Saturday, November 28, 2009

Jesus Went Up On A Mountainside By Himself. Matthew 14:23

~One of the blessings of the old-time Sabbath day was the calmness, restfulness, and holy peace that came from having a time of quiet solitude away from the world. There is a special strength that is born in solitude. Crows travel in flocks, and wolves in packs, but the lion and the eagle are usually found alone.~

Friday, November 27, 2009

Keep Your Eyes On the Prize

"Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you."
Proverbs 4:25

Patient Persistence often spells the difference between success and failure, between satisfaction and disappointment. If we can receive promises by patiently waiting, we can lose them by impatient demands. And I am convinced that we can also lose the fulfillment of what God has promised because, in the waiting, we forget the promise.
Isaiah 46 provides the wonderful process by which we keep our promise of overcoming always before us and the hope of its fulfillment: "Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, form ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please" (Isaiah 46:8-10)

1 Remember.
2 Fix it in mind.
3 Take heart.

Question for thought:
What have you had your mind fixed on before now?
If God were to fulfill His will concerning a major prayer on your heart differently than what you have asked, how would you handle it?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Patiently Waiting

" I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry."
Psalm 40:1
Living only for the moment requires that we have within easy reach every push button convenience. We want to live without any delays, and many of us lose the ability to wait.
But patient waiting is an investment in the future. It gives us hope for today and hope for tomorrow.
When you set your mind on winning the war you are agreeing to wait through all the struggles to come to victory.
Making sense of pain and struggle takes time and great patience. It requires that many of us learn to wait. But patiently waiting can become our defense against anxiety. When we decide to take the giant step toward maturity by waiting, we are released from the pressure of instant gratification.
James 5:11 said, "We consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard . . . and seen what the Lord finally brought about."
We are not longer in a hurry. We lose our need for selfish demands and embrace instead the urgency of kingdom matters. And then just when we think it will never happen we discover a promise whose time has come. And what's more, we're ready for it.

Question for thought:
What emotional signals do you send to others when you do not want to wait?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Surviving the Ups and Downs

"My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long?"
Psalm 6:3
David know defeat long before he knew victory. He knew sorrow before he knew joy. He knew well what we would call the "ups and downs" of life when he penned this prayer:
"How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and sleep in death; my enemy will say, 'I have overcome him,' and my foes will rejoice when I fall" (Psalm 13:1-4)
This was written long before David wrote the following words of praise.
Psalm 63:4-9
What made the difference in David's life? He learned to navigate the downs and climb the ups of life. And so can you. You can survive the ups and downs when you put the following principles to work in your character:
Offer sacrifices of praise. (Hebrews 13:15)
Learn to be still. (Psalm 37:7)
Walk in His ways. (Isaiah 26:8)
Don't give up hope. (Lamentations 3:25)
Trust in God. (Isaiah 8:17)
Speak truth to yourself. (Lamentations 3:24)
Enter into worship. (1 Chronicles 16:28-29)
Don't wait for the Lord's Day. Worship Him today!

Question for thought:
Which of the seven principles is the easiest for you? Why?
Which is the most difficult? Why?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Are We There Yet?

"For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."
Habakkuk 2:3
Some things can't be measured by minutes or a target date circled on the calendar. For example, we can not predict our spiritual maturity. It's so tempting to go to God and ask, "Am I there yet?"
Have you ever called out to God, in the misery of a personal crisis, "I can't take any more!" (I have) Have you ever wondered how long it takes to become an over-comer?
It takes as long as it takes and that is a lifetime: a lifetime of wounds and scars; a lifetime scarred by sin and renewed by grace; a lifetime of joys mixed with sorrows; of learning and struggling to learn more; of replacing doubt with faith, error with truth, and bad habits with good discipline.
But the over-comer's life is touched with mercy, motivated by grace, covered with love. It is seasoned with self control, and held together with the promises of God.
Are we there yet? No. But we're getting there!
Question for thought:
How much time have you been given to become an over-comer?

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Message for the Mature

"Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready."
I Corinthians 3:1-2
As Christians we are apart of God's army. We are soldiers for the Lord. What would happen if we responded to duty by saying, "I'm a new soldier, I think going to church should be my choice, not my obligation." "I don't have the time to be a daily Bible reader." "Tithing is an Old Testament teaching." And on and on. If you were accused of being a Christian would there be enough evidence to make the charge stick?
We are all in training. Not in case we go to war. God's army is at war! Ephesians 6:12
We are all on duty, every hour of every day, every place we go. We must be dressed in uniform and completely armed at all times. Ephesians 6:13-18
Once you are born again, you find yourself immediately in the trenches. It's time to switch from milk to meat. Time to leave behind the excuses we sometimes use to stay immature and irresponsible. It's time to continue growing.
We grow when we allow ourselves to be trained by pain and struggle. We will find the strength to go on because we have chosen to learn how to become over-comers.

Question for thought:
Which piece of God's armor do you find still doesn't quite fit you yet? Ephesians 6:10-18

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thank You Sitka