Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Are You Experiencing a Longing in Your Life?

Scripture: 2 Samuel 23:15
David had a craving and said, "Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate!"

Insights: In today’s verses we observe David making a casual comment regarding the water at the well in Bethlehem.  It was a longing he had for fresh water to quench his thirst.  There is no indication he commanded this request be fulfilled by someone.  There is also no indication that he said these words to anyone other than himself.  The three mighty men, more than likely, overheard David make this statement; and then, choose to act on their love for David.  As with the rest of this week, this scene got me thinking about this situation from a spiritual perspective.  There are times we experience a longing for the things of God.  During these times we are being satisfied from the Lord, as if by a fire hose.  The Lord becomes our true satisfaction and we are then compelled because of this amazing overflow of His presence to desire service to Him.  Thom Rainer has recently published a book titled I Am A Church Member which goes into the attitude of a person who is finding their longing satisfied in Jesus.  I would encourage you to read this little book and begin faithfully following the Lord in obedient service to Him.  I cannot communicate clearly what the dynamic of a church would look like if every member truly was longing for the Lord and His presence in his/her life.  The excitement and joy of worship would be extremely contagious and we would see the Lord do the miraculous in our midst.  Beloved, let us long for the Lord because He is the only One that matters at the end of the day.  Serve Him with a grateful heart.

  1. Are you experiencing a longing in your life?
  2. Are you running to Jesus to let Him become your satisfaction?

Prayer: Father, thank You that You truly are my satisfaction.  You are the One that encourages me to walk this journey of faith and experience new adventures with You.  Help me, out of the overflow of my longing for You, serve You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Are You Experiencing an Assault on Your Life?

Scripture: 2 Samuel 23:14
David was then in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem.

Insights: In today’s verse we see the Philistines attempted to strike the new found king at his heart by attacking his home of Bethlehem.  It is more than likely that they did not know David had moved his family to Moab under the protection of its king.  It is probable they thought this attack on Bethlehem would demoralize David and make it easier for them to defeat him and place Israel under their subjection.  Again, like yesterday, this got me thinking about some of our life situations we experience.  Another one of those that we often times experience is assaults from our true enemy, Satan.  He hates us and wants nothing more than to steal, kill and destroy our lives.  He, like the nation of Philistia, wants to strike at our heart.  Philistia attacked Bethlehem, Satan attacks at whatever is near and dear our heart.  His hope and desire is to get us to take our focus off of the Lord and onto our present struggle and time of need.  He desires to break our spirit and make it subject to his evil attacks and intentions.  Beloved, let me encourage you to run to Jesus and let Him fight your battles for you.  Let His strength protect you and let His righteous hand uphold you.  He is your advocate and your defender.  Let Him be your rock and fortress, your ever present help in times of need.  Run to Jesus, because He has already defeated Satan and his assaults on your life.

  1. Are you experiencing an assault in your life?
  2. Are you running to Jesus to let Him fight your spiritual battles?

Prayer: Father, as Your child I am constantly assaulted by the enemy.  There are times the attacks are more concentrated and intense, but the attacks are real no matter what.  Help me Lord to understand the truth that I don’t have to fight the battle, because Jesus already has.  Help me to understand all You have asked me to do is run to You and let You be my defender and advocate before the assaults of Satan.  Amen.

Are You Experiencing a Drought in Your Life?

Scripture: 2 Samuel 23:13
Then three of the thirty chief men went down and came to David in the harvest time to the cave of Adullam, while the troop of the Philistines was camping in the valley of Rephaim.

Insights: At this point in the history of Israel David has just become king of Judah.  At this particular point he is battling against the Philistines and he and his men are at the cave of Adullam.  Now, theologians tell us that during the harvest time the cisterns, which are cut out of caves, dry up and a drought type condition begins to set in on the land.  Now, that is the physical reality of David’s situation, but it got me to thinking about some of the different life experiences we often times encounter in our lives.  One of those types of experiences we sometimes experience is spiritual droughts in our lives.  In these droughts we just are dry and barren.  We are incapable of hearing anything from the Lord.  Let me tell, the normal reason we find ourselves in these seasons of droughts is because we quit spending time with Jesus and reading His Word, the Bible.  We then stop spending time with the Body of Christ, the church, and wonder why our lives are so difficult and hard.  I would submit that in many cases it is because we are in a spiritual drought and in desperate need for Jesus to fill our cisterns with His life giving water.  Let me encourage you to run to Jesus if you have found yourself in this spiritual drought.  Let Him fill you full and restore to you the joy of your salvation.

  1. Are you experiencing a drought in your life?
  2. Are you running to Jesus to let Him fill your spiritual cistern?

Prayer: Father, how many times in my life have I been in a drought?  Thank You that You are the One that fills my cistern and offers me to drink from the water of life found in Jesus.  Amen.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Because of My Salvation I will Tell the World about Jesus

Scripture: Psalm 57:7-11
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises! Awake, my glory! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens And Your truth to the clouds. Be exalted above the heavens, O God; Let Your glory be above all the earth.

Insights: David concludes this psalm with praise and adoration.  He states he will sing praises among the nations regarding the Lord’s greatness and goodness.  He states he will give thanks among the people regarding the Lord’s gracious activity in his life.  Beloved, David’s heart is the same kind of heart we ought to have.  David is basically saying because of all I have seen and experienced I cannot but help tell other people about what the Lord has done in my life.  If you have truly been born again, if you have truly received Jesus as your Savior, if you are truly a child of the King, then you also cannot but help tell others about His salvific work in your life.  This past Sunday was Easter as we have mentioned earlier this week.  It was because of Jesus work on Friday and His victory on Sunday that gives us the hope and assurance of our salvation in and through Him.  This singular work of the Lord ought to be reason enough for us to exalt the Lord and tell others about His love.  The reality is, however, we have reason on top of reason on top of reason to praise the Lord.  Because of the great sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf we ought to also have an intense desire to tell others about His great love.  Ask the Lord to open your eyes and heart to tell someone this week about Jesus.  May your faithfulness bring Him glory!

  1. Are you worshiping the Lord Jesus for His salvific work in your life?
  2. Are you telling others about what Jesus has done for you?

Prayer: Father, You alone are worthy of praise.  You sent Your Son do take away my sins.  Thank You for giving me salvation through Jesus.  Make me bold, Lord, in my telling the world about Jesus’ love for them.  May my life bring You glory.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

You have an Adversary Who Hates You

Scripture: Psalm 57:4-6
My soul is among lions; I must lie among those who breathe forth fire, Even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows And their tongue a sharp sword. Be exalted above the heavens, O God; Let Your glory be above all the earth. They have prepared a net for my steps; My soul is bowed down; They dug a pit before me; They themselves have fallen into the midst of it. Selah.

Insights: Sunday our youth and young adults performed a skit entitled The Everything Skit.  Many have seen this skit performed and it shows in visual form the spiritual battle that rages against all of humanity.  It shows Satan’s use of relationships, money, addictive pleasures, beauty or vanity, and ultimately despair.  Throughout the skit the Jesus character is praying for this one being tormented and attacked by Satan and his weapons.  Finally, the person surrenders and runs to Jesus.  At the same time, Satan is doing everything he can to prevent this one from entering into the arms of Jesus.  Finally, at the climactic point of the skit Jesus throws all the attackers off of the one running to Him.  There is a peaceful rest that comes over this one who is now safe and secure in Jesus’ loving arms.  This skit portrays the reality of an enemy and his hatred toward humanity.  David was literally being hunted and attacked by King Saul.  Lies were spoken about David and traps had been laid before Him.  Satan is using those same tools against us.  So often, however, we try to fight Satan in our own power and whenever we do, we lose.  Jesus is telling us to surrender to Him just like the character in the skit.  If we do, He will fight for us and He will always win!  Beloved, run to Jesus and let Him save you from the attack.  If you have not entered into a relationship with Jesus, run to Him and let Him save you from eternal damnation!  Run to Jesus!

  1. Have you been assaulted lately by the enemy, Satan?
  2. Are you attempting to defeat Satan in your own power?

Prayer: Father, how many times have I tried to fight Satan in my own flesh and lost?  I cannot count the times.  Forgive me for depending on my own power and might.  Lead me into the arms of Jesus and let me rest in Him and let Him fight my battles.  Amen.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Jesus is the One Sent from Heaven to Save You

Scripture: Psalm 57:1-3
Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by. I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me. He will send from heaven and save me; He reproaches him who tramples upon me. Selah. God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth.

Insights: Yesterday was Easter!  Praise the Lord Jesus rose from the grave!  I did not preach a “traditional” Easter sermon.  We, as you know if you have been reading my Thoughts by Scott, have been reading through the Bible chronologically this year.  Yesterday we looked as Psalm 57 which was a Psalm David wrote while Saul was pursuing him in order to take his life.  In real life God did send from heaven, if you will, saviors to David.  They came in the form of 400 men who came to encourage David in this time of fear and doubt.  Well, in a more accurate way God did send a Savior from heaven to earth to save us and that was His perfect Son, Jesus Christ.  Jesus came to do everything mentioned in verses one through three.  Jesus is our Savior.  It was His work on Good Friday that purchased our sin debt.  He became our substitute and took on Himself what rightfully belonged to us.  I cannot express how grateful I am for the gift of salvation Jesus has given to me.  If you have never received this gift, it is obtainable by simply telling God you are a sinner who can’t save yourself.  Further go on to tell God that you are dependent upon Jesus to take your sins away.  Ask Jesus to come into your heart and to make you clean, whole and a new person.  If you will pray that kind of prayer, then Jesus is faithful to enter into your life.  There is no sin that could keep Him out because on that Good Friday, He took all the sin past, present and future.  We can completely and holistically trust Him for our salvation and eternal life.  It is my prayer if you have not encountered Jesus like this, that you will before you wait another minute.  Let God be your salvation through Jesus!

  1. Have you received the gift of eternal life found in Jesus Christ?
  2. If you have not, what is holding you back from receiving this precious gift?

Prayer: Father, thank You my salvation found in Jesus.  Let me always be mindful of Your grace and forgiveness.  I desire to honor You because of all You have done for me.  May my life bring You glory.  Amen.

Triumph in the Lord when You are Greatly Comforted

Scripture: 1 Samuel 1:17-18
Then Eli answered and said, "Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him." She said, "Let your maidservant find favor in your sight." So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

Insights: I love the way this passage ends.  We see Hannah walking off with a smile on her face.  She is no longer oppressed.  She is no longer misunderstood.  She is no longer in distress.  She has heard a word from the spokesman of God and she has believed him.  Out of this faith and hope she smiles.  She has turned to the Lord in distress.  She has trusted the Lord in misunderstanding.  She has tarried in the Lord as she was oppressed by Satan.  Because of her obedient actions the Lord has stepped in and comforted her heart and now she walks triumphantly out of the room with joy which exudes out of her countenance and she is no longer sad.  What a beautiful ending to such a horrific trial.  Beloved, the Lord desires to still do this kind of work to all those who love God and are called according to His purposes.  He works all things to our good if we are born again and living our lives for Him.  Now as a way of caution: it is true God does work it to our good, but it is not always here on this side of eternity as was the case with Hannah.  Sometimes our good occurs in eternity, but it is still the Lord of glory working our situations to our good.  May the Lord be praised for His faithfulness!

  1. Have you experienced the comforting grace of the Lord lately?
  2. Are you walking as if you are truly triumphant in the Lord?

Prayer: Father, thank You for the victory I have in You.  Thank You that You comfort me and give me strength.  Thank You that You work all things together for good to those who love You and are called according to Your purposes.  Amen.

Tarry in the Lord when You are Greatly Oppressed

Scripture: 1 Samuel 1:15-16
But Hannah replied, "No, my lord, I am a woman oppressed in spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the LORD. "Do not consider your maidservant as a worthless woman, for I have spoken until now out of my great concern and provocation."

Insights: Notice Hannah’s statement to Eli about his misunderstanding of her situation.  In her response she told him that she was a woman oppressed in spirit.  Those four words are huge.  These words help us to understand that Hannah is in a battle within her.  Beloved, you have an enemy and his name is Satan.  He has come to steal, kill and destroy your life.  He hates you with every fiber of his being and he hates God even more.  If you have received the free gift of salvation found in Jesus, then Satan truly is volatile toward your life.  One of the ways Satan oppresses our spirit is to get us doubting the goodness of God.  He will tell us lies about God’s faithfulness.  He will tell us God can’t be trusted and He will let us down.  Satan is relentless in his attacks on us and even more so when we are in distress.  It is from this standpoint that Hannah declares she is oppressed in spirit.  Beloved, here is the truth.  God can be trusted.  God is always faithful.  God does want to deliver you.  God does love you.  So, when we find ourselves being assaulted by Satan’s oppressive words, we need to wait on the Lord to prove Himself faithful to us.  He will always be victorious.  All we have to do is trust and wait on Him.  It is the best decision we can ever make.

  1. Are you waiting on the Lord in the midst of your oppression?
  2. Are you succumbing to the lies of Satan about the Lord?

Prayer: Father, Satan is crafty and sometimes I falter and buy into his lies.  Lord, forgive me when I do and give me the courage to fight him and to wait on You to be my true deliverer.  Amen.

Trust in the Lord when You are Greatly Misunderstood

Scripture: 1 Samuel 1:12-14
Now it came about, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli was watching her mouth. As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were moving, but her voice was not heard. So Eli thought she was drunk. Then Eli said to her, "How long will you make yourself drunk? Put away your wine from you."

Insights: Another one of the things that happens on this side of eternity is misunderstandings.  Communication is a wonderful and a horrible thing.  It is the tool by which we get to know other people.  Through good communication we can plan and prepare for great events.  At the same time, communication gets ugly and messing sometimes.  We say something and the other person takes it the wrong way.  Someone will see us doing something and misunderstand our intentions.  This sad reality is exactly what happened to Hannah.  She was praying and Eli was watching.  He thought she was drunk, but in reality she was heartbroken because of her great distress we talked about yesterday.  Her mouthing of her words to God in prayer were thought to be the actions of a drunken woman to Eli.  Beloved, when you are misunderstood learn to trust in the Lord to work the situation out.  Let Him be your defender and believe He will in the end work it out to His glory through your life of obedience. 

  1. Are you currently being misunderstood by other people?
  2. Are you trying to defend yourself against false accusations?

Prayer: Father, in this world I often face people that make accusations about me that are just not true.  Help me to trust in You as my defender and help in my time of misunderstanding with other people.  You heal the communication lines and let me see You glorified as You clear up the communication lines.  Amen.

Turn to the Lord when You are Greatly Distressed

Scripture: 1 Samuel 1:9-11
Then Hannah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. She, greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. She made a vow and said, "O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head."

Insights: As long as we live on this side of eternity we will have times of great distress.  For Hannah the distress was a result of her inability to have children.  It plagued her constantly.  It did not help that her husband’s other wife Peninnah often ridiculed her.  Our distress can take on many forms: a loss of a job, a death of a loved one, a physical infirmity that has debilitated us, a relationship that has gone sour, and an endless other possibilities.  The point is we have all experienced distress.  We, however, have not all responded as Hannah did.  Notice from this passage what she did in her distress.  She prayed to the Lord.  In other words, from a New Testament perspective, she ran to Jesus.  Beloved, when you are greatly distressed, let me encourage you to turn to the Lord.  Let Him be your healer, your confidant, your strength, your provision, and whatever else you of which you are in need.  Turn to Him and let Him work miraculously in your life.

  1. What kind of distress are you facing in your life presently?
  2. Have you tried to carry the weight on your own?

Prayer: Father, help me indeed to turn to You when I am in great distress.  You are the only One who can relieve my suffering and pain.  Thank You for Your grace and provision.  Amen.

Are You Asking for Signs?

Scripture: Judges 6:17-18
So Gideon said to Him, "If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speak with me. "Please do not depart from here, until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before You." And He said, "I will remain until you return."

Insights: Gideon was the sign asking master.  Later on in his journey with the Lord he does the double fleece sign request with the Father.  Even in today’s verses he was asking for signs.  Beloved, let me tell you, sign asking is not a “sign” of faith, but rather of disbelief.  If you are one who is constantly saying, “Here is a sign” or “Is that a sign?” let me caution you.  I would challenge you to spend time with the Lord and in His Word to such an extent that when He does speak to you, you know it is Him speaking.  One of the things about today’s verses I do like, however, is the Lord’s patience.  Even though Gideon is a doubter and not a faith exhibitor, God is loving and kind toward him.  He does not blast Gideon for asking for a sign, but lovingly and patiently states He will remain until Gideon returns.  God does the same thing in our lives.  He wants us to walk with Him with that kind of intimacy we discussed a moment ago, but He is lovingly waiting for us to get there.  Until that time, He continues to walk in patience with us and I am extremely grateful.

  1. Are you asking for signs?
  2. Are you thankful the Lord is patient with you?

Prayer: Father, help me to grow in my walk with You to such an extent that I do not ask for sign in order to confirm Your will.  Rather, let me have such an intimate relationship with You that I know when You have spoken to me.  I am, however, grateful for Your patience in my life for those times in which I do ask for signs and wonders.  Amen.

In What Way is the Lord Reassuring You of His Will?

Scripture: Judges 6:16
But the LORD said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man."

Insights: For those who regularly read my Thoughts by Scott blog, I apologize for the delay in getting these ought to you.  I am, however, back on track and hopefully, by God’s grace, will not have future hiccups.  The last blog dealt with the question of are you plagued by doubt?  Today’s verse is God’s response to our doubts.  He gives reassurance that His will is being set before you.  Notice, God is telling Gideon that He is going to be present with him and He is also giving him the confidence to know he will defeat the Midianites.  Beloved, so often I live in fear and doubt; yet, the Lord is faithful to prompt and prick my heart to let me know that I have indeed heard His commands.  When those moments of reiteration to His will are made, it encourages me to press on and continue with the fight which is set before me.  Beloved, take courage in the Lord’s reassurance and engage in the battle for the Lord and His glory!

  1. In what way is the Lord reassuring you of His will?
  2. Does this reassurance help produce peace in your life?

Prayer: Father, I am so grateful You reassure me of Your will.  I often times am afraid and doubtful of the course You have set before me, but then You speak and calm my heart and I say, “Thank You!”.   Amen.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Are You Plagued by Doubt

Scripture: Judges 6:15
He said to Him, "O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father's house."

Insights: Let me remind you that yesterday we saw how God did not even address Gideon’s questions regarding God and His power and sovereignty.  He just pressed onward with His commission of Gideon and charged him to go defeat the Midianites.  Upon hearing this assignment, Gideon pulled out the Moses card and starts to explain why he is not qualified to be the leader of this expedition.  He expresses this disbelief through a couple of questions in which the main theme is his inferiority to the task at hand.  Beloved, I believe many, if not most, in the church of America suffer from these plaguing kinds of questions.  We don’t feel adequate or qualified to lead and be valiant for the Lord; and the truth is, we are not.  We must always keep in mind in Whose power we are pressing forward with our assignment.  We are not being commissioned to victory in our strength and power, but in the Lord God’s strength and power.  Tomorrow we are going to learn a truth about God that helps us overcome these plaguing questions of doubt and fear.  God is always faithful to provide for us what we will learn tomorrow.  Beloved, until then, when questions of doubt arise, let me encourage you to apply what we learned yesterday.  Learn to rest in the Lord’s strength and power.  Let Him be your victory!

  1. Are you plagued by doubt?
  2. What excuses are you presenting to the Lord?

Prayer: Father, forgive me when I walk the path of disobedience and do not fully obey You.  Increase my faith and don’t let me be plagued by doubt and fear.  Let me be a person of courage and a valiant warrior for You.   Amen.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What is the Assignment the Lord Has Given You?

Scripture: Judges 6:13-14
Then Gideon said to him, "O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, 'Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian." The LORD looked at him and said, "Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?"

Insights: After the Lord calls Gideon a valiant warrior, he responds back with a series of questions which reveal his true doubt and disbelief in the Lord God and His power.  I believe this attitude of questioning the Lord God is one of the major downfalls of the church in America today.  We are constantly questioning the commands of the Lord and those questions often times lead us down a pity party path.  I want you to notice the answers the Lord gives Gideon to his questions.  Look at verse fourteen and read the Lord’s response again.  Did you catch the Lord’s answer to the questions?  No you did not, because the Lord does not even address the issues with Gideon.  You will recall this technique was the same one the Lord used on Job in his time of questioning God.  Rather, what the Lord did say to Gideon was, in Scott’s translation, “Get up and go fight the Midianites, I am with You and You will win!”  Keep in mind the scene for a moment.  Gideon is hiding and does not think he is this valiant warrior and yet the Lord tells him to go in his strength.  Is the Lord really telling Gideon that he is personally strong enough to defeat Midian?  The answer is no.  Notice the question the Lord gives to Gideon.  He asks him, “Have I not sent you?”  In other words, the strength that Gideon possesses is not his own strength, but rather the presence of the Lord is His strength.  If you are born again, then you are of the Beloved of the Lord and He is always with you.  You have the same kind of strength and power as Gideon.  Focus on the assignment the Lord has given to you and you will not have time enough to ask questions which are truly irrelevant at the end of the day.

  1. Is your life plagued by questions?
  2. What assignment has the Lord given to you?

Prayer: Father, so often I question what You are doing and why You are doing things the way You are doing them.  Help me to be so focused on what You have commanded me to do that I do not have time to get sidetracked with peripheral and unimportant issues.   Amen.

Monday, April 7, 2014

How Do You See Yourself

Scripture: Judges 6:11-12

Then the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, "The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior."


Insights: In today’s verses we find Gideon hiding in a wine press threshing wheat.  The reason he is there is because the Midianites keep raiding the land and stealing the food.  As a result, he is attempting to gather up enough food for himself and his family before the raiding party comes back.  I want you to notice, however, how God sees this insignificant man who is cowering away in a hidden location from the enemy.  God calls him a valiant warrior!  Beloved, I believe the Lord is still calling His children valiant warriors.  I think all too often we see ourselves as Gideon saw himself; and as a result, we hide and cower away somewhere and are ineffectual for the kingdom of God.  As we proceed through this week we are going to learn that Gideon’s strength and his ability to be a valiant warrior is not because of himself, but because the Lord God is with him.  This same reality holds true for us as well today.  If we are truly born again and the Spirit of the Lord dwells with us, then we are able to be more than conquerors for His kingdom.  We are able to take the spiritual land before us and lead many to the saving knowledge and relationship found in Jesus Christ.  It is my prayer that you see yourself as the Lord sees you.  He sees a valiant warrior who is His child.  He sees a prince or a princess in His royal court.  He sees a coheir with His Son, Jesus.  He sees a champion for the cause of Christ.  Live boldly this day in the truth of who you are in Jesus!



  1. How do you see yourself?
  2. How do you think the Lord sees you?

Prayer: Father, I am so often afraid of my own shadow and do not believe I can accomplish great task for You.  I also know I can’t do anything without You and Your presence.  Strengthen my heart Lord Jesus to believe what You believe about me and let me walk in Your power and might.  I desire to be a valiant warrior for You.   Amen.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Depend on the Promises of God

Scripture: Joshua 14:12c-d
perhaps the LORD will be with me, and I will drive them out as the LORD has spoken."

Insights: This last half of verse twelve is one of my favorite passages of Scripture (I know that I have a lot of favorite passages of Scripture).  The reason I like this portion of verse twelve is because it points to Caleb’s strength.  In other words, Caleb knows that if he were to go up and fight the Anakim, he would lose, but if God is with him, then he knows he will win.  He is also not presumptuous about the Lord’s participation.  Notice he uses the word, “perhaps.”  In using that word, it is as if Caleb is petitioning the Lord God to fight on his behalf.  It is almost a prayer to the Father requesting His presence and power as Caleb marches up this hillside.  Everything is being directed and pointed to the Lord.  All glory and honor are being given to the Lord.  Caleb is keeping nothing for himself.  He knows he is completely and utterly dependent upon God to bring about this victory.  Beloved, this heart attitude of humility is where we need to find ourselves.  Too often we walk and talk as if we are the power source and the victorious one in our endeavors for the Lord.  That kind of attitude is the height of arrogance and reveals the foolishness of our heart.  Let us quickly follow the pattern of Caleb and bow ourselves before the Lord and ask for His will to be done in our lives.  As a result, may He be brought glory and honor.

  1. Have you been attempting to slay the giants in your life in your own power and strength?
  2. Have you come to realize that giants can only be slain by the Lord working through you?

Prayer: Father, You and You alone are my strength and refuge.  Help my heart to run to You when I face the giants which are before me.  Let me rest in Your care and know You make me victorious.   Amen.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Act on the Promises of God

Scripture: Joshua 14:10-12b
"Now behold, the LORD has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the LORD spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today. "I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. "Now then, give me this hill country about which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities

Insights: Notice in today’s verses that Caleb shifts gears.  In the previous verses he was reminding God and Joshua of the Lord’s promises.  He then starts this next section with the word, “now.”  In other words, now that Caleb, Joshua and the Lord have all been reminded of the promises of the past, they are supposed to respond.  Action is what is being demanded of Caleb and he is ready of the challenge.  Something else I want you to notice about Caleb’s zeal for the advancement of the land is that it was not hindered by the obstacles in front of him.  Notice the verses inform us that the Anakim were living in fortified cities in this hill country Caleb is about to attack.  Anakim were giants.  Beloved, this makes me wonder what kind of giants are you facing today.  What hill are you supposed to possess for the Lord today?  At the end of the day, what is being requested and required of us is obedient action to the Lord’s commands.  Yesterday we learned that Jesus promised to be with us always.  You will also recall that I mentioned in the context of that particular passage it was dependent upon our going and making disciples.  This going is that action of faith which is being communicated today.  We were not saved to sit in pews and feel good.  We were saved to advance the land for the kingdom of Christ Jesus.  We were called to slay giants in our lives and to rescue the perishing.  We must get past ourselves and learn to see the world as Jesus sees it and have an increased burden for the lost.  I pray and hope that this week you will share the love of Jesus with those around.  Invite a coworker to church with you this week.  Tell a neighbor about the love of Jesus.  Perform an act of kindness for a stranger and let them know the Lord is the One who prompted you to display grace.  Bring the Lord glory today!

  1. Are you obeying the Lord and His commands for your life?
  2. When was the last time you had the privilege of leading someone to the Lord Jesus Christ?

Prayer: Father, forgive me for the times that I have been unfaithful and not bold in my proclamation of the gospel.  Increase my burden and passion for the lost people of this world.  Help me to see them as You see them.   Amen.