How To Know God’s Love For Yourself

In the twilight of waking this morning, this thought settled upon me, “Pursuing God is to pursue loving God first.  All the rest will follow.”

As I began to roll that thought over in my mind, several things occurred to me:

MY FOCUS IS ON THE SOURCE

I Corinthians 14:1 instructs us, “Pursue love…”  More often than not, we assume those words are telling us to make our highest goal to love the people around us.  However, the greatest commandment includes loving one’s neighbor, but it is initiated by loving God with our whole being.

I began to realize that loving my neighbor was a resulting fruit of my love pursuit of God.  Btw…this is a supernatural pursuit.  Therefore, it takes supernatural help.  That’s the job of Holy Spirit.  Always ask for His help.  When we make our highest aim the pursuit of loving God, the “eyes” (perceptions) of our heart begins to love how He loves.

I DISCOVER INNER REST

When I pursue God, a supernatural rest begins to envelop my soul; my thoughts, my emotions, my innermost parts. Supernatural peace begins to overshadow me.

HIS LOVE FOR ME

When I (we) pursue loving God, the knowledge of His deep love for us chases us down; no attempting to convince yourself that God loves you.

A WHOLE NEW WORLD

I begin to experience what I thought I knew but had never actually “seen.”  Instead of attempting to believe God for (you name the need), You begin to see your challenge as He sees and feels about it.

Pursue loving God, first.  Instead of trying to convince yourself of His will, His love will convince you of His solution.

Let fresh peace begin!

Gary

It’s God That Never Fails; Not You

Be assured; if you walk with Him and look to Him and expect help from Him, He will never fail you. An older brother who has known the Lord for forty-four years, who writes this, says to you for your encouragement that He has never failed him. In the greatest difficulties, in the heaviest trials, in the deepest poverty and necessities, He has never failed me; but because I was enabled by His grace to trust Him He has always appeared for my help. I delight in speaking well of His name. –George Mueller

You will fall short of your own expectations.

More stress is caused in your life because you are not living up to what you are expecting of yourself.

Lower your expectations of yourself, and instead, raise your expectations of Jesus who is closer to you than your very breath.

Don’t be a belly-button gazer.  You’ll always find lint.

Don’t be surprised that there is dirt in your own mountain.  There’s gold there, too:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;”  2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (ESV)

It’s one thing to quote Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus…”  It is another to keep choosing to do so.  But, it is in that habitual choice that opens the door to the choicest of blessings in life.  It is Jesus, your brother, that has the power of mastery in all things.

Where do you need to allow Jesus to be your salvation today?

You can’t save yourself, but He can.  He wants to.

Gary

 

Hope 2018


I believe that this new year (2018) has the potential of being the best year ever.  That is not just “preach speak,” the rose-colored glasses kind of pop psychology, or reliance upon favorable circumstances.  I say it here because I believe the Lord put that thought in my mind as 2017 was drawing to a close.

The current circumstances and world conditions don’t give us much of canvas on which to paint that potentially bright future.  To believe there is a possibility for a “best ever” year would have to rely on a more powerful telescope than is designed by human minds and hands.

We have to realize that we need more than a human version of faith to experience the desire of God for our lives.  It is also essential that we have more than a human version of hope to see what God has designed for us to experience in this life and the one to come.

To describe something like a ‘human version of hope’ begs the question that asks, “What is the difference between a human version of hope and the kind of hope that describes Abraham in Romans 4:18,

“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (NIV)

The human version of hope is anything that the power of natural hoping can visualize as possible.  It is limited to the ‘designing power’ of rational thought.

The kind of hope that is described of Abraham is that which Paul describes in Ephesians 3:20,

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” (NIV)

The kind of hope that God gives, paints a picture of expectation in our hearts that is beyond what the human mind will put together.

I believe many of us limit ourselves to experiences that are far short of God’s desires and design for our abundance in life. That is because we define and describe what an answered prayer should look like.  We reduce our expectations to fit our own designs.  We restrict the desired outcome to fit the boundaries of our own wisdom’s capacity.

What if there is a better way?  What if we can delight ourselves in the Lord and be tender enough before Him to receive and attach our faith to the dictates of His magnificent wisdom?

This begs the question:  Who is God to you?  How all wise and all caring is He?  How deep, wide, and wise is His love for you?  Would He do that which is above and beyond anything you can ask or imagine for you this year?

Day by day, let’s learn His heart.  Let’s jump into the deep end of His love and discover the joy of drowning in His beyond natural hope goodness.  Let’s go beyond the most and best important doctrine you think you know.  Let’s not limit ourselves to what we can imagine for ourselves.

Let’s live energized by the kind of faith and hope that comes from exposure the the throbbing of His heart as we learn to lay our heads on His breast.

Gary

 

 

 

 

Is Your Faith Stale Bread?


Faith is like a diamond.  It has many facets that give it its brilliance of life.    

Faith is better described than it is defined.  Some of those explanations include phrases like the following:

“Faith believes that God will not lie.”
“Faith is the bridge between heaven and earth”
“Faith has  eyes that see the invisible.”

It is vital to understand that faith does not have any power of its own to manipulate circumstances and conditions in one’s favor.  As a very wise mentor said one time, “Faith that has the ability, within itself, to perform the task at hand is a form of witchcraft.”  By that, he meant that if faith had its own power, a person could (and would likely) use it to manipulate conditions according to his or her own desires.  That is a wholly different thing than functioning with God according to the Word He is currently speaking.

Faith is the connection of confidence that receives power from God.  Faith is the committed conviction in the character of God in the present moment.  Faith relies, not on yesterday’s manna, but on the living bread of the word He is speaking today.  Today’s word will be consistent with yesterdays truth, but, like manna, the shelf life is based on what is being freshly spoken today.  Many people struggle with faith because they are trying to live on stale bread.  It’s still bread but lacks the flavor that produces confidence.

According to Hebrews 12:2, Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith.  Note that it doesn’t say that He was the author and finisher of our faith.  He says that He is the author and He is the One who continues to work it out, with us, to fulfillment.

The verse starts with the words, “Looking unto Jesus…”  The idea of the phrase indicates that the person’s ‘eyes’ have been distracted, but is looking back unto Jesus.

But, let’s make this even more vibrant.   The Greek word translated unto is also translated into.  The point:  A person could look unto Jesus and only rehearse the things they believe about Him.  Whereas the idea of looking into Jesus indicates a much more intimate gaze…looking into His heart, and with the senses of the Spirit hearing and feeling it beat.

As a person allows the Spirit of God time to open the eyes their heart and see into Jesus, they realize His supernatural pen authoring faith.

Finally, we notice something else in this verse.  It speaks of Jesus being the author and finisher of our faith.  Until recently, I had only seen this to mean that the writer of Hebrews was pointing to the great cloud of witnesses in Chapter 11.

But…then I saw something fresh that strengthened my relationship with the Lord.  I believe, as a spiritual revelation, I knew that the writer was taking the general stories of the Hall of Faith and was making them personal and unique.

I now see that, just as houses have floors, roofs, windows, and doors in common, there are myriads of unique styles in houses that are still correctly known as houses.  There are basic characteristics that make for what we describe as faith.  However, the faith of your neighbor may not be adorned like your faith.  Just as everyone, worldwide has distinct fingerprints, retina structure (and I understand ears), we all have personal and unique relationships with the Lord.

Encourage yourself in the fact that your journey of faith will be the result of a unique relationship with Jesus, and all those around you will be the same.

I close with this:  Several months ago I awoke with a “snapshot” vision.  It was of an upright Bible.  An image of Jesus was walking out of the open pages.

The message to me was that Jesus comes walking out of the pages of Scripture.  As we meditate on the Logos of the Word, Jesus becomes the Rhema (active spoken word)  He becomes a living, present, revelation.

Note:  Although, at times, valuable, meditation in the Scriptures is not the same thing as rehearsing what your favorite teacher says about the topic at hand as you meditate.  Meditation is a very personal, private communication between two covenant friends.  It’s the development of an intimate relationship.

May your faith be as fresh as today’s manna!

Gary

God Will Never Disappoint


As the old chorus goes, “Don’t give up on the brink of your miracle.”

Don’t be impatient.  Many blessings have been delayed because impatient people took things into their own hands and made things even worse.

Wrap your arms around Him.  His are already wrapped around you.  Hug Him back.  Don’t let your arms hang limply at your side in anger at Him for not acting faster.  Feel the strength of His embrace.

He is working behind the visible scene to make everything line up perfectly for you.

Don’t lay down the anticipation that…

HE WILL NEVER DISAPPOINT YOU!

Your circumstances are real, for sure.  But His faithfulness is more real!

 

A Better Look At Faith

Is your feeling that faith means to be willing to step off into the dark? Is it a scarry thing?

Is there a better understanding of faith than you now hold?  The improvement of your life depends on an increasingly better understanding
of God’s way of looking at life. 

I’m not referring to increasing your pile of man designed doctrine.  In this article, I’m investigating something that could lead to a deeper, more intimate relationship with Jesus.

We’ve all heard many teachings, sermons, and opinions about what it means to walk through our earthly lives by faith.  Much of the time, the ones that I’ve heard (and taught myself) are not inaccurate.  They are merely incomplete thoughts.

The path of those in right standing with God and His Kingdom grows increasingly brighter (Prov. 4:18) as we make it our highest priority (Matt. 6:33).

One of the most well-known scriptures about the subject of faith is found in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith and not by sight.”  It certainly sounds like that means that faith is stepping off into the dark, doesn’t it?

However, there is a better understanding of that statement that is, actually, gloriously positive:

Faith is not a thing.  It is not a reasoned-out doctrinal position.  It is the realm of real, vibrant life that we move about within.

For example, A person lives in the realm (or land) that is peaceful, and harmonious in quality of life.  Another person may live their lives in a place that is constantly, by nature, an atmosphere of fear, and striving.

The word ‘sight’ in that verse is never used referring to things that people see with their eyes.  I.e.,  “My eyes see that she is wearing a blue dress.”

It always refers to the way one views what they are looking at.  It’s about how a person perceives a thing.  I.e.,  “The blue dress she is wearing doesn’t look good on her.  Is she trying to look dowdy?”

Please permit my paraphrase of 2 Corinthians 5:7,  “We are walking in the beautiful land of faith.  What we don’t perceive is darkness.  We see the hope-filled light.”

It is common that most people judge that faith is like stepping out of the light into the dark.  Reality Check:  That is the perspective of natural thinking of the flesh.

We will never enjoy life, nor grow in the experience of peace, joy, and love if we allow natural reasoning to dictate how we think and perceive God’s realities.

To walk in the land of faith is to detach our thinking from the perception that it is a dark, stress-filled place.  Instead, walking in faith is choosing to attach ourselves to a realm where the light of clear confidence saturates our being.  It means living our lives in the joyful light of God’s mighty, beautiful, creative, and satisfying presence.

Yes, the natural ‘reality thinking’ of the flesh will balk as we take on a new (more correct) mind-set.  But as we keep making the better choice of how we perceive what it means to walk by faith, the flesh’s dominance over our thinking withers.

To walk by faith (the best part) is to be attached to knowing the reality and depth of God’s character and quality of life.  It also helps us clearly see His attitude toward our “neighbors.”

God is not calling us to be unsure and afraid (as we call it faith).  His desire is for us to leave the darkness behind, and sit beside Him at His banquet table as our enemies look on heads hung low in defeat.

The re-trained (renewed) mind faces steps of faith like, “Okay, this is going to be good,” instead of (deep-tense-breath) Okay…here I go.”

Don’t you want to live the God-kind of faith where there is no darkness nor shadow of turning?  That’s your inheritance.  You can begin spending it now!

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where’s The Beauty?

‘Everything has beauty’
‘Everything is beautiful’

Those are very different statements.  It’s true that everything has beauty, but not everything is beautiful.  Realizing the difference can have a huge impact on the way we perceive life.

In a broken world, there are many flaws and great dysfunction all around us.  As the saying goes, “It’s not hard to find dirt on the mountain.  It takes a different set of eyes to see the gold.”

The appearance of beauty brings with it feelings of joy, peace, hope, and many other positive mood enhancements.  Finding beauty makes us feel good…positive!

Back to the original statement, “Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see it.”  The question, therefore, poses itself when the appearance of beauty alludes our daily experience, “Where’s the beauty?”

To find the answer, another question has to be asked, “What are we looking for?”  Simply put, people typically find what we are determined to see.

If you (or I) desire to see more beauty in our lives, then we must look for it.  Not by looking outside of our circumstances, but by focusing, with spiritual eyes, within that which surrounds us.

Instead of looking – longingly or judgingly – over there somewhere, we discover the beauty when we ‘keep our eyes at home’ inside the reality of our own lives.

Believe it or not, a Believer has a set of eyes that can help them ferret-out the beauty in nearly everyone and everything…if they want to see it.

Funny (although maybe not so funny) is the fact that whatever a person believes they are going to find, is what they will see.  Our perceptions are governed by what our heart has determined it is going to believe.

As the song says, Lord, open my eyes that I can see glimpses of truth you have for me.’

Realize that the quality of you life can dramatically improve!  The master key to unlock your ‘beauty door’ is labeled, “Thought Choice.”

Everything is not beautiful, but everything has beauty to be found.  If you and I are committed to seeing it, God will supply the light!

Gary

 

 

 

 

Why I Don’t Give Up

...because God hasn’t given up on me!

It’s not that I haven’t been tempted to give up…quit…on areas of my life where weaknesses seem to reign.  You see, the temptation to throw in the towel is common to all of mankind.  We get tired of struggling with our shortcomings.

Now some people will name the object of the struggle as sin.  Here, though, is where I stand on that belief:

Sin is putrid and a destroyer.  Sin is serious business.  But, for the Believer, the fruit of the Cross of Jesus is also serious business…profound in effect.

The person who embraces the truth of Jesus for themselves has been set free from the sin nature.  It is a misnomer to think of themselves as Sinners.

However, battling the flesh as it intrudes upon our souls continues in its attempt to defeat us.  Satan’s battle over the root of who we are is finished.

“IT IS FINISHED!”

He knows it.  He’s not ignorant.  Instead, he switches tactic.  His goal is to accuse you…remember:  He’s the accuser and he’s not overlooking you.

One of the favorite little games he plays is to accuse you in a way that gets you to blame yourself.  The spoiled fruit of self-accusation is self-disappointment, and self-despair that will lead to weariness of soul and giving up.

I was struggling one day with an issue that seemed like it would never be won…always over-power me.

This is what I heard the Lord say as I felt utterly defeated in my struggle.  I knew, by faith, I was no longer a sinner by nature and that the Lord didn’t see me as one.  But, at that moment, I also felt incapable of victory breakthrough over this piece of rotten fruit that had stained my soul.

The Lord said to me, “The power of My salvation is greater than the strength of your failures.”

On the one hand, those few words didn’t seem to speak practically to the battle.  I mean…then why am I still struggling?”  Yet, I knew it was a word to me from the Lord.  How?  Because it encouraged me.  I felt stronger.  I had hope to keep going.

In closing, here’s one thing that helps me on my journey of faith…and a struggle for it.  I’ve learned (am learning) as I progress toward maturity that I am His and He is mine.  That is a settled issue.  Therefore, I refuse any accusations against that that try to intrude themselves on my thought life.  On a parallel track, I complete simple actions that are within my control.  The immediately visible outcome is out of my hands.  I will not consider that.  Instead, I focus on the little things that I can accomplish.

(Note:  The little things are attitudes and actions that the Holy Spirit has settled onto my heart as I practice waiting on the Lord.  There are logical things that are common sense.  However, I let the Lord also confirm those things as my attention is focused on Him.)

DON’T GIVE UP ON YOURSELF.  THE LORD HASN’T GIVEN UP ON YOU!

Gary

 

 

Praise Secrets – How To Experience Breakththrough

Purchase complete e-book for $.99 HERE

Praise is like…a tuning fork that adjusts your heart to the melody of heaven, and your song on the earth.

Praise is like…a metronome that helps your heart beat with the rhythm of God’s Kingdom.

Praise is like…a wrecking ball demolishing evil speculations that are raised up against the true nature of God.

Praise is like…a supernatural road grader that goes before you making your crooked places straight and the rough places smooth.

Praise is like…a beautiful diamond studded with brilliant facets that attract the abundant life into your life.

Praise is like…divine oil that lubricates the mechanics of the day.

With praise as one’s default, life changes…and changes…and changes some more.

PRAISE IS A GAME CHANGER THAT USHERS IN LONG DELAYED BREAKTHROUGHS IN YOUR LIFE.

You may desire to learn more practical “how to” apply the power of praise into your life circumstances.   Select here, now:  Amazon.com

Are Your Thoughts Destroying Your Happiness?

Just as it is important to realize that nobody can make you mad, it is also important to admit that flowing thoughts don’t control what you think. You do.

When I say, “You do,” I mean you and Holy Spirit, working in a partner-friendship, do; with Him as the Senior Partner. That is why it is essential to acknowledge your connection with Him as a daily-life protocol. The mental pressures of the flesh life are more than you can handle alone. You and Holy Spirit must be in conscious connection for you to succeed in your thought-life.

“Holy Spirit, it is my will that You and I are of the same mind today (or now).”

The Passion Translation says (Philippians 2:5, And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let his mind-set become your motivation.”   (Let the mind-set of Jesus become your motivation).

“Holy Spirit, how would Jesus be thinking about this (or that)?”

Of course, Philippians 4:8 reveals the heart of the Christ-like mind-set.  I will, again, quote the Passion Translation:

So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.”

To experience the abundant life in the present, it is essential that we have a protocol for the way we allow ourselves to think.

Remember:  No other person or situation can make you mad, stressed-out, or fearful.  Those are the choices that you  (and I) allow.

I will close this article with a quote from War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy,
“If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed.”

Independent human reason of the flesh-mind focuses on fear.  It tells us that this or that issue, that generates feelings of fear, anxiety, and anger are rational and reasonable.  But, the only perspective that is reasonable is God’s perspective.  I urge us all to establish the protocol of choosing God’s perspective as our ruling thoughts.  Abundant life follows.

Gary