What if you had a fiancé or a husband who was away on a long trip, and he wrote letters to you daily only to find the letters unopened when he returned three weeks later? Would you think you would have a hard time convincing him that you really do love him?
And yet! We have a “Lover” who is on a long trip and He has left us all kinds of letters and communication that often lie unopened on our coffee tables or on the bookshelves. Not only that, sometimes some of us say, “But He would not think that way,” when we have rarely picked up His “letters” to find out what He likes and does not like.
Even among believers, sometimes even pastors, there is a dearth of Bible reading. As a result, we have whole denominations who are calling righteous what God calls sinful.
I love the way Isaiah talks about the word of God. “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth, and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire, and achieve the purpose for which I sent it”(55:10-11).
Rain and snow! That describes my Bible reading. Sometimes His Word is like rain, and makes me “green and flourish” immediately. But sometimes it’s like snow. I don’t get any immediate result. His Word just piles up on top of my head! But when the sunlight of His Presence hits that pile of snow, it melts and runs down inside of me and empowers me!
Do you have a plan for reading the entire Bible? Even if it takes you five years? Read the whole thing! Sometimes you may feel you are getting nothing immediately (like snow on top of your roof); other times you will feel totally refreshed and restored (like the refreshing rain).
The world’s bestseller! Really a remarkable book! Life-changing!
Read the book!
When you’ve heard from God, but it’s an answer that you really did not want to receive, don’t ask twice.
Read Number 22 about the prophet Balaam, and you’ll understand.
The king of Moab wanted to hire Balaam to curse his enemy Israel. Balaam may not at the time have known much about Israel, but he was a servant of the LORD, so he inquired. The LORD said, “Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.”
The Moab princes went home and told their king, but the king did not want to take “no” for an answer, so he sent more princes and offered greater rewards if Balaam would come to curse his enemy Israel.
Balaam’s response was outstanding, but his heart was not with his words. “If Balak were to give me his palace full of silver and gold, I would not go beyond what the Lord tells me.”
That should have been the end of the matter, but those rewards were so enticing that Balaam told the princes, “Wait here and let me ask God again.” The LORD had already told Balaam he was not to curse Israel, and Balaam had no need to ask again.
So what happened? The LORD told Balaam to go ahead, but “God was very angry” (22:22) with Balaam for even asking. You’ll have to open your own Bible if you want to know the rest of the story, but it wasn’t pretty, and Balaam ended up in dangerous territory in Moab before he’s learned his lesson.
The moral of the story? When you hear from God, and you’re sure you’ve heard, but you’d like to have a different answer, don’t ask twice.
Has God been talking to you with an answer you did not want? Don’t ask again. You may not like what happens.
“Your Kingdom, come!”
told of a Son that would be born who would be called “Mighty God, Everlasting
Father, Prince of Peace” – that the government would be upon His shoulders, a
government, a kingdom, that would never end (Isaiah 9:7). Jesus is that Son.
Our intended destiny is to be a part of His
had a vision of the “time of the end” when the righteous would “shine like the
brightness of the heavens” and would “lead many to righteousness (Daniel 12:4).
Our intended destiny is to be so full of the
Spirit of Jesus that we radiate the glory of God – our very countenances proclaim
spoke of a time when world righteousness would ripen (See Matthew 13:30). Wickedness also ripens, but light always
Our intended destiny is to become the most
righteous generation in history.
we embrace our destiny to the fullest – you and I. May we be so saturated with
the Word of God and so full of His Spirit that we continually spread His joy.
nothing distract us, nothing discourage us. Let us go forward in strength and
Jesus, help us to share the good news and take millions with us into the
Paul says, “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with
him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6)
Seated with Jesus in the heavenly realms! Take your seat and
look down upon our world. You will see all sorts of God things going on, and
you will love and appreciate them. You
will give thanks for them. You will be encouraged.
Failing to keep that Kingdom vision can make us very
self-focused, sometimes even discouraged. We judge what God is doing from our
limited point of view. If “our” ministry is thriving, growing, and prosperous, then
we could begin to lean toward pride.
Seeing the Kingdom from below tends to divide us. We become
too absorbed in our own lives and ministries, and often care too little about
what others are doing.
Seeing the Kingdom from above unites us. We see and
appreciate others and how God is using them. We see that they are needed part
Keeping the Kingdom vision from the heavenly realm humbles
us. We appreciate the role to which others are called and are grateful for
them. They augment us. We are on the same team. We want to know these other
partners and encourage them.
Remember to stay seated in that heavenly realm so that you
will appreciate others more, knowing that you are only one part of God’s Kingdom
Keep the Kingdom view!
Doing the Works of Jesus
“Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.”
A challenging Scripture! Our destiny is to do what Jesus did!
When I read the Gospels, I find many things that Jesus did that I have not yet done,
but I am still here. I choose never to pull Scripture down to match my experience,
but pray that my experience moves up to match His Word.
I just reread Matthew’s account of the woman who was healed when she touched
the “edge of the cloak” of Jesus. Then why could not someone touch the edge of your
“cloak” or my “cloak” and be healed? Not to glorify us! But to exalt the One Who lives
I also looked back to the account of Moses coming from the Presence of God with His
face radiating. Why should not we radiate His Presence when we have been with
Him? As Gary Paxton wrote in one of his songs, “If you’re happy, notify your face.”
These are not just nice little church stories, but true accounts of God’s relationship
with us. May we keep asking for more of these Kingdom-come true account
Let’s keep believing for more of Jesus in us and through us!
I’ve been impressed again as I was reading in the early chapters of Joshua how often God talked to Joshua about what He was “giving” Israel, even though they still had to fight for it.
When they approached Jericho, God said, “I have delivered Jericho into your hands.” When they got over the debaucle at Ai and were going up under God’s anointing, again He said, “I have delivered Ai into your hands.”
Interesting. A past tense verb for a future event. But when God speaks, it’s as good as done, even though there may be many battles before its completion. I like this.
Since He promised that Israel “will come trembling to the Lord and to His blessings in the last days,” it is as good as done, even though we may not see it with our natural eyes for a few years.
When He speaks of that corridor between ancient Assyria and Egypt along with Israel becoming a blessing upon the earth, it is done though we have yet to see it.
When God speaks, it’s as good as done.
Stand firmly on His promises.