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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Vertical Faith


The challenge to faith is the same in every generation: seek first the things of God and trust Him to provide the daily necessities of life. The glorification of any work we pursue comes by the presence of God in it. God calls us to commit what we are, what we have, and all that we do to him. Make the work of God a priority, both in your time and with your money. Understand that it is the presence of Jesus that produces glory.



And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. - 2 Corinthians 3:18. 

God blesses His people when they repent and get their hearts, minds, and bodies right with Him. Our focus should be vertical.



Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.- Psalm 24:3-4 



God always gives perfect direction.  



How can you honor God with your life today?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

All of You


All of us have different skills, talents, and gifts, but no one can have them all. In fact there are probably few characteristics all of us can share. There is one especially when it comes to being faithful and obedient to God's call on your life. We can all be passionate about Jesus! I love this quote:

Passion’s a lot like aspirin: it’s effective in many ways, but no one’s quite sure how it works. Passion is love that’s found a means of communicating. That’s why passion is important—because after the words we speak are tangled or forgotten, people will often remember the heart that communicated them.

So when you go about your business this day remember to be passionate about the things of God. It shows you love Him.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' - Jesus' answer to what is the greatest commandment in Mark 12:30 

Friday, March 24, 2017

What You Have


The word “Offering” is by Strong’s definition: The act of: bringing to; setting before; sacrificing; presenting; a gift. It is used 728 time in the Bible, most (over half) in Leviticus and Numbers. In the Old Testament it deals with the sacrificial system set in place by God and performed by the priest in the Temple. It is used only 23 times in the New Testament. Let's look today at these teachings.

Giving
Mark 12:41-44 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (Giving from your heart)
Ephesians 5:2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Jesus)
Philippians 2:17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. (Giving all you have)

Involvement
Acts 10:4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. (Involvement with the “least of these”)
Philippians 4:18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. (Involvement in ministry)

Relationship
Mark 12:33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (Relationship with God)
Matthew 5:23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Relationship with others)

Your Life
1 Peter 2:5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house [Or into a temple of the Spirit] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (Your life)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. – Rom. 12:1

Take your ordinary everyday life and place it before God as an offering.

Worship is saying: “I trust you” even when our eyes don’t see it - “Thy will be done” even when our hearts don’t feel like it-“I’ll follow you” even when our minds don’t understand it

No greater act of worship than giving God all of you. (Open your hands even if you have to pry them open)

Is this your prayer?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Messiah


As I commented on yesterday, Zechariah's name means God has Remembered. This Minor Prophet was a contemporary of Haggai and returned to Jerusalem with the first group of exiles. His writings have a lot of symbolism which the priest asks God to explain through a series of questions. In the first six chapters Zechariah asks no less than 10 questions regarding the visions that God was showing him. With each and every one of them he was given an answer to clarify the vision.





With the exception of Isaiah, no other prophet spoke more about the Messiah than Zechariah. Through his prophecies he manages to put a real awareness and eagerness into the hearts of the people with his messages of Messianic hope. He portrays Christ in His two advents; one as the suffering servant and the other as coming King. Consider both crucial aspects of Christ as we approach this Easter.



 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” - Luke 19:38
Amen?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Surrounded


The name Zechariah means God has Remembered. Now it's not that the Lord forgot something and then remembered (like we do). It has to do with remembering His people. What does God remember about you? He is the God of the past, present,and future so He really does know all about us. There are some things that we would like to forget and change in our lives. The good news here is that God forgives and clenses away our sin. It is up to us to repent and start Doing Life God’s Way! 

In the past God’s people have been chastened for their corruption. 
In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the prophet, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo saying, "The LORD was very angry with your fathers. "Therefore say to them, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Return to Me," declares the LORD of hosts, "that I may return to you," says the LORD of hosts.(1:1-3) People are judged and punished because of their sin, and unfaithfulness. We are reminded through this process a couple of things. 
1. Come Back to God. Love God with all your heart, mind, body, and soul - Jesus. Be in the right relationship.
2. Remember God  is almighty, powerful, and the Lord of Hosts.  

Psalm 89:5-8 proclaims,  The heavens praise your wonders, Lord, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord? Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings? In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him.  Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.


It makes sense to live for God. What do you need to work on today?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Under Control

God is in the business of being God! He is in charge and He loves us. Do we allow ourselves to be in His will and grace?

The Lord reigns: The Lord reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake. Great is the Lord in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations. Let them praise your great and awesome name—he is holy. The King is mighty, he loves justice— you have established equity; in Jacob you have done what is just and right. Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy. Moses and Aaron were among his priests,  Samuel was among those who called on his name; they called on the Lord and he answered them. He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud; they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them. Lord our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds. Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy. and worship at his holy mountain, or the Lord our God is holy. - Psalm 99

The Lord restores: For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)  and find out what pleases the Lord. –Ephesians 5:8-10

Amen and Amen - How does this look in your life?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Friend Jesus

A few years ago I spoke at a Baptist nursing home in New Jersey. It was a beautiful time of sharing with these dear saints of God. One lady told me that they like to spend time thinking of heaven and God providing for them on a daily basis. She said most of the people there don't think about death. They'd rather focus on the love of God. It made me smile and think about the old song that speaks to the heart of all believers, What A Friend We Have In Jesus 

Stanza 1:
What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry Ev'rything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry, Ev'rything to God in prayer. 

Stanza 2:
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful, Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our ev'ry weakness; Take it to the Lord in prayer. 

Stanza 3:
Are we weak and heavy laden, Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge; Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms He'll take and shield thee; Thou wilt find a solace there.
Lyrics ~ Joseph Scriven, 1819 -1886
Music ~ Charles C. Converse, 1832-1918 

Amen?