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Showing posts from November, 2012

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…