Happy Holy Days!!

Did you know that the word holiday originated from the phrase ”Holy-Day?”  From the beginning it designated special religious days of rest.   Of course, today when we think of the word holiday, our minds give way to time off work and any social activities that accompany the short break.   Unfortunately, for many, Christmas has become a time to be off work, to spend money, and to attend parties.

Let’s agree to make this Christmas, and all that follow, a great Holy Day.  Let’s make it a time of rest but moreover, a time to reverence our creator.  If we truly believe that Jesus was the Son of God, and our redeemer, doesn’t He deserve the tribute of a Holy Day?



Everybody Take A Bow

It is customary to take a bow after giving a good stage performance. The bow is the performer’s acknowledgement of the praise and adoration of the audience.

In the Old Testament bowing was a method of worshiping God.  When God showed his sovereignty to the OT patriarchs, they often bowed to honor him (Gen. 18:2).  To bow to a prostate posture honors God by putting the worshipper in a position that demonstrates a willingness to submit to His will.  There is a problem, however, if we bow physically but our spirit remains upright (haughty).  To truly worship God requires, first and foremost, the inner-being to submit to His will; then the physical act of bowing becomes and outward confirmation of an inward confession.

In Psalms 95 the listener is given good reason to honor God: (95:1) He is the rock of our salvation (95:3-5) He is above all false gods and is in control of all creation.  And so in 95:6 we are given the imperative to come and worship (bow down) before him.

In 95:8–11 we hear from God himself who admonishes us not to provoke Him as Israel did in the wilderness.  Therefore, if we worship Him we must trust him, depend on him, and let him guide us through even the greatest obstacle.   So when you are faced with heavy trials and burdens TAKE A BOW.  It is your way of giving praise and adoration to God for what He is about to perform on your behalf.


Door Number 1 or 2?

Doors have three primary purposes: (1) Entering and exiting  (2) Security/Refuge (3) Invitation.  Did you know your security, both natural and spiritual, “hinges” on who and what you invite through your door?  If you inadvertently open your door to a predator, he sneaks in under the pretense of offering you a benefit.  Anyone truly entering your door for good comes with no pretense and waits until the invitation is clearly extended.  Consider door number 1 in the bible where God cautions Cain before he sinned.  God said, “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” “And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:7 RSV)  Of course, Cain opened this door and lurking (crouching) behind it was jealousy, anger, envy, and deceit.  These predators caused him to kill his brother.  Now consider door number 2: A door that has no one wanting to pounce on you at the slightest opening.   Behind this door is the Lord, who patiently waits for an invitation.  If you open your door (heart) to the Lord you are guaranteed the best benefits available:  Abundant Life, Peace, Refuge, and Life Eternal.  Make sure you open door two daily–not only in your salvific walk, but also in your smallest and greatest decisions.  “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.” (Rev. 3:20 RSV)


Less is More

Throughout life we are taught to achieve because the end result will be an access to “the good life.”  There is nothing wrong with striving for success in life because it is admirable to desire a comfortable environment for our families.   As Christians, however, we should not try to impress others with our material goods.  In our Christian walk we will encounter people with so little sustenance that they will not be able to see the God in us over the “god” of our possessions.  Why not take Paul’s approach.  For all that he gained in his natural life he considered it immaterial (rubbish) when compared to having a knowledge of Jesus Christ.  A true knowledge of Christ, which includes, having salvation, love, peace, and wisdom, will give us earthly gain and spiritual treasures. (Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ…”  Philippians 3:8)

Spiritual Health

Some of us attempt to follow a regiment in maintaining good physical health.  Others follow no regiment; they simply make periodic trips to the doctor and hope their vital signs yield a good report.  The first approach is proactive–following a plan with the expectation that their efforts will yield good results.  The second approach is reactive–waiting for something to go wrong and then hoping for a quick fix.  When it comes to our spiritual health, God wants us to move from being reactive to proactive.  Do you know the vital signs of good spiritual health?  Well, Paul addresses this in an appeal for unity for the church at Ephesus.  After writing of the gifts of the 5-fold ministry in Ephesians 4:11, which were given to the church to bring the body to maturity and fitness, he then summarized how the body is complete with Christ as its center.  Ephesians 4:16 reads, ” Christ….from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” (NASB)  Did you notice the vital signs?  (1) Christ must be our head (2) Christians must work together–as one body, every part must work effectively (3) We must have and display love, for without it the body is unfit.  Come on–Let’s get fit!!!

Do You Have The Right Stuff?

In Taylor Brache’s epic book, “Parting the Waters,” is the story of an elderly man who was approached by a little boy with a question: Why does the firefly light up at night.  The man knew nothing of the firefly’s genetic make-up so he responded, “The stuff is just in him.”  If we are truly in Christ, our spiritual make-up has been changed.  This change allows our light to shine in the darkness of this world.   Our light must shine through the darkness of sin, oppression, mistreatment, pain, sorrow, and injustice.  Why must it shine?  Because it is during difficult times that nonbelievers will look upon us and wonder how we can “light up in darkness.”  They will not understand that the reason is- you have the right stuff.  (Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify you Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16)

Will Power

No, the title is not about finding peace in the inner self.  It is not about mind over matter or the power of suggestion and positive thinking.  It is simply about the power God bestows to us from following  His will.  Do you sometimes wonder why you have earnestly desired certain things, positions, and possessions, even ministries, but still come short of your goal?  Why it is that you know you need significant help in areas of your life but the solution has not been found? As people of God we often turn to scriptures that oversimplify the process we must go enter for break-through.  Total breakthrough requires total submission to the will of God.  This submission opens our eyes to what is best for us–not just what we desire.  Once our spiritual eyes are opened to God’s will, He can then open doors that have for too long been shut.  (And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. I John 5:14, 15)

Not My Way But Your Way

Lean not to your own understanding, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path (Proverbs 3:5-6). This scripture is very valuable to every believer. I know when this was written, God had given us important instructions to help us win. We have to practice this Word from the Lord daily to achieve the best He has for us. When He tells us, that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). Both scriptures tie in together to say, we cannot trust in or rely on our fleshly intellect. We have to call on Him for the wisdom when we need to make daily decisions.

Solomon knew best, when He said He wanted the wisdom of God first, before he asked for anything else (2 Chronicles 1:7-12). Pride is the very thing that will keep us from moving ahead in the will of God. Wanting to control every situation based on your own understanding will keep you from receiving better. Trusting in the Lord with all you got will get you to the higher levels you desire.

Most importantly what He desires for you. Leaning not to your own understanding, but trusting Him instead, will take you to levels you never dreamed of. I will do exceedingly and abundantly above all you can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). God has “AMAZING” in store for you. It’s up to us to trust Him, lean on Him, stand still and see the salvation of The Lord. Doing it our way will cause weariness. If we grow not weary in well doing, then we will receive our blessings in the due season (Galatians 6:9). Doing well is doing it the way God has instructed. I believe our season has come and God is ready to release. Stand under His covering and trust. He will direct your path to success.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

Speak to Your Mountains

We’ve all had seasons when the challenges of life feel overwhelming. During those times, it’s easy to be tempted to talk about how bad things are. Maybe you received a bad medical report, or maybe you’re facing a financial obstacle. But the more you talk about something, the bigger it becomes in your mind. Instead, you’ve got to dig your heels in and say, “No, I am not going to give life to that defeat. I am not going to speak sickness over myself. I’m not going to speak lack. I’m not going to speak fear. I’m choosing a different report. I believe the report of the Lord which says I am blessed. I am favored. I am prosperous. I am healthy. I am whole. I’m a victor, not a victim.”

Remember, even if you don’t see how things could ever work out, God does. You’ve got to speak to those mountains in your life and declare favor over those situations. Instead of talking to God about how big your problems are, talk to your problems about how big your God is! As you speak to your mountains, they will be moved, and you will move forward into the victory God has prepared for you!

“And Jesus answered them, Truly I say to you, if you have faith (a firm relying trust) and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, it will be done.” (Matthew 21:21, AMP)