Set Your Eyes

Eagle soaring

Image courtesy of:  <a href=”http://www.freechristianimages.se/”>FCI: Free Christian Images</a>

What you set your eyes upon is what you will walk towards! What are you fixing your eyes on today…..success like the eagle soaring above the earth or as the chicken with eyes fixed on the ground where limited opportunities for success exist?

The Greek word for “eyes” is atenizo and it means look steadfastly, behold steadfastly, fasten (one’s) eyes, look earnestly on, look earnestly upon, look up steadfastly, behold earnestly.

To set your eyes would mean to fasten one’s eyes earnestly upon something, such as a goal, or a direction in which you desire to go, or to incline toward a certain person, thing, or destination.

Proverbs 29:18 KJV Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

The vision that God has given you is what you will walk towards when you fasten your eyes upon it. He directs us by His Spirit as we focus on His word, His presence and His guidance.

Hebrews 12:1, 2 NKJV  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We have a great example of soaring above the challenges and obstacle of life when we look at Jesus who set His face like flint to do what God had called Him to do.

Isaiah 50:7 NKJV “For the Lord GOD will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.

Luke 9:51 NKJV  Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,

Does setting your face or fixing your eyes on what God has planned for you mean that you will not encounter difficulties, failures or discouragement?  No, that is why the scripture says to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”.  Challenges will come and we will have to “lay aside” the things that try to hold us back.  We will have to be determined to reach our goals and run our race to win, but the key is in the promise that Jesus is ahead of us drawing us and leading us by His Spirit, strengthening us for the journey.  With God on our side, what or who could possibly be against us?!

Romans 8:31, 32 NKJV  What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not freely give us all things?

This portion of scripture goes on to say that nothing can separate us from God’s love.  He is for you, not against you!  He wants you to run your race to win, not to be defeated.  Look unto Jesus and fix your eyes on the goal of fulfilling the plan that He has for your life.  With God nothing will be impossible (Luke 1:37) and all things are possible to him who believes (Mark 9:23).

Today I pray that you will set your eyes on what God has for you, the plan that He has for your life, to live above the circumstances of life that have hindered you from becoming all that He has designed and created you to be. Look unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of your faith and walk towards the goals that He has given you!

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Apples Of God In Settings Of Silver

Apples of Gold

 

Proverbs 15:23 NKJV A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!

Make your words work for you! We can either encourage or discourage those around us by the words that we speak! Proverbs 25:11 says that “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver.” How precious is silver and gold? We see beautiful jewelry pieces set in both gold and silver! Many precious stones have their settings in silver or gold and are a beautiful adornment to whomever is wearing them.

 

Our words can be the settings for our lives and those that we come into contact with when fitly spoken. Likewise, our words can tear down the spirits of those when we speak harshly or out of our own hurt or disappointment. I pray that my speech might always be with grace, seasoned with salt as is instructed in Colossians 4:7, that I might know how to answer every person in ways that will be gracious and kind. I can’t say that I always exhibit that gracious nature but my goal is to express the character and nature of Jesus to everyone that I come into contact with. God’s word gives us guidelines to live by and goals to achieve!

 

May you have grace-filled conversations with those around you today!

 

You Are A Joint!

You are a joint

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If you have been spiritually born into the family of God then you are a Joint!  Ephesians 4:7-16 says that Jesus gave gifts to the church for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ and that the members are joined and knit together by what every joint supplies and what every part does in edifying the body to growth and maturity to the stature of Christ Jesus!

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV  And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ–from whom the whole body, joined together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

So, what is your motivation in going to church?  Is it to give or to get?  We all look forward to gathering together at church to see our friends and participate in worship and hearing a great message from our Pastor, but what is our individual purpose?

If we are going to be givers of our supply then we need to adjust our thinking to be pro-active, looking forward to our church attendance as a means to share what God has placed within each of us that will benefit the whole body.  It’s always fun to be on the receiving end of things, but Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Acts 20:35 NKJV  “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak.  And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

Matthew 10:7, 8 NKJV  “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons.  Freely you have received, freely give.

God has placed within each of us what we need to be joints in the whole body of Christ!  He has equipped us with gifts and talents that we should be sharing when we come together to worship Him.  What He has freely given to us is intended to be used to change the lives of others!

1 Corinthians 14:16 NKJV  How is it then, brethren?  Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation.  Let all things be done for edification.

When we come together in corporate worship, the Apostle Paul says we all have gifts that can be used, but they should be done in balance and to build up the body.  The Corinthian church was an exuberant church that was imbalanced in the extreme use of their gifts, but today in many of our churches we see an imbalance in the non-use of God’s gifts.  Where is the balance?

I think the answer to that question has to begin with a willingness to be used of the Lord for whatever purpose He has in our gathering together.  It’s not wrong to be on the receiving end of what God is flowing through another, but we all should be looking for the opportunities to give as well as to receive.

Hebrews 10:23-25  NKJV  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Here we see a caution to not go to the other extreme of not joining together in corporate worship, but to use that time to stir others up in love and good works.  We are to be a people who give out of the abundance of God’s gifts to each of us using them to express His love and encouragement to do and be the best that He has gifted and called us to be.

1 Peter 4:10  NKJV  As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Do you know what gifts God has placed within you?  Could that be what may be holding you back from giving your supply?  Pray before going to church that God will show you what He wants you to do and say that would build up the body of Christ and be the supply that you are to give for that day.  God has a place for you to fill in His church.  He has gifts that He wants to express through you.  Are you willing to step out to be a vessel of His use to bring glory and honor to the name of Jesus and help in building up His body?

Father, I thank You for the gifts that You have placed in each one of us as born again believers in Christ Jesus.  I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ that You would awaken their spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear what You want them to do and say as they meet together with other believers in a corporate worship setting.  I pray that You will give them Your heart of compassion to speak into people’s lives that which will build them up and bring growth and maturity in the lives of the hearers.  I pray that in turn they would be edified and grow into more mature believers as they yield themselves to be vessels of honor for Your use.  Cause us to have boldness to step out in faith that You will do what only You can do in us and through us to build up the Body of Christ.  You alone, Lord, are the giver of the gifts and deserve all the glory for them!  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Here’s Another Lemon, Lord!

lemons

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Have you ever looked into your life and thought you could see nothing but lemons….hard, sour times where there seemed to be no good that could possibly come out of them? Well, I have good news for you today! God makes the BEST lemonade!

Psalm 103:6 Msg. GOD makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet.

Wow! Hooray! There is redemption for all things in your life when you bring them to God!

Just look at the life of Joseph. He was 17 when he had a dream that his brothers would some day bow down before him and he would reign over them. They already hated him because he was his father’s favorite, but after hearing of his dream they hated him even more. So much so, that they were going to kill him, but instead sold him to some traveling Ismaelites and convinced his father that he had been devoured by a wild beast. This one act of hatred toward their brother set him on a course that would forever change his life as well as that of his brothers and father. For approximately 18 years his life had many ups and downs, times when he experienced much difficulty as a direct result of what seemed to be the lemons in his life. But there came a time when God said enough is enough! The time was right for Joseph’s lemons to be made into lemonade. And as a result the dream he’d had at 17 became reality when his brothers stood before him and said “Behold, we are your servants.” (Genesis 50:18) And Joseph replied to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?” “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Genesis 50:19, 20)

God will take what is meant to harm you, just like He did for Joseph, and turn it into something good; something of value that will be fruitful in your life for His glory!

Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV He has made everything beautiful in its time……

My friend, you may think that God can’t do anything with the failures and disappointments that you’ve experienced in your life, but don’t be disheartened. He is in the redemption business! Trust Him to change your life when you turn it all over to Him.

Psalm 103:4 NKJV Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.

God redeems, or buys back, our failures, sin and disappointments. He places a crown on our heads of His lovingkindness, His goodness, His mercy, His salvation that makes all things new again. He is the God of restoration! Jesus died to redeem your life from destruction! Have you given Him your heart? If not, why not make today your day of salvation? Pray and invite Him into your heart; give your lemons to Him, and let Him make your life brand new!

“See Me, Says The Lord”

Yesterday in church a prophetic word came forth from the Lord that, in it’s essence, said, “see Me, says the Lord. See Me, above the circumstances of life, above the problems you may be experiencing. See Me, as the All-powerful, All-knowing, All-seeing, All-sufficient One.” This word from the Lord is still resonating in my heart this morning and as I meditated on it the Lord prompted me to look at a portion of scripture in Isaiah, chapter six.

isaiah-seraphim-coal

Isaiah 6:1-8 NKJV In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged.” Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

In thinking about this portion of scripture the first thing that I noticed was the time when Isaiah saw the Lord. It was in the year of the death of King Uzziah. My Bible commentary says that Isaiah was called to prophesy to his people during a crucial time in the history of Judah and Israel. “Both the southern and northern kingdoms had experienced a half-century of increasing prosperity and power.” The people, under the leadership of the past six kings, had succumbed to pagan worship and had fallen into serious moral and spiritual decline. It was in the year of King Uzziah’s death that Isaiah, with all the turmoil and conflict that was taking place in his country, saw the Lord in His majesty and holiness! I can only imagine the splendor of that heavenly setting!

Does this picture seem familiar to you? Do you see the correlation between that time and place during Isaiah’s prophetic calling and the time and place in which we are living in our world today? Ecclesiastes 1:9, 10 says that there is “nothing new under the sun”. “Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.”

Isaiah, immediately upon seeing the Lord in all His splendor, was reminded of his own sinfulness, weakness and frailty. He said even the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of the Lord” and he cried out to the Lord confessing his uncleanliness.  Immediately God took care of his unclean lips by purging them with a coal taken from the altar in heaven. God is quick to forgive and remove our sin when we confess it to Him. Jesus was sacrificed on God’s altar to pay the price for our sin and when we acknowledge our weakness and frailties He immediately says, “be thou clean; you are forgiven”. Once Isaiah’s sin was dealt with he very quickly answered God’s call to service, to be the prophet called to bring the voice of God to his people.

When we see God in His glorious splendor, the One bigger than all of life’s uncertainties and problems, suddenly what we are experiencing in our own personal lives must take a back seat to His majesty. The enormity of our problems fades away as we look into His face and experience His greatness. Isaiah was forever changed in the presence of God.

Have you given God the place that He deserves, above the cares of this life? Has He called you to a life in His service that seems to be an unfathomable undertaking based on the weakness of your humanity? See Him, high and exalted, far above the mountain of your inability; see Him, the Greater One who lives within you and desires to flow through you to effect His change in your sphere of influence. See “Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

Colossians 3:1-3 NKJV If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on this earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

When your perspective changes your walk will follow. At one point in that prophetic word yesterday the Lord said, “See Me, and your body will follow”. What we behold becomes what we walk towards. If we are beholding our problems, our cares, our insecurities, and our sin our walk will be one of negativity, depression, defeat, and discouragement. But when we see Him, we can’t help but elevate our thoughts, our vision and our walk. Isaiah, after seeing the Lord, immediately began to walk out the vision of God to speak into the hearts of his people. His walk changed, his talk became what God wanted to say through him, and hope was restored when a picture of the coming Messiah was given. Hearts were changed, beginning with his own.  Now, I believe God wants to do the same in our lives today. When we “see Him”, we will be changed!  

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