Blessed Progression

There is nothing stagnant about being a child of God. There is always movement onward, upward, higher.

Text for Today – Psalm 1:1 – Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Notice the progression of postures in our Text for Today.  The progression goes from walking to standing to sitting.  It is a progression that is as natural as breathing.  Because it speaks of action (walking), it is naturally attractive to young people.  Because it speaks of elevation (standing), it is naturally attractive to people who want to be noticed above the crowd.  Because it speaks of resting (sitting), it is naturally attractive to those who  would be in a leading, or ruling place, or what could be called a seat of authority.

Notice the other progression as well.  Ungodly, the sinner, then scornful.  Ungodly is simply not god-like.  Sinner is one who lives the lifestyle of committing sin.  Scornful is one who berates, mocks, and attacks the life and lifestyle of the righteous.  In both progressions, it is a downward spiral that leads to a life of weakness and worthlessness; going from bad to worse to worst.

But let us look at its opposite.  When you were saved, you were immediately “raised up and made to sit together in Christ Jesus” in heavenly places.  That means you were enthroned as a child of God with God-given authority and power of attorney to use the Name of Jesus to rule and reign in this life.

As you grow in the Lord, you use to stand in the army of the Lord, having on the “whole armor of God,” having “done all to stand.”  You now become a recognized power with which the enemy must reckon, and more than that, you have the power to do the reckoning all the way to absolute victory.

Finally, you move forward, having learned that you do not “walk by sight,” but rather you “walk by faith.”  Now you have come to that place of going where the world sits.  Light invades darkness and dispels it.  You have now become a heavenly viewer, the very righteousness of God in Christ, living as God son, imitating Him in the earth. 

Manna for Today – Ephesians 2:4-7; Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

Give the Gold Watch Early

Give the “gold watch” while someone still has time to benefit from using it.

Text for Today – Romans 13:7 – Render therefore to all their dues; tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

When you read the verse following our Text for Today in Romans, you see the words, “owe no man anything, but to love one another.”  Our Text for Today is one of the greatest leadership  and management principles ever known.  It is absolutely Biblical, and it works.  It works in the job place, in the grocery story, in school, in society, in church, and at home.

Don’t wait until someone is leaving, or has died to honor them.  That is such a sad scenario.  In too many situations, leaders choose to wait until a person retires or leaves the company to recognize and honor them.  Sadly, people who are treated in that manner could die before the retirement or departure date.  Another scenario is that people who feel neglected often begin to neglect their work and responsibilities, thus setting up a scenario for losing their job, being fired or discredited for poor performance.  When this happens, the cause for giving honor and celebrating productive service is removed, and a person either leaves or is dismissed in dishonor. 

However, when we operate according to our Text for Today, we don’t open the door for such things to happen.  Though it doesn’t totally prevent people from going the wrong way, or beginning to perform wrongly, it certainly creates an atmosphere that is far more conducive to living and performing in positive and creative ways that enhance life and brings blessing.  This lifestyle can be practiced with spouses, children, parents, employees, employers, church folks, and almost any other arena of relationship.  Determine to catch people doing something RIGHT,  When you do, make note of it, recognize it, compliment it, and reward it.  It may be no more than a kind word, an encouraging gesture, or drawing someone’s attention to it.  But whatever you do, reward it, reward it early, and reward it often.  Honor people while they live, before they die.  Reward them for the courage to live and produce.  I would much prefer being remembered for the life I live while I live it, than for my death.  I can’t improve after that, but I can improve while I’m still living.

Think of this.  Seeking God is a good thing, and God rewards those who diligently seek Him.  And He rewards them now, in this life.  You don’t always need a special occasion to recognize or reward someone who is deserving of it.  Just do it with a pure heart.  When you do, people will begin to seek you out.  What an awesome way to be His witness.

Manna for Today – Romans 13:7; Ephesians 4:29;  Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Hebrews 11:6

Preparation for Restoration

Read the book of Job.  Gain its insights.  Follow the patterns God reveals.  Receive answers.

Text for Today – Job 33:1 – Wherefore, Job, I pray thee, hear my speeches and hearken to all my words.

If you’re reading the book of Job, by the time to arrive to chapter 33, much has happened.  Satan has attacked Job and taken all but his life.    Job has been horribly misinformed by at least one of his servants.  Job’s friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, have come to comfort him, but their comfort quickly turned into castigation and attack.  And through it all, Job has found himself responding again and again with rebuttal against all the attacks.  All this has continued almost from the beginning of Satan’s attack on Job.

In chapter 32, a young man named Elihu speaks for the first time, and in our Text for Today, it becomes clear that he believes he has something vital to say.  Well, he did.  Our time today is not to examine all he said, but rather to examine the order in which events occurred from this point forward.  First, Elihu, the man of God spoke to Job.  When he finished, God spoke to Job.  When God finished, Job spoke to God.  When Job finally spoke what was right, God moved.

My friend, that is the scenario of today for the individual believer, and the church as a whole.  For too long, the believer has been battered by the enemy, listened to too many opinions from folks who really don’t know the truth, and tried to justify himself  against their words and ideas.  Stop that immediately!  It’s time for the believer (that’s you) and the church to hear from a man of God.  Get into a church where a true man of God is delivering the Word of God with power and revelation.  When you’ve heard from the true man of God, expect to hear from God.  you see, God always confirms His Word.  The man of God will bring you truth and revelation.  Then God will give you divine and very specific direction.

When that comes, it’s up to you to obey God.  Then it will be time for you to speak to God; it’s called prayer.  Read the whole story of Job.  When things are in order and you pray, God moves.  Too often, like Job, Christians talk AT God without knowledge of the truth, without understanding of what is truly happening, and without foundation for their faith.  But when the child of God gets things in proper order, receives knowledge of the truth, gain insight into what is really happening, and have their faith build soundly upon God’s Word, God hears and answers.  God turned Job’s captivity “when he prayed for his friends.”  And the latter end of Job was far better than he was at the beginning of the story.  So it can and will be for you.  Hear from the man of God. Hear from God,  Pray in faith, pleasing God.  God still moves for such prayer.  And your end, and the end for the church, will be far better than the beginning. 

Get ready!

Manna for Today – Job

Keep Digging

To be fruitful for the Lord, be sure you have the right tools for digging, and you know how to use them.

_______________________

Text for Today – Luke 13:8 – . . . Let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about , and dung it.

________________________

I am sure that at some point in all our lives, we have seen a person that it seemed would never make any life changes, never turn from their destructive or sinful lifestyle, and neve live a life that could know the richness of a great relationship with God.  Well, if you know someone like that at this moment, don’t give up.  Keep digging.

As a Christian, one of the major elements of your life is to bear fruit.  In the garden of Eden, the Lord told Adam to “be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth.”  As a believer today, you should “be fruitful, multiply, and replenish” the kingdom of God in the earth.  That means being a soul winner for Jesus.

I was saved (born again) early in life at the age of 10, and for that I am so thankful to God.  In my life as a believer, I have had the opportunity to lead elderly fold to Jesus.  What a joy that was!  At times, those elderly “babes in Christ” have told me that they had even given up on themselves.  I am so glad God did not give up on them, and likewise glad He has done such a work in my heart that I did not give up on them either.  Thank God the Word still says that “whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”  Thank God the Word still says that He will “in no wise” cast out any who come to Him.  Thank God Romans 10 doesn’t say you can be saved as long as you are under a certain age limit.

So, for those you know who have heard again and again, who have had prayer after prayer offered for them, who have time and again rejected the drawing and wooing of Holy Ghost, hold on to your faith.  God said He would give you the heathen for your inheritance, if you ask for it.  So, ask, and keep interceding that God would send laborers across that person’s path.  Keep speaking the Word of God to that person every time you see them, and over them every time you think of them.  You may be the ONLY lifeline between them and hell at this moment.

Manna for Today – Genesis 1:28; Romans 10:6-17

Go to the Mountain

There are some mountains you don’t move.  You move yourself and climb them.  This is one.

Text for Today – Micah 4:2 – Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth out of Zion, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Let’s begin today by making a defining Biblical difference in the purpose of the mountain and the valley, besides their obvious geographic and geological differences.  Generally speaking, it could be said that the mountain is where the battle plan is given, and the valley is where the battle is fought.  This next statement is obvious.  If you haven’t been to the mountain to get the battle plan, it’s not likely you will win the battle when you go to the valley.  Yes, I know the lily grows in the valley, but it was the valley where David met Goliath.

Look at the Biblical tradition, and please mark that I said, Biblical tradition.  How often did Jesus go to the mountain to pray before entering into the conflict for the multitudes in the “valley of decision?”  Moses went to the mountain to get the Law, but the battles he oversaw were in the valleys below him while he sat on a rock.  (What a Biblical picture!)  Keep in mind that the mountain is for direction and the valley is for experience.  If you don’t get divine direction, what is the likelihood that you will receive divine experience?  Remember, if your experience is not in line with God’s Word, what He has declared to be His will, then go to the mountain, my friend, go to the mountain.

The mountain is the place of learning, or as the Scriptures have called it, ”the munitions of the rocks.”  That’s where you get the rocks of revelation you will need to overcome the enemy in the valley.  The valley is the place of application for what you received in the mountain.  It is the mountain of vision that prepares you for the valley of ministry.  So, my friend, take time each day to go to the mountain of the Lord, invest time with Him, hear from Him, and then go, walk in His ways, speak His Word, and defeat every enemy you encounter in the valley of your daily labor, including those in the “valley of the shadow of death.”  And one more thing.  God’s house (that’s you) was built as a mountain dwelling.  That means that while you work in the valley, you LIVE in the mountain.

Manna for Today – Matthew 14:23; Joel 3:14; Exodus 19; Isaiah 33:16; Psalm 23

What’s It Worth to You?

The value of a product is determined by the price one is willing to pay for it.  You were expensive!

Text for Today – Mark 8:36 – For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Imagine that you’re out shopping for what would be called a big-ticket item.  Perhaps  it is a major appliance, automobile, boat, or even a house.  While many things may attract you to or turn you form a particular product, the bottom line of your decision will usually be largely influenced by the price tag on the item.  If it is a new car, you already know that its value to the market drops the moment you drive it from the sales lot.  However, it’s not merely current dollar value that sells you on that car, but the service benefit you will receive through using it.  Simply put, to you, it will be worth what you paid for it, and in today’s market, could easily exceed $45,000.00.

You have a price tag on you, too.  You are a human being; a spirit given by the Lord with such care in its manufacture that the very hairs of your head are numbered.  You are supplied and equipped by your Maker with a certain set of talents, abilities, and giftings (or TAG for developing what you currently have and the skills to develop what you will acquire).  Our God, Who knows the end from the beginning, looked back from the final perspective, seeing the role you could play in His kingdom, and the blessings and benefits that He could bring to mankind through you.  Seeing that, knowing what He has prepared for you and place in you, He put a price tag on you.  That price tat was what He was willing to pay to make you His very Own possession.  In your case, that price tag read $ JESUS!  Please don’t be offended by my use of a dollar mark.  It simply makes the point that God paid Jesus to make you His.  If you had been the only person on the planet who would believe in Him and confess Jesus as Lord, it would still have taken that ransom price of Jesus paid-in-full  to purchase you.  Still, He paid the price.

Now, what’s that worth to you?  What does that make other people worth to you?  What does that make the love of Jesus worth to you?  With such an awesome price tag, you must be quite special to Him.  Don’t drop that treasure and damage it.  Fellow minister, you handle a precious product.  Don’t damage or mar it in any way.  Always remember to HANDLE WITH PRAYER!

Manna for Today – Matthew 16:26; Luke 9:25; Matthew 6; John 3:16 (Amplified Bible)

Beating the Fatigue

Life is more fast-paced today than ever, but in Christ, there is a way to beat any fatigue

Text for Today – Galatians 6:9 – And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Many people I encounter today, when asked how they are doing, respond with words like tired, frayed, rushed, harried, and overworked.  And with recent issues of COVID, there’s a lot of talk about worry, fear, and anxiety.  Daily it often seems there is more and more to do with less and less time in which to do it And this does not take into account what many find to be a shortage of other resources.  Well, let’s eliminate the resource excuse at the very beginning.  Your resources are in the Lord, and He is not limited by natural limitations in any way.  Put your faith in Him.  If He leads you to it, He will provide all you need to do it.

But with every natural resource you need to do the job, too many people come to a place of tiredness, weariness, and exhaustion in their performance.  Take a close look at our Text for Today.  This is not a suggestion, and you are given ample Word as basis for both faith in now and hope in the future for the outcome.  But how can you beat the fatigue factor.  I’m glad you asked.

All of us get physically tired.  That’s not the point of this passage.  Here the Lord is speaking mor of a weary attitude than a physical tiredness.  In fact, a weary attitude will produce physical when it should not exist.  Vince Lombardi is reported to have said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”  If you’re physically tired, pray, trust God, and get a good night’s sleep.  Then eat properly, and get some exercise, but primarily, trust God.  keep in mind the sequence here.  Barring some physical injury, mental fainting generally precedes physical failure.  But it all follows spiritual weariness.  Spiritual fatigue will cause you to have unrealistic, non-Biblical perceptions of situations requiring your personal attention, and that same weariness will cause your perception to be negative.

So, what’s the Biblical prescription for overcoming weariness?  Prayer.  Praying in the Spirit, especially.  That puts us in a position to keep our focus on Jesus.  Exercise yourself in these elements daily, be faithful, and spiritual weariness and fatigue will become a thing of the past.  And never turn aside from meditating upon the Word of God.

Manna for Today – Jude 20; Luke 18:1; Hebrews 12:1-3; Ephesians 6:10-18

Back to the Handwriting

I much prefer God’s handwriting on my heart to His handwriting on any wall.

Text for Today – Daniel 5:25-28 – . . . MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN . . .

Our Text for Today were the Words of God to the Babylonians through the prophet Daniel.  It was the hand of God that wrote them upon the palace walls, it was Holy Spirit that gave the interpretation, and it was the prophet Daniel who spoke them into Babylonian destiny.

Today we live in what many call the dispensation of grace.  I understand that, and am grateful for it.  we have the Word of God, the Bible, in its completed written form, and for that I am equally grateful.  In that written Word of God, we are told that the Lord would replace His law written on tables of stone, and write them upon fleshly tables, or the tables of our hearts.  And once again, I am eternally grateful to the Lord for that blessing in our lives.

However, it seems that today we are moving away from the handwriting on the wall to type-set on a page with high tech sound and color on the LED screen.  These modern marvels of technology today, like the press of Gutenberg have served to open the world about us  to anyone who can access these marvels.  And in today’s world, I am amazed at how many people around the globe can access them.  I can tell you I’ve seen some amazing sights in many nations of our world where one would be completely taken aback by what is available to the general public.  And for all that, I am grateful, especially as it relates to the ease with which so many can access the Gospel.  With today’s technology, people can access more of God’s Word, more quickly, and with greater aids for understanding than ever in the history of man.  Yet, for too many, it seems less and less is known of the divine revelation of God’s Word to and for His people.  Many trust the laws of the land and the rules of men more than the hand of God.  We have especially seen that demonstrated over the past two years.

Let us not lay aside all the tools, helps, and technologies that can assist us to beautifully in potential growth in the Lord.  let us not forgo the assets and benefits that can assist our learning.  However, we need to move into a deeper relationship with the Author of Life and get all we can see, hear, and read beyond the screen of our eyes and the type-set of our minds and intellects.  Each of us needs repeated contact, interaction, and fellowship with He Who writes upon the wall, and especially the walls of our heart where His Law should be indelibly imprinted.  Let us seek for the handwriting on the wall of our hearts before we must be confronted with handwriting on the walls of our churches and homes.  How horrible it would be if the Lord had to inform us that we have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.  If we receive the handwriting on the walls of our hearts, the day will come when we hear His voice say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Manna for Today – Proverbs 3:1-10

A Divinely Directed Path

There is no safer place to be than walking where God directs, regardless of circumstances.

Text for Today – Proverbs 3:6 – In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.

For a number of years, I had a horse I stabled near my home.  I loved to ride.  He was my “day-off therapy.”  Out riding, all alone, except for Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and of course, my horse, thinking can be clear and unimpeded.  No intrusive telephone calls, no drop-ins to my office, no distractions, and I could truly relax.  Still, on those occasions when I rode where I had never gone before, the ride was always more pleasant if I were riding with someone who knew the trail, the terrain, and what to expect.  one of the joys of riding was arriving at my intended destination without problem or injury.

Whenever I travel on the road, I like to have my directions clearly and precisely established.  Once again, I like to arrive at my intended destination.  My foundational thought in all I do, wherever I travel, is our Text for TodayProverbs 3:6.  Whether for ministry, work, or leisure, I relay on the Lord as my primary travel guide.  I acknowledge the Lord in ALL things, not just those things that appear obviously spiritual.

You see, when the work of redemption by Jesus at Calvary took place, His work covered my whole life.  He redeemed all of me, not part of me.  I belong to Him totally.  It is His will that I prosper and be in health in every arena of life.  He has already declared that He has made me victorious in every arena of life.  There are good works waiting for me every day of my life for me to perform.  It is as if they have my name of them, and they are waiting for me to walk in them.  How better  to walk in them than to allow Him Who has placed them before me, and desires to lead me to them?  When He directs my path, I cannot help but succeed.  When He leads, I win every time.  When He leads, all my paths are well lighted.  When He leads, I prosper in all to which I put my hands.  When He leads, I am more than a conqueror, living and walking a divinely directly path.  As the songwriter penned, “Where He leads me, I will follow . . .  I’ll go with Him all the way.”

Manna for Today – Galatians 3:13-29; 3 John 2; Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 2:10; Romans 8:37;     Psalm 25:12

Conquer the Conquered


What makes the fight of faith a good fight is that your enemy has already been totally defeated.

Text for Today – Hebrews 9:26 – For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

2+2=4.  That is a mathematical fact.  No amount of thinking, reasoning, debate, emotional outburst, dreams and visions, psychic readings, sessions with a guru, or anything like that can that that fact.  In fact, it is a mathematical law that 2+2=4.  Just imagine the intellectual and educational battle you would encounter by trying to cause the world to release its embrace on that equation.

If we can understand that such a natural law cannot be changed, why can we not seem to understand that the laws of God hold an even higher priority, and area themselves immutable?  God doesn’t change, and neither does His Word, regardless of the circumstances we encounter with our physical  senses each day.

Our Text for Today states very clearly the offering of Jesus was to “put away sin.”  Can we not accept that statement from God’s Word?  Regardless of the battles we face, Jesus has already “put away sin.”  Regardless of the number of temptations that come your way daily, Jesus has already “put away sin.”  Regardless of how many times you  yielded to temptation last week, Jesus has already “put away sin.”  Regardless of how weak and helpless you feel in the presence of temptation, and the sin it can produce, Jesus has already “put away sin.”  Regardless of how often you may have stumbled and fallen, Jesus has already “put away sin.”  And what makes it so glorious is that HE has done so once and for all, or as out Text for Today says, “now once in the end.”

And what is the conclusion of the matter?  Stop fighting against the winner.  Cease to speak and act contrary to the Word of God by speaking and acting as if sin has any power over you.  Go to the Word, embrace its truth above all else, meditate upon it for a victorious walk and success, and live a life of faith that simply conquers what has already been conquered.  Don’t fight the winner (God and His Word).  Instead, conquer the conquered (Satan and sin).

Manna for Today – Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; Romans 6:1-14; Joshua 1:7-8