GOD’S FINAL WORD 

July 27, 2016

Heb. 1:1,2 ¶ God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 

God is always speaking, He speaks through His creation, He speaks through the events in our lives, He speaks through His written word, and He has finally spoken through His Son Jesus. Jesus is the revelation of God Himself, He is the very image of the Father. It does’t take long when you begin to look at the life, ministry, and death of Jesus to hear the voice of God speaking to us. We see His kindness, His power and authority, His wisdom, His love, and His grace in the life of Jesus. We see His authority when He drove out devils, His mercy as He forgave people’s sins, His wisdom in His teaching, and His kindness in His healing ministry. God has spoken to the world, the only question that remains is are you willing to listen to what He is saying. Here are some thoughts from Andrew Murray on today’s scripture. 

“God hath spoken! For a time, imperfectly and provisionally in the prophets, in preparation for the more perfect revelation of Himself. But now at length the joyful tidings are heard —God hath spoken in His Son! God, the infinite, incomprehensible, unseen One, hath spoken! And that in His Son! Oh the joy and the glory! who can measure it? “Hear! O heavens, and give ear! O earth, for the Lord hath spoken. “God hath spoken! When man speaks it is the revelation of himself, to make known the otherwise hidden thoughts and dispositions of his heart. When God, who dwells in light that is inaccessible, speaks out of the heights of His glory, it is that He may reveal Himself. He would have us know how He loves us and longs for us, how He wants to save and to bless, how He would have us draw nigh and live in fellowship with Himself.” 
You may ask, “is He speaking to me ?”. He is speaking to all of us, He is speaking to us in His word. Jesus is the word that became flesh, open up the gospels (my favorite is John) and soon you will hear God’s final word to man. What is that word? JESUS

LOVERS LIKE GOD

July 26, 2016

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. 
Now remain in my love.

JOHN 15:9

“This is My Beloved Son”, these words literally boom out of heaven when Jesus is baptized. It’s as if the Father could not contain Himself as His love overflowed when His Son surrendered to the waters of baptism. Baptism in water speaks of the death of Christ on the cross. This is why the Son came, this was the agreement He had made with His Father in eternity past. God’s love is more than a feeling of emotion, God’s love is a person, the blessed Holy Spirit. Jesus was not only baptized in water that day He was also baptized in the Spirit, He was totally immersed into the Father’s love. This love has also become available to us. Like today’s scripture verse says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love”. This is our inheritance, this is our privilege, we can walk in the love of God. Here is how Andrew Murray describes this blessing. 
“The Lord gave His disciples a new commandment, that they should love one another, as He loved them… He loved them with the same everlasting, unchangeable, and divine love that the Father had loved Him. It is with a love such as this that they were to love one another.

This thought is so overwhelming that it takes time to grasp its full meaning…. We must love one another in the same way that the Father loved His Son. God sent His Son to earth to manifest this love. God loves you and all human beings with the same love that He loved His Son. This is also the same love that Jesus exercised toward His disciples. This love was given them when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost, that they might love one another and more—even love those who were the enemies of Christ. This love is not merely a feeling or a blessed experience, but a living divine power, flowing from the Father to the Son to the hearts of His disciples, and so streaming forth to the whole world.”
So maybe you feel forsaken and unloved, we all have felt that way before. Draw near to God, drink deeply of His love. Before you know it you too will be consumed in His heavenly baptism and if you listen carefully you may hear the Father calling you His son. 

The dawning of New Day

July 25, 2016

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS- 

“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.” 

Isaiah 58:8
What a blessing to know that we abide under the shadow of the Almighty! We are safe under His divine protection and have continual supplies. Have you ever waken up and felt like a spiritual page has turned in your life? I believe many times in our lives, we have “a dawning of a new day” take place. Breakthrough can happen any moment any time! Staying in the word, pressing in and staying hungry causes God to come near! Maybe you are waking up to sense a new purpose with fresh insights and dreams! Our salvation experience never ends. 

Isaiah speaks in chapter 58 about the fast Christians should live by. We have the responsibility to carry on and finish the work which was begun long before, and learn to fight through the obstructions which had retarded the progress down. I think we forget we are rebuilding the ancient highways of God! 

God desires to expand our tent pegs and stretch forth in these last days. Kiel and Diezlitch commentary says, 
“This life in God’s love has its dawn and its noon-day. When it is night both within and around a man, and he suffers himself to be awakened by the love of God to a reciprocity of love; then does the love of God, like the rising sun, open for itself a way through the man’s dark night and overcome the darkness of wrath, but so gradually that the sky within is at first only streaked as it were with the red of the morning dawn, the herald of the sun and he feels within him a new life working through with energetic force like a miraculous springing up of verdure from the earth, or of growing and flowering plants.” 
Today is a great day, for a dawning of a new day to break forth to you. Let His verdant presence overtake you and breakout all around you. Eyes will never stop seeing what He has and ears will never stop hearing what He is saying. 

FRIENDS

July 24, 2016

Mark 2:3,4 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. 

As they say, desperate times demand desperate measures. This paralyzed man could not live a normal life. It was hard in that day to have any job if you were paralyzed. It effected everything; friends, wife, children, no one in your life was left unscathed. In many ways this paralytic’s life was over, unless??? Unless he could get a miracle. His friends told him about the meetings that Jesus was conducting. Blind, deaf, lepers, even the maimed were restored by His touch or by just a word from the Lord’s mouth. Could it be possible that this paralytic could receive a miracle? It was settled, his friends were going to carry him to Jesus. When they arrived at the house where Jesus was speaking there was no way to get inside. The people were literally spilling out of the doors and the windows. Without hesitation they carried the man to the roof and began to tear the tiles on the roof off. They would not be denied. Next, they lowered him through the roof to the feet of Jesus. These were real friends, they were determined to see their friend made whole. Listen as Matthew Henry describes this scene.

“It was his misery, that he needed to be so carried, and bespeaks the calamitous state of human life; it was their charity, who did so carry him, and bespeaks the compassion that it is justly expected should be in the children of men toward their fellow-creatures in distress, because we know not how soon the distress may be our own. These kind relations or neighbors thought, if they could but carry this poor man once to Christ, they should not need to carry him any more; and therefore made hard shift to get him to him; and when they could not otherwise get to him, they uncovered the roof where he was.”
All of us have friends whose lives have been effected by sickness, injury, or some of the other maladies of life, maybe you can your friend to Jesus. These friends brought their friend to the feet of Jesus. Looking up into the Lord’s face, hope poured through His being. Then he heard the words that changed everything. “My son, your sins are forgiven. Pick up your pallet and go home.” 

THE MELODY OF HIS VOICE

July 23, 2016

Mark 2:2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. 

The voice of the Lord is like no other. It is filled with power, wisdom, comfort, creativity, and has the feel of a beautiful song. Even with Jesus cloaked in the humble garment of a Nazarene carpenter, the power and beauty of His words were unmistakeable. No man ever spake like this man. Somehow when He spoke peace would fill your heart, the unbelievable was now a certainty, and the unclimbable mountain was merely a bump in the road. When Jesus spoke to the paralyzed man in Mark 2 his world began to change. His overbearing guilt was gone and life flooded his mind and his body. Before he realized what had happened he was running down the street toward home with his pallet under his arm. The word of God had made him whole. The beauty of this story is this, Jesus is still speaking today. He is speaking powerfully to us in His written word. Here are some thoughts from Wuest on today’s verse. 

“He preached the word to them. “Preached” is laleō, laleō used originally just of sounds like the chatter of birds, the prattling of children, is used here of the most serious kind of speech. It takes note of the sound and the manner of speaking. One thinks of the words in the song in the Garden; “He speaks, and the sound of His voice is so sweet, the birds hush their singing.” Our Lord thus spoke to the crowd assembled, in a conversational tone. The beauty of His voice, the charm of His manner, and the tenderness and love in His countenance, must have come to this weary, sick group of people as a breath from heaven. The verb is in the imperfect tense, emphasizing continuous action. Expositors’ comment on the tense of this verb is as follows; ‘Jesus was preaching the gospel of the kingdom when the following incident happened’ (the healing of the lame man).”
So maybe life’s disappointments have left you paralyzed, unable to function or enjoy your life. This man was so devastated, his friends had to carry him to the feet of Jesus. How you get there is not important, just get there. You may walk, run, crawl, or even be carried by your friends. When you hear the melody of His voice your life will start again. 

DAILY BREAD 

July 22, 2016

Matt. 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread. 

I learned a lot about total dependence on the Lord from reading the sermons of Jonathan Edwards. One of my favorites of his sermons was written in his earliest days of his ministry, ‘God Glorified in Man’s Dependence’. We need the Lord in every arena of our lives, not just when we are in trouble, but in our everyday experiences. Like we depend on air moment by moment, water several times throughout the day, and our daily bread; we are in constant need of the Lord every moment of our lives. This great need only comes by revelation, and is quite humbling but profoundly liberating at the same time. I wonder if this is why there seems to be more females in churches, they are not quite as threatened by total dependency. Jesus taught us this lesson in His teaching about prayer, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon on today’s verse. 
“This hourly dependence our Lord is determined that we shall feel and recognize, for he only permits us to pray for daily bread, and only promises that as our days our strength shall be. Is it not best for us that it should be so, that we may often repair to his throne, and constantly be reminded of his love? Oh! how rich the grace which supplies us so continually, and doth not refrain itself because of our ingratitude! The golden shower never ceases, the cloud of blessing tarries evermore above our habitation. O Lord Jesus, we would bow at thy feet, conscious of our utter inability to do anything without thee, and in every favor which we are privileged to receive, we would adore thy blessed name and acknowledge thine unexhausted love.”
Our needing God actually brings great glory to God. My greatest need and dependency is for my happiness, happiness that is not based on by circumstances, accomplishments, or expectations. God Himself is my treasure and my joy, I am utterly dependent on Him for my satisfaction in life. When God satisfies me then God is glorified. He is greater than earthly treasures, friends, endowments, inheritances, even family. All of these things are temporary and at best point to the greater treasure we find in Christ. He alone meets the deepest needs of the human heart. 

The Abiding Presence of God

July 21, 2016

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
PSALM 145:18
I talk a lot about 1994 and how that outpouring changed my life. One of the blessings that intensified and stayed with me all these years was the abiding Presence of the Lord. Before that time prayer had become a duty, it was one of my Christian and ministerial responsibilities. Prayer was more like work than enjoyment. When I was touched by the Holy Spirit in 1994 it started as an unthinkable awareness of the Presence of God. It was often overwhelming. Not only was I impacted at the initial touch but I would be overwhelmed during worship, during preaching, or randomly in my daily activities. I began to be aware of His Presence throughout the day and even being awakened in the night with His glory filling by bedroom. Twenty two years have passed since that initial touch and I still have the sense of His abiding Presence with me everyday. I still get overwhelmed during worship, preaching, or ministry time but the greatest blessing is that continual sense of God with me and in me all the time. I had always believed that He was there, now I know and sense the reality of His Presence much more consistently. Here are some thoughts from Andrew Murray on this topic. 
“What does it mean to pray without ceasing? The answer is clear. Realize first that God is near you, within you, and then you will feel how natural it is to talk to Him each moment about your needs and desires. It is this kind of prayer of which Paul says, “Night and day we pray most earnestly”. It is only the person who lives a life independent of God that says, “I must take time to first find God before I can pray.” But to the true Christian, life is a constant abiding with the Father. Interaction between you and the Father should be a daily activity, like breathing or sleeping, instead of something that happens only once a day. The principle of complete dependence on the unseen God, and the holy habit of claiming His presence with us each moment of the day, is the secret to a life of true godliness.”
This abiding Presence adds joy to every activity of our lives. He is there to strengthen us, enlighten us, encourage us, and equip us for whatever we may run in to. Don’t face your life with just a right belief about God, take Him with you. You will be glad that you did. 

BLESSINGS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

July 20, 2016

 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all the blessings of the Spirit in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus.Ephesians 1:3. 

We really have know idea of how blessed we really are. Just think about it, all the blessings of the Spirit of God have been made available to us by the redeeming blood of Jesus. Just some of His blessings or even just one would be amazing, but all of them? Really? How big is this promise. If God the Holy Spirit is infinite, that means there is no end to these blessings. They are truly limitless. They incorporate everything from illumination, the opening up of our spiritual senses to heavenly things, to access into the very presence of God. It includes Sonship, intercession, victorious living, power for ministry, and best of all intimacy and fellowship with our heavenly friend. It is by walking in the Spirit that we begin to implement these unspeakable blessings into our daily lives. We have more available to us than we can ever know. Here are some thoughts from A.B. Simpson on today’s verse. 
    “Ephesians is an unfolding of “all the blessings of the Spirit.” This is the true translation of the passage, ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all the blessings of the Spirit in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus.'” Ephesians 1:3. There is a great difference between the blessings of the Spirit and spiritual blessings. The person of the Holy Ghost is worth more than all His gifts. The blessings unfolded in this epistle are said to be “in the heavenlies”; that is, in the higher realm and element where we dwell in Christ, above the natural life, and in fellowship with the heavenly world. The apostle’s theme, in this sublime epistle, is the higher blessings of the Holy Ghost, which He makes known to those who enter into the fullness of Christ. May the Holy Spirit Himself enable us to see and enter into all the blessings of the Spirit!”
Learning how to walk in the Spirit becomes our lifelong quest. It all starts by recognizing your need of the Spirit in your daily life. From there, you learn how to drink, or take in, the Holy Spirit into your life. Once drinking becomes part of your life you are well on your way, you are tapping in to all the blessings of the Spirit purchased for you. 

“Loving our swine more than Christ!”

July 19, 2016

MERRY TUESDAY-BY PARRIS

“Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.” Luke 8:3
What! Are we reading this right? A whole multitude surrounded Jesus and asked him to DEPART from their country, just because he took away their swine? Jesus had just finished delivering one of the most graphically possessed people in the gospels! But instead of seeing a Savior they saw that Jesus took away their commerce. It must have been quite an impact to see 2000 swine floating! Not a pleasant sight indeed. I remember the Lord spoke to me vividly to “go to the bottom of the ocean” and let it all go. What swine are you holding onto? 

Pulpit commentary has an interesting note to add-“They felt they could not keep both the Savior and their swine, and of the two they preferred their swine! And He returned back again. The chance, as far as the Gadarene district was concerned, was gone for ever. Jesus probably returned thither no more. Within forty years this district was the scene of one of the terrible calamities of the great Roman war.” 

Redemption is to me so amazing. We love the guy who died for others, we love the long hair bearded one that seemed to float around speaking love stories hanging with the cool cats and condemning the religious. But don’t touch my secret stash and tell me what to do and when to do it. We all paint this mythical Jesus in our own way. 

The Christ that I have come to know demands all but gives us the strength to hand it over. Somehow he even convinces us it’s a joy and not a sacrifice. I remember the bag of weed that seemed so important back in the day! Really????? 

He will definitely come touch your stuff but how freeing it is to be free of it. I am quite certain when Christ walks into my room there will be more to hand over. Let the work of redemption continue in my life! Like the Gaderene demonic that once walked the tombs, I pray I will follow him all the days of my life. 

FRESH OIL

July 18, 2016

Num. 11:7,8 And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium. And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil. 
I often think of the revival meetings we conducted at a church in Costa Rica in 1995. It was a traditional Assembly of God congregation that invited me to do a week long revival with two meetings each day. That first service was a real challenge, there was a distinct religious apathy in the air that could be cut with a knife. I’ll never forget the giant vase of anointing oil on the pulpit. It became a picture to me of that particular church. The oil was old, rancid, and had a distinct smell about it. I kept thinking about the importance of fresh oil as I plowed through that first service. David said it like this, “But my horn You have exalted like a wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil”. Just like that church needed fresh oil, many of us become stale and need fresh oil upon our lives. Here is how Charles Spurgeon describes it.
“Labour to maintain a sense of thine entire dependence upon the Lord’s good will and pleasure for the continuance of thy richest enjoyments. Never try to live on the old manna, nor seek to find help in Egypt. All must come from Jesus, or thou art undone for ever. Old hat will not suffice to impart unction to thy spirit; thine head must have fresh oil poured upon it from the golden horn of the sanctuary, or it will cease from its glory. To-day thou mayest be upon the summit of the mount of God, but he who has put thee there must keep thee there, or thou wilt sink far more speedily than thou dreamest.”
As for that church in Costa Rica, the lord was incredibly merciful to me in that very first service. In that very first altar call a young refugee girl from Nicaragua answered the salvation altar call. The Holy Spirit fell on her mightily and something vey powerful began that day. As she was praying to receive Christ, “FRESH OIL” fell on her. She began shaking, laughing, crying and fell out under the power in the middle of that traditional service. Fresh oil can change everything. Needless to say that was the last dry device we had that week. This young Nicaraguan became a lightning rod for the lightning strikes of God all week. Many young people came to Christ and the church was turned right side up for the glory of God. 


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