Friday, August 26, 2011

Are You Willing to Give it Up?

Luke 18:21-22
21"All these things I have kept since I was a boy," he said.
22When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me."

The rich young ruler bragged of how he kept all the commandments. Some of us wonder why Jesus would say what he said. He wasn't saying there was anything wrong with money. He wanted to show the ruler that he had indeed violated the first commandment which is to love the Lord our God with all our hearts and all our might and to have no other gods before Him. The ruler had made what he desired most more important than God. He never saw it that way but Jesus showed it to him by asking him to give it up. Now it doesn't have to be money but what in our lives have we desired more than God? It's not always material either. But it's an illustration that God wants ALL of us to love and worship Him first. The Lord blessed Abraham with a seed that would make the father of many nations. The Lord tested him though. He told him he'd have to sacrifice Isaac back to Him. The Lord only tested him to see if he would not only be faithful but if he would give up that which he most desired. Abraham passed the test. If the Lord came to you right now and said give up _____ (fill in the blank with what you desire most), would you do it? Would you be able to give it up? If your answer is no, then you have your answer to what it is that you love more than you love the Lord. He already knows but like the rich young ruler, he wants you to see it for yourself. Not to point a finger at you but to bring you to a place of repentance and deliverance from whatever it is your holding on to more than you hold on to Him. Will you let go? Are you willing to give it up?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Different Approach

Mark 1:40
40A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean."

Can you imagine being the man with leprosy and how much he endured? He approached Jesus with the faith that Jesus could heal him but unlike the others, he took a different approach. "If you are willing." The man with leprosy was willing to accept whatever Jesus determined should be his state. This approach, which is not seen as much in the ministry of Jesus, because those that approached Jesus either lacked faith when asking or just declared in their faith that what they desired would be done. But what about what He wants? Like the man with leprosy, he knew Jesus could do it but what if what you think is the path is not the Lord's path for you? What if you must be brought closer to him by your circumstances? Maybe prior to whatever you were or are enduring you didn't or don't talk to him often. What if what he wants from you He knows he can only get by you being in unpleasant circumstances just a little while longer? All He wants is for us to be willing to submit to whatever He wants for us. We don't like the word submit because we don't like not being in control. But based on whatever we're going through etc, He's showing that none of us are in as much control as we would like to believe. Yes, we can control our actions and reactions but that's about as much as we can control. Have you asked the Lord what He wants you to do? Have you asked Him what path He wants you to take? Have you asked Him if what you desire in your life is what He wants in your life? If you ask Him, you may be surprised with His response.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's Bigger Than You

John 11:47b-48
"What are we accomplishing?" they asked. "Here is this man performing many miraculous signs. 48If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."

The Pharisees believed that Jesus was making them look bad. Their plot to kill him was an effort to keep their status.  Their positions were more important to them than the needs of the people. What Jesus was doing was never about the Pharisees. His mission was bigger than them. His mission was to bring all people to repentance and belief in Him so that they would not perish. Jesus was more concerned about saving lives, not about the reputation of the Pharisees. Whatever happened with them was a consequence of their own behaviors, mindset and lack of belief. Yet Jesus' work posed a threat to them because they were supposed to be "the chosen ones". When Jesus is working through the Holy Spirit, His concern is bigger than just you and me. He always has a plan that is greater than us but we can be part of the plan. His plan will always get accomplished with or without our assistance. If we allow him to use us then we can see great blessings in it but if we do not then we miss out on the joy and blessings that could be ours. We can easily forfeit blessings when we have the mindset of the Pharisees. The Pharisees represent "the crab in the barrel" experience. "I have to drag you down because you're moving too far ahead." Note to Pharisee mindset- these actions are not becoming.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Beware of Where Your Mouth Leads You

Proverbs 11:9
9With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor,
but through knowledge the righteous escape.

The wise King Solomon spoke so candidly about one committing an offense against another. King Solomon talked of defaming. Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary defines defame:

1:archaic : disgrace
2: to harm the reputation of by libel or slander
3:archaic : accuse

In other words, King Solomon spoke of someone who slanders. But why? According to the dictionary definition it is to accuse someone of something but often done with false or misguided information. It's an attempt to make someone look bad. A slanderer usually attempts to make someone look bad so they can look better or justify themselves. But does that make one better? King Solomon said the righteous escape such actions through knowledge. We know that applied knowledge is power. In this case it's the power to defeat those who slander. The Lord is the ultimate provider of knowledge and wisdom so it is by His doing and His alone that one will escape such assaults. People may talk about others but it's being done in the presence of the Lord. The Lord knows everything even the thoughts of men whether true or false. It is the Lord that vindicates those who have been defamed unjustly. And it is the Lord that heaps coals on the heads of those who speak against those he loves. Let us beware of where our mouths lead us?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Restored Vision

Mark 8:25
25Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.

How awesome that even Jesus' spit had a great anointing power!! Jesus spit on a man's eyes and touched them and he could see!! That's miraculous! But what's not emphasized is that man's sight was "restored". Restoration means to return something to its original state. For the blind man, it meant that he could once see. Something happened that caused him to be blind. But Jesus came to restore his sight. What about us? Have we been walking around blind? All of us have been blind at some point or even right now. It all depends on where we are. It's not hard to lose our way when we become blinded by the world's standards. But what about in our every day trials and tribulations? Some of us don't know we're walking around blind until Jesus comes to shed light on our situations. All he has to do is touch our spiritual eyes with the Holy Spirit and we have restored vision. It could mean seeing our circumstances from a different light with a new sense of positivity or it could mean to see a situation for what it is, the way we didn't want to see it before but Jesus has deemed we see it as He sees it. Whatever it is, there's nothing like having clear vision. It may not always be pleasant at first because things may appear 3D, but it's only because we haven't bee using our eyes. We must learn to ask Jesus for restored spiritual sight. If we never had it then it's time to ask him for new sight-new eyes so we can see what he sees. We'll never travel the right path if we can't see.

I want to give a great BIG THANK YOU to Stubbs of the Leap of Faith Show!! Now you can catch the Get Your JOY In The Morning segment on her Sunday Morning show every hour on the hour from 6-10am ET. You can also listen to Stubbs Monday-Wednesday from 6-9am ET at