October 16, 2021

Well pleased                            

But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him.  Matthew 3:15

John the Baptist objected to baptizing Jesus, but when I think about this I wonder, who else would have done it.   There was no one else around that had the revelation of baptizing people.  At least not that we can see in scripture.  He finally agrees to do it with a little coaxing from Jesus. Jesus told John that this is the way God the Father planned it to work out.  When Jesus came out of the water, there was a voice from heaven saying: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am very pleased.”

I always thought that God was please with Jesus because He was perfect and was better than everyone else.  However, the real reason Jesus pleased the Father was because He fulfilled His plan and mission in the world.  Yes, He was perfect and never sinned, but God the Father was glorified in Jesus submitting His will to God each day.

Think about it, why did Jesus need to be baptized?  He didn’t have an old sinful nature that needed to be put to death, buried and raise up with Jesus.  Jesus hadn’t even died yet, so He couldn’t be baptized into the body of believers.  Jesus was baptized because it was a step of obedience in the assignment He was given to complete here in the world.

We too have an assignment and mission while we are here in the world.  When we submit to our Father in heaven each day and walk out the plan He made for us, He is well pleased with you and me in the same way.  Psalms 139:16 tells us that God planned every day of our lives before we even took our first breath.  You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

Today I want to encourage you to submit every area of your life to the plan God has written for you.  Thank Him for His good plans and that He knows you so well to put together such a unique and special assignment.  Then thank Him for making it clear and plain so that you can follow that path and accomplish all that is in His heart for you.  Glorify His name as you reach others and impact your world for the Kingdom of Heaven. Then look forward to the day at the end of you deployment to hearing those word: “This is my precious and love child in whom I am well pleased!  Well done My good and faithful one!”

Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 3:13-17

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” 15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. 16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

October 14, 2021

 Ministry of baptism

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  Matthew 3:11

John the Baptist was baptizing people to repentance before Jesus stepped out into His public ministry.  These were not believers, but they were people ready to dedicate their life to following the Messiah when He came.  This was a new concept.  There was no one else baptizing at that time.  John was the only one and as He was baptizing people, he told them that the Messiah was coming at any time.  He spoke of the Messiah as if He knew Him personally and He did.  They were actually cousins.

Interestingly enough, John didn’t tell people who the Messiah was before it was the right time.  Even though John had known Jesus for his entire life, he wasn’t going around telling people that his cousin was the Messiah.  He did tell people that he, John was not the coming One and there was One coming after him that was greater than John.  John kept himself in check by remaining humble when he could have been boasting about their connection.  He kept the focus on the one that was coming after him and said he wasn’t even worthy to tie up His sandals.  He also said that when the Messiah comes, He will baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Now this was something that got attention.  Up until that point, only prophets and sometimes kings and priest had the Holy Spirit.  Now they were hearing that they too could get baptized with the Holy Spirit and His fire.  This was something to get excited about back then and it is for us today, too.  As believers and Jesus followers, we sometime forget the supernatural work that He did  when we invited Jesus into our lives and made Him Lord.  We were a walking dead spirit brought to life by the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit of God.  Oh, that we would revel in knowing that God had done an amazing supernatural work and transformed us into a new creation that never existed before.  Think about it.

Today I want to encourage you by first of all saying: Messiah has come and paid the penalty of the sin of the world!  Take some time to think about and cherish the relationship you entered into at the point of your salvation.  Now think about how that relationship has grown over time and you are so much closer to Him today than ever before.  Lastly, share that repentance message with someone today and tell them how they can know Him personally.  Keep yourself humble and submitted to His way and you will see the work of the Lord show up in supernatural ways every day.

Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 3:7-12

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 9 and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

October 13, 2021

Make a straight path

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’ Matthew 3:3

This is an Old Testament scripture that prophesied the ministry of John the Baptist. He was Jesus’ forerunner to get people ready for the coming of their Messiah.  However, it is the same thing we are doing today.  Even though Jesus ministry started 2000 years ago, the ministry is still going on today and once again, we are looking for the coming of our Savior.  Many believe that as Christians, we only need to sit back and wait for Him, but I believe there is a work to be completed before He returns.  We are in that time right now and we are preparing the way for our Savior to return.

John’s message was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is coming.”  We have the same message today.  Now more than ever, the world needs to know that Jesus is coming, and He wants all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. (see 1 Timothy 2:4) They don’t need to hear a condemning message, they need the message that God loves them and doesn’t want anyone to perish.  2 Peter 3:9 says The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.  God wants all people in the world to know that He has made provision for them to be with Him for all eternity.  He never intended for people to go to hell.  That place was made for Satan and his demons, not for the people that God loved so much that He gave His only Son to connect us back to Himself and save us all.

So, what are we doing about it?  I doubt most of us are as loud as John the Baptist was and quite frankly, I don’t think he had a great revelation of the love of God.  However, He was effective, and many were drawn to him because he had a message of hope.  Hope for a future and hope that their salvation would soon be there.  We too have a message of hope and that is exactly what the lost people of the world need today.  We have the answers to the hurting, depressed, searching and afflicted people of society, now let’s fill up with God’s love and compassion for these people so we can lead them to the answer to all their ailments, that is Jesus.

Today I want to encourage you to take a small step out in faith toward someone who is lost and needs a Savior.  Share the message of salvation by telling how He saved you.  Share a scripture or a prayer with someone who is sick or hurting in some way or invite someone to attend weekend service or a small group with you.  You can even give extra offerings to missions abroad to reach others far away or support a local ministry that helps people get off the streets.  Seek the Lord’s direction and ask Him to send people your way that you can help.  He said: The harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few.  So don’t just sit around waiting for Jesus to come back, become a laborer today and get out there in the fields that are ready to be gathered in.

Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 3:1-6

1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’ ” 4 Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him 6 and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.

October 12, 2021

Don’t hesitate

Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.  Matthew 2:21

The last verses of Matthew chapter 2 happened after the wise men left and Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt.  The crazed Herod had all the baby boys killed because the wise men did not report back to him who the Christ child was.  Mary and Joseph did not know this was going to happen, but because they were warned to leave, they departed immediately.  Of course, God was protecting His Son in the earth, but why couldn’t He just do it right where they were?  Certainly, He could have sent Angel armies to protect Him, or He could have blinded the soldiers that came to kill Jesus.  He had done such things in the past with prophets and kings. 

We do know that these things happened to fulfill prophecy, but the most important part of this passage is that Mary and Joseph did not rely on their own understanding.  When they were told to leave and where to go, they didn’t hesitate.  God had supplied them with a treasure from the wise men to pay for their expenses along the way and maybe even the whole time they were in Egypt.

This is the message to take from this passage.  When you know that God has called you to something or is leading you away from something, don’t hesitate.  Don’t lean on your own understanding.  Maybe there is a psychotic lunatic ready to inflict harm on you or maybe it is just where God’s blessing for you is located.  Whatever the case, God is smarter, and He can see the big picture.  Trust that He has your best interest in His heart and is leading you in the right path.  He is always leading you to His goodness.

Today I want to encourage you to take time to hear God’s direction to your heart for your life.  Don’t ignore nudges or promptings from the Holy Spirit to lead you away from trouble or problems.  Sure, God can protect you in the middle of things, but if He is trying to steer you away from difficulties, wouldn’t it be better to just avoid them altogether?  God really is out to get His best to you, but He needs your cooperation in order to line you up with it.  Trust Him today and begin listening so much closer than you ever have before.  In that way you will miss out on a lot of traps and struggles that your enemy has planned for you.

Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 2:16-23

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: 18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” 19 Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” 21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

October 11, 2021

Dreams

Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”  Matthew 2:12-13

Many times in scripture God spoke to people through dreams.  He spoke to Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Solomon, Daniel and many more.  Here we have to dreams that happened almost simultaneously.  The wise men were warned in a dream not to go back to talk to Herod and Joseph was instructed to go to Egypt with Mary and Jesus to protect Jesus from Herod.  We don’t know if these happened in the same night, but it doesn’t even matter.  The point is that God speaks through dreams.

This causes me to ask, does God speak through dreams today?  I believe the answer is yes.  He did then and He does now. Not only because He said He does in scripture (see Acts 2:17) but also because He has showed me things through dreams personally.  I wrote about one instance where the Holy Spirit showed me in a dream how my prayer for my family and others has changed the outcome of their lives.  Many times, I have dreamed about a person, randomly, so I would pray for them or send a message of encouragement to them only to find out they were in a struggle and God had reminded me to pray for them for help.

What about you?  Have you ever had a dream that was striking or even disturbing?  Don’t just push them aside, talk to God about them.  Maybe He will show you something He is trying to get across to you or maybe He will just put it on your heart to reach out to someone whom you haven’t connected with for a while.  Whatever the case may be, be aware that God does speak through dreams, and He may be speaking to you.

Today I want to encourage you to be aware that you may have a dream that God has given to you.  Be prepared in the night, if possible, to make a note if you have a strange dream so you don’t forget about it by morning.  You may even take a minute to pray about it right then and ask the LORD if He is trying to say something to you? You can even ask Him before you go to sleep to reveal something to you through a dream if you are not getting it when you are a wake.  It may not happen that night, but at least you will be aware when it does. What ever the case may be, talk to God about your dreams and pray about them when you are awake.

Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 2:7-15

7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” 9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.  11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. 13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” 14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

October 10, 2021

Look at the stars

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, WISE MEN from the East came to Jerusalem.  Matthew 2:1

Who were the wise men that came to Jerusalem to worship Jesus?  They were scholars from the east (Persia) that studied the stars.  Tradition calls them kings, but the truth is they were astronomers that understood the significance of events that took place in the sky.

In Genesis 1, God said that the stars were to divide the day from the night, but also that they would be for SIGNS and season.  Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years. (Gen. 1:14) I have always read over that part of the creation account until recent years. Maybe it’s because technology has come so far or maybe it’s because more events are happening in the sky, but it seems like almost monthly there is another phenomenon to be seen in the heavens and I really enjoy taking the time to observe. These happenings have always fascinated me, but only about the last 5 years of my life did they take on meaning.  I know that God is in the process of bringing heaven and earth together and that he is speaking to people through these signs.  Of course, as God’s people, he speaks to us through His Word and His Spirit, but to the world, He uses many outside resources including the stars to get their attention.

Interestingly enough, tonight there will be a display of some of the planets lining up with the moon.  I got a glimpse of the start of it last night and it is quite an impressive display.  I don’t know what it means, but I do know who is putting the show on and I don’t want to miss seeing the handiwork of my Father.  Even though I don’t know the significance, I still ask Him if there is anything He wants to say to me through this great light show.  Mostly I just believe He is saying: “Hey, I am here, and I want all people to recognize My hand in the world today.” Step into the moment and take some time to appreciate His goodness tonight.

Today I want to encourage you to be a “wise men” and give some attention to what is going on in the sky.  You don’t have to try to figure out what it all means but enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.  If anything, step into the moment by taking the time to appreciate all He has done and is doing in the earth and in the sky.  He is speaking to us, up close and from far away in the universe.  Take time to talk with Him and ask Him if there is anything you should be doing to prepare for coming events or if there are things you shouldn’t be doing as we draw near to the end of this age of His grace. Most of all, just seek Him!

Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 2:1-6

1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: 6 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ”

October 9, 2021

God’s plan

Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.  Matthew 1:19

Yesterday’s dose was focused on women and their purpose in creation.  Today I want to talk about men and God’s plan for them in the family unit.  When God gave Eve to Adam, he said this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.  Then God joined them together and they became one flesh.  Adam named her woman because she came out of man or in other words, she was part of him.

In today’s scripture, we see Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, wanting to protect Mary from becoming a public example.  Even though, I’m sure he was hurt and confused about the news of her being pregnant, he didn’t respond in anger and determine to make her pay for the pain she had caused him.  He had in mind to deal with her in private to protect her reputation and he did not want to shame her.

This is a perfect example of God’s heart for the way a husband loves and cares for his wife.  God wanted man to protect and provide for her.  The directive God gave was not, this is someone who will complete you and help you in all your accomplishment, (even though she does do that).  Rather it was: Here is a precious gift for you to nurture, care for and protect from all outside forces.  She is a part of you so pay attention to the way you pay attention to yourself. God never intended for man to dominate his wife, that is not the reason God told her to submit to him.  He gave the husband responsibility to make sure his wife was his number one priority and that she should trust him because he loves her above all other things in the world including himself.

It is easy to see how God’s plan for a married couple would work if kept in His perfect order.  A husband loves his wife above all others (including himself) and she submits everything to him and his direction because she knows he always has her best interest in his heart and likewise she has his.  I have heard it said that men want respect from their wife and women want security and I do believe this is true.  However, the kind of security she wants is in knowing that she is the most precious and protected person in his world by him, not the security of dollars in the bank account.  If he holds her up as the most precious part of him, she will know she can surrender all to him and he will protect that too.

Today I want to encourage you men/husbands to love your wife in the same way that Christ loves the church and gave Himself for it (Eph. 5:25. Hold her in such a regard that you would even give your life if needed to protect your most precious gift from God.  Make her feel secure by the way you lift her far above all other people in your life and trust me, you will have no problem with her submitting to you after that.  It is all she wants, but it is up to you to take the first step.  Next, I want to encourage wives to honor and respect your husband.  If he is a husband that doesn’t quite get the order that God planned, it will be easier for him to do his part if you are doing yours.  You don’t need to be telling him the way to love you, instead begin to speak to him with honor and let him take the leading role in your marriage and family.  Then pray for him as he steps into the position of head of the household and God will partner with your efforts because you are lined up with the way He created marriage to be successful.

Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 1:18-25

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” 24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

October 8, 2021

A position of success

Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. Matthew 1:3-6

Since we have Daily Dosed through most of the New Testament except for the gospels, Acts and Revelation, I want to start from the beginning with the book of Matthew toward finishing it up.  I believe going through the gospels in this way will bring great revelation.

So right off the bat, Matthew starts off with the genealogy of Jesus.  You may have read through genealogies in the Old Testament, or not, but it is surprising how much you can learn in the comments about some of the people, the nation and the culture of the time.

In this passage, I want to focus on the four women mentioned in the lineage of Jesus in Matthew’s account.  They are Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba.  I believe God specifically choose each one of these ladies to send a message to all people of the future.  I had initially thought that I was going to write about God wants to work through everyone despite what is in our past, but upon taking a closer look I see something different now.

Each one of these women were victims of their circumstances and destined to live as a childless widow for the rest of their lives. A fate, in that culture, that was worse than being dead. Yet, they each made a decision that changed the direction they were headed.  A step of faith that brought God on the scene of their lives and opened the doors for them to walk through right into the blood line of the Son of God.

As I consider these women, the times they lived in and the future they were headed for, I pause to reflect on my own life’s journey.  I have always considered myself to be strong and capable, but ultimately, I know it has been my faith and relationship with my Heavenly Father that carried me through many difficult seasons.  I have had failed relationships and I have spent time alone without a husband.  However, while being a single parent in the current culture can still be difficult, it is widely accepted by the world’s standard and there are many programs available to help.  But regardless of what I have gone through, I can see my purpose more clearly now more than ever before.  I am a woman created by God to love and care for a family and household.  I remember times when I was alone and thinking I couldn’t go on.  Thankfully, I knew my children were counting on me to be there and provide for our little home.  They were the reason many days that I kept on going.

Today I want to encourage you if you are a wife and mother.  This is your greatest success in life and your #1 priority.  You were created to fulfill this role and to train up leaders for the next generation.  Your reach spans the generations from mom to grandma to great grandparent.  You are creating a legacy right in your home in your little corner of the world.  If you are not married or have no children, I want to encourage you that this can change, and you can still fulfill this mission in life.  Talk to God about it and trust that He is leading you to the open doors that you are preparing to walk through. Ask Him for the strength and wisdom to position yourself as He leads.  If you are a husband and father, be thankful for the wife and family God has given you to love and provide for.  Proverbs 18:22 says that finding a wife is a good thing and gives favor from the LORD!  God created women as the answer to the first problem (man being along) and that solution is still going strong in the world today.

Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 1:1-17

1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: 2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. 4 Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. 5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, 6 and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. 7 Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. 8 Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. 9 Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. 11 Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon. 12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. 14 Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. 15 Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. 16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.

October 7, 2021

Establish your words

This will be the third time I am coming to you. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” 2 Corinthians 13:1

What words are you establishing?  Do you speak in agreement with what your circumstances are telling you or do you speak in agreement with what the word of God says He can do about your issues?  Today’s text says that when two or three people agree on a subject, they are settling it in their life.  It is established and true.

There is a great example of this in Numbers chapter 13 when Moses sent twelve spies to spy out the land that God had given them.  When the spies returned, ten of them brought a bad report.  They agreed with the circumstances that they saw in the land.  They said: “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. (Numbers 13:31&32) The ten spies totally ignored the fact that God said He had given them the land and that He was going to take them in to conquer it. Instead of agreeing with God’s word, they established their own.

Meanwhile, Joshua and Caleb, the other two spies, agreed with God that it was a good land and that the people were ready to be defeated.  However, the congregation decide to agree with the ten and so that was the word that was established and what they settled on.

We face circumstances every day that we can allow to defeat us by agreeing with them, or we can overcome them by bringing God and His word into the situation and agreeing with it.  When we face the giants/obstacles of life with our sword (the word of God) drawn and ready to step into agreement with what God has to say about the situation, we will establish His word by taking our authority as a child of God over every issue we come up against and it won’t take an entire nation to establish it. I will happen by the mouth of only two or three.

Today I want to encourage you to establish and settle God’s word in your life by coming into agreement with all He says about you and your circumstances. Below is a short list of some of the promises that you can apply and establish in your life every day:

More than a conqueror (Romans 8)

He makes all grace abound to you; you have all you need for every good work (2 Cor. 9)

My God supplies all my needs (Phil. 4)

He heals all my diseases (Psalms 103)

He sent His Word and healed them (Psalms 107)

His grace is sufficient for all I need (2 Cor. 12)

He has begun a good work in me (Phil. 1)

I am an imitator of God (Eph.5)

The love of God is poured out in my heart to share with others (Romans 5)

Of course, there are many more.  Begin today to start establishing God’s Word in the world around you by coming into agreement with it and with those who will stand for it with you.

Today’s scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 13

1 This will be the third time I am coming to you. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” 2 I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent I write to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare— 3 since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. 4 For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you. 5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. 6 But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified. 7 Now I pray to God that you do no evil, not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is honorable, though we may seem disqualified. 8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. 9 For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. And this also we pray, that you may be made complete. 10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction. 11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All the saints greet you.14The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

October 5, 2021

The thorn

Because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 2 Corinthians 12:7

I think most of us are familiar with Paul’s “thorn in the flesh.”  Scholars, ministers and preachers have tried for years to figure our exactly what that thorn was.  Most of them conclude that it was some kind of disease or affliction that God refused to heal.

I have come to look at it in a different way.  Let me explain: First of all, Paul calls it a thorn.  A thorn is a very small thing that causes some discomfort and a reminder that it is there.  Thorns are not big and thorns are not deadly.  Thorns are usually a minor irritant, but if not dealt with, they can be very painful. 

Secondly, I believe the reason Paul calls it a thorn and not give it an actual name was so we would not make it bigger than it was.  We cannot identify what the problem was so it could have been whatever he was going through at the time.   This thorn was to teach Paul not to be conceited and proud. What we are to focus on in this passage is God’s grace, not the thorn.

Lastly, I believe we all have thorns today.  Maybe not the same kind that Paul had and certainly most of us will never suffer as much as he did, but we are all going through something, all the time we are alive.  These afflictions and test are always with us and if we recognize them for what they are, we can grow from them and through them.  Every test, trial and temptation that we are up against can either grow us to be stronger in our faith walk or weaken us to the point that we are totally ineffective for God’s kingdom.

So what is it with you?  What is your “thorn in the flesh?”  What test or trial are you currently walking out and hopefully growing through?  Is it a financial struggle?  Something to do with a family member?  Maybe it is an obstacle with your employment or health?  The fact is, that each day, we walk out some kind of opposition.  Whether it is internal or external, it is still there and if we learn how to let God’s grace be our guide through the crisis, we will be ready for the next step in our walk with Him.

Today I want to encourage you to cast your thorn/concerns irritants and pains over on the Lord.  Receive His grace to walk you through the fire whatever it may be.  Instead of walking from failure to failure, struggle to struggle, start walking from victory to victory and mountain top to mountain top.  Identify your thorn each day and grow your faith to the point that there is no room for the thorns of life to control your world anymore.

Today’s scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 12:7-21

7 The extraordinary level of the revelations I’ve received is no reason for anyone to exalt me.  For this is why a thorn in my flesh was given to me, the Adversary’s messenger sent to harass me,  keeping me from becoming arrogant. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to relieve me of this. 9 But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you,  and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.  10 So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power. 11 I have become foolish to boast like this, but you have forced me to do it, when you should have boasted in me instead. For there is nothing I lack compared to these “super-apostles” of yours, even though I am nothing. 12 The things that distinguish a true apostle were performed among you with great perseverance—supernatural signs, startling wonders, and awesome miracles.13 Furthermore, how were you treated worse than the other churches, except that I didn’t burden you financially—forgive me for depriving you!  14 And now here I am, ready to come to you for the third time,  and I still refuse to be a burden to you. For what I really want is your hearts, not your money. After all, children should not have to accumulate resources for their parents, but parents do this for their children. 15 And as a spiritual father to you, I will gladly spend all that I have and all that I am for you!  If I love you more, will you respond by loving me less? 16 Be that as it may, I haven’t been a burden to you at all, yet you say of me, “He’s a scoundrel and a trickster!” 17 But let me ask you this. Did I somehow cheat or trick you through any of the men I sent your way? 18 I was the one who insisted that Titus and our brother come and help you. Did Titus take advantage of you? Didn’t we all come to you in the same spirit, following in the ways of integrity? 19 I hope that you don’t assume that all this time we have simply been justifying ourselves in your eyes? Beloved ones, we have been speaking to you in the sight of God as those joined to Christ, and everything we do is meant to build you up and make you stronger in your faith. 20 Now I’m afraid that when I come to you I may find you different than I desire you to be, and you may find me different than you would like me to be. I don’t want to find you in disunity, with jealousy and angry outbursts, with selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance, and turmoil. 21 I’m actually afraid that on my next visit my God will humble me in front of you as I shed tears over those who keep sinning without repenting of their impurity, sexual immorality, and perversion.