Just a Thought

My mission in this life is reaching the lost and edifying the body of Christ. My gifts are preaching and teaching the word of God. My goal in everything I do is that you hear God in my words and you see God in my actions. I am not perfect but I am being perfected as God has called me to pick up my cross and follow after Him. I pray this blog will challenge you for the cause of Christ.

The Law Of The First Portion

“And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering; but unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect.”  (Genesis 4:3-5)
All through the Bible, we see the “law of the first portion” in force. The Feast Of Firstfruits was about taking the first of their new crops, giving it to the service of God with the promise of a greater harvest to come. When shepherds brought the “firstlings” of their sheep, that means they gave in sacrifice their first born with the promise of many more for their income.
The principle here is that we give to God first and trust Him for His blessing to follow. This takes faith. Cain didn’t bring the first of his produce. The scripture says “in the process of time” he gave of his fruit. God doesn’t want us to give him the leftovers of our time or money. He wants (and deserves) the first portion.
Here’s the applicable principle: Worship the Lord on the “first day of the week”, and the rest of your week will be blessed. Give God the “first portion of your day” and the rest of your day will be blessed. Give God the “first portion of your money” (tithe & offering) and the rest of your money will be blessed.

God gave us His Firstborn Son, laid Him in a manger, took Him to the cross, raised Him up the third day so that we can look for even a greater harvest (resurrection) to come!

Your Choice!

… “You may freely eat any fruit in the garden except fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of its fruit, you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16, 17)
I think it’s interesting how God placed in the “center” of this lush garden the “Tree of Life” AND the “Tree of Knowledge”. God’s law was in force and it was simple. There were no vague or ambiguous references. These two trees were close in proximity to each other, but the roads they lead is as far apart as the East is from the West.
Eve finds herself in front of this destructive tree. Adam was also there, but he was not fulfilling his role as “covering, protector, promise keeper, high priest” of his home. It’s very similar to Lot “pitching his tents toward Sodom”. It wasn’t long before Lot and his family found themselves “inside” of Sodom!
(I John 2:16) “… the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” These are Satan’s only devices along with deception. Let’s take a closer look. He got Eve to “look (lust of the eyes) upon this fruit”. Eyes are easily gratified. It would taste so good (lust of the flesh). You will have experiential knowledge (pride of life).
Satan tempted Jesus the same way in Matthew 4: He is shown the glory of all the kingdoms of this world (lust of the eyes)… Make the stones into bread to comfort your belly (lust of the flesh)… If you be the Son of God, cast yourself down (pride of life). The only way to defeat this enemy is the way Jesus did… “The Word says… “
The road that leads to eternal life is to eat of the tree (Word of God) that brings life. Jesus said “I am the bread of life”. Open the Word today and enjoy all the benefits of the Kingdom of God as you walk this highway of blessing!

The Purpose Of The Fiery Furnace

“Then the princes, prefects, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke.” (Daniel 3:27)
These three Hebrew men insulted King Nebuchadnezzar because they wouldn’t worship his god. He was intolerant and so angry that he heated the furnace seven times its normal temperature. There are treasures regarding this scripture.
The condition of the three Hebrews before entering the furnace was that they were tied and bound. In verse 25 it says they were “walking around loose”. This is precisely why we go through trials. In this life we have bondages (i.e. sin, bad habits, character flaws, immaturity, etc…). If God didn’t design our personal furnaces, we all would be walking around in our bondages. He wants us to be free of these.
These men were unharmed by the furnace. Why? Because God was walking in the furnace with them. He regulated the temperature where only the ropes were burnt off. Many have said “I want more of God!” Remember this… you’ll always find Him in the furnace, the crucible, the trials and testings, that’s where the metal is formed by the Master’s hand!
Why didn’t they exit that furnace as soon as they were loose? It’s better to be in the furnace and to experience Jesus Christ than to be out of the furnace without that encounter. May God change the molecular structure of your spiritual nature and give you a new DNA.

David’s Five Stones

I Samuel 17:40 “And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.”

The story of David & Goliath is probably the most famous of Old Testament Biblical events. The story of good triumphing over evil, the small conquering the giant, the implausible to a miraculous result.

I’d like to concentrate however on the five stones. These stones were in the running brook since the creation of the world. These stones at one time were rough rock, but through the diligence of the running water over the many years, the rough edges were worn off.
David couldn’t use rocks with rough markings because they couldn’t be trusted to fly where he would be aiming. They would sail in all kinds of directions because of the adverse wind hitting the rough areas of the stone.
These stones waited patiently and inconspicuously, going through the adversity of the running water, being prepared for their purpose. One day God would call on them. What a day that was when these seemingly insignificant stones were chosen to be a participant in one of the greatest miracles of all time.
You may think you’re insignificant, that God will never use you in a great way. Lightening will strike! Continue to be diligent in your Christian walk. Let Him continue to take off the rough edges of your character. Then when you’re ready, God will do a great thing in your life.

Don’t Let Go!

“…and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And he said ‘Let me go, for the day breaketh’. And he said ‘I will not let thee go, except thou bless me’.” (Genesis 32:24-26) kjv
Jacob’s name means “deceiver”. He lived true to his name up to this point in his life. He stole, deceived, manipulated people to get what he wanted in life. Now, the treachery of his past has caught up with him. His brother has arrived with 400 men to kill Jacob for ‘stealing’ his blessing from their father Isaac.
He sent gifts, but gifts and money alone wouldn’t be enough to get him out of this ‘life and death’ predicament. He needed divine intervention. He needed an encounter with God. He found an isolated place to pray, and pray he did! This wasn’t a devotional prayer, this was a desperate prayer. If he were ever to see his family again and to live another day, he needed to get God’s attention.
As he prayed, and angel appeared and wrestled with him ’til daylight. Jacob was ‘holding his own’ until the angel broke Jacob’s thigh. God had Jacob where he wanted him all along, clinging dependently on him. Although Jacob was now at a disadvantage, he would not let go. The angel even said “Let me go!’
When many of us grow weary of prayer, or, of our service to the Lord… When many of us hang around the altar making a ‘good show’… Jacob said “I won’t let you go until you bless me!” What passion, what tenacity! His reward? God changed him from the inside out. He changed his name from Jacob (deceiver) to Israel (friend of God). As a result of this encounter, his situation changed. Esau embraced Jacob and made peace.
If you need your situation changed, pray like you’ve never prayed before and say “I will not let you go (give up) until I receive my answer”. God loves and responds to this kind of prayer. Don’t wait another day. Have an encounter with God today!

Defeated Or Victorious Living?

Romans 6:1 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”
One of the biggest problems in the church today, is that many have resigned themselves to giving in to the flesh (carnal desires) and casually mentioning that the grace of God will cover it. The result, living a defeated life with it’s prisons and addictions.
Here’s the problem with that theology, I John 3:8 tells us not to “practice sin” and that “the purpose Jesus was manifested was to destroy the works of Satan.” Galatians 5:16 says “…live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”
I don’t want to be a Christian that admits defeat to the works of the flesh. I want to demonstrate the “Power Of The Cross!” Galatians 5:24 says “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there.”

Let’s demonstrate the “fruits of righteousness” (Philippians 1:11) so that God receives the glory and that others may see the “power of God” working in our lives!

Doing The Right Thing When The Wrong Thing Seems Right

I Samuel 24:4 “Now’s your opportunity!” David’s men whispered to him. “Today is the day the Lord was talking about when He said ‘I will certainly put Saul into your power to do with as you wish'”.
Saul was very jealous of David because God had chosen him to be king. Saul selected 3,000 “special forces members” to find and kill David. Saul went into a cave at Engedi to “relieve himself”. What he didn’t know, was that David and his men were in that very cave!
David’s men tried to persuade David to sneak up behind him while he was preoccupied  and kill him stating “This is God answering our prayers!” The problem with that thinking is that God’s law stated not to touch His anointed (Kings, Priests, Prophets). David knew this and he rebuked his men.
When you’re praying for God to answer your prayer, what seems like the right thing to do could very well be the wrong thing. Make sure your decision lines up with God’s principles. Proverbs 16:25 says “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.”

Waiting Faithfully

Psalm 105:18-19 “There in prison, they bruised his feet with fetters and placed his neck in an iron collar. Until the time came to fulfill His word: the word of the Lord tried him.” (nkjv)
If there was ever a man that could have had feelings of resentment against God, his family, the judicial system, and society, it was Joseph. Think about it, God told him in a dream that he would be mighty and powerful…even above his parents and his brothers.
Then he experienced a series of jealousy, hatred, betrayal, temptation, and false accusation. He now finds himself in prison for 12 years. The secret to his rise to power (2nd only to Pharoah) is found in this verse.
“Until the time came to fulfill His word (dabar: spoken): the word (imrah: written) of the Lord tried him.” He knew that God spoke to him and knew God would keep His promise. For that promise to be fulfilled, Joseph knew he needed to be faithful to God’s written word in spite of the difficulty that surrounded him.
God has spoken into your life as well. Do you want to know what He has spoken? Live faithfully according to His written word (Bible), and watch God make something of you that you can’t make of yourself. In Genesis, when God spoke, the world was created. When God speaks, He will create something great in you.

Get Out Of The Cave!

I Kings 19:9 “There he came to a cave, where he spent the night. But the Lord said to him “What are you doing here Elijah?”
Elijah was a courageous prophet, full of faith. He prophesied there would be no rain for 3 1/2 years and so it was. God sustained Elijah by a running brook (Cherith), and ravens that brought him bread and meat twice a day. God used him to miraculously save a woman and her son. He confronted 450 prophets of Baal with a dramatic ‘duel of the True God!’ The answer came as fire comes out of the night sky and favors Elijah’s prayer.
Now we see Elijah in a cave, fearful and depressed. Have you ever done great things in your past only to find yourself in a cave of depression? Do you feel no one understands? Do you feel the best part of your life is in the past? Here’s what God said “What are you doing here Elijah?” Elijah’s response was very revealing: “I am the only one that’s serving you!” God said “I have 7,000 other prophets just like you who have not bent their knee to Baal.”
If you’re in a cave of depression, know this, God is on your side. Listen to His still small voice. You have more for you than you have against you. The best part of your life is still ahead of you. Read II Kings 2 to find out the greatest event that took place in Elijah’s life.

A Miracle In The Midst Of Your Battle

Judges 15:15 “Then he picked up a donkey’s jawbone that was lying on the ground and killed a thousand Philistines with it.”
Samson was ‘turned in’ by his own people. The people that he was assigned by God to protect betrayed him. As he was bound, he was surrounded by his enemy. The Philistines felt if they could capture and eventually destroy Israel’s leader and judge, that they could eventually destroy Israel. Samson knew what was at stake.
As they were going through Lehi, Samson found a jawbone of a donkey. With it, the Spirit of God ‘moved’ upon Samson and he utterly defeated his enemy.
Remember, when you are going through a battle, God will place a miracle in the midst of that battle. When you’re going through it, don’t panic, don’t fear, but look for ‘that divine instrument’ in the midst of your battle to defeat the enemy.