February 9. 2020

When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” And he cried to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.- Exodus 15:23-25 ESV

Warriors;

The Bible is filled with PICTURES, with METAPHORS and HIDDEN MEANING. It truly is a WONDERFUL MYSTERY. The OLD TESTAMENT is the SHADOW of the SUBSTANCE of the NEW COVENANT who is CHRIST Jesus, our Messiah, our ROCK out LOG who makes our BITTER WATER SWEET! And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. (Matthew 13:11-13) Are you on GODS journey out of CAPTIVITY and into HIS PROMISED land?

Leader, the ISRAELITES were chosen as God’s people and IF YOU ARE- YOU TOO have been chosen- not because of your VALUE but by GOD’s great LOVE, MERCY and GRACE. Not because of what you did but because of what HE DID- NOT because of who you are, but because of who HE IS! “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples. (Deuteronomy 7:6-7) Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not! For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.” So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it. (Romans 9:14-16)

Conduit, God the Father was walking with the nearly 2 million Jews that had left Egypt- the most powerful country at the time- with SPOILS. They had witnessed 10 plagues that caused their captors to let them go! They then watched and WALKED as GOD made a PATH through the troubled WATERS of the RED SEA and walked on dry land and when the most powerful army on the planet came after them GOD closed the WATER WALK WAY and destroyed the entire EGYPTIAN ARMY! Three days later they were BITTER and complaining that GOD was NOT with them! They cried out and became bitter and asked, “Where is God?” Do you act similarly? Do you forget what God did for you yesterday as you struggle today? Moses showed them that the CURE for their doubt, their bitterness was the TREE OF LIFE! We must RE-MEMBER, REMIND and RE-COLLECT the blessings of God from our past, so we can STAY THE COURSE today! Faith requires a GAP! A gap between what we can see with our FLESH and what our GOD has told us! The greater that GAP, the greater our FAITH! If you are going to GET TO your PROMISED LAND in a way that Glorifies God, there is only ONE PATH: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths! Amen!

February 8. 2020

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies- 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

Warrior;

When you read this, is this just another quoted scripture that you read occasionally or is this a dissertation of your life on this planet? How active are you in the BATTLE OF THE AGES? Has the COACH of the UNIVERSE heard your request, “Put me in Coach”? Is your life an easy journey toward happiness and your prepared retirement? Or are you a SOLDIER, who knows what’s worth fighting for? Do you wage WAR with the ENEMY of our GOD and have the HEART, BRUISES and SCARS (HBS) to show that you are IN THE BATTLE?

Leader, we have this LIE from the DEVIL, that says if our LIFE is going well, if it is easy, if there are few struggles- then we MUST BE DOING PRETTY GOOD! And when things are tough for others, if they are struggling-if they are having financial struggles, and familia struggles then we think: “THEY NEED TO GET THEIR SPIRITUAL HOUSE IN ORDER”? To combat this FALSE BELIEF, we must seek scripture. Job was walking with GOD when Satan- in the heavenly places got the OK to SIFT and SQUEEZE Job. (Job 1:1-8) Jesus was WALKING with GOD in Luke 4 when He was HARASSED by Satan: Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. (Luke 4:1-2)

Conduit, we need to realize that SATAN’s #1 way of tempting us and numbing us into a NON-THREATENING status is EASY. Life is an undulating line, it has PEAKS and it has VALLEYS. Our spiritual journey is also fraught with HIGHS and LOWS and if you are going steady, COMFORTABLE- we call that a FLAT-LINE. It is in the VALLEY, the low points of our WALK- that we gather the resources for the journey UP. And it is on the mountain of GOD, those high points that we must remember HOW GREAT is our GOD! We are to FAIL FORWARD! Jesus told us this; “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Jesus also told us this in John 16:33; “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” We see the NEW CHURCH embracing LIFE’s STRUGGLES; strengthening the souls of the disciples and encouraging them to continue in the faith. “We must endure many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. (Acts 14:22) NO matter what your situation or status, if you are IN THE BATTLE- Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice- for you are being used by GOD! Amen!

February 7. 2020

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.- 2 Peter 3:8-10 ESV

Warrior;

In this short section of scripture we get an understanding of our struggle, the encouragement of our Victor, and HOPE; something to look forward to! Warriors need to understand- This too shall pass. IF you are a child of the LORD,then you will struggle on this part of your journey; Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. (1 Peter 4:12) GOD”S promises keep us HOPEFUL and looking toward His Kingdom and HIS glory!

Leader, the Bible is a book of PROMISES. It is full of God’s promises to mankind and to each of HIS FOLLOWERS, personally. His promises are there to carry us through life’s struggles and times when we need His help just to survive. According to one person’s count, there are 3573 promises in the Bible- and I have heard some say upwards of 6000. The word PROMISE itself occurs over 50 times in the King James Version of the Bible. When we understand WHO God is, then we know we can have FAITH in HIM and HIS promises! He is absolutely trustworthy; Num 23:19 ,Tit 1:2, Heb 6:13-18. He is unchanging; Ps 110:4, Mal 3:6-7, Jas 1:17-18. He has the power and will to fulfill his promises; Isa 55:11 See also Rom 4:21 and He is faithful in keeping all his promises Jos 21:45; Jos 23:14-15; 1Ki 8:56; Ps 145:13.

Conduit, Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.(Heb 10:23) We are to find our HOPE in HIM and HIS WORDS and the fulfillment of HIS promises. In an excerpt from Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman: O beloved, I plead with you not to treat God’s promises as something to be displayed in a museum but to use them as ever day sources of comfort. And whenever you have a time of need, trust the Lord. -Charles Spurgeon; “Go to the depths of God’s promise, And claim whatsoever you will; The blessing of God will not fail you, His Word He will surely fulfill. How can God say no to something He has promised.” Today, believe in God and HIS promises! He will NEVER leave you and HE will NEVER forsake you! Be HOPEFUL of HIS PROMISES of HIS timely return: When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. (John 14:3) He promises! Please Lord, do not tarry! Come quickly!

February 6. 2020

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”- Luke 1:46-55 ESV

Warrior;

We can learn a lot from Mary, our Lord’s, earthly Mother. Mary is no worthier of our praise than any other human being, however, she was blessed in a way that no other was blessed- she got to have the deepest intimacy with the MAN-JESUS. Remember, Jesus was FULLY man and FULLY GOD. He is the God-man! In the opening chapters of Luke’s gospel, we learn much about Mary, the fleshly mother of Jesus. In this section of scripture, we hear her famous song, The Song of Mary- The Magnificat. Mary’s Magnificat teaches us something about Mary, how she knew Jehovah and understood God works through those that honor Him. We see how she is blessed by this and how she reflects that blessing back to God to magnify the Lord. Do you do similarly? When God blesses you, do you magnify Him or do you steal His Glory?

Leader, this song has many parallels with the Song of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2, and indeed Mary is another member of the many woman who are selected by God to play a mighty role in the unfolding of His covenant. Mary is a nobody, a lowly, Hebrew teenager, a virgin whose child will be God Himself. Mary’s child will be the long-promised “seed of the woman” who will crush the serpent’s head. And this is why she is blessed, not because she has special merit in herself but rather because God chose to use her as a vessel to bear the Christ. Do not downplay God’s way He chooses to use you. You might not birth the SAVIOR, but He might have you birth a NEW BIBLE study, or a NEW ministry, or a NEW HEART, BODY and SOUL!

Conduit, Mary was described by God as “highly favored” (Luke 1:28). The phrase highly favored comes from a single Greek word, which essentially means “much grace.” Mary received God’s grace. Grace is “unmerited favor”; that is, grace is a blessing we receive- despite the fact that we do not deserve it! Mary needed grace from God and a Savior, just as the rest of us do. Mary herself understood this fact, as she declared in Luke 1:47, “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” This is why the GOSPEL is GOOD NEWS! This is why we give GIFTS, during the season of CHRISTmas. For God so loved the world, HE GAVE A GIFT. Because He gifted us, we GIFT OTHERS! Remember the REAL GIFT cannot be given or received in a box for it was given in a MANGER! This gift can only be received in our HEART! When we receive this gift, we have 2 choices; REPENT or REBEL! Choose well, because this is an eternal exchange! Amen.

February 5. 2020

The LORD of Heaven’s Armies says, “The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed—roots, branches, and all. “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “Remember to obey the Law of Moses, my servant—all the decrees and regulations that I gave him on Mount Sinai for all Israel. “Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the LORD arrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”- Malachi 4:1-6 NLT

Warrior;

This is how the OLD TESTAMENT ends. God has a constant reminder that sin has a price and that our actions have consequences and that GOD IS LONG-SUFFERING. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) God is doing everything He can do to tell us, warn us, prepare us and get us ready for the judgment that is coming. Nobody ends up separate from God by accident, it is a lifetime of choices that will ultimately end with the greatest of consequences.

Leader, after these verses God gave mankind 400 years of silence to consider and process all that was written and spoken by God to His creation. Since God is all-knowing, He knew man’s decisions and He knows man’s frame and He knows how mankind’s choice to follow his flesh and his desires- would cause the need for reconciliation; a job only God could fulfill! How does a HOLY GOD bridge the gap between an unholy creation (man) and a perfect God? There would have to be a GOD-MAN to bridge the gap. A perfect man to represent mankind and a loving God filled with compassion, mercy, grace- to represent the aggrieved party- God!

Conduit, just before Jesus was arrested. In the garden Jesus prayed to his Father three times, saying, And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” A little later, Jesus prays, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done” (Matthew 26:39,42). The child of God must ask the question, “if ‘what’ is possible? Jesus was talking about the redemption of mankind, the reconciliation of a SINFUL MAN and a PERFECT God. The Father told the SON OF RIGHTEOUSNESS- there is no other way! And with that Jesus did the will of the FATHER! IT IS FINISHED said Jesus on the cross; PAID IN FULL- MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. The NEW TESTAMENT is GOD’s answer, GOD’s plan for HIS MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION. Revelation 22:21 is the final verse in the bible and it reminds us of what we need to be reconciled to God: May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people. We are coming to the end, where every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The time is NOW to get right with our Savior! “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.'” (Romans 14:11)

February 4. 2020

“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD’s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts. And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the LORD of hosts. – Malachi 1:6-9 ESV

Warrior;

Does the WORD, have a word for us today. Malachi is the last book of the old testament in time; chronological order, and in order of the layout of the Canon, the Bible. As with everything else in God’s Word, there are poly-purposes for all that God does. No man owns the truth- we are all OFF a little, some are more off than others. It is impossible to know the mind of God and all His purposive strivings, but there is no hiding the fact that God get’s tired of the fake, and insincere actions of His creatures and His children. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”

“Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” (Romans 11:33-35)

Leader, God tells us IN THE BEGINNING that we are made in the GOD class; Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. (Genesis 1:26a) IN the beginning God created…. (Genesis 1:1) Just like God we were made to create. We were made for relationships with God and with each other; Vertical and Horizontal. And we were made with the ability to create. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) The key word in this verse is the word “thinks.” The word “thinks” is telling you that God is targeting your thought process – what you think about on a daily basis. He wants to be the FOREFRONT of our thoughts. Like a lover, God wants to us to think about HIM often and DESIRE to spend time with HIM and FOR HIM. After the book of Malachi, God was silent for 400 years. It was not until John the Baptist making a way in the desert for THE ONE; Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal.” (John 1:27)

Conduit, there was a remnant back in the city of Jerusalem, the temple was being rebuilt, the city walls and gates were being rebuilt, God was calling His people home after the separation from His people and the punishment for their transgressions. We have the book of Nehemiah and Ezra talking about both of those rebuilding projects. People were physically coming back but they were farther away from God, then when they were scattered from Jerusalem and in captivity in Babylon. ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. (Matthew 15:8) God does NOT WANT TO BE A CHECKED BOX! He doesn’t want us to do empty rituals, and traditional actions, He wants our hearts and He wants our TIME. Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’(Matthew 9:13a) Like many people I know, God can get tired of empty relationships and broken commitments, un-kept promises. Religion is man’s attempt to ‘Get to’ God. However, Christianity is God coming down to connect with man. God is looking for a connection, an intimate relationship of time and emotion spent together. If God has become silent in your life, maybe it is time to stop going through the motions and invest in a relationship with God the Father through His Son, Jesus. Many people will stop talking to others, when they have been disappointed over and over. How is your relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Is He your PORTION? Is He your DESIRE? Do you crave connection and HIS PRESENCE, like you would a lover or a close friend? The Time is NOW to reconnect with the God of the universe through a personal relationship with His Son, our Savior and LORD- Jesus the Christ!

February 3. 2020

And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. For many are called, but few are chosen.” – Matthew 22:1-2, 14 ESV

Warrior;

Jesus spoke this parable to show what the kingdom of heaven will be like when the end of the age comes. In the parable, the king sends his servants out to gather the wedding guests to the wedding feast. But those invited refused to come, some because they were too busy with their own worldly pursuits and some because they were positively hostile toward the king. So the king commands his servants to go out and invite anyone they find, and many come and fill the wedding hall. But the king sees one man without wedding clothes, and he sends him away. Jesus concludes by saying that many are called/invited to the kingdom, but only those who have been “chosen” and have received Christ will come. Those who try to come without the covering of the blood of Christ for their sins are inadequately clothed and will be sent into “outer darkness,” (v. 13) i.e., hell. You can’t be GOODNUFF for heaven-it requires the PERFECTION, that is the CHRIST!

Leader, if you are walking with God, it is because He has called you- invited you, and He has chosen you to walk with Him, to know Him, to be used by HIM! For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30) You were created for Good works (Ephesians 2:10) We have been saved by God so we can be used by God. We are part of the RESCUE team and there is much to be done for the Kingdom. Consider if you are becoming a doctor or a lawyer. You would have go to school for years, you apprentice, you intern, you study, you take classes, you work summer jobs for free-you do a residence. Then you build a PRACTICE. Or when buy a brand-new franchise, you learn all the jobs- you do whatever it takes to make it work. You must put in the time, you have to do the dirty work- pay the price. When Jesus walked this planet, He was only about His Fathers business. (Luke 2:49) Are you doing the work that needs to be done, for our Master’s return?

Conduit, in the parable people were real busy doing the work of the world. They were real busy doing business and taking care of their family and building a retirement and building a name for themselves and doing the things of this world. (v5-6) If the DEVIL can’t make you BAD, he will make you BUSY! Busy, doing the wrong things, for the wrong person. Many people hear the call of God which comes through His revelation of Himself through two things—the creation and the conscience within us. But only the “few” will respond because they are the ones who are truly hearing. Jesus said many times, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15; Mark 4:9; Luke 8:8, 14:35). The point is that everyone has ears, but only a few are listening and responding. The Jabez prayer is found in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10: “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, ‘I gave birth to him in pain.’ Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request.” Today are you willing to ask God to use you for MORE? To Grow you and use you and make your life a tool in the hands of the living God! Lord, I pray that you stir up our hearts like you did Jabez. Please Lord make us HUNGER and THIRST to be used by you at a greater level, more influence and more produce! Please LORD USE US for your Glory and for our good! We ask this in the name of our risen King, Jesus the Christ! Amen.