Launch your faith out into the deep…

Jesus alone is the captain of my ship…

God has His way of stirring up our nest, in order to force us out of our comfort zone, on to the path He has destined us to travel.

Do you remember when Jesus took a young child onto His lap and told His disciples that unless they become as this child they cannot experience the Kingdom of Heaven (Mat 18:3).

Children are like sponges, always looking for new experiences, always trusting, always teachable.

We were like that once ourselves, what happened?

The older we get, as a rule, most people do not like change.

They would rather stay in the safe harbors of their nostalgic past, where they feel most comfortable, where they are no longer challenged or forced to learn new things.

This is NOT God’s way at all!

As Christians, if we are to be used of God, we have to be prepared to flow with the Spirit and to launch our faith out into the deep, wherever He leads us.

Jesus was constantly challenging those who counted their religious traditions on a par with God’s word; those old religious practices that have long ago gone stale, their original meaning long forgotten and now have become empty ritual.

You don’t want to be an old wineskin.

“No one puts new wine into old wineskins: otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins: but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins”
— Mark 2:22

Catch the imagery in the following verses regarding the eagle:

“He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions, the LORD alone guided him, no foreign god was with him.”
— Deut. 32:10–12

Moses penned these words at the end of his life. In his final song, his parting words, Moses likens God to an eagle stirring up its nest.

Likewise, God often will stir our nest up, to make us uncomfortable, in order to get us to move.

In the Bible, we find that God NEVER does a miracle the same way twice, He’s always doing things differently, so we also have to be willing and able to adjust to whatever He’s doing and the way He does it.

John 3:5-8

5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.

So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

None of us, as Christians, are built for safe harbors; we all need to learn to launch our faith out into the DEEP because that’s where the Spirit is moving today.

The Winning Walk

YOU CAN’T STAY WHERE YOU ARE

There is one place that God will never let you stay…and that is the place where you are.

Once God touches our life, we can be certain that we will never be the same. He will move us; He will change things; He will shake us up to get us where He wants us to go.

For the Christian, there is simply no such thing as status quo.

Change was the hallmark of the early church, but many churches today resist change.

Someone has said that the seven last words of the church are: “We’ve never done it that way before.”

When God revealed His plan to spread the Gospel to the Gentiles, the Jewish Christians were faced with the need for radical change.

Old beliefs and attitudes had to die so that new ones could take their place.

The Christians at Jerusalem were content to be a Jews-only brotherhood, but God had other plans. Change was in order.

There is a chorus I have sung with thousands of teenagers over the years on beach retreats.

I never get tired of it. It challenges me as much as it does them:

“Will you stay where you are, or will you reach for a star?

Play the game? Be a fraud? Or die to self and live to God?

This could be victory’s hour, claim His grace, claim His power. Will you stay where you are, or reach for a star?”

Memory Verse

II CORINTHIANS 5:17
Therefore if any man is in Christ he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.

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The Bible tells us there are ONLY two roads in life, one is broad and the other is narrow…

Jesus said…
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Matthew 7:13-14

Which road are you on?

Being born-again is not a religious experience, and neither is it simply about saying a” “sinner’s prayer” either, unless that prayer is preceded by true faith and repentance (changing the way you think), that results in a changed life, that now is guided by faith and obedience to God’s Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

No, we are not talking here about a RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE, which tries to earn something the Bible says CANNOT be earned, but rather we’re talking about a TOTAL change of life experience.

This is what Jesus is saying, in John 3:5, where He said, “That unless you are born of both WATER and Spirit you cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven!”

Our being born-again means that we are born of both WATER and SPIRIT.

John 3:3-8

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he CANNOT see the kingdom of God.”

4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of WATER and the SPIRIT, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

In Acts 2:38 we are told to REPENT, be BAPTIZED and you shall receive the HOLY SPIRIT.

To REPENT means literally, in the Greek, to change the way you think.

In other words, allowing the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to rewrite the corrupt code, the programming that we all have received from this world; and the BAPTISM is not just a symbol or religious ritual (because that by its self won’t save anyone), but rather the baptism that Jesus is talking about was illustrated when the children of Israel left Egypt and passed through the Red Sea; they were literally leaving the bondage and slavery of the past (their old life); and as they passed through the waters of the Red Sea, they were passing into a new life, where the sins of the past (of Egypt) were all washed away.

So where are you on these journey, which road are you traveling on, the narrow road that follows Jesus; or are you on the wide road, where everyone is doing what seems right in their way of thinking, but gives no thought or consideration to what God says, or what God’s plans are — which by the way is what the nature of sin is.

Isaiah 53:6

All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Whereas you CANNOT purchase or earn your salvation, as the Bible is very clear that we are saved ONLY by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9); there is however a cost to our being a disciple, a follower of Jesus, and that cost is that we must deny ourselves and pick up our cross (the symbol of our death) every single day (see Matt 16:24 and 1 John 2:6).

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Be anxious for NOTHING…

The importance of our allowing the Holy Spirit to change the way we think

[NOTE: The word REPENT, in Greek metanoéō, means to change the way we think]

The Bible tells us to fear NOT and be anxious for NOTHING!

Here’s a quote taken from John Wayne, in a movie called “In Harms Way” (1965), that tells it like it is,

All battles are fought by brave men, who are scared and would rather be some place else.

Fear and apprehension are a part of life; and the things you worry about appear to be real (FEAR = False Evidence Appearing to be Real).

However the fact is many of us allow our fears to torture us with thoughts and scenarios that just aren’t in touch with reality, and 90+ percent of the things we worry about never come to pass.

All that worrying is just a waste of our time, that does not change our circumstances at all, and the worrying only causes us harm.

So what’s the solution?

As Believers, we are NOT to allow our fears to control us; we are instructed rather to live by faith and not by sight, learning to cast our cares upon God (1 Pet 5:7).

(see also Ps 37:7-8, 2 Cor 5:7, Heb 10:38 and 11:6)

Listen to what God said to Joshua, after Moses was graduated to Glory and God was handing off Moses’ baton and mantle to Joshua:

Joshua 1:6-9

New Living Translation (NLT)

6 “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.

7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you.

Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left.

Then you will be successful in everything you do.
8 Study this Book of Instruction (the Bible) continually.

Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it.

Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!”

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The Secret Place of the Most High…

Where do we find God’s secret place of refuge?

Psalm 91:1-2

He who dwells in the Secret Place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress‘ “

When you’re in the secret place of the Most High, the enemy can’t even see you, and NOTHING from the enemy can actually touch you.

He doesn’t even know how to locate you. He can run right at you and not even see you.

Our Secret Place is like a Star Trek cloaking device; that renders us invisible to the enemy’s sensors and attacks

The Bible tells us that it is because of Christ’s propitious sacrifice on Calvary’s Cross and our faith in Him, that we can NOW boldly and confidently come into God’s presence (Eph 3:12).

And it is in Psalm 100 that we are given the keys of entry into God’s Presence:

Psalm 100:1-4

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!

Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.

Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

These are the rules for engaging the enemy in spiritual warfare that the Apostle Paul is talking about in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6.

Adjusting our thinking and putting on the Mind of Christ is something that we, as Christians, have to practice everyday.

The Lord is Our Refuge

Written by Dick Mills

“The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms”
— Deut. 33:27

A refuge is a place of safety. In a game of refuge, the animals instinctively know they will not be trapped or shot at.

Likewise, we Christians have a refuge, a place of safety and security from the traps and direct attacks of the enemy.

In speaking in this sense of security in the Lord, the psalmist David wrote:

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them”
(Ps. 119:165).

In modern versions, this word “offend” is usually translated, “snare, trap, capture.”

Thus, this is a Biblical terminology for Satan’s attempts to capture believers and make them into prisoners of fear, poverty, sickness, anger, lust, insecurity, etc.

In the original Hebrew, the word translated “refuge” here is me’ownah (meh-o-naw’), meaning “a lair, den, asylum, retreat, or home.”

As believers, our place of safety, of retreat, of refuge from the assaults of the enemy, is the Lord God of hosts.

“Refuge” (me’ownah) is also the word used for the tabernacle or temple where God dwells.

We Christians have our individual dwelling places, our me’ownah. God also has His tabernacle, or me’ownah – His dwelling place.

We not only have the security of our own homes, but we also have an added spiritual security in the place of worship.

When we worship the Lord in spirit and in truth we find a beneficial refuge from doubt, disbelief, distrust, despair, dismay, and disturbance.

The Lord is our refuge: our lair, den, our retreat, our home, and our tabernacle!

[Source: The Spirit-Filled Believer’s Daily Devotional by Dick Mills]

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What does LOVE YOUR ENEMIES mean?

The Bible says that when you feed your enemy, it’s like heaping coals of fire upon their head…

Proverbs 25:21-22

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
For so you will heap coals of fire on his head,
And the Lord will reward you.

So what’s with the coals of fire on the head?

God’s ways and thoughts are certainly different from ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).

This whole wording happens to be another Jewish idiom that makes absolutely no sense to us, in our Western mindset.

We’re told in the Bible that when you feed your enemy you will heap coals of fire on their head.

Heaping coals of fire on one’s head:

In the Bible lands almost everything is carried on the head water jars, baskets of fruit, vegetables, fish or any other article.

Those carrying the burden rarely touch it with the hands, and they walk through crowded streets and lanes with perfect ease.

In many homes the only fire they have is kept in a brazier, which they use for simple cooking as well as for warmth.

They plan to always keep it burning. If it should go out, some member of the family will take the brazier to a neighbors house to borrow fire.

Then she will lift the brazier to her head and start for home.

If her neighbor is a generous woman, she will heap the brazier full of coals.

To feed an enemy and give him drink was like heaping the empty brazier with live coals, which meant food, warmth and almost life itself to the person or home needing it, and was the symbol of finest generosity.

[From B.M. Bowen, Strange Scriptures that Perplex the Western Mind]

Agape love, as explained in the Bible, is the God kind of LOVE, that’s freely given and comes without strings; and is God’s true nature and our source of power to overcome this world.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love!”

— 1 Corinthians 13:13

This is what LOVE (Agape) looks like and how it is to be expressed in our life, if we are willing to get ourselves out of the way and be God’s conduit.

It basically means that we, as Gods ambassadors in the Earth, that we must learn to treat other people, based on the value God has placed upon them.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Living Bible (TLB)

4 Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, 5 never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way.

It is not irritable or touchy.

It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.
Love does not demand its own way.

It is not irritable or touchy.

It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.
6 It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out.
7 If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.

Part of our “PUTTING ON THE MIND OF CHRIST,” every day (as we’re told to do in Philippians 2:5), involves our learning to think and react as Christ would in our everyday situations.

The reason being, we’re here as His ambassadors, to represent His interests and not our own.

We’re here to be His distributors of LOVE and LIGHT into all the dark places of this Earth.

So here are our marching orders from on High:

Matthew 5:43-48

The Message (MSG)

43-47 “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’

I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.

When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.

This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to EVERYONE, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty.

If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that.

If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

48 “In a word, what I’m saying is, GROW UP. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it.

Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

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What does it mean to seek God’s face…

The importance of seeking God’s face – His PRESENCE in your life & be in relationship with Him 24/7 365 – above all else…

April 27
My Utmost for His Highest

WHAT DO YOU WANT?

Do you seek great things for yourself?
— Jeremiah 45:5

Are you seeking great things for yourself, instead of seeking to be a great person?

God wants you to be in a much closer relationship with Himself than simply receiving His gifts— He wants you to get to know Him.

Even some large thing we want is only incidental; it comes and it goes. But God never gives us anything incidental.

There is nothing easier than getting into the right relationship with God, unless it is not God you seek, but only what He can give you.

If you have only come as far as asking God for things, you have never come to the point of understanding the least bit of what surrender really means.

You have become a Christian based on your own terms. You protest, saying, “I asked God for the Holy Spirit, but He didn’t give me the rest and the peace I expected.”

And instantly God puts His finger on the reason– you are not seeking the Lord at all; you are seeking something for yourself.

Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7).

Ask God for what you want and do not be concerned about asking for the wrong thing, because as you draw ever closer to Him, you will cease asking for things altogether.

“Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8).

Then why should you ask?

So that you may get to know Him.

Are you seeking great things for yourself?

Have you said, “Oh, Lord, completely fill me with your Holy Spirit”?

If God does not, it is because you are not totally surrendered to Him; there is something you still refuse to do.

Are you prepared to ask yourself what it is you want from God and why you want it?

God always ignores your present level of completeness in favor of your ultimate future completeness.

He is not concerned about making you blessed and happy right now, but He’s continually working out His ultimate perfection for you—

“…that they may be one just as We are one…” (John 17:22).

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What’s going on with with Kim Jong Un?

Amos 3:7 tells us that, “Certainly the Sovereign Lord does NOTHING without first revealing His plan to His servants the prophets”…

So what is going on with Kim Jong Un, in North Korea?

Ever since Donald Trump began to surge forth as a candidate in 2016, Christians have been pointing to the book of Isaiah and comparing Donald Trump with the ancient Persian king Cyrus, whom God had named 150 years before he was born, and call him his servant.

Isaiah 44:28
Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My servant,
And he shall perform all My pleasure,
Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,”
And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.” ’

There have been several modern day prophets, on the subject of Donald Trump, who have claimed that God has revealed to them that He will use Donald Trump for the good of America, just as He used Cyrus for the good of the Jewish people.

Long before Donald Trump was even on the radar to become president, Kim Clement had already prophecied his election to office.

From 2007 to 2014 a series of prophecies were given by Kim Clement.

When Clement first named that Donald Trump would be President in 2007, it was a little hard to take seriously.

Trump was on no one’s radar. He was just a real estate mogul and reality tv star.

Although he had been in the public eye his entire career, and at various times flirted with the idea of running for the office, no one really took it seriously.

Over the course of seven years, Kim Clement made 7 major prophecies about Trump. Six of which have already come to pass.
They are as follows:

1. Donald Trump by name
2. his hot blooded nature
3. the mockery of mainstream media
4. Impeachment
5. Trump’s desire to protect America
6. Trump’s successful economy

All six of these prophecies are powerful on their own, but when combined, they demand to be noticed.

They could have been about any person or six separate individuals, but Clement specifically gave these prophecies concerning Donald Trump.

The seventh prophetic point that is yet to come to pass is

7. Trumps second term.

America is now at a crossroads of decision, in that God, through this modern day “Cyrus” – Donald Trump, is given our nation an opportunity to repent.

This is all happening as our world is fast approaching this event on the prophetic stage, as the second coming of our Lord approaches:

Revelation 11:15
Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and loud voices called out in heaven: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.”

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Getting out of Dodge, while there’s still time…

Sodom and Gemorah

Initially it was Lot, his wife and his two daughters who where escaping Sodom and Gemorah, but his wife, against the orders of the two angels, held back and perished…

[Here’s the backstory]

Genesis 19:1-17

The Voice (VOICE)

1 The two heavenly messengers arrived in Sodom that evening, and Lot was sitting at the gate of the city.

When Lot saw them, he went out to meet them and bowed low, his face touching the ground.

Lot: 2 Please, my lords, take time to come into your servant’s house to spend the night and wash your feet. Then you can rise early and be on your way.

Messengers: No, we will be fine spending the night in the city square.

3 But Lot persisted and urged them to come home with him and enjoy his hospitality.

They agreed finally and came with Lot to his house.

Lot prepared a huge meal for them, served with unleavened bread, and they ate until they were full. 4 But before they could lie down to rest for the night, the men of the city—that is, the men of Sodom, young and old alike, every last one of them—surrounded the house 5 and called out to Lot.

Men of Sodom: Where are the men who came with you to your house tonight? We saw them go in with you! Bring them out here. We want to have sex with them!

6 Lot slipped out of the door to address the men, shutting it firmly behind him.

Lot: 7 Look, I beg you, brothers, don’t do this. Don’t sink to this level of depravity!

8 Look—I have two daughters. Both are virgins. How about this: I’ll bring them out for you instead. You can do with them as you please. But please don’t do anything to these men. They are my guests. They deserve the protection of my home.

[NOTE: Lot leaves the safety of his home to negotiate with the men of the city, all of whom seem determined to have sex with his guests.

Although his courage is commendable, his solution is deplorable—offering his virgin daughters for the deviant pleasures of his neighbors.

But Lot knows their sexual preference is for his guests, not his daughters; so the offer is safe, and he has bought some time.]

Men of Sodom: 9 Get out of the way, man!

(to each other) Look, this guy came to our city as a stranger. He’s not one of us, and yet he thinks he has the right to judge all of us!

(to Lot) You better watch out, or we’ll treat you far worse than we will your guests!

They came at Lot and pushed him hard against the door until it was about to break. 10 Just then the men inside reached out and pulled Lot into the house with them, shutting the door securely to block the men of Sodom out.

11 Then the heavenly messengers struck all of the men pressing at the door with blindness—both young and old alike. It wasn’t long before they exhausted themselves blindly groping for the door.

Messengers (to Lot): 12 Do you have anyone else here in the city—sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or any other members of your family—whom you want to save?

If so, you need to get them out of here right now! 13 We are going to destroy this place. Because of the immense outcry the Eternal One has received regarding the depravity of this city, the Eternal has sent us here to destroy it.

14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!”
But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.

[NOTE: Abraham had negotiated God down to agree that if there were 10 righteous souls in the city that God would forego the destruction of Sodom and Gemorah.

What was going on in Abraham’s head, and why did he stop at 10 souls?

I believe that it was because Abraham was concerned for Lot and his family.

[NOTE: Apparently, Lot not only had 2 virgin daughters, who were not married and were still living at home; but he must also have had three daughters that were married too (hence these son-in-laws); and if you do the math, Lot, his wife, his 2 virgin daughters, plus 3 married daughters and their husbands, all together that would have added up to 10 souls]

Lot: Get up, and get out of this place. The Eternal One is going to destroy the city!

But his sons-in-law thought he was kidding and wouldn’t budge.

15 At dawn, the heavenly messengers urged Lot to action again.

Messengers: Lot, you need to get up and take your wife and two daughters out of here. Otherwise you will be consumed along with the rest of the city.

16 But Lot kept procrastinating, so the two heavenly messengers grabbed him, his wife, and his two daughters by the hand. They took them outside the city, a safe distance away, because the Eternal decided to show mercy to Lot and his family.

17 As they were leading them to safety, one of the messengers gave this instruction:

Messenger: Now run! Run for your lives! Don’t look back or stop anywhere in the plain. Head for the hills, or you’ll die along with everyone else.

Here are the ruins of Sodom and Gemorah today:

Here’s a warning that Peter gives,
in the New Testament, about the prevalent feelings and beliefs of the unbelievers, in the last days, just before Jesus returns:

2 Peter 3:1-9

The Voice (VOICE)

3 This is now, my dear friends, my second letter to you. In both of them, I have tried to inspire you to a sincere and pure way of thinking by reminding you of what you already know.

2 Remember the words spoken earlier by God’s holy prophets and the commandment that our Lord and Savior gave to you through your emissaries.
3 Above all, be sure to remember that in the last days mockers will come, following their own desires and taunting you, 4 saying, “So what happened to the promised second coming of Jesus?

For everything keeps going just the way it has since our ancestors fell asleep in death; since the beginning of creation, nothing’s changed.”

[These believers face persecution every day and eagerly await the day when Jesus will return and judge their enemies. But what is taking so long?]

5 When they make fun of you, it’s as if the scoffers are deliberately forgetting that long ago when God spoke the word, the heavens came into existence and the earth formed from water and by water.

6 The waters later flooded and destroyed that world. 7 By that same word, the heavens and earth we see now are being reserved for destruction by fire, preserved until the time comes for the godless on the day of judgment.

8 Don’t imagine, dear friends, that God’s timetable is the same as ours; as the psalm says, for with the Lord, one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day.

[Scoffers use the delay in His second coming to question if He is going to return at all.Peter responds by saying that God’s perspective on time is not like ours.

What seems long from a finite, human perspective is incredibly short from an eternal one.

Peter also describes how God is not slow, but patient. God wants to allow the time needed for as many sinners as possible to turn from their sinful ways.

Unlike some depictions of God as vindictive and enjoying inflicting punishment on people, the God we see here desires that ALL be saved and not destroyed.

If we had true spiritual insight, we would not be amazed by the severity of eternal judgment but by the intensity of God’s mercy.
Peter responds by saying that God’s perspective on time is not like ours.

What seems long from a finite, human perspective is incredibly short from an eternal one.

Peter also describes how God is not slow, but patient. God wants to allow the time needed for as many sinners as possible to turn from their sinful ways.

Unlike some depictions of God as vindictive and enjoying inflicting punishment on people, the God we see here desires that ALL be saved and not destroyed.

If we had true spiritual insight, we would not be amazed by the severity of eternal judgment but by the intensity of God’s mercy.]

9 Now the Lord is not slow about enacting His promise—slow is how some people want to characterize it—no, He is not slow but patient and merciful to you, not wanting anyone to be destroyed, but wanting everyone to turn away from following his own path and to turn toward God’s.

The Bible admontages us, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, and to Call upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6).

So come along with us and join this grand Adventure, while the door is still open!

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God is the Potter and we are the clay…

What does it mean to “delight” yourself in the Lord?

Psalms 37:4
“DELIGHT yourself also in the LORD; and he shall give you the desires of your heart.”

(Olive Tree Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary)
Dictionary Definition

DELIGHT in Hebrew h6026. עָנַג ‘ânag̱: a primitive root meaning to be soft or pliable.

God is the Potter – We are the Clay

by Michael Bradley

One of the most powerful analogies in the Bible regarding our transformation and sanctification in the Lord has to be the analogy of the potter and the clay. The Bible says that God is the Potter and we are the clay.

It is up to God to mold, transform, and sanctify us as we journey through this earthly life.

Whenever God gives us a specific analogy in the Bible, this means that we have to seek into the revelation of that analogy in order to pick up what He is trying to tell us with the analogy.

If we do, then we will see exactly what God is trying to tell us in reference to the actual analogy itself.

In other words, we have to find exactly how pottery is made if we want to fully understand what God is trying to tell us in this most incredible analogy.

Here is the key verse from Scripture that will give us this specific revelation that God is the Potter and we are His clay:

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)

How Actual Pottery Is Made & How It Fits Into God’s Sanctification With Us

I will break down the main steps on how pottery is actually made, along with the appropriate explanations as to how all of this perfectly fits into God’s actual sanctification with us under the specific captions below.

1. God Needs the Word in Us Before He Can Start the Sanctification Process
The first thing Pat will show you is the lump of clay that he will actually use to make the piece of pottery he is looking to make.

Before Pat can put this piece of clay on an electric wheel to start the actual molding process to make the kind of pottery he wants to make, he first has to add enough WATER into it in order to make it pliable and soft enough for him to be able to actually use it.

If he does not add enough water into the clay, the clay will remain too hard and rigid for him to be able to actually use.

When the water is added into the clay, it makes the clay soft and pliable. If the clay is not soft and pliable enough, the potter cannot begin to use it to make the pottery he wants to make.

The analogy for us to pick up on this first step is that the water used in this process represents the Word of God.

Here is a good verse giving us the actual revelation that the word “water” in the Bible is symbolic of the Word of God. In other words, the Word of God is like water to our souls.

Just like our physical bodies need water in order to be able to live and survive in this world, in the same way our souls need God’s Word flowing through us in order to feed us on the inside in our inner man.

” … that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:26)

What this is telling us is that God cannot even begin to mold and transform us in this life unless we are first willing do our part.

And our part has to be to get into His Word and try to read, understand, and assimilate what is in the Bible as best we can, with the Holy Spirit also helping us to understand what we are actually reading.

The Bible says that we are to grow in the knowledge of God, and one of the main ways that you will grow in the knowledge of God is to read from the one Book that will give you this direct knowledge – the Bible!
There is no other way into the knowledge of God other than through the Bible.

If you do not spend enough reasonable time in this life trying to read from the Bible and assimilate the actual knowledge that is in this Book as best you can, then God will have very little to work with in your own personal growth with Him, and you will see very little, if any actual spiritual growth in Him in this life.

The reason why so many of God’s saints are not spiritually growing in this life and being properly sanctified in the Holy Spirit is because they are not spending enough time trying to read and understand the Bible as best they can, and then see how the actual knowledge in this Book can be implemented into their daily lives.

The Holy Spirit needs something to work with in order to get this growth process kicked into full gear – and that something is knowledge – and that knowledge can only be gained by reading the Bible. There is no other way!

Just as the potter cannot use the clay unless there is enough water added into it – in the same way God cannot start the sanctification process in our lives unless we first start to get enough of the Word in us.

The Word cannot start to effectively work in you and your life unless you first start to attempt to get it into you in the first place.

So without question, the very first step you have to take, if you really want God to mold and shape you into the kind of person He really wants you to become in Him in this life, is to spend enough reasonable time in the Word – trying to understand, with the help of the Holy Spirit, all of the knowledge that is contained in it, and exactly how all of this knowledge can be incorporated into your personal life and walk with the Lord.

2. You Have to Be Properly “Centered” in Jesus Christ
After Pat adds enough water into the clay to make it soft and pliable so he can now start to work with it – the next thing he will do is put the piece of clay in the center of an electric wheel.

This wheel will then start to spin so he can then use his hands to start the molding and shaping process with the clay as it is actually spinning on the wheel.

However, if the piece of clay is not properly centered in the middle of the wheel, then he will not be able to work with it, and he will not be able to make the pottery he wants to make.

Pat said having the lump of clay perfectly centered in the middle of the electric wheel is the first step in being able to actually make a piece of pottery.

If he tries to make a piece of pottery with a lump of clay that is not properly centered in the middle of the wheel, it will eventually tear apart before he can finish the process.

In the same way that the clay has to be properly centered in the middle of the wheel before the potter can even begin to mold and shape it – we have to be properly centered in Jesus Christ before God can start to mold and shape us.

So what does it mean to be properly centered in Jesus?

I believe what it means to be properly centered in Jesus is that you have to be under a complete and full surrender of you and your entire life with Him where He is now in full control of your entire life.

Jesus has to become both Lord and Savior in your life, not just your Savior. Too many Christians do not have Jesus as the real Lord in their lives.

Again, this is all fully explained to you in our article titled, “The Full Surrender” in the Bible Basics section of our site.

In this article we give you all of the main verses from Scripture to show you exactly what this full surrender is all about, along with a good full surrender prayer that will actually get you into this realm with the Lord.

Bottom line – you have to enter into God’s perfect will for your life before He will start to guide both you and your life in the direction that He will want to take it in.
God will not fully guide you to your divine destiny in Him, and fully sanctify you to the degree that He would really like in this life unless you first come into this full surrender with Him.

It’s your all for His all.

Just like the potter cannot mold the piece of clay into the piece of pottery that he is trying to make unless it is perfectly centered in the middle of the wheel – in the same way the Lord cannot begin to properly work with us in this life unless we are perfectly centered in Him in this full surrender…

[Article link: https://www.bible-knowledge.com/potter-and-the-clay/%5D

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In other words, God’s promise is to grant the desires of our heart ONLY to those who are centered in Christ and are soft and pliable in the hands of the Master Potter, who is God; and this can only happen as we immerse ourselves, like the Potter’s clay, in the water of the Word and Spirit.

(NOTE: in the Bible, WATER is used as a symbol for both God’s Word and the Holy Spirit, hence to immerse ourselves in water means to immerse ourselves in both]

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Course and heading…

Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet…

This was David’s prayer, as he was facing the frustrations and disappointments of his time; and was, in spite of all the negativity and disappointments, he is recognizing the importance of getting in sync and getting his head on right with God each day.

Let’s all take our course and heading first thing this morning and every morning.

[Please read the whole Psalm and make it your prayer today]

Psalm 25
The Passion Translation (TPT)

Don’t Fail Me, God!
King David’s poetic praise to God

1 Forever I will lift up my soul into your presence, Lord.
2 Be there for me, God, for I keep trusting in you.

Don’t allow my foes to gloat over me or
the shame of defeat to overtake me.

3 For how could anyone be disgraced
when he has entwined his heart with you?

But they will all be defeated and ashamed
when they harm the innocent.

4 Lord, direct me throughout my journey
so I can experience your plans for my life.

Reveal the life-paths that are pleasing to you.

5 Escort me along the way; take me by the hand and teach me.
For you are the God of my increasing salvation;
I have wrapped my heart into yours!

6–7 Forgive my failures as a young man,
and overlook the sins of my immaturity.
Give me grace, Lord! Always look at me
through your eyes of love—
your forgiving eyes of mercy and compassion.

When you think of me, see me as one you love and care for.

How good you are to me!
8 When people turn to you,
they discover how easy you are to please—so faithful and true!

Joyfully you teach them the proper path,
even when they go astray.

9 Keep showing the humble your path,
and lead them into the best decision.

Bring revelation-light that trains them in the truth.

10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who follow the ways of his covenant.

11 For the honor of your name, Lord,
never count my sins, and forgive them all—
lift their burden off of my life!

12 Who are they that live in the holy fear of God?
You will show them the right path to take.

13 Then prosperity and favor will be their portion,
and their descendants will inherit all that is good.

14 There’s a private place reserved for the lovers of God,
where they sit near him and receive
the revelation-secrets of his promises.

15 Rescue me, Lord, for you’re my only hero.

16 Sorrows fill my heart as I feel helpless, mistreated—
I’m all alone and in misery!
Come closer to me now, Lord, for I need your mercy.

17 Turn to me, for my problems seem to be going from bad to worse.
Only you can free me from all these troubles!

18 Until you lift this burden, the burden of all my sins,
my troubles and trials will be more than I can handle.

Can’t you feel my pain?
19 Vicious enemies hate me.
There are so many, Lord. Can’t you see?

20 Will you protect me from their power against me?
Let it never be said that I trusted you
and you didn’t come to my rescue.

21 Your perfection and faithfulness are my bodyguards,
for you are my hope and I trust in you as my only protection.

22 Zealously, God, we ask you
to come save Israel from all her troubles,
for you provide the ransom price for your people!

Come join the Adventure!

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