Let them praise the name of the LORD: for His name alone is excellent; His glory above the earth and heaven (Psa 148:13)~ Throughout Scripture God reveals Himself to us through His names. When we study these names that He reveals to us in the Bible, we will better understand who God really is. The meanings behind God’s names reveal the central personality and nature of the One who bears them. God’s name is of the utmost importance, therefore we ought to reserve it a position of utmost significance in our minds and hearts. We must be careful not to make God into just an “it” or a “thing” to which we pray. We should never take His name lightly but always rejoice in it and think deeply upon its true meaning. To hallow the name of God is to regard Him with complete devotion and loving admiration. He is the Most High God, All sufficient One, Master, Lord of Peace, the Lord Who Will Provide! He is our Father! How excellent is His name in all the earth!! God knows us by our name, and we should know Him by His! He is our Jehovah Raah, the Lord our Shepherd, who unceasingly watches over us. Think for a moment on who God is to you…and rejoice, again I say rejoice! Our Father which art in Heaven…Hallowed be thy name!
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (James 1:13-15)~~ We all have facets of our lifestyle and habits that deep in our hearts we know are opposition to God’s way. To justify ourselves and lighten our own guilty weight we are now putting it out there that we were simply born this way or that way. That this is just ‘how we are’. If we were born naturally in that state, that would be like saying God created us faulty and flawed. Yep, that’s it; it’s not us, it’s God’s fault! But nothing sinful in the heart or conduct can be ascribed to God. He is not the author of the confusion, worthlessness and rubbish, though His fiery trial exposes it. Those who lay the blame of sin, either upon their being born that way, or upon their condition in the world, or those who pretend they cannot keep from sinning, incorrectly point at God as if He were the author of sin; as if He made them genetically this way; as if He got it wrong. In fact, we even go to a new level of self-justification to make ourselves feel better about it and now we say that it’s not even a sin and (just when you thought that was the pinnacle…) we even say that ‘how we are’ is actually right since God made us this way; because we really want it different than how He did it! Afflictions, as sent by God, are designed to draw out our graces, but not our corruptions. The origin of evil and temptation is built up in our own hearts but we were not created that way. The Bible says the wages of sin is death. It also says that God looked at His creation and saw that it was good. That means He took pleasure in it. So if we were born this way (in the state of our sinful ways) we would reason that God takes pleasure in our eradication as punishment for our sins! But God has no pleasure in the death of men, as He has no hand in their sin; both sin and misery are owing to themselves. If we were born naturally evil, we would be saying that God created us with intention of killing us. Or worse yet, if you disagree with that, then you’re saying that since we were born this way, God must not have created us! So now you’re an unbeliever!! Yes, it just gets worse!! Look, to Stop the beginnings of sin, or all the evils that follow must be wholly charged upon us. However, here my friend is the fullness of His grace toward us: God, knowing we could not in our own power be completely sinless as He requires, He sent His Son who WAS sinless…and while we were yet sinners, Christ died on our behalf, satisfying God’s wages of sin…a debt we surely could not pay! No, we weren’t created or born with our sinful habits, ways and practices, we learned every single one of them and we take pride and pleasure in many of them; so much so that we determine even in our own hearts, our own brand of righteousness so that it fits ’the way we are’! So to say we were made ‘like this’… that God got it wrong and we’re just fixing it… that our Lord and the Creator of all that is good and perfect… made a mistake??? Let us not dare charge The Him with such shabbiness of workmanship and error! But let us be ever grateful for His grace and mercy!
Isaiah 60:1-2 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee (Isa 60:1-2); My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man (Prov 3:1-4)~~ As I live I learn so much more about God and who I am in Him. I see the impact of Him in my life; I see His favor on me. Knowing what God’s life and favor will bring you through and the type of person it will make you, how can you not want to just be wrapped up in Him?? I look at where God has brought me from… And sometimes even I don’t understand it…the things that I’ve come through; The pain and the trials I’ve had to endure. But in all of this, somehow I always get through it and I feel His peace. Every day I have new mercies to be thankful for. Every day my body gets older and things gradually slow down, but my Spirit gets more and more vibrant in Him. In the body, there is tiredness and aging and a new limitation I always seem to run into, but this Spirit in me… Is THE Life… A life changer and evidence of God’s love and progressive work in me. So while some may look at getting older as moving toward the end, friend, I am just gettin started! In Christ, I’ve got an eternity to live and to ‘be’… This life and favor He gives me is just a sample of what endless days are ahead! I don’t always do what God says, but you better believe, I’m not going anywhere without Him! In Him I live, move and have my being!
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matt 16:19)~~Jesus restored us to our rightful place through His life, death and resurrection. What we lost in Eden through the sin of Adam and Eve, we have restored to us in the finished work of Jesus. In that, we need to understand our authority…and many of us do not; we just accept what we see around us. We are guilty of walking with The Lord but not knowing just how much we have IN Him. We need to move beyond that! This revelation of Christ tells us of our authority…we are rooted in who He is…we need to understand it so that we can truly walk in it! He came that we may have life, and have it more abundantly; we were not meant for life to have us! We were not meant to be conformed to the world. We are meant to be transformed despite the world! We were meant to have authority in the world – we were meant to impact the world! In Him we have this victory and are even so more than conquerors. Get to know God’s provision and plan (Jer 29:11) that has been in place long before you were in existence (Jer 1:5), that you may know and assume your rightful place! Take Authority!
And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain (1 Kings 18:41-45)~ Though the answers of our passionate and consistent prayers may not come quickly, nor may it always be on the grand scale as we ask, we must respect the sovereignty of God to impose His will on us rather than subject us to our own. Although we believe what we ‘want’ is best for us, God’s precise measure covers us in humility and grace. In these times, we must continue to persevere and maintain our faith in prayer, and not faint or give over. Remember, God is not slack concerning His promise; nor is He a man that He should lie. A little cloud at length appeared, which soon overspread the heavens, and watered the earth. Showers of plenty from a cloud of barely the span of a hand long. Though patience and faith may be tested, in perseverance great blessings often arise from small beginnings. Let us never despise the day of small things, but hope and wait for great things from it. From what small beginnings have great matters arisen! Look at what faith the size of a mustard seed can do! How strongly spoken is that still small voice among the noise of life! Yes, God is good for it – Believe!
Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. (Prov 12:25)~ Care, fear, and sorrow upon our spirits deprive us of the drive and vigor in what is to be done, or courage in what is to be born of us. When we are facing challenges and negativity around us and those around us are speaking in negative context, it’s easy to stay discouraged and depressed and without any desire to progress. A trial in someone’s life can cause them to focus on fear and walk away from the blessings the Lord intends for them. When a person is seeing nothing but negative, they will even start to believe that they don’t have what it takes to be successful or happy. Now more than ever, we need to automatically let the encouragement flow. We need to tell others how much we love them, how we value them, and tell them that they are talented and creative. Our words can be what keeps a person going; our compliments can put a spring back into their step. Always remember, with your words you carry life-giving water. A good word from God, applied by faith, makes the heart glad. You carry hope, healing, encouragement and new beginnings, and you can pour it out everywhere you go. The Word says death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov 18:21) and it is so. Today, choose to speak encouragement. Choose to speak victory and faith. Instead of telling people what they’re doing wrong, instead of pointing out all their faults, find what they are doing right. Focus on the good. There are already enough critical, judgmental people in the world. Let’s be people who lift up others and restore them. Let’s be the light of Jesus in the world.