Friday, September 27, 2013

Which Righteous Man Do You Want To Be?

Which Righteous Man Do You Want To Be?
Genesis 24:1 1Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.

The Bible says that Abraham was righteous. But do you know that his nephew Lot was righteous too? (2 Peter 2:7–8) Yet, both men lived very different lives. Although they both lived under God’s grace some 400 years before the law was given, Abraham was very blessed, whereas Lot lost a lot!
Both men had large herds and flocks. When their herdsmen started quarrelling over space, Abraham took the initiative to make peace. He even let Lot pick the lands that he wanted. Both men were righteous, but one was more gracious than the other.
Lot picked the well-watered plain of Jordan, where the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were. He dwelt there and pitched his tent as far as Sodom. Eventually, he lived in Sodom. Now, Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible represent a sinful lifestyle. Some Christians think, “Since I am righteous by faith and under God’s grace, I can live a sinful lifestyle.”
Well, let’s learn from Lot. He first saw Sodom, then his feet walked toward it and finally he went into it. I like what a great man of God said: “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and cost you more than you want to pay.” What did Lot end up paying?
He was captured when four kings plundered Sodom and Gomorrah. And even after Abraham rescued him with the help of God, he did not learn his lesson. He went back to Sodom. Some Christians live from one bail-out to another. God delivers them from, say, debt, and they go right back to borrowing money or gambling! Sodom and Gomorrah were eventually destroyed. Lot escaped with only the clothes on his back and even lost his wife in the process.
Beloved, you are the righteousness of God in Christ. When you truly understand what Jesus did to make you the righteousness of God, it will cause you to fall out of love with sin and fall in love with God. Then, it will not be hard to have a heart for God, as Abraham did, and like Abraham, be blessed in all things!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lift Songs Of Praise To The Lord

Lift Songs Of Praise To The Lord
Ephesians 5:17 17Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
God wants us to walk as wise men and women, and not as fools. (Ephesians 5:15) Now, He will not tell us to walk in wisdom without showing us how. That is why His Word goes on to say, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
So what is the will of God? The next two verses tell us how to identify it: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord ”. (Ephesians 5:18–19)
As you allow yourself to be filled with the Spirit by lifting songs of praise to the Lord, singing or speaking (God knows some of us can’t sing!) psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, and making melody in your heart to the Lord, God promises that you will know what His will is for your situation. You will then have the wisdom to decide wisely what to do next.
I have found this to be true in my own life. Whenever I face a difficult situation, the more I think about it, the more confused I get. The more I try my best to come up with a smart solution, the further the answer seems to get from me. But when I turn away from my problem and turn to God, singing in the Spirit and praising Him, I get a clearer perspective of the problem when I come back to it later. I also find an inner prompting to make certain decisions which in the end, turn out to be better than anything I could have come up with on my own.
So my friend, lift up songs of praise to the Lord, whether times are good or bad. For when you fill your mouth with praises to God, He will lead you and guide you in all the affairs of your life. Even if you are stuck with a problem, He will show you the way to go or make a way out for you. Either way, you will get the wisdom and help that you need!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Let The Lord Be Your Defense

Let The Lord Be Your Defense
Psalm 94:22 22But the Lord has been my defense, and my God the rock of my refuge.
Imagine being a poor widow, a stranger in the land and holding one of the lowliest jobs in society. That was Ruth’s situation, so it would have been easy for her to feel vulnerable and defenseless. But because she trusted the Lord (Ruth 1:16), He placed her under Boaz’s protection.
Boaz, the owner of the field she worked in, commanded his young men saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her.” (Ruth 2:15) What he was saying to his men was this: “She might be a gleaner, but because I care for her, treat her with respect and make sure she is not put to shame.”
Boaz is a picture of our Lord Jesus. If you are feeling vulnerable and defenseless right now, imagine Jesus commanding His angels, “Watch over this one who belongs to Me. Make sure he is treated with respect and not put to shame because he is someone I love and someone whom I died for.”
God’s Word tells us that if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) No one who has set himself against us can prevail because when God is for us, His protection is upon us. That is why I have never answered any of the poison email messages which I have received in the course of my ministry.
My attitude is this: Jesus is my defense. If He does not defend me, it means that there are things in my life that are not to be defended, and I would be glad to find out about them now rather than later. On the other hand, because I take the Lord as my defense, and He defends me, what can those who are against me do to me?
When you defend yourself, you have only your two hands and your own human resources. But when you let Jesus take up your defense, He defends you with His nail-pierced hands and His legions of angels! The results will be amazing.
Beloved, the Lord is your defense and refuge. Trust Him to defend and protect you!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Greater Blessing Is In Store For You

A Greater Blessing Is In Store For You
Romans 8:31 31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Whenever the devil throws something at us, we need not lose hope. In fact, we can be sure that God will turn it around for our greater blessing because He is for us.
When God first made man, He gave man dominion over everything on earth. (Genesis 1:26) But when Adam fell, sin and death entered the world, and man lost his authority to the devil.
So did the devil win? No, God executed His redemption plan by sending His Son Jesus to die for us. And He wants us to know that Jesus’ death did more than just restore us to the same position that Adam had — it placed us in a much higher position!
When the Father raised Jesus from the dead, we who are in Christ were raised with Him. In other words, we are now seated with Him at God’s right hand in the heavenly places, “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come”! (Ephesians 1:21) Adam never had this position. So through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have received so much more.
In the Old Testament, we read of how God brought the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt into a land flowing with milk and honey. The devil thought that he could foil God’s plan by putting giants in the promised land to stop the Israelites from inheriting it. But God outsmarted the devil. He allowed the giants to build their homes and cities, dig wells and cultivate crops until the right time came. Then, He brought the Israelites into the land and evicted the giants!
So the Israelites ended up inheriting large beautiful cities which they did not build, houses full of all good things which they did not fill, hewn-out wells which they did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees which they did not plant! (Deuteronomy 6:10–11) Although the devil tried to prevent God’s plan for His people from coming to pass, they ended up receiving so much more!
Beloved, the devil may throw obstacles and evil circumstances at you, but God will turn those evil schemes around for your greater blessing because He is for you!

Monday, September 23, 2013

You Have A Double-Portion Inheritance

You Have A Double-Portion Inheritance
Isaiah 61:6–7, NIV 6And you will be called priests of the Lord... You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. 7Instead of their shame My people will receive a double portion... they will inherit a double portion in their land...
You are called “priests of the Lord” because Jesus has cleansed you with His blood and made you kings and priests to God. (Revelation 1:5–6) And as priests of the Lord, God says to you, “You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.” And you will “inherit a double portion in their land”.
This promise came true for a church member who received his double portion while working for one of the top American companies in Singapore. Within a short time, he received two pay increments. And within just two years, he received an unexpected promotion to a senior position in the company. It was unexpected because the norm to qualify for such a promotion in the company was four years.
He was also named the recipient of a privileged stock award worth a five-figure sum, the net value of which was likely to double, judging by the then prevailing bullish stock market. He acknowledged that it was certainly God’s favor because past awardees were a very small number of top management personnel who had made significant contributions to the company. And only an even smaller per cent of their worldwide employees had ever received this prestigious award. He was only the second recipient, besides his boss, in the Singapore office to receive it.
This church member literally inherited a double portion because he put his trust in the Lord and His Word.
Beloved, believe God when He says that His people will receive a double portion. This double portion includes blessings of favor, fruitfulness, success and health. In fact, the people around you will look at you and your descendants, and acknowledge that you are a people that the Lord has blessed!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Speak God’s Word And Activate His Angels

Speak God’s Word And Activate His Angels
Psalm 103:20 20Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word.
Notice that the verse says that angels are “heeding the voice of His word”. Now, who gives voice to God’s Word? We do! Each time we speak God’s Word, we give voice to His Word. And when angels hear His Word given voice, they respond!
The Bible says that at the end of Daniel’s three weeks of fasting and praying for an answer from God, the angel Gabriel appeared to Daniel and said to him, “I have come because of your words.” (Daniel 10:12)
So when angels hear you saying, “Thank You, Father, no evil shall befall me nor shall any plague come near my dwelling,” (Psalm 91:10) they will come to your aid because you are giving voice to God’s Word. Even if you cannot quote the verse perfectly, they can still come to your rescue.
This was what happened to a lady in the United States. While walking home after an evening church service, she was attacked from behind by a man and dragged toward a dark corner in an alley. In that frantic state, she remembered only one word from that evening’s sermon. So she shouted, “Feathers! Feathers!” Her attacker released her and fled!
Feathers? What did she mean? She was actually referring to Psalm 91:4 — “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge”. In that state of panic, she remembered only one word — “feathers”, and it was enough to cause her attacker to flee. You see, it is not your ability to quote an entire verse perfectly that releases God’s power, but faith in His Word and His love for you. And one word from Him is enough to send your enemies scurrying away.
However, if you know God’s Word by heart but refuse to proclaim it, the power of His Word cannot be released. The Bible does not say that angels heed His Word. No, it says that “His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word”. So beloved, give voice to God’s Word and see His angels respond. His angels are activated for your benefit when you speak His Word!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Believe That God Is Your Rewarder

Believe That God Is Your Rewarder
Hebrews 11:6 6But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Most people quote only the first part of Hebrews 11:6 — “without faith it is impossible to please Him”. Yet, it goes on to say, “for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”. In other words, the faith that pleases God is the kind of faith that believes that God exists and that He is a rewarder.
The Bible also says that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. (Hebrews 11:1) So even in times of difficulty, when we don’t see good things happening in our circumstances, we are to believe that God will turn things around and reward us.
God turned things around for Ruth, the Moabite widow, when she believed the Lord and made Him her God. (Ruth 1:16) The Bible tells us that she was given a “full reward” by the Lord when she came under His wings for refuge. (Ruth 2:12) Not only did He give her protection, He also gave her abundant provision, exceeding favor and a glorious redemption. (Ruth 2:9–17, 3:11, 4:10–13)
When Rahab, the harlot of Jericho, heard reports of how the Lord had opened up the Red Sea for the children of Israel, she believed that “He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath”. (Joshua 2:9–11) Though Rahab had not personally witnessed the miracles, she believed God and hid the Jewish spies from their pursuers. (Joshua 2:4–6) Because of her faith, she not only did not perish with those who did not believe (Joshua 6:25, Hebrews 11:31), but she was also given a place in the “hall of faith” in Hebrews 11.
God was so pleased with the faith of these two Gentile women that He not only blessed them in their lifetimes, but He also put them into the genealogy of His Son Jesus Christ, the great Redeemer and rewarder.
Beloved, when you come to the Lord with your needs, believe that He is God, and that He is a rewarder. God has pleasure in this kind of faith. He wants to be the rewarder of your faith in Him!