LUKE 12:27 LB 27 “Look at the lilies! They don’t toil and spin, and yet Solomon in all his glory was not robed as well as they are.
Many people would have you believe that God only supplies what we need — nothing more.
But they haven’t considered the flowers!
If you want to know God better, obey Jesus and look at the flowers. They were God’s idea.
Why did God make so many flowers? All the many different flowers are not necessary. Although flowers have some purposes, one kind of flower in one single color could have been made to meet all the needs.
The fact is: so many different flowers are not needed. They are “extra,” something far, far beyond merely what was needed.
We could live without all the different flowers, but life is so much more beautiful with them.
Dear friend, God is not intent on you barely scraping by. He told you to ask and receive — that your joy may be full (see John 16:24). God desires your joy to be full.
But don’t make the mistake that so many do. Abundance of “things” will never satisfy you apart from God. But what a joy it is when you have close fellowship with the Creator, and can thank Him for all the wonderful things He has provided for you because of His great love. In that context, things are a great blessing, because they are a constant reminder of the goodness and love of God.
Others tell us that “God only helps those who help themselves” and make us think that “if it is to be, it is up to me.”
No! While it is true that we must cooperate with God, mostly by trusting Him and resisting our enemy by standing in faith on God’s Word, it is not true that we have only ourselves to depend on.
That was part of Jesus’ point: God “prospers” flowers better than Solomon could achieve — and he was the richest man who ever lived! God can, and will, take care of you, too. Just let Him.
Whenever I see flowers, or whenever I think of the abundance God has provided, it reminds me of His love, and I say, “Thank You Lord, for flowers.”
PHILIPPIANS 3:20 LB 20 But our homeland is in heaven, where our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is; and we are looking forward to his return from there.
Heaven is a real place. In fact, Heaven is ultimate reality. There are real people there, involved in real activities. But most importantly, our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God are there.
Sometimes people talk of someone who has departed this life as “having gone to their reward.”
Heaven is not a reward.
There will be rewards given out by God, but going to Heaven is not a reward. Heaven is a return to normal.
That’s right. Heaven is the way life was supposed to be. Heaven is normal. What we have been experiencing on this sin-infested planet is sub-normal.
But part of the Good News is that Jesus will not leave this place, or us, sub-normal forever. One day, maybe soon, Jesus will return from Heaven and change things on Earth back to what God intended when He created this place.
Everything on Earth, as originally created, was a reflection of the home planet, Heaven. All the beauty and everything good that we enjoy on Earth is but a dim reflection of what Heaven offers.
What makes Heaven our home? Home is where your family is. Home is where you are comfortable. Home is where you have a place to live. Home is where you belong. For the believer in Jesus Christ, Heaven fits all those descriptions.
ROMANS 3:24 NLT 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
Righteousness is right standing, or good standing with God. It does not mean human “perfection.” You are righteous because God says you are.
You may wonder about Romans 3:10 which says no one is righteous. Yes, it does say that, but it is quoting an Old Testament passage to prove that both Jews and Gentiles were guilty before God and needed salvation. It immediately goes on to say in the next few verses (see verses 22 and 24) that now we can be righteous through faith in Jesus Christ.
2 CORINTHIANS 5:19a,21 NLT 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
TITUS 3:5 NLT 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.
Righteousness is a gift from God — not something you can earn or achieve. God simply declares you are innocent, as far as He is concerned, because of your faith in Jesus.
ROMANS 3:22 NLT 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
ROMANS 10:10 NLT 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
GALATIANS 2:16 NLT 16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”
The only way to have good standing with God is by accepting His gift — Jesus Christ.
1 CORINTHIANS 1:30 NLT 30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.
ROMANS 5:17 NLT 17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.
MATTHEW 4:10 NLT 10 “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God; serve only him.’ ”
Jesus spoke directly to the devil — and so must you.
Many Christians think they should pray about the devil and ask God to deliver them from his attacks. But the Bible is clear — God has given the authority to believers to resist the devil.
You must control the devil, or he will control you!
Unless you exercise the authority delegated to you by Jesus Christ, the devil will wreak havoc in your life, and everywhere he is allowed to.
LUKE 10:19 NKJ 19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Praying to God to stop the devil’s operations is no different than my son asking me to take out the trash, after I have told him to do it.
God told us to resist the devil and he would flee. We must believe and act on God’s Word.
EPHESIANS 4:27 NKJ 27 nor give place to the devil.
Would God tell us not to let the devil have any place, if we had no say about it? If the devil does have a place in our affairs, it’s because we allowed it.
JAMES 4:7 NKJ 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
We must first submit to God, because we are not greater in power than the devil. But submitted to God in Christ Jesus, the devil must back off when we resist him and his works.
JOHN 8:31-32 NRSV 31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
Everyone wants to be free, but many have given up hope that it is possible.
But Jesus gave a promise, valid for you today. You can be free!
Many suffer from physical problems. Jesus’ promise includes you!
Some are bound by debt. The promise of Jesus applies to you, also!
Others are bound by fear. You can be free!
Many are bound by destructive habits they are unable to quit. Sin enslaves people, but you can be free from its power!
JOHN 8:34 NRSV 34 Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.
Jesus will set you free from the power of sin. He will not take away your freedom to sin, but He will change you inwardly, so you don’t want to sin.
Real freedom is more than being able to do what you want to do. Real freedom is not having to do what you do not want to do.
JOHN 8:36 NRSV 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
The answers are in the Word of God: the New Testament.
ROMANS 8:32 NKJ 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Most people approach prayer as an exercise in convincing God to help. They think they must twist God’s arm, or promise to do something, in order to get God to give them anything.
The New Testament paints a different picture. God not only is a willing giver, but has already given! He is not holding back on us!
When He gave us Jesus, along with Him He gave us everything we could ever need.
“Why then,” you may ask, “do I not have what I need?”
Friend, there is a great difference between something being given and something being received.
Many people have been unaware recipients of great good, but until they became aware of it and took the necessary steps to properly receive their bounty, it did them no good.
You can be entitled to some inheritance, or other windfall, without knowing it. You can even know it, but without following the proper procedure, not possess and enjoy it.
So it is with the things of God. Proper procedure must be followed. There are instructions on how to receive. But the instructions are clear and easy to follow. You will find them in the New Testament.
1 TIMOTHY 6:17 NKJ 17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
God gives us richly all things to enjoy!
Don’t judge God’s generosity by what you have, or have not, received. Find out the instructions from the Bible, and receive all that God has provided for you.
John 10:10 NASB 10 “The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.
Ted Turner, the founder of the CNN TV network, tells how he turned against Christianity because of bitterness against God in his younger days. After the death of a family member, the preacher told him that “God took them,” and he became bitter over it.
Ted Turner is not alone. Millions of people are mad at God because they believe He has done something wrong — which He has not!
God is not going around killing people, or stealing from them, or destroying their lives. That is the work of the devil.
God is not guilty!
The greatest deception in history has been the devil convincing people that the things he does are done by God. The devil wants us to believe that God acts like the devil.
But it is a lie!
Of course, to pull this deception off, the devil had to get preachers to spread his lies. No one would believe it if the devil personally preached it.
But just because someone who is called a preacher, a reverend, a pastor, a priest, a bishop, a prophet, or any other title, says something is true — does not make it true. To find out the truth we need to go to the Bible and study it for ourselves.
Depending on so-called “experts” can lead you astray. Read and study the Bible for yourself.
JAMES 1:17 NLT 17 Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven’s lights. Unlike them, he never changes or casts shifting shadows.
MARK 11:23 NKJ 23 “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, `Be removed ….
Too many people think of the Bible only as a Holy book to be revered. So they put it up on a shelf and make sure no one mistreats it.
But the Bible is a message from God. It gives us instruction for our benefit — practical advice.
It’s time to take the Bible down off the pedestal, read it, and act on its instructions.
Here is one seldom acted upon: talk to things.
The devil wants you to think it would be crazy to talk to things. But it’s not.
Jesus did it. He talked to sickness. He talked to the storm and told it to be still. He talked to dead bodies and commanded them to get up. He talked to trees. And He talked to the devil and told him to get behind him.
Jesus talked to things. You should too.
You should talk to fear and worry. You should talk to confusion. You should talk to lack. You should talk to sickness. You should talk to the devil. Tell them to leave. Tell them to “be removed.”
LUKE 17:6 NKJ 6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, `Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
LUKE 10:42 WEYMOUTH 42 and yet only one thing is really necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion and she shall not be deprived of it.”
This is the word of Jesus. Someone who knows more than we do — and loves us more than we love ourselves. So, we need to listen and take heed. (After all, we should realize that Jesus did not say things for His own benefit, but to help us.)
It is easy to get busy in life and let ourselves be distracted from what we know is important. That was the case with Martha, the sister of Mary, in the scripture quoted from above. Martha knew she needed to hear what Jesus had to say — but she also knew that she was responsible for preparing something to eat. What could she do?
We all face such problems — which are actually choices.
WE choose what our priorities are. WE decide what we will spend our time and energy on. And we should choose wisely.
(Here’s a tip: if it won’t be important one hundred years from now, it’s not that important now, either.)
In this situation, Jesus brought a calming — not a condemning — word to Martha. (Jesus is still not interested in condemning people, but in helping them.) In effect, Jesus said to not worry, but to put hearing what God has to say first, and then somehow things will work out with God’s help.
Jesus is saying the same message to you, today.
The most important and productive way we can spend time is in getting God’s wisdom, guidance, and help. Hearing and heeding His Word will pay rich dividends in this time, as well as for eternity.
Never forget that God can do more for you in one minute, than you could accomplish in a lifetime by yourself.
Don’t make the wrong choices.
HEBREWS 13:6 NRSV 6 So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?”
Can you imagine how things could improve if God Himself was helping you?
It can happen.
But, to receive God’s help you must cooperate with Him.
God is ready, willing, and able to help you. He desires to help you. But the choice is yours.
When you act contrary to God’s principles, you stop God from helping you as much as He desires.
To cooperate with God, you must trust Him and walk in faith. You must agree with God and speak in agreement with His Word. And you must walk in love. To do that, constant meditation on God’s Word will be required.
You will also need to humble yourself and ask the Lord to help you in everything you do. God does not force His help on you without you requesting His help.
Does this sound too hard? It’s not. Just ask the Lord to help you and He will!
ISAIAH 41:10 NIV 10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
ROMANS 8:31 NIV 31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?