Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

“Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs.”― Jonathan Edwards

January 18, 2017

MERRY WEDNESDAY BY PARRIS 

“Blessed are the chosen! Blessed the guest at home in your place! We expect our fill of good things in your house, your heavenly manse. All your salvation wonders are on display in your trophy room. Earth-Tamer, Ocean-Pourer, Mountain-Maker, Hill-Dresser, Muzzler of sea storm and wave crash, of mobs in noisy riot— Far and wide they’ll come to a stop, they’ll stare in awe, in wonder. Dawn and dusk take turns calling, “Come and worship.” PS.65:2-8
Jesus spoke of going away to make a home for us. While the world turns into another day, Christians yearn for Heaven. CS Lewis said, “True Joy is the ache for something beyond this world. The Holy Spirit uses this restlessness to awaken spiritual hunger. When little moments of life ─ like the way the light falls on a summer evening ─ stir you with a deep longing that’s hard to define, don’t look to earthly pursuits to fill the void. Instead, allow the ache to push you deeper into your relationship with God. Pursue Him. Allow that longing for Him to become the hottest fire in your heart. Joy—that sharp, wonderful Stab of Longing—has a lithe, muscular lightness to it. It’s deft. It produces longing that weighs heavy on the heart, but it does so with precision and coordination…It dashes in with the agility of a hummingbird claiming its nectar from the flower, and then zips away. It pricks, then vanishes, leaving a wake of mystery and longing behind it.”

Learning to listen is a required art. Listening to the chatter of people around you, your children, your parents and the list goes on. Seeing the world through new lenses requires us to slow down and take it all in. We become of the “other world” or the “not yet but soon to be” even when surrounded by the ones we love. When Lewis talks about the hummingbird pricks then vanishes, God seems to do that to us all the day long. He comes near in so many ways to put eternity into our hearts. There is a true joy that runs deeps within us, reassuring us of a new life in another world. He changes us so that we can be seed planters imparting hope to the hopeless. The hummingbird comes to me then to you sharing its news of a GOD of wonder. 

Jonathan Edwards said it so well when he said, “God is the highest good of the reasonable creature. The enjoyment of him is our proper; and is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Better than fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of any, or all earthly friends. These are but shadows; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean.” 

What is imprinted upon your eyeballs? 

HEALING OF THE BLIND MAN

January 17, 2017

John 9:4,5 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

Who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind. Doesn’t that sound familiar. If something bad happens it surely must be your fault. That is exactly what Job’s friends had said to Job. All these bad things happening in your life Job, something must be wrong. If you listen carefully to what Jesus said that is not always the case. Sometimes sin is the direct cause of a sickness or problem, BUT NOT ALWAYS. In this case Jesus said this man was born blind so that the Glory of God could be clearly seen through his healing. Jesus healed this man simply to display the power of His love and the greatness of His mercy and grace. Maybe you are facing some real problems. Rather than suffocating under condemnation and guilt look to God. Maybe you too are a candidate for the Lord to show His glory. Here is how Matthew Henry describes this miracle.    
“The sinfulness of the whole race of mankind does indeed justify God in all the miseries of human life; so that those who have the least share of them must say that God is kind, and those who have the largest share must not say that he is unjust; but many are made much more miserable than others in this life who are not at all more sinful. Not but that this man was a sinner, and his parents sinners, but is was not any uncommon guilt that God had an eye to in inflicting this upon him. Note, We must take heed of judging any to be great sinners merely because they are great sufferers, lest we be found, not only persecuting those whom God has smitten, but accusing those whom he has justified, and condemning those for whom Christ died, which is daring and dangerous. That they are sometimes intended purely for the glory of God, and the manifesting of his works.”
So maybe, just maybe your suffering is about to come to an end. Is it possible that God has a plan and your problem is just another way for the Lord to show His kindness and His power in your life? Just like the blind man, His blindness gave way to the Light of the World.  

OUR SPIRITUAL WEAPONS

January 16, 2017

Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a fountain; his branches run over the wall. The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and persecuted him: but his bow abode in strength. Genesis 49:22–24

This is a prophesy that was actually spoken over my life many, many years ago. Jacob was prophesying over his son Joseph, the mantle of God had been on Joseph all of his life. This word describes the life that Joseph had experienced; he had been betrayed by his brothers, persecuted by the Egyptians, lied about by the captain’s wife, and forgotten by pharaoh’s baker. What had kept Joseph throughout all of his troubles? He had been kept secure by the dreams that had fallen on him as a child. He had been set apart from his youth, cloaked in his father’s coat, and as a result experienced the blessing of God all throughout his life. Here are some insights from Adam Clarke on this powerful prophetic word. 

“Of the many typical servants of God in the Old Testament, Joseph is perhaps the most perfect. Yet while Scripture reveals no apparent flaw in his character, we know well that his was no easy pathway. When did his troubles begin? Surely with his dreams. They represent spiritual vision. In them he saw what God would do, and his own place in the divine plan. It was his dreams that started things off, for he saw what his brothers could not see. “This dreamer,” they called him, and plotted his downfall. So he was sold as a slave and put in chains of iron (Ps. 105:17–18). Yet Joseph could survive it all to become at length God’s means of fulfilling a mighty purpose for His people. He stands firm to the end who can see.”
Habakuk said that without prophetic vision the people perish. Joseph proved that scripture to be accurate. How does this word apply to us today? Obviously, the Lord has a plan for your life. Just like Joseph, God’s plans will always be opposed by God’s enemies. Our weapons are not human or fleshly but are mighty through God, our weapons are supernatural. One of our powerful weapons is prophetic vision. When you are able to see the plans of God for your life ahead of time, that vision will strengthen and sustain you even in the worst of times. 

ANGEL WATER

January 15, 2017

Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
John 5:8
I love the story of the pool of Bethesda, multitudes just waiting by the pool for a miracle. Suddenly, the miracle worker Himself came walking up to the pool. “Do you want to get well?” “What kind of question is that?”, the lame man must have said to himself. Of course he wanted to get well, why else would he be lying by that pool. But did he really want to get well? Many of us like our excuses. They give us a safe place to hide. If we were made whole then we would seem vulnerable. We wouldn’t be able to hide behind some excuse to avoid our fear of living a spiritual life. It’s much safer to stay “lame”. Then came the direct word, “If you want to get well, rise, pick up your pallet and walk”. That’s what the lame man did and that’s exactly when he received his miracle. He was made whole. Charles Spurgeon spoke about the power of faith in God’s word from this passage. Check it out.
“Like many others, the impotent man had been waiting for a wonderfully to be wrought, and a sign to be given. Wearily did he watch the pool, but no angel came, or came not for him; yet, thinking it to be his only chance, he waited still, and knew not that there was One near him whose word could heal him in a moment. Many are in the same plight: they are waiting for some singular emotion, remarkable impression, or celestial vision; they wait in vain and watch for nought. Meanwhile these poor souls forget the present Saviour, who bids them look unto him and be saved. He could heal them at once, but they prefer to wait for an angel and a wonder. To trust him is the sure way to every blessing, and he is worthy of the most implicit confidence; but unbelief makes them prefer the cold porches of Bethesda to the warm bosom of his love. O that the Lord may turn his eye upon the multitudes who are in this case today; may he forgive the slights which they put upon his divine power, and call them by that sweet constraining voice, to rise from the bed of despair…”
Just as Jesus walked up to the man by the pool long, long ago; today He has walked up to you. Actually, He has walked up to all of us. “How is that possible?” you ask. It ‘s really quite simple. Jesus lives and works today by the power of His word. All it takes is for someone to take God’s word for himself.

What are you suffering with today? Are you just a lame man (or woman) waiting for your luck to change? Actually, you’re in luck. Your luck has changed. The Lord is standing here right now. He is speaking through this devotion. “Do you want to get well? It’s time to pick up your life and walk

DO YOU WANT TO BE HEALED? 

January 14, 2017

John 5:5-8 – Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”

Do you want to be healed? At first glance that may sound like a strange question; but is it? Sometimes we tend to hide behind our weaknesses and even our sicknesses. It can be easier to be a victim than it is to be whole. After all, its not my fault that I am this way and if someone else is responsible for my situation it may be easier to stay broken. If I am made whole I will have to start taking responsibility for my decisions and my actions. That’s why this lame man laid the blame for his condition on someone else; every time the water is stirred up someone else gets in first. I don’t have anyone to help me. That’s why Jesus made the lame man face the real issue; do you want to be made whole. Here are some thoughts from the Pulpit Commentary on today’s passage. 
“The questioning of Jesus on this occasion involved an offer of mercy. “Dost thou veritably wish for health and strength?” The question implies a doubt. The man may have gotten so accustomed to his life of indolence and mendicancy as to regard deliverance from his apparent wretchedness, with all consequent responsibilities of work and energy and self-dependence, as a doubtful blessing. He whined out, with professional drawl, his oft-told story, reflecting very much upon his lovelessness and quarrelsomeness, and ugly temper. There are many who are not anxious for salvation, with all the demands it makes upon the life, with its summons to self-sacrifice and the repression of self-indulgence. There are many religious impostors who prefer tearing open their spiritual wounds to the first passerby, and hugging their grievance, to being made into robust men upon whom the burden of responsibility will immediately fall. In this case the sign of his palsied nature was written upon his face, and was probably known to every passerby.”
Maybe it is not a physical problem that is stopping you, it could be anything. The Lord calls us out of the shadowland of excuses into the light of change. Do you want to be whole? Do you want your ministry to be whole; how about your family? Pick up your pallet and walk, your world is about to change. 

OUT OF ZION

November 23, 2016

Psa. 50:1,2 ¶ The Mighty One, God the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.

Our world could be characterized as a very dark place. I would have to see it is a far different world than the one I experienced as a child. It seems as if this spiritual darkness has multiplied, especially in the last decade. When I was a young teenager the biggest scandal in town was the pharmacist who was performing abortions for pregnant teens. Now it is common to take the life of the unborn and is even considered the mother’s “right”. Who could have imagined same sex marriages or men using women’s bathrooms just a few short years ago. It has become the norm in our upside down world. These problems are not political but spiritual in nature. As the spiritual climate of our nation has waned these issues have surfaced. The problem isn’t politics, the problem is the spiritual climate. I have to say it begins in the pulpits of our nation; oh I forgot, it’s not cool to have a pulpit, a Bible, or a cross in church anymore.

The purpose of the church is to house the very glory of the Lord. His presence in His church convicts the world of sin, displays the righteousness of God in its people, and attracts people to the glory and beauty of His presence. Here is how Charles Spurgeon describes today’s verse.
“The Lord is represented not only as speaking to the earth, but as coming forth to reveal the glory of his presence to an assembled universe. God of old dwelt in Zion among his chosen people, but here the beams of his splendor are described as shining forth upon all nations. The sun was spoken of in the first verse, but here is a far brighter sun. The majesty of God is most conspicuous among his own elect, but is not confined to them; the church is not a dark lantern, but a candlestick. God shines not only in Zion, but out of her. She is made perfect in beauty by his indwelling, and that beauty is seen by all observers when the Lord shines forth from her. Observe how with trumpet voice and flaming ensign the infinite Jehovah summons the heavens and the earth to hearken to his word.”
The world desperately needs an awakened church. The church is the light that penetrates the darkness and the salt that preserves our culture. Let Zion awaken and the Glory of the Lord shine brightly in this dark day.

REJOICE WITH TREMBLING

November 15, 2016

Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.

Ps.2:11
It seems like everything in the kingdom of God is backwards. You know; the first will be last, the last will be first, you have to lose your life to find it, it is by giving that we receive. It just doesn’t make sense to the human intellect. Take today’s verse for example, ‘Rejoice with trembling’, really? Fear and joy seem to be opposites on the range of human emotion, but that’s what the Bible says, ‘Rejoice with trembling’. The truth is this, this verse can never make sense until…. Until you experience the powerful presence of the Lord for yourself, then you will understand. When the Lord reveals Himself in His manifested glory those are the two simultaneous responses. The joy from being in the presence of the happiest of all beings and fear because of His awesome greatness. There is simply no one or anything like Him. Here are some thoughts from Martin Luther on today’s verse.
“Everything we do is corrupt, just as all of creation is spoiled. So we shouldn’t become overconfident. We need to be afraid of God’s judgment. But what Christ does for us is holy and perfect, and we should cling to his mercy. So we should fear God in a way that doesn’t entirely exclude joy. It should be a genuine joy—a joy that can’t be kept bottled up in our hearts. When we truly believe that we have been reconciled to God because of Christ, we will have a smile on our face, a twinkle in our eyes, and a song of praise on our lips. The Holy Spirit tells us to serve our heavenly King with inward and outward joy, combined with reverence. If we don’t, we’ll become overconfident. We’ll start acting like animals and sink into lustful human pleasures. If we make sure we don’t become overconfident, then God won’t be offended by our happiness. In fact, he’s offended by sadness and demands joy. That’s why people who were in mourning were not allowed to bring God sacrifices, and why the offerings in Malachi were unacceptable to God (Malachi 2:13).”

I guess I always knew it would be terrifying to experience the greatness of God, it was the joy that caught me by surprise. If you really think about it that had to be true. God created joy, He has to be the most joyful of all beings. If you get close to Him get ready to be surprised by life changing joy.
.

HOLY PEOPLE

November 1, 2016

Eph. 1:7 ¶ In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 

Grace is the message of the New Testament. It was the nucleus of the preaching of the Apostle Paul which literally turned the world upside down in his day. Grace was also at the epicenter of the Protestant Reformation. An Augustinian, Catholic monk, by the name of Martin Luther unleashed a spiritual atomic blast with his teachings on “the just shall live by faith”. Justification by grace alone through faith alone became the earmark of the reformation. That message not only birthed the reformation but ultimately led to the struggle with the Puritans that birthed the United States of America. I am not saying that all of our founders were Christians, I am just saying the driving force behind our beginning was the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

What is so amazing about grace that it causes the upheaval of nations? Really, it is a two fold message. First, it offers cleansing and forgiveness for every sin. There is no sin too dark that it doesn’t wash us clean. Secondly, it changes the very core of our being. Our desires change. Our desire for sinful pleasures are replaced with a passion for the Lord Himself. In other words grace leads to sanctification or holiness. My definition of holiness is this; holiness is the testimony of God’s grace. Here is how Adam Clarke explained this phenomenon in the Methodist revival. 

“Ye are sanctified; ye are separated from earthly things to be connected with spiritual. Ye are separated from time to be connected with eternity. Ye are separated from idols to be joined to the living God. Separation from common, earthly, or sinful uses, to be wholly employed in the service of the true God, is the ideal meaning of this word, both in the Old and New Testaments. It was in consequence of their being separated from the world that they became a Church of God. Ye were formerly workers of iniquity, and associated with workers of iniquity; but now ye are separated from them, and united together to work out your salvation with fear and trembling before God.”
So grace causes an upheaval like nothing else. Criminals become pastors, pimps become protectors of virtue, prostitutes become holy women of God, and common thieves become funders of ministries and churches. Our present society needs a good infusion of grace; the kind of grace that changes lives from sinners to saints. Do it again Lord!!!

– “When you are facing the 500 pound problem” 

October 31, 2016

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS

“Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, mighty in deeds, struck down the two sons of Ariel of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion inside a pit on a snowy day.” 

2 Chron.11:22
I am sure this guy Benaiah didn’t wake up and say; I’m going to chase a lion in the pit on a snowy day today. God only knows what happened in that pit, what we do know is that Benaiah crawled out and something tells me he was changed that day. It would be an encounter that forever marked him in life. On this Monday, How do you respond when you face a 500 pound problem? Having the mind of Christ can be a game changer for sure. Learning to look at it through a ‘God’s lens’ will become a supernatural event that will forever mark you. Go ahead and chase the lion as you fall into the pit, you too will meet the God of the impossible. J.Parker said, “Every man must learn the alphabet for himself and there is a lion to be fought by every man — Satan”. (1 Peter 5:8). The question is how do we respond? 

He goes on to to say, “Truly there is battle enough now to be done. Whosoever will set himself against the customs of his time, the popular policies of the circle in which he moves, the prejudices of the persons whose friendship he values, will find that he must have a sword in his right hand, and that even whilst he sleeps he must have his armor so near that at a moment’s notice he can be once more in the fray.”

There are a couple of ways to respond to that 500 pound monster. Run for your life, be angry at God, or face it head on knowing God has prepared you for this. Paul faced his lions contending in abounding, abasement, and fighting the fight. I close with this great statement! 
THE LION CHASER MANISFESTO by Mark Batterson
“Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Run to the roar.

Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-given passions.

Go after a dream that is destined to fail

without divine intervention.

Stop pointing out problems. Become part of the solution.

Stop repeating the past. Start creating the future.

Face your fears. Fight for your dreams.

Grab opportunity by the mane and don’t let go!

Live like today is the first day and last day of your life.

Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails.

Live for the applause of nail-scarred hands.

Don’t let what’s wrong with you

keep you from worshiping what’s right with God.

Dare to fail. Dare to be different.

Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Chase the lion”

ONCE AND FOREVER

October 30, 2016

Heb. 10:11-14 ¶ And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. 

What a statement, “One sacrifice for sins forever”. What are the implications of that powerful statement? How does it effect our lives today? First, every sin I ever committed has been dealt with by the offering of Jesus on the cross. There is nothing left for me to do but accept His sacrifice. It doesn’t require any religious observances from me. All I must do is humble myself and receive His gracious gift once and forever. Secondly, this sacrificial death has permanently opened a new life for me beginning now. It is not just a free pass to live forever, it is an invitation to enter into a new supernatural life. Jesus has opened heaven for us, it is open now for “whosever will’. Andrew Murray teaches about this in his book HOLIEST OF ALL. Check this out. 
“What is true of Christ is true of His people. The law of His life is the law of theirs. Of the once for all and the for ever of His work on earth and in heaven, their lives and spiritual experience will feel the power and bear the mark. See it in conversion. How many have struggled for years in doubt and fear, simply because they did not apprehend the once for all of Christ’s atonement. They could not understand how it was possible for a sinner once for all to believe and be saved. No sooner was it made plain to them that the punishment was borne, that the debt was paid, once for all, all became clear and they counted it their duty and joy at once to accept what was so finished and so sure. And they could see, too, how the once was for ever—the power of the endless life bearing them on into the for ever of God’s presence.”
Once and forever, these are some of the greatest words in the Bible. My sins are gone once and forever and I can enter into this new and living way once and forever. When does it start? It starts the moment you believe.