A Reaper’s Guide

22 Sep

A Reaper’s Guide…

In Athens, Paul saw all the idols and altars to the false gods of Greece and, as a Jew, he was grieved in spirit. When he spoke on Mars Hill, he didn’t dwell on all their false gods.

Nor did he write them off as hopeless, or simply condemn them for their paganism. Instead, he found a bridge to reach them, in the form of an altar, the altar to the unknown God.

Even with the most ungodly person, there’s always a hope, a bridge, a connection. As long as the person is in the image of God, then there’s always a hope and a connection.

There is always an altar to the unknown God – a God-shaped vacuum that only God can fill. Don’t write them off as hopeless. But look for the altar, an unmet need, an emptiness, a hurt, a “something”.

Paul didn’t give up until he found it. Do likewise. With every person, even the most ungodly, there’s an altar to be found. And with every situation, even the most hopeless, there’s an opening for the power of God to come in.

For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. Acts 17:23

Think of someone who’s lost – Pray for a way to bring them salvation and be open today to share with anyone the Lord brings you into contact with.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Earth Angels

21 Sep

Earth Angels…

You have heard of the angel Gabriel and the angel Michael, but did you know that there’s another kind of angel – earthly angels – as in “you.”

In the Bible the Hebrew word for “angel” is “malach”; in the Greek, it is “angelos.” That’s why in English, the word “evangelist,” which has the word “angel” right in the middle.

Both the Hebrew and Greek word for angel are used not just for heavenly beings, but for flesh and blood people – as in John the Baptist, called an “angelos,” and Haggai, called a “malach”.

An angel is one who is a messenger of God, who carries forth the gospel. And that’s exactly what you are to be. So how do you live an angelic life?

Angels don’t get paid on earth – they can’t, they’re working for heaven. They never seek earthly rewards since their employer is not man but God.

Therefore, to live an angelic life you have to stop seeking praise from men, and blessings from earth. Seek your reward only from God and your blessing only from heaven. And you will be blessed from His heavenly payroll and your life will be angelic!

And they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. Luke 20:36

Your assignment today is to be one of God’s angels. Touch someone with an encouraging word or an act of kindness or the message of salvation.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Love Notes

19 Sep

Love Notes…

The very first mention of love in the Bible appears in Genesis 22. The Hebrew word for love is “Ahavah”. It appears as God speaks to Abraham: “Take your son, your only son, whom you love (ahavah) and offer him up…”

So the very first appearance of love in Scripture is that of a father offering up his son as a sacrifice – an amazing foreshadow of the Father offering up Jesus as the sacrifice for sin.

In both cases, love is linked to sacrifice. The first and highest love of all loves comes from the sacrifice of God. Ahava – true love is there on the cross. And if you want to love with true love, it must always involve sacrifice.

Love with true love, Ahavah. Love when you feel like it and love when you don’t. Love when it’s easy to love and love when it’s hard. Love when you want to, love when you don’t.

Love when it flows, and love when it costs you. For the love of God came through a sacrifice. It was costly. So too is a life of true love – but it’s worth it!

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

In each situation today where you have to speak, ask God to give you words to bring life.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

I Am With You

18 Sep

I Am With You…

In a dream, God spoke to Jacob: “I am with you and will keep you wherever you go.” Jacob’s reaction to the dream was to focus on the place where it happened.

He called it “Beit El,” which means “God’s House.” In a way, Jacob missed the point. It wasn’t so much about the place where God appeared. It was that God would be with Jacob regardless of the place, regardless of any place – wherever.

God’s promise to you is that He will be with you wherever you go. He’s there when you are worshipping in His house.

He’s with you when you are in the parking lot and when you walk into your home. He’s there in your mountaintop experiences and in your valleys, in your good times and your bad, when you’re doing great in holiness, and when you’ve fallen in sin.

So don’t dwell on your situation, on how things are going, or even how you’re doing. It’s not about where you are. It’s about Who is with you. Rejoice in that. He’s not the God of where. He’s the God of wherever!

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 19-20

Wherever you go today, take time to stop to be in and enjoy the presence of the Lord.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Maya

17 Sep

Maya…

The Eastern religions and new age philosophies hold to a concept called “maya.” “Maya” means that everything is basically an illusion. But that creates a problem. Because if everything’s an illusion, how could you ever know it? Then that too would be an illusion.

Without truth, how could you ever determine an illusion. If everything is an illusion, a lie, then what choice does anyone have. That’s why Eastern religion is ultimately hopeless.

On the other hand the Bible never says that reality is an illusion. Rather it declares that Truth is real. And where there is Truth, there is also falsehood. And where there is truth and falsehood, there is a choice.

So in biblical faith, everyone has a choice. Therefore God says, “Choose life.” Every moment of your life, every moment of your day, there are choices, choices between good and evil, truth and falsehood, the spirit and the flesh, the best and everything else.

Make the right choice, choose the good, choose the truth and every choice will propel you up to the next level. For Jesus is the Truth and it’s for us to choose Him, every day, every moment.

I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.  1 John 2:21

You know what to do. Make the right choices today; choose to live each moment, each day choosing the good.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Dunamis

16 Sep

Dunamis…

In Luke 10:19, Jesus says this: “I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy.” But in the original Greek of the New Testament, it’s not the power of the enemy – it’s the dunamis.

Dunamis is the same word used of the Holy Spirit. So what does it reveal to us? The enemy has a dunamis, a power, of his own. And he uses his dunamis to attack you, hinder you, frustrate you, make you fall, defeat you, destroy you.

So how do you fight him? How do you overcome his dunamis? You can only overcome the dunamis of the enemy by the dunamis of God. And the dunamis of God is only found and given in the Holy Spirit.

How do you overcome the enemy’s power, His schemes against you, the temptation and pull of sin? You do it by the dunamis of the Holy Spirit. Fight your fight a new way, overcome the power of sin, by going on the offense.

Practice moving in the Spirit, and you won’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh and you’ll overcome the dunamis of the enemy.

For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 1 John 2:16

Fight the power of the enemy, the force of sin, the habits of the flesh, a new way – by the power of the Spirit.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Mighty Skeleton

15 Sep

The Mighty Skeleton…

The prophet Ezekiel saw a vision of a valley of dry bones. In the vision, the wind or Spirit came upon the bones and the bones came together to form an army. The army represents the army or nation of Israel.

Now notice something, it all starts with just two ingredients, bones and the Spirit. Now bones are not known for being strong. Even if you assemble them into skeletons, you still end up with something that has no strength.

Yet these bones become something mighty, a mighty army for God. It doesn’t matter how weak you are in righteousness or self-control. What matters is the Spirit. It doesn’t matter how weak you are in the flesh or in your own strength.

The key is don’t go by your own strength, go by the Spirit. The more you move by the Spirit and not by the flesh, the more powerful you’ll become in the Lord.

It was the Spirit that made Samson strong. And it’s the Spirit that will make you mighty. For in the power of the Spirit, even skeletons become mighty.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!’ This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.  Ezekiel 37: 4-5

What area in your life do you find yourself weak or unable in. Give to the Lord, ask for His Spirit to become your strength in that area – And move in that power.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Intimate One

14 Sep

The Intimate One…

Saul, the apostle Paul, was one of the most influential people who ever walked the earth. He changed the world. He changed history. He lived a practical life, a strategic life, an effective life.

But notice something else about him. He also was a man of the Spirit. He would pray and fall into a trance. He would receive supernatural words and dreams. Paul treasured being intimate with God.

That’s why he was able to do such great things. That’s why he was unstoppable and why he changed the world. Prayer is not often seen as something practical but prayer is the most practical of things.

Without prayer, everything else you do, every plan, every effort, every work, will be hindered. It will be like walking against the wind. But with prayer, everything else will fall into place.

So if you want to do great things. If you want to live an effective and powerful life… then be practical – get into God’s presence. Become a person of prayer and the Spirit. Yes, it’s supernatural – but it’s the most practical thing you can do!

The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. Luke 1:19

Take time to pray and get into the presence of God. Great things await you.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Are We Doing His Will?

13 Sep

Are We Doing His Will…

A friend of mine recently asked if I set spiritual goals and how did I measure them. I answered as follows:

Yes, I set spiritual goals! The only way I know how to measure them is by the peace I am given in my heart and soul, the more peace and contentment the more I am achieving my goal. I don’t know if this is what you are asking, but that is what works for me.

Reply from Larry:

I’m not sure how I make that work for me, Ed. What makes it difficult to me is that it all comes down to a relationship and I don’t know how to set goals and measure those.

Me:

Are you saying you are not sure of your relationship with God? There are no ways that I know of to measure the quality of a relationship, so how can you set goals? A relationship with God is so personal, only you can judge how well you are doing. Doing God`s will to the best of your ability, and you know if you are doing your best.

Larry:

No, I’m just saying I would love some metrics that told me what I was doing was doing some good.

So how do we know if we are doing some good, especially when it comes to God? How do I make good decisions? What does God really want from me? Does God care about every little choice I make?

The big question behind all of these questions, of course, is this: What’s God’s will for my life? Do my decisions really matter to God?

God cares about what’s going on in our hearts. In any decision we have the opportunity to choose who we will worship. Will we worship God or will we worship ourselves? God desires to be the highest priority in every part of our lives.

In some areas of life it’s clear that there are right decisions and wrong decisions—like the choice of whether to do something we know is wrong. In other areas, we need to make choices between two good things—like making a decision between two great books. It’s quite possible God would be present in and honored by either decision. Other times the choice may have to do with a gray area—something that’s not necessarily right or wrong. These are opportunities to practice wisdom. For example, spending a lot of time talking on the phone or texting friends may be a good thing. But if there’s never any time when we are just quiet and still, it can be harder for us to be aware of God’s presence. Being wise might mean turning the phone off from time to time to quiet your heart so you can be more attentive to the presence of God in everyday life.

Sometimes when we make decisions, it can seem like we’re trying to work God into our life story. But really, we are part of God’s story and God is delighted by our desire to live with that focus in mind.

How do I discover God’s will? First, you have to make sure you’re seeking to obey what God has already revealed in Scripture. This includes things like honoring your parents. That’s a clear instruction from God. It doesn’t really work to ignore God’s revealed will but yet expect God to answer specific questions like where you should go to dinner.

As you study God’s Word and spend time in prayer, your relationship with God grows and you begin to understand God’s character. You will then be in the right place to hear God’s instruction for other areas of your life. In addition to Bible study and prayer, be willing to seek godly counsel from a mentor or pastor.

If we’re serious about following God’s will, we have to recognize that it’s not about getting what we want, but doing what God asks. We must trust that He is faithful and good, and that His will is what’s best for us.

Will God ask me to do stuff I don’t want to do? God may call us to do things that don’t feel natural to us at first. But as we listen and respond to the call of God, we get connected to our deeper desires. After all, the things God calls us to do are things that he created us to do. Many of us have habits that we find comfortable or that we enjoy. In the long run, though, those things may not meet our deeper spiritual needs. For example, we may have a habit of seeking acceptance by conforming, following the crowd. This is easy and can make us feel like we are accepted, but actually this habit can prevent us from being who we really are meant to be. It’s scary to take the risk of letting your true self be known, but God calls us to do that.

What if I miss God’s will? Making a poor decision doesn’t mean we’re forever out of God’s will. That’s part of the beauty of Scripture: It has story after story of people who make bad decisions, but God still uses them mightily. Just look at Abraham and David. They both did some things that were clearly wrong, but God worked through them to accomplish great things. God can use all of our decisions, whether they’re right, wrong, or neutral.

We need to remember God is our Father. God is not here to condemn us, but to help us become more like Christ. If we are focused on Jesus, and on holiness, some of those other things will fall into place. God is not a cosmic trickster who only gives us one shot to get things right.

In summary I feel the Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not protect you. As long as I am covered by the Grace of God I feel comfortable going where ever He guides me. Do I expect He will give me feedback? He gives me daily feedback through our daily conversations and when I do stray off the path, He always guides me back. The key is LISTENING when He is talking to you.

What do you think? Are you getting the feedback you need from God? Is there any way I can help with your goals?

Walk in daily conversation with God.

Love,

Ed

The Unmet Needs

12 Sep

The Unmet Needs…

One of the key strategies of salesmanship is to locate an unmet need and seek to connect that unmet need with the product or thing you’re trying to sell. If they can do that – they’ve got the customer hooked.

The enemy, too, wants to sell you something. He wants to sell you sin and evil. And he does it the same way. He looks for an unmet need in your life.

A need for recognition, love, praise, a relationship, financial security, vindication, comfort. Then seeks to convince you that the only way you can get it is his way, by finding it illegitimately – in immorality, cheating, substance abuse, or just anything that isn’t the way of God. If he can convince you of that, then you’re hooked.

So what’s the key? Don’t give the enemy anything to work with. It’s the unmet need that is your weak spot. Close up the gap. Give your unmet need to God. Bring it to Him. And get it filled by Him. For when you remove the need – the salesman is out of business.

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 2 Timothy 4:18

Bring all of your unmet needs to God today – be filled with God’s presence.. Don’t leave any gaps for the enemy to enter in.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed