Put God First

Jesus did not commit Himself to them . . .for He knew what was in man —John 2:24-25
Successful people have ordered lives; ordered but not necessarily orderly. They have priorities. They use, but are not ruled by, to do lists and calendars.  Jesus taught a successful life style: Seek First the Kingdom of God. Our priorities are not best determined by what we believe or say or plan. They are best read in what we do. Try keeping track of your time for a week. If you do that, your priorities will emerge. You will clearly see what is really important to you by what you do, by how you spend your time.

How should our worlds be ordered?  As usual, OC has the right idea.

Put Trust in God First. Our Lord never put His trust in any person. Yet He was never suspicious, never bitter, and never lost hope for anyone, because He put His trust in God first. He trusted absolutely in what God’s grace could do for others. If I put my trust in human beings first, the end result will be my despair and hopelessness toward everyone. I will become bitter because I have insisted that people be what no person can ever be— absolutely perfect and right. Never trust anything in yourself or in anyone else, except the grace of God.

Put God’s Will First. “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God” (Hebrews 10:9).

A person’s obedience is to what he sees to be a need— our Lord’s obedience was to the will of His Father. The rallying cry today is, “We must get to work! The heathen are dying without God. We must go and tell them about Him.” But we must first make sure that God’s “needs” and His will in us personally are being met. Jesus said, “. . . tarry . . . until you are endued with power from on high” ( Luke 24:49  ). The purpose of our Christian training is to get us into the right relationship to the “needs” of God and His will. Once God’s “needs” in us have been met, He will open the way for us to accomplish His will, meeting His “needs” elsewhere.

Put God’s Son First. “Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me” ( Matthew 18:5  ).

God came as a baby, giving and entrusting Himself to me. He expects my personal life to be a “Bethlehem.” Am I allowing my natural life to be slowly transformed by the indwelling life of the Son of God? God’s ultimate purpose is that His Son might be exhibited in me.

Are we successful? Is our life ordered? Do we put God First?

Do so and be blessed.

Nick

Yes, But…

Lord, I will follow You, but . . . —Luke 9:61

We say we are willing to follow the Lord; but we assume He wouldn’t ask us to do anything  “unreasonable.” If He asks us to do something that goes against “common sense” then we assume it must not be God, but Satan trying to lead us astray. But we must get to the point that we are so sure of God’s voice that we don’t have to put it to a “reasonableness” test before we act.
If we study, the guidance of God in scripture, we find that He often asks His children to take the “path less traveled” to do something that goes against “common sense.” If we insist on filtering His guidance to us we will lose our way, while acting “within reason.” 
Jesus Christ demands the same unrestrained, adventurous spirit in those who have placed their trust in Him that the natural man exhibits. If a person is ever going to do anything worthwhile, there will be times when he must risk everything by his leap in the dark. In the spiritual realm, Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold on to or believe through common sense, and leap by faith into what He says. Once you obey, you will immediately find that what He says is as solidly consistent as common sense.
By the test of common sense, Jesus Christ’s statements may seem mad, but when you test them by the trial of faith, your findings will fill your spirit with the awesome fact that they are the very words of God. Trust completely in God, and when He brings you to a new opportunity of adventure, offering it to you, see that you take it. We act like pagans in a crisis— only one out of an entire crowd is daring enough to invest his faith in the character of God. But that one is truly blessed.
Nick

Untroubled Relationship

In that day you will ask in My name . . . for the Father Himself loves you . . . —John 16:26-27

Last night Kaydence spent the night with us. It amazes me how I love her. How her every move and word delights me, sometimes to laughter, sometimes to tears. I just want to squeeze her into me. I would do anything for her. I would die for her.
It amazes me even more to think that my creator feels the same about me. I’m not naive enough to think I’m  as cute and lovable as a two year old. But I know He wants me to be one with Him in that same passionate way. It’s all about moving toward that eventual oneness with the Creator, the state which we are ultimately created for. We will ask in His name because we will be so intimate with Him that we will be one with Him. And “that day” is not a day in the heavens but a day meant for here and now. Our Lord does not mean that our lives will be free from external difficulties and uncertainties, but that just as He knew the Father’s heart and mind, we too can be lifted by Him into heavenly places through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, so that He can reveal the teachings of God to us.
“. . . whatever you ask the Father in My name . . .” (John 16:23). “That day” is a day of peace and an untroubled relationship between God and His saint. Just as Jesus stood unblemished and pure in the presence of His Father, we too by the mighty power and effectiveness of the baptism of the Holy Spirit can be lifted into that relationship—”. . . that they may be one just as We are one . . .” (John 17:22).
Kaydence, I love you not just for who you are but for the reminder you are of how I am loved and blessed.
Nick

Unquestioned Revelation

In that day you will ask Me nothing —John 16:23

Will I ever stop questioning God? Will there be a point that my confidence in Him is such that I question no longer? I will never know everything; but I believe that it is possible that I will come to the point in faith that I will be one with the Father just as Jesus is, and He said, “In that day you will ask Me nothing.” 
The source of my current questioning my lack of total reliance on Him.At some point I will understand and accept that I don’t need to question further, because I will be confident that God will reveal things in accordance with His will. I will know what I have a need to know. The faith and peace of John 14:1 will have  become the real attitude of my heart, and there are no more questions to be asked.With the vanishing of questioning will come complete blessing and perfect peace.
It will be great.
Nick

Tarry No More

. . . tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high —Luke 24:49

Why do we tarry? Come on. Admit it. We are tarrying. We know there are things we should be doing. We have marching orders and are not moving. Why do we tarry? The disciples had to tarry, staying in Jerusalem until the day of Pentecost, not only for their own preparation but because they had to wait until the Lord was actually glorified. And as soon as He was glorified, what happened? “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear” ( Acts 2:33 ). The statement in John 7:39 — “. . . for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified”— does not pertain to us. The Holy Spirit has been given; the Lord is glorified— our waiting is not dependent on the providence of God, but on our own spiritual fitness.
So our tarrying is without excuse. Christ has commanded and equipped us. We need to make a move. Once we begin to move, once we take the first tiny step, it becomes much easier. Our faith increases with each step as we finally begin to live as His as was always intended. Remember we are not called to exist “in the Spirit” but to “walk in the Spirit.” We need to be moving. 
With movement in the Spirit comes blessing.
Tarry No More and Be blessed.
Nick

Out of the Wreck I Rise

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? —Romans 8:35

Have you noticed how the deepest Christians shine the most in adversity. It’s as if Satan’s attempt to disrupt only emphasizes the truth that the Christian is inseparable from his Lord. It may be that Christians see more trouble because they are Christians. I feel sorry for the Christian who doesn’t have something in the circumstances of his life that he wishes were not there.

“Shall tribulation . . . ?” Tribulation is never a grand, highly welcomed event; but whatever it may be— whether exhausting, irritating, or simply causing some weakness— it is not able to “separate us from the love of Christ.” Never allow tribulations or the “cares of this world” to separate you from remembering that God loves you ( Matthew 13:22 ).
Trouble allows His love for us to shine. Our weaknesses allow His strength to show. 
We are who we are so others can see who He is.
In the wreck of our lives, we arise and are blessed.
Nick

The Good or the Best

If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left —Genesis 13:9
What good thing do I have in my life as a result of my superior decision making, hard work or careful planning? If I am honest the answer is none. I have great gifts: a beautiful, loving wife, an incredible daughter, fantastic greats and grands. I can claim credit for none of these; each was and is a pure gift from God.
Yet I continue to live as if my next decision or effort or thought will make all the difference. History teaches me it’s not significant. Whether I go right or left means considerably less than whether I go in faith believing that right or left is the direction He would have me go.
A life of faith is a life of “allowing” God to make your choice for you. Many of us do not continue to grow spiritually because we prefer to choose on the basis of our rights, instead of relying on God to make the choice for us. We have to learn to walk according to the standard which has its eyes focused on God. And God says to us, as He did to Abram, “. . . walk before Me. . .” ( Genesis 17:1 ) and be blessed.
Nick

Our Uncareful Belief

. . . do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on —Matthew 6:25
My post this morning was for Tomorrow’s Utmost. I was a bit ahead of myself. This is based on today’s Utmost. We need to note that over care for our lives is unbelief. “. . . do not worry about your life . . . .” Don’t take the pressure of your provision upon yourself. It is not only wrong to worry, it is unbelief; worrying means we do not believe that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is never anything but those details that worry us. Have you ever noticed what Jesus said would choke the Word He puts in us? Is it the devil? No— “the cares of this world” (Matthew 13:22 ). It is always our little worries. We say, “I will not trust when I cannot see”— and that is where unbelief begins. The only cure for unbelief is obedience to the Spirit.
We have a clear choice: have faith in God or put faith in ourselves and our ability to provide all that we need. Not really a choice if we look at it objectively, yet we struggle with it. I know the secret is to focus on the Lord. If I keep my eyes on Him, I will know He is the source. My eyes just keep slipping.
Nick