Let’s Get the Big Picture!

Let’s Get the Big Picture!

Today we are moving into deeper water. The discussion today is one of the most important ones we will cover.

There are so many people who want God involved in their lives, but they don’t know how to get Him involved. They pray “help” or “why me” prayers, or they just copy someone else, but they don’t understand how God designed His plan of prayer.

So let’s start with the big picture.


Do You Want To Hear God Speak?

Do You Want To Hear God Speak?

cardinal -male.2-600jpgAs Jesus taught His disciples, He often used parables or comparisons so that people could “get the picture.” Remember the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words?”Well, last post we talked about Jesus comparing the Word of God to seed planted in the heart. Today, we want to present another picture. Throughout the Bible God’s Word is referred to as “water.”

When we get this picture, we will learn one of God’s most important concepts. There are lots of scriptures which we could use, but let’s focus on two. Isaiah 55: 10-11 speaks of God’s Word as rain and snow. It comes down from heaven causing the earth to bear and sprout. (Or causing your life to bear and sprout). But why does it say “rain and snow?” Why not just “rain?”

This part is important!

If we look at Psalm 147: 15-20, (NASB) we will get it. (more…)

Read The Bible, July 2

Job 22-24

Eliphaz hits upon a tremendous truth about God.  He says, “Please receive instruction from His (God’s) mouth, and establish His words in your heart.” (22:22) Then he goes on to list the blessings of being one of God’s people.

Now I have a question: how does he know this?Which words is he talking about? This was before the time of God’s Word being sent to us in written or even oral form. The first books of the Bible were not written until Moses came along.

It’s interesting to think about these things, because we know that God spoke to Adam, Noah, and Abraham among others. There was communication, but not the written word. We really don’t know how that communication came – maybe through dreams or thoughts.

I think about Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through that which He made.” There is an evidence of God which we have by just looking around us – if we will do that.

I am just so thankful for the written Word. It explains the things which are hard to understand and it lets us know the source of questionable events. The Word also tells us God’s overall plan, and where we are going from here.

Yet even before these people had the written Word, God seemed to let these people know of His existence, just as Paul said. However, their knowledge was sketchy and therefore all of the speculation provided by everyone in the book of Job.

Today we have an incredible blessing in the Word of God. I am so thankful that when there are questions I can go and read and understand God’s nature, His plan, and His purpose.

Thank you, Lord, for your Word.

Acts 11

We see a manifestation of the “seed principle” to the fullest. The Jewish nation had been the Fig Tree which God had raised up over all of those centuries, producing the fruit of the law, a nation who knew God, and a nation who realized that they could not be holy in themselves. The seed from that fruit, God’s holy Seed, was Jesus.

When God planted His seed through the cross, He was expecting a great harvest – a harvest of sons and daughters which would come from the new birth being  released into the earth And from this seed would spring many other seeds  which would eventually reach to the uttermost parts of the earth. Just as trees release their seed pods and the wind scatters them far and wide, God Himself was releasing  His seeds which would be scattered throughout the world by the wind of the Holy Spirit.

In this passage of Acts we see some of the first seed pods being scattered. The new birth of Cornelius made quite a stir among the apostles. At first they “took issue” with the salvation, but then they “quieted down, and glorified God, saying, ‘Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.'”(V. 18).

So the scene was set for more scattering to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch and eventually to us!

The New Covenant was on the way around the world – so that all nations and tongues could receive the gift from God. This was surreal to the people of that day. No longer were Jews the only ones who would be the keepers of the flame for God; now that privilege had been extended to all.

My prayer is that we will all appreciate what has been delivered to us. No words can explain what it means to us to have even a better covenant than the Jews. We have the very life of God living on the inside of us – giving us wisdom and power to live the life God designed for us.

May we never take it for granted!


Read The Bible, June 20

Esther 1-2

Esther is the first of a few books which will be written during the Jewish captivity in Babylon. Even though these people are in a foreign land, having been judged by God, there are those who remain faithful to Him and they see tremendous miracles.

Ronald Reagan once made a remark which I thought was splendid.During an election season he was encouraged by some to speak more blatantly about some of his views. He refused. He said, “I have no intentions of jumping off a cliff, waving a banner, just because it feels good on the way down.” Now that’s what I call wisdom. His job was to get elected; not to rant and rave. He could openly lead his charge after he was president.

Esther seems to subscribe to the same wisdom. I have heard women describe this passage of Esther as someone who was willing to stand up for her rights (Vashti), versus someone who wouldn’t (Esther).

I see it in a different manner. I see someone who is foolish (Vashti), versus someone who is wise (Esther). Or someone who is prideful, versus someone who is humble.

Either way, I side with Esther. She’s the one who is going to get the job done.

Mordecai is a man of great wisdom, and he raised her as a daughter. She grew up knowing that it was good to accept his advice. She heeds his instruction concerning her preparation for royalty. and she heeds his advice when he wants her to remain silent about her heritage.

As we continue in this book, I hope you will put yourself in Esther’s place. As she humbly accepts the inevitable and works within the system – trusting God, she is in for some tremendous surprises.

I love to see God at work on someone’s behalf. When we are faithful to Him, He tops us every time.

Acts 5:1-20

Our God is a God of miracles. As we continue in our study of the early church. we see the people constantly witnessing God’s hand.

First Ananias and Sapphira fall dead after lying to the Holy Spirit. People are selling their land and bringing the money to the apostles. Ananias and Sapphira sell their land and pretend to be bringing all of the proceeds, but they are keeping some for themselves.(V.1-10).  It isn’t that God requires them to give it all, it’s that he wants no hypocrisy. They are doing it for show and pretending to be more generous than they are. A big mistake!

God’s Spirit is Holy, and when He is present in our midst, darkness can’t stay.

Second, we see many signs, wonders, and miracles happening by the hands of the Christians. People are even bringing their sick on cots to the streets, so that when the disciples walk by they may be healed. Even Peter’s shadow heals the sick. (V. 15) What an anointing!

Third, we see the high priest and his crew trying to stop the activity, so they put some of the apostles in jail. But an angel comes and opens the gates so that they escape from the prison, and go to the temple to preach again.

These early Christians know what it’s all about. They throw themselves into their walk with God, and they hold back nothing from Him. These are exciting times in the kingdom. After all of the years of God’s dealings with the Jews, it’s becoming clearer what God has been up to all along. He has meticulously been bringing forth His plan for man to have His Spirit in them.

That’s still His plan. Over the years, people have tried to water down the faith. They have even tried to say that miracles no longer exist, but these nay-sayers are wrong.

I have witnessed many miracles, and expect to see more. Some you have to look for, but some are very obvious. I have seen sudden healings and restorative miracles. I have also seen people set free from drugs and alcohol. Any of these are miracles.

As we seek a greater closeness to God, we will see more and more of His handiwork. There’s nothing greater than being in His presence, hearing His voice, and watching Him do His work.


Read The Bible, June 15

Nehemiah 1-2

Ezra had brought two groups of people back to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Now it’s Nehemiah’s turn. He will come and rebuild the walls.

Just as with Ezra, when it’s time for Nehemiah to return, God gives him favor with the king. This time it’s Artaxerxes, who is the stepson of Esther. (She probably had opportunities to speak to him concerning her people, giving him a soft place in his heart for them).

And, as Nehemiah says, the “good hand of my God was on me.”(2:8)

So Nehemiah takes the letter from the king, and makes the trip to Jerusalem. The local officials are angered, but they have to obey the king.

Notice some of Nehemiah’s wisdom. He waits for the right moment to tell others about what he is doing. (Most of us would have immediately told everyone who would listen). He goes out by night, alone, and rides around the walls, examining the damage and making his plans.

Just as with Ezra, the local officials mock them, but Nehemiah isn’t moved by it.

He declares, “The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build.”

Nehemiah has a confidence in his God – and he will succeed.

Acts 2:1-21

This is the game-changer. This is what it’s all about!

All that we have been reading, and will continue to read, about the descendants of Abraham and God’s dealings with them, have led us to this moment. It took a long time, didn’t it? Centuries of Egypt, the wilderness, up and down kings, Babylonian captivity, the return of a remnant to rebuild, then Jesus.

So since God’s perfect Lamb has been slain, taking our sin, a way has been made by the Lord for us to walk in a whole new life. A whole new realm, even.

On the day of Pentecost, God’s Holy Spirit came from Heaven like a mighty wind, filling them with Himself. No longer would men be cut off from God, if they didn’t choose to be. He would actually come to live inside of them. He would make His abode in them.

This is more significant than anyone can imagine.

So the disciples were obedient to Jesus. They stayed in the upper room, praying, with one mind, and He showed up. Nothing like they had expected. Who ever said anything about tongues?

But that’s what happened to them. They began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

After this experience, Peter gets up and with boldness declares to the spectators what had just happened. Going into the scripture, he reminds them that Joel had prophesied about this very thing happening.

Wait a minute, that’s Peter! He’s the one who was too afraid to admit that he knew Jesus. How could he stand up there and speak with boldness? He could do that because the Holy Spirit had empowered him to be a witness – just like Jesus said he would.

What a change in personality and confidence!

Throughout the book of Acts we will see dramatic demonstrations of the Holy Spirit, and His power. We will see healings, miracles, more people coming to receive Jesus.

We will see the birth of God’s church. It’s a new day!