decisions that stem from good motives produce negative results. Perhaps no one stops to ask, "What might go wrong?" or "Is there a possibility of negative consequences?" In your plans and decisions, take time to anticipate how a good idea might lead to a potential problem.


It is so easy to began to think more of the blessings from God and rarely think of the God from whom the blessing flows. what if Dorinda celebrated the wedding band I gave her but never talked about me, her husband, the one who gave her the ring? I am thankful for the blessings but I must always remember the One who blessed me. Worship the Giver not the gift. The Healer not the healing. The Savior not salvation. The Restorer not restoration. The Deliverer not deliverance. The Joy giver not joy. The Prince of peace not the peace. The Reconciler not renconciliation. The Baptisizer not the baptism. The Lover not love. The Life giver not life. The Rescuer not the rescue. The Conqueror not the conquer. The Forgiver not forgiveness. The Supplier not the supply. The Commander not the commands. The Soon coming King not the second coming. 

"Help me Jesus to always worship You and not the things You bless me with.  To stay focused on the GIVER and not the GIFT. In Jesus' name, amen"

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What one generation NEGLECTS the next one REJECTS

Judges 2:10  After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.
One generation died, and the next did not follow God. Judges. 2:10-3:7 is a brief preview of the cycle of sin, judgment, and repentance that Israel experienced again and again. Each generation failed to teach the next generation to love and follow God. Yet this was at the very center of God's law (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). 

It is tempting to leave the job of teaching the Christian faith to the church or Christian school. Yet God says that the responsibility for this task belongs primarily to the family. Because children learn so much by our example, the home offers the most effective place to pass on the faith to the next generation.


When Joshua's generation died out, the next generation lacked that personal knowledge of God which is the heart of biblical faith and quickly forgot all that He had done for their nation. This is a "generation gap" of the most profound and challenging kind, and, as usual, both sides were to blame. There is always a parental responsibility to pass on a living testimony of the reality of God's grace and power to our children. They have the right not only to be taught the truth but to see it embodied in godly leadership and example, both within the family and the church. 

Please read again what God told His people in the following verses:
Deuteronomy 6:4-9  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  (5)  Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  (6)  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  (7)  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  (8)  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  (9)  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

God was letting His people know the importance of teaching their children about WHO God is, and WHAT He had done for them.  Somehow, some way, the children of Israel failed in this miserably.  

Our verse for today is one of the most challenging in the Bible for me.  Another generation GREW UP not knowing God, nor His works.  What have my kids grown up seeing?  Do they see the importance of Jesus in my life?  For you see, what one generation neglects, the next one quite possibly will reject.  So the challenge for me today is, in my relationship with God, what am I neglecting, that may cause my kids and grandkids to reject?  
If attending church is only a possibility for me, I shouldn't be surprised when it isn't a priority for my children when they are grown.  When I sometimes serve the Lord, I shouldn't be shocked when my kids have nothing to do with Him in later  years.  Again, what one generation neglects, the next one very likely rejects.  

On the other hand, if I neglect allowing this world to conform me, then I believe my kids will reject that pull as well.  The bottom line is, I am a major influence in my kids and grandkids life, how am I using that influence to prepare them for life?  It is something to meditate on.


"Lord, what a troubling verse today.  A generation grew up, and didn't know who You were, nor what You had done in the lives of Your children.  It is hard to imagine that parents didn't pass down Your faithfulness to their kids.  Before I give the Israelites too hard of a  time, I need to look at my own life.  I want to make sure I am daily talking about WHO You are and WHAT You have done in my life.  It is my parental obligation and joy to do so.  I want to be salt and light to my children so they will not have a tough time remembering who You are and what you can do when they face difficult times when I am no longer around.  In Jesus' name, amen!"

Monday, June 25, 2012

Do you believe this?

John 11:25-27  Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,  (26)  and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"  (27)  She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world."
The common belief of Judaism in this period was that the dead would be raised bodily at the end; indeed, Pharisees considered those who denied this doctrine (specifically Sadducees) to be damned for doing so.

The time and consolation of an important religious teacher who had come a long distance would be especially meaningful, though local students and teachers of the law joined in funeral processions when it was possible for them to do so. Greek and Roman philosophers emphasized sobriety and remaining calm and untroubled by bereavement; Jesus prefers the traditional Jewish form of expressing grief.
Jesus tells Martha,  "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

Martha answers, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world." 

Jesus is telling Martha that He can raise the dead miraculously, right now.  And asks Martha if she believed this.  Martha assured Jesus that she believed He was the Son of God, the Messiah.  She didn't mention whether she believed specifically whether Jesus could do the miraculous for her brother.  

As I contemptlated this, I begin to think of reasons that she stopped just short of saying, "Yes Lord, I believe You can miraculously raise the dead, particularly my brother!"

Maybe the problem seemed too big.  Maybe she couldn't get past the offense of Jesus not coming sooner.  Or maybe it was because she had never seen the dead raised before.  Whatever the case may have been, we know she believed in Jesus, she just wasn't sure that He could do what He said He could do.

Too often we are like that.  We believe Jesus for salvation, forgivness for our sins, but stop just short of believing that He can work the miraculous in our life.  Maybe you are addicted to drugs, alcohol, pornography, or you believe Jesus can miraculously deliver you?

What about the disease in your body?  Do you believe He can heal you? Fear?  Worry?  Depression?  Broken family? Finances?  

Jesus is truly the same yesterday, today and forever.  He is still in the miracle working business.  Do you believe?  "Yes Lord I believe, help me in my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24)
"Lord, I am trying to believe, I really am.  But there are times the situation seems so great, that I can't help but struggle with unbelief. Like the father of Mark 9:24 I declare 'Lord I believe, but help my unbelief!' I know the struggle.  I have often been in the midst of it.  I understand Martha stopping just short of complete belief in Your ability to perform the supernatural.  I want to believe...I really do, but at times I struggle with unbelief.  I thank You that You are still working on me! I believe Lord! Help my unbelief today.  In Jesus' name, amen!"

Friday, April 20, 2012

Reports about Jesus

Mark 5:25-27  And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years,  (26)  and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.  (27)  She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment.
This woman had a seemingly incurable condition causing her to bleed constantly. This may have been a menstrual or uterine disorder that would have made her ritually unclean (See Leviticus 15:25-27) and excluded her from most social contact. She desperately wanted Jesus to heal her, but she knew that her bleeding would cause Jesus to be unclean under Jewish law if she touched him. Sometimes we feel that our problems will keep us from God. But he is always ready to help, no matter how impossible the problem seems to us. We should never allow our fear to keep us from approaching him.
What cause this lady to have hope again?  She had this problem for 12 years, she had suffered much under a lot of different doctors.  She had spent all she had, but was getting worse.  Surely all hope was gone.  Surely she had given up hope a long time ago.

But what happened?  What caused her to get out of bed, put her clothes on, get outside and walking towards Jesus?  What caused her hope to come alive?  It is seen in verse 27:

"She had heard the reports about Jesus..."

She came to Jesus with expectations:

"If I touch even His garments, I will be made well."

Again, why hope?  Why were expectations so high about Jesus?  

"She had heard the reports about Jesus..."

Someone was excited about Jesus. 
Someone had seen what Jesus could do.
Someone couldn't help but share about Jesus' touch.
Someone refused to keep Jesus to themself.
Someone was used of God to spread the Good News.
Someone had a part in this miracle.
Someone brough encouragement.
Someone breathed life into this hopeless lady.
Someone made an eternal difference.
Someone affected generations to come.
Someone became a part of God's Word.

This lady received her miracle because reports she had heard about Jesus.  Who have I impacted with reports of Jesus? Have I told anyone lately?  Have I shown anyone lately?  Have I influenced anyone lately?  It's time to start a report!
"Lord, forgive me for the times I have not shared Jesus with anyone.  For the times You have done miraculous things in my life, and I am silent.  For the times I attend church, and do not invite anyone to come with me.  I want to change, and make the decision to change. I want to spread good reports about You, Jesus. I want to affect someone for eternity.  In Jesus' name, amen!"

A Covenant with God!

Genesis 15:7-9  And he said to him, "I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess."  (8)  But he said, "O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?"  (9)  He said to him, "Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon."
As in the case in Jeremiah 34:18, where a covenant ritual is represented by passage between the severed body of a sacrificial animal, here Abram is given the “sign” of the covenant promise for which he asked. Each “three-year old” animal (calf, goat, ram, dove, pigeon, the same animals featured in the sacrificial system described in Leviticus) is cut in half, although the body sections of the birds are not separated. 

Second-millennium Hittite texts use a similar procedure for purification, while some first-millennium Aramaic treaties use such a ritual for placing a curse on any violation of the treaty. Texts from Mari and Alalakh feature the killing of animals as part of the ceremony of making a treaty. Walking through this sacrificial pathway could be seen as a symbolic action enacting both the covenant's promise of land and a curse on the one who violates the promise, though interpreters have wondered what significance a self-curse could possibly have for God. Abram's driving away the birds of prey further symbolizes the future protection from their enemies when they take possession of the land.
Are you discouraged because a breakthrough that you have been praying for has yet to come to pass? Maybe it has been days or even weeks and you are asking, "How will I know that the victory is coming?" Abraham faced the same situation and asked God the same question. And God answered, "Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtle- dove, and a young pigeon." What a strange answer!
But if you read on (Genesis 15:10-21), you will realize that God took Abraham's question very seriously, and went on to show him just how serious He was about being his provider, protector and prosperity-giver. God was so serious that He was willing to bind Himself to a covenant.
What is a covenant? It is like a contract. Yet, it is more than a contract. A contract is binding only for a period of time, like five years or seven years, or until certain terms are fulfilled. But a covenant is perpetual. It is permanent. The only way out is through death. That is why marriage is a covenant, not a contract. It is permanent - "Till death do us part".
That's why God said in Deuteronomy 9:13-14  "Furthermore, the LORD said to me, 'I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stubborn people.  (14)  Let me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven. And I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.'

God was going to make the Covenant void and nullified by killing the Israelites, and start all over with Moses descendants.  God binds Himself to the Coveant He has with His people.

In Bible times, when you cut a covenant with someone, you bring an animal, usually a ram or goat, and kill it by cutting it in two. Next, you will face your covenant partner and walk toward each other between the two pieces of the animal, passing each other in the center.
What all this means is that both parties are obligated to protect and provide for each other. Whatever belongs to you is your partner's and whatever belongs to your partner is yours. Of course, the one who benefits is the lesser or poorer party.
Today, God is in covenant with us. We are the lesser, poorer party. We have nothing to offer God. But God, the richest and most powerful being in the universe, has everything to offer us!
God has bound Himself to a covenant,an iron-clad guarantee of His blessings and provision in your life, and it is all for your benefit. The breakthrough you are waiting for is guaranteed by covenant!

A few of His Covenant names are:  Jehovah-Jireh (provider); Jehovah-Shalom (Peace); Jehovah-Nissi (banner); Jehovah-Ropheka (Healer)!
"Lord, I am so thankful for the Coveant You made with all of mankind by allowing Jesus to die on the cross.  I thank You for binding Yourself to that Covenant. I must always remember WHO You are, and WHAT You have promised to those You are in Coveant with.  In Jesus name, amen!"

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Be Careful! Beware!


Deuteronomy 8:10-11 When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the LORD your God for the good land He has given you. (11) "But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the LORD your God and disobey His commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today.


This verse is traditionally cited as the reason we say grace before or after meals. Its purpose, however, was to warn the Israelites not to forget God when their needs and wants were satisfied. Let your table prayers serve as a constant reminder of the Lord's goodness to you and your duty to those who are less fortunate.


In times of plenty, we often take credit for our prosperity and become proud that our own hard work and cleverness have made us rich. It is easy to get so busy collecting and managing wealth that we push God right out of our lives. But it is God who gives us everything we have, and it is God who asks us to manage it for him.

We are warned in this passage to be careful, and beware. Of what? Becoming satisfied with the gift of God and forgetting the Giver who is God.

We are truly blessed. We have plenty of food, clothing, cars, electronics, homes. Compared to the rest of the world, we live a life of luxury. In the midst of this luxury, we have to be careful that we do not forget the God who gave us these luxuries. We must beware that we could very easily begin to worship the gift rather than the Giver. The creation instead of the Creator. The abundance rather than the Abundant One. The bounty in place of the Bountiful One. Propserity in place of the Prosperous One.

In the midst of all of our blessings, we could very easily take more pleasure in what we have, then Who gave it to us. Beware! Be Careful! Put God back at the forefront of your life, mind, attitude, thoughts, prayers, and thankfulness. He is the One who blessed you. We must never forget that. But too often, we have.


"Lord, please forgive me for the tmes I have worshipped the gift more than the Giver. I am so sorry for the times I have turned to what You have blessed me with in times of trouble, more than I have turned to You. Thank You for this reminder today. I love You and my heart is full of graitude and thanksgiving to the Giver of abundant life. Help this Word to stay with me from now on. In Jesus name, amen!"