Test of Integrity

September 18th, 2014

In the marketplace we find those who specialize, perfecting skills thru personal discipline and commitment to professional standards. For them, treachery is best defined when, just as years of hard work have just begun to pay off, their efforts are undermined or motives misrepresented . . . the sale is lost or the deal does not go thru and their integrity may be all that remains.

In such times the Lord sends His challenge to the heart of these achievers – an offer of divine strength to carry them through; the Lord comes to them – He stands with them – so their integrity is not just a valued commodity and far-reaching influencer but also a predictor of what will follow.

When the opposition’s treachery breaks years of solid building, the Lord steps in as a shield around you — you need a Savior and He becomes your salvation. Set the Lord before you. He is at your right hand.  

Amen, it’s true.

Psalm 3:1-4 | Psalm 18:16-19 | Psalm 16:8 | Psalm 118:15-16 | Verses@Once

Holy Spirit Presence

September 17th, 2014

Christians have the Holy Spirit present with us as teacher and guide. The Spirit within empowers us to discern what is genuine and what is not. Without the Spirit, revelation is veiled; without the Spirit, covenant relationship would be more religious do’s and don’ts than the vibrant spirit-life possibilities we inherit at the new birth.

The gift of the Holy Spirit is distinctive of Christians . . . they have hope, know truth, recognize God’s leading, and are blessed with understanding beyond even that of Jesus’ disciples: “While everyone was marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, “Listen to me and remember what I say. The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies.” But they didn’t know what he meant. Its significance was hidden from them, so they couldn’t understand it . . .” (Luke 9:43-45, NLT)

Jesus’ disciples did not understand what He meant. The Spirit had not yet been given since Jesus had not ascended to heaven. Later, at the conclusion of Jesus’ ministry on earth, God sent the Holy Spirit to be the Presence of God in the hearts of His people. Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for this “promise of the Father,” the giving of Holy Spirit power to be resident in their lives.

Applying this truth as disciples of Jesus Christ we receive His Spirit, literally the power and presence of God – God with us, God in us – to rise above circumstances with insight beyond that of natural reasoning or intellect.

As disciples, we realize limitations of the Spirit’s presence and expression occur when too little is known about the experience of the Holy Spirit . . . or despite knowing, His presence and power are not believed.

Amen.

Luke 9:43-45, NLT, Acts 2:1-4, 16-18, Verses@Once

Spirit, Soul & Body

September 15th, 2014

Never allow past mistakes to be the foundation for your future. Those things you do not have shouldn’t define you. Refuse to build even one day on an injustice done to you or mental comparisons drawn in your own thinking that dwarf or humiliate you. All day today and from now on, choose God’s will for your life as the one definition you consider. Write the vision. Make it plain. Implement the written vision . . . one step at a time.

God loves His creation unconditionally and works behind the scenes, often when least expected, to get us back on track and keep us there. A wrong path opens a door to soulish and flesh inspired choices, side-tracking us again and again. He loves unconditionally but never condones willful sin or an unrepentant heart so build upon the strengths you do have and refuse unrighteous paths.

The proud person stands out because his soul is not straight; his concentration is directed toward desires of the flesh and it (the flesh) strengthens to have its way while at the same time resisting God’s leading. By comparison, the humble man knows the Spirit of God is at work in his life to keep him and is thankful.

God created us as speaking spirits; we have a soul (mind, will and emotions) and live in a body. As triune beings He calls us to live by our faith in faithfulness to His leading – He speaks to hearts to guide the soul and the soul in turn guides the body. Ultimately, when born again by the Spirit, soul and flesh transform and we are changed . . . faith to faith, strength to strength, and glory to glory . . . by the Spirit of the Lord!

Amen.

Habakkuk 2:4, Habakkuk 2,Romans 1:17, Psalm 84:7, 2Corinthians 3:18, Verses @ Once 

Healing Fields

September 14th, 2014

In Jesus’ ministry He encountered every imaginable sickness and disease as well as the spirits related to the symptoms. In the towns and villages on his path He ministered divine healing to the people: Jesus restored health to broken bodies, cast out demon spirits of infirmity, and set everything twisted and confused into order so the people might choose to believe to be whole again.

Our Savior prophetically saw the harvest of healing His cross would gain and told the disciples to pray concerning it: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few so pray to the Lord, who is in charge of the harvest, will send more workers (to minister healing) into His fields.”

The harvest referred to wasn’t souls only but a harvest of healings. Healing is a “sign” and wherever there is healing, the harvest of souls will surely follow. We are the laborers He was calling for—you and me! The field represents those Jesus died for, affirming yet again His Father’s will concerning healing, Hisown life the purchase price to redeem that field from the ravages of disease and brokenness:

But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
on him, on him. 
Isaiah 53:4-6, The Message Bible

Jesus took the punishment—the stripes. Truthfully, you are already whole—really, it’s true. The Cross is your testimony—all the proof you need. Revelation waits—belief outlasts the odds. The knee will bow to something—it might as well be Truth.

Amen.

Matthew 9:18-28, Matthew 9:35-36, Matthew 9:37-38, NLT, Verses@Once

Matthew 9, the healing chapter
Isaiah 53:5, the healing verse

Kingdom Economics

September 13th, 2014

If it had not been for the Lord who is on our side where would we be?

He rides the circle of the earth and with Him all things are possible. Righteous leaders serve Him. They lead and cause vision to rise. Doors of opportunity open. Purity arrives. Wealth transfers. Those appointed by God speak.  

We call forth Kingdom economics and pray release of monies for right purposes. We pray forgiveness to enemies and God’s mercy to deliver, help, and bless. We prophesy against poverty, declaring instead the blessing of the Lord and His divine plan for each life. We look to the future expecting increase and answered prayer: Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!

Amen.

Psalm 124 

Whose Counsel?

September 12th, 2014

The Lord ordained specific purpose for each life; we were never designed to “go it alone” without wise counsel. Having the right people in our lives, not just as friends but also as really smart people with integrity to speak up when something isn’t right.

And we’re blessed to have them! Emotional traps are less likely to get a hook into our thinking when we aren’t isolated by pride. Emotion and pride muddy discernment, allowing emotional desire to take over and water-down resolve. If you get off somewhere by yourself you can be more vulnerable to decisions you wouldn’t make out in the open. Everyone behaves better when watched!

In Song of Solomon the king’s procession “came up from the wilderness” surrounded by sixty armed and valiant men “wearing swords on the thigh”, an entourage that insured protection against the “fear of night”, basically an isolated attack in the dark of night. (Night and darkness suggest something hidden from sight and the entourage meant protection against danger.

How about you? If your today is beginning to resemble a wilderness remember to guard your heart and avoid isolation’s darkness. Instead, draw instead from the entourage of God’s provision—in cadence with the Lord, synced with Him, surrounded by wise counselors and godly influence.

For you and me, life is no place to go it alone.

Amen.

Song of Solomon 3: 6-8

Forerunner & Fathers, Making Disciples

September 11th, 2014

“Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. 

Three times I was beaten with rods.
Once I was stoned.
Three times I was shipwrecked.
Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.
I have traveled on many long journeys.
I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers.
I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles.
I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas.
And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.
I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights.
I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food.
I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.
Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches.
Who is weak without my feeling that weakness?
Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger?”
(2Cor 11:24-28, NLT)

Paul makes clear just how great is our salvation – that one man, filled with God’s Spirit, can be graced to build God’s Kingdom in his generation, powerfully, engaged, unafraid. Defying religion’s claims and resilient in the worst of circumstances, the apostle opened a path utilizing every means, and all means to offer the Kingdom to all – the weak, the more, the Jews, those under the law, those without the law . . . every one . . . all. Forerunner, father, disciple-maker . . . Paul led the way. Imitating his example we step up. We are now sent to family and community and beyond for the work Paul began – forerunners and fathers, making disciples.

The path Paul opened is open still. Tag—you’re it!

Amen.

2Corinthians 11:24-28, NLT, 1Corinthians 9:19-22, NKJV

Purity To Believe

September 10th, 2014

To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled; they profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. Titus 1:15-16

We believe God for anything we’ve asked of Him trusting that He will do all He said in His Word He would do. Because of His promise to us, and our faith in His love for us, we believe Him. Confident trust that enables us to believe God develops in a pure conscience. You and I believe Him best when we guard against contaminating our conscience with opposing views that contradict Bible faith to believe Him.

Opinions or supposed facts that are outside of God’s wisdom distract from a sincere capacity for purity, virtue that strengthens belief and refuses to accuse the Lord when conditions around us change that we do not (immediately) understand.

But when I “believe God,” I believe it will be as He said – period.

And as inspiration is drawn from the place of purity inside of us, the opposite of distraction is the result. Pure, poised confidence concerning the Lord and His word becomes the mindset, developed because purity of expression matures as we believe Him more and more. Confident belief produces more, greater confident belief.

Amen.

Deuteronomy 1:31-33, Deuteronomy 9:22-24, Mark 9:22-24, John 11:39-41, Verses@Once 

The Eyes Have It!

September 8th, 2014

“A king who sits on the throne of judgment
Scatters all evil with his eyes.”
(Proverbs 20:8)

We all benefit from people whose presence makes a difference. Their place of authority with God is established so their countenance and expression supervise the atmosphere. If one is a king in the sense of having been sent by the Lord for a specific Kingdom-building purpose, everyone benefits from their kingly authority to command both good and evil.

A person’s eyes factor prominently in this expression. The eyes reflect weakness or strength and can reveal a shallow or depth of character. The eyes convey confident authority or expose its absence, are vision to discern goodness and visionary to judge righteous choices. According to the verse in Proverbs, the eyes have it! 

To measure the value of one person’s presence, remove that person—remove that presence.

To measure the impact of an excellent spirit, remove the one who exudes that spirit—remove their presence.

Your presence is important. The Lord sends you with keen eyes and a marvelous, comforting presence. You are filled with His life-giving, excellent Spirit and your royal eyes really do scatter evil. Selah!

Amen. 

Matthew 8:9-10, Proverbs 20:8, Revelation 1:6,Revelation 5:10, Verses@Once 

The Restoration of All Things

September 6th, 2014

“To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.” (Mark 9:12-13, NIV)

Christians believe the prophetic Elijah who comes first is John the Baptist, the preacher of righteousness who came “in the spirit and power of Elijah” to prepare the way for Jesus to come and begin His ministry. And many believers agree the spirit of Elijah remains among God’s end-time people – we carry that spirit and power.

Like those who prophesied before us, we herald the call for the restoration of all things according to the Lord’s end-time plan. We declare restoration for families and homes, people and nations; we meditate on things above, declaring Godly inspiration for the home and divine guidance for leaders of each nation; we invite the spirit and powerof Elijah into the borders of our God-given authority — home and family, people and nation!

Amen – so be it!