Archive for October, 2013

A God Who Cannot Lie

Monday, October 28th, 2013

We have a GOD who cannot lie,

and an ENEMY who cannot tell the truth.

 

“He is a liar, and the father of lies.”

John 8:44

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life…”

John 14:6

 The enemy is always seeking to interpret your circumstances for you.

Any experienced pastor will tell you there are common themes that the enemy uses on God’s people:

  • Fear (“You’re not safe or protected – save yourself!”)
  • Shame/Accusation/ Condemnation (“You must carry the load of shame for past sins… You may be forgiven, but God hasn’t forgotten!  He’s upset with you.”) 
  • Discouragement/depression (“Your life is a mess… You’ve gotten a bum deal, and everyone else is happier than you…”) 
  • Discontentment (“You’d be happier if_______”) 
  • Weakness (“You’re not strong enough to stay faithful to Jesus!”)   
  • Worthlessness (Not just having done something wrong, but BEING something wrong, unlovable, without value or worth). 
  • Promising fulfillment if we yield to his temptations (“You’d feel better if you gave in just this one time… It won’t matter, God will forgive you.”) 
  • And ultimately, telling us that God hasn’t been good to us (“If God is so good, then why has ______ happened to you? Why hasn’t _____ worked out?  Why don’t you have the blessings that others do?”) 

Here’s the truth:  EVERYTHING the enemy says is a LIE, a fabrication, a pile of poo poo (pardon my French).  Believing a lie doesn’t make it true – and it’s time for some of us to UNBELIEVE some lies the enemy has been whispering to us about our worth, identity, life, and future.   

So what’s GOD’S report about youWhat is the TRUTH about your life and future?  Glad you asked:

1. GOOD plans! 

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT 

2. GOODNESS and unfailing love! 

 

Surely Your goodness and unfailing love

will pursue me all the days of my life,

And I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23:6 NLT 

3.  God’s doing a GOOD work! 

 

He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…

Philippians 1:6 

4. GLORY on the horizon!

 

…the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Romans 8:18

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…

2 Corinthians 4:17

 

5. INSEPARABLE love! 

 

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39   

6. GOD with us – forever! 

 

“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men,

and He will dwell with them,

and they shall be His people.

God Himself will be with them and be their God.”

Revelation 21:3

His plans for you are perfect, and His unfailing love for you is sure…Let ‘s honor Him with our trust and praise this week. 

Much love and blessings in Jesus,

Pastor Matthew Casey

© 2013, Springs of Life Ministries

 

Like David Did

Monday, October 21st, 2013

“You love Him even though you have never seen Him.  Though you do not see Him, you trust Him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy.”

1 Peter 1:8 NLT 

Like David Did…

 

I got convicted this morning… I led worship for a church where an elderly man attends, and in all honesty, this man doesn’t have an “easy life.”  His wife (also elderly) is suffering from what appears to be dementia, and is confined to a wheelchair.  He is her primary caregiver, which is a challenge at any age (especially for a gentleman as old as he is).  He is neither wealthy nor “well-off” by our standards.  If anyone has a reason to complain or feel down, it’s this brother. 

But you know what he does?  He dances – with what strength and balance his body has left –for joy before the Lord!  Every Sunday morning He sings God’s praises at the top of his lungs, he weeps for joy in God’s presence, and he dances for all he’s worth. 

This morning he grabbed the pastor’s microphone in between songs (you can do that when you’re pushing 90 years old) and boldly proclaimed:

“You may be wondering, ‘What’s with that old guy dancing every week?’ Well, I’ll tell you: MY CUP RUNNETH OVER! 

He’s been so good to me! 

My cup overflows, and I just can’t keep it in!

 Because He loves us so much!”

My, my, my… This brother has more difficulty on his plate than most of us reading (or writing) this devotional do, but he’s dancing like David did before the living God.  What’s my excuse?  What’s your excuse?  Why aren’t we rejoicing RIGHT NOW? 

My excuse: none.  Sorry, Lord… please forgive me of allowing joylessness to cloud my heart, mind, and countenance way, way too often.  Help my cup to overflow with your love, life, and joy this week – and every week – so that I can rejoice with all my heart when I’m an 80-something, too. 

OUR ASSIGNMENT: start thanking, praising, and rejoicing in Jesus right now – and don’t shut up all week!  Make a joyful noise, dance before the King, and PRAISE your way right through the problems and pains touching your life. 

Much love and joy to you in our precious Savior

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2012

 

 

Learning to Count

Monday, October 14th, 2013

My brethren, count it all joy

When you fall into various trials…

James 1:2

Old James must have learned a different type of arithmetic than I learned as a kid, because (Various Trials) NO = (Joy) where I come from.  How about you? 

Let’s be honest: some of God’s dearly loved children are going through deep valleys right now ~ and I don’t mean the, “Gee, my 401k lost another $3,500 and how shall I retire by age 58?” sort of trial, either.  We’re talking serious issues that impact life today, and (falsely) threaten to determine your future.  I know precious Believers who are in dire straits in finances, in serious health challenges, in deep family needs, and in dark nights of the soul where only the faithfulness of God can carry them through. 

For those in such a trial, I would like to offer a meditation on one little word: COUNT.  If we learn to count like God counts, we see our trials as opportunities for joy and victory rather than millstones around our necks. 

1. “COUNT it all joy~ because tests and trials make you strong! 

“…knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

James 1:2-3

The oak tree sheltered from every wind will eventually be uprooted – because storms come to everyone, sooner or later.  We can “count it all joy” today, because we know that God is making us strong for tomorrow.  The tested, tempted, tried Believer who learns to lean hard upon the faithfulness of God is the one who will stand firm and victorious in the day of trouble. 

2.  COUNT the cost: 

“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.  For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost…”

Luke 14:27-28

Pop Christianity of our day has promised its followers personal fulfillment through purpose and self-realization… Conversely, Jesus promised us a cross to carry, denying ourselves daily, and living for His glory.  Wanna guess which one is right? 

Are we talking about drudgery?  Absolutely not!!!  We’re talking the glorious joy of sacrificing our self-serving for the One who laid down His very life as a sacrifice for our sins!  I’m talking about “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30), about identifying with His sufferings now that we may also be glorified with Him then.   

My friend, when we have truly counted the cost of following Jesus, the enemy can’t intimidate us anymore.  Come what may, our faces are set like flint to follow our Messiah, even as He set His face toward a cross in Jerusalem.  Counting the cost may cost you dearly at some points – but you’ll not be the loser for having put Jesus first.  Count on it. 

3.  COUNT the RUBBISH!   

“I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ…”

Philippians 3:8

THE SURPASSING VALUE OF KNOWING CHRIST…” Jesus is worth it!  Jesus is worth it!  Whatever you’re going through, whatever the cost or the cross, whatever you lose for loving and living for Him – IT’S ALL going to be MORE THAN WORTH IT when you see Him face to face! 

You’ll not be ashamed for having served and suffered, for having fought through your fears and followed hard after your Savior! 

Woe to those on that Day who counted no cost for Christ, whose lives were one ceaseless string of self-centered pursuits… The best they’ll have is wood, hay, and stubble – saved by the hair of their chinny-chin-chins, pulled out of the fire by the skin of their teeth.  That’s not anything I ever want to experience, my friends – I want to have some gold, some precious things to offer Jesus on that Day.  And those who suffer with Him now will be glorified with Him then:

“But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering.  Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will give us later.”

Romans 8:17-18 NLT 

May the Lord who has counted you worthy of the Blood of His own Son surround and strengthen you by His Spirit’s presence this week… May you find fresh grace to rejoice in His goodness and love… And may your fellowship with Him be sweet as you count Jesus the greatest treasure of all.

Love and blessings in Jesus,

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2013