“He’s got the whole world in His hands” 

November 16, 2015


 “For Jahve, His eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong with those whose heart is devoted to Him;” i.e., for Jahve, who looks forth over all the earth, uses every opportunity wonderfully to succour those who are piously devoted to Him” 

Kiel’s Translation 2 Chron.16:9
I remember finally settling it in my heart, that “God’s got this”. It happened in those revival years, where God was making me draw nigh to him, so he would draw nigh to me. Frank and I were having some personal struggles with our family and our church. It wasn’t as simple as blaming the devil or other people anymore, I needed to trust God and trust him completely. He desires our intimacies that makes us totally rely on Him for everything. He has eyes of mercy and goodness, (Gill) and whatever happens to us He “strongly holds us”. I must admit through all of our ups and downs, I can sense His presence by my side supporting me and uplifting me. Yes, learning how to be still and quiet my emotions is the key. When storms do come, I begin to recollect all the times he has brought me through. 
Spurgeon cries out to us by saying, “Conceive not that there is a great gulf fixed between thee and the Father, across which his mercy cannot come, and over which thy prayers and faith can never leap. Oh, think not, son of man, that thou dwellest in a storm-girt island, cut off from the continent of eternity. I beseech thee, believe that there is a bridge across that chasm, a road along which feet may travel. This world is not separated, for all creation is but one body. And know thou, O son of man, though thou in this world doth but dwell, as it were on the foot, yet from the feet even to the head, there are nerves and veins that do unite the whole, The same great heart which beats in heaven beats on earth. The love of the Eternal Father which cheers the celestial, makes glad the terrestrial too. When a tear is wept by thee, think not thy Father doth not behold; for, “Like as a father pitieth his children so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.” Thy sigh is able to move the heart of Jehovah; thy whisper can incline his ear unto thee; thy prayer can stay his hands; thy faith can move his arm. Engraven upon the Father’s hand thy name remains; and on his heart recorded there thy person stands. He thought of thee before the worlds were made; before the channels of the sea were scooped, or the gigantic mountains lifted their heads in the white clouds, he thought of thee.”
As we see time and time again, our world being shattered, I pray you will draw strength from your maker. He has the whole world in his hands—–thank God! 


November 15, 2015

Heb. 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

Our Christian life is a race to the finish line. Christ is waiting for each of us with outstretched arms at the line, the saints who have gone before are standing and shouting us on. It’s our turn, its our turn to run. 

The race itself is supernatural. He has called us to the race. He has equipped us and trained us to win. He has marked out the course and put it in our hearts. He strengthens us as we go. He encourages and picks us up when we stumble. Its our job to just keep running, we just have to stay in the race. Here are some comments from Gill’s Commentary on this great scripture verse. 
“…and it becomes all the saints, and belongs to each, and everyone of them, to “run” this race; which includes both doing and suffering for Christ; it is a motion forward, a pressing towards the mark for the prize, a going from strength to strength, from one degree of grace to another; and to it swiftness and agility are necessary; and when it is performed aright, it is with readiness, willingness, and cheerfulness: it requires strength and courage, and a removal of all impediments, and should be done “with patience”; which is very necessary, because of the many exercises in the way; and because of the length of the race; and on account of the prize to be enjoyed, which is very desirable: the examples of the saints, and especially Christ, the forerunner, should move and animate unto it.” 
We must ask ourselves the question, “Am I even in the race?” Paul refers to the race as our chosen purpose in this Christian life. The Lord has a track for each of us to run. It involves surrender, commitment, diligence, and perseverance. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this race involves your part in ministry to others. The work of the ministry is for all Christians. The work of ministers is to equip Christians for this work. The second question is this; “am I disqualifying myself by my choices?” Paul told us to run this race to win. The reward is eternal and the race is final. 

So if you have stumbled, get back up. Get back in the race. There is not much time. How do I know? The roar from the stadium is almost deafening. 


November 14, 2015

HEB. 12:1   Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. 

This passage paints an incredible picture of our Christian life. Paul compares our life as a marathon race finishing in the Olympic Stadium with the faithful men of God watching and cheering us on. He sees there lives as forerunners for each of us. Their testimony encourages us. Check out this picture painted from this passage from Gill’s Commentary. 
“The stadium, or race plot, in which the Christian race is run, is this world; the prize run for is the heavenly glory; the mark to direct in it, is Christ; many are the runners, yet none but the overcomers have the prize; which being held by Christ, is given to them: this race is “set before” the saints; that is, by God; the way in which they are to run is marked out by him in his word; the troubles they shall meet with in it are appointed for them by him, in his counsels and purposes; the mark to direct them is set before them in the Gospel, even Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, whom they are to look unto; the length of their race is fixed for them, or how far, and how long they shall run; and the prize is determined for them, and will be given them, and which is held out for their encouragement, to have respect unto: and it becomes all the saints, and belongs to each, and everyone of them, to “run” this race; which includes both doing and suffering for Christ…”
Of course this passage in Hebrews follows up the great faith chapter in Hebrews. You know the one, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Paul had seen his life as a race by faith. “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” 

Have you seen it yet? If you have, run. Run with all your strength. The reward will be greater than we can ever imagine. 


November 13, 2015

Zech. 4:7 Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’

I have been pondering God’s promise to finish what He started in us all this week. If He is working in us to perform all of His purposes and promises, what is my role in the whole matter? In Hebrews, Paul declares that it light of this promise we are to fix our eyes on Jesus. It is so easy to get distracted when it seems like His promises are not coming to pass and we are caught up in a ferocious storm. But if His word is to fix your eyes on Him, as you do, He becomes bigger in our lives and the problems begin to fall into a proper perspective. Zechariah gives us the second response; shouts of grace. Why grace? It is because it has nothing to do with us, His work in us and for us is all of grace. So go ahead and start shouting! Here are some thoughts from Matthew Henry on today’s verse. 
“When the work is finished it must be thankfully acknowledged that it was not by any policy or power of our own that it was brought to perfection, but that it was grace that did it—God’s good will towards us and his good work in us and for us. Grace, grace, must be cried, not only to the head-stone, but to the foundation-stone, the corner-stone, and indeed to every stone in God’s building; from first to last it is nothing of works, but all of grace, and all our crowns must be cast at the feet of free grace. Not unto us, O Lord! not unto us. As depending upon free grace, and desiring the continuance of it, for what is yet to be done. Grace, grace, is the language of prayer as well as of praise; now that this building is finished, all happiness attend it! Peace be within its walls, and, in order to that, grace. Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon it! Note, What comes from the grace of God may, in faith, and upon good grounds, be committed to the grace of God, for God will not forsake the work of his own hands.”
So I think I am going to fix my gaze on the Lord. I have looked at my circumstances far too often. As Jesus comes more clearly into focus His work becomes more and more apparent to me. Seeing what He is doing I can’t help but shout. GRACE, GRACE, GRACE, GRACE


November 12, 2015

Heb. 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

The Lord has promised to finish what He starts, He always does. I think one of the things that makes all of us nervous is the fact that the Lord never is nervous. He proceeds the same way in the worst of times as in the best of times. When I look at my circumstances and see a mountain of unanswered prayers and unfulfilled promises and expectations, my tendency is to try to make things happen myself or slip into discouragement and fear. I was in one of those moments in 1990 when this scripture was given to me as a prophesy. It always amazes me how a scripture verse that is received and believed can change everything. That has been 25 years ago now and this promise is still being realized in my life and ministry. The immediate work the Lord performed was in me, I was no longer afraid but I began embracing all the Lord was doing in my life. Here are some thoughts from Matthew Henry on today’s verse.  
 “The same hand that has begun this good work will perform it: He shall bring forth the head-stone; and again, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, be it spoken to his honor (perhaps with his own hands he laid the first stone), and though it has been long retarded, and is still much opposed, yet it shall be finished at last; he shall live to see it finished, nay, and his hands shall also finish it; herein he is a type of Christ, who is both the author and the finisher of our faith; and his being the author of it is an assurance to us that he will be the finisher, for, as for God, his work is perfect; has he begun and shall he not make an end? Zerubbabel shall himself bring forth the head-stone with shoutings, and loud acclamations of joy, among the spectators. The acclamations are not huzzas, but Grace, grace; that is the burden of the triumphant songs which the church sings. It may be taken as magnifying free grace, and giving to that all the glory of what is done.”
So maybe you have some unfinished business in your life; its going to be okay. He always finishes what He starts. If the Lord is at work in you, completion is certain. 


November 11, 2015

Heb. 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

I was recently thinking about a lot of loose ends I see in this tapestry of life I have experienced in Christ. I have been privileged to see some amazing things in my 42 year long journey in Christ (since my conversion). I have seen two major waves of revival and their ramifications first hand all over the world. I have been part of an amazing church in New Orleans for the last 36 years. I have seen thousands of souls come to Christ, baptized in the Spirit and go on to become productive members of the body of Christ. I have also seen some unpleasant train wrecks. The Christian life can be amazing and quite disappointing at the same time. Recently I felt the Lord impress on my heart that I would begin to see some loose ends come together in the near future. I felt strongly the word completion or fulfillment. Here is the definition of finisher from today’s verse in Louw and Nida’s word book.  
“one who makes possible the successful completion of something — ‘one who completes, perfecter.’‘looking to Jesus, the one who initiates and completes faith’ or ‘looking to Jesus on whom (our) faith depends from beginning to end’.”
The Lord began and continues a supernatural work in all of our lives. Staying with Him to the end is a tricky business. Here are some thoughts from the UBS Bible Commentary on today’s verse. 

“As perfecter of faith, he brings it to its intended goal. Thus, whether one talks about faith as a possibility or as the experience of fulfillment, all depends upon Jesus. For this reason, Christians must keep looking away from this world to him. He is not only the basis, means, and fulfillment of faith, but in his life he also exemplifies the same principle of faith that we saw in the paragons of chapter 11. Thus, by faith he counted upon the reality of future joy and, assessing present circumstances in light of the glorious future, he endured the cross, scorning its shame. He died as a despised criminal. And that future joy is already his in a preliminary way, for he sat down at God’s right hand.”
So I have my eyes on the Lord and His work. He is the Finisher, Completer, and Perfecter. If He has saved the best for last in all of His works, some amazing days are just on the horizon. 


November 10, 2015

Rom. 5:5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 

Can you remember what it was that won you to Christ at the very beginning? It wasn’t the professional organization of the church, the philosophical argument of the Christian position, or even the slick presentation of a preacher. Inevitably, the thing that got me was the same thing that got you. What was it? It was the unconditional, relentless, and endless love of God. He loved us despite what we had done or who we had become. He loves us still. That’s what got me; that’s what keeps me. But here is the shocking thing; that love not only flows into us, now it also flows out of us. He has made us lovers of the unlovely. It is the real litmus test to determine if what you have is the real deal; is God’s love for messed up people stirring up in your belly? Here are some thoughts from Andrew Murray from Africa in the 1800’s. The gospel hasn’t changed. 
“In days of unrest and strong racial feeling, we need a new discovery of the love of God. Let us anchor our hope in the thought of God’s love. God’s power, by which He rules and guides the world, is the power of an undying, persistent love. He works through men and women wholly yielded to Him and His service. He waits for them to open their hearts to Him and then, full of courage, to become witnesses for Him.When this has been achieved, Christ’s kingdom is manifested and the reign of love on earth begins. Christ died in order to establish this kingdom. The only means He used to gain influence was through the manifestation of a serving, suffering love. He saw the possibility of redemption in the hearts of even the worst of men and women. He knew that our hearts could never resist the steady, continuous influence of love; that unbounded faith in God’s love would be our strength and stay. It was this love that enabled the disciples to expect and do the impossible.”
I remember being surprised by God’s love when I first accepted Christ. As His love was formed in me, I was surprised again at the changes He worked in me. Christ was in me now and He was doing in me and through me what He always does, He was loving hurting people. Paul said to check ourselves to see if we are in the faith. This love thing is a sure fire check. 

“Dropping the Selfie”

November 9, 2015


“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

WORDSWORTH:—‘Be ye good trees. Now, in the world’s eye, is your winter; to men ye appear like dry sticks. Your life is hid with Christ. Ye are dead in appearance, but not dead in reality; dead as to show of luxuriant leaves, but not dead in your spiritual root. Your root is Christ. His coming will be your summer. Then ye will put forth a glorious foliage. Ye will appear with Him in glory. And the leafy fig-tree of this world will be withered by His coming.’
Paul had it right when he talked about “taking off the old man” and “putting on the new man in Christ Jesus”. It’s amazing how much we are unaware of how much we tend to filter everything through the old man and his way of thinking. ‘You looked at me wrong’, or ‘the text sounded rude’, ‘your ignoring me’ and so on. We need to change our language. Union with Christ by faith is the condition of a real communication of life. “In Him was life,” says John’s Gospel, meaning that “in Him were all things created, and in Him all things consist.” Expositor Bible says, “John says we have to abide in the vine and derive all of our life dependent on union with the Divine, and upheld only by His continual energy, The creature must touch God or perish. Of that energy the Uncreated Word of God is the channel-As the life of the body, so the higher self-conscious life of the thinking, feeling, striving soul, is also fed and kept alight by the perpetual operation of a higher Divine energy, imparted in like manner by the Divine Word.” 

Creating an ongoing God-consciousness the rest of our life is challenging. Have we put on the new man and wear him daily or just on Sunday? Do we live in Him, by Him, for Him? So the question comes home to each of us-‘am I living by my union with Christ?’ Christ comes to take over, change our personalities, thought processes and our behavior patterns. The result should bring us a inward joy and peace we never had before. 

Expositor Bible goes onto to say, “Paul would insist that all true Christianity operates a death to the old self, to sin, and to the whole present order of things, and endows a man with new tastes, desires, and capacities, like a resurrection to a new being. These heathen converts-picked from the filthy cesspools in which many of them had been living, and set on a pure path, with the astounding light of a Divine love flooding it, and a bright hope painted on the infinite blackness ahead-had surely passed into a new life.” 


November 8, 2015

See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous will live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:4

Sometimes, we are so surrounded by troubles, its hard to see anything else. Frankly, it can feel like we are being suffocated by the circumstances. Have you ever felt like that? Maybe that is where you are at today. If so, I have some really good news for you. You are not seeing the whole picture. The problems are real all right, its just that the solution is bigger. The solution to whatever the problem is is a person. This person is none other than Jesus Christ. You might think, “easy for you to say, but I am here and I don’t see Him anywhere!”. You are not looking correctly. He can only be seen by faith. Faith is real and opens up this real world to us. Listen to these words of faith from Martin Luther. 
“Habakkuk wrote down the words from God on a tablet, which included this brilliant statement: “The righteous will live by his faith.” This means that those who want to be righteous and live righteous lives must believe in God’s promise. This truth can’t be changed. As a result, ungodly people will die in their unbelief. So we must believe the writing on the tablet if we want to live now and forever. We must believe that Christ will come with his kingdom. But when things appear otherwise, when we are troubled in this world, we must not lose our way. God’s Word holds things before us that are beyond our senses and higher than our understanding. We feel troubled because we look at our current condition. By faith, we need to get beyond these feelings. Even when surrounded by trouble, we must be confident that the kingdom will come and be established in a glorious way.”
Did you see the key? Luther taught the world to look to God’s written word. That’s where faith is awakened and we begin to see the greatness of our God. ‘Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word’. The Bible is filled with promises that cover whatever you are facing. Search the scriptures for yourself. When you do, your faith will awaken and you will find the way out of your trouble. But something else will happen also. Not only will you find relief from your situation, you will walk right into the arms of our loving God. 


November 7, 2015

Psa. 40:1 ¶ I waited patiently for the Lord;
  he inclined to me and heard my cry. 
From time to time I pull out classic Christian books that effected me in my earliest days as a Christian. One of those books is Waiting on God by Andrew Murray. Murray had a profound understanding of prayer and it seemed to be that the foundation of his revelation was waiting on the Lord. Too often prayer is perceived as us doing something. Many times we tend to think it is our prayer efforts that are important. Nothing could be further from the truth. Prayer is total dependency on God and prayer starts and finishes with waiting. Here are some of Murray’s thoughts on waiting on the Lord. 
“In waiting on God it is of infinite consequence that we not only submit, because we are compelled to, but because we lovingly and joyfully consent to be in the hands of our blessed Father. Patience then becomes our highest blessedness and our highest grace. It honors God, and gives Him time to have His way with us. It is the highest expression of our faith in His goodness and faithfulness. It brings the soul perfect rest in the assurance that God is carrying on His work. It is the token of our full consent that God should deal with us in such a way and time as He thinks best. True patience is the “losing of our self-will in His perfect will.”
I love this, waiting honors God and focuses on His goodness and faithfulness. As we wait in the presence of our faithful God we know He is good and He is working in all things on our behalf. Anxiousness tends to take matters into its own hands. That leads to frustration and even more anxiety. Waiting on God deepens our faith and puts us in touch with Him which is far better than all answered prayers. Murray continues to speak of the rich reward found in waiting. 
“Patient waiting upon God brings a rich reward; the deliverance is sure; God Himself will put a new song into your mouth. O soul! be not impatient, whether it be in the exercise of prayer and worship that you find it difficult to wait, or in the delay in respect of definite requests, or in the fulfilling of your heart’s desire for the revelation of God Himself in a deeper spiritual life – fear not, but rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”
This new song not only sustains us but it brings great glory to God. David said many would take notice of this song of the Lord and would put their trust in Him. 


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