Friday, January 21, 2011

Who Is On Your Side?

1Kings 20:13

13 Meanwhile a prophet came to Ahab king of Israel and announced, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Do you see this vast army? I will give it into your hand today, and then you will know that I am the LORD.’

Has God ever done anything for you when it seemed like there was no hope? Ben-Hadad, king of Aram had been waring with Ahab, king of Israel for three years. Ben-Hadad had decided he had enough and was ready to end the war by conquering Israel's king. So he sent word to Ahab that he was going to take his silver, gold and his wives. Ahab did not refuse because he was tired and ready to give up and he thought if he gave himself and his possessions up, the rest of Israel would be saved. Ben-Hadad then decided since Ahab gave into the first demand, surely he would give into the second which was to search the homes of the officials and take whatever they had as well. Ah But that was the final straw for Ahab. At that point, Ahab realized that Ben-Hadad thought he had all in the bag. Ahab was not willing to give up the rest of the officials because then that would mean the rest of Israel would be taken over as well. It was at that point that a prophet of the Lord came to Ahab and said I am going to give you everything just so you know who I am.

The one thing about the enemy, when he thinks he's gotten us to give up or compromise on one thing, he starts throwing the "kitchen sink" thinking he has won the battle, ah but God!!! Don't you just love those but God moments!! God steps in when it seems like there is no hope left and says, "this one is mine too!" Ahab was being noble to save his people but God wanted Ahab to know, it was not about anything he could do on his own, it was about God showing his glory!! And for that the army was handed over to Ahab. It was not only to increase belief for Ahab but for his enemies to see who was on his side. No matter what the enemy throws at you, when God decides to show up, he shows up big time!! You don't need Nationwide all you need is God!!

Who is on your side?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New to You

Galations 6:15

15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.

Have you ever seen the same thing with different eyes? Paul was addressing the church in Galatia about what it means to really be new. It did not matter whether one was Jew or Gentile. As long as they were redeemed by the Lord, then there was transformation. Quite frankly, being in church all our lives or not does not make anyone a new creation. It is about the transformation that ought to take place within the heart from the relationship with God. As one grows the transformation will take place and one will be viewed by others with different eyes. The transformed will also have new eyes and will see the world from a different perspective. It's like walking down a street which you may do everyday but for the first time, you notice something that's been there all the time but it seems new to you because your focus was elsewhere.

The eye is the window of the soul so if there is a heart transformation the eyes will be transformed as well. Have you seen anything lately with a new set of eyes? Whether it's a book you've read, a place you visited or people you've seen, if it looks different to you, then it's very likely that there has been a transformation in you.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Security Blanket

Lamentations 1:2

2 Bitterly she weeps at night,
tears are on her cheeks.
Among all her lovers
there is none to comfort her.
All her friends have betrayed her;
they have become her enemies.

Do you remember the first security blanket you ever had when you were a child? What did you do when it was removed from you? Most children cry. Jerusalem and Judah looked to other countries for their security instead of the Lord. And when their security was taken from them, all they could do was cry. No matter what is provided in this life, our main source of security is the Lord whether we know it or not. For the Lord is the only one that is sustaining. Anyone can turn on you but the Lord is constant. The problem, most rely on their money, people and other possessions as a sign of security. The Lord is the only security that lasts. How so? Money can be lost, people can leave and possessions can be damaged. None of that applies to our Lord. And that was the lesson he wanted Jerusalem and Judah to learn.

If he wanted to teach it them, he wants to teach to us as well. Our security is in him. Everything else is icing on the cake.

Matthew 6:33
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

All these things refers to the blessings but first, our security must be in the one who created us. What have you been using as your security blanket? Is it a sure thing? If it's not God, it can be lost.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In Need of Understanding

Acts 8:30-31

30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

Where do you go when you are in need of understanding? Philip was an evangelist and chosen among seven by the apostles to care for the needs of the growing church. Philip was instructed by an angel of the Lord to head toward Samaria. He was not sure at the time why he was going but he was obedient nonetheless. The Lord sent him to meet an Ethiopian (Nubian). The Ethiopian believed in God yet lacked understanding. Philip was sent to shed light on the Word of God for the Ethiopian so that he could understand. Philip asked him if he understood. The Ethiopian was truthful with him. But more importantly, the Ethiopian was at a place where he was willing to accept the instruction.

Truthfully, many of us have too much pride to admit when we lack understanding. At times, God will send us help but if we are unwilling to drop the prideful act and submit to instruction, then we cannot gain the understanding that we seek. Others care not to understand, they are happy to live in ignorance. But ignorance is not an excuse once the opportunity is given to learn. The Lord knows when we lack understanding and he does not desire to leave us in the dark. He will provide it in his timing but again, we must be willing to accept it.

May the scales fall from the eyes of those who cannot see and may the blockage flow out of the ears of those that have not been able to hear and may the hearts of those that need understanding be open and ready to receive it.


Monday, January 17, 2011


Proverbs 20:17

17 Food gained by fraud tastes sweet,
but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.

What at first seems to be worth while will not last. That is the point our wonderful King Solomon dared to make. Anything that is not obtained legitimately is subject to problems later. King Solomon talked more of the plight of the wicked as the wicked are more likely to take the route of fraud but one doesn't usually set out to be wicked. According to Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary fraud is defined as:

1a : deceit, trickery; specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right b : an act of deceiving or misrepresenting : trick
2a : a person who is not what he or she pretends to be : impostor; also : one who defrauds : cheat b : one that is not what it seems or is represented to be

Over time little bad habits add up. It's a lot like lying. It's difficult in the beginning but then it becomes such a habit that one doesn't see it as wrong anymore. But as Solomon said, one day it will no longer be sweet. Obtaining something in less than a stellar way ultimately puts one in a position to be suspicious of anyone close by that might find out the truth. Sooner or later one will regret the choices made to obtain that which was seen as so sweet. One can lose credibility and be seen as lacking integrity. In the society we live in, integrity is still seen as important though it's not always practiced.