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Monthly Archives: April 2012

By the River

Ezekiel 1:1
In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.

I find that there is something about being by a river that refreshes you.  The noise of the rushing water has a soothing effect on the senses.  Many people use the sound of water as a background noise in their homes.  It seems to have the ability to calm everything down.

At this time in Ezekiel’s life, he was in the wilderness by the Kebar River.  He was there as an exile from his own country.  Yet, he was able to focus in on God.  It says clearly that as he was by that river, he saw visions of God.

No matter what you are going through, you need to find a place that is conducive to meeting with God.  You should learn the places and conditions that calm your soul.  These are the places that will really benefit your time in God’s presence.

The Lord can take a quiet, undistracted heart and renew vision, impart faith, and give direction.  You may never see the heavens open up like Ezekiel did, but all it will take is one word from God to turn your whole world around.

Spend some time in His presence today quietly listening to hear His voice.  Be open to the soft, gentle leading of His Spirit.  Allow yourself to be renewed and refreshed in His presence.

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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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The Lord’s Day

Revelation 1:9-10
I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.  On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet.

When John wrote this he was in a penal colony on the wilderness island of Patmos.  This was not a pleasant island getaway.  His only companions were guards and criminals.  Survival was a daily issue for him.

Yet, in spite of the harsh surroundings, he took time out of each week to have a special time of worship before the Lord.  He called it “The Lord’s Day.”  It was a day that he had set aside to hear from God – and God revealed Himself to John.

The result of this time of worship was the book of Revelation.  It is the only book of the Bible that guarantees a blessing to any one who reads it and takes it to heart.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what your schedule is like.  It is important to regularly set aside some time that is exclusively the Lord’s.  This is a time where you put aside your goals for a while in order to hear from Him.

Of all the benefits gained from being a child of God, don’t miss out on the best one.  Take time to hear from God.  Set aside a day that is the Lord’s day.  Even better, use that day to fellowship, worship, and praise with others in the Body of Christ.  It will reap great rewards.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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The Sacred Mountain

2 Peter 1:17-18
For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”  We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

Peter is remembering back to a time when he and two other apostles received a special revelation up on a mountaintop.  Jesus was transfigured before their very eyes, taking on the glory that was His from eternity past.  He became robed in the majesty that was His before the foundations of the world were established.  Peter calls that place the “sacred mountain.”

Where are your sacred mountains?  Where are those special places where God’s Word to you changed your life?  With me, I remember kneeling next to a bed at a Christian summer camp.  There was also a time where God spoke to me about entering full-time ministry.  There have been many such times that I can look back on.

The problem I have is that my memory is so short.  It is easy for me to forget these deep encounters with God.  Unless I record them, I will eventually lose the impact of my meetings with Him.  I need to take the time to record these life-changing moments in my journal.

In yesterday’s post I talked about the need to record things.  It is especially true when we have life changing encounters with God.  These are times that must be kept for our future.  To remind us of what we heard.  So that when the trials and challenges come, we will remember why we are taking this road.  It keeps us on track, spiritually speaking.

It is important that we find a way to remember these special times.  Make sure you keep a journal and record your encounters with the Lord.  Years later you will be grateful that you did.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Keeping a Journal

Habakkuk 2:2-3
Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.  For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.  Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.

Spending time with the Lord is always an adventure.  You never know when or how God will speak to you.  As you seek the Him, you  will find more and more that He will speak to you, filling you with revelation.  You will hear from Him concerning your personal walk with Him, your home life, your ministry, your career, etc.  He may tell you new ventures to launch or old things to cut out of your life.  The point is, whenever you hear a clear word from God for your life, write it down!

So often we miss out on God’s best because we forget what we heard, or we alter it along the way.  It is good to be able to look back in a journal and see the conversations we’ve had with the Lord.  Make a point to have a journal with you as you spend time with the Lord – and use it to record what you have learned.

Keep your eyes and ears open.  God will speak to someone who is prepared to listen.  Keeping a journal shows that you value the voice of the Lord.  If you have never tried it, begin today recording what you learn in your private times with Him.  The rewards are well worth the extra effort.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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GPS Navigation

Isaiah 30:21
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

About a year ago, I bought my wife a GPS unit to help her get around.  It is amazing to think that there are satellites circling the earth that can pinpoint your location to within a couple of feet.

She used to always call me when she was lost and needing directions.  Now, by using the unit, she always knows where she is and how to get where she is going to.  She even knows how long it will take to get there.

It is comforting to know that thousands of years before this technology was developed, God was already guiding His people.  The Holy Spirit is more accurate than any GPS unit.  He can keep us on track throughout all the twists and turns of life.

There is one requirement, however.  With a GPS unit, you have to look at it from time to time if it is going to benefit you.  It is the same with the Holy Spirit.  He wants to be your guide.  But if you never spend time with Him, you will never hear the words of direction you need to navigate through life.

Spend some time today with the best guide in existence.  Quiet your heart in the Lord’s presence.  Let His voice become plain to you.  Listen for the guidance you need for the road ahead.  Then rejoice in Him for the Holy Spirit who is always with you.

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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What Are You Preparing For?

Luke 24:1-2
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.  They found the stone rolled away from the tomb.

I just noticed this gem in the Scripture for the first time.  I was reading my Bible this morning and the words seemed to jump out at me.  The women who had followed Jesus’ ministry were very faithful to Him.  They worked to support the ministry while He was alive.

When Jesus went to the cross, they were devastated.  But, they continued to serve Him the best that they could.  This verse says that they prepared spices for His body.  Because Jesus’ crucifixion took place so close to the Passover, they were not able to go through the normal embalming process when He was placed in the tomb.  It was only after the feast was over that they could proceed with it.

This was quite a bit of work on the part of these women.  It involved grinding the spices to a fine powder.  Then they had to crush a resin in a mortar and pestle.  Only after this was done and the spices mixed, could they go to the tomb.

The problem was – all that work was for nothing.  Jesus Christ had risen from the dead!  Embalming spices were not necessary.  The Holy Spirit started to speak to me about our walk with God.

How often do we give up on something – a plan, dream, or ministry – because it doesn’t seem to be working.  We just want to put it out of its misery.  So we go through all the work of preparing for its demise.  Then, to our surprise, God supernaturally brings life to it again.

We need to remember that we serve a God who can raise the dead.  Never give up on a God-given dream.  It may go through a “death cycle.”  But, God is not bound to how things appear on the surface.  Don’t waste your time preparing for defeat, when the Lord’s plan is for your victory.  Let Him have the final say in your situation.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Roots and Rocks

Luke 8:13
“Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root.  They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.”

Roots and rocks are not a good combination, especially if you are a plant.  One of the places that has very rocky soil is the state of Maine.  One day, as I was hiking in Maine, I came across a strange sight.  It took me a while to figure out what I was seeing.

I was hiking down a mountain on a series of switchbacks that went back and forth across the slope.  The ground, which up to that point had been a normal brown color, suddenly had a ten foot wide streak of dark chocolate dirt across the trail.

When my foot hit this new dirt, I began to slide, uncontrollably, downhill.  When I was finally able to stop myself, I began to look for the cause of this.  What I realized was that a huge tree, that had grown in the dirt on top of a rock, had literally slid down the side of the mountain in a rainstorm the night before.  Its roots had not held because they could not get very deep.

I took this as a spiritual lesson to me.  If you have no root system, you may grow up for a while.  Eventually, however, you will now be able to hang on in the storms of life.  To be secure you must be firmly grounded in Christ.

Take the time today to add depth to your root system.  Spend time in the presence of the Lord building your relationship with Him.  Let Him speak to your heart as you wait upon Him.  With the strength you gain from your times with the Lord, you need never fear the road ahead.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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