Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bless Your Heart

Mt 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38) This is the first and great commandment. 39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mt 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. In Vacation Bible School, little four year-old Sarah held her hand on top of her head during the pledge of allegiance to the American Flag. Her teacher asked her why she did that. Little Sarah replied, “Because, that is where my heart is. My mother always puts her hand on top of my head and says, ‘Bless your little heart, Sarah.’ ”
As the human heart is the center of vitality in the human body, so is the spiritual heart the very center of vitality in the spiritual life of a Christian. It is from there, that we choose our allegiances, make our choices and decisions. It is from the heart we apply the emotion and fervency to those decisions and choices.
The problem we encounter is our depraved nature. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” There must be a conversion of the heart to bring it under allegiance to God. Romans 10:9 say, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” When a person trusts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, God quickens the heart and makes it spiritually alive. However, a Christian has still his old nature to contend with. It is from the heart that allegiance of life is made.
From the heart, we choose our love and with our love, our devotion and from our devotion, our allegiance and from our allegiance, our obedience. The key to allegiance is surrender. When we consider, the love of God in giving His only begotten Son to save us from our sinful state, how can we not yield to him the love of our hearts.

Lord, I yield my heart in love to thee today. Give me wisdom in my heart to serve you with all my might. Amen

Monday, February 23, 2009

Balaam's Donkey

Nu 22:31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. 32) And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: 33) And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.
Evangelist Billy Kelly, well known for his humor, was introduced before preaching by a pastor who wanted to rib him for his newly received Doctors degree. “Our evangelist tonight has recently received his Doctors degree. He is now an official veterinarian. He treats donkeys, monkeys and baboons.” Billy Kelly, who never could be outwitted, said, “Thank you for that introduction pastor. That is the first time I have ever been introduced by one of my patients!”
In the story of Balaam and his “talking mule”, we see hindrances to Balaam going his stubborn way. God had already forbidden Balaam to seek the fortunes and fame of those who would curse God and His people. Yet Balaam sought for a way to get his desire and avoid consequences of disobedience. It becomes evident that Balaam was more stubborn and blind to the will of God than his donkey. Yet, God in mercy allowed him to be hindered by a humble creature that cared for his safety.
We too are often hindered. Our hindrances may be a little child needing our attention or a fender bender or being denied a loan we so desperately desire. Perhaps when our intended destinations are hindered we should stop to examine whether we are truly in the will of God. Most of our angry frustrations with these aggravating hindrances are like Balaam striking his mule. It just might be God trying to get our attention to turn us from a destructive course.
Dear Lord, open my eyes like you did Balaam and his donkey. Let me see clearly your will and reveal the stubbornness of my own way. Thank you for the hindrances that come in my way. Lord Jesus, I surrender to your will, not my will but thine be done. Amen.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Are You In Need of a Face Lift?

Ezr 9:6 And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.
Two young ladies were having a conversation about face-lifts. “My mother had a face-lift by the famous, Dr. Larry D. Longman.” The other young lady replied, “My uncle also had a face-lift by a famous man.” “Who was it,” asked the first? “Mr. Harry D. Hangman!” said the second.
How wonderful for God to give us a spiritual face-lift. There are times when our faces are down cast. Ezra realized the spiritual condition of the remnant that had returned from 70 years of captivity in the world. Though they had returned to the land to rebuild the temple, a good cause, yet they still retained the bondage of sin in their lives. Ezra blushed before a Holy God. Perhaps, as one would look into a mirror, recognizing that life and time had wearied the face causing it to droop, so, sin and weariness had worn and scarred the face of Israel.
When in need of a spiritual face-lift we must do three things. First, we need to look honestly into the mirror of the Word of God and see ourselves as we truly are. There is no need to kid ourselves. The mirror doesn’t lie. It matters not, though we think our neighbor needs the spiritual procedure more.
Second, we must seek the Great Physician’s services. All others will fail. No need to try to cover with deceitful cosmetics such as, “I’m OK and your OK cream” or put on a hypocritical face mask. You must seek the best services and don’t settle for less. Ps 27:8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
Thirdly, you must trust Him and yield to Him. Let, the Greatest Surgeon ever, remove the ugly excess, cleanse the shame from the face and replace the world-worn likeness with the brightness of His countenance, the beauty of His face. Ps 90:17 And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: Ps 17:15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
Heavenly Father, change my countenance. Let the beauty of thy holiness shine on my face. May others see the likeness of thy Son in me, in Jesus Name, amen.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Big Noses

I Thessalonians 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
One employee complained to another, “I’ve had my nose to the grind for a whole year.” “It must have been a beauty when you started,” was the reply.
One of my mom’s pet peeves was, “don’t pick your nose!” Well, it may be bad manners to pick your nose but it certainly is worse to pick someone else's.
Evidently, the church at Thessalonica had a problem with keeping their nose out of each others business. Paul reminds us as well, that we have more business that God has given each of us to do in our lifetime, than we will ever get done. Oft times we get sidetracked by what someone else is doing or not doing. Perhaps, it may be that we have never fully considered God’s will for our life. When one is completely engaged in accomplishing God’s will for their life, they become more focused and less distracted by others.
Each of us is distinctively different. God created us that way. Therefore we cannot fully know no one else’s business but our own. We each will stand before God to give account for our own business and not another man’s. However we must not forget, since God created us, my business is God’s business. Each of us should be about, “my Father’s business.”
It is not an easy task to be quiet. Paul said we must study to be quiet. That is an art form. Studying is hard work! To help us mind our own business and not someone else’s Paul said we need to study or think about it.
He also said we need to work hard, with our hands. If we accomplish our business we will have little time to meddle with someone else. It is often idle hands that meddle. We must busy them in The Father’s business.

Heavenly Father, forgive the intermeddling. Command my hands and give me the discernment to know your will for my life. I yield to your will, in Jesus name, amen.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Don't Be A Dope

Ecclesiastes 4:13, “ Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.”
A sister said to her brother, “Do you know how to keep an idiot in suspense? No how, asked her brother? I’ll tell you tomorrow.”
An ornery man was giving a cashier a difficult time as she tried to checkout his purchases. “What kind of a dope do you think I am?” he snapped. “I don’t know," she replied, “How many kinds are there?”
There is no greater fool than he that refuses to be taught. Wise Solomon said that a child who has a desire to learn has far greater potential than one who has risen to the deceiving position of the un-teachable. Some, because of age, perceive they have learned all they need to know and refuse to be taught. Others, because of some prominent position, become obstinate to truth that may be received from sources outside their own sphere of knowledge. Some consider their experiences in life to be unique and like none other and become inconsiderate of others.
We must never forget we are fallible creatures and that God alone is infallible. We will never arrive at omniscience, even throughout all eternity. Ephesians 2:7 says, That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
We must be teachable today or foolishly squander today and tomorrow. Regardless how brilliant a mind might be, it must receive knowledge and information and then be able to process it to make wise application in life. It matters not how big the computer. It must have data put into it to be affective or else, it has no greater use than the smallest computer chip.
An excellent prayer for each of us to pray every day is Psalm 27:11, “Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path…”
Yes, dear Lord Jesus, this is my prayer today, in your name I ask, amen.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Abiding and Abounding

Abiding and Abounding

1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58) ¶ Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Teacher (lecturing on perseverance): “He drove straight to his goal. He looked neither to his right nor to his left, but pressed forward, moved by a definite purpose, driven. Neither friend nor foe could delay him or turn him from his course. All who crossed his path did so at their own peril. Class, what would you call such a man? Student: “A truck driver!”
Apostle Paul stated that being assured of a victorious destination; we need not suffer defeat in the journey. Like the truck driver behind the wheel of an enormous rig, we need not be intimidated by smaller obstacles or little, deviant drivers who want to hog the road or discourage our progress. Through Jesus Christ we are in a very “big rig”. We cannot be defeated in reaching our final destination. He has given us the victory!
There seems to be contrasting terms in the above verses. We are to be steadfast and unmovable yet abounding in the work of the Lord. The harmony of these two phrases is this: we are to progress in the work of the Lord being unmoved and persistent in our purpose. In other words, we are to abide in our purpose in Christ and we are to abound (supersede) in the accomplishment of the purpose. The confidence that we have is not necessarily in our ability in driving but the size of our “big rig” (the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.)
There is no reason to merely sit in our “Big Rig” and idle the fuel away. We should put the “pedal to the metal”. We have a mighty cause. We are driving for the biggest outfit. When we reach our final terminal, may we hear our superintendent say, “Well done!”
Dear Lord thank you for the promised victory. Give me clarity in my purpose to day to deliver the goods undamaged and on time. Give me the strength and courage to persevere, in Jesus name, amen.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Opposing Purposes

Zep 1:4 I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests; 5) And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham; 6) And them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have not sought the LORD, nor enquired for him.
Two men were riding a bicycle-built-for-two up a steep hill. Finally, they reached the top, perspiring heavily and breathless. “That was a steep climb, I didn’t think we were going to make it!” gasped the first man. “I know! If I hadn’t held the brake on, we would have slid down backward!” said the second man.
That is a funny story, but when we have a double allegiance to the world or our flesh and God we are as guilty. In the above passage of scripture, the nation of Judah had dual allegiance to idolatry and the LORD. God promised to bring judgment upon all those who “…worship and that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham.” To attempt to serve God plus anything else is cross purposes. We become very frustrated in our struggles and get nowhere.
Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24 To hold to any other cause than serving the LORD, would be like trying to paddle up hill with the brake on. As for God, to give him half of your heart, He will have none of it. As for Satan, to give him half of your heart, he will take all. Until we surrender our hearts completely to the Lord, we will find our path an uphill climb, paddling with the brakes on! If we find ourselves struggling going nowhere, It may do us well to stop the bicycle were on and make sure all on board is surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord Jesus, forgive me for the displaced loyalties that I have at times in my life. I know that you purchased my life with your life. I am yours and yours alone. Amen

Monday, January 26, 2009

Joy In the Morning

Ps 30:4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. 5) For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Someone said you know you are going to have a bad day when the bird singing outside your window is a buzzard; when your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles; when your pet rock snaps at you; when your horn gets stuck while following a gang of “Hell’s Angels” on the freeway, you know it is going to be a bad day!
Several years ago, I was complaining to my dad about some of my problems in the ministry. After a few of my complaints, dad said, “Son, you need to just, praise the Lord! If you don’t feel that you have anything to praise the Lord about, then, just praise him on credit, for the Lord is good!”
There have been so many times that I have thought about that statement when I was tempted to be discouraged. Yes, I have found that God’s credit is good. In fact, God is good all the time and he is good to his children. Even, when trials, burdens or needed chastening has come my way, I have found that God has done everything for my good and for his glory.
It takes faith in God, to praise him when the clouds hide the face of the sun. Nevertheless, the sun is shinning ever so brightly though I can’t see it. Difficulties may overshadow me, yet, I know that my God sees me and he knows my every need. I have found that it pleases him when I trust him in the shadows and praise him. He turns the trials into triumphs every time. 1Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
As the psalmist has admonished, Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks… and yes though, …weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. I believe that is, “praising the Lord on credit!”
Heavenly Father, forgive my complaining and lack of praise. You are good and worthy of my praise. Thank you for all of your grace toward me. I praise your hallowed name. Thank you for the gift of your only Begotten Son and in him I praise you, Amen.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lonnie has been working on a devotional book for a couple of years. Several different ones , hopefully will be posted on here. We hope everyone enjoys reading them, is inspired to do more and is encouraged in your walk and service for the Lord, by a scripture verse, an inspirational thought and a joke or funny story to go along with it.