On Wings Of Eagles

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

How to Walk

1 John 1:5-10 (ESV)
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Many times in the New Testament the Christian life is referred to as a “walk”. John goes even further and says that our walk can be in light or it can be in darkness.

Just as an infant learns to walk and overcomes different challenges, the Christian must learn to walk in the light. In this passage John uses the contrast of light and darkness to challenge readers about authentic Christianity.

In “light”, John is referring to holiness and purity, while “darkness” refers to sin and worldliness. The emphasis is that these two symbols are complete opposites and can’t exist together. John also talks about those that “walk” in darkness, which shows a continued pattern of the lifestyle.

As believers in Christ we may occasionally “step” in darkness, but our convictions will not allow us to stay there.

Think about your life as being the “only Bible that someone will ever read.” If someone watched you for a full day and recorded everything they saw and heard, how would they describe a Christian? Would there be a clear picture of who God designed us to be? What about the people you spend your time with, your friends and family? Are they living in the light?.

Nobody is perfect. It’s not about perfection; it’s about progress. What changes can be made in your life that can keep you walking in the light and away from the darkness?

Dear Lord, help us to walk in the light. Help us to have the strength to share the light You have put in us so that those around us will see You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, January 21, 2019

What Is Real?

2 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV)
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

The Christian life that is real will display several “essential features” giving evidence of a changed person. These features are very clear in I John, where we see several “tests” that compare our lives to that of Jesus Christ.

So what does it mean to live the authentic Christian life? Many try to make it a very complicated issue, but God’s Word makes it very clear. It does this by giving us a model for our lives. Jesus Christ was clearly an original.

Think about the immense influence He had during the short time He walked on this earth. He is the model for all believers to follow. We can know who Christians are by how closely they resemble the “original”. John had a deeper understanding of the original because he had seen, heard, and touched Christ. Through this life-changing encounter, he was compelled to live in a way that reflected the mission of Jesus!

Think about just one feature of Christ you wish you had (His patience, His joy, etc.). Focus in on that one attribute over the next few days. Pray that God will reveal to you specific adjustments that can help you display more of this characteristic.

Doing this successfully will ultimately display more of who Christ is. You will impact and inspire more people than you could ever imagine. The best part is people will sense the difference without you saying or telling them since it is becoming a natural part of your life.

People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they do remember how you made them feel.

What can you do this week that will help others see Christ in your life?

Dear Lord, we pray that You would open our eyes to the things that we can change that will show others You in our life. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Why Trust Is So Important

Proverbs 3:5-10 (ESV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your flesh
    and refreshment to your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth
    and with the first fruits of all your produce;
10 then your barns will be filled with plenty,
    and your vats will be bursting with wine.

Trust can be delicate and challenging to find. Most people have pieces of history where someone let them down or took advantage of them. There was existing trust extended to another and that trust was shattered in the aftermath of betrayal. It doesn’t matter who you are; I’ve witnessed a scale where pastors limit their circle in extreme lengths, to people shutting out those that love them most to avoid loss again.

Trust is one of the most important attributes of the Christian walk. Trusting God and His process is key to our faith journey, and yet for most of us, our experiences in our past can leave us scared to death or unsure of how to trust. As we walk through the trust journey; however, you must first understand why it’s important.

Proverbs 3:5-10 is an exploration of that why. The first step in our why is to acknowledge our God and His plans. An understanding of the power, depth, and perfection of His plan must be acknowledged by you and me. When we can embrace that His plan and process, the best possible journey to be on, something happens. God MAKES our path straight.

There is a direct correlation between acknowledging Him and the direction of our lives. It can be hard to trust the invisible and unforeseen, but you must extend your trust to God. When you don’t do that you are taking your future out of the hands of the Almighty and placing it into a dangerous place...the world.

Take a minute to pray about today’s verses and come to terms where your trust must be. Do that and watch God go above and beyond your expectations. We must continually remind our self in the unknown that God has a plan, He is in control, and He has our best interests at heart. So, all we have is trust.

Dear Lord, we pray that we would learn to trust in You completely. Thank You that You are in control of everything even when we don’t understand. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Woof, Woof, Woof!

Luke 11:5-8 (ESV)
5 And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, 6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.

Continuing with stories about dogs that have a lesson for each of us I found this one about being persistent.

Having assembled my usual cup of tea, Bible, paper, and pen, I finally sat down to write. I had just gotten comfortable to pray, read the Scriptures, and begin another chapter, when I heard a sound outside the front door. A small woof drifted to my ears from our front porch. Having just begun a new story, I ignored Joy’s soft bark and kept writing. It wasn’t long before I heard it again. “Woof,” she barked, this time a little louder. I was in the middle of a stream of writing, and it was a beautiful day outside, so I continued to write. I tend to get in the flow of my writing and tune out the world around me. I was on a roll, writing a new devotion, and I wanted to stay in the stream of thought.

In a couple of minutes, I heard a louder, more insistent woof from outside the front door. Joy was persisting in her request to come back inside our house. I knew she wasn’t going to give up and take a nap on the front porch, as I’d hoped, so I got up and let her in. She happily trotted into the house, stationing herself on the back of the couch for her afternoon nap. I went back to writing and all was well. I completed the project despite the interruption. It wasn’t long, though, before my mind turned back to Joy’s increasingly insistent woofs outside the front door. As I read my Bible and prayed, I thought about her woof, woof, woof as a model for prayer. Let me explain.

I was reading Luke 11, where Jesus taught His disciples about prayer. First, He gave them a pattern to use in the Lord’s Prayer, and then He taught them about the importance of persistence through the parable of the persistent friend, found in Luke 11:5–8. There Jesus likened His heavenly Father to a man who’s just gotten himself and his family tucked into bed for the night after a long, tiring day. Any parent with young children knows that this can be quite an accomplishment, particularly in close quarters.

Suddenly at midnight the homeowner’s sleep is disturbed by a knock on the door by a friend in need. Reluctant to disturb his family and get out of bed, thereby waking his whole household, he refuses the request. However, the friend persists in his request, ultimately succeeding in his pursuit of assistance from the homeowner. Jesus uses the story to teach us that prayer is not a passive or singular exercise. He encourages believers, through this and other parables, to persist on the stubborn points in prayer.

Don’t get me wrong. God is not unwilling to answer His children’s pleas. However, the nature of this present age and the reality of spiritual warfare in the fallen world we live in necessitate faith-filled, persistent prayer. Jesus knew that, of course, which is why He gave us this parable. Like the persistent friend in Jesus’ parable and my insistent dog outside my front door that day, believers who persist in their faith-filled prayers are sure to get an answer in line with God’s will.

Dear Lord, we confess that we can be distracted and easily discouraged over circumstances in my our and easily give up. Help us to be persistent and keep faith that You are working and will answer our prayers. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

Just Say No

Ephesians 6:10-13 (ESV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

Here is a story I found that goes along with our verse today.

My little Cavachon, Joy, and I were out for a walk on a beautiful summer’s evening. She trotted along next to me, her usual happy self. As we rounded a bend in the sidewalk and headed up a hill, I suddenly noticed a large black dog with its tail erect staring at us. I didn’t like the looks of his stance. He began to run toward us, with his owner casually walking behind, stating how friendly he was. I had an inner sense he was anything but friendly, in spite of his owner’s words.

The dog charged out of his yard, came onto the sidewalk, and towered over my little pet. He gave a few casual sniffs then turned to walk away. Suddenly, however, he turned back toward Joy with teeth bared, ready to snap! There was no time to run, and in a split second I knew that would make matters worse. I looked that dog in the eye, stepped boldly toward him, and shouted, “No!” right in his face. He was startled and stopped his attack. By that time his owner had reached us and began pulling her so-called friendly pet back into her yard, apologizing profusely.

As we began to walk on, both Joy and I were a bit shaken. I reassured her with loving pats and kind words. I continued to pray and recognized that the incident was a lot like spiritual warfare (the unseen battle between God’s holy angels and Satan’s demons played out through earthly circumstances or people). The devil comes to tempt or attack Christians or their loved ones, often when they least expect it, and disguised in seemingly innocuous ways. However, the Holy Spirit can help believers to have an inner sense that something is amiss, as I did out on my dog walk that night.

Because I was listening to the Holy Spirit’s prompting in my heart instead of the dog owner’s voice, I was able to quickly step into the path of that aggressive dog, shouting “No!” and preventing a sure bite. Jesus did the same thing to Satan in the face of his wilderness temptations as detailed in Luke 4. When the devil tempted Jesus, the Lord spoke directly back to him using the Word of God as a spiritual weapon. He overcame the devil with His Word!

Jesus wasn’t passive; He actively resisted the devil, and we need to do the same. Through daily prayer, Bible reading, memorizing Scripture, and practicing the Lord’s presence, the Christian can begin to see unseen or disguised dangers intended to harm their friends or family and just say no in prayer!

Dear Lord, we believe Your Word is truth and that we can use it as a spiritual weapon as You did. Help us to use Your Word as a weapon so we may stand against the devil.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Wait for the Master’s Voice

1 Kings 19:12 (ESV)
And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.

In the town of Talkeetna, Alaska, there are two darling chocolate Labrador Retrievers, aptly named Tally and Keetna. They lived at the outdoor adventure shop that their owners ran. Tally and Keetna greeted all the tourist visitors that came to their shop. Their wagging tails greet everyone that enters the shop.

When people come into the shop the owner is always happy to share her dogs’ tricks. Besides the usual “sit,” “stay,” and “down,” Tally and Keetna were experts at another great dog trick. Their owner joyfully broke a dog treat in half and had them sit side by side. As they obediently sat, their owner balanced half a Milk-Bone on each of their snouts. “Wait,” she commanded. Neither one of them moved an inch. They sat motionless, waiting for the command of their master before indulging in a delicious doggy treat.

In the midst of the busy adventure shop, the Labs were the picture of patience and obedience. Then their opportunity for reward came. “Okay!” their master declared. Gulp! Each dog flipped her treat off of her snout and into her wide-open mouth. It was as if those dogs were grinning ear to ear as they happily chomped down their treats.

Tally and Keetna had been trained to wait for and listen to the command of their master’s voice before they ate their treats. I’m sure that they had plenty of training and prematurely eaten Milk-Bones in the process. Like the two well-trained chocolate Labs, Christians can be trained to wait patiently for their Master Jesus’ commands.

Jesus promised in John 10 that believers would be able to hear and follow His voice. In those verses, Jesus likened Himself to a good shepherd and the believer to sheep. Like sheep who are familiar with and follow their shepherd, so it is with the well-trained Christian. He used this word picture to explain what the Holy Spirit’s leadership for the believer would be like. He further explained that the believer would be able to become sensitive to His voice and learn to follow Him instead of the voice of the evil one. Knowing and following the Master’s commands is a promise to all believers.

With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can train ourselves to sit quietly, in prayer, and listen for His leading. When His specific commands or promises come, it will be a blessing to obey, and we will surely see the reward of our obedience.

Dear Lord, help us to be and listen for Your voice and Your leading each day. Forgive us for those times that we have been disobedient and rushed ahead of You. Help us to train our self, to hear and obey Your voice. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Candy’s Heart: A Lesson in Faith

Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Candy is a spunky little West Highland White Terrier who belongs to a sweet little girl. They have been constant companions for many years as they go about doing chores on the horse farm where they live. Compared to the large, athletic horses that live on the farm, Candy is pretty small. In fact, she’s not quite halfway up to the knee of one of those huge horses, if you put them side by side. But what Candy lacks in stature, she makes up for in her disposition. She’s all heart. When visitors come to the farm, she bounces down the front steps, tail wagging in a friendly greeting. She’s always cheerful, and it just brightens anyone’s day to visit Candy.

It was a big shock one day when they found out she developed a serious heart condition called chordae tendinae rupture and congestive heart failure, and her survival hung in the balance. The family sent out an urgent prayer request for their sweet little Candy.

In her prayer request, you could discerned a real gift of faith. Her faith demonstrated Hebrews 11:1 perfectly. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Contrary to the evidence, and well aware of the dire straits that Candy was in, they reached out for God’s hand to guide the veterinary care being given to their darling dog. That’s what faith is. Faith reaches out to other believers for prayer in spite of the evidence.

Many people prayed, asking the Lord to bless the faith of the family and put His healing hand upon Candy’s heart. Over the next few days, many prayers for Candy were made. It was nip and tuck for a while, but Candy made it. At nearly fourteen years old, she has survived for more than two additional years with the intervention of God and excellent veterinary care, because of the faith of a girl who reached out for prayer and asked God to do the impossible.

Dear Lord, we need Your help to see through eyes of faith. We ask you to open our eyes to the possibilities with You rather than seeing the impossible. Thank you, Lord, for giving us eyes to see. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.