The Lord’s Counsel

There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel – that will stand. Proverbs 19:21

Plans – we are taught from a very early age that we must make plans. Perhaps now as never before we are pressured to plan for everything from education, to career, to finances, to retirement and many, many other things. We are even urged to plan for our death and providing for those left behind.

Children are pressured early on to choose a career path long before they are even capable of such cognitive function. And many who give in to such pressure can never get out from under the stresses of having to make constant plans.

The main problem with such thinking is expressed by Solomon in this verse found in Proverbs. He realized and expressed the fact that there are many plans in the heart of man that do not last nor stand. He lets us in on what he has learned through experience and that is that it is the Lord’s counsel that will stand.

Too much of man’s planning ignores and does not seek the counsel of the Lord. Such planning usually leads the planner astray. Real wisdom, which comes from one Author, God, will lead us to seek the counsel of the Lord in all our ways. Solomon advises us, “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”

This day, and in the days to come, include the Lord’s counsel in all your plans. Let Him direct your path!

September 25, 2017

Difficulties?

In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Got difficulties? What a silly question. Of course we do! All of us meet difficulties almost daily, don’t we? It’s true that some of us seem to have more than our share of troubles. Does that fit you?

Dear child of God, the words of today’s verse were spoken by Jesus, Himself. He wants us to be well aware and forewarned that we will experience trying times and difficult circumstances.

Why would He tell us such things? Isn’t that discouraging? But Jesus’ intent is not to discourage you , but to prepare you for what life presents to everyone, especially to those who would live Godly lives.

I am glad, however, that He doesn’t just leave us with that warning. With it He reminds us that we, as His children, can be of good cheer in the midst of the worst of difficulties, because He has overcome the world! We can’t overcome the world in our own strength, no matter how hard we try. Our Lord knows that and He wants us to depend on Him and His mighty power!

No matter what your difficulties or how impossible they may seem, be of good cheer. You can be an overcomer! Lean on Jesus, because He has overcome the world for YOU!

September 23, 2017

Be Patient

You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:8

James gives two simple to-the-point directions to the early church that are appropriate for us today. His first direction is to be patient. That alone is a mountain to climb for some of us, myself included. Many find it difficult to be patient with people and with circumstances. Our present day culture teaches us that everything should be “instant.” We are not encouraged to be patient.

But God’s Word gives us instruction to be patient. To the dismay of many, the Word teaches that testing produces patience. We seem to prefer that God just give us patience and give it to us right now! We may desire to be more patient, but we don’t want to go through the requisite trials.

The second instruction is to establish your heart. The word which is translated establish means to set fast in a certain direction. That, my friends, will get you through some tough times when it may seem like all have turned their back on you and circumstances have all gone wrong. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Set the wheel in that direction and tie it off!

James gives us reason to follow those simple instructions. He reminds us that the coming of the Lord is at hand! It certainly won’t be long. It will be soon and very soon! We can be patient, we can endure, when our heart is established, set in the direction of Heaven and Home and we KNOW we are going to see the King!

September 22, 2017

Fruit?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. Galatians 5:22

We, the true church, born-again believers in Jesus Christ, have been given a tremendous assignment, to reach our world for Jesus. It appears that there are few, in spite of the shortness of time, who take seriously the task we have been given by Jesus.

How much more effective this remnant would be if we would earnestly seek to produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. To put it more accurately, we should allow the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit through us! We cannot do so in our own strength. As weak and self-centered as the natural man is, this would be an impossible task. We want to be in control and do things our own way.

We learn that we cannot produce fruit in our own strength, by our own efforts. It is only when the Holy Spirit of God dwells in us and has total control, that we begin to see and experience the fruit of the Spirit. He produces that fruit, not we ourselves. We have the responsibility, however, to cultivate the soil of our hearts so He may find fertile soil to produce His fruit. We can do that by being in His word daily and in communication with Him often. Hearing and being obedient help prepare favorable ground.

Is the Holy Spirit producing His fruit in your life, or are you still struggling with control? What is keeping the Holy Spirit from producing an abundant supply of fruit in your life? It’s time to let go and let God!

September 21, 2017

Keep Near To God

But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all your works. Psalm 75:28

This verse is not only the actual conclusion to this Psalm and its message, but it states clearly the conclusion the author had come to as the result of his experiences in life. He, in this Psalm, reviewed the past, but now, as he looks to the future, he resolves that there is one thing he is determined to do and that is to draw near to God.

He states that it is good for him to draw near to God. That is certainly true for each of us in this evil age. We each are either far from God or we are near to Him; there is no other position possible. We each choose our position! The author of this Psalm realized that after all was considered, there is only one thing that really matters – our relationship with God. It matters not who you are or what you possess.

We, being human, tend to think that our happiness depends on certain things in life. Our culture never ceases to hammer that at us constantly. But one of the greatest lessons we can learn is that which the psalmist learned. Unhappiness is due to only one thing- the fact that we haven’t kept near to God. That is the beginning of wisdom in the life of every believer. The moment that we begin to drift away from God, things begin to go in a wrong direction.

The things that our world regards as important are not what matters. For each of us, the most important thing is to keep near to God. This day, and every day, draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

September 20, 2017

Be Brave, Be Strong

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

A key word in this verse is “watch.” One could also translate that word of caution as “Wake up!” or “Attention!” The apostle Paul, as he wrote this, wanted to rouse his readers to awaken them and keep them alert.

If you read all the words of Jesus, you find that He often repeats the word “watch.” The same thought is frequently expressed in Paul’s letters as well. And it seems to be a theme in the book of Revelation as well. The exhortation to watch is one that the true church is constantly in need of hearing these days!

Never in the life of the church of Jesus Christ has this exhortation been more needed than at this present hour. There have been times of lethargy and apathy in the past, but never more so than right now. The Christian life is a life of battle and conflict. Seems that the organization church has lost sight of that vital truth.

The enemy, Satan, is real and powerful. We must never allow ourselves individually and as His church to be sidetracked and begin putting all the emphasis on secondary, and important matters. We must remember that our primary function is to call all men to salvation, to stand for truth and against this evil age.

When must we watch? The answer is simple, always! There is a very real danger of leaving the watching until after some cataclysmic event has happened. There is no such thing as a spiritual day off or a spiritual holiday. Be always watchful! Be alert! Satan is always walking about a roaring lion seeking to devour you.

September 19, 2017