Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas For The Nation

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
And He will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of His government and peace
there will be no end.

It is the season again to celebrate our Lords birth, a great gift to mankind and the beginning of our faith. In the midst of the joy, the giving, the receiving and the mingling with friends and family, let us take a moment during the season, to thank God also for the hope we as a nation have in His birth.

One of the reasons Christ came is to establish His Kingdom here on earth, so let us take the time to commit our government before Him, as the word says, "the kings heart is in the hand of the Lord, as are the water-courses; He turns it whichever way He wills" [Prov 21:1]. So this season, may God's government and peace increase in our nation, and may He reign in our nation as the Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. Amen
Prayer: Loving Father, we bless You for the gift of Your son. Today, as we gather all round the world to celebrate You once again, we want to thank You for the hope that we have in You, because of You. When others say there is a casting down, we can boldly proclaim, there is a lifting up. We praise You for our nation and ask today that Your will be done in this land as it is in Heaven. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Trusting God's Abilities

When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they replied.

The Bible tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him [Hebrews 11:6]. The blind men in today's verse of scripture demonstrated their belief that God was able to heal them. Their level of faith was such that they believed God could do it for them all by Himself. Today, God still expects us to demonstrate our trust and belief in His abilities.
God has allotted to each of us a measure of faith [Romans 12:3]. Not everyone is at the same level of faith and this is because not all have developed their initial portion of faith. We may know by reading, hearing and seeing from the lives of others that "nothing is too hard for God". But it is worth it to experience that part of our loving Father who delights in impossibilities.

There is nothing that is too difficult for God to do. He can deal with your past and your present. He is the one who does miracles so great. He is the one who can restore you the years that seemed to be taken from you. Today your loving Father speaks to you concerning whatever you are believing Him for. He asks, "Do you believe that I am able to do it for you?" If you search yourself deeply and you realize the answer is "no", it is simply an opportunity to grow and develop your faith. If your answer is "yes", it is time for you to start exercising your faith on God's word. Trust in God and His ability to do it for you.
Prayer: My Loving Father, there is nothing too hard for You to do. I thank You for when it comes to my life, there is no problem You cannot solve. As I search myself today, help me identify my actual level of faith. Where I need to grow and develop, please show me how I can do so. May I experience the sweetest discoveries of You as I begin to trust in Your ability to perfect that which concerns me. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Different Mindset

The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said,
“Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do,
and don’t live in dread of what frightens them.
Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life.
He is the one you should fear.
He is the one who should make you tremble..."

Israel was surrounded by powerful neighbors and was under constant threat of attack, hence alliance with other strong nations was a common survival strategy for its kings. Yet here was God warning Isaiah not to follow that same pattern of thinking, worrying about who to make an ally to prevent defeat, or who was strongest and had the greatest armies. Israel was to fear the Lord of hosts because no other King or kingdom compares to Him.

We too as children of God in this generation are called to think differently, not as everyone else does. The bible says in Romans 12:2 that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that is the only way not to be conformed to this world. Our world is filled with such prevalent thoughts that are contrary to Gods way of thinking like "if it feels good, do it", “if everyone is doing it, do it,” or "what's in it for me”.

God's word today reminds us that our way of living above all this is by living according to His principles, being empowered by the Holy Spirit. Let us not allow ourselves to be swayed by the supposed norm that surrounds us. Rather, let us submit ourselves in all totality to God for He is a sanctuary to those who fear Him but a stumbling block and a rock of offence to those who reject Him [1Peter 2:6-8].

Prayer: My Loving Father, I thank You for Your Holy Spirit who guides me and teaches me to apply your word in my everyday life. Thank You for the comfort of knowing that in You I cannot go wrong. Let Your word continually transform my life, with its wisdom. I totally surrender to You.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Beware Of Rust

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
[1 Timothy 6:11, NIV]

If metal is left idle for a while, not being used and exposed to the elements of water and oxygen, it begins to rust. If nothing is done about the growing rust, it gets to a point when the metal becomes useless to perform it's functions, deserving only to be trashed.

Spiritual inactivity also corrodes the soul like moisture acting on metal. Paul urged Timothy to 'pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness'. This command has no expiration date attached to it. Spiritual discipline requires continued attention throughout our lives. If 'rest' becomes a goal or an indulgence, then 'rust' is right behind.

Complacency, negligence, 'it doesn't matter', are the greatest undoing of the practicing child of God. The brain works with the greatest intensity when it works continually, likewise the more you do something, the more you can do, the better you become. We must keep working to keep trim for God, cleaning off any existing rust by doing the will and pleasure of God. Though our capabilities may vary with age, pursuing the righteous life to which God has called us should never end. Beware of rust.

Prayer: Thank you Father for your words of insight and encouragement today. For everything in which I feel weary and tired, I receive strength from your love. By your power dear Lord I stand to avoid every rustiness in my service to you. Use me for your good pleasure my Father I pray in Jesus' name.

One-Year Daily Bible Reading Plan - Dec. 21 2010 - Psalms 97-98 (OT), Mark 6 (NT)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

When The Refiner Is At Work

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver...

A refiner is a specially skilled person who removes impurities or other unwanted matter from something (or in this context - someone). He knows the right temperature at which the unwanted matter will be removed. He sets and watches to ensure the refining process is done effectively.

There are times when God allows us to pass through a fire in order that He may refine us, purify us, and bring out the best in us. Today's scripture tells us that He "sits" as a refiner and purifier. He does not see us in the fire and walk away. He does not let the fire get too hot (that we may be burned) or get too cold (that we may not come out refined as He intended). He "sits", watching closely and keeping the temperature right. What others may think would destroy us would make us stronger and much better people - if we allow God. 

Today's scripture is consistent with His promises. He said, "When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze" [Isaiah 43:2]. We know that "the temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure" [1Corinthians 10:13].

No matter what you go through, be rest assured that your loving Father is with you, watching, and ensuring that the situation does not burn you. In the midst of the situation, ask Him to show you what impurities He wants to remove or what characteristics He wants to bring out of you. His plans for you are always good - plans to give you the future you hope for.

Prayer: My Loving Father, I thank You, for You desire the best for me. When it seems I am passing through a fire which You have allowed, may I have the right attitude about it. May I realize that I am not alone but You are with me, ensuring that the fire does not consume me. May I look to You for what good You want to bring out of me and what impurities You want to remove from me. May I remain submissive to Your will. In Jesus Name, Amen.