Friday, February 27, 2015

Devotion: You Choose!

Most people do not believe that we choose what happens to us.  Regardless of how things appear in the world, the truth of the matter is that we do choose what happens in our life.  But this is something that the devil does not want you to know.  You see, the devil wants to steal your divine inheritance and he wants to steal all of your rights (John 10:10).  He does not what you to prosper in this life at all.  He is out to devour you, so he tries to keep you blinded to the truth (II Corinthians 4:4) with deception and lies.  The Bible tells us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21), which suggests that with one’s mouth an individual can speak death into his or her life or the same individual can speak life into his or her life.

Did you know that the words that you speak will produce a crop much like that of the farmer who plants a field?  If you plant death, then death is what you will reap, in its full measure.  And if you plant life, than life will be what you reap, in its full measure.  If you plant sickness, then sickness will be what you will reap or if you plant health or healing, then health or healing will be what you will reap, all in their full measure.  The words that we speak are like seeds that are planted in the ground.  And from those seeds, we reap that for which we have sown.  This is why the words that we speak are so important; they really do control the things that happen to us.

We know some of you will find this notion of words controlling what happens to us hard to accept and unfortunately, we do not have enough room to fully cover the topic here but consider this.  If it be possible “for you to be saved by a confession of your mouth” (Romans 10:9-10) not to forgo the believing in the heart part, then do you think it be possible “for you to be condemn by a confession of your mouth as well,” provided the belief in the heart is there?  God has built a system that works based on what a person says, which is an interesting thought in itself.  However, more interesting is “the power that our tongue has” (James 3).  And if that be the case, then death and life are truly in the power of a person’s tongue.

“You have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth” (Proverbs 6:2 NIV).

Scripture tells us that we have been trapped by what we say.  And you still think what you say is not important.  Scripture tells us that we have been ensnared by the words that come out of our mouth.  There is more scriptural evidence that bear witness to a system that hinges on what you say, be it saying something good or be it saying something bad.  We pray that this message will help you to understand that you really do, “choose.”  Knowledge is power, misinformation leads destruction; always seek truth.

Enjoy your blessings. - KW

Devotion: God Will Save Your Family

There are some believers who share in the belief that they themselves can save those family members or friends that are not saved.  They believe that they have the power, as a believer in Christ, through prayer or other means, to do certain things that will guarantee or ensure a person’s salvation.  We are not attempting to diminish the power or the importance of prayer, but do want to add some clarity to a very much misinterpreted, misunderstood, and very sensitive subject.

We all want to save our unbelieving loved ones and there is nothing that we will not do or try to accomplish this, but in all of our attempts, we must follow the instructions that God has put in place in order for them to be saved.  According to the scriptures, we see that “God is not a respecter of person” (Romans 2:11), which means that God treats everyone the same.  And no, nothing has changed, because God says “he changes not” (Malachi 3:6), which means that whatever God did in the beginning, he is still doing today.

The criteria that God has instituted to receive the free gift of salvation are very clear and very specific.  A person must “confess with his or her mouth, believe in his or her heart that God raised Jesus from the dead in order for that person to be saved” (Romans 10:9-10).  The scriptures go on to say that “it is with the heart that a person believes unto righteousness and with the mouth that the confession is made unto salvation.”  Some believe that prayer or other religious rites or traditional ceremonies will provide salvation to others, but there is nothing scriptural to support such beliefs.

As you meditate on this message, please note that there are things that can be done to help bring a loved one or friend, who is not saved to salvation.  The truth of the matter is that salvation can only be achieved through the acceptance of God’s free gift.  Salvation is not something that can be placed upon or passed on to an individual; he or she must accept the gift according to the instructions found in scripture.  Because of free-will, God will not force anyone to accept him, accept his love, accept his son, or accept his free gift of salvation.  All of these things must be accepted by a free-will choice, not by force or threat.

Therefore, continue to pray, continue to minister, and continue the share to word of God that all who need salvation may be freed from their spiritual blindness and spiritual bondage.  God needs our help to help him save our loved ones.  We are the hands and feet of God, “the laborers that are sent into his harvest” (Luke 10:2) but we must go fully armed and prepared with the truth.  Hopefully today’s message will do just that.  “Knowing the truth will make us free” (John 8:32).  If this message is a blessing to you, please share it so that others may be blessed by it as well.

Enjoy your blessings. - KW

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Devotion: God Is Bigger Than Your Box

Are you one of those people who think God can do anything he wants to do?  Well, there is a little more to it than that.  First, we know that an omnipotent, all-powerful, and sovereign God has the ability to do whatever he wants.  But have you considered that anything an omnipotent, all-powerful, and sovereign God does, he does because he chooses to do it?  While his sovereignty has never come into question, we have to understand that God chooses to do all of the things that he does.  We have to realize that there can be no limits to God’s abilities other than those he places or imposes upon himself.  We see that “God obligated himself to himself,” when he made his promise to Abraham (Hebrews 6:13).  According to scripture, because there was no one greater by which he could swear, “God swore by himself, obligating himself to himself.”

It is important for us not to confuse God’s ability to do with God’s choice to do or not do.  Choice implies the ability or power to choose one whatever in preference to another whatever.  God has chosen to be the god that he is by defining his characteristics and not his abilities.  Scripture tells us that “there will be absolutely no injustice, immorality, unrighteousness, or wrong doings with him” (II Chronicles 19:7).  God has chosen not to make these characteristics part of the distinctive qualities that makes God who he is.  By defining his characteristics, God has placed restrictions on his abilities; self-imposed restrictions upon his abilities and himself.  Again, this has nothing to do with God’s abilities, for his is fully capable of doing anything he so chooses.  This is why it is important that we understand the difference and not confuse his abilities with his choices.

On the other hand, are you one of those people who have placed God in a box?  Do you limit his abilities?  Most of us do so without realizing that we do this very thing, put God in a box.  But in order to see this, what we have to do is to get our mind right.  We have to get our thinking right.  We are told to “be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind that we may prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).  The Message (MSG Bible) puts it this way, “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.  Instead, fix your attention on God.”  By not being conformed, we are talking about not behaving or thinking as the world thinks, which lends itself to social acceptability, conventional thinking, and traditional ways.  By not being conformed, we are talking about letting go of the past teachings and opening your mind to other possibilities, truly thinking outside of the box.

Maybe it is time to take the limits off God by taking the limits off our thinking.  Hopefully, this message will do just that.  If this message is a blessing to you, please share it so that others may be blessed by it as well.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Devotion: No Christian Bats 1000

God is so awesome, especially when validates a message.  God tells us that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established” (II Corinthians 13:1).  For the past week or so we have been sharing a similar message with others who have had questions about pastors, teachers, spiritual leaders, and the like, who have supposedly “missed the mark.”  And so we share our message once again.

None of us are perfect nor do we have a perfect understanding of all of the scriptures.  So many of us are at different levels of understanding in our walk to discover the truth about the things of God that we should not discount anyone’s ability to help propel us to the next level.  Just because a person makes a few questionable statements does not mean that he or she cannot contribute something to help in our understanding.  God tells us “that his people are destroyed because they lack knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).  This lack of knowledge has not come from a shortage of knowledge but from our rejection of knowledge.

If we reject every person who makes statements that we do not agree with, then we limit the amount of knowledge available to us.  If the amount of knowledge is as vast as the oceans, it would be like dipping a cup into the ocean and using what is in the cup as your only source of information.  Everything that you could possible know would be confined to the limits of that cup.  And just as the ocean has things that can be harmful to us, it also contains things that can be beneficial to us.

Knowledge works the same way; there are things harmful as well as things beneficial.  It is through “studying God’s word” (II Timothy 2:15), using every available resource that we gain the wisdom and understanding to rightly divide the word of truth and pick the harmful item out of the ocean of knowledge.  In this age of information, we who seek the truth have no reason not to be able to find it provided we do not limit ourselves to the walls of traditionalism or denominationalism.  A closed mind can only grow within the limits of its enclosure; an open mind grows with endless possibilities.

So, while you may not be a follower of a particular pastor, teacher, spiritual leader, or other, it does not mean that they cannot contribute an idea, thought, or interpretation that will bring things together and help in the understanding of the things of God.  We come from a diverse group with religious beliefs that run the gamut from A to Z.  And while we share some commonalities, we are as different as the many religious doctrines, theologies, and beliefs that can be found grouped under the umbrella of Christianity.  In our walk to discover the truth about the things of God, should we discount someone’s ability to help propel us to the next level, even though our beliefs differ from one another?  The only way to get to truth is to listen to each other, respect the beliefs of others that differ from our own, and take those things that help propel us to the next level of understanding.

Of course, all should be done in a manner that promotes unity and the common good; nothing should be done in a manner that allows the enemy to divide and/or create bad/ill feelings, which tends to happen, as we, the members, collectively get closer to revealing the truth.  The closer we as group get to sharing revelation knowledge, the more active the enemy gets in his attempt to divide and conquer us.  There is only “one truth” that God has for his children and only those who have an ear to hear will hear the truth.  Within God’s word are buried treasures that hold God’s truth, but to discover that truth, we must challenge ourselves to re-examine many of the so-called truths that have supposedly been established.  As seekers of truth, “we really should check out every piece of information for ourselves” so that we can make the determination as to the truthfulness of the source (I John 4:1).

We are so blessed to have this opportunity to share our message.  God is so awesome, especially when he wants his children to get a message.  Remember, it is always your choice to accept or to reject anything that does not fit into your belief system, but at least listen to the full message before making that determination.  Know this, “A closed mind can only grow within the limits of its enclosure; an open mind grows with endless possibilities.”  God tells us that “knowing the truth will make us free” (John 8:32) and hopefully this message will do just that.  If this message is a blessing to you, please share it so that others may be blessed by it as well.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Monday, February 23, 2015

Devotion: Giving Money Is One Way To Show Honor

Money and religion is like oil and water, they supposedly do not go together.  The scriptures teach that “the love of money is the root of all evil” (I Timothy 6:10).  There are messages that speaks of honoring those who deserve it with money.  The message makes it clear that this is not the only way but one of the ways to show honor.  The scriptures tell us specifically who to honor or in other words, “who to give support to.”  The scriptures also tells “to give and it will be given back to us, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, will men give unto you, for in the same measure as you give, it will be given to you again” (Luke 6:38).

Now, many do not believe that man should prosper financially or have wealth because it goes against the so-called teachings of Jesus.  Based on the story surrounding his statement, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24) many have interpreted this passage to mean that a person with riches cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  And as you read the famous story of the young rich man, you see that Jesus told the man to “go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor” (Matthew 19:21).  Most do not make the connection between when Jesus told the young rich man "to give” and when he told us "to give” when giving to the poor.

“He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again” (Proverbs 19:17).

“He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse” (Proverbs 28:27).

One does have wonder what would have happened to the young rich man had he followed the instructions of Jesus to give.  Would what he had given been returned to him in the same measure as he had given?  The scriptures clearly tells us “to give” and what happens when we “obey”.  Scriptures also makes it very clear that “every man must make up his own mind as to how much to give, because God loves a cheerful giver and does not want anyone to give grudgingly or out of necessity” (II Corinthians 9:7).  The next time the topic of financial prosperity comes up, please keep these thoughts in mind, even though they be contrary to what you have been taught; they just might prove to be the keys that helps you to unlock the truth about financial prosperity and wealth.

It is always your choice to accept or to reject anything that does not fit into your belief system, but at least listen to the full message before making that determination.  Know this, “A closed mind can only grow within the limits of its enclosure; an open mind grows with endless possibilities.”  God tells us that “knowing the truth will make us free” (John 8:32) and hopefully this message will do just that.  If this message has been a blessing to you, please share it so that others may be blessed by it as well.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Devotion: You Don’t Face Life All Alone

You are as close to God as you choose to be.  God is as close as you choose.  He is close to all who call on him sincerely.  He fulfills the desires of those who reverence and trust him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them.  He protects all those who love him, but destroys the wicked (Psalm 145:18-20 TLB).  You are near, O Lord; and all your teachings are true (Psalm 119:151 BBE).  He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me?  let us stand together: who is mine adversary (master of my judgment)?  let him come near to me (Isaiah 50:8).  For what other nation, great or small, has God among them, as the Lord our God is here among us whenever we call upon him (Deuteronomy 4:7 TLB)?

And when you draw close to God, God will draw close to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners, and let your hearts be filled with God alone to make them pure and true to him.  Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done.  Let there be sorrow and sincere grief.  Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.  Then when you realize your worthlessness before the Lord, he will lift you up, encourage and help you (James 4:8-10 TLB).  Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).  Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.  Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment (justice) as the noonday.  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass (Psalm 37:3-7).  Submit yourselves therefore to God.

The Lord is close to those whose hearts are breaking; he rescues those who are humbly sorry for their sins (Psalm 34:18 TLB).  His purpose in all of this is that they should seek after God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us.  For in him we live and move and are!  As one of your own poets says it, We are the sons of God (Acts 17: 27-28 TLB).  God is our refuge and strength, a tested help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1 TLB).  But I stand silently before the Lord, waiting for him to rescue me.  For salvation comes from him alone.  Yes, he alone is my Rock, my rescuer, defense, and fortress—why then should I be tense with fear when troubles come?  My protection and success come from God alone.  He is my refuge, a Rock where no enemy can reach me.  O my people, trust him all the time.  Pour out your longings before him, for he can help (Psalm 62 5-8TLB)!  Just look up.  God is closer than you think.  Just look up.

Enjoy your blessings. - KW

Devotion: You Are God’s Work Of Art

If any man be in Christ, that is, when a man comes into a basic union with the risen Lord, he is a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17).  Old things, the old life are passed away at that moment of salvation:  all things that are, at the moment of salvation, become new.  This is not talking about anything physical becoming new but a new creation in the spirit.  When you are renewed or made brand new, you are new in the spirit not new in body.  If you were bald before being reborn, you will be bald after being reborn.  The same applies to being overweight, if you overweight before, you will be overweight afterwards.  God has changed your spirit and only deals with the spirit part of your threefold nature of spirit, soul, and body (I Thessalonians 5:23).  He does not deal with your soul, which contains your desire, your will, your intellect, and your mind nor does he deal with “your body.”

You have the privilege of dealing with “your soul” and “your body.”  You must be in control of your desires, your will, your mind, and your thoughts.  You must also be in control of “your body.”  This means that you cannot be bound by the desires of the body of the flesh.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (rational) service” (Romans 12:1).

Yes, that is right.  You are to present “your body” as a living and holy sacrifice, the kind that is acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  When you think about all that God has done for you, this cannot be too much to ask.  We understand that this is a difficult task because you have allowed “your body” to be charge for so long and that it will hard to take back control of it.  We also know this; “your body” will not go down without a fight.  “Your body” will be fighting for its life.  Notice that we did not say the body would be fighting for your life; it will be fighting for its life.

“But I keep under (discipline) my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (disqualified)” (I Corinthians 9:27).

Like an athlete in training, he will punish his body, treating it roughly, training it to do what it should, not what it wants to.  You must be in control of “your body” and you must train it to do the things that it should, not allow it to do the thing that it wants.  Here is another way to look at this presenting “your body” thing.  When you want to sell your house, you do all the things necessary to present your house in the best possible shape.  Basically, you completely clean your house, from the inside to the outside.  And when you do these things, you do not ask your house for permission, but you do those things that you believe the house needs so that it is presentable to any potential buyers.  You do the same thing with your car when you want to sell it.  You clean up your car inside and out, so that you can present it in the best possible shape.  It is the same with “your body,” the house that you live in; you are to present it in the best possible shape to God.

If you wanted to paint your house or your car a different color, would you ask for its permission before you painted it?  Then, why would you need permission to tell “your body” what to do?  And no, this does not mean that you only put on a “fresh coat of paint” so to speak.  Most of the problems that you have in life are flesh related meaning “your body” is your biggest problem.  Do not allow “your body” to dictate to you what it will do.

We pray that the commentary will be a blessing to you as well as informative.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Devotion: The God Of Peace

Scripture tells us “those who come to God must believe that he is or that he exist” (Hebrews 11:6).  That all sounds good, because those who come to God, most of the time, do believe that he does exists.  We are also told that those who come must believe that “he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).  If we come to God believing that he exist, then why is there a need for us to seek him?  Not only are we “to seek” him but we are “to diligently” seek him.  “Diligently” means “to carefully, attentively, thoroughly, conscientiously, and very meticulously search for something.”  If we come to God already believing that he is and that he exist, then why do we have to seek him?  One would think that if we come to God, believing that he exist, then we would have sought him in order to come to him in the first place.  Apparently, this be not the case because we are told “to diligently seek” him.  In diligently seeking God, what exactly are we to look for?

“To diligently seek” God infers that we have to do a little more than just a casual attempt to find him.  God wants us “to carefully, attentively, thoroughly, conscientiously, and very meticulously search for him.”  But what are we to look for in our search?  “ANY AND EVERYTHING AS IT PERTAINS TO GOD.”  God wants us to find everything we can find about him.  God wants us “to diligently seek” his heart, his face, and his holy presence.  God want us “to diligently seek” his fellowship, his love, and his rest.  Contrary to some popular teachings, God wants us to fully and completely understand him, his ways, and his thoughts.  Traditional teachings have convinced us that we can never understand the thoughts and ways of God.  We have been taught, “God’s ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).  The misinterpretation and the misapplication of this scripture and others alike have contributed greatly to our “destruction” (Hosea 4:6).  Because we have been taught that we, a finite being, could never understand the ways and thoughts of God, an infinite being, we only casually attempt to find God.  We don’t even realize that our casual attempts to seek God are directly reflective of our faith, or the lack thereof.  The traditional interpretation of this passage is contradictory to what God has told us to do, “to diligently seek” him.  Are we to believe the traditional interpretations about understanding God?  Alternatively, are we to, by faith, believe God and that he will reward all who “diligently seek” him (Hebrews 11:6)?

Therefore, how do we “diligently seek” God?  How do we find everything we can find about God?  Where are we to look for those things that pertain to God?  We look to the one source of information that we have.  We look to the Bible for the information that we need.  But first, there are some things that we need to understand about Bible.  We know that the Bible contains God’s instructions for man.  What most people do not know is that the Bible contains instructions for three different people groups.  There are instructions in the Bible for the Jews.  There are instructions in the Bible for the Gentiles, considered to be the sinners.  And there are instructions in the Bible for “the children of God” (Ephesians 2:14-22).  So, depending on which people group you consider yourself a part of determines which set of instructions you are to follow.  But before you jump on any bandwagons claiming to be of a particular people group, here are a few things for you to consider.  First, everyone is a creation of God but not everyone is a child of God.  Second, in order to be a child of God, “you must be born again or born from above and born of the Spirit” (John 3:3-5).  Only the true children of God have been given the right “to come boldly and confidently to the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16).  Knowing these facts in part, may prove very valuable for those who “diligently seek” God.

As we “diligently seek” him, God wants us “to attend to his words” (Proverbs 4:20-22).  When we attend to his words, we need to listen carefully to his words and we need to pay close attention to what is being said as we meticulously and conscientiously search for God.  This painstaking search would be much like a prospector searching for gold.  The prophet Azariah gave us these instructions; “If you seek him, he will be found by you” (II Chronicles 15:2).  Azariah was referring to us seeking and finding God.  God tells us that when we seek him, we will find him, when we search for him with “all our heart” (Jeremiah 29:12-13).  But we will only find him provided we search for him with “all our heart” and with “all our soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29).  As we “diligently seek” and draw near to God, God will reveal himself to us.  God does not hide himself from those who truly seek him with all of their being, with all their heart, and with all their soul.  We know for sure that time is going to pass independent of our actions, so why not put this passing time to good use.  Why not use this passing time to find out all you can about God and the things of God.  The end result may be worth the effort and well worth your time.  It just might take you to the level where your ways and your thoughts become more in line with those of God.

May our commentary abundantly bless you and greatly inform you.  We pray that you will be the better for having read them both.  If blessed by today’s message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW