On Wings Of Eagles

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The battle that continuously rages on

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (ESV)
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

Picture this -- you come home from a long day of work -- you walk into your living room -- plop down on your couch in exhaustion -- and there in the corner of the room -- your eyes are drawn to something moving -- it's a rattlesnake! Do you say to yourself, "Oh, I'm too tired to worry about that now, I'll deal with it later?" Of course not! You'd jump up right away, find a bat or something of the like, alert your family, call the neighbors, call 911, call the fire department and who knows what else! It's a life-threatening situation!

In the same way, we need to consider it an emergency when a negative thought enters our minds! We immediately need to jump up, put our armor on, alert others and ask for help if needed and take cover in the promises of God! When those unrighteous thoughts enter our minds, we must deal with them immediately -- lest they linger and fester -- and before we know it, poison our entirety.

Sadly this is a battle that continuously rages on. We must renew our minds daily -- and even hourly in order to remain in a place of peace. Let's not wait 'till the enemy has us in his grip! Let's put him in his place at the first sign of attack!

Dear Lord, help us and give us the strength for the battle that rages around us each day. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Spiritual extreme makeover

Psalm 90:17 (ESV)
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
    and establish the work of our hands upon us;
    yes, establish the work of our hands!

Charles William Eliot, former president of Harvard University, had a birthmark on his face that bothered him greatly. As a young man, he was told that surgeons could do nothing to remove it. Someone described that moment as "the dark hour of his soul." Eliot's mother gave him this helpful advice: "My son, it is not possible for you to get rid of that hardship...But it is possible for you, with God's help, to grow a mind and soul so big that people will forget to look at your face."

Yes, it's true. All of us have things we'd love to change about our bodies. And many of us tend to spend an awful lot of time and money trying to change, fix and cover those things up. But I think there is much truth in Mrs. Eliot's words. When we are shining boldly for the Lord, I don't believe anyone sees them!

Do you REALLY want to make a drastic difference in your appearance today? Let's stop focusing on our outward issues today and start focusing on what really counts -- walking uprightly and wholeheartedly with the Lord -- a spiritual extreme makeover! We will glow like never before, at a low low price and 100% guaranteed!

Dear Lord, help us to walk wholeheartedly for you so that Your love would glow through us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Have you been disappointed recently?

Romans 16:25-27 (ESV)
25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

In the year 1920, young Oswald Smith stood before the examining board for the selection of missionaries. He had wanted to be a missionary for as long as he could remember, and for all that time had been crying out to God that He might open a door for him to do so. Finally, his time had come. There he stood awaiting his destiny. His long-awaited was about to come..."No."

Smith had not met the missionary board's qualifications and was turned down for service. After a time of disappointment, he decided that if he couldn't be a missionary, he would build a church which would raise up some. And that is precisely what he did. The church he planted sent out more missionaries than any other church of its time. And God used Oswald Smith mightily for His Kingdom.

This is what happens when we don't let our circumstances rule us. We will always be victorious.

Have you been disappointed recently? Not all our hopes and expectations come to pass like we think they should. Let's not let it get us down. Surely God has something better! Continue to seek. Continue to knock. Continue to ask. Continue to get revelation. We need to be walking in victory!

Dear Lord, we pray today that when we are disappointed in the circumstances help us to look to You for what You have next for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.  

Saturday, January 28, 2017

God's power

Luke 10:19 (ESV)
Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.

Have you ever thought about how much power God is releasing in our midst right now? Is it 20%... 50%... 100% of His great power?? I would venture to say that God is not even releasing a fraction of 1% of His power today. That might sound crazy but think about it. If He were to release all His power on this earth, don't you think that sin would be completely destroyed and righteousness and holiness would abound?

God is an all-powerful, all-encompassing God, and there is no limit to what He can do. He chooses to release His power through His saints -- through sinners that have been washed by the blood of the Lamb! We have access to amazing power from on high -- but we have to be open vessels, allowing the anointing of God to flow through us!

The power to tread upon serpents, scorpions and every power of darkness has been given to us! Let's pray like we've never prayed before! And allow the Lord to use us as vessels through which His power can be released!

Dear Lord, help us to let Your power flow through us today. Help us be a clean vessel for You today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Where is your kingdom?

Revelation 1:5-6 (ESV)
5 And from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

One day a passerby saw a homeless man on the roadside. He stopped for a moment to hand him some loose change and casually said "God bless you, my friend".
"I thank God," said the homeless man, "I am never unhappy."
"What do you mean?" the passerby asked.
"Well," he said, "when the sun is out, I thank God -- when it rains, I thank God. When I am full, I thank God and when I am hungry, I thank God. And, since God's will is my will, and whatever pleases Him pleases me, why should I say I am unhappy when I am not?"
The man looked at him in astonishment and asked, "Who are you?"
"I am a King," said he.
"Where, then, is your Kingdom?" asked the man.
"In my heart." The homeless man replied.

Yes, we can have nothing, yet have it all. So often, we focus on what we have and forget who we are! The two are not related at all -- what we have (or don't have) has nothing to do with who we are! The Word says that we are kings and priests and so it is!

Let's give all our concerns to the Lord and see ourselves as He does -- Kings and Priests! Thank God in every circumstance and there, we will find our victory.

Dear Lord, help u snot focus on the things that we have or don’t have but instead on who You made us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Salt of the Earth

Mark 9:50 (ESV)
Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.

Who ever said that salt is bad for you? Here are some things you may or may not know about this wonderful mineral!

Salt is essential for muscle movement, including that of the heart. It's necessary for the digestive tract to function properly --crucial for the transmission of messages by the nerve cells, and regulated osmotic pressure and the movement of fluid to and from the cell. Salt is found in blood, sweat, and tears. Hotter climates increase the need for salt consumption. Chronic deprivation of salt causes loss of weight, loss of appetite, nausea, muscular cramps and even stunts growth.

In the food industry, it is used in flavoring and seasoning, pickling, canning, preserving, baking, dairying, curing meat and fish, and processing flour and other foods. Salt is a binder, a texturizer, and a fermentation control agent. Other useful applications include de-icing highways, oil well drilling, and fertilizing!

We are to be the salt of the earth. As you can see, we have a tough act to follow! But we need to be the salt that the world so desperately needs!

Let's examine ourselves today and see if we're flavoring the world the way we should!

Dear Lord, thank You that You have given us the job of being the salt of the Earth. Help us make a difference. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Kick back and rest

Isaiah 66:1-2 (ESV)
1 Thus says the Lord:
“Heaven is my throne,
    and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house that you would build for me,
    and what is the place of my rest?
2 All these things my hand has made,
    and so all these things came to be,
declares the Lord.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
    he who is humble and contrite in spirit
    and trembles at my word.

In our house we have a recliner that has one of those built-in foot rest operated by a lever on the side. It's my captain chair. It's so comfortable that oftentimes I will kick up the foot-rest, and within minutes, fall asleep.

The scripture says God's captain chair, His throne, is in heaven... and his footstool is right here on earth! This planet is God's footstool. That means everything – the mountains, the rivers, oceans, your home, under His feet...but, more than that, your problems, your worries, your fears – they are all under His feet as well!

So stop worrying and relax – give those problems over to God, kick up your feet, and rest in Him, realizing that every issue you're dealing with is also truly under His feet, and that He never slumbers or sleeps!

Dear Lord, we thank You that You have all our problems under control and we can just kick back and rest in that fact. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Taking out the garbage

2 Corinthians 7:1 (ESV)
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

Thursday night is the night we take out garbage down to the street for the pick up on Friday.  Well, I don’t know about you-- but this is not one of my favorite tasks. Every Thursday as I collect the garbage from around the house I think to myself “didn’t I just empty these garbage cans?  It’s like I turn around and they are full again!

It amazes me how much garbage we make. It got me to thinking about spiritual garbage. Let’s face it. We live in a world running rampant with spiritual trash. It’s everywhere -- and though we as believers try and avoid it, we step out our front doors and there it is to greet us. We don’t even have to step out our doors anymore! The trash has inundated our television, our music, our computers. It’s in our schools and even in our congregations! We’re probably so chock full of trash by now, we’re overflowing! I think it’s time we empty our spiritual trash cans.

We have a responsibility to make sure we empty our spiritual trash – and empty it often. Let’s ask the Lord to help us take out the mess and clean us up from head to toe -- that we might be able to do greater things for Him!

Dear Lord, we pray that You would take the mess out of our life so that we can be clean from head to toe. Help us to not let the trash of our life built up and destroy our witness for You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Jesus Boat

Isaiah 33:6 (ESV)
And he will be the stability of your times,
    abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
    the fear of the Lord is Zion's treasure.

It was 1986, in the midst of a three year drought, when two brothers who lived in a kibbutz near the Sea of Galilee made an incredible discovery. As these two fishermen monitored their equipment on the lake, they noticed something glistening in the sun covered in mud. It was a fishing boat. Upon deeper examination, archaeologists determined that these two brothers had discovered an ancient boat from the time of Jesus. It's was called the "Jesus boat" and is now located in a museum next to the Sea of Galilee.

Hidden under water for centuries, the only reason it was discovered was that the severe drought had lowered the lake surface so drastically; so that even when no one was looking for it -- this treasure was discovered totally unexpectedly.

As we look around us we can see that it is becoming more and more spiritually dry in this world and sometimes I wonder, will anything good ever come out of this mess? Yet I think the same thing can happen for us as happened to those two fisherman. When things get low, and dry, and sparse, suddenly when we least expect it, God can reveal treasure that we couldn't see or know about because everything was abundantly okay. Maybe it's a friendship that blossoms because of the pressure or need ... or, maybe just a new and deeper insight into the Lord's own sufferings; or maybe a new spiritual gift of encouragement, there are many possibilities. Why not start looking for them, because they might appear when we least expect it.

Dear Lord, help us keep our eyes open for that things around us. Help us to be diligent in spreading Your love to the world around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

God wants us to be free of the bondages

Luke 12:15 (ESV)
And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

I heard this story recently.

Two shopkeepers were bitter rivals. Their stores were directly across the street from each other and they would spend each day keeping track of each other's business. If one of them got a customer, he would smile in triumph at his rival.

One night an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers in a dream and said, "I will give you anything you ask, but whatever you receive, your competitor will receive twice as much. Do you want to be rich? You can, but he will be twice as much. Do you wish to live a long and healthy life? You can, but his life will be longer and healthier. What is your desire?"

The man thought for a moment, and then said, "Please… blind me in one eye."

I think we are often unaware of the deceptive way the enemy operates in this area of our lives. Is it easier for us to show sympathy when a person is hurting then to truly rejoice when they receive a blessing? That's one surefire way to tell.

God wants us to be free of the bondages that hold us back from doing great things for Him, and many times we don't even know they exist! Let's examine our hearts today. Perhaps we need to do some repenting.

Dear Lord, we thank You that we can be free from the bondage.  Help us do great things for You today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Lord has never failed to supply our needs

1 Peter 5:7 (ESV)
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

One of most admired men of faith is a man named George Mueller. George Mueller (1805-1898) did many great works for the Lord in his lifetime, among them building several orphanages.

The following is a great story he tells:

It was time for breakfast at of one of my orphanages in England and there was no food. Not only was there no food in the kitchen, but there was no money in the home's account. A young girl whose father was a close friend of mine was visiting the home. I took her hand and said, "Come and see what our Father will do." In the dining room, long tables were set with empty plates and empty mugs. We sat down at the table with the others and and I prayed, "Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat."

At once, we heard a knock at the door. There stood the local baker. "Mr. Muller," he said, "I couldn't sleep last night. Somehow, I felt you had no bread for breakfast, so I got up at 2 o'clock this morning and baked you some fresh bread. Here it is." Muller thanked him and gave praise to God. Soon afterward, a second knock came. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. There was no way to move and repair the cart except to empty it of the milk he needed to still deliver so he asked me if we could use his milk. We had a wonderful breakfast that morning.

Faith was the pinnacle of George Muller's life. Without a personal salary, he relied only on God to supply the money and food he needed to support the hundreds of homeless children he befriended in the name of Messiah. A man of radiant faith, he kept a motto on his desk for many years that brought comfort, strength, and uplifting confidence to his heart. It read, 'It matters to Him about you.' Mueller believed that those words captured the meaning of 1 Peter 5:7, and he rested his claim for divine help on that truth. He testified at the end of his life that the Lord had never failed to supply all his needs.

Dear Lord, we thank You that You are concerned with our every need. Help us to cast our cares upon You today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Pray for our leaders

1 Timothy 2:1-3 (ESV)
1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior.

This is a remarkable day in America – the swearing in of a new President. After all the heated debates and hard campaigning, non-stop television commercials and quarrels around the office coffeepot, America inaugurated its forty-fifth president. At noon today, Barack Obama quietly and peacefully handed over the presidency.

The key word here is “peacefully.” For over 230 years, Americans have witnessed this peaceful transfer of power. And what makes this day so remarkable is that we have never had to even think about it being otherwise. We have never worried that the incumbent would surround the capital with tanks in an attempt to hold on to power. Never has a President even considered having the opposition candidate arrested or assassinated. Such acts are so far removed from possibility that truly is too preposterous to believe. The rest of the world marvels our peaceful transfer of power and the fact that we can take this process for granted.

So instead of having to pray that such a diabolical plot not occur, today we can simply offer a prayer of thanksgiving for our nation and wisdom and strength and blessing for our new President. May God bless the United States and all who lead our nation.

Dear Lord, we pray that You will be with the leaders that lead our nation. We pray that they will seek Your wisdom as they serve. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Mark 14:3 (ESV)
And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head.

This is the touching story of how Jesus was anointed before His crucifixion. But there's one thing about this passage that stood out to me as I read it again. Jesus was not anointed with ointment until the box of alabaster was broken! In the same way, we must be broken before the Lord so that His anointing can be poured out upon us to touch others!

We should never be ashamed to be broken. God will not deny a broken heart and a contrite spirit! When we humble ourselves in His sight and place our pride on the altar of sacrifice, it is then that God’s anointing will be greatest upon us. It will pour out of us like the ointment from that box -- and we will be used greatly for His kingdom!

Let's ask the Lord to break us where we need to be broken this week so that we might be anointed completely to do the great things He's called us to do!

Dear Lord, we ask that we would be willing to be broken.   We pray that as we break our self before You so that we may be anointed by You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

We must walk by faith

2 Kings 6:15-17 (ESV)
15 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

As we press in closer to the Lord and His calling on our lives, the enemy becomes more and more fierce, throwing all kinds of darts of fear and doubt our way. But as His beloved children, we can trust the Lord to defend us! God has an invisible army all around, ready to protect us in our times of need. When the battle intensifies, when the enemy seems to be attacking from every side, when it seems all too great for our eyes, know that the Lord has placed His protection all around you! We may not see it -- but we must walk by faith!

Dear Lord, we thank You that You are all around us protecting us. Help us not to forget that You are there when we are being attacked by the evil one. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Stained glass masquerade

Luke 8:17  (ESV)
For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.

As I was doing my devotions today I ended my time with the Lord by listening to a Casting Crowns song; And they have a song called "Stained Glass Masquerade". Ever heard it? The lyrics are so good... here are a few lines.

So I tuck it all away, like everything's okay
If I make them all believe it, maybe I'll believe it too
So with a painted grin, I play the part again
So everyone will see me the way that I see them

Are we happy plastic people
Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles to hide our pain
But if the invitation's open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

This song talks about the struggles many of us face deep down but can never show it in the church. How sad is it that we can't be real with one another among brothers and sisters in the Lord!? Church should be the one place that we can show what's inside!

God wants to tear down the barriers between our home life and our church life! He wants us to be transparent with one another. He wants us to love one another as He has loved us and receive one another as He receives us when we fail. This is how we grow individually and as a body. It might be a little uncomfortable, but it's so necessary!

Dear Lord, help us to tear down the barriers between our home and church. Help our hearts and minds be real with those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Giordano's Pizza and Revivel

Matthew 5:6 (ESV)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

When I was attending Moody Bible Institute one of my favorite places to eat was Giordano’s. I think every time we went I would gain about 10 lbs.  Imagine the joy for me when they opened a restaurant in Orlando?  Feasting there is really fun...until you get on the scale!

So now when I eat there while and I think about "weight loss", I decide to be good to my body, and eat only one piece and take the rest home so I can enjoy them later.  But the entire time I was eating that one piece, I was really thinking – I can eat another piece. Just one more piece won’t hurt anything.

As I think about the Giordano’s pizza I am reminded about something I read about revival.   It said that revival will only take place when we REALLY hunger after Him. It's easy to hunger for a slice of Giordano’s pizza; but how often can we say with the psalmist, "My soul thirsts for thee O God, my flesh yearns for thee like a dry and weary land where there is no water." Ps. 63:1

The Lord desires for us to hunger after Him. Since He is life, He is the fountain of "revival". We need to redirect our hunger.

Dear Lord, help us to have a hunger for You. Help our desires to be the things that bring honor to You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Through God's eyes

1 Peter 1:22 (ESV)
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.

Many of us have conflicts with people we love most. Husbands, wives, children, parents, friends -- we complain to the Lord about our suffering and beg for Him to touch and change the situation so that we can be one big happy family again.

Here's a question. Have we cried out for that person's heart like the Lord has cried out for ours while we were yet sinners? Have we suffered and bled in tears and intercession? That is what the Lord did for us while we were nailing Him to the cross.

We need to have the same heart for those who trouble us as the Lord has for us daily. He bleeds and weeps over us and intercedes to no end. How much more should we be doing the same?

Dear Lord, help us to get Your heart on the matter! Help us see those who hurt us through Your eyes of compassion.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Paper cut

Hebrews 13:21 (ESV)
Equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Ever gotten one of those really bad paper cuts? I heard someone complaining about one the other day – and I got to thinking about all the stuff we gripe about without even realizing it. Our jobs and our relationships, our parents, our children, our churches, our homes, our appearances.

Really though, all these things are just paper cuts, when we compare them to the deep wounds of a world who doesn’t know the Lord!

We need to spend a lot less time complaining about our little paper cuts and much more time praying and ministering to the deep deep wounds of the lost all around us.

Dear Lord, help us not be concerned about the little paper cuts we come across but instead be concerned about the huge hurts that are all around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

He's my dad

Isaiah 51:5 (ESV)
My righteousness draws near,
    my salvation has gone out,
    and my arms will judge the peoples;
the coastlands hope for me,
    and for my arm they wait.

A group of scientists and botanists were exploring remote regions of the Alps in search of new species of flowers. One day they noticed through binoculars a flower of such rarity and beauty that its value to science was incalculable. But it lay deep in a ravine with cliffs on both sides. To get the flower someone had to be lowered over the cliff on a rope.

A curious young boy was watching nearby, and the scientists told him they would pay him well if he would agree to be lowered over the cliff to retrieve the flower below.

The boy took one long look down the steep, dizzy depths and said, “I’ll be back in a minute.” A short time later he returned, followed by a gray-haired man. Approaching the botanist, the boy said, “I’ll go over that cliff and get that flower for you if this man holds the rope. He’s my dad.”

His whole assurance was based in the fact that his father was trustworthy.

Our Heavenly Father wants us to place our entire trust in Him and is pleased to show His faithfulness, we can trust Him to hold us even when it seems we are on the very edge!

Dear Lord, thank You that we can put our complete trust in You. Help us to always trust You in all things. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Our victory is near

2 Kings 6:15-17 (ESV)
15 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

So often in our walks with the Lord, we become focused on what we can see, what we can hear and what we can sense in the physical realm. Like that young man, we focus on the enemy’s attacks around and about us. At times we can get so focused on our physical circumstances that we forget that the Lord has already provided for us the victory!

That servant was frightened by the size of the enemy's army heading their way -- but Elisha was focused on the Lord. He knew that God had a much bigger army prepared…and that is what won him the victory.

Do not be frightened! Let's let our spiritual eyes be opened today so that we may see that God has prepared a plan of victory from the beginning of time! Our victory is near!

Dear Lord, we thank You that from the beginning of time You had a plan for our life. We want to thank You and claim the victory today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bunnies and fragrances

2 Corinthians 2:14-15 (ESV)
14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

Today I went out to feed the bunnies. As I threw in different plants I found around the yard each one would go up to it and sniff it to see if they want to pursue it any further.  It we so adorable as I watched them.

Back in the days of the Roman Empire fragrances were all the rage? They would celebrate their victories with huge parades and burn incense on the altars, which would fill the entire city with its sweet-scented aroma. Even those who could not be part of the celebration would smell the incense from afar and know their army had been victorious!

This is the very effect we should have on the world around us. Our lives should be burning the sweet smell of righteousness, holiness, love, and victory! Our fragrance should be so strong that people can smell it from afar and know that we are victorious in every circumstance through the atoning work God has already done!

Dear Lord,  help our lives give off the sweet smell of righteousness, holiness, love, and victory that we have as Your children. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The stork and snails

Jeremiah 5:25 (ESV)
Your iniquities have turned these away,
    and your sins have kept good from you.

There is a fable about a stork on the bank of an Indian river. One day he was busily hunting for slugs and snails when an exquisitely beautiful swan dropped down beside him. The stork was taken aback by her beauty. "Where did you come from?" he asked. "From heaven, far above the mountains," said the swan. "Really?? said he, “Is it a good place to live?" "Oh stork, it’s beautiful -- far beyond this." she replied. "Well, do they have any snails there?" the stork inquired. "No!? said the swan with an expression of disgust. "Oh well, I don't care to go there then. I'm looking for snails."

How many of us are in love with the low and sensual pleasures of this earth -- and prefer them even to the joys of a beautiful heaven? There are joys we haven't yet experienced available to us -- if we would only stop looking for snails!

Dear Lord, help our eyes be on the things of You.  Help us not be focused on the things of this Earth but instead on the things that are available though You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Spiritual Workout

2 Timothy 2:3-4 (ESV)
3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.

In Hebrew, the word for hardness is "kosher". Interestingly enough, the word "kosher" also means "fitness", as from a workout in the gym. Yes -- it's a workout to serve the Lord in this world -- but God has called us to it!

These days, many people are working out intensely to beautify and strengthen their bodies. A lot of them are obsessed with appearance and youthfulness. It has virtually become a religion to be beautiful and/or "ripped", and people are willing to make serious sacrifices for the sake of their bodily condition.

Believers are called to a different kind of "workout" which can be equally or even more intense. Our "obsession" isn't with our bodies, but with our spirit. It is easy and "natural" to become caught up in the affairs of this life, even to adopt the worldly obsession with physical appearance. Yet our "workout" calls us to minimize the attention we give to worldly affairs, and to endure the hardness of spiritual warfare and service.

Are we aware of the reality of the eternal life which belongs to us, and of ALL its implications? Our life in this world is incredibly short, yet filled with tremendous opportunity for the Lord and our place in the world to come. If we want to please Him, (and we ought to think about why we would), we will make the most of our time, and work out with the greatest spiritual energy possible. That will involve saying no to worldly priorities and concentrating on spiritual ones.

If we have been chosen to be soldiers for God's great army this is no small thing! We will increasingly disentangle ourselves from prioritizing worldly pursuits, and be seeking first the things of the Kingdom of Heaven. When we do that we have two promises: earthly provision for all of our needs [Matthew 6:23], and treasure in Heaven [Luke 18:22]. Let's get free from the cares of this life and get focused on eternal blessings!

Dear Lord, we thank You for the eternal life that You have promise for each of us that are Your children. Help us free our self from the cares of this world. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Captain without a map and a compass

Philippians 3:14 (ESV)
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

A life without a goal is like the captain of a ship without a map and a compass. His ship will just drift aimlessly from day to day hoping to arrive somewhere. The apostle Paul set for himself a goal! He pressed forward in search for his goal -- he pressed toward the mark of the high calling in Messiah! He had a clear direction of where he was going and he was focused on the Lord! How much more should we!

By setting a goal, we are making a decision to act. We are providing ourselves a map and depending on the Lord to be our compass -- to provide the direction He wants us to go! A goal is more than a dream -- it's a dream acted upon. It's not saying "oh, I wish I could" -- it's declaring what we want to do for the Lord-- it's a declaration of faith!

Let's make our lives interesting -- let's set for ourselves a goal! Let's make a clear declaration of faith, saying "This is what I am going to do for the Lord and then press forward!" Let us see where the Lord will take us in 2017!

Dear Lord, we thank You that You are our map and compass. Help us rely on You to lead us in the path that You have set for each of us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

A man with God at his side is an army, undefeatable

Deuteronomy 3:22 (ESV)
You shall not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.

On October 31st, 1917, six hundred soldiers of the Australian 4th and 12th Light Horse Brigade, under the command of Brigadier General William Grant, led a daring attack against the Ottoman army in Beersheva. Armed with only horses and bayonets they charged the deeply entrenched Ottoman army. As machine guns fired, and men and horses were dying, the Lighthorsemen dug in their spurs and continued to press forward to victory. The bewildered enemy failed to adjust their gun sights and their fire began passing harmlessly over the heads of the horsemen, who then quickly overran the Ottoman army utterly defeating them in less than an hour. Historians describe this remarkable battle as the last successful cavalry charge in history.

Sometimes the warfare against us seems overwhelming. We feel inadequately armed, outgunned, and too weak to attack. But fighting with the Lord on our side we do have the weapons we need to achieve the victory! And amazingly, some battles can be won far quicker than we think. We need only press forward and put our trust in Him. A man with God at his side is an army, undefeatable!

Let's be courageous as we press forward for the Kingdom today!

Dear Lord, we thank You that You are in control of everything help us to put our trust in You for all things. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

We can't help but be drenched

Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)
38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In 1985 I took my bride to visit Niagara Falls for our honeymoon.  We were truly awed by their enormity. Can you believe that at each and every second that goes by, approximately one-hundred and fifty thousand tons of water go plunging down to the bottom?! And because of their marvelous wonder, the Niagara Falls attracts nearly 12 million tourists a year.

The Lord could have used a lot less water. He could have made the Falls smaller, but instead He created them as high as a twenty story building -- but would you believe that as much water as pours down from those Falls, that amount doesn't even compare to the amount of love that God has poured out upon us?

God's love toward us is not like a little water from the tap. It is not as high as a twenty story building -- it's not as high as a fifty story building! His love far surpasses that! We can't help but be drenched!

Be encouraged! God loves you so much. He cares for every one of your needs and He is near to you! Call upon His name today.

Dear Lord, we thank You for your love. We pray that we would accept it and share it with those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Supersize your faith

Jude 3 (ESV)
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

Don't you love the New Year? Every year this time, people start  jogging and dieting to get rid of the belly that have gained over the past year.

It gets harder to lose that weight when you go to the local fast food restaurant and they ask you if you want it supersized.
Don't you love when you step up to the fast food counter, how they ask you, "Would you like to supersize it?" What are they saying? "Now that we know what you want to eat, how about a whole lot more of it !?!"

As I was thinking about this I suddenly came to this realization. When we enter into His presence, God is also saying to us, "How about a deeper, more fruitful time of prayer or worship?!?"

So here's my idea, let's say "no thanks" to the fast food guy....and, "Yea, Lord, SUPERSIZE ME!!!"

Dear Lord, we pray that we would ask You to supersize our prayer life and our devotions. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A lesson from a Humpback whale

Luke 15:6 (ESV)
And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’

There was a story written in the San Francisco Chronicle about a female Humpback that had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. Weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat, with hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, tail, and torso, and a line tugging in her mouth, she was a miserable victim indeed.

Thankfully, a fisherman spotted her just east of the Farralone Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was in such bad condition the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her, a very dangerous proposition. One slap of her enormous tail could kill a rescuer. Undaunted, these brave souls worked for hours cutting her free. One guy who was cutting the rope out of her mouth says he saw her eye following him the entire time. Finally, they were able to free her.

The moment she was freed, the divers say she began to swim in joyous circles! She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, gently --she thanked them all. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

What lesson can we learn from this beautiful story. There are deeply wounded and entangled souls in our congregations and communities who are desperate and near to sinking, never to be seen again. Where are the brave souls ready to risk the danger and gather a team of rescuers to cut them loose and bring them to joyous freedom? Isn't this exactly what our Lord has done for us? We can afford to do the same, and I believe we have this mandate from Him. These are difficult cases, perhaps there is even some danger in approaching them; but a brave and resolute team, led and empowered by our Captain, can accomplish the rescue and share in the amazing joy of the deliverance.

You may be the one to initiate this kind of rescue team for a brother or sister in distress. If so, just do it. The result will be as beautiful and rewarding as a joy-filled Humpback Whale!

Dear Lord, help us each be the one to initiate the rescue of someone in need today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.