They Just Don’t Mix

Never forget these words.  Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

Text for Today – 2 Timothy 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Fear has torment; it paralyzes.  The word, torment, arises from the people whose job it was in ancient prisons to torture, and simply make miserable, the prisoners under their charge.  They were tormentors.  I have seen an acrostic on the word FEAR that I believe to be quite accurate: False Evidence Appearing Real.

In its beginning stages, fear distrusts God’s ability.  It then sinks to disobeying God’s commands (His Word), and finally to its lowest level of disowning God Himself when it appears one is asked to do the impossible.  One will distrust when  forced to wait, disobey when work is difficult, and disown when what is desired seems impossible or out of reach.

However, God has not given us the “spirit of fear.”  Instead, we have “power;” the ability of God in us to conduct and complete the work of His kingdom as it is our task to perform.  We also have” love;” the very nature and person of God Himself that enables us to keep His commandments and conduct His Word at all times and in every circumstance, and that without failing.  And let us not forget the marvelous gift of a “sound mind;: the manifest mind of Christ that enables us to think anointed thoughts, and in so doing, act just like Jesus Himself would as He faced any given situation.  These elements free us to walk in  and live by faith.

Faith brings peace.  It activates and energizes our being.  Faith brings trust in God’s ability to do what He said.  It grows in obedience to the Word, thus fulfilling the love walk.  And it produces its highest fruit in challenging and overcoming impossibilities, holding wonderfully bold faith in the Name of Jesus, His Word, and Covenant of God.

Faith and fear just don’t mix.  Faith works by love, and love casts out all fear, along with its resident torment.  Just as faith come by hearing the Word of God, so fear comes by hearing the report of the enemy.  Whose report will you believe?  As for me and my house, we will believe the report of the Lord.  There’s faith in that!

Manna for Today – Psalm 23; 1 John 5:3; Romans 1:16

The King’s Heart

If your heart is in God’s hands, He will always turn it in the right direction to please Him and be blessed.

Text for Today – Proverbs 21:1 – The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.

Who is the king?  In our Text for Today, it refers to the person in charge; the person who has control over something, or is in charge over it (there is a great difference).  It could be the President of the United States, a state governor, a military officer at command level, or your boss on the job.  It could be the head of the household, the principal of a school, or the owner of a company.  In any of these situations, his (the king’s) heart is in the hand of God, and God CAN turn that person (that king) whithersoever He will

So, why doesn’t God just force all such people to always to the right thing at the right time at the right place, and thereby always bring about the right results?  The answer is simple; He (God) has turned all His authority in the earth over to His church.  He has given His church the power of attorney to use the mighty Name of Jesus in order to accomplish all He could do.

When the church prays, God moves.  When the church has a need, God already has the provision available, and when the church prays and operates by the principles of faith God has prescribed, God can move by whatever means He must, including turning the heart of a heathen (who may be in charge) to make provision for the work of His kingdom.  The Lord says in His Word that “the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.”  Well, understanding that we won’t need money in heaven, that can mean only one thing.  God has it in store for us to use in this age as we serve Him and His kingdom.

Please don’t think I am talking about coveting what someone else possesses.  I am not!  I am talking about applying Biblical principles and the faith God has given you to accomplish all He has called you to do.  Just as surely as God has a plan for your life (and He does), He has already put in place the resources you will need to accomplish it.  Keep your eyes (spiritual and physical) open to opportunities.  Just as wise men brought gifts to the Christ-child, and just as foreigners brought gifts to David and Solomon, there are men with gifts for you.  You, too, are a child of God (a Christian), and you, too, are a king (Jesus being King of kings).  Believe it, pray for it, expect it, and receive it.

Manna for Today – Ephesians 6:10-18; Psalm 24; 1 Timothy 2:1-17

The Power of Speech

The most powerful force on this earth is the Word of God spoken in faith by a believer.

Text for Today – Acts 10:44 – While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the Word.

How powerful the words are that proceed from our mouth!  Daily, words spew forth from people’s mouths, and that without any real thought or consideration to their power and impact, not only on the speaker’s life, but on the lives of those who hear, as well as the lives of those to whom each hearer relates.  I am convinced that many people, having a clearer understanding of the words they speak, would at first speak far less, and ultimately speak far smarter.

Not only do our words have hard-hitting, long-term impact, but they can be very impactful while they are yet coming forth.  While Daniel was praying, and angel came with the answer.  As soon as Elijah prayed, fire fell on Carmel.  Those of us who have and understand the power of the spirit of faith by which Abraham lived, also believe, and therefore speak.  If we believe Mark 11:23, then we believe in the power of speech.

Parents, be sure you engage your children with the right speech; you are shaping their lives.  Employers, be sure you engage your employees and clients with the right speech; you are determining your company’s future and your future profits.  Employees, be sure you engage you employer, superiors, and fellow employees with the right speech; you are building your employment security.  Pastor, be sure you engage your congregation, and especially ministry leaders with the right speech; you are creating the atmosphere for kingdom growth and activity.  Teacher, students, law enforcement, fire fighters, sanitation workers, husbands, and wives; take heed to yourselves that your speech is right; your life and the lives of those you influence and serve may be dependent on your very words.

Jesus has said you will have what you say.  The spirit of faith believes, and therefore it speaks.  Your own words will be your very own justifier, or they will be your personal condemner; the choice is yours.  Knowing the power of your words, and the eternal impact they contain, use them wisely.  When uncertain of facts, and especially truth, use them very sparingly.  When sure of the truth, and when in agreement with that truth, and in harmony with God’s Word, use them continually, holding fast to their profession, for He is faithful that has promised you will have what you say.

Manna for Today – Daniel 9:20-21; 1 Kings 18:36-38; 2 Corinthians 4:13-15; Mark 11:22-24;          Matthew12:34-37; Romans 3:4

Watchman or Watchdog

Watchmen and watchdogs are completely different breeds.  Choose wisely the one you will be.


Text for Today – Habakkuk 2:1 – I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.


Which are you?  Are you a watchman, or are you a watchdog?  Sadly, I’ve encountered too many watchdogs and too few watchmen.  While I cannot determine what someone else will do, I can determine what I will be, and for me, the choice is made that I will be a watchman, NOT a watchdog.

I have observed both.  Watchmen watch; they look out over the city to be able to report to the Lord OF the city the needs within the city.  In short, watchmen are intercessors, standing in the gap for the city, communicating as an intercessor the present needs to the Lord, and to the city the blessing of the Lord that comes in response to that intercession.  The watchmen also look beyond the city, searching with discerning eyes, to identify those who  come TO or UPON the city.  The watchmen recognize those who come with the blessing and call on those in the city to open to them.  the watchmen also recognize those who  would come upon the city with deception and destruction, warning the city to refuse them entry, and at the same time standing ready to defend the city with their own lives as part of the arm that stands for the city.

Watchdogs are otherwise.  The key part of the term watchdog is dogNOT watch.  Dogs bark, often about nothing.  Dogs whine when they don’t get their way.  Dogs yelp when something hurts.  Dogs fight over bones.  Dogs bite and devour one another, and often run in packs.  Dogs lurk in the shadows, dig holes that make the thoroughfare unsafe, and deposit their waste in the pathways where others must walk.

I urge you today, my friend, to recognize clearly the difference in watchmen and watchdogs.  Feed the watchman and starve the watchdog.  Encourage the watchman and discourage the watchdog.  Heed the watchman and bring the watchdog to heel.  Refresh the watchman and rebuke the watchdog.  Reward the watchman and reprove the watchdog.  Cheer the watchman and chain the watchdog.

Finally, BE a WATCHMANNOT  a watchdog.

Manna for Today – Ephesians 1:15-23; Ephesians 3:14-21; Ephesians 6:10-20; Philippians 1:3-11; Colossians 1:3-18; 1 Thessalonians 1:2-2:18; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-3:2; 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Smelling of Fish

Every day there should be a sign on your door that reads, “Gone fishin’.”

Text for Today – Mark 1:17 – And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

As a teenager, I had three friends who were like brothers.  We did almost everything together; we even got into trouble together.  Two of our special things we did together was hunting and fishing.  Often, we would fish all night long at a local pond or at a river.  We may not have been the most successful fishermen, but we sure enjoyed trying.  There were times we would come home after fishing all night, and like some fishermen we read about in the Bible, had taken nothing. 

However, something very interesting always took place.  When we went to our homes the next day, having fished all night and taking nothing, our mothers would comment on the same thing; we all smelled like fish.  You see, while we caught nothing, at least we had been where the fish were.  By trying to catch them, we smelled like them.

Our God has made you and me fishers of men.  We have been called to the field of labor of fishing for souls of men and women, boys and girls, who desperately need Jesus.  my question to you today is this.  When you come to your Father, do you come smelling of fish?  Think of this.  We are commanded by the Lord to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”  We are not called to preach our convictions, nor are we called to preach anyone under conviction.  We are called to preach the Word.  The work of convicting and the resulting conviction is the work of Holy Ghost.  We are called to cast the net and draw the net.  We are NOT called to herd the fish.  Yet, if we do our job, when we come to our Father, we will come to Him smelling of fish because we have been where the fish (the lost and unsaved) are.

So, dear reader, let me encourage you today to go fishing.  Just be who God has called you to be and so what God has sent you to do.  FISH!  Don’t worry about the catch, just FISH!  Whether you’re sent to catch one or a multitude, just FISH!  Whether you’re using a net or a hook, just FISH!  The Gospel is your hook and your net, so just FISH!  Cast it out and pull it in; FISH!  This will assure you that when you come before your Father, you will come with an aroma pleasing to Him; smelling of fish.  Oh, and one more thought; keep in mind that you don’t clean fish before you catch them.  it may help from time to time to tell the fish that same thing.  I’ve encountered a lot of fish who thought they had to be cleaned up before they could get caught.  And remember, you’re fishing FOR them, not swimming WITH them.

Manna for Today – Matthew 4:19; Luke 5:10; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20; Acts 1:7-8


Can you imagine what the Lord has in store for you?  It is greater than you think.

Text for Today – John 10:10 – The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:  I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

The first five words of the Bible should settle forever in your thinking a major element of the nature of God.  There we read, “In the beginning God created . . .”  Our God is the original Entrepreneur.  As the Entrepreneur, He created, and then renovated the earth.  He put the first people in the first garden.  He made and confirmed eternal covenants, keeping His Word through flood, rebellion, war, strife, and captivities, not to mention the good times.

When God originally created Satan (then known as Lucifer), he was created to lead praise and worship to the Lord.  He (Lucifer) was an incredibly beautiful and talented cherub, and was the ONLY angel the Scriptures indicate ever carried an anointing.  When he (Lucifer/Satan) rebelled against God and was removed from his position and cast down from heaven, he became a perverted entrepreneur.  He began an operation that had never before existed; stealing, killing, and destroying.

But let’s move beyond angels and fallen angels.  Let’s talk about that being that has been made in the image of God: YOU!.  If God is an Entrepreneur (and He is), and if you have been born again by His Spirit, therefore having the same spiritual genetic as your Father (and as a joint-heir with Christ), then you, too, are an entrepreneur.  That same Spirit is in you that raised up Jesus from the dead.  That Spirit is Holy Ghost, and He is the Spirit of Entrepreneurship.  Allow Him to speak to your heart, to lead you, to guide you, to reveal in you all the Father has placed in you.  You, as an individual, are a completely unique mix of spiritual, soulish, and physical genetic make-up.  Add to that the singular blend of talents, abilities, and giftings the Lord has invested in you, along with the knowledge you have gained and the skills you have developed and honed, and in the eyes of God, you are incredibly precious (peculiar).  God can do things with you and through you that He can do with no one else, and He longs to release that entrepreneurial ability into the earth for His glory and the upbuilding of His kingdom.  Open yourself to Him and release yourself to Him, allowing the Entrepreneur of entrepreneurs to mold you into His image and emissary in this earth.  Your faithfulness in what belongs to another entrepreneur will put you in a position for the Entrepreneur to make you into an entrepreneur of great success, high regard, and unimpeachable integrity.   It’s up to you, entrepreneur.  Your future is in your own hands.

Manna for Today – Romans 8

“YES” to the Best

Keep your eyes on the Lord, and what comes from Him.

Text for Today – James 1:17 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Stop and think for a moment.  I am sure that Satan has stolen from you at some point in your walk with the Lord.  He has certainly stolen from me.  Do not misunderstand my point here.  I am not glorifying the devil for his actions.  Rather, I am simply making a statement of fact according to John 10:10.  It is the will and plan of Satan to steal, kill, and destroy.  He had much practice since his fall, and in that practice, several millennia of experience. 

Our Lord, on the other hand, has promised us that He would restore to us all that the enemy has stolen.  I love that promise.  It helps me keep my expectancy high at all times.  Still, Satan will attempt to keep you focused on what he has taken, and therefore keep you unaware of what the Lord want to restore to you.  Our Text for Today says that “every good gift, and every perfect gift” comes from our God.  Therefore, it would not behoove us to reject “good” gifts.  In fact, a present manifestation of the “good” may be the Lord’s mechanism for teaching us how to handle and care for the “perfect” we cannot presently handle.  But at no time should we think anything less of the “good” of that which comes from the Father.

Can Satan produce good?  NO!  He is a liar, the father of lies, a thief, a killer, and a destroyer.  He is a deceiver, and nothing he pouts before you should be considered, in any way, as good.  Therein is one of the greatest means of deception he utilizes against the child of God.  Satan will place before you things and situations that look good, but in the end, lead to destruction.  Look closely at things that come to you, and on the surface appear to be good things.  Are there strings attached?  Gifts from God are filled with love, and loose you to use them to help others.  Gifts from Satan are really not gifts at all, but are rather traps with strings attached that will ultimately prevent you from serving the Lord and helping others.  Examine closely those things that appear to be gifts in your life.

Remember, the Word teaches that we should forget what is behind.  If Satan can keep you focused on what he has stolen from you, you will likely miss the great blessing of restoration, those truly “good” and “perfect” gifts the Lord has for you, that are awaiting you in the path in which you should be walking.  Keep in mind that you don’t drive a car while looking in the rear-view mirror.  You don’t follow the Lord and walk in His best by looking behind and remembering what has been stolen.  Say “NO” toe the past, and “YES” to the best.

Manna for Today – Jeremiah 29:11; Isaiah 45:11; Isaiah 55:11

No More Fleeces

Don’t ask the Lord to move in a manner contrary to His Word.  It will not happen.

Text for Today – Romans 8:14 – For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

When the Lord send His angel to Gideon to call him to lead in the deliverance of Israel, it was a marvelous act and confession of faith on the part of the Lord, and one from which we should learn much.  Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress; he was hiding from the Midianites for fear.  Yet, when the angel of the Lord spoke to him, he called Gideon a “mighty man of valor.”  Now that’s faith; calling things that be not as though they are.  Now, don’t be hard on Gideon because of what you’re about to read.  Remember, Gideon was not born again.  In fact, he was yet spiritually dead.  Gideon, in order to be sure of the leadership and call of the Lord fleeced the Lord.  In fact, he did it twice, asking for different results each time, and getting them.  It was through this fleecing that he came to truly understand that the Lord was indeed calling him to lead in the deliverance of Israel from the Midianites.

As I said, don’t be hard on Gideon, but at the same time, take a close, hard look at yourself.  It is so sad today to hear Christian men and women, especially leaders, praying and speaking in a manner that indicates they, too, are fleecing God.  I hear it all too often as people pray and testify.  They say, “Lord, if it is Your will for me to do so-and-so, then cause such-and-such to come to pass.”  I’ve heard pastors say, “If it is the Lord’s will for me to take the pastorate of this church, then I’ll receive a 100% vote of ratification.”  Oh, how deceitful such thinking is in this age.  There are grossly dangerous assumptions in such thinking, among them; (1) that every voter will hear from God, and (2) that Satan could in no way influence anything concerning their choice.

Dear one, you are a child of God; a born-again, regenerated, spiritually alive member of the body of Christ.  You have the Greater One living in you, and if you have asked, you are full of Holy Ghost.  In light of these truths, the Word tells us that we should be led by Holy spirit, and not be fleeces.  Someone might say that Holy Ghost could use a fleece to lead us.  My question is, “Why would He?”  Both Satan and the flesh have elements of direct influence on the natural world in which the fleece would be cast.  God to the Word, dear reader.  Read it, study it, meditate upon it, do it, obey it, live by it, and speak it.  Allow Holy Spirit to lead you personally.  He will.  Whether it is Jesus being led to the wilderness, Peter being led to the house of Cornelius, Philip being led from Samaria to the desert, or your being led to your next ministry, or in what to say to the next person you encounter, fleeces don’t count.  Demonstrate your sonship in God by being  led by Holy Spirit.

Manna for Today – Jude 6-8; 2 Timothy 2:15

Excited or Upset

We need to know the difference.


Text for Today – Luke 4:22 – And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.  And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?


Think of this scene.  Jesus has entered into the synagogue, stood up to read, read from the scroll of Isaiah, and sat down, telling the hearers that these passages were now being fulfilled  before them.  He was declaring His Messiahship without reservation.  The people were a people in bondage and servitude to the Romans.  Jesus was offering them freedom.  There should have been such an excitement that a shout would have erupted to alert the entire community, and ultimately the nations and the world. 

Instead, they became wrathful toward Jesus, escorted Him form the synagogue, and took Him to the brow of a high hill (cliff) with the intent of throwing Him to His death from it.  Jesus, however, had different plans, and simply walked away.  Sadly, that same attitude that held the people captive that day still exists in many of God’s people today.

Dear friend, the Word of God has been given to us as an awesome and thorough source of the blessings of God He desires to impart into our lives.  We are born again by the incorruptible seed of the Word of God.  He sent His Word and healed us and delivered us from our destructions.  His Word is His power given to us so we might walk in the fullness of salvation.  The entrance of His Word brings light, and lights our steps and the path we should walk.  The Word is our sword of the Spirit, our shield of faith, and comprises all the armor of God.  And faith is part of the fruit of the spirit, and one of the gifts of the Spirit. All these are found in the through His Word, but more importantly that all that, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  When you consider that without faith it is impossible to please God, it would seem to me that we, the people of God, should be eternally and immensely excited about His Word.

Yet, too often, we have pulled back from it because it was hard on our flesh, contrary to our fleshly desires, and counter to our carnal thinking.  Instead of being excited, we have become upset.  When the Word is spoken, either faith will arise and go forth, or the hearer will rise and leave.  I urge you today, to make a quality decision concerning your personal receiving of the Word of God.  When you read it or hear it, accept it, obey it, meditate upon it, hide it in your heart, strengthen your faith, and choose to be excited about the possibilities the Word opens into your life.

Manna for Today – Romans 1:16; Psalm 107:20; Ephesians 6; Galatians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 12;       Psalm 10:17

Changing Your Thinking

Changing your thinking is NOT easy, but it can, and often MUST be done.


Text for Today – Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.


Actually, our Text for Today is quite straightforward.  I believe that God said what He meant and meant what He said.  In examining the content of this verse from Philippians, two other passages come very strongly to mind.  The Word declares to us that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.  Then when you add to that the understanding that it is from the abundance of the heart that one speaks, the reason the Lord would give the command of our Text for Today becomes evidently clear and obviously wise.

Look closely at our Text for Today.  Note that the descriptive words concerning our thought life do not indicate a choice of elements, but rather includes ALL the stated elements.  So, just thinking about somethings because it is TRUE does not justify it in the mind of God.  Our thoughts must conform to all the stated elements.  Our thoughts must be:

  1. TRUE – unreproveable
  2. HONEST – venerable, honorable
  3. JUST – meet, right, equitable
  4. PURE – innocent, modest, chaste, clean
  5. LOVELY – friendly, acceptable
  6. OF GOOD REPORT – well-spoken of, reputable
  7. VIRTUOUS – manliness (not weak or cowardly), excellence
  8. PRAISEWORTHY – commendable, worthy of laudation

When our thoughts measure up to this eight-point “Plumbline,” we offer the Lord a mind through which He can work in His fullness.  Oh, how powerful a mind so committed would be as the mind of Christ flows through it!  If this becomes the way a man thinks in his heart, then this is what the man becomes.  As it would be said in Latin, “Ecce homo” (behold, the man). Once again, this is what the man becomes.  Just as important, if not more so, such thinking of a man’s heart cause his words to take on an entirely new level of authority.   Here is the man (or woman) through whom God can work His mightiest works.  James indicated that the person who can control his words can control the course of nature about him.  This was Jesus’s license to calm the storm, to walk on water, to command fish, and to change water to wine.  The power of the Philippians 4:8-mind has yet to be seen in today’s church.  Apply yourself toward that end today.

Manna for Today – Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:23; Proverbs 3; Proverbs 23:7; Matthew 12:34-37;       2 Corinthians 10:3-6