The King’s Delicacies

Daniel 1:5 – And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king.
I was talking with several pastors recently and each one provided a story of how the Lord had provided for them and their families in miraculous ways. The Lord had asked them to sacrifice for their ministries and they were rewarded with His delicacies.
In today’s passage, I was reminded of how the Lord provides for each of His children if they remain obedient and faithful to His calling. As Daniel said, “And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank,” We may all go through seasons of “need”, but remember that there is not a need that the Lord won’t provide for. Throughout the Bible, God promises His provision for us, will you receive it today?
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

 

The Lord Gave Them Knowledge

Daniel 1:17 – 17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
 
When people think of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we are told of in the New Testament (wisdom, knowledge, prophecy, miracles, etc.) they try very hard to do all they can to “get” them. Unfortunately, that is not the way it works. It is up to the Holy Spirit to determine when, where, how and who He will use with His gifts.
In today’s verses, we read how God gave Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah “knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams“. While it is important to eagerly seek the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we cannot get there if we do not first seek Christ.  God gave special giftings to Daniel and his friends because of their desire to seek and serve Him. The Lord used them and the gifts in His service. The greatest gift that we can receive is to seek the Lord and find Him.
 
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey! 

 

They Run To and Fro

Joel 2:9 – They run to and fro in the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter at the windows like a thief.
 
I think on of the ways we run into trouble with sin is that we let our guard down. We foolishly believe that once we get a handle on an area of sin in our life, we can begin to relax and not pay as much attention to it. Unfortunately, the more we let our guard down, the more we will see that sin return.
Today’s passage reminded me of sin. It runs “to and fro in the city….on the wall…into the houses…enter at the windows like a thief”. In other words, sin is everywhere at all times and it is looking for opportunities to enter back into your life. There is not such thing as relaxing when it comes to sin. While we may gain victory over sin, the battle continues on. Our victory means we may have the upper hand, but it doesn’t mean that the battle is over. If you want to have victory, you must win that battle everyday.
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

 

The Word Came

Joel 1:1 –The word of the Lord that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.
People will often go through seasons where they either feel very close to God, or they feel very distant. It might not happen all of a sudden, but for whatever reason, something has changed for the good or the bad. Why do we go through those seasons in our walk with the Lord?
As I was reading today, I was struck by one word in this passage – word. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Word and in today’s scripture we are told that the “word of the Lord that came to Joel“. I was reminded that Jesus came to earth to be with us and when He left, He sent the Holy Spirit to make sure we would still feel His presence. When we feel distant from the Lord, it is not that He has moved. Remember, He came to earth to be with you. Our distance is created by our own movement. Jesus came to us, it is up to us to move towards Him.
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

 

If You Were Lazarus

John 11:43 – 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”
Talking to people about Jesus can be a very scary thing. Telling people about your favorite movie or the football game you went to over the weekend is something different.  For whatever reason, we are uncomfortable talking about someone’s salvation, but we can talk all day about everything else. As I was driving today, the Lord placed a question on my mind, “what would you do if you were Lazarus?”
Lazarus was raised from the dead four days after he died when Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” What is interesting is that the Bible tells us nothing more about Lazarus after his death. What an amazing place for him to be in! He could truly tell people about Heaven because he had experienced it! Now, we do not know if he did tell people about what he had experienced, but it probably came up in conversation. If you were Lazarus, what would you do? Would you tell everyone about how amazing Heaven is and why they need to give their life to Jesus so they can experience it? Well, thanks to Jesus, we have all been raised from the dead. Who are you going to tell about your experience?
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

 

Watch Out for Roadblocks

Ezra 4:4 – Then the people of the land tried to discourage the people of Judah. They troubled them in building,
I have noticed that one of the most effective ways to stop someone from doing something is to “discourage” them from doing it.  When we discourage someone, we are not telling them that they shouldn’t do it, rather we are stating that we just don’t think it is best for them. While there are good reasons to discourage people at times, I believe that most often it is used for inappropriate reasons. It is not that we don’t think something is not good for someone, we just don’t want them to do it for whatever reason.
In today’s reading in Ezra, we read, Then the people of the land tried to discourage the people of Judah. They troubled them in building,.  The “people of Judah” wanted to rebuild the temple, then there were others that “tried to discourage“. In other words, they didn’t want the temple to be rebuilt. As Christians, we must watch for roadblocks that people will try to put up in front of us that will either “discourage” us from walking with the Lord or being used by the Lord in some form of ministry. It is the Lord’s desire for you to be in a meaningful relationship with Him and it is His design for you to be used in His ministry. If others are trying to discourage you from this, watch out for the roadblocks.
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

 

God Hears All, God Sees All, God Knows All….

Ezekiel 35:13 – 13 Thus with your mouth you have boasted against Me and multiplied your words against Me; I have heard them.
As humans, there is a natural tendency to “hide” things from one another. Whether it be an addiction, harsh words against another, acts you have committed, we think by hiding them from people around us, we are safe. That may work temporarily, but eventually, that which we are trying to hide will be discovered. When it comes to sin, we assume that if we can hide it from those around us, we can also hide it from God.
As I was reading Ezekiel today, I was reminded that we can never hide form God. Regardless of how hard people may have tried to hide their words from the Lord, God proclaimed, “I have heard them”. Remember, God hears all, God sees all, God knows all. Why do we spend so much time trying to hide our sins from others, when we should be most concerned about the fact that we can never hide our sin from God?
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

 

A New Spirit

Ezekiel 36:26-27 – 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
This year at Journey of Faith, we have dedicated the entire year to learning about the Holy Spirit and understanding how the Holy Spirit works in our lives.  While many people may say that people and churches are “Spirit filled”, what does that really mean to us? As I have shared with our church, being “Spirit filled” may be entirely different than what people think.
In today’s scripture, Ezekiel shares the true definition of what it means to be “Spirit filled”. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Being “Spirit filled” means that we have accepted Jesus, the Holy Spirit is dwelling within us and because of that, we are new and different.  Before we can be a new creation, we must first have “a new spirit within you”.
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

 

The Blessing of Not Saving

Ezekiel 36:30  – 30 And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations.
 
There are many areas in our lives where we are instructed to “save”. Whether it be our finances, resources or time, we are encouraged to save what has been given to us. Our resources are precious and we must make sure that we can stretch them out for as long as possible.  I agree with this concept, but also believe that there are areas where there is blessing in not saving.
 
In today’s scripture we are told, “And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields”. When it comes to the Fruit of the Spirit, the Lord promises that He will “multiply the fruit of your trees”. In other words, the more Fruit of the Spirit we give to people, the more Fruit of the Spirit we will get. For example, the more love we show to others, the Lord promises that we will also receive more love. The more kindness we show, the more kindness we receive. If you want to receive more Fruit of the Spirit in your lives, make sure to give away all that you have. Yes, there really is blessing in not saving.
 
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

 

One Shepherd

Ezekiel 37:24 – 24 “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them.
As I look at our society, in many ways, I see a society of “excess”. People are drawn to bigger, better, more. I recently read that a well known professional athlete stated that he owns over 800 pairs of shoes! Think about that, if he were to wear a different pair of shoes, every day, it would take him over 2 years to wear each pair! We do that with material things, but we also do it with God.
Today’s verse reminds us that when it comes to God, we “shall all have one shepherd“. Too often, we allow other things to become our god. In fact, sometimes, we allow other deities to become our god. We believe in Jesus, but there are others aspects of other religions that make sense to us. God is our Father, but what is the harm of having a statue of another religions god in our house? Unfortunately, there is a lot wrong with that and it can lead to great harm. We can only have one God. Who is your god?
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!