Friday, January 7, 2011

At The Eleventh Hour

Daniel 2:21-22

21 He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.

Have you ever had to provide an answer for something that was beyond your scope or field of reference? Where you humble enough to go and seek the answer? King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had a dream. He didn't understand the meaning of the dream and was very perplexed. So he summoned everyone he knew within the royal court that to him, should be able to provide answers. Those that were not able to provide him with satisfactory answers were immediately executed. Someone brought up Daniel's name. As he was considered to be the wisest among them all. So he was given a short period time to provide king with answers. If he didn't, he would be executed along with his friends, Hanniah, Mishael and Azariah. Of course they sought the only source that could answer, God. For God was the one that provided the king with the dream. It was very late in the night but God delivered at the eleventh hour. Not just for the sake of Daniel and his friends but to show the king the glory of God. For Daniel praised God because he knew that without him, he could not answer the king.

All of us at some point will be asked questions that we ourselves cannot possibly answer. Like toddlers that ask parents, "why is the sky blue?", we have to know that we can go to our heavenly Father in heaven and ask questions that we know only he can answer. The key is understanding that he may not answer the questions in our timing but when he knows we are at a place where we are truly ready to receive and not reject the knowledge, he shall open our eyes to the revelation.

What revelation have you received from God? Is at the eleventh hour for you? Is the powder in the hour glass at its last few drops?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Third Party Confirmation

John 5:31-32

31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. 32 There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid.

Have you ever needed a third party confirmation? My mentors in both the business and spiritual world often talk about third party confirmation and validation. Well it was true for Jesus as well. The Pharisees were constantly in conflict with Jesus because though he was humble, he was not afraid of them nor was he timid about teaching that which he received from God. How could he have such a following? How could he perform the miracles he performed? No matter what Jesus told the Pharisees it wouldn't have mattered. It was only by God that he was confirmed and validated. And really, that was all that mattered. There was no way Jesus could do the things he did without God but for the Pharisees, they were so caught up in the laws they created for man to distinguish themselves as more important that they couldn't grasp much else.

There will be seasons of your life that don't make sense to some, but if God is revealing himself and showing you where to go, those that are supposed to see the confirmation will and those that don't will not. Be not dismayed, For God is still working.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"What's Love Got to Do With It?"

Proverbs 19:22

22 What a man desires is unfailing love[a];
better to be poor than a liar.

Everyone needs and wants love. For love is considered part of a basic need in Maslowe's Hierarchy of Needs. But did you know that we actually have a love greater than any love we could possibly receive? King Solomon emphasized that it is very difficult to find the level of loyalty that every person desires. Unfailing love is unconditional love. What does unconditional mean? According to Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, unconditional is defined as:

1: not conditional or limited : absolute, unqualified
: unconditioned 2

We often have conditions on the love we give. I will give you love if you do ____ (fill in the blank) for me. But God has given his love to us anyway. He provides for us every day out of love. He did the unthinkable and gave up his only son, Jesus for us just to show us how much he loves us. He made us in his own image just like how children look like their parents because he wanted us to know that we are his. He loves us so much that he wants to occupy every area of our life to bless us beyond our wildest dreams. When everyone else leaves, God will still be there.

King Solomon of course was talking about the love of another but he makes something very clear, it is better to be poor than a liar. It means we are to have "moral integrity" (NIV Study Bible). Ultimately, we are to be true and real with ourselves and those around us. So it's better to be without someone than to lie to anyone. "What's love got to do with it?" Everything!!! If we are unwilling to love unconditionally, meaning in good and bad times and truly give of ourselves, then to say that we love is more like saying I like you for right now. We have to first love God, because only then will we understand the example of love and we will begin to love ourselves enough to not do and be destructive to our bodies and in our life. If we are destructive with our bodies and lives because we do not love ourselves, what then will we do in the lives of others?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Do You Know How to Pray?

Matthew 6:9-13

9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.[a]’

We always here "when all else fails pray". But do you know how to pray? Jesus' sermon on the Mount was one of the most significant sermons during his three year ministry. It was during this time that he laid out the basics of the attitudes and attributes for those who would follow him. During the sermon Jesus gave a blueprint for how we ought to pray. For any prayer ought to have the primary six components. When broken down the prayer consists of the following:

1. Acknowledging God as father and recognizing his holiness
2. His kingdom come: God's kingdom is already here but til we come into the fullness of it
3. His will be done: meaning that his will is more important then any other requests we have because his will is supreme
4. Our Daily bread- that God meet every need that we have (not the wants but the needs because there is a difference)
5. Forgiveness of sin- that God forgive us for our sin because we all fall short every day in some way whether in thought or deed and also that we forgive those that have sinned against us. This is key because if we ask God to forgive us but we are unwilling to forgive our neighbor, why then should God forgive us?
6. Protection- We pray for protection when we are enduring trials but also from the enemy of our souls.

Every prayer ought to have the six components in some way shape or form. If you did not know how to pray before, start out with the Lord's Prayer above as it is called and then as you come into deeper relationship with Christ, you will begin to develop the comfort level you need to speak to him in your own words. If you know how to pray but for one reason or another have become lazy and complacent in prayer as we can all sometimes be, this is a reminder on how to come before God in complete humility.

Let's go from "when all else fails pray" to "before we do anything be sure to pray".

Monday, January 3, 2011

Time is Precious

Psalm 103:15-16

15 As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.

As we have now begun 2011, have you thought about what you will do differently? Our life span is very much but a flick of a finger. For we often think we have more time than we actually have. Did you know that with each day that passes we are one day closer to the end of our lives and farther from the beginning of our lives? So many give resolutions that die very shortly after a couple of months of each new year. Do you want to really do something different? First and foremost what did you always dream about being when you were a young kid? Why start there? Simply put, God has placed dreams inside of all of us. Do you remember? Your dreams cannot be completed without God because they are too big for any of us to do in our strength. Everything must line up with God. For it is he who opens up the doors and makes resources available that none of us could even begin to fathom. Please note that we are never to get to a place where our dreams mean more to us than God because then we begin to worship the created versus the creator. But please keep the following illustration in mind as you start your year off:

Draw a line. Then mark the beginning of the line with birth and the end of the line with death. And then place a line wherever you think you might be in the continuum. Again, we often think we have more time than we have. While we cannot do anything about the time that has already passed. Now is the time to do something with what we have remaining.

Birth                                        Now                                     Death