The Times in Which We Live

January 27, 2013 by Keith   Comments (1)

Jesus never told us to predict a day or hour when He would return, but He did tell us to be aware of the times in which we live and to always be ready for His coming. We may not be able to know the exact place on God’s prophetic timeline, but there are many things taking place that indicate we are in a time like no other.

The world is not doing well—iniquity and lawlessness abound; kingdoms rise against kingdoms; the financial security and stability of the world continues to stagger and shake under the weight of debt and greed; all creation groans; people’s hearts fail them because of fear; Israel faces its greatest opposition and threat to its existence since it became a nation in 1948; opposition to and persecution of the body of Christ continues to intensify.

What are we to do and how are we to live in the light of all that is taking place around us? Look up! God has a plan and He is working out His plan. The coming of the Lord is drawing near. He is not a long way down the road, or just over the next hill; rather, He is close, even at the door.

Here are four things God wants us to be doing as we await the sound of the trump of God and our gathering together unto Him.

 

Guard your heart:

In Matthew 24: 12 Jesus tells us that in the last days sin will cause the hearts of many to grow cold. Place around your heart the shield of faith and fight the good fight of faith against every doubt that comes against the Word of God and the character of God. Keep within your heart your passion and zeal for the ways of God and the presence of God. Let His fire burn within you as a holy flame, causing the glow and glory of His face to shine upon you.

Come together with other believers:

In Hebrews 10:25 we are told to gather together with other believers, especially as we see the day of Lord approaching. This is not the time to isolate and separate yourself from other believers. You need their love, support, encouragement, and prayers; and they need yours.

Make Christ known:

In Matthew 24: 14 Jesus tells us that before the end comes, the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached throughout the world. We are not to lose focus. We are here on assignment from God. He has called us to proclaim the Gospel and to make Christ known in our generation. The Gospel message is God’s message to a lost world, and it is only through the Gospel that the lost can be found, the blind can see, and the dead can be made to live. There is still time to be saved.

Be full of hope:

In Titus 2:13 we are reminded that as believers we are to live in hope. This hope isn’t based on what the world will do, on what the financial markets will do, or on what political leaders will do. Our hope is based on what God will do. Our hope is so great and so sure that the Scriptures call our hope the "blessed hope." What is this blessed hope? It is the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ! Think of it, as a believer, you will see Jesus; not as your judge to condemn you, but as your Savior to receive you and bring you into His everlasting kingdom…so you shall forever be with the Lord!

 

Given by the Father

December 11, 2012 by Keith   Comments (2)

Unto us a Son is given;

Isaiah 9:6 NKJV

When He came to earth it was the most miraculous thing that had happened since creation.

When Jesus entered the world as a baby He was God come in the flesh. He was Mary’s baby, but He was God’s Son.

The Creator entered creation as a man.

Why did He do it? He came because His Father sent Him—not to impress us with His miracle power so He could entertain us, not to educate us so we could learn more facts about heaven, and not to provide us with new rituals so we could become more religious.

He came because we had sinned and needed to be forgiven, because God wanted us brought back into a loving, holy, caring relationship with Himself, and because the only way that we could ever be reconciled to God was by His Son coming and offering up His body as a sacrifice for our redemption.

What incredible love is in the heart of God for you. Jesus came as a visible expression of that love…nothing is deeper than that love.

He came so that you could have sweet communion with Him…nothing is sweeter than that communion.

He came to be your companion always…nothing is nearer than that companionship.

He came so that His presence could be within you…nothing is dearer than that presence.

 

 

I Believe (A Confession of Faith)

March 7, 2012 by Keith   Comments (1)

I believed, and therefore have I spoken. 2 Corinthians 4:13 KJV

I believe, not just with my mind, my emotions, or my will, but with my heart. I believe to the very depths of who I am. I believe at the core of my being. What I believe is the foundation I stand upon and the rock I build upon. It is my anchor point and keeps me from drifting out to sea in the currents of unbelief.

I believe God is good:

For the LORD is good. Psalm 100:5 NKJV

I believe He is always good. He is good in easy times and hard times, in quiet times and busy times, in smooth times and rugged times. He is good on stormy days and calm days, on smooth waters and rough seas, on high mountains and in deep valleys. I believe God is good to me and He will never do anything bad.

I believe God is just:

And there is no other God besides Me, A just God and a Savior; There is none besides Me. Isaiah 45:21 NKJV

I believe God will always do the right thing. I believe His judgments are always righteous. I believe He will never make a mistake, mislead, or be unfair to me in any way or at any time. I believe He corrects me because He loves me; He says "No" because He wills to say "Yes" to something greater and better for me; He convicts me of sin because He wants me to live in the beauty of His holiness.


I believe God is near:

The LORD is close to all who call on Him, yes, to all who call on Him in truth. Psalm 145:18 NLT

I believe the Lord is near me, with me, beside me, about me, above me, behind me, ahead of me, at my right hand and my left. I believe that underneath me are His everlasting arms. I believe He is closer than the closest friend, nearer than my very breath—abiding within, joined to my spirit, quickening my body, lighting my heart with His light, filling its chambers with His love.

I believe God can:

"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? Jeremiah 32:27 NKJV

I believe God can take care of me, will take of me, and is taking care of me. I believe He is taking good care of me. I believe He is taking care of me because He cares about me. I believe He can do what no one else can do. I believe all things are possible because nothing is impossible with the Lord. I believe nothing is too big for Him to handle and He cares about the smallest detail. I believe God can give me, by His grace, everything I need to be fully equipped to do His will and serve Him in a way that will be pleasing in His sight.

"In Your unfailing love You will lead the people You have redeemed. In Your strength You will guide them to Your holy dwelling. Exodus 15:13 NIV

I believe my life is in God’s hands and keeping. I believe He has a plan and purpose for my life and that He is leading me in a path that will fulfill that plan and purpose. I believe it is a good plan, a right plan, and the best plan. I believe there is not a better, higher, or wiser way for me to live or way for me to follow. I believe God knows exactly what He is doing and that He will bring things into my life at the exact time they are needed. I believe He wants me to follow Him with praise on my lips for who He is, with thanks in my heart for what He does, and with obedience in my steps for what He asks me to do.

I believe God is true:

The Lord is the true God and the God of truth (the God Who is Truth). Jeremiah 10:10 AMP

I believe God is the true God. From Him, and Him alone, comes all truth. He is true in His character and nature. He will never speak a lie or live a lie. Every word He speaks is true, every promise He makes is true, every deed He does is true. I believe He is true to me. His love is true love, His kindness is true kindness, His concern is true concern, His comfort is true comfort. I believe God is my true north, my anchor point, my certainty, my confidence. I believe I can walk with my eyes set upon Him, with my faith resting upon Him, and with my heart fixed upon Him, knowing He will not and cannot fail.

I believe the Gospel

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. Romans 1:16 NKJV

I believe the Gospel is God’s message of salvation through Jesus Christ. I believe there is no greater truth to know, no greater gift to receive, no greater reason to live. The Gospel was not given to be changed, but to change me. I believe the Gospel is God’s perfect, flawless, complete plan of redemption, without any need of improvement or tweaking by the mind of man.

I believe the Gospel is God’s truth, God’s revelation, and God’s reality. The Gospel provides a salvation that brings assurance and certainty— it is clear, not confusing; direct, not vague; knowable, not guessable. It does not save partially or temporally, but wholly and to the uttermost. It is only through the Gospel that I can know forgiveness of sins through the blood of Christ. I believe the Gospel solves the problem of sin, heals the pain of sin, pays the debt of sin, frees from the judgment of sin, cleanses from the stain of sin, and delivers from the power of sin.

I believe nothing else can redeem me, restore me, renew me, and transform me apart from the Gospel. Nothing else has the power to take me from darkness to light, death to life, hell to heaven, sin to righteousness, fear to peace, despair to hope, selfishness to love.

I believe the Gospel is the good news, the best news, the only news that can bring me into a right relationship and fellowship with God. Everything that is mine in Christ is mine because of the Gospel.

I believe the Gospel is Jesus—Jesus, God with us, coming to earth from heaven; Jesus living a sinless life and fully pleasing His Father; Jesus giving His life on the Cross as an atonement for sin; Jesus being buried and coming out of the grave; Jesus ascending to heaven; Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father. Jesus, soon to return, coming for His own, coming for me, coming to reign forever and forever.

I believe the Gospel is the manifestation and the demonstration of God’s love for me. I believe the Gospel tells me and assures me that I am loved—not incompletely but wholly, not shallowly but deeply, not temporarily but eternally. I believe that in the cross of Christ I see thorns of love, nails of love, a spear of love, a broken heart of love. It is at the cross I hear the call of love saying, "Come unto Me."


I believe in redemption:

In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. Ephesians 1:8 KJV

I believe Jesus is my redeemer and He has redeemed me through His shed blood. His redemption means that He has bought me at a great price, the highest price that could be paid for my ransom. I believe that His ransom means that I am no longer in bondage to Satan, stuck in a horrible pit of despair, or a slave to sin.

I believe that my redemption means that I am no longer my own, and that my purpose is to serve Jesus and glorify Him, not unwillingly, but from the heart, as His bondservant. I count it a privilege to serve Him for love’s sake.

I believe His ownership of my life brings me great comfort, deep peace, and overflowing joy. His ownership means that I am in His hands, in His care, in His keeping. I believe as my redeemer that He has taken full responsibility for my life because He has purchased it and I have wholly given it into His hands. I believe the hands of my Redeemer are strong hands, creative hands, caring hands, giving hands, healing hands, keeping hands. I rejoice that my life is in His hands— to do His will, to follow His plans, to gladden His heart, to bless His name.

I believe God is Wise:

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. I Timothy 1:17 KJV

I believe God is wise and has all wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. I believe His wisdom is wiser than the wise, and His ways are higher than our ways. I believe His counsel is to be followed because it is wise counsel. I believe the decisions He makes for my life are made without error or lack of information. God is never misinformed or misguided.

I believe His wisdom, at all times, and in every situation, will lead me to make the right decision and to do the right thing. I believe His wisdom is good for me and best for me, and will guard me from doing anything foolish. His wisdom will always show me the way to glorify and honor Him. I believe His wisdom will direct me to make the highest choices, equip me to serve Him, and prepare me for what He has planned for my future.

I believe God is Holy:

Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His footstool-- He is holy. Psalm 99:5

I believe God is light and in Him is no darkness. I believe God is pure light, clean light, holy light. He is pure without spot, blemish, or stain. His motives are pure, causing me to welcome His ways; His thoughts are pure, causing me to seek His mind; His will is pure, causing me to follow His steps.

I believe that the rivers that flow from His heart to mine are pure waters, free of anything that would contaminate my spirit or soul. I believe God is wholly beautiful, and beautifully holy—lovely to look upon, worthy to call upon. He is the majesty of all that is majestic, the splendor of all that is splendid. God is the grandest of all that is grand, the highest of all that is high, the mightiest of all that is mighty. In His holiness I see His magnificence, His wonder, and His glory. I believe He is truly the all-together lovely One, the One my heart can fully and freely worship.

He Holds You

November 7, 2011 by Keith   Comments (4)

God never leaves you alone…

He never forgets about you…

He looks out for you and takes care of you.

You are more important than the birds

He feeds and provides for.

Trusting Him means to rest in Him

as your shield, your covering, your provider,

your defender and your friend.

It means freedom from worry, anxiety and fear.

It means peace to your mind and joy to your soul.

Come to Him; He is waiting…

Lean on Him; He is strong…

Talk to Him; He is listening…

Depend on Him; He will never let you down.

He holds you within the hollow of His hands

to keep you close…to keep you safe…

to deliver you from all your fears.

Thought Life

June 17, 2011 by Keith   Comments (10)

What you think about will ultimately result in your future. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind.” I want to zero in on that third one –sound mind. God wants you to have a sound mind because your mind is the access point by which Satan gains entrance into your life. He does not gain entrance through your body. He does not gain entrance through your spirit. He does not gain entrance through your finances or sickness. Satan gains entrance or access into your life through the thoughts that you are thinking. The battle that we are facing is the battle in our minds. It’s the battle between our ears, folks! That is where the battle is won – that is where the battle is lost. It is between our ears –it’s in our heads. This is why Satan fights so much in our thought life, and he understands the root to everything in our lives is what we think about. Let me show you how your thoughts will ultimately result in your future. This is the path of progression:

Your thoughts will determine you decisions;

Your decisions will determine your actions;

Your actions will become your habits;

Your habits develop your character; and

Your character will determine your destiny.

Thought life- Decisions- Actions- Habits -Character -Destiny

If you’re at all concerned about your destiny, and I believe every one of us should be, then you need to get a hold of this. Isn’t it important that we fulfill God’s destiny for our life?

Yet, our destiny is not at all what we need to be concerned about. Let me put it to you this way: If you’re concerned about your destiny or your habits or your actions or decisions, you only need to work on one thing – your thought life. Because your thought life is the root of all those other things. Those other things are the fruit.

The devil is trying to get your thought life. We’ve got to take it back. You can control what you think. Every thought needs to be checked in at the registration desk, checked against the image of God, and the Word. You need to be brutal with your thought life.

II Corinthians 10:3-5 is a key verse when dealing with your thoughts. We do not war in the flesh, but we bring every thought into the captivity to the obedience of Christ. We need to have mercy on people, not our thoughts. You need to take that negative thought captive; pursue it with the word of God. “Neither did I turn until it was consumed.” Read Psalm 18:29-38.

Mark 7:21-23: The root to everything sinful starts with evil thoughts. The gateway to every sin starts with a thought. And the gateway to every good thing in our life starts with a thought. If we want to grow in godliness, we’ve got to grow our thought life.

Real quickly, I want to give you Five Wrong Patterns of Thinking and how to change them.

1. The first thought of defeat: You Can’t Do It. The root that empowers: Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me; I CAN DO IT!

2. Second thought: You Have the Wrong Motive. The though comes to you ‘You just want to be blessed because you’re selfish. Who do you think you are? God says He wants me blessed! God calls me blessed, so that I can be a blessing.

3. Third thought: You’re not worthy –you don’t deserve to be blessed. Look at all the mistakes you made; you don’t deserve it. You say, I’m not worthy through my works; I am worthy through the BLOOD of Jesus. I do deserve it because God is a good God. I’m worthy because of Jesus’ past.

4. Fourth thought: It’s not going to happen for you. It doesn’t work for everybody – You say, you shut up devil, He did it for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and so He’s got to do it for me. God is no respecter of persons and He says whosoever believes shall have what they say, and I’m one of those whosoevers who believes!

5. It’s Too Late. You can’t recover. Look at how much ground you’ve lost. Everybody is ahead of you. You say NO! In Jesus’ Name He that began a good work in me is faithful to complete it! Jesus is the author and finisher of my faith. It wasn’t too late for Abraham, Peter, Sarah, or Rahab the harlot. We’re not too discouraged, too broken, or too sick to be healed. BUT JESUS can take every sickness, financial problem or negative situation and restore it.

You have the power to determine your future by deciding to think right thoughts. Begin TODAY taking captive those wrong thoughts and putting God’s thoughts from His Word in your mind. Listen to tapes on what God thinks of you and how you can be free from wrong thinking. You will see your life change as you begin to put these principles to work in your life!

You're Just Passing Through

May 1, 2011 by Keith   Comments (3)

'Yes though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me' Psalm 23: 4

The psalmist David said he walked THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death. That's what You must do in ALL the situations and circumstances of this life. You must remember You are just passing through.

When You feel as if You're stuck in a situation that will never change, You must allow God to guide You through it. When the devil says, "You're trapped", boldly say to him, "wrong ! I'm just passing through !"

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were cast into the fiery furnace, BUT God brought them safely through the fire (see Daniel 3).

God's Word says He will provide that same protection and deliverance to ALL who put their Faith and Trust in Him. So believe it as You walk through the valley of Your own situation.

(Taken from Devotions)

Father we thank You for our protection, and Pray that we will cling to You in our valleys, we put ALL our Trust and Faith in You Father, in Jesus' name Amen!!

Resting in God's Promises

April 27, 2011 by Keith   Comments (5)

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Though the earth should change,
And though the mountains slip into
the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its
swelling pride. Selah.
Psalm 46:1-3

What does this mean to me--today?
How can I grasp it and say "this is mine?"
Step by step--let's claim it together.
God is my place of safety, my fortress, my hiding place, my shelter. Therefore, I am safe.

I accept this Truth as mine.

He is the Source of my power, my Enabler, my ability to perform and my ability to persevere. He is my tenacity, my strength. My very Life. I am not to meet any crisis in my own strength.

I accept this Truth as mine.

He is a very present help. He is here. And He isn't so involved with gigantic world problems that He doesn't have time for mine. He is interested. He is never away from me, especially when I am in need, hurting, weary, perplexed, or in a troublesome setting of any kind. I am never by myself. He is always with me and He understands.

I accept this Truth as mine.

Now, because I have accepted this as Truth, because I believe this, I will not fear. Fear only for myself? No, I will not fear for those who are dear to me, either. So I will not allow anything that might result in my experiencing apprehension, anxiety, or confusion to cause me alarm'because I can depend on Him.

I accept this Truth as mine.

Even if the earth around me (my environment) should be thrown into a state of upheaval, and even if the very mountains quake (those things I presumed to be unshakable), and even if the sea around me (the world and its multitudes) should become hostile and fierce and cause violent unrest, I will not fear.

I WILL NOT FEAR. This does not mean that my emotions won't go haywire, that my knees will never get weak, that my heart will never beat like a trip-hammer, or that my hands will never tremble. I cannot control my emotions or the effect they have on my body. I control my thoughts and rest in His promises.

I accept this Truth as mine.

When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Thy consolations delight my soul.
Psalm 94:19