Monday, July 25, 2011

Enter into His rest

Genesis 6:8 (NKJV)8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

One of the most wonderful experiences in life is to learn how to identify God in our lives. This is something everybody can enjoy and is certainly worth learning about.

One morning as I was spending some time in my Bible, God said to me "Enter into my rest and there you will find grace". Then He said share this word and add this to it, "those who receive it, to them it will be confirmed".

I shared this word with some people and it was remarkable how most of them said "it's so funny you should say that..." That kind of response indicated that for many of the people that I shared with, this word was confirmed to them as soon as they heard it. What surprised me was the way God gave me a confirmation as well.

I get devotionals via email from some of the different ministries and I receive them on my phone. I put my phone on the shelf beside my bed when I sleep at night and that way I wake up and read my devotionals before I even get out of bed.

Two days after the Lord had me share this word I received an email directing me to this verse in Genesis 6:8 that I quoted to you at the beginning of this post. This devotional also told me that the name Noah means "REST". Now when you substitute the name Noah with the word rest, this verse now tells us, "REST found grace..." When God confirmed this word to me in this incredible way I knew it was worth digging into.

So how do we enter into His rest? This is what I found.

Hebrews 4:9 says, "There remains therefore a rest for the people of God." That verse says it's for the people of God. If you receive the gift of the cross, the sacrifice provided by Jesus you are a child of God.

Matthew 11:28 tells us, ("Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." The best way to come to Jesus is to come to His Word (the Bible). He literally speaks to you if you expect Him to through His Word.

Hebrews 4:10 states, "For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His." To enter His rest you have to stop trying to change yourself and let God do it. Most of us have this wrong. We think that we have to do good to get good. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Get to know him on a personal level and He will change you. He will change unhealthy habits and replace them with healthy ones. You won't have to give up sinning you will just have different desires. When you experience this you will discover an amazing freedom. What a place of rest!

It all boils down to getting personal with Jesus. My book titled More than Enough is all about learning to recognize God. For daily devotionals, I would recommend the one provided by Joel Osteen and another one provided by Joseph Prince. Both devotionals are provided free and delivered daily to your email. I promise that if you take advantage of these resources it won't be long for you to enter into His rest and receive His grace.

Be Blessed!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Joy in the Storms

Colossians 1:11 (NKJV)11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;

One day I was really feeling pressure from all the circumstances in life. I thought to myself, if I am a child of God why should these circumstances be weighing me down. The Bible says that Jesus gave me peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). It also says that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37). Why then would I feel so helpless and defeated?

I could find you more than twenty good Scriptures that would tell us that we have no reason to worry about any of the issues that we face. (John 14:27,Hebrews 10:35,1 Corinthians 15:57 to name a few) So why do we worry?

As I pondered this in my thinking I heard "pray for Joy in the Storms". Most of us will pray for wisdom and even knowledge but how many of us pray for joy?

After I heard this I was lead to the Scripture that I quoted at the top of this post (Col 1:11). This verse takes on a much more powerful meaning if you simply move the word "joy" ahead of the word "patience". Colossians 1:11 then reads, "strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power "of joy", for all patience and longsuffering."

As always I look for another Scripture to confirm my findings whenever the Lord seems to give me a word. Nehemiah 8:10 says, "...Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." These Scriptures say that joy is a mighty power. So how do we tap into it?

Ecclesiastes 2:26 tells us, "For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight..." If you have received the gift of the cross then you are good in His sight. James 4:2 tells us, " do not have because you do not ask." God does not force anything upon us. When he gave man dominion over the earth and everything in it we received a freedom to choose what we get and don't get.

Pray for Joy in the Storms.

Be Blessed!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Spiritually Minded

Philippians 4:8 (KJV)8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

One day I was thinking about some of my bad habits like unhealthy eating and how impossible it seems to discipline myself in these areas. As I thought about my lack of self control I started to feel guilty and bring condemnation on myself. Suddenly in my thinking came the words "stop thinking about your sins and weaknesses that is being carnal minded, instead think about things that are good, pure, perfect, lovely, and of good report for this is Spirit minded".

If you are struggling with smoking or diet issues the first thing you need to know is this. God sent His Son to give us freedom from bondage. He doesn't care if you smoke or eat unhealthy. He does care if you are under bondage and wants you set free. (Luke 4:18)

I was a smoker for the first 19 years that I was a christian. I often hid this bad habit from people and even allowed it to dictate which functions I might attend. I literally tried everything on the market to quit. I finally concluded that it was going to be impossible. Every time I thought about it I felt more and more condemned. The day I decided that I just couldn't do it, these words came to my mind, "don't do it for me".

Trying to quit to please God and other people created an addiction that was impossible to break. I stopped thinking about the problem and a month or so later I was a non-smoker. God set me free. Now every time I see someone under that bondage I am reminded that in our weakness He will be our strength.

We can tap into this strength by thinking more about the good things in life and less about our shortcomings. The Bible says in James 1:17(KJV), "17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Since every good thing comes from God then meditating on good things is meditating on God things. This is Spirit minded.(Romans 8:5)

Monday, July 04, 2011

Recognizing God

Psalm 27:13 (NKJV) 13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.

God has really talked to me about recognizing him in every moment. He has said to me "like a blind man believes and then he sees, look for Me (God) in every moment".  He then led me to Psalm 107. This psalm lists all the wonderful things God was doing for His children (Israel) and closes with this this final verse, Psalm 107:43, "Whoever is wise will observe these things, And they will understand the loving kindness of the Lord."

If we really want to understand the true love of God we have to see Him working in our lives. He will show Himself if you are looking for Him.

One night recently I was babysitting one of my grandsons, just me and my grandson as my wife was away. I was writing a book during that time.  One night I woke up as revelation was pouring into my heart and I had to add it to the book that I was writing.  As it turned out I only managed to sleep probably less than an hour that night. As morning came along I decided to pray that God would refresh me for the busy day I had planned and make up for the missing sleep. I suddenly remembered that I also had to prepare my grandson and take him to daycare and I was going to need extra time.

I decided that I was going to need God's help in getting my grandson ready. I prayed that God would have my grandson ready early too.  It was amazing how my grandson who was 3 years old gave me complete co-operation.  The next thing I know, my grandson had his boots and jacket on and was at the door waiting. All this he did on his own. We were about 45 minutes early which was about the time we had to leave. He had never initiated this before or even since.  He normally doesn't like leaving grandma and grandpa's house so he normally waits until we tell him to start getting ready.

God revealed Himself to me through my grandson.

A good friend of mine at church had a situation with his car. He felt that the problem was caused by something called a "map sensor".  He was sitting in his mothers office and thought he should pray to God to confirm his diagnosis. When he was done praying he sat back in his chair and looked up. In front of him was a map, to his right was a map, to his left a map and behind him a map. God put him at the right place at the right time to pray and gave him his answer. He replaced the map sensor and fixed his car.

My friend saw the presence of God in his surroundings.

My Pastor recently purchased a new pickup truck. A whole series of events took place during this purchase but the one thing that stuck with me was when he went to buy a canopy for it.  Just the right canopy was made available at a really good price (almost half off),  It wasn't so much the price that made an impact but deal got even better for both the buyer (my Pastor) and the seller (the manufacturer).

These canopies where custom made.  My Pastor went to order it and gave the dimensions he required. He explained that he also wanted a special metallic black paint. The manufacturer just happened to have one that was ordered for someone else and it was made to the wrong size.  It just happened that it was the right size for my pastor. It was also already the metallic black that would match his new truck.

My Pastor saw God in his situation. The full story is available to listen to at the Loft Ministries website.The sermon was titled "The Holy Spirit Guides Us" March 6, 2011.

God talks to each one of us in different ways at different times. You really must have a personal relationship with God to understand his loving kindness. Look for God in everything, when you learn to recognize Him you will have a greater understanding of how amazing He is.