July 24, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO GIVE BLESSINGS, AND THE ABILITY TO ENJOY THEM

Ecclesiastes 5:19 Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. 20 For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.

Everything good in our life can be traced back to the goodness of God. I am convinced of that. If it edifies your life, encourages your spirit, empowers your testimony, and extends your walk with God, it came from the Lord. This verse is a reminder that any riches or wealth that are in your life, be it great or small, is a gift from God. It is also a gift from God for an individual to be able to maintain those blessings and also to be able to enjoy them. That is a gift from God.

You see, we often ask God for blessings and even material things, and God sometimes gives us the desires of our heart. And on occasion, we are grateful to God for the things He has given. What we often overlook, is the health God gives us to enjoy it. God is not only good to give us things to enjoy in our life, He is good to give us the mind, and the ears, and eyes to enjoy it. We can focus on the negatives in our life, or we can be wise enough to see how good God has been to us.

I had some good friends in college who were born deaf. As I tried to learn a little bit of sign language to be able to communicate with them, it amazed me how grateful they were for the smallest things in their life. They did not have their hearing, but they still enjoyed the blessings of God. I think you understand what I am trying to convey today. God does not just give us things to enjoy, God blesses us with the ability to enjoy those things. If you have your eyesight, or if you don’t. If you have your hearing, or if you don’t. If you have good health, or if you don’t. You can still enjoy the blessings of God, and that is a precious gift from God. Each of us can find plentiful blessings in our life, and we can enjoy them. This passage says that God gives you your food, and He gives you the power to eat it. God gives us the Christian “the joy of his heart”. I encourage you today, “rejoice in your labor; this is the gift of God”.

July 23, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO DO THINGS THAT LAST

Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

In this chapter, Solomon discusses the different seasons of life. He says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die…”. As he discusses life between ones birth and death, one thing he makes clear: life is full of changes. He deals with many of the ups and downs in life. Here are a few:

* 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
* 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
* 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
* 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

He mentions many ups and downs, good and bad, easy, and difficult, health and sickness, and gains and losses. If you and I allow our circumstances or “seasons” to control us, we will be up and down emotionally on a constant basis. We will live in a constant state of defeat, controlled by everything that life brings us. But then Solomon gives us this wonderful, encouraging truth, “whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever”. While life goes up-and-down, God stays the same. God is consistent, He never changes. In fact, Solomon says that what God does, nobody can add anything to it and nobody can to take anything away from it. It’s perfect. What God does is not controlled by life, circumstances, or anything else. What God does, He controls and no one else. God is not controlled by circumstances, and neither should you and I. Instead of going up and down with the seasons of our life, we need to place our trust in the one that never changes.

Have you been up-and-down lately? Have you been controlled by the things that are out of your control? Then why don’t you rest and trust in the one that controls the stars in the sky, the sun and the moon, and even your very breath. You and I cannot trust our circumstances, ourselves, or even others at times. But we can trust Him!

July 21, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO FILL THE BARNS

Proverbs 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty

If you recall earlier in the year, we introduced the principle of cause and effect. If we do what God has asked, we enjoy the promises that God has made. The first part of this verse is a command. “Honor the Lord with thy substance and with the first-fruits of all the thine increase”. So, we need to give bountifully to the Lord, and also, we need to give our best to the Lord. What we give to God should come out first before anything else. God should mean so much to us that He is the top priority. All of our “substance” came from Him anyway. So, we honor the Lord by giving to Him out of what He has given us. And we honor the Lord by making sure that His gift is the top priority, and that we keep track of everything that comes in so that we can honor God somehow through it.

Get this! God says if you will be faithful to honor Me with your blessings, and honor Me with the first-fruits of your blessings, I will fill your barns. Faithfulness brings filling. God did not say working harder would fill your barns. God did not say working more would fill your barns. God did not say if you get smarter, if you socialize with more people, or if you market yourself better, I will fill your barns. From what I can tell, our talent, or ability, or knowledge has nothing to do with getting filling into my barns. It is all God. God says if we will be faithful to honor the Lord, He will honor us even more. God says if you will honor me with the first of your fruit, I will fill your barn with fruit. God always gives more. Here are some verses to think about today.

* Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

* Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

I am persuaded that He is able to fill the barns!

July 20, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO GIVE PURE WORDS

Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

The older I get, the less patient I get with things that are not authentic. I am tired of all the insincere fluff that comes out of most every political candidate during election seasons. Telling everyone what they want to hear with no real intention to do what they promised. I am tired of fake, biased, slanted news and media outlets. I grow weary of not being able to trust what you hear, or who you hear it from. I am trying to raise a family, pay bills, struggle with healthcare, build a marriage, work a job, and form a Godly legacy to leave for my children. When you have these kinds of responsibilities, you long for something that you can trust. When you have pressures in life, you long for something that is the real deal, that is worth the time to listen, and that can actually help. I do not want to get the run around. I do not want to hear sermonette’s, fluffy life lessons, or a preacher that doesn’t have any idea what he is talking about. At this stage in life, you don’t have time to waste. Time is going by too fast, so you want quality answers.

The older I get, the more I experience how precious the Word of God is. It has been tried and tested. When I am counseling with a husband and wife that are about to call it quits, they don’t need my little funny stories, some smart quotes, or 13 reasons why marriage is like a flower. (That was sarcastic, not a real thing; no reason to google that)
They need something that can really help them, and that is the Word of God. In a day when there is so much hypocrisy and false claims, God’s Word is pure. It is like silver that has been purified over and over again. It has been put through the fire and it has not only remained but has become more and more relevant. It has shown itself to be more than we could describe. The Word of God is alive. We need to quit wasting our time with impure sources and get our minds on the one thing that we can trust. God’s Word is the “real deal”. There is nothing attached to, or written in God’s Word, that is not purer than purified silver. When you are desperate, the Bible has what you need. When you must have some life answers, do not waste time looking it up on the internet, get to the pure Word of God. How thankful I am to have something pure, and trustworthy to look to at any moment of my day. How do you and I handle living in such a perverse, impure society? We do it by immersing ourselves in the pure, purified, living, Holy Word of God.

The older I get, the more I am persuaded that He is able to give pure words!

July 19, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO HAVE AN EXCELLENT NAME

Psalm 8:1 ….O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Every time I read this verse, I think of the song we sing at church. I do not know that we fully understand that word “excellent”, but we enjoy singing about how great God is. So what does this word “excellent” completely mean. It is the Greek word “addiyr” and here is the definition:

“Addiyr”: wide or large; figuratively, powerful:–excellent, famous, gallant, glorious, goodly, lordly, mighty or mightier one, noble, principal, worthy.

God’s name is POWERFUL
AS THE SONG SAYS, “There is power in the name of the Lord, there is peace in the name of the Lord, there is hope in the name of the Lord.” There is power when you say it, and there is power when you hear it. It is the name above all names

God’s name is FAMOUS
everyone has there beliefs and religions, but none have made the global impact
Of the name God. Our job is to make the name of Jesus even more famous.

God’s name is GLORIOUS
His name represents the glory naturally connected to God. God’s glory is so powerful, Moses was not allowed to see it for fear of death. You and I are to strive to make sure God gets the glory in every area of our lives.

God’s name is GOODLY
God never does anything but good, allows anything but good, never says anything but good, and never accomplished anything but good.

God’s name is MIGHTY.
God’s name is not just mighty, it means “mightier one”. It doesn’t matter who shows up or challenges Christ, even Satan himself, God is the “mightier one”.

God’s name is NOBLE
God is beyond royalty, and surpasses nobility. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is noble, He has acted noble, and speaks noble, and He has treaded is nobly

God’s name is PRINCIPLE
God’s entire system is based on principles. It means the standard to go by. It is excellent

God’s name is WORTHY
God’s name is worthy of every bit of adoration, fame, might, and principles that co e His way. He is worthy of our praise, our loyalty, our love, and our unfailing, lifelong, commitment. His name really is excellent.

July 18, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO SHOW MERCY WHEN I AM WEAK

Psalm 6: 2 Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak:….

There, he said it. It takes a lot for a man to admit that he is weak. It takes a lot for anyone to admit that. I think what I appreciate the most about this admission is what has been omitted. There are really not any excuses given after this. There are no self obsessed justifications made to try to excuse away all responsibility. He just comes out and tells the truth. God, I am weak. There is no blaming his upbringing, no accusing people who have treated him badly, and no complaining that God just put too much on David. There is apparently enough water under the bridge, enough sleepless nights, enough turmoil in his thoughts, and enough failures that all the self sufficiency is gone. It is just David, God, and the truth. I am weak.

God already knows that, by the way. He is already well aware of our weakness. We are just not well aware of His strength. If you and I could just finally get to this point in our own lives. If we could just admit that we are weak. In our own strength, we are too weak to face the temptations that come our way. Satan has too many tricks, and a far superior ability. He knows our weak spots and our tendencies. On the other hand, there is good news. God has the same information. God knows our weaknesses, strengths, tendencies, quirks, and peculiarities. The Bible says that God knows our “frame”.

* Psalm 103:14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

God knows how we are put together. David does something interesting here. Instead of saying God help me I’m weak, or God do something for me because I am weak, David says “Have mercy upon me”. David here is saying to God that David has messed up, he’s blown it, he’s failed. In David’s weakness, David had made some wrong choices, failed in some areas, and messed up. David didn’t blame anybody for his failure. He just asked for God‘s mercy.

Here’s the point. We are weak, we are frail, and we do mess up. instead of excusing it, blaming someone else, or failing to take responsibility, we need to just come to God in humility and admit that we are weak. We just need to come to God and ask for mercy. I encourage you today to admit to yourself and to the Lord that you are weak. I encourage you not to go throughout the day on your own strength. You will fail. I encourage you to admit that you are weak, and ask that God shows mercy inspite of our failures, and provide strength for us to serve Him better. Good news:

* Psalm 86: 15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. 16 O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant,