The Hidden Value of What You Have

There was a woman in the Bible who thought all she had was death, debt and destitution. But what she really had was the seed for a miracle. She came desperate to the prophet Elisha after her husband had died, thinking she had no way to support herself. He then asked her, “Tell me what you have in the house?” She said, “I have nothing but a jar of oil.” But when she collected all of the empty jars she had and poured what she had into them, the oil multiplied, filled them all, and met her need. It will take faith to believe it, but the value of what you have is hidden in the seed God has given you. Within it may be the essence of the miracle you so desperately need. (2 Kings 4) Believe that what God has given is the seed to meet your need.

Prejudice Impedes Our Healing

Is it possible that prejudice is keeping you from receiving the healing you so desperately need? There was a Syrian general in the Bible who had leprosy. But when he asked the prophet Elisha to heal him he told the leper he needed to bathe in the Jordan river in order to be healed. This made the mighty general furious. He complained that the Syrian rivers were better than the dirty Israelite rivers. His prejudice toward another people group had closed his heart and kept him from receiving the healing he needed. When he finally humbled himself and obeyed God, he was completely healed. Is there a person or group of people you have prejudice toward? Perhaps your healing is waiting on the other side of your humble obedience.

Don’t Worry…Trust Jesus!

There are many things worth praying about, but nothing worth worrying about. Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its troubles, it only empties today of its peace. Jesus said, “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:31-33, NLT) I want to focus on God’s promises, not my predicament; to live by faith, not feelings. For without faith in God’s Word, I can’t please Him. (Hebrews 11:6) Faith adds wings to your feet, fear adds weights. You were made to fly, not to fall.

God is Pleased with You

Would it surprise you if I said, God was pleased with you? Not everything you do, but everything you are to Him. It is the foundational reality each of us need to know in order to have a healthy relationship with God. Jesus’ ministry was launched with His Heavenly Father speaking from Heaven so others could hear, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (John 3:17, ESV) Though Jesus knew it, others needed to hear it, and we need to hear it too. He was God’s beloved…but so are we. Ephesians 1:6 says that if Jesus is our Lord, then we are “…accepted in the (same) beloved (as Jesus).” (Ephesians 1:6, NKJV) We are His beloved sons and daughters, not because of what we have done, but because of what Jesus did by dying for our sins, and making us right with God.

Power Comes from Conquering Temptations

Every revelation God gives us will be tested, not to make us stumble, but to firmly embed God-given truth into the deepest part of our being. After Jesus was baptized, and heard His Heavenly Father’s audible approval from Heaven, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” (Matthew 3:17, ESV) He went into the wilderness to be tested.” (Matthew 4:1) Most translations use the word, “tempted” here. Because Jesus overcame extraordinary temptations, He went into this wilderness “full of the Holy Spirit” (Luke 4:1), and yet came out “…in the power of the Spirit.” (Luke 4:14) And so will we! Testing’s are coming to all of us, but they are always meant for our good. As the Bibles says, “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold…” (1 Peter 1:7a)

How Does God See You?

Just because you have experienced great difficulties and even sinned, it doesn’t mean you are defined by those experiences. I have many flaws, but from God’s perspective, I am not flawed. I have suffered great loss, but I am not a loser. I have often failed, but I am not a failure. Even when we give in to sin, God always provides a way of escape. (1 Corinthians 10:13) After listing some of life’s most challenging sins, the Bible offers us extraordinary hope, “Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11, NLT) God doesn’t see us as sinners, He sees us as those rescued by the shed blood of His Son.
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Too Late with Too Little

There are two things we should never believe about our relationship with God: that what He’s given us is too little, and that when He shows up it is already too late. God never shows up late or with too little! The Bible promises, “God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” (2 Corinthians 9:8, NLT) Not all of our wants are what’s best for us, but He knows what we absolutely need, and that God promises to provide. As the psalmist wrote, “Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act.” (Psalm 37:7, NLT) Our trust in the timing and provision of God is the best indicator of whether we really know Him or not; and knowing and trusting God is what life is all about.

It’s Not in the Bible!

Did you know that some of the statements people attribute to God are not in the Bible? Statements like, “God helps those who help themselves,” or “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” The truth is, God rescues those who are willing to die to themselves (Matthew 16:24), and everything in life is more than we can handle on our own (2 Corinthians 1:8, Matthew 11:28). Then there’s “God wants to make me happy,” and “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” The Bible actually teaches that God wants to make us holy, not happy, (1 Peter 1:15), and “…there is great gain in godliness with contentment” (1 Timothy 6:6, ESV). So, the next time you hear someone saying something they claim is in the Bible, do some further investigation. You may find, those cute little expressions only erode the genuine truth of God’s Word that could set you free.

Healing After Total Commitment

At times, we all need to be healed, either emotionally or physically. But sometimes our healings only come after a total commitment. In the Old Testament, the prophet Elisha went to pray for a child who was dead. He had previously sent his staff to be laid upon the child but nothing happened. (2 Kings 4:31) So, Elisha went himself, and actually laid on the dead child, as the Bible recounts, “…putting his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. And as he stretched himself upon him, the flesh of the child became warm.” (2 Kings 4:34) Elisha’s total commitment and obedience to the Holy Spirit had been the difference-maker! It will be the difference-maker in our lives as well. Remember, our total commitment to obey the Lord brings healing.

Who’s Following You?

I grew up in New York City. It was quite a scary place. I remember riding subways late at night, or walking down dark streets and being concerned for my safety. On a few occasions, I was threatened, my money was taken, and I feared for my life. Now, as a follower of Jesus, I know who and what is following me, and that’s made a complete difference in how I process life. The Bible says, “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.” (Psalm 23:6, ESV) Wow! That’s awesome! I’m being stalked by God’s goodness, and overtaken by His mercy. Whenever I focus on this reality, I am filled with His peace. No one can keep us safe like God. Believe His promises and live the fearless life He intended.

You Are a Leader!

Did you know that you are called to be a leader? From their earliest ages, we told our children they were called to be leaders. It made a big difference in their lives. When their identities were threatened by peer pressure and following the wrong people, we reminded them about who they were called to be…leaders! When we were not with them, God’s Spirit reminded them. The truth is, if we don’t lead our children, one of their silly friends will. Ha, Ha! And all children have silly friends. If we don’t rule our spirit, someone else will. Never forget who you are called to be: a leader in pursuit of your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For it is only in walking in our true identity, as a leader, that we are truly His disciple.

Who is Advising You?

Instead of surrounding yourself with people who will tell you what you want to hear, you would be better off receiving advise from people who will tell you what you need to hear. None of us want to be around negative people. But, at times, we all need to hear what we don’t want to hear. Years ago, when selecting elders in our church leadership, we didn’t want people who were “Yes People” or “No People”, we wanted people who were unattached to yes or no, but were committed to say whatever God asked them to share, with a respectful, God-honoring attitude. Two decades later, we have had many spirited discussions, but with leaders who are more attached to what God thinks, than what they think. It’s brought both peace, health and safety to our church family.