Lord, Lord

Luke 6: 46

And why do you call Me “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say?

Jesus is the most kind, most compassionate person any of us know, yet He is not afraid to tell it like it is. And this is pretty plain language. Jesus is not impressed with lip service. A person can bow and kowtow all he wants. He can say Jesus is his Lord until the cows come home, but none of that matters to Jesus. The proof is in the pudding, as they say. What are you doing?

In John 14: 21 Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me.” In other words, show your fealty by obeying His commands. Do what He has said. Did He say love one another even as He has loved us? (John 13: 34). Hasn’t He said, give generously and judge not (Luke 6)? Then those words should guide our actions. Jesus is the Word (John 1). Are we doing what the Word says?

Now just in case Jesus had not made himself plain enough in Luke 6, listen to His words in Matthew 7: 21, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.”

Jesus wants us to honor Him by doing what He says to do. He doesn’t want us just to tell Him how much we love Him, but rather to demonstrate it by doing what He says and by loving others. Being a deacon at the church doesn’t buy you into heaven. Following the Words of Jesus is what matters. Do you want to please Jesus? Do you want to be one of the people of whom Jesus says, “He/she loves me?” Then follow His words.  Obey His commands.

Action Thought: What one area can you improve in today?


Philippians 2: 9 -10

Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth.

Verse eight of Philippians 2 tells us that Jesus humbled himself by becoming obedient even to the point of death. Therefore, God highly exalted Him. Jesus has been given the name which is above all names and the name to which every knee will bow.

Now as soon as some people read that, they chafed against those words. They may not admit it aloud, but they do not like the idea of bowing their knee to anyone. It is even hard to admit to oneself that the idea causes an internal tension. We really must allow ourselves to release our ego to our Father. It was this very thing that caused Jesus to be so highly exalted. He was able to humble himself to the point that His will no longer mattered. Obedience to the Father is all that really mattered. That is not to say that it is easy. It wasn’t even easy for Jesus, but we are able. Jesus fought the temptation to serve His own interest. We can and should do the same. Why? Because God would like also to exalt you.

And truly there is no joy greater than obeying the Father. I do not say that it is always easy, but I do say that there is great gratification in it. We often think that God is trying to get something from us, but it is just the opposite. He is trying to get something to us. If we will really learn humility; if we meditate on what it truly means to be humble and others centered, then we will find great revelation in the Father and in what He can do with us, and nothing is more fun than working with the Father. This week give time to the ideas of humility and obedience. Let yourself ponder what it means to be humble and ask the Father how you can be more obedient. I can promise you will have a very good week if you do.


Philippians 2: 8

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Jesus took on the form of humanity so that He could lead us into true harmony with our Father God. He did not present Himself as a King or an honored person of any kind. He came as a servant to all.

I am moved by this image of Jesus as so humble and obedient that not even death, not even a horrible death, could sway Him from His committed passion for us and the Father. This is the image of a man who was not here to serve His own selfish interests but rather to pay the price of reconciliation so that the Father and His children could become one again.

If we are truly to imitate Christ, then our imitation must be foremost in humility and obedience. This idea is critically important for us to grasp. Our task isn’t about feeding the hungry or clothing the homeless. It is not about working at church or building a home for the needy. Those are the manifestations of our having gotten ourselves so right with God that we have absolutely learned to humble our needs and desires to the direction of God. Humility is all about getting us off of our minds. It is the call to put other people before your wants and even your needs. It is not about you! It is about Jesus. He has called us to himself that we might be His hands in this earth. But even more importantly, we are to be His heart in the earth.

We must learn radical obedience and honest humility. Let us give ourselves over to the Father completely. See what He can do with you. Let go of yourself and your own control. Let go of all that you are telling Him that you want and just ask Him what He wants. Ask Him to allow you a chance to be obedient. Give Him yourself, your dreams and desires. Then let Him fill you with all that He would do with you. Humble yourself to His great desire and gratefully obey.

Healthy Blessing

Deuteronomy 28: 2,3, 5, 14 – 17, 61

2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you will obey the Lord your God.
3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
14 And do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
15 But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to be careful to follow all His commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
16 Cursed will you be in the city, and cursed will you be in the country.
17 Cursed will be your basket and your kneading bowl.
61 Also every sickness and every plague which, not written in the book of this law, the Lord will bring on you until you are destroyed.

Chapter 28 of Deuteronomy is where you find the blessing. It also shows what the curse holds. You would be well served to at least read verses 1 – 14 for yourself so that you understand what the blessing means in your life. I have chosen a few select verses to talk about sickness and health.

We already saw in yesterday’s verse that there were diseases in Egypt but that those are not for us. Today we will see that the blessing protects us from the diseases that are in the curse.

First, there is a condition which must be fulfilled, namely that we listen to the commandments of the Lord and obey them. When we do, our lives are ruled by the blessing. However, if we do not obey the words of the Lord, we subject ourselves to the curse. Obedience means we are blessed in the city and blessed in the country. Disobedience means the curse will impact us in the city and in the country, everywhere, in other words. Following God’s instructions brings blessing to our basket and kneading bowl while obstinance curses our food supply.

It is obvious that when we obey God and follow His guidance, we receive the exact opposite benefit of the impact of the curse. Do you agree? This is important when we get to verse 61 because it tells us the result rebellion has on health. The cost of rebellion is all the sickness and disease of Egypt. Therefore, I conclude the prize of obedience is avoidance of Egypt’s curse.

There is sickness in Egypt (the world) because the world does not listen to the counsel of the Lord. If we act like the world and follow the advice of the world, then we are going to reap the results of the world. We need to inquire of the Lord and listen to His wisdom. Then, importantly, we must do as He says. Sometimes what the Lord tells you to do will not make sense to you. Sometimes it may not even sound like faith. None the less, His wisdom will always lead to good results.

Here is one small example that you can relate to. We know that exercising is good for our health. Let’s suppose you have a goal to exercise every weekday and rest on the weekends. What if you get to Friday and there is a nagging thought about not working out? Perhaps your body feels tired. If you have faith, shouldn’t you be able to press on and meet your goals? Or maybe, that voice is God telling you that your body is ready for a rest day now. If you press on maybe you injure yourself. We need to be able to listen to Father’s daily guidance in our work, diet, exercise and even rest. You know, maybe He wants to make some changes in your schedule for better results. We’ve got to listen to Him and OBEY if we are going to live in the blessing. And, that is the Word of the Day for today – obey. So far that gives us an equation of inquire, listen and obey. Maybe it is, instead, a recipe, a recipe for the blessing.

Here is the point, God is your healer. That is what we shouldn’t lose sight of. He can, and does, heal supernaturally, but He also wants to help you avoid feeling bad in the first place. I am thinking of the 23rd Psalm and the picture it paints of the Great Shepherd’s care. Rest in His love and trust Him. There is the curse in the earth but, praise God, there is the blessing. Our beloved has provided blessing for every element of our lives including health. Let’s follow Him to the green pastures and fresh water of the blessing. Amen?

Prayer Relief

Job 42: 10

When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes.

When you are going through a tough time, the last thing you usually think about doing is praying for others. Challenges tend to turn us inward. We are not out looking for whom we can bless. However, that is the very message of this passage.

It is interesting that God told Job’s undisciplined and antagonistic friends they must take their offering to Job and ask him to pray for them. Wow! That is some humble pie. They spent chapter upon chapter haranguing him, telling him how wrong he was and what a great sinner he must be for God to punish him so severely, never knowing Job’s problems were not God’s workings. God told them they needed to repent for their criticism and false teaching. He made them humble themselves to Job in order to receive forgiveness.

I can imagine how little Job wanted to pray for them too. He must have thought some choice things when God told him to pray for those fools. Fortunately, though, Job obeyed. The result of obedience is always the same, blessing. God completely restored Job once Job prayed for his friends.

It is this way with our lives. I used to know someone who advocated, when in a time of need, find someone to pray for. I subscribe to that advice. Many times, the best medicine is to get our eyes off ourselves. You would be amazed at how you open up the flow in your own life when you get out of yourself. When we focus on ourselves and our own problems we tend to close off and that stifles the flow of the Spirit and blessing.

Do yourself a favor! Find someone to pray for. Better still, join the Ivey Ministries prayer team. It’s easy, it’s a blessing and it is the effective work of the gospel, to which we should all be a party. Every week, or so, you will receive an email with prayer requests. Pray over those people and those requests. It couldn’t be easier. Let me know you will join us in this important work, work which will benefit you as well, by replying to this Word of the Day. Just click reply and let me know you want to join the team. You will be a blessing and will be blessed.


Luke 6: 46

“Now why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

Do you remember that Jesus’ brother, James wrote to us, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves” (James 1: 22). We see today from where he got that idea. When you read these words from Jesus, does it sound a bit harsh? Perhaps it is a bit easier on us when we picture him in a crowd speaking to others. At the end of the day, though, we must ask ourselves the same question. Are we living our own expectations?

This sixth chapter of Luke is very instructive, but there is something else here worth noting because it shows the nature of Jesus’ Father. Although all of Jesus’ teaching is commandment simply because he is the Lord, he attaches promises to them. Not only are these commands paired with promises, but Jesus explains why God gives us the direction He does. In all cases, it is for our betterment. God’s nature is love and so love is guiding us to a better way.

I think of it this way. You may tell your small child, “Don’t touch the burner on the stove!” Is it a command? Of course it is, but it is given to protect, not deprive. That is the way of our Father. Look at verses 47 and 48, “Everyone . . . hears My words and acts on them, . . . he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when there was a flood, the river burst against that house and yet it could not shake it, because it had been well built.” Jesus doesn’t demand you obey him because he is an egomaniac who wants subservient followers. He requires compliance because he protects us with his words. Acting on Jesus’ words builds a strong foundation for our lives, and that strong foundation can weather the storms of life.

The fact that Jesus said to do something ought to be enough for any of us because he is Lord. However, we now know the command is for our protection and the improvement of our lives. Perhaps that increases the understanding of our relationship with the Father and encourages us to do as we are taught, even if we do not always understand.

Pack Your Bags

Genesis 12: 1, 4 – 5

“Go from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you.”

So Abram went away as the Lord had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the people which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan.

We are still talking about getting in the game which is a metaphor for seeking God’s beautiful plan for our lives and following it. Yesterday we saw that Abraham’s (Abram) Father, Terah, began well but stopped short of God’s plan for him. It could well be that Terah was to be the Father of many nations. He headed towards Canaan but stopped in Haran. Unfortunately for Terah, the blessing was in Canaan, not Haran. He missed his boat.

In today’s passage we witness God telling Abram to pack up his family and belongings and head to Canaan. The difference between Abram and his father, Terah, is that Abram followed through.

This is actually the beginning of the blessing. Look at verses 2 and 3, “And I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” It is through Abram’s execution of God’s plan that we enjoy the blessing today. All families of the earth are blessed because Abraham packed his bags and followed God’s plan for his life.

God was looking for someone to covenant with so that He could get the blessing to humanity and Abraham volunteered through obedience. Abraham is called the Father of Faith, and I don’t deny that, but it was obedience that made Abram into Abraham and brought the blessing to you and to me. It was obedience through which the covenant was able to be implemented.

Abraham understood that God had a good plan for him and he believed that God would make that promise into a fact. He believed God and followed the plan. Because of that he became the father of nations. Because he followed through on God’s plan, the entire world is blessed. I just want to remind you of Jeremiah 29: 11 to let you think about how God thinks about us and operates with us, “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Amen!