What’s Really Important

Colossians 1:5  –  “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel…”

      The hope of heaven is an indispensable element of the true gospel.  We live in the dispensation of God’s grace as He patiently waits on mankind to receive the sacrifice of His one and only Son that they may be reconciled to Him.  This is the highest calling of believers and the primary focus of God at this time… reaching the lost while there is still time.  As John Wesley said, “we have nothing to do but save souls.”

            However, this divine purpose exists only for a time and a season.  For soon, this dispensation will come to an end, and the eternity of all men and women will be sealed.  The glorious hope of heaven gives us great purpose to convert souls, and great strength to endure hardship for the gospel’s sake during this “vapor” of a lifetime.  As a matter of personal experience, I have found no better way to encourage myself in the Lord in a time of weakness than to set my mind on things eternal… the hope of heaven, and the horror of hell.  The hope of heaven causes me to overflow with thankfulness unto God, strengthens me to endure hardship that Paul called “light and momentary affliction” compared to the eternal glory of heaven, and produces a zeal for evangelism when I imagine the great, glorious, eternal future God has for my friends and loved ones who have yet to imagine it and receive it.

 Heavenly Father, by the Power of Your Spirit, make real to us the glories of heaven.  Make real to us eternity.  In doing so, may You so radically change what is quite often our near-sighted perspective in such a way that our focus and desires in this life would line up with what is truly and eternally  important in Your eyes. Amen.

I Need Wisdom!

Proverbs 2:10 “When wisdom enters your heart, And knowledge is pleasant to your soul.”

It has been said that every problem is a wisdom problem. Undoubtedly, wisdom is the key to unlock the answer to any problem you face. If wisdom is the principle thing, we must be seekers of wisdom above money, connection, favor, peace, or anything else. Understanding this means our daily prayers will shift. Daily we should ask for the wisdom we need to answer our existing problems and head off any future ones. Wisdom and knowledge are quite obviously two separate things, according to Proverbs 2:10. It is quite possible to have wisdom that surpasses one’s knowledge or experience. Since we don’t know what we don’t know… we can rely on the Spirit of Wisdom, Who resides on the inside of us. He is poised and ready to enlighten us concerning our way. That revealing is not burdensome or troublesome, but rather pleasant to our souls – since we know He works all things for our good!

Spirit of Wisdom,
We appeal to you this morning, and every morning for the insight we need for today. Although we may have no knowledge of what is coming, we trust your keen direction and ability to enlighten us in areas of darkness. We choose not to walk in fear, but in confidence knowing we have the wisdom, by faith, that we need for any situation we will face. We are more than conquerors because YOU are more than enough for us!
Amen

The Hope of Righteousness

Galatians 5:5 “For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.”

After reading this passage, I wonder… “What is the hope of righteousness?”  If we have, in this life, been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, then what is our future hope in this current state? Think of all the things you hope for as you choose daily to live by Spirit. (1) We hope for Father’s blessing whenever we see Him face-to-face. (2) We hope for our heavenly reward and the glories that are promised in His Word. (3) We hope for the physical redemption of our mortal bodies and the doing away with sickness and death. (4) We hope for rest from the wearisome troubles of our earth-bound existence. (5) Finally, we hope for the wonder of His presence and the security of knowing we are eternally saved, spirit, soul and body. These are the greatest hopes of any believer – hopes that we anticipate and await daily. Through His Spirit we find the strength to persevere and the assurance that our hopes will not be disappointed.

Heavenly Father,
It is an honor to wait for You… to wait for Your promises and the hopes that my righteousness has awakened me to. Eternity calls to me. Speaking of things wonderful, my destiny in Christ reassures me that You will make good on Your Word. By Your Spirit, I will live in the glow of this hope, holding to things unseen. Thank You for making me righteous whenever I’ve done everything to NOT deserve it. Living in Your favor, I rejoice that I have a hope grander than the fears and distractions of this earthly life. I love You,
Me

 

It is Fitting to Praise Him

Psalm 40:16 “Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You. Let such as love your salvation say continually, the Lord be magnified!

Rejoicing and gladness will be seen in the lives of those seeking the Lord and loving His salvation. In the same way that my five year old son says “thank you daddy, thank you daddy!” all the way out of the store, half way home, and the next day for his newest favorite toy… true gratitude unto God will manifest through thankful praise. The Christian who attains a proper realization of the daily glory and goodness of God’s free gift of salvation will be regularly heard proclaiming praises unto the Lord. The slightest encouraging word on the radio, the reading of a simple, yet profound proverb, or the mere mention of the depth of God’s love is enough to cause them to overflow with a thankfulness that cannot help but express itself with a proclamation of praise unto God. “Bless the Lord!”

Heavenly Father, awaken my soul to the vastly profound beauty of Your loving provision of the free gift of salvation. May I never shout a praise because it is expected of me by my “religious” peers, but only as a natural, suitable response to who You are and what You’ve done for me.

Without Controversy

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

Cut and dry isn’t it? A mystery without dispute? Regardless of who strongly disagrees, whether it be one or a multitude… it changes nothing!

God was manifested in the flesh. He would not settle for formal relationship but wanted to become personal. The invisible God wanted to be seen, heard and felt by His creation, as one of His creation. He took on human nature, so that we could relate to Him in every way.

He was justified in the Spirit. The Spirit of God preserved Him, making His human nature pure and holy and lighted upon Him as the Son of God. His Spirit preserves us today, leading us and guiding us into all truth, convicting us unto righteousness, seals us to His promises, engages us in His will and bears witness that we are the Sons and daughters of God

He was seen by the angels both in heaven and on earth. As they hearkened to Him, they hearken to Christ in us. They rejoiced at our new birth and are bidden to execute His Word and will as we decree it in the earth.

He was preached to the Gentiles. He came not for those who thought themselves to be well and good but for the most reviling and unlovely. Me.

And we believed on Him!

He was received up into glory, welcomed into Heaven by Father God and so shall we be!

Lord, thank You! All that You are, I honor You! I glorify You today as King of us, Your kings! I glorify You today as Lord, of us, Your lords! May all You say and do be mirrored in my life today. Amen.

The Essence of Holiness

1 Peter 1:16 “Be holy, for I am holy.”

What is holiness? This scripture is a direct reference to the command God gave his people in Leviticus. In its original setting, this command was a challenge to the Israelites to abstain from the ways of the heathen nations that surrounded them. His desire, was to have a people who had a different sense about them – a purpose and high calling. Generally we focus on the “kill sin!” aspect of this command. However, I feel we miss the grander picture of what Father God was pursuing, here. What He was after in Leviticus, and later in 1 Peter, and yet today, is a people who are willing to set themselves apart from their worldly contemporaries for a specific calling. While you and I are to remain pure and undefiled, perhaps it is more important that you and I preserve ourselves for a purpose beyond our own – beyond the socially accepted norm for human fulfillment. You and I were created and redeemed to give Him glory by cooperating with His redemptive purposes. Setting oneself aside for His use is the essence of holiness. Are you His, today?

Heavenly Father,
I want to be smack dab in the middle of whatever you are doing today. Please don’t let me miss a moment of your glory. With this prayer, I set myself apart for your purposes, giving you access to my heart and thoughts that you might incline me to obey at any given moment. My hands and feet are yours. Take me wherever you wish me to reach whomever you seek. I will be holy, set apart for you!

His Guiding Voice

“For the Lord gives wisdom, from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6

Solomon knew from experience that the Lord responds speedily and abundantly when we ask Him for wisdom. This proverb reaffirms the truth that He freely gives wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Take note, however, of God’s method of delivery… “from His mouth”.

You can search the depths of God’s written Word, but there is a greater wisdom, a more relevant knowledge, and an understanding to be gained in every situation that comes only from hearing the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. We function in the highest levels of wisdom and knowledge when we commune with our heavenly Father and He breathes on the “logos” and it becomes “rhema” to us. Read your Bible regularly, but do not come overly dependant on it’s printed pages. The safest way to understand the deep, hidden principles contained in Holy Scripture is to develop an intimate relationship with the author and allow Him to reveal them to you.

Heavenly Father, remind me today by Your Holy Spirit, that I, like others, am capable of distorting the purest truths of Your Holy Scripture to fit my desires. I invite Your still, small voice, or megaphone if required, to awaken me to Your specific will and wisdom I need in each situation. I am totally dependant on You to lead me and guide me into all truth.