Morning's Gleanings are thoughts and reflections that come in the waking moments of the morning. And as I ponder over it through out the day, the Holy Spirit works in my heart. Allow me to share them with you.
WHERE DOES OUR AFFECTION LIES?
March 28, 2017
John 2:15 "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
Have you seen a child playing so hard and enjoying himself in the playground? Have you seen a child crying so hard because his Mom says it's time to go? For that child, the playground is better than his house. Home is farthest from his mind. He forgot the loving embrace he gets from his mom and dad. He doesn't remember the cozy warm bed he lays on at night, and the warm baths, clean clothes, and good yummy food his mom prepares every day.
There's always been a struggle on how we should live our lives here on this earth. We are told to "Love not the world." Meaning, not to put down our roots so deep that when it's time to go, we have a hard time doing so.
Our allegiance is in heaven. We shouldn't entangle our heart's strings in this world like a cat's hair matted with some dirt that it picked up!
This verse is not saying that we cannot have nice things here on earth. We can live abundantly in material things if that is what God wants. The teaching is that I should love God more than anything in this world. It shouldn't be hard to give up $100 overtime pay and go to church. It shouldn't be hard to give the 10% of my paycheck because it's God's anyways. It shouldn't be hard to talk about him because my heart is full of His love. It shouldn't be hard to serve Him because my desire is God's desire.
How is our heart today? Who is the object of your heart's affection and desire? When you make decisions and make your choices, who wins? Who gets the glory after all is said and done? The big "I" or "ME" or God?
I will leave you with this verse. May you walk closer to Him each day and that each day, your desire is His desire.
Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
March 26, 2017
(1)John Maxwell said in his Genesis Studies that "Fear leads people to move away from faith rather than toward it." Paul said in 2 Timothy 1:7 that "God hath not given us the spirit of fear;..." And John said in 1 John 4:18 - "There is no fear in love; ..." David said in Psalms 34:4 - "I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." Solomon said in Proverbs 29:25 - "The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe." Paul again said in Romans 8:15 - "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; ..."
Let's put it all together. Fear keeps you from exercising your faith. Fear distracts you from focusing and fixing your eyes on the Lord. God is not the author of fear, Satan is. He wants to mess up your mind to render you useless. God loves you with a perfect love. There's no room for fear there. He loves you and will do and allow things in your life for your good.
When fear tries to assail you, call on God, cling to Him and He will deliver you. Don't put your trust on man. Trust in God, and that will help you feel secure. And finally, Paul said that FEAR is the spirit of bondage. If you are a child of God, you have the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of fear doesn't have a place in your life and your heart unless you allow it too.
We all can claim this verse. Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
(1)MacArthur, John F. (2015-12-01). Genesis 12 to 33: The Father of Israel (MacArthur Bible Studies) (p. 28). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition
A Helping Hand
November 19, 2016
Genesis 9:22 (KJV)
And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
We have witnessed this situation time and time again. Someone falls into sin, and instead of helping the wounded like what the Samaritan did, another brother or sister goes and tells someone else and derides the person that fell into sin.
Galatians 6:1 (KJV)
"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."
Paul gave a specific instruction for this occasion. Notice "ye which are spiritual and "in the spirit of meekness." Those are the two qualifications and characteristics that we should have before we can deal with the situation. Strong's Dictionary says that "spiritual" is being filled with and governed by the Spirit of God, not carnal. We need to act with love and gentleness.
When Ham saw his father in his condition, maybe he remembered all the words that his father said about doing the right thing and following God. Perhaps in this "aha" moment, he wanted to show his brothers that their father wasn't as perfect as they thought he was. So on he went to tell his brothers.
Hams actions not only affected himself, but also all his lineage. He is the father of Canaan. In verse 22 of Genesis chapter 9, Noah cursed Canaan. His actions affected more than he ever expected!
We need to be careful how we treat this delicate situation. Our job is not to push that brother further down. But to be spiritual and offer a helping hand that with God's wisdom we can restore that brother back. Let's do it with love, kindness, and gentleness.
DO IT WITH THY MIGHT
November 16, 2016
When Noah and his family entered the ark, they didn't know what to expect. They just followed the leadership of Noah. They built the ark for 120 days. I am sure the friends of Noah's sons were laughed at and derided, but they kept doing what their father told them to do. I am convinced that there were lapses of doubts, they were human. But the strength of their father's faith played a big part to their obedience.
Then finally, chapter 8 of Genesis Noah and his family were finally able to come out of the ark. I'm sure their eyes were wide open, and all their senses were working overtime. I'm sure it was like stepping into a strange planet. Even the smell of the air and how it felt when it touched their skin was different. They knew they had to adapt to this new world. It's going to be tough, but life has always been rough, so they're used to that.
I don't know the spiritual condition of Noah's children and his wife at this point. But one thing I am sure, they all looked up to him for guidance. They all followed his example and all felt his faith.
For me, every single day is like stepping out for the first time out of the ark. It's a new day; it's a new world. Yesterday was yesterday. Today is a new opportunity to correct what was done yesterday or change direction and look forward to another chance to affect all the people around me the way God had intended.
My task is to do the Will of God in my life today. People at work and at school or even those who are close to me might be against me, but God should be the center of anything that I do. Because when I do, then I know I will do my best. Ecclesiastes 9:10 (KJV) "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might;"
He will help me through it. Isaiah 41:13 (KJV)
"For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
July 24, 2016
I have an app on my phone that helps me memorize the scriptures. I love it! It nags me, keeps reminding me, and sends me an email when I choose to ignore it! My reminder told me that I needed to review Nahum 1:7 "The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him."
What an excellent reminder that my Lord is good! My day is already starting in the right direction! Not only is my day going to be good, if ever I face trouble, I'm also protected! I can always run and hide in my fortress! And not only that, He knows me! He not only knows about me, He knows everything about me. He knows my thoughts and my fears. I don't have to wear a mask! I can always be myself! And yet He still loves me and cares for me! What a marvelous day it's going to be!
"Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav'nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen." -Doxology
December 22, 2015
2 Corinthians 10:5 "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
Departmentalize means grouping, organizing or allocating activities, or something. I think that things in groups can crisscross or bleed into the other groups when allowed.
This thought has been brewing in my head since last night! I woke up this morning, and it is still in my head. And I thought, I better follow through this and see where it takes me.
Before I go on, let me give you this verse. 1 Corinthians 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
When we are bothered about something, we let it affect every part of our being. Anyone and anything in the vicinity of our circle of influence might not have had anything to do with what had happened, but we include all of them in the skirmish of things! If I am mad at something or someone, then when something or someone gets too close to my spotlight of attention, I blast them with my laser!
That's when I believe the art or skill of "Departmentalizing" comes in. The verse said, "Casting down." I need to cast down anything that will exalt itself against my knowledge of God and bring all into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ!
As children of God, this is what we commonly do. We let it escape to the other compartments of our being! As Cancer, it will destroy anything in its path! The Bible said, "but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above...." What should happen is we defeat it as it comes. We defeat it in Christ before it bleeds into the other parts of our lives! We defeat it before it turns into a giant! We blame God when and after the Cancer of defeat has almost consumed us! We ask God, "Why?!" When in the first place we have allowed the enemy to cross the boundaries that we should have set!
1 Corinthians 10:13 - The promise is still true! Nothing will overcome you! He will not let anything happen that is way beyond what you are able! But we have to departmentalize it and cast it down and bring it to captivity before it escapes! Am I saying that it's hopeless once we have let it escape and allowed it to get a foothold in our lives? NO! It will just be harder and will take more time to recover from it! A big lesson to learn! But the best way is to cast our burdens on the Lord, (Ps 55:22) and bring it into captivity in Christ. Because Christ already has the victory!
Another thought. While we are in the process of doing our battles on one front and are striving to let God take control of it; anything outside that perimeter is not a battle zone! Our loved ones and our friends are not included in that battle! They are not our enemies! We should make anything else or someone else be our target practice.
We need to departmentalize! The battle is God's (2 Chronicles 20:15)! Let it stay in that compartment! Let's leave it to Him! When we take our worries and the frustrations of the battle outside the battle zone or allow it leak into the other parts of our lives, we are only hurting ourselves and those around us.
If we're mad or frustrated with a certain person or situation, we shouldn't channel that anger to someone else. Let's run to the foot of the cross and leave our burdens there! Let's keep it under the blood of Jesus! Let's not allow anything that is against what we know who God is and let it take control of our lives until it becomes a monster in itself! We are more than conquerors through Christ (Romans 8:37). We can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13).
November 29, 2015 ~
1 Thessalonians 5:18
"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
It is easy to be thankful for good things. We are quick to thank God for answered prayers. We are so excited to thank God when things are going our way, and it makes us happy.
But what about those dark times, those times that God felt so far away, those times that God didn't make sense at all? What about those times when you thought you were so close to the Lord and "BAM!" everything fell out from under you?
And what about those times that you examined yourself, and you knew you were under the loving correction of God? Or after examining your heart, you knew that you were right with God, but still the storm was all around you. How did you react to it? Where you resentful or did you accept what God was doing in your life because you knew God wants to draw you closer to Him?
Whatever situation you are in, it is easier to be thankful and be content when you know in your heart that this is God's will, and when you add Romans 8:28 to that, everything will work out for your good!
Keep relying on God, draw closer to Him. "God does everything just right and on time."-Max Lucado-(A Gentle Thunder) Psalms 37:5 "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."
Faith is the foundation of a thankful heart. There's no place for any doubt. It is easy to be thankful when you know who you are grateful to.
Proverbs 3:5-6 "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."
November 9, 2015 ~ John 15:7 "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
I'd like to break apart this bread in little pieces so we can meditate on it more and apply it in our lives.
Read the verse again and slower this time. What is required to have the right to ask God anything? Yes, abiding in Him and that His words abide in you! But you cannot abide in Him if you are not His child! In John 1:12 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
Let's assume that you are already a child of God and that you are abiding in Him, and you are bathing yourself in His words everyday. You now then have the right standing to ask Him anything you want. But don't leave me yet, we're not done. You just got in the door! You can ask Him anything and "Done"! Wow! That is power in our hands that a lot of times we take for granted. In Hebrews 4:16 "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." We are invited to come BOLDLY! There's no "middleman"! You don't have to find anyone that you think is more spiritual than you are to approach God! All you need is Jesus, who died for you, shed His blood on the cross, ripped the veil in two so you can come to the Holy of Holies! (Mat. 27:51).
Let's dig in deeper. You are a child of God, and you are feeding on God's words. I know, that power to ask God anything and it will be done is still in your mind. You are not about to let go of that bit! You are about to run to the bank and cash it in! Slow down. If you are soaking yourself in God's Words, what is going to happen? A change has to take place! Is God's Word going to change? Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." In John 1:1 tells us that Jesus is the "Word." Jesus is never going to change! So, when you and the "Word" start connecting, who is going to change? We already established that the "Word" is never going to change! Jesus is never going to change! So, what's left is you! There's no way about it, If you are feeding on the Word, you are going to change. Your heart is going to change. The way you think, the way you process things, your perception of things around you, the way you live, the way you talk, the way you connect with people and with God will change! YOU will change!
By this time, your tight grasp on that "Power" thing is starting to loosen up! If you're changed, then the way you ask God will change! If you have a tight relationship with His Word, your desire will change. Your wants will be what God wants! If you are asking what God wants for your life, it's a done deal! Sometimes, it is still hard to wrap my brain around this. Jeremiah 29:11 wraps my heart with peace. His thoughts about me are of peace and not of evil.
Now, you can completely rest in God. As you get closer to Him, you will sense His will and you will have the desire to please Him. Your love for Him will grow. And when you ask Him something that is His will, something that will please Him, something that will accomplish His will in your life, you can rest assured that "it shall be done unto you."