Seeking and Finding

91021013_thinkstockphotos-517519673Have you ever played hide and seek before…isn’t it one of the coolest games, you know the faces of the people in the game and you know where they are at that moment…..but there’s a catch, you have to close your eyes and turn around while the target moves while you count to 10 or even 20… When you open your eyes again, no one appears to be in plain sight, but you have to find them, because even though you can’t see them they are somewhere in the area and didn’t go too far.

What’s funny is most the people your looking for are hiding in plain sight, you just have to seek them out and you will find them if you seek carefully and diligently.

Isn’t that how life sometimes is? We go about seeking things, you may be seeking a promotion at work, you may be seeking marriage, you may be seeking to have a baby by a certain age, and you may be seeking to have peace, you may be seeking out the best physician to do your operation. There are lots of things we go in search of. Yet there’s one thing I love about the word Promise, if you have a trustworthy person making the promise you can stake your life on it. This promise found in Luke 11:10 is given in a context I must explain to you before you go thinking you can just ask for that other ladies husband or you can go and sabotage that person at work to get that position you seek, or you can go steal that baby from the hospital.

The verse says…Everyone who asks receives and he who seeks finds and to him who knocks the door will be opened…. but before that…in the context Jesus was teaching His disciples to pray. This was the promise He gave them, just as a friend would go to another friend’s house at 2 in the morning to get bread for company that came to him unexpected, if that person kept asking even though the friend said no..they would receive it. He’s not saying that we have to Keep asking God for things..for He just told them the way to pray is…to say Our Father…so that wouldn’t put God in the category as friend, so we are taking into account the person asking is a child of the person being asked. Now let’s move on for time sake…… The context tells us that if a son goes to his father and asks for fish that child shouldn’t expect to get a snake should he? (emphasis mine) and the same thing is true for our Heavenly Father, it is His good pleasure to give us the Holy Spirit whom was sent as a comforter upon Jesus departure to sit at the Father’s right hand.

So, how does this verse tie in well to getting that promotion, getting that spouse, getting that child you desperately want, even that job…

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and it’s righteousness and all these things will be added, for He knows what you need before you ever ask for it..and is more than willing to supply all the things you need even the things you want..but you must learn that the things you should seek shouldn’t be things at all..But relationship with Him..then all the things your seeking may or may not come but it won’t any longer matter because He will become to you at that point everything you need and should He decide to add to you that promotion knowing what’s best for you, He will.. etc.

 

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Ordered steps

I know you’ve heard of it. I know you’ve thought about it before. I am talking about this issue called “Free will”. If we can be “predestined” or even “Ordained” to something. Is all that stuff really real? And if it is….what exactly does the bible say about it? I know I’ve thought of these questions before and when I have questions there are some that are answered clearly in the bible, those I settle in my heart but my philosophy is if the bible doesn’t address it, I have no comment either.

On the topic of Ordered steps, we see a beautifully clear promise here, it says in Ps. 37:23 “That every step of a righteous man is ordered by God, and He delights in his way”. Now we can read this many ways, but there are some things we will all see in the text.
Firstly, it speaks of a certain person whose steps are ordered. That person is a good or righteous person. That would be a person who has delighted himself in the Lord or chosen Yahweh to be his refuge.
Secondly, we see exactly how many steps for that righteous person are ordered. All of them, not half, not some, not when he’s acting in a certain way. They are all ordered..
Thirdly, we see who is doing the ordering. So we can rightly observe from this text these 3 things put together If the person is righteous (in right standing with God) every step, along the journey of his life, the decisions he makes which leads him to a certain destiny, they are Ordered by God. And if we can gather these things from this text we might have a basis to order that the “predestination” matter does exist. But how do we do that..when we would have to then say there’s no such thing as “Free will”

I will end with this illustration.

Let’s say I am sitting for a family evening of Checkers with one of my 2 daughters or my son. As we are playing I already know what my strategy is, and that determines what moves I will make, but one other thing I know is their  strategy, they are mine, and they did come from me, and were raised with me. So even though I’m not going to tell them which checker to move, I can accurately predict which checker they will move and exactly where. I know it because I know them and their nature, because I named them, I chose to give birth to them, and I trained them, they are a part of my family, and sometimes we have some of the same traits as our parents which lead us to the same destination unless we choose to clearly go another way and take ourselves out of the family we have been placed in.

So it is with God… He knows His own children by name. For this particular scripture alone I’m making my argument, so if you want to talk to a theologian that is perfectly fine, but my point is this: The promise I’m settling in my heart is just as He carried the Israelites through the wilderness on eagles wings, and just as He set David’s feet on a rock after taking him out of the pit, just as He led Paul not to go to that city when he wanted to go. Our steps can be ordered by the Lord when we are walking freely before Him daily. Now unto Him who is able to keep my foot from stumbling.

For further reference Jer. 10:23 and Pr 16:9 talks about God ordering steps and who the steps that are ordered are…Now we have enough information from God’s word to build a block to settle in our hearts.

Promise #8 Fearless

Have you ever been tormented or plagued by something, it could have been a thought that said you were not healthy, you were not going to sleep that night, you were going to fail that test, your children weren’t going to turn out well in that overnight hospital stay, and that thought just seems like it nagged you to no end. You tried to shake it, you tried to make that thought that your spouse was cheating go away, you tried to make those thoughts that you could never do a job you actually loved go away, but you never stepped out of that….it crippled you from moving forward in that particular thing.

Did you know fear can be crippling? Fear is daunting and paralyzing. It’s tantalizing and gripping/punishing? Fear is in effect like living in a state of terror without rest for your soul. It is to dread an outcome that is perceived and some people gave it an acronym saying it is: False Evidence Appearing Real. Yet so many people today life with fear. As a believer, we were not given the Spirit of Fear…but The Spirit of power, love and a sound mind. This fear is the fear that would cause you to disbelieve any of the promises in God’s word and not to settle those promises in your heart as the final word of His power that has authority in your life.

This doesn’t cancel out the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom, we are to have a reverent respect rightfully toward Yahweh God…and it doesn’t mean that we will not experience the emotion of fear. It simply means that we will have a way to escape that emotion. We do this successfully by knowing and understanding the whole counsel of God and the complete love of God and accepting that as our truth and not the lie we’re being prompted to believe.

Do you know someone in an abusive relationship where she’s constantly called out of her name or battered and controlled??? It may be a sign that she has no revelation of the value God has placed on her/his life and in turn doesn’t know her/his value so she/he subjects  herself/himself to fear and stays in a relationship that is literally killing her/him. I heard a story on yesterday of a young lady who had gone to a church for years, she always had a smile and praised God all the same, but was in a very abusive marriage. She confessed she never even left but the revelation of the perfect love of God caused her to begin to act differently and finally he decided that he would leave and she said that was the happiest day of her life. I’m always floored when someone else learns their value and it changes everything about the dynamics of their lives.

Perfect love is the opposite of fear….not FAITH…I know we like to say that. But if we understand this perfect love concept it will change our lives forever. The word perfect depicts completion or maturity. It is a love that is at a level of full growth, and doesn’t need to grow anymore as a toddler or teenager would. This symbolizes there could be stages to the love of God. This kind of love is Agape meaning it’s unconditional and regardless of what our behavior dictates, this love is openly and freely given to those who receive it, at all times.

This perfect love for the sake of time, is the love of Christ fully matured in your life, when you know and understand it so fully that it changes your outlook on everything else. It’s when you’ve chosen to believe every promise in His word and there’s nothing no one can tell you to make you believe that anything could separate you from His love, it’s when you’ve come to a place where you realize you can call on His name and He does hear you and He will answer, because you know if you ask anything according to His will He does hear and He will answer…It’s a matter of faith..that cause you to live in a place of peace, for Only Jesus can give you this peace that passes all understanding which guards your hearts and minds when all the issues I mentioned above try to cause fear and doubt.

Promise #8 can be found in 1John 4:18

You will know Him

Born in sin, shapen in iniquity…ever heard those words?
Ever wonder how it is…babies are born knowing how to sin. I know we like to call them little angels but the truth is they are born with a fallen nature, and until they are born again from above..they will not produce fruit that keep with the new covenant that Jesus made available.
I personally love today’s promise because there is a saying that’s been going around for years that simply states: “You can’t know God” He’s just too vast and if you could know Him who would serve a God like that since that would make Him one that can be comprehended..
I love the way this text reads in context from today’s promise.

Heb 8 should be read as a whole to get the context..In it we learn this scripture is in the midst of a lot of verses regarding the old and New Testament. The one when you worshiped God on the mountain and the one where you hadn’t come to mount Sinai but a much better covenant.
When the Hebrew writer came to the conclusion of his writings and thoughts he said the final matter is we now have a better covenant where we don’t need priest to explain who God is to us..we will have a covenant written in our hearts, and where He puts His laws in our minds…

This is not to say that the baby knows right from wrong, they still need to be taught ..but it is to say that the robber knows it’s wrong to rob a bank and the person who kills another knows it’s wrong, they have a to turn off a conscience or sear it to do so. Let me say this and I will quick..When we are believers we should not need pastors to teach us the word of God..we ought to be so hungry for the word that we feed ourselves. Many times I go to church and realize My Pastor is preaching from exactly what I studied that week..or prayed for ..and it’s a confirmation..so Now I’m going to church for a different reason, not necessarily to get everything..but to give something back. The writer says..we won’t have to tell our neighbor “Know the Lord” they will have a very real knowledge of Him and will have made a conscious choice to reject or accept Him..

Now that’s a powerful revelation!

Newness

hqdefaultHave you experienced it yet?
Have you ever planted a seed and watched it grow.

For a child it’s really  exhilarating to watch the seed as it grows everyday almost as beautiful as the feeling a gardener gets when they plant their own yard outside their home. Some people have a green thumb..Are you willing to try?

As the plant grow what do you do? You watch it? You water it? You make sure it has enough sunlight? You make sure that if it looks like it’s withering you immediately change up your routine to make sure it lives?

Have you experienced this newness of Life You’ve Been Promised as a believer.. The old nature is gone once you accept Christ into your heart, yet I think for many of us we have yet to experience who we were created to be…We have yet to experience that change, metamorphosis as the butterfly would if you will..We’ve never gone through the process of transformation and transition that must happen in the life of every believer.

How does that happen? How can I experience this newness of life? I’m glad you asked.
I met a friend some years ago, and when I asked if she ever read her bible she said….Nah, I can’t concentrate that long on something..Yet, she went to school and earned a Master’s degree in science…I thought to myself..the same effort you put toward studying for test when you were able to concentrate on it..you have to “Shift focus”

Is the word of God and prayer priority in your life or is it still all about you?
I know this sounds really crazy, but simply saying a prayer to surrender your heart and asking God to give you the grace to change the things you don’t want to do anymore will actually help if you really mean it.

What does it look like to be a new creation? and what does it feel like?
Well, to others they see a breath of fresh air, and they want what your having all the time because you love them by being kind, considerate, compassionate, patient, unselfish and gracious, you choose not to be prideful, and not to be jealous, and not to be boastful and not to be argumentative, you choose not to rejoice in evil but only good, and you choose not to be quickly angered, you choose to be loyal, supportive, even self controlled. I know it sounds like a lot but your hopeful now, you are trusting and your not a score keeper any longer as a matter of fact when people do things to offend you, it flows off your back and you never bring it up because you’ve been given a forgiving nature and you follow the example of a great leader…Jesus Christ, You humble yourself and give yourself away so that others will benefit in everything you do. You think about things differently than others, for instance instead of thinking about things that aren’t true, you think of things that are and things that are noble, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable and excellent and even praiseworthy, you are amazingly self controlled and you have a great ability to be grateful in all things giving thanks because now the old you has passed away and a newness of life has emerged and just like that little plant, each day you see little more growth until your completely mature!

The Peace of God

storm-crisis-presence-calm-jesus-3As you look at the picture, which one do you see yourself as in the midst of a contentious world? in the midst of so much which could stir up crisis and not calm in the hearts of so many. Where are you in your storms and the vicissitudes of life. We all have a season or another where we just feel like, “I could sure use some peace today!” Well, here’s your promise. It was placed here just for you. It’s yours for the taking ANY moment YOU choose it.

Here’s my hint to you: “see yourself as Jesus in this boat”. For He also promised to keep you in perfect peace if you keep your mind stayed on Him. I could imagine the disciples knew Jesus could speak to the storm if they could just wake Him. But what if He wanted them to speak to the storm? What if He has designed us to take authority over our situation and walk as sons and daughters, a little hint is that’s called “walking by faith” having “the mind of Christ” and “living and Jesus lived”..

In the interest of your time I won’t belabor this point I really want to make on the power of peace and what it means in the Greek in this text. It’s a state of tranquility, rest,  an exemption from chaos, fear or rage.

In the midst of a raging storm, when things are being devastated, damaged, even destroyed and your being forced to change the way you used to do things…Always know this promise He’ll keep you in perfect peace if you think on these things, Things that are true, noble, right, pure and lovely, admirable, excellent even praiseworthy, if you spend your time and give your attention and affection to the things of the Kingdom of God the things of this world will grow colder and dimmer and your light will shine bright.

Peace is available to every believer. Will you take it!?

Humility

Image result for humilityLessons on leadership should begin with this course.

Humility is not seeing yourself as worthless, but seeing the one who chose you as more worthy and submitting to any assignment He gives.

We live in a day that the leaders are high and lifted up, they are exalted and mighty and they can’t be touched with the feelings of the infirmity of others. What of the leader who says…”Cleaning floors” that’s beneath me! “Serving others” get the little people to do that, I’m not washing anyone’s feet.  That’s not why I worked so hard to obtain this position.

There should be a course titled “the way up is down” but no one teaches humility in universities, but the one who would desire to lead, must first learn to follow and be accustomed to serving others. You can’t come up one day to the position of leader having never experienced being a follower or you will have an imbalance and you will never feel what needs to be felt about others coming after you and you may be too insecure to create your predecessor while your not even thinking about retiring.

For everyone…This isn’t just a specific person, it is a very general statement not just to those who aspire to be leaders, and not just those who think they may one day remain a servant to others. If that person elevates himself, they will be humbled. Let’s say you go to a party one evening, you were invited and you feel pretty confident about your relationship with the person whose hosting and you also feel pretty highly about yourself. You choose the seat you want, all the way at the front of the banquet. You knew seats were numbered for certain others but you assumed upon your status with the person and took the best seat. It was only minutes later when you were asked to step down to a lower seat and even though you didn’t humble yourself to sit at a lower seat you were humiliated when sitting with those at the table who were supposed to be there and the one whose meant to be there is standing right over you.

If we don’t choose to humble ourselves, we will be humbled, it will happen either way, it’s our choice.

The one who exalts himself will be humbled

But on the other hand the promise stands sure….

If you serve others, if you humble wash the feet of those around you, even your enemy/hater. If you bring yourself low and reduce yourself to plain as opposed to flashy, if your not haughty and you abase yourself to a position of picking up that piece of paper on the floor in first class in that air plane. You will be exalted when that’s done consistently and from your heart. When you are consistently the last to go in and not rushing to make yourself first it is promised that you will be exalted in due time, do not get weary in well doing, in due season you will reap.

He gives grace to the humbled but opposes the proud.

In closing always remember, “Don’t think from rivalry or conceit but in humility, count others more significant than yourselves, let each of you look not only to his own interest, but also to the interest of others, have this mind among yourself which is yours in Christ Jesus, being found in human form, He humbled Himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” emphasis mine from Phil 2:8

The promise stands