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His Work and Your Work

I have glorified you on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.  -John 17:4

Did you know that God has work for each one of us?  It is work to be started and finished by the time our lives are over here.  How many of us live with this awareness?  Part of the meaning found in life is through doing the work that God assigns to each one.

You might cut grass or lead a large company and the only thing that counts is are you doing what God has given you to do unto God's glory.  Is God being exalted through your work?

Did you know that the whole point of your life is God's glory?  It is the same as Jesus life.  God gave you this life to glorify Him.  How is that going?  We were not put here to figure things out or to live for pleasure.  We are here to participate in God's kingdom and bring glory to God.  Jesus showed the way and that is the path that we are all to be on.  The path of glorifying God.

We glorify God on earth by completing the work that God gave us to do.  God giv…

The Great Unknown: Jesus Christ

If you have really known me, you will also know the Father.
From now on you know him and have seen him.
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father; that will be enough for us.”
Jesus replied, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been with you all this time?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
-John 14:7-9 (CEB)

One of the great paradoxes are Christians that don't know Christ.  

It is a mystery and an enigma how people could be Christians, "in name only".  It is a conundrum and a puzzle to both the onlooking world and to Christians who do know Christ and have made him their Lord and Savior, walking in a mutual knowing discipleship relationship with Jesus through all their days.

Many people who call themselves Christian are truly longing to know and to see God.  

"Some day, I will see God when I get to heaven!", a self-identified Christian might say.  Another Christian might say, "I hope God shows up at church…

Cry With Those Who Are Crying

Be happy with those who are happy, and cry with those who are crying.  -Romans 12:15


May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! He is the compassionate Father and God of all comfort.  He’s the one who comforts us in all our trouble so that we can comfort other people who are in every kind of trouble. We offer the same comfort that we ourselves received from God.  That is because we receive so much comfort through Christ in the same way that we share so many of Christ’s sufferings.
-2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Jesus wept.  -John 11:35 

The Bible teaches people of faith to be "come along side" people.  We are sent into the world, into people's lives.  The Gospel is the good news.  Good news is good news to those who are in a bad place.  Christ is light to the darkness.  We, as believers who carry Christ, are meant to shine in darkness and bring light.  The light of Christ is not just belief and teaching, but presence.

Christian people carry Christ and all the goo…

Mooring The Mourning

When Job’s three friends heard about all this disaster that had happened to him, they came, each one from his home—Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuah, and Zophar from Naamah. They agreed to come so they could console and comfort him.  When they looked up from a distance and didn’t recognize him, they wept loudly. Each one tore his garment and scattered dust above his head toward the sky.  They sat with Job on the ground seven days and seven nights, not speaking a word to him, for they saw that he was in excruciating pain.  -Job 2:11-13

Do you want to help a person in mourning?  Do you want to be a friend to someone you love who has just suffered great loss?  Do you want to minister to and show the love of God to someone who has just had a tragedy?  Be with them and don't talk to them.

You might need to say something, like, "I'm here'', but no advice, no counsel, and no pontifications.  When the person in mourning speaks, just listen.  No dialogue, no back-n-fo…

Want Revival? Read The Word

The Lord’s Instruction is perfect, reviving one’s very being.  The Lord’s laws are faithful, making naive people wise. -Psalm 19:7

We want revival.  We have heard about past revivals in the church and pray for a new one.  It is already here.  I am not referring to a set of meetings, usually with a guest speaker; but there is nothing wrong with that.  

Some say that the church doesn't just need revival, but needs awakening.  Our nation has had great awakenings in the past and I agree that we need another one.  But that is not my message today.

We each need reviving daily.  We get that by reading God's word.  To not read the Bible is a grave mistake for the believer.  It does not matter what stream you are a part of in Christ's church.  You need personal revival daily, which you can get through reading, studying, and chewing on the Bible.  

God's word satisfies your soul.  The more you partake of it, the hungrier for it you get, until your appetite is voracious.  You might…

Worshiping in Sad Times is the Most Authentic Worship

How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord of heavenly forces!
My very being longs, even yearns, for the Lord’s courtyards.
My heart and my body will rejoice out loud to the living God!

Yes, the sparrow too has found a home there; the swallow has found herself a nest
where she can lay her young beside your altars, Lord of heavenly forces, my king, my God!
Those who live in your house are truly happy; they praise you constantly.
Selah

Those who put their strength in you are truly happy; pilgrimage is in their hearts.
As they pass through the Baca Valley, they make it a spring of water.
Yes, the early rain covers it with blessings.
They go from strength to strength, until they see the supreme God in Zion.
Lord God of heavenly forces, hear my prayer; listen closely, Jacob’s God!
Selah

Look at our shield, God; pay close attention to the face of your anointed one!
Better is a single day in your courtyards than a thousand days anywhere else!
I would prefer to stand outside the entrance of …

Joined To God or Good For Nothing

So I went to the Euphrates and I dug up the linen undergarment from the place I had buried it. But it was ruined and good for nothing.  -Jeremiah 13:7

Are you joined to God?  Do you cleave to God?  Are clinging to God?  Relationship with God means to cleave or cling to God.  You know the first verse about marriage in the Bible, "a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife" (Genesis 2:24)?  It means "joined".  God wants all his people joined to him or the relationship will not work and they will become good for nothing.  Are you joined to God or good for nothing? 

You might think you are joined to God, but if you do not listen to, which means obey, God; then you are not joined to God and have become good for nothing.  If you are chasing after other gods (no-gods), then you are not clinging to God and are good for nothing.  If you are worshiping anything other than God, then you are not clinging to God and are good for nothing.

God wants a peop…

Are you the apple of God's eye?

Watch me with the very pupil of your eye!  Hide me in the protection of your wings, away from the wicked who are out to get me, away from my deadly enemies who are all around me!

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.


 -Psalm 17:8-9 (CEB, ESV)

Are you the apple of God's eye?  Are you very important to God and very well protected by God?  If you look into God's eyes, can you see a reflection of yourself?  When you are in trouble are you looking deeply into God's eyes and seeing evidence that He sees you?

Do you know the song, "I saw the Lord", by Dallas Holm?  For me, the key phrase in the song is, "and He saw me" .  Seeing the Lord is wonderful, but did the Lord see you?  Seeing the Lord is revelatory.  But knowing that He sees me is healing.

David learned and knew that a personal relationship was available with God and kept asking for it.  He didn&#…

Covenant Love

Manifest your faithful love in amazing ways because you are the one
who saves those who take refuge in you, saving them from their attackers
by your strong hand.   -Psalm 17:7 CEB





Question: Are you married to God?  Are you covenanted to Him?  Are you the bride of Christ?  If you are, then you are fully committed to the Lord (He is your Lord) and the Lord is fully committed to you.  You are partaking of God's Hesed, His covenant love.

The word Hesed is difficult to translate into English.  David is asking God for God's Hesed love.  We get the idea that Hesed means covenant love, based on all of it's usages in the Old Testament.  I looked at seven translations to see what the Hebrew scholars decided with this deep word.  Here's the results:

Faithful love (CEB)
Wonderful love (CEV & GNT)
Steadfast love (ESV)
Unfailing love (NLT)
Marvelous lovingkindness (NKJV)
Great love (TNIV)

Also, Hebrew scholar, R. K. Harrison translates Hesed in Psalm 17:7 as compassionate love.…

Open Heaven Prayer

I cry out to you. I call to you. I pray to you, God. I am praying to you.
Because you answer me. Because I’m sure of an answer. Because you will help me. Because I know you will answer, O God
So tilt your ears toward me now. So—answer! bend your ear! Listen. Bend down.



Listen to what I’m saying! Listen sharp!  And answer my prayer! And listen as I pray.    -Psalm 17:6 (CEB, MSG, CEV, NLT)

I wonder if most Christians have confidence that God hears and answers each of their prayers?  We don't see the answer perhaps, so we might be tempted to believe God does not answer.  Then, we might start believing God does not even hear us.

David had a different perspective.  He believed God hears and answers prayer.  He had plenty of experiences of feeling like God was distant and not answering, but he prayed and believed God would answer anyway.

Open heaven prayer is when you know God hears you and you hear back.  Open heaven prayer is when you get answers.  The answer might be something you don'…

Avoiding The Destructive Path

But these other people’s deeds? I have avoided such violent ways by the command from your lips.
I’m not trying to get my way in the world’s way.  I’m trying to get your way, your Word’s way.
I don’t do like others.  I obey your teachings and am not cruel.
With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent.

My steps are set firmly on your paths; my feet haven’t slipped.
I’m staying on your trail; I’m putting one foot In front of the other.  I’m not giving up.
I have followed you, without ever stumbling.
My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.
-Psalm 17:4-5 (CEB, MSG, CEV, ESV)

When we are encountering trials, God wants us to avoid the destructive path.  We can all become destroyers who destroy others and destroy our selves.  There is a selfish way that goes towards violence and is cruel that is not the way of God.  Lashing out, hitting back, and being cruel are all temptations for us when we are in a trial.  Avoi…

Leadership Audit Coming For Christian Leaders

Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord.  -Jeremiah 23:2 (ESV)


There are spiritual leaders who are in positions to care for people who are not doing so.  There are pastors who do things that scatter and drive people away from fellowship.  There are so-called spiritual leaders that go by pastor, bishop, preacher, minister, prophet, teacher, and apostle; who are rotten in God's eyes.  These people are corrupt, false, and evil.

Corruption in the household of God, does not escape God's eyes.  A time comes when God deals with these people (1 Peter 4:17).  God says, "you have not attended to them.  Behold, I will attend to you."  Disciplinary action is coming.  It came in Jeremiah's time and is coming again today.  The time is here.  God does give performa…

Bravery, Strength, and Obedience To Inherit

“Be very brave and strong as you carefully obey all of the Instruction that Moses my servant commanded you. Don’t deviate even a bit from it, either to the right or left. Then you will have success wherever you go. Never stop speaking about this Instruction scroll. Recite it day and night so you can carefully obey everything written in it. Then you will accomplish your objectives and you will succeed. I’ve commanded you to be brave and strong, haven’t I? Don’t be alarmed or terrified, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  -Joshua 1:7-9

Have you ever seen a movie where the will is read and there are conditions that must be met before a person can receive their inheritance?  Many of God's promises are also conditional.  God says, "If you will, I will."  Sometimes it is as simple as asking, "you have not, because you ask not."

In the book of Joshua, the time for fulfillment has come.  The time of fulfillment comes right after a great grief.  Mo…

The Vision Thing

When there’s no vision, the people get out of control, but whoever obeys instruction is happy.  -Proverbs 29:18

There is still a vision for the appointed time; it testifies to the end; it does not deceive.  If it delays, wait for it; for it is surely coming; it will not be late.  -Habakkuk 2:3

Call to me and I will answer and reveal to you wondrous secrets that you haven’t known.  -Jeremiah 33:3

I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.  -Jeremiah 29:11

When I was a teen, I had a poster on my wall of a movie I never saw, called Vision Quest.  Deep inside me, there was a cry in my heart to have a vision for my life.  I now know that the Spirit of God was wooing me to Christ.  "He is your life, He is your vision, follow Christ, be enamored  with Him."  Seven years after my high school graduation, I found Christ again and was baptized in God's Spirit.  …

Fulfilled Promises: Faith For The Desert & Big Valley

God isn’t unjust so that he forgets your efforts and the love you have shown for his name’s sake when you served and continue to serve God’s holy people. But we desperately want each of you to show the same effort to make your hope sure until the end. This is so you won’t be lazy but follow the example of the ones who inherit the promises through faith and patience.


When God gave Abraham his promise, he swore by himself since he couldn’t swear by anyone greater.  He said, I will certainly bless you and multiply your descendants. So Abraham obtained the promise by showing patience.  People pledge by something greater than themselves. A solemn pledge guarantees what they say and shuts down any argument.  -Hebrews 6:10-16

There is a principle or a common experience for people of faith:  The way to the promised land is through the desert.  The desert prepares you for the promised land.  The preparation of the desert only works if we cooperate with it, and with God, by faith.  Can you…

Wolves Disguised As Sheep: False Prophets In the House

They have corrupted themselves terribly as in the days of Gibeah; he will remember their wickedness; he will punish their sins.  -Hosea 9:9

Is it possible that we have leaders in the house of God who are deeply corrupt, who are leading people to destruction?  That is what happened in the days of Hosea, with the false prophets.

The Hebrew idea of corruption here is not only a dishonest person, but a depraved, perverted, and destructive person.  The notorious example of Gibeah that Hosea cites, is the story, recorded in Judges 19, where a woman was raped to death, by a band of men, who first demanded sex with her priest husband.  Hosea says that the false prophets were like those men.


Are there today, some ministers and leaders in the church, the false prophets of our day, that have not just let us down, but been deeply corrupted?  Instead of protecting God's people from snares, they have become snares.  These corrupted leaders have become antichrist, leading God's people away …

Lessons Learned From The Check Engine Light

Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks.
-Philippians 4:6

Suddenly, the check engine light came on and I was anxious.  How much is this going to cost?  My car was just in the shop a week ago.  I was anxious, but I prayed.

I found out that if the problem that caused the light to go on is not constant, then the light will clear in about 2 to 4 days, and it did.  Then, it came on again and cleared again, after a few days.  I tried some fuel system cleaner (Red Line), but the light kept cycling on and off.  Each time, my anxiety was less, until it was at zero.

I had learned that a loose fuel cap can cause the light to come on, but I am always careful to tighten it.  When it kept happening after the fuel system cleaning and the car is running very smooth, I realized that fuel caps can just plain wear out.  Most likely the rubber sealing mechanism and the click, click, click; tightener wears out. …

Are You Being Taught and Reminded by the Holy Spirit?

The Companion (the advocate), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I told you.  -John 14:26 (ESB)

Have you been taught everything (all things) by the Holy Spirit?  Have you been reminded of everything Jesus said, by the Holy Spirit?  Did you even know that this was available to you?  It's easy to read Jesus' words to the disciples as historical and not apply them and "sign up for them", yourself. But these words do apply to all of Jesus' disciples, including us.

Some have called the Holy Spirit, "the forgotten member of the Trinity".  Like today, there were Christians in the Bible who loved Jesus, but had not heard of or experienced the Holy Spirit.  He is a distinct person.  He may be in your life and you do not recognize him.


Jesus said that the Father would send the Holy Spirit in Jesus name.  Jesus revealed the Father, by revealing God's name.  The Father sends the Ho…

Learning Contentment

I’m not saying this because I need anything, for I have learned how to be content in any circumstance.  I know the experience of being in need and of having more than enough; I have learned the secret to being content in any and every circumstance, whether full or hungry or whether having plenty or being poor.  I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength. -Philippians 4:11-13


Are you content? Contentment, for the Christian, means having all you need through the indwelling Christ. The content Christian is happy with less or more, because their happiness is not dependent on exterior things. It is an inside job.

Discontentment manifests in us through complaining, grumbling, and general unhappiness or depression in our life. Contentment is connected to faith and faith is manifested through faithfulness and empowered through God's faithfulness.

Non-believers practiced contentment in Paul's time as well as today by being self-sufficient and ind…

God Graciously Sends Prophetic Words To Unbelieving Believers

But Ahaz said, "I won't ask: I won't test the LORD."  Isaiah 7:12

God cares enough about his people to send a prophet to them even when they are involved in idolatry and any sin.  God loves hypocrites, but he does not like hypocrisy and exposes it.  Ahaz was a leader who was in trouble and who was leading bady, not godly.

In spite of Ahaz's shortcomings, God sent Isaiah to give him a word that challenged Ahaz to express his faith in God.  God gave Ahaz a detailed prophetic word, to encourage him in a time of trouble, through Isaiah.  The end of the word said that Ahaz must have faith.  Then, to encourage and empower Ahaz's faith in the word, God says, through Isaiah to ask for a sign, big or small: "make it as deep as the grave or as high as the heaven", said the Lord directly to him through Isaiah.

Ahaz's response to a direct invitation, some people might call it a command because it was so authoritative and clear, was, "no thanks, that w…