Saturday, September 14, 2019

Our Eyes Are Upon Thee

Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”  And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”  Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, You of little faith, why did you doubt?”  When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.  And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”  
Matthew 14:28-33

     It's  so easy sometimes, in church or Bible studies to sing a song or hymn to the Lord but can we sing through it all, our eyes are on thee? I mean can we sing that honestly with all our heart, whatever we may be walking through?   Whatever you may be facing doesn't have to be a very big trial, it can be small but whatever it is, the battle is in not getting distracted by the wind and the rain.

   Like Peter walking on the water, he had his eyes upon Jesus but when he began to hear the sound of the wind and the rain and started listening to it, he began to sink. 

   When you think about it, when he heard the boisterous sound of the wind and waves he must have begun to think, THIS IS CRAZY! I can't walk on the water! 

     Listen, fear is a liar and in the midst of your trial don't let those voices distract you from trusting the Lord and keeping your eyes fixed upon Him. Remember when Peter sank beneath the waves he called out for Jesus and immediately He grabbed Peter and saved him. 

     It's easy to go through the traditions of singing about keeping our eyes on the Lord but as you start your day today and you start to get distracted, turn your eyes upon Jesus. 

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:13

Top: Photo by Alexander Marinescu on Unsplash

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Way of Life

My son, observe the commandment of your father
And do not forsake the teaching of your mother;
 Bind them continually on your heart;
Tie them around your neck.
 When you walk about, they will guide you;
When you sleep, they will watch over you;

And when you awake, they will talk to you.
23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light;
And reproofs for discipline are the way of life 

Proverbs 6:20-23

  I'm sure you will agree with me that nothing else compares to when God's word leaps off the pages and Jesus himself is opening it up to you. I can see how in my own walk, when God has brought the correction and instruction of His word, I have been truly grateful. 

   Of all the trials of life there is one snare that can pierce you through and shipwreck you, keeping you from the way of life.

  It's the worries of the world, the cares of this life and the lusts and desires for other things that in my opinion are among the deadliest of schemes. They choke God's word and keep it from bearing good fruit in your heart. 

I believe we are coming into a time of absolute excitement of what God is going to do. Opening blind eyes, healing the brokenhearted and the Gospel of Christ being preached to the poor. 

 If our hearts are divided we will miss being a part of all God is doing throughout the world in this time. Today as you reflect upon this, don't harden your heart, cry out to the Lord for an eternal perspective. Keep walking in the light He gives you and let the joy of the Lord be your strength.

“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money come, buy and eat.
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without cost.
“Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And delight yourself in abundance.

Isaiah 55:1-2

For further study today, consider this message from July of 1999:

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Saturday, August 3, 2019

God's Purpose for Loneliness Part 4

I haven't had as much time to write these blog posts with so many changes that often happen in life. Moving and all that is involved with it and teaching in various places has made this a busy season for me and my family.
   In my last post I looked at the third reason God may bring a lonely season into our lives which is for times of rest. The fourth and final reason I have observed in my own journey is for communion. I have found that in these lonely places we meet and commune with Christ Himself in a very personal way.
     I had the privilege of  speaking at a funeral recently and the wife of the man who had passed away told me she had been thinking about the scripture, "Jesus wept." She asked me if that passage was something that should be shared at a funeral because she wanted it to be a time of celebrating her husband going home to be with Christ.  As I got to thinking about that verse, I think it's a very good scripture to be shared because it shows that He can sympathize with the places in which we are walking. It even says He was tempted in every way we are but without sinning. This is the very thing that makes Jesus so personal and a High priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses because He has walked through those temptations. He endured temptations and sufferings and overcame them to empower us to be able to be overcomers. It's in these lonely places that we walk alone with Jesus himself pouring out our hearts to the one who knows and loves us better than anyone. Let Him in to the lonely places in which you find yourself. Pour out your heart to the one who loves you so much that He endured the cruel and lonely sufferings of the cross, for you.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

God's purpose for Loneliness Part 3

And He *said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) Mark 6:31 NASB

As I reflect upon the subject of loneliness in these blog posts, I want to remind you of something encouraging from my own journey with the Lord. I have found that there is a purpose behind the lonely seasons that God will reveal to us as we get quiet and listen for His voice.

In my last two posts I talked about how God allows these seasons for times of testing and as preparation for times of change.

Today I want to talk about the third purpose, that I have found for these lonely seasons. Sometimes it may be for the purpose of rest. God may be, "recharging our batteries," so that we can endure what He knows is ahead of us. We have a faithful High Priest, Jesus, who knows our frailties and needs along the journey. He's the Good Shepherd who is not distant but in fact He is intimately and actively involved in the details of your life. When you find yourself in that lonely season, keep your eyes on Jesus and remember that He who numbered the hairs of your head has not forgotten about you.

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
And the Lord has forgotten me.”
15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.
Isaiah 49:14-15 

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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

God's Purpose for Loneliness Part 2

14 Then he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”
1 Kings 19:14

The second purpose for loneliness is when God is bringing change or a new vision into your life. In the preceding verse, Elijah has fled to a lonely cave and tells God that he alone is the only one still obedient to Him. God replies to Elijah;

15 The Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram; 16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. 17 It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death. 18 Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
1 Kings 19:15-18

God spoke to Elijah and gave him a vision in that lonely place. If you are walking through a lonely season right now, be encouraged that God may be bringing a new vision or direction to your life. 

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Psalm 32:8

For further study today consider this audio message:

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Sunday, April 28, 2019

God's Purpose for Loneliness Part 1

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
Matthew 4:1-4

The first purpose for the lonely seasons in our lives is when the Holy Spirit leads us into times of testing.

Listen, we all have to walk through times of trial and testing and it's through these trials that our faith is perfected. When you find yourself in this lonely place of trial, that is where you must walk by faith and not by your feelings. These are the times that you have to keep your mind set upon Jesus and lean upon Him as your beloved. 

   The Spirit of God will remind you of things that have come out of your heart during these lonely times, things that you have turned to instead of coming to Him.

Whether it's food, alcohol, pornography or even entertainment, none of these things can fill that lonely place. They only make you feel more lonely in the end. In those times that you are looking for something to fill the need of your heart, spend that time alone with Jesus.

He loves you and He wants to fill the need of your heart. He longs for you to turn to Him in your lonely valley and be satisfied.

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12

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Monday, April 1, 2019


Turn to me and be gracious to me,
For I am lonely and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
Bring me out of my distresses.
18 Look upon my affliction and my trouble,
And forgive all my sins.
19 Look upon my enemies, for they are many,
And they hate me with violent hatred.
20 Guard my soul and deliver me;
Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
For I wait for You.
22 Redeem Israel, O God,
Out of all his troubles.

Psalm 25:16-22

There are going to be seasons in our lives when we walk through valleys of loneliness. Sometimes it involves loss. Loss of friendship, loss of family members and loved ones.... sometimes it involves change or difficult circumstances or financial problems.

Loneliness doesn't simply mean being alone. You can experience loneliness while in a crowd of people or even in the company of your spouse or those closest to you.

That is because there is a place in your heart that is only reserved for Jesus Christ, the King of kings, our faithful unchanging friend.

Consider this...., I believe there is a reason or purpose for these lonely moments and it brings comfort to me as I walk through them.

I have found in my own life, four particular reasons for lonely seasons that I'd like to share with you over the next few blog posts. I hope you will be encouraged in your faith and reflect upon these posts as you walk through your own valley seasons.

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”

Hebrews 13:5 NASB

For further study today, consider this video:

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Monday, March 25, 2019

From A Curse to A Blessing

  Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.

 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;

 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

Isaiah 54:1-5 King James Version (KJV)

How many of us are ashamed of the past, of things we have done or said that have affected other people's lives? There is not one of us in moments of ignorance that haven't done that and carried the guilt, regret and shame of it. Here in this passage in Isaiah it talks about God removing the shame of our youth. Jesus wants to do that in each one of our lives, to take us from being a curse to being a blessing. 
  I remember one time when I first moved to Houston, still young in my faith, I was working at the courthouse and I would go sit on a park bench at lunch and read my Bible. 

One such day a man came up to me in a trench coat and saw me reading. He asked me, "Have you given up everything for God?" I looked at him a little taken aback and replied, "I...think so, I sure want to." 

"Well, do you have a car?" he asked.  I said, "Yeah, I do." and he said, "Well then you haven't given everything up." 

He continued his questions with, "Do you have a place to live?" I stopped for a moment and replied, "Yes I do." and he retorted that Jesus had no place to lay his head."

 I replied, "Where do you live?" He shrugged and conveyed that he lived in a homeless shelter. 
I asked him, "So you have a home too." We continued to go back and forth in this discussion of what he perceived that it meant to obey the scriptures. I said to myself, Lord, this can't be right.  
I believe what Christ was really saying in those passages is to be strong and fearless in your devotion to Him. 

When God puts something before you he desires you to take you from being a curse to being a blessing and our job is to simply be faithful where he has put us. 

Be strong in courage trusting that there isn't anything that you need that He will not provide.  Be salt and light right where he has you. In the job he has you in or in your home with your family He will make you a blessing!.

Some of you are the first to be saved in your family and to know Jesus in intimate personal relationship. Just as salt is a preservative, you are a preserver of your family by walking with Jesus.  

 He will do in and through you His perfect will for your life as you seek to love Him and those he has put around you. All of these things He will do as you faithfully abide in Him.

Where you once were a curse he will transform you into a blessing and that is just another reason to love Jesus more today.

Smile and be encouraged that God loves you and is making you a blessing!

For further study today consider this video:

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