Archive for October, 2009

OOPS!!!!! TEchnical difficulties; we’re on the road and had a couple of issues come up…. the next Daily God Walk post will be Sunday, November 1.

We Know We Shall Be Like Him

Daily God Walk for Saturday, October 24, 2009

 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.         – 1 John 3:2

 

There is a lot of speculation about heaven and what it will be like there.  Some see harps and clouds, some see streets of gold. I know one brother whose hope is that there will be camping in heaven. Give him a good tent and a campfire and he is happy.

The truth is that none of us really know what heaven will be like, but we do know this; “we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” One of the things that statement says is that we do not fully know him now. We do know him, but only to the extent that he has revealed himself to us and in us.

Scripture teaches that we are becoming the sons of God (John 1:12). As long as we are in this body we are in the becoming state. In fact, 2 Corinthians 3 Paul tells us that we “are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory” (v18).

We are being transformed, but we can only be changed so much in this body. In another place Paul writes, “We eagerly await…the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21).  

The Spirit of God in us is transforming our inner man to conform to his image. Our thoughts are changing to be his thoughts; our mind is being changed to be his mind; our actions are being changed to be what he would do. We are the sons of God and we are the becoming sons of God.

While we are becoming we are also being. What we are being is a human body with a transformed spirit. One passage reminds us that we are in the world but we are not of the world – but there is coming a day when we will stand before him fully transformed and we know we shall be like him.

 Principle: We will be like him when we see him as he is.

 Affirmation: I am and I am becoming – I will see him and be like him.

 Prayer: Thank you Lord for the Hope of being forever with you in the home you have prepared for us. We shall see you and become like you. Amen.

 Bible Reading: Psalm 119:129-136  – Ezekiel 45-46 – Proverbs 24

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We Know We Can Trust Him

Daily God Walk for Friday, October 23, 2009

  And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed and am convinced he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.     –  2 Timothy 1:12

 

Few of us have as dramatic a conversion as the apostle Paul. On the road to Damascus with the authority to persecute believers in Jesus, he was stricken to the ground, a bright light shined upon him and the Lord spoke to him personally. His response was to cry out, “Lord, who are you?” The voice answered, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:5).

From that experience forward his life was forever changed. It was this experience and subsequent encounters with the Lord that gave Paul the confidence to declare, “I know whom I have believed and am convinced he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” All of us need a Damascus road experience. We need to have that time in our life when we make the commitment that lasts a lifetime.

I once heard the story of a farmer who had been converted, but he was constantly plagued with doubts about his salvation. He would frequently go forward t0 prayer for assurance. Finally the pastor made an appointment to go out and visit him. He showed up with a wooden stake in his hand. He said to the man, “Let’s go out behind the barn.”

Once behind the barn the pastor said, “We’re going to settle this once and for all.” He then counseled the man from the scriptures about assurance and prayed with him. As at other times the man truly felt the Lord and knew he was saved. Then the pastor had him drive the stake into the ground. He said to the man, “Every time you doubt your salvation come back here behind the barn and remember what happened when you drove this stake in the ground.”

We need to drive a stake in the ground and know that he is able to keep that which we have entrusted to him for that day.

 Principle: Know that he is able to keep what you entrust to him.

 Affirmation: I have made my commitment sure and I know he is able.

 Prayer: Lord, it is easy to doubt when times are hard, but grant me the grace to stand firm in my faith regardless of the circumstances. In Jesus name, amen.

 Bible Reading: Psalm 51– Ezekiel 43-44 – James 3 –  Proverbs 23

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We Know An Eternal House Waits For Us

Daily God Walk for Thursday, October 22 2009

 We know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.                     – 2 Corinthians 5:1

 The hope of every believer through the ages is that when this human existence marked by suffering is over there is an eternal home awaiting us. Paul calls our physical body a tent that is stretched over our inner person – and it is as temporary as a tent, but God has eternal plans for us. He is preparing a residence for us that will never wear out and never need repair.

Job, the ancient example of patience and perseverance in the face of the most extreme circumstances said, “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure” (Job 14:1-2).

It seems that mankind spends the first half of their life as if they will never die and spend the second half in fear of death. There is a truth that is common to all; we will all die. That in itself is not a comforting thought, but Paul in this passage in 2 Corinthians is making a case for the resurrection and the eternal life with God that is the hope of the believer.

We are not promised that we will not suffer in this life, but we are promised that if we endure to the end we will be well rewarded. Paul wrote in Romans 2:7, “to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give external life.” If we are to persist in our faith walk we must know beyond doubt that he has life beyond the human existence for us.

Often the early writers of the church addressed the believers as “sojourners,” or as aliens and strangers in this world. Albert Brumley penned these words in a favorite hymn of the past century, “This world is not my home, I’m just passing through, my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.” We must keep in mind that all we see around is as temporary as a tent, but what he has prepared for us is eternal.  We know an eternal house awaits us.

 Principle: When this body is destroyed we have an eternal body ready.

 Affirmation: I am just a sojourner passing through this world to eternity.

 Prayer: Lord, this life has not been easy. I ask you for the grace to endure as I travel this path from here to eternity. In Jesus name, amen.                              

 Bible Reading: Psalm 21   – Ezekiel 41-42 – James 2 – Proverbs 22

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We Know God Intends Good For Believers

Daily God Walk for Wednesday, October 21, 2009

 We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

 It isn’t always easy to see the hand of God in the circumstances of our life.  I lost my father to cancer when I was just 20 years old. I didn’t understand why God would take my father just as I was getting old enough to appreciate what he had invested in me. Frankly, I still don’t know why, but I have concluded that God knows best and I have accepted that.

Believers around the world have comforted one another with these words,  “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him and who have been called according to his purpose.” Going through trying circumstances is never easy, but when we know that his purpose for us is to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future, we can endure.

The way I have often rephrased this verse is that God is working the circumstances of our life for our ultimate benefit. What I mean by that is this; God sees from a different perspective, he knows the end from the beginning and he knows the long term effect that he is trying to work in our lives.

The only way we can know that is to gain understanding in his purposes for us and to have faith in what he has revealed concerning Christ and our relationship with him.

If we are constantly measuring God’s love for us and his acceptance of us by the circumstances of our life we are going to be on an emotional roller coaster. Paul wrote in Philippians 4, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (v12-13).

You may not see it now but God really is working the circumstances of your life for your ultimate benefit because his purpose for you is to bless and prosper you.

 Principle: God is using the circumstances of our life for our ultimate benefit.

 Affirmation: I trust the Lord and I know his purpose is to bless me.

 Prayer: Lord, when I focus on the circumstances I tend to become discouraged. Help me to see your hand at work in my circumstances. In Jesus, name, amen.

 Bible Reading: Psalm 140   – Ezekiel 39-40 – James 1 – Proverbs 21

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I Know My Redeemer Lives

Daily God Walk for Monday, October 19, 2009

 I know that my redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand upon the earth… I myself will see him with my own eyes – I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! – Job 19:25-27

 Job was an incredible man of faith. Can you imagine being a person of influence in the community one day and the next being stripped of everything; livestock, servants, even his children – everything. That’s what happened to Job.

Job’s response to these calamities was remarkable. On this day of calamity one servant after another came to report the tragedies until finally it was all gone. “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground to worship”(Job 1:20). He had just lost everything and he worships .

Part of his prayer has been recorded in Job 1:21: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” The next verse says, “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrong doing.”

From this low point in his life things just got worse. Sores came up on his body from head to foot. The one who used to sit as a judge at the gates of the city now is covered with clothes of morning and ashes as he scrapes his sores. In this condition his wife says, “Job, just curse God and die.” Job shows his deep faith in 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.”

In all of his trials Job wrestled with more than his own pain. He questioned life and death. Looking at the trees and observing how they seemed to die in the winter yet come to life in the spring he asks rhetorically, “If a man die, will he live again?” Then he answers his own question in this passage.

Even when he had lost everything, including his health, his faith sustained him. He didn’t know about tomorrow, he didn’t know if he would recover in this life, but he did know this; “My redeemer lives… I myself shall see him.”

In the midst of trials remember this: I know my redeemer lives!

 Principle: Faith is measured by what we know in the midst of severe trial.

 Affirmation: Knowing Christ gives me the assurance of eternity.

 Prayer: Lord, I have never had to endure what Job has endured, and I have never been persecuted as some have; grant me the faith and strength to endure if that should come to me. In Jesus name, amen.

 Bible Reading: Psalm 80   – Ezekiel 35-36 – Hebrews 12 – Proverbs 19

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No Man Knows When His Hour Will Come

Daily God Walk for Sunday, October 18, 2009

 No man knows when his hour will come. As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.     – Ecclesiastes 9:12

 There are warnings in the Scripture to constantly be alert because we don’t know when evil will approach us. Jesus warned, “If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into” (Matthew 24:43).

Peter warns, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The message is clear; we don’t know what danger awaits us so we are to be prepared for the attacks of our enemy at all times.

I don’t know who coined the phrase, “To be forewarned is to be forearmed,” but that is wisdom we should all take to heart. We must be mentally and emotionally prepared for the inevitable time when evil will overtake us and we will be at a point of danger.

One of the interesting phenomena of our time is the scam artists who are constantly finding new victims. We are warned time and again to be careful of people who make you an unbelievable offer. If it is unbelievable it probably shouldn’t be believed. Yet, you hear about people all the time who are duped into taking advantage of an unbelievable offer.

We can’t prevent evil from coming our way, but we can prevent being caught in an evil device unnecessarily. Being prepared to resist evil is part physical, part emotional and part spiritual. If we are prepared spiritually to resist evil then we will be prepared emotionally and take the physical precautions that we should.

The verse following the one in 1 Peter instructs believers to “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering” (v9).

 Principle: Be prepared so that when you face evil you will be victorious.

 Affirmation: I prepare myself spiritually and emotionally to defeat evil.

 Prayer: Lord, I see evil and calamities all around. I ask for your protection and your strength to resist the evil one. In Jesus name, amen.

 Bible Reading: Psalm 50 – Ezekiel 33-34 – Proverbs 18

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No Man Knows The Future

Daily God Walk for Saturday, October 17, 2009

 Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come? No man has power over the wind to contain it; so no one has power of the day of his death.     – Ecclesiastes 8:7-8

 There are some things that we don’t know and what the future holds is  one of them. We can make some predictions based upon known facts, but we cannot predict with certainty that nothing will happen to change the data we now have.

The Gulf Coast region of the United States had endured hurricanes for centuries and everyone thought they were well prepared and secure. Their confident preparation had not prepared them for two storms which entered the region within a month of each other in 2005. Hurricane Katrina was the single worst natural disaster in the history of the United States doing over $100 billion in damage, and over 1800 people lost their lives.

Were the people of the Gulf Coast prepared for a storm? Yes they were, but they had never seen a storm as devastating as hurricane Katrina. Though they were prepared to face any storm that they had known in the past they had no way of knowing how devastating this storm would be.

None of us knows our own future. We can prepare for all the things we know could happen, but we cannot be fully prepared for the unknown. A wise man prepares for the future, as he knows it – the wisest of men put their trust in the one who knows the future.

So, how can we at least be emotionally prepared to face the unknown? We can be prepared by placing our hope in the one who does know the future.

Ira Stanphill understood our need to trust the Lord for the future. He wrote the song, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow.“ The chorus of that song goes like this; “Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand; but I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.”

We cannot know the future – but we can know the one who does.

 Promise: Our future is secure because we trust the one who knows the future.

 Affirmation: My future is secure because I trust the one who knows my future.

 Prayer: Lord, I cannot bear the thought of going into the future with your hand holding mine. Keep me near you. In Jesus name, amen.

 Bible Reading: Psalm 119:121-128 –Ezekiel 31-32 – Hebrews 11 – Proverbs 17

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Jesus Reveals The Father To Believers

Daily God Walk Friday, October16, 2009

 All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.      – Matthew 11:27

 The problem the Jews had with Jesus in his day is that they didn’t know him as God knew him. Some knew him as the carpenter’s son from Nazareth. Some knew him as the Galilean. Some knew him as a prophet, or rabbi. A very few knew him as the Christ.

It is interesting that Jesus was telling the Jews that they did not know the Father when their entire religion was based upon what they thought they knew about God. The religious leaders of that day knew a God who was rigid and required obedience to laws no man could keep. The result was that they saw an angry vengeful God. They did not know the Father as Jesus knew the Father.

Jesus was trying to introduce an aspect of God that the Jews had not yet learned. He was revealing a God of love and mercy. In the very next verse he said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Jesus was offering hope to those who would hear him.

The Lord was always offering hope in his ministry, and anyone who came to him with an open heart received that hope. When people received him as Christ he began to reveal the Father to them. Jesus will only reveal the Father to those who come to him in faith, and when he does he opens a whole new world to them.

Today we who have believed know the Father in many wonderful ways. We know him as the one who reconciles men to himself through faith in Christ. We know him as the indwelling Spirit that leads us, guides us and empowers us to serve. He is the Spirit of renewal that makes us well on the inside.

We know God through the Christ of restoration – the anointing of God that is restoring believers to the people God intended us to be from the creation.  Jesus, the Christ, has revealed God to those who will believe in him.

 Principle: Jesus reveals God as a reconciling, renewing, restoring Father.

 Affirmation: I am committed to the God who is restoring me.

 Prayer: Lord, I do not know all about you – but Jesus has revealed you to me as the loving Father who redeems me. Thank you Father. In Jesus name, amen.

 Bible Reading: Psalm 20 – Ezekiel 29-30 – Hebrews 10 – Proverbs 

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God Knows The End From The Beginning

Daily God Walk for Wednesday, October 14, 2009

 Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.                  – Isaiah 46:9-10

 Isaiah had been prophesy hard times for Israel. They would be taken into captivity in Babylon because of their continued disobedience and turning to idols. This prophesy is about a time of deliverance that would come to Israel.

The prophet begins this chapter by speaking against the gods that are made by men to be worshipped by men. The Lord asks, “To whom will you compare me or count me equal?” (v5).  Then he says of idols, “Though one cries out to it, it does not answer; it cannot save him from his troubles” (v7).

He is contrasting the gods of men who know nothing and cannot speak anything to he who is the eternal Lord God.  God says, “I make known the end from the beginning… My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”

The difference between the God of the Jews and the gods of Babylon is that the Babylonians created their gods and the God of creation created the entire human race. The gods of Babylon will not help a man to do more than he could do without his gods; but the God Israel, the God of creation, can do all that we ask, or even think (Ephesians 3:20).

The Jews were headed for a time of Captivity in Babylon, but God was declaring, “My purpose will stand.” What was his purpose? The answer is in verse 13, “I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away and my salvation will not be delayed. I will grant salvation to Zion, my splendor to Israel.” God’s purpose was to bring Israel to repentance so he could bless them.

We who are people of faith today, like Israel, are being called to, “Remember the former things.” There are times when we are in a troubled place, but that is not the end of God’s plan for us. Sometimes we are going through the dessert to reach the mountain where the glory of the Lord is.

 Principle: God reveals his plan for us – even when we are in a troubled place.

 Affirmation: I turn to God when I am in a troubled place.

 Prayer: Lord, Many times I have been in trouble as a consequence of my own behavior. Help me walk in repentance before you. In Jesus name, amen.

 Bible Reading: Psalm 109– Ezekiel 25-26 – Hebrews 8 –Proverbs 14

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

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