Thursday, January 30, 2014

Point Your Roots To The River

He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water...whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalm 1:3)

The Bible compares the prosperous man to a tree because:

1. It's  CONSTANT.  That's because it draws continually from underground streams.  If you want to succeed, learn how to draw daily on the indwelling power of God's Spirit.  God's Spirit resides within you and is just waiting for expression.

2. It's CREATIVE.   Notice the words, "Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper" (Psalm 1:3). You've got to do something to be blessed!  You say, "But I'm praying about it." That's good; prayer releases the favor of God - but work releases the force of man!  When one is in harmony with the other, you're unstoppable.  Don't just pray for a better relationship with your husband or wife - give them more attention.  Don't ask for better credit, or more money - set a budget and start living within your means.

3. It's CONNECTED. Without additional sources to draw from, a tree may survive, but it'll never reach its full potential for fruitfulness.  And neither will you.  You can't beg or borrow somebody else's fruit, but there's a lot to be said for using a little of their pollen to stimulate what God's already placed within you. Joshua drew from Moses.  Timothy drew from Paul.

God intends for you to be PROSPEROUS!  He calls you BLESSED today!  You have His blessing upon you and in you.  Even when things aren't great outwardly, they are on the inside. 

God has PLANTED you for a PURPOSE!  God puts us right where He wants us.  we are wise to say, dig in with roots, and bloom where we we're planted!

Purpose today to be PLANTED like a tree and you'll receive the POWER of God to fulfill your God given assignment!

Point your roots to the river!

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Only Good In Me Is The God In Me

In the book of 1 Samuel, God spoke to the prophet and said, "Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

Of course God was referencing David's older brothers who had been called before the prophet Samuel.  On that particular day, God was selecting a new king to lead His people. 

He revealed to Samuel that He wasn't interested in a certain "look", "style", or "personality". But rather, He was interested in the motivation of the HEART.

Sometimes, we can be guilty of classifying people based upon their appearance, past, pedigree, economics, education, etc.   Society has conditioned our culture to ACCEPT the desirable and REJECT the less desirable.  

That's why millions of dollars are spent on marketing ads.  It is the hope that Americans will "buy" whatever is being promoted, polished and paraded

Sadly, even in the church, we form a biased opinion about someone based upon their appearance, past or speculation.  However, God saw past the appearance of David's older brothers and looked into the HEART of a young man who had super potential and promise. A man who would have his share of mistakes and mishaps...but whose heart would always come back to God.

We are quick to judge David for his failures...and yet God says of him, "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will." (Acts 13:22)

I read a funny story about a pulpit search committee that brought a report to their congregation. "In our search for just the right pastor, only one was found to have the qualities we need.  After interviewing each of the candidates, here are their names, along with our comments:
  • Noah: A failure as a preacher; 120 years experience, but no converts.
  • Moses: Stutters and loses his temper.
  • Abraham: Got into trouble with the authorities and lied his way out.
  • David: Would make a good minister of music, if he had better morals.
  • Solomon: A walking encyclopedia of wisdom, but doesn't practice what he preaches.
  • Elijah: Prone to depression, folds under pressure.
  • Hosea: Divorced and remarried to a prostitute.
  • Jeremiah: Too emotional and negative; a real alarmist.
  • Amos: A farmer, better suited to picking figs and raising cattle.
  • John: Says he's a Baptist, but lacks tact. Dresses like a hippie.
  • Peter: Bad-tempered; denied Christ publicly.
  • Paul: Not good media material; too long-winded.
  • Timothy: Has potential, but much too young.
  • Jesus: Offends church members with His preaching. Hangs out with questionable characters. Upset the pulpit search committee with His pointed questions!
  • Judas: Practical, cooperative, good with money, cares for the poor, well-dressed.  We all agree - he's the man to fill our pulpit!"
Aren't you glad that "...the Lord looks on the heart"? 

Here's some reasons why I believe David was a man after God's own heart:
  1. HUMBLE - "Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath." Psalms 62:9
  2. REVERENT - "I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies." Psalm 18:3
  3. RESPECTFUL - "Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief." Psalm 31:9
  4. TRUSTING - "The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1
  5. LOVING - "I love you, O Lord, my strength." Psalm 18:1
  6. DEVOTED - "You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound." Psalm 4:7
  7. RECOGNITION - "I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders." Psalm 9:1
  8. FAITHFUL - "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Psalm 23:6
  9. OBEDIENT - "Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart." Psalm 119:34
  10. REPENTANT - "For the sake of your name, O Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great." Psalm 25:11
David recognized that the only
GOOD in him was the GOD in him

I have heard before that President Theodore Roosevelt often went outdoors at night, looked up into the vastness of the universe, simply to remind himself of his humanity compared to the vastness of the universe. I think that is an important principle for all of us that claim to be Christians.

Next time someone asks you why David was called "a man after God's own heart", point them to Psalm 16:2 "I said to the Lord, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing."

Monday, January 6, 2014

From Worthless To Worth

No matter how much we talk about Jesus…I find myself wanting to talk about Him more.  In fact, I want to spend quality time with people who love to do the same.  

Are you hungry to speak about Jesus?
Do you talk about Jesus more than you comment on Facebook?

Isaiah said, "A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench." (Isaiah 42:3)

Can you think of anything more WORTHLESS than a bruised reed that people have trampled on?  Jesus will not walk by it, and He will not walk on it.  He'll stop and gently strengthen it in the broken places, and then He'll straighten it up so it can grow again.

Can you think of anything more USELESS than a smoldering wick that once burned brightly? But watch how Jesus works; He carefully POURS fresh oil into the empty lamp, and then gently BLOWS on the flax until it ignites again.

I don't know about you, but I've been a BRUISED REED and a SMOKING FLAX, and when I couldn't reach up, He reached down and lifted me from hopelessness and despair.  He made me strong in the broken places and fanned the smoldering flax into a flame of LOVE.  And He's done it for you, too, hasn't He?

Take a moment today to tell Jesus how much you love Him!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Be Specific

Too often we talk to everybody ABOUT our problem, except the One who can do something about it.  God says, "Let your requests be made known unto [Me]." (Philippians 4:6)

  • Have you done that today?
  • Have you talked to God about the SPECIFIC things you're so concerned over?

If you'll be specific with Him, He'll be specific with you.  Jesus said, "Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it WILL be yours." (Mark 11:24)

  • How do you think you would act if you knew for sure that your prayer had already been answered?  
  • Wouldn't you PRAISE the LORD?  
  • Wouldn't you speak confidently?

Perhaps you're having difficulty believing.  Then the WORD for you today is, "If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you" (Matthew 18:19).

Join your faith with the faith of OTHERS - multiply your impact before the throne.  Unite and get results! 

When someone asks you to pray for them, take it seriously.  Don't just promise to pray - do it! The Bible is about US, not YOU!  We are told to pray for ONE ANOTHER, encourage ONE ANOTHER, and bear ONE ANOTHER'S burdens!

Today, let your requests be made known!  The door is open…He's inviting you to come!