Who do we trust to fulfill our needs?

Who do we trust to fulfill our needs?

God.


Who is sent to be a blessing and to meet the needs of others? 

Christ in Us. If He indeed is in us.

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the  Amen,  the faithful and true witness,  the beginning of God’s creation.   “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.  Would that you were either cold or hot!  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.  For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.  I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.  Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.  The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” – Revelation 3:14‭-‬22 ESV​
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord , and he will repay him for his deed. – Proverbs 19:17 ESV

“Beware of  practicing your righteousness before other people in order  to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.   “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may  be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have  received their reward.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,  so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. – Matthew 6:1‭-‬4 ESV
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.  Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. – Philippians 4:10‭-‬20 ESV
And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.   “One who is  faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.  If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?  And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?  No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” – Luke 16:9‭-‬13 ESV
If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. – 1 Timothy 6:3‭-‬10 ESV

Things spinning out of control? 

When it seems like things are spinning out of control and you can’t even see your own worth or purpose or direction,  remember – there is a hand at the wheel… 


An imperfect people, 

loved by a perfect God — 

We don’t even know how 

to love each other —

or even how to love ourselves —

But He’s willing to teach us, 

He’s already shown us, 

That we are worth the cross,

We are worth His blood, 

Not because we are much at all,

But because His touch changes that, 

We are no longer just broken vessels of clay, 

We are carriers of the Holy Spirit of God,

We are called and sent,

His hands, His feet, His body going forth. 

He calls us precious.

He calls us beloved.

The guilt and shame and pride whispers lies,

But He is faithful and true. 

You are precious. 

You are beloved.

Today’s Bread, Today’s Testimony

Too often in the past we have relied only upon the blessed assurance of a “yesterday’s testimony” not in our actively living out a testimony TODAY. Too often in the past we have relied only upon a Word imparted to us on a Sunday to feed us for our Monday through Saturday. I say, “No more! Too much blessing, too much anointing,  too much life, too much service unto others, too much love, and too much sharing of this Good News is being left untouched on the ground each day! Too many are feeding on the worms and decay of old bread when TODAY is here and waiting for us!” LORD, forgive us and lead us into repentance and into life, TODAY, and for every TODAY until TODAY is no longer called TODAY. Amen.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord , because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord . For what are we, that you grumble against us?” And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord .”  Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord , for he has heard your grumbling.’” And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. And the Lord said to Moses, “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”  In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer, according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.’” And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.  On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, he said to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord ; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’” So they laid it aside till the morning, as Moses commanded them, and it did not stink, and there were no worms in it. Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord ; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none.”  On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? See! The Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.” So the people rested on the seventh day.  Now the house of Israel called its name manna. It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, so that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the Lord to be kept throughout your generations.” As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the testimony to be kept. The people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land. They ate the manna till they came to the border of the land of Canaan.

Exodus 16:4‭-‬35 ESV

My Everything

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.  

I say to the Lord , “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”  

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.  

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.  

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.  

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.  

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.  

I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.  

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.  

For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.  

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalms 16:1‭-‬11 ESV

Huge thanks to Mr. John B. Burgess Sr for this song. A wise, loving friend to so many.

The Day of the LORD

Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! Why would you want the day of the Lord? It is darkness and not light; It is as if a man fled from a lion and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned with his hand against the wall and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light? Even very dark with no brightness in it? I hate, I despise your feasts, and I will not smell a savor or take delight in your solemn assemblies. Though you offer Me your burnt offerings and your cereal offerings, I will not accept them, neither will I look upon the peace or thank offerings of your fatted beasts. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice run down like waters and righteousness as a mighty and ever-flowing stream.

Amos 5:18-24 AMP

http://bible.com/8/amo.5.18-24.AMP

Thus He showed me, and behold, the Lord stood upon a wall with a plumb line, with a plumb line in His hand. [II Kings 21:13; Isa. 34:11.] And the Lord said to me, Amos, what do you see? And I said, A plumb line. Then said the Lord, Behold, I am setting a plumb line as a standard in the midst of My people Israel. I will not pass by and spare them any more [the door of mercy is shut]. And the [idolatrous] high places of Isaac (Israel) shall be desolate and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise with the sword against the house of King Jeroboam [who set up the golden calf shrines]. Then Amaziah the priest of [the golden calf shrine at] Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. [I Kings 12:31, 32.] For thus Amos has said, Jeroboam shall die by the sword and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of his land. Also Amaziah said to Amos, O you seer, go! Flee back to the land of Judah [your own country], and eat your bread and live out your profession as a prophet there [as I perform my duties here]. But do not prophesy any more at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary and a seat of his kingdom. [Luke 10:10-12.] Then Amos said to Amaziah, I was no prophet [by profession]! Neither was I a prophet’s son; [but I had my occupation] I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore trees and a gatherer of sycamore figs. And the Lord took me as I followed the flock and the Lord said to me, Go, prophesy to My people Israel. Now therefore listen to the word of the Lord: You say, Do not prophesy against Israel and drop no statements not complimentary to the house of Isaac. Therefore thus says the Lord: Your wife shall be a harlot in the city and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword, and your land shall be divided up by line; you yourself shall die in an unclean and defiled land, and Israel shall surely go forth out of his land into exile.

Amos 7:7-17 AMP

http://bible.com/8/amo.7.7-17.AMP

So Sweet

​Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine; – The Song of Solomon 1:2 ESV

Do you know His love? Have you tasted of it? Do you remember when He first kissed you with the drawing of His Word?

but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:14 ESV

Have you drank of this spiritual nourishment for your soul that washes over you like a fresh spring bubbling out of a new heart and invading every Crack and crevice of your being? 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalms 23:5‭-‬6 ESV

Is it hard at times to contain the love that He pours out on you,  even amidst the trials and challenges and struggles of this world,  this day,  this moment – do you find that peace and joy are winning out in your heart? 

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.  Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”  But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:  “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;  even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.  And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;  the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.  And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Acts 2:1‭-‬21 ESV

Has He poured out His Holy Spirit on you, friend?

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. – Ephesians 5:18‭-‬21 ESV

Don’t be afraid to be filled with the one spirit that God tells you to be filled with. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you.

Faithfulness, works, sin, compliance, obedience

Faithfulness is not the same thing as works.

Faithfulness is turning to God and not continuing in our sinful ways. Faithfulness is a result of belief. It is a result of the inherent grattitude that exists in someone who believes in and loves the Lord. Faithfulness is also called repentance, and it is not meant to be heavy and burdensome if we are a new creation looking to surrender our life to Christ.

If repentance is burdensome, then it is because of a lack of faith and trust in the Lord. Now, please understand that I don’t condemn you for not yet having adequate faith to overcome every temptation and trial that you are facing. That isn’t my position or my argument. No, I’m here to encourage you that we are meant to grow closer to Christ,  faith by faith, grace by grace,  and trial by trial. I’m pointing you to the only gate that you can enter into, not telling you that you cannot enter.

Faithfulness is our due as a RESULT of God’s mighty work IN US. It is Abraham’s faith that was counted as righteousness. Faithfulness is not measured in a pile of physical evidence. Faithfulness is the truth about what our heart desires.

Works are easy to quantify,  just like sin is easy to quantify,  because it is visible and recognizable. And yes, a faithful life of a genuine child of God should generate a shift in the balance of works and sin in someone’s life. That’s what the indwelling of the Holy Spirit produces in a life, because a life turned to God and walking in His ways will produce a very different fruit than a life of rebellion.

However, works can be faked in pride instead of grattitude. And the appearance of less sin can be faked with outward compliance instead of heartfelt obedience. Compliance and obedience are NOT the same. Nor do they come from the same source,  have the same intentions,  or achieve the same end results. 

“Why do you choose to obey?”

The truthful answer to this short, sharp, probing question should be of value to each one of us. If we flippantry say, “I don’t have to obey” — that should tell us who our true master is. If it convicts us over something we have done recently that was disobedient — that should encourage us to confession,  repentance, drawing closer to the Lord, and remembering the price paid. If we swell with great plans of our ministerial works and testimonies of our obedience — be careful because pride comes before a fall. If our answer draws us back to wonder and awe, with no excuse for our ownobedience other than He has birthed it in us through a heart of gratitude for what is undeserved but nevertheless received — go, share this Good News, faithful and true messenger! 

Sometimes He Wrecks Me…

​Jehoshaphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold, but they did not go, for the ships were wrecked at Ezion-geber. – 1 Kings 22:48 ESV

We can read to find that Solomon’s shops had returned in safety and prosperity,  but Jehosephat’s vessels never reached the land of gold. The protective care of God prospers one and frustrates the desires of another – in the same business and at the very same spot. Even so, our Great Ruler is as good and wise in the one instance as at the other. I’m reminded by Job that He is the LORD that gives, and the LORD that takes away. 
LORD, give us grace and peace in this verse that we receive and that is not stolen away by the enemy — so that we bless you both for ships broken at Ezion-geber as well as for vessels filled with temporal blessings. Trusting in you, we will not envy the more successful,  and we won’t grumble over our losses as if we’ve been singled out and tried in some way we foolishly think is “special and unique way tand not common to all men”. Remind us that when our path goes the way of Jehosephat, that we are precious in the Lord’s sight, even though our schemes may end in disappointment. 
Is there some greater lesson that you will bring to light through our situation,  LORD? Isn’t there some revelation that can be found in the workings of our God? Is there a secret that has until the time of revelation remained forgotten,  hidden in the shadows from the light that makes all things known in due time?  Of course! 
The secret, forgotten cause of Jehosephat’s loss is something that we ought to pay attention to, because it is the root of a tremendous amount of suffering in the LORD’s people both then and now. It was an alliance with a sinful family,  it was his fellowship with sinners. In 2 Chronicles 20:37, we are told that the LORD sent a prophet to declare,  “Because you have joined with Ahaziah, the LORD will destroy what you have made.” 
Yes, this was a Fatherly chastisement and a prophetic blessing, because in the verse following his losses, we see Jehosephat refusing to allow his servants to sail in the same vessels with servants of the wicked king Ahaziah.

And what do we see as evidence of Ahaziah’s wickedness? 
And what was the evil of his mother and father? 

And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord , more than all who were before him. And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshiped him. He erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built in Samaria. And Ahab made an Asherah. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord , the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. – 1 Kings 16:30‭-‬33 ESV


LORD, teach us to trust you even in those moments when you wreck our plans so that you might wreck our hearts so they are broken for your will and purpose. LORD, remind us the difference between serving, loving, and ministering to the lost and becoming unevenly yoked with unbelievers. LORD, remind us to go out to offer the Good News of healing, salvation, true blessings, life, and freedom from the sin that binds so many who are still in slavery while maintaining close fellowship with those who are spiritually understanding — both humble and bold in rightly divided unit of Truth and Love (which are not opposed but are in fact the same). Amen.

The Challenge

​Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.  Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. – Proverbs 9:8‭-‬10 ESV

I know that the wages of sin is death. And I know the types of sinning unto death that the Word of God warns us that those living that way shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. And I know that if I see someone sinning unto death and do not warn them, that their blood is on my hands. So what am I to do? Turn my back on the scoffer and answer for his blood on my hands – or suffer him hating me because I have shared the truth? 

It isn’t easy when you are sharing the whole Word of God with those who are still in love with their sin and who are more interested in a skewed idea of God’s grace that leaves them powerless to resist temptation or see sin overcome in their lives. Many times their self defenses will go up as they cling to their sin. They might loudly accuse you of being a hypocrite as they war against you in every way they can find. This can be their way of justifying to themselves why it is better to cling to sin than to surrender that part of their life to His will, saying,  “we all fall short” as a proclamation that they expect no change in their lives — instead of as a proclamation acknowledging that we didn’t earn this born again, new creation walk under our own power — so we give Him all the glory. 

 
There are too many who seem to be quite content to use the idea of grace as a license for their own continuation in conscious sin that the Word of God says is NOT God’s will. The mental gymnastics even go as far as some saying,  but that isn’t me, that’s my flesh and the more that I try to obey the law, the more my flesh is going to break it. As if self-control wasn’t even part of the equation. As if resisting evil wasn’t serving God. As if they believe that it is evil and burdensome to serve the LORD.

I am sharing Truth. Do you love me for it or hate me for it? Do you fear God?

This Word of God cuts me deep. But not too kill me, but to heal me. 

I still am working out my salvation with fear and trembling — not because I don’t trust God, but because I know that my heart is quite deceitful and that my pride can even find a way to turn praising the LORD into something that I might try to take credit for. I know what I deserve,  but I trust what He promises. He should get all the credit for anything good and it should be quite evident that the mess isn’t His, but is mine. 

God has blessed this mess, and He is at work changing it. One surgery at a time. Thank you, Jesus! 

Truth 

One cannot love the Truth and love Lawlessness.

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. – 2 Thessalonians 2:9‭-‬12 ESV