Archive for the Word of the Day Category

Power, Reward, Recompense

Isaiah 40: 10

Behold, the Lord God will come with might, with His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.

This Word of the Day is for me because yesterday I was feeling very selfish. I didn’t want to look for a verse for you or a Word from God for you. I just wanted to do what I always tell you to do, hang out with Dad. So, I did and this is what he gave me. I do hope it blesses you too.

As is typical, when Dad wants to minister to me, I usually end up in the books of John and Isaiah. I’ve got a fair bit of Isaiah 40 highlighted, you know, the typical verses. I can’t say I have ever seen this one quite like this before.

Isaiah was a visionary. He saw things, especially about Jesus and the New Covenant, that few saw and even fewer comprehended. For the first time, I see the New Testament miracle in this verse. I have written about the power of God before. In this verse Isaiah calls it God’s might. The NIV Bible says He comes with power and rules with a mighty arm. If you do a study on the Holy Spirit you will find that he is the power of God.

This prophecy reveals the coming of the Holy Spirit. It tells us that when God comes as the Holy Spirit, He comes in power. You need God’s power in your life as do I. That is not all, though. When Yahweh sent the Holy Spirit into the earth (See Acts 2) He sent His reward with him. To phrase it differently, the Spirit has come to your life, and mine, with power and reward. Recompense means to make reparation to.

Yahweh God, the Father, sent His Spirit to you so that you would be reimbursed for the years the locust stole, so you would have the power you need for your mission, and to reward you for your devotion to your Father. All good things. So, embrace this verse and cast it forward into your life as prophecy fulfilled.

Law or Liberty

Psalm 1: 2

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.

I want to talk about prayer and study today. I continually encourage you to read your Bible but the question is, is this a matter of law or can we find liberty in it.

We live in a period of grace, Jesus having saved us from the curse of the law and being the very fulfillment of the law in this age. So, is it right or acceptable for ministers to teach and advocate the exercise of legal requirements? I think the answer is no but I think we do it so we must be vigilant to preach liberty to the captives. We tell you to tithe and to give offerings. We tell you to read your Bible and pray daily. Does it begin to sound like law. In other words, is this something you must do in order to please God?

The Bible says, “without faith it is impossible to please Him,” (Hebrews 11: 6). So, anything we do without faith will not please Him. That includes reading your Bible and even praying. That is a big concept, isn’t it? Don’t get me wrong. I want you to read your Bible every day. I want you to spend time talking with Dad. It’s just that I want you to do it because you choose to, not because the law requires it of you. Reading the Word, meditating on it, discussing it with the three persons of the trinity are important because in those tasks are key elements to your freedom, success and overall wellness. We are learning that it is good for our brains, good for our bodies and good even for our pocketbooks. The same is true of giving into God’s work. I do not want it to sound like law. I want you doing these things because it is healthy to your life.

Any thing which draws you closer to Jesus is going to make you happier, healthier and more prosperous. Listening to his voice is key to having the abundant life Jesus came to give you. I have pointed out Joshua 1: 8 several times before. This was God’s advice to Joshua when he was required to assume the leadership of Israel after Moses’ death. It reads, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night.” Even when God spoke this to Joshua He did not give it to him as law. God wanted to encourage Joshua and give him the help he needed. So God told him to camp in the Word. It is for this same reason that I and others continuously encourage you to read and think about what the Bible teaches. If it is the single best piece of advice God could come up with, it must be pretty potent.

Literally, this verse from the book of Joshua means to observe the Word. In other words, we are to engage ourselves with it, looking to see what it says and what it does. And, it’s not as if we don’t have Jesus, Father and the Holy Spirit to ask when we don’t understand it. God promised He would give us wisdom when we ask but it usually comes when we are focused on His Word. Spend an hour in it or three days in it as Kenneth Copeland often does, and you will also observe some things that are not only fascinating but life giving as well.

There are promises which go with focused attention to the Word. I didn’t share verse three with you until now. It promises that the person who does ponder Father’s Word will be “like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.” Come on!  That’s great news! So, don’t meditate day and night because you are commanded to. Don’t do it because you feel a compunction. Do it as an exercise of your liberty and in faith because you want to. Desire to know what Father has hidden in those pages just for you. It is a veritable gold mine. Really! The Word has power to transform lives, especially yours because you are already open to His heart. You are unique in the body of Christ as you are devout in reading this daily devotional. Let Father impart even more into your life. Be Joshua. Be the believer who is firmly planted by streams of water. Be free to live abundantly.

Life in Christ

Romans 6: 23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Are you appreciative of what Jesus did for you? Are you sometimes overwhelmed by the magnitude of his accomplishment? Is it humbling thinking that he endured all for you, so that you would have a life of blessing and a path to the Father? I find it overwhelming at times. What he did for me is too big to contain. It overpowers my thinking and I, like you, feel enormously grateful.

In those moments, how can we express our gratitude? Is there a meaningful way to bless him in return or to show him our appreciation? I think there is. The way to thank Jesus for what he has done for us is to live our lives unto him, but what does that mean?

I really believe that this is one of the key elements for the time in which we live. The church has lived through many transfigurations and I believe this is the one for us. Step outside yourself for a moment and imagine what the church body as a whole looks like. If a Martian looked down on earth and saw all the Christians how would he describe us? How would he describe the Christian church, by which I mean the body of believers taken together as one collective? It is an interesting exercise.

When we put ourselves in that position, looking at who we are, there are a couple of things which might stand out. The body of Christ is a collective, a group of individuals attempting to work together for a common goal. We might be characterized, though, as very individualistic and thus unity is a meaningful goal. The clearest way for us to rise to any challenge posed us individually or as a body is to live our lives to Christ.

Every day we have the opportunity to fix our eyes on him or not. We get to choose what we will do with our time. Will we seek him or will we let the worries and the pressures of the world dominate our psyche? Will we pray? There are many things vying for our time and our attention. How do we show Jesus that we appreciate what he did for us? I think it is in the small moments of life. Maybe driving to work you talk with him and say that it is your desire that he accompany you all day. And perhaps as you go through your day, you constantly remind yourself that he is with you. Maybe in the shower you sought his mind and his priorities for you and all day you continually check in with him asking, “What’s next Jesus?”

Let’s be really honest here for a moment because the paragraph above can be a little bit pie in the sky, a little out of reach for some. I know it was for me when I was practicing law. I worked way too many hours each week and was rushed all the time. I ate lunch at my desk and kept on working. Honestly, I didn’t find enough time for Jesus. I didn’t pause and consider him. I just buried my head and forged forward. And even when I had a moment of clarity realizing I needed to turn my attention to him, I rarely heard him answer me. Was it that he was not answering and now he loves me a lot more than he did so that is why I hear him speaking to me more often? Maybe you are like I was and don’t hear Jesus’ or the Father’s voice often. Maybe he loves me more than he loves you and that is why he talks to me now.

Well, of course, that is ridiculous. He loves you like he loves the Father and the Father loves you as much as He loves Jesus. Wow! But how can you live your life to him and for him if you never hear him or never feel him? Sometimes, you just have to make a decision and do something whether you feel his presence or not. We turn our minds to Christ and then sometimes what we could do becomes very obvious. In fact, sometimes you won’t know except in retrospect that he just guided you. That is the way it is for me. I will do something, really not knowing if it is me or him or even being mindful and then when I turn around later, I see his footprints and I am so happy I did as he led even when I really didn’t know I was. It has something to do with intention and focus. My intention is to walk in the footsteps he has laid out for me. I ask him to lead me all day and he is good to do it. I don’t always feel him either, but I have found that now that I do look for him, I find him more frequently. I have opened my spirit, my internal self to be more receptive where I once closed off my heart so that I couldn’t be hurt. Now my spirit is awaiting his touch.

What I am attempting to convey is if you are in that frustrating space where you try to live with Jesus, but you don’t feel him or hear him, fear not. There is a way out and it is about being intentional. Ask yourself what living your life for him and to him today would look like? You have some answers down in your spirit right now and only need to tap into the deposit he has already put in you. If you begin your day asking Jesus how you can show your appreciation for him and how to live your day in him you may not yet hear all the audible answers you would like but you will have a sense within you that you can go through the day more connected with him than other days.

We can purpose in our hearts to live in him, continually connected to him and he will lead us in that objective. He will teach us. There is a transformative process which happens to us as we renew our minds to him. He is the transforming agent, not us, but the renewal of the mind is in our purview. We can turn our minds to him, and we should. As we focus on him, he draws us to him.

The bottom line is this, do what you can do but, do something. Be intentional about living your life to him. Talk to him even if you don’t hear the answers right now. Keep at it because he is listening and he is moving in your life. In fact, he may have written this Word of the Day just for you. Show him thanksgiving by giving him not just your life but your today, moment by moment.

Understanding

1 Corinthians 1: 19       KJV

For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

Last week we sang a song at church which spoke to me. I extracted this idea from it, that when we trust Him, we don’t need to understand. We live in an age of intellectualism. We like to process everything through the left side of our brains so that everything makes sense and is understandable. This is the opposite of what Jesus told us to do. He told us to believe by faith. Faith is doing what Jesus says when you don’t understand.

God takes us in directions we would never fathom. If you wait until you understand all His motives and plans, you will never go where he is leading. He rarely lays out His plan before you but rather gives one step at a time. We have to learn to trust Him rather than question Him. He isn’t going to answer you anyway so you might as well learn to trust. Everyone who walks with Jesus has had to learn this. The hardest part, at times, is slowing ourselves down enough to hear Him clearly. Sometimes you need to hear more than once to be sure it is from God. That is the question we should ask, “Lord, if this is you, bid me come.” We only need to know we are in God’s will, then we can step out of the boat with confidence, fully trusting that the Lord has us in his care. The question we don’t need to ask is, “Why,” or “How does this work.”

Some people have the ability to walk in simple faith. They have the ability or have made the decision to accept and believe what they hear from the Lord or read in their Bibles. These are not unintelligent people. They are mentally and spiritually disciplined. They have trained themselves not to ask the Lord unfruitful questions.

There is a time and place for understanding. God recognizes that and He will explain what you need to know. There is, however, more occasion for obedience, faith and trust. Those three will always put us in a good position when employed. God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts and even higher than our intellectual capacity. They are never beyond our ability to believe and act though. That is what the Father requires of us. Simple faith and obedience, a willingness to do as He directs whether or not we understand. There is great freedom in this way of living. Maybe it is something you can talk with Father about.

The point is that God is not relying on our wisdom.  He wants us to rely upon His.  We must invest trust and that is the challenge.  We like having control but Yahweh would have us relinquish it to Him.  Wow, what a difficult thing to do.  Now you know why it takes a disciplined mind and spirit to walk in full faith with Him.  This is our calling though and this is the appointed way.  It is not about our intellect but rather about our ability to trust His.  That is where we must grow and we can, with Jesus’ help.

Honored and Esteemed

Psalm 41: 1 – 2

God always blesses those who are kind to the poor and helpless. They’re the first ones God helps when they find themselves in any trouble. The Lord will preserve and protect them. They’ll be honored and esteemed while their enemies are defeated.

While typing in this verse I had to stop and just say, “Thank you Lord.” Do you ever do that? Are there times when the Word of God speaks to you so profoundly that it is as if God has just spoken to you aloud? That is the way it feels to me sometimes and I find myself grateful to be called his own. There is almost a sense of quiet awe, as if to break the silence is to be reminded that I am unworthy of His grace, but praise God, that is when the silence is ruptured by thanksgiving because in that moment we are overwhelmed with the truth, the truth that Jesus made us worthy. He did for us what we were unable to achieve through any other means.

It is in that moment of reverence and awe that I find myself honored to be the blessing that God sends into the world. You and I are God in this world. If the poor and helpless are to have their status changed so that they are no longer without help, it is up to us. Don’t think that I am telling you to go out and do good works. I am telling you to let your gratitude for what Father and Jesus have done for you overwhelm your senses and your spirit so that you just have to have an outlet for your thankfulness or you will pop.

The world does not need a group of sour faced people trying to win God’s favor or redeem themselves. It needs the love of God poured out in a real way. The world needs to see that God has redeemed us and given us joy unspeakable. Hopefully we share that joy and the world sees a God who loves them without measure, without works.

Let us not forget, though, that God honors and upholds us as we go out into the world bringing joy and hope. He takes care of our needs as we take care of the needy. He is our help in the time of need as we are help for the otherwise helpless.

Sow some joy and peace today. If you have nothing other than a smile to give, give it with gusto. Let other people be blessed just because you are there. Say a prayer that everywhere you go today, all people will receive the blessing of the Lord. Give hope and a hand to someone. Be still and silent in your personality and let the Lord speak and shine through you. The more you let go, the more blessed you will be. The more you let Him be the light, the more light you will walk in too. Be blessed, my friends.

My Dad is Bigger

1 John 4: 4

You are from God, children, and you have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

This is one of those verses that we hear often but I wonder if we see the meaning in it. Yesterday we explored the idea of treating the Bible as literal truth. What happens if you do that with this verse?

Who is it that is in us? The verse from yesterday, 1 John 4: 15 reveals that God lives inside of everyone who acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God. Who is “he who is in the world?” This phrase refers to Satan. So rephrase this to read, greater is God who lives in you than Satan who is in the world. Yeah, I guess so!!

There is another group indicated in this passage. The verse says, “you have overcome them.” “Them” refers to those who do not acknowledge that Jesus came from God. The various translations refer either to people or spirits, but we needn’t be confused by that. When we were created, we were called speaking spirits. At our core, we are spirits wearing a flesh robe. The God’s Word translation adds clarity, “But every person who doesn’t declare that Jesus Christ has come as a human has a spirit that isn’t from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that you have heard is coming. That spirit is already in the world ,(v. 3).

So, we have now identified all the parties. You have been labeled an overcomer and God says you have already overcome those who do not acknowledge Jesus as the Christ whether they be spirits or people whose spirit is speaking. We know that the world has trouble but be comforted. You can overcome the world because, as we learned yesterday, you are in God (John 16: 33, 1 John 4: 15).

Now to the nitty gritty. He who is in the world is out there just trying to stir up trouble for you. He is a trouble maker. It’s what he does. Just look what happened in the Garden of Eden thanks to his meddling. You do not have to be a victim to his machinations though because greater is He who lives in you than he who is trying to make trouble. God is big enough for the troubles. We apply the oil of His anointing to the troubling situations and let His grace move the mountains with our faith.

Living in God as He lives in us is one of the key ways to keep the enemy on the run. Our ministry slogan is “Intertwined with Jesus” because that is where your safety and assurance rests. He is our pathway and that path leads directly to our Father who awaits our arrival.

Endeavor to live every day in God. Learn to live to the Spirit rather than to the flesh. Learn what that means if you don’t know. Let the Lord live through you and have expression through you because he has already defeated every foe. The greater one lives in you. Let this speak to your spirit today.

Residency Requirements

1 John 4: 15            NIV

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.

When we slow down and think about this verse, it seems pretty odd really. We accept it pretty easily because our pastors have put this verse before our eyes and ears for years. When you really think about how does God live in us? Where does He live? And how are we in God? Is this just rhetoric or is it truth?

Many of us err because we fail to take the Bible literally. Because of unbelief, we categorize verses like this one as metaphors. In other words, in our minds we read “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, it is as if God lives in them and they in God.” To put it simply, we rewrite the Holy Scripture in our mind. Not only is this error, it is dangerous, and it robs us of God’s blessing in our lives.

Science is beginning to prove the literal truth of the Bible. The more of these studies I hear about, the more books I read, I find myself continually saying, “God has been saying that for thousands of years.” As of now, I am not aware of anyone who has figured out how to test and measure God’s residency within us, but I am here to say, it is actual literal truth. One day, probably in the not too far future, someone will find a way to test this scripture and point to God in your cells. Someday soon scientists will be able to look within us and identify our spirits. Does it sound crazy? So, did computers much less mobile phones. The impossible is done all the time.

The thought I want you to walk away with is that God lives inside you. He is with you 24/7. How does that affect your thinking? Does it make you more confident that you too can do the impossible? The Bible says that all things are possible to those who believe (Mark 9: 23). Does it make you feel that you are never alone? There are so many take aways when you take the Bible at face value, when you simply believe without reasoning away the truth.

There is one other question to think about. This verse says we live in God too. That should give a moment’s pause. How does that work? I would love to hear your thoughts. Email us at, info@iveyministries.org.