Friday, July 4, 2014
7Therefore I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.
God made the prophet Micah aware of His displeasure over Israel's sins. And Micah himself showed sorrow over Israel's sins. The NKJ Study Bible notes that sin had so consumed even God's people that they preyed on their own neighbors and even those in the closest of relationships could not be trusted. The only one to be trusted is God. Does any of this sound familiar? Jesus said in Matthew 24 that the same would be true and demonstrated as signs of the time of the end of the age. Friends betraying friends, spouses not able to trust each other and family members seeking to do harm to other family members and even those who claim to be God's people as noted in Micah 7:5-6. Matthew 24:10-12 also references false prophets. Jesus said it would get so bad that "the love of many will grow cold." Is this not true at this moment in time? Micah gave the same resolution as Jesus, trusting and looking to the God of your salvation is the answer to your dilemma. Even Job had the displeasure of finding that out though his situation was not even as a result of sin in his life. He attempted to look to his wife but she was so bitter and angry with God over their circumstances that her advice was not prudent. Job's friends whom he had always been there for were supposed to comfort him in his time of need. However, they picked Job's misfortune as an opportunistic time to reveal what they thought of Job and presumed to know the reason for his circumstances. Yet, Job continued to petition his request for answers to God. And God did answer. And so no matter what dilemma you are facing, God will answer in His perfect timing. Your friends do not have answers nor your family. Only God can give direction and only He can orchestrate the atmosphere where the answer is revealed and obeyed. When it occurs, no one can get the glory but God.
P.S. Have a wonderful and joyous 4th of July Celebration to those here in the United States!
Thursday, July 3, 2014
12For He will deliver the needy when he cries, the poor also, and him who has no helper.
Solomon wrote Psalm 72 while he was petitioning God for wisdom on how to rule as a king. Within it, God gave to him knowledge about Jesus, the coming Messiah. When you cry out for Jesus, He hears it and responds. When you are at your lowest point, Jesus always has a way of quickening your step once more. When there is no food on the table or money in your pocket, when you call on Jesus, He sends nourishment right on time. And for you who has no one at your side, He sends help just when you need it when you call His name. Jesus is many things to many people but He is the Savior and the living Word.
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
12Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
The gospel of Luke records Jesus being in prayer before the apostles were selected. Jesus said repeatedly during His earthly ministry that He only did, "the will of the Father." The way to know the will of God is both in scripture and in prayer as Jesus demonstrated. Selecting the apostles was a serious decision. These were the ones to be closest to Him for the purposes of teaching and preparing for spreading the gospel. Even Jesus knew the importance of God's will in the selection process. After God selected Gideon to help restore God's people, God showed the same to Gideon regarding the battle to defeat the Midianites. In Judges 7 God told Gideon that he had too many men and gave him the criteria on which to select the men to accompany him. In Exodus 4 God told Moses that he would be the one used to help free God's people from bondage. And when Moses felt he could not complete the task, God appointed to him his brother Aaron to assist. In Genesis Chapter 2, after God created Adam and gave him the task of naming the animals and Adam realized he was alone, God created and appointed Eve, his wife, to be by his side to have dominion over the earth.
Do you see a common theme in all these examples? God selected someone for a task and then selected those who would assist. The selection process comes by prayer which is a direct conversation with God the Father. It is a two-way conversation. You ask God in prayer, then WAIT and LISTEN for His answer. Many times people talk to God but do not listen for His answer. If you know God has given you an assignment, then you must also go to Him for direction on how to carry it out, if He wants you to have a partner to carry out and whom to select. When God selects you, He equips you. You are not alone.
Monday, June 30, 2014
3Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
God is Elohim, the Creator. You and I are God's creation. Psalm 139:14 says "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are your works and that my soul knows very well." You couldn't have created you even if you tried. How would you have known which traits to take from which parent? How would have crafted your personality and mannerisms? There's no way you could create the perfect you the way God did. Yes, you are wonderful because He created you! God is also Jehovah Rohi, the God our Shepherd. It is His pleasure to guide you and provide for you as a shepherd does his sheep. You and I are sheep in God's earth metaphorically. How many times have you attempted to go your own way? Did not Jehovah Rohi steer you back into the correct direction through the Holy Spirit and even His divine intervention? His actions are what a shepherd would do with his guiding rod. There is someone looking after you, watching you while you graze, while sleep, while you eat and as you move along. Does He not deserve praise even for these things? What about thanking Him for the many things you take for granted? He deserves more but a heart full of praise and thanksgiving is an awesome start!
18For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.
Pilate knew the high priest and the Sanhedrin handed Jesus over out of envy. Just prior to Pilate asking the multitude whom they wanted pardon, Pilate's wife sent him a message. The message was to have nothing to do with Jesus' persecution. Her justification was a dream. She was tormented in a dream. And the message to her husband was another confirmation of what he suspected. The NKJ Study Bible gives the translation of the verse as, "Pilate obviously thought Jesus was innocent, and he offered His accusers a way out, while not backing down himself. His offer for 'Passover amnesty' was rejected. He underestimated their hatred."
Envy breeds hatred. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines envy as a painful or resentful awareness of another's advantages. Unfortunately, people sometimes attempt to quench that hatred with drastic measures, even to the point of murder. Envy is not a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Interestingly enough, when listing the works of the flesh in Galatians 5, envy appears right before murder. A coincidence? There are no coincidences in the Word of God. God does everything with a purpose. A person who has that much envy has little or no confidence in themselves. Envy is a result of thinking less of yourself and comparing yourself to someone else and trying to measure up to that person. Each person is unique and no one can be you. And you certainly cannot be anyone else. If you try to constantly compare yourself to someone, you will never measure up. But until you focus on your relationship with Christ and who God created you to be, it will be easy for you to focus on who someone else is and why they have what they have. The Miami Mass Choir had a wonderful song, "What God Has For Me." What God has for you is for you and only you. What God has for me is for me and only me. As long as you are who God created you be, you will receive what He has for you. When you believe in your own wisdom that what God gives to another is better than what He will give or has given you, you reject not only the blessings God has dropped in your lap, but any future blessings He has coming for you. If you are suffering with envy, deliverance is necessary. In order for deliverance to occur, you must admit that you are struggling first. Confess it and repent. And God will go to work. Let there be death to envy so you can grow in Christ.