Monday, June 29, 2015


"Casting the lot settles disputes and keeps strong opponents apart." Proverbs 18:18

We prayed about it. We discussed it. My friend had one desire; I had a different one.
"Okay, let's settle the issue the way the early Church settled matters when an agreement could not be achieved. Let's flip a coin."
"You must be joking!" my friend lamented.
"No, the early Church cast lots often to determine a course of direction or even select the disciple who would take Judas' place."
"Okay," my friend agreed.
We flipped the coin and the matter was quickly settled.
In the Old Testament there are many examples of casting lots for determining a decision. We hear little of this method today. Most of us do not want to release the decision process to this seemingly "flippant" process; yet the Lord says, "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord" (Prov. 16:33).
Flipping a coin is the equivalent to casting a lot. It removes our own opinions and leaves the final outcome to the Lord. Pray before you take such an action. It will surprise you who is willing to submit a decision to the Lord and who isn't. It removes the element of control from both parties.
I believe the Lord would first have us make decisions through agreement and continued prayer for the decision. However, there are times when this approach can be the quickest and simplest. It removes each person's temptation to lord it over the other. Cast the lot and settle the dispute.

Friday, June 26, 2015


"When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly." 1 Peter 2:23

Have you ever been wrongfully accused? Oh, the need to defend and justify becomes so great. "What will people think if they believe these things are true?" we reason. Imagine what Jesus thought as they hurled insults and threats upon Him. The God of the universe had visited planet earth only to be slandered and accused of blasphemy.
Jesus could have done two things in response. He could have used His power to put the people in their place. He could have responded "horizontally." He could have fixed the problem right then. However, He chose to respond in a different way. He chose to "entrust Himself to Him who judges justly." It requires great faith to entrust ourselves to God in the midst of personal assault. However, if we can do this, we will discover a level of grace and wisdom that will be birthed from this experience that we never thought possible. We will discover a freedom in God we never knew before. Whenever we suffer for righteousness without seeking to protect our reputation and rights, we are placing our total faith in the one who can redeem us. This activates God's grace in our lives and enables us to experience God's presence like never before.
Ask God to give you the grace to stay vertical with Him. Avoid the temptation of responding horizontally each time some event comes into your life that you want to "fix." Entrust yourself to the one who judges justly. It may be a divine appointment for your growth to another level in grace.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe" (Eph 1:18-19).

Paul's letter to the Ephesians exhorts believers to experience three important things in their spiritual lives that he experienced personally. As a good mentor, he desires those he is leading to follow his example.
First, God wants you to have the eyes of your heart enlightened in order to know the hope to which He has called you. God has called each of us to a future and a hope. Some do not ever realize the dreams they envision for their lives. Paul prays they will experience this.
Second, God wants you to know there is an inheritance for each believer in Jesus Christ. There are riches to be had - not financial riches - but spiritual riches that are laid up for every saint. As you are faithful to His calling in your life, there will be a reward for your faithfulness.
Third, God desires you to tap into the power that is available to every believer. Paul often exhorted believers not to look at his persuasive words, but the demonstration of the power of God in his life. He wants you to know this same power is available to you. After all, Jesus said we would do even greater works than He did after He sent the Holy Spirit to us.
Pray that God reveals the hope that exists inside of you, be encouraged that there is an inheritance awaiting you, and know that you have power that resides in you that awaits those who exercise their faith to release it.

Monday, June 22, 2015


"No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. "- Acts 5:13

Every work day in thousands of offices across the globe, Christians testify of God's grace in their lives in some way. Sometimes it comes through a subtle performance of their duties with a smile and peace that non-believers cannot understand. In other cases, there might be more visible, unexplainable examples of God's work. This was the defining difference in believers in the early Church. They lived a life that followed with signs and wonders that could not be humanly explained.
The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon's Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number (Acts 5:12-14).
How often we have heard non-believers acknowledge their respect for the Christian workplace believer, but they dare not join them in their persuasion. It is this fear of the unknown that keeps many a non-believer on the path to hell. Who has God placed in your path today to help detour from a path of eternal torment to a path of freedom and eternal life? The Lord desires that each should come to knowledge of the truth so that they might be saved. As you enter the workplace today, ask the Lord for a divine appointment that might be the turning point for a lost soul. There's no prayer the Lord will delight in more than this one.

Friday, June 19, 2015


"The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength." - 1 Samuel 2:4

There is an oxymoron throughout the Bible. It says that brokenness is strength. How can this be? How can brokenness be strength? In order to use men and women to their fullest extent, the Lord has to break His servants so that they might have a new kind of strength that is not human in origin. It is strength in spirit that is born only through brokenness.
Paul was broken on the Damascus road. Peter was broken after Jesus was taken prisoner. Jacob was broken at Peniel. David was broken after his sin with Bathsheba. The list could go on of those the Lord had to break in different ways before they could be used in the Kingdom.
When we are broken, we see the frailty of human strength and come to grips with the reality that we can do nothing in our own strength. Then, new strength emerges that God uses mightily. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Do not fear brokenness, for it may be the missing ingredient to a life that emerges with a new kind of strength and experience not known before. Pray for a broken and contrite heart that God can bless.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


"The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her" (Gen 16:2).

Have you ever felt that you were supposed to receive something from God but it just hasn't materialized? You wait and wait until finally you decide that maybe God wants you to help out the situation. This is exactly what happened in the case of Abraham and Sarah.
God had promised them a son, but as years passed by they were still without a child. They took their eyes off the One who had made the promise and decided to take matters into their own hands. So, Abraham lay with Sarah's maidservant, Hagar, and she bore a son, Ishmael (see Genesis 16). The son of promise, Isaac, came later through Sarah, just like God had promised. However, the modern day conflict between the Arabs and Israelis is the fruit of this act of disobedience that occurred centuries ago.
I recall a time when I launched a business enterprise only to fall on my face. It had all the hallmarks of a Godly venture, but I was premature and guilty of presumption instead of faith. The resulting financial losses are lasting reminders of a decision that was based on a horizontal choice instead of a vertical dependence that required patience until God said, "Go."
The way to avoid making "Ishmael" decisions is to seek God fully on the matter in prayer, be in an accountable relationship with your spouse and close associates who know you well, and gain agreement through two or more people. The Bible says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"(Jer 17:9).
Whenever we want something strongly, it is a dangerous place because we no longer look at the matter objectively with a willingness to change our viewpoint. We have to approach a matter as being "dead" to the issue in order to fully see God's perspective.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


"But the Danites had difficulty taking possession of their territory, so they went up and attacked Leshem, took it, put it to the sword and occupied it...." - Joshua 19:47

What is the spiritual inheritance God has reserved for you? When God told the Israelites they were going to receive the Promised Land, it was not given to them on a silver platter. In fact, they would encounter 39 battles in taking the land God promised to them. It took a joint effort between God and the Israelites to engage and battle the enemy that maintained control of the land.
God has given you and me a spiritual inheritance that must be won in the heavenlies. A dear friend and mentor once counseled me after watching my life over a period and said, "The Lord has given you a spiritual inheritance. That inheritance lies in relationships, and because it lies in relationships, that is the place the enemy has attacked you most. The enemy always attacks us in the area where we are to receive our inheritance. You must walk in faithfulness and obedience to His righteousness in how you deal with relationships." These were words of wisdom that have since guided my path. The Lord has proven these words to be true.
What is the spiritual inheritance He has reserved for you? What areas of your inheritance must you take possession of? The enemy of your soul does not want you to take possession. Put on your armor and begin walking in obedience into the areas God has called you to possess.

Friday, June 12, 2015


"You have planted much, but have harvested little...." - Haggai 1:6

Have you ever worked and worked only to yield very little from your efforts? Such was the case for the workplace believers during the time of the prophet Haggai. Finally, God spoke through the prophet Haggai to inform the people why their efforts were not yielding any fruit. There was a specific reason this was happening.
"You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the Lord Almighty. "Because of My house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands" (Haggai 1:9-11).
God had finally had enough. His priorities were not His people's priorities. So, He withheld in order to get their attention. Zerubbabel was governor of Judah at the time. He was a godly man who sought to do God's will. He listened as the prophet gave these words; then he responded.
Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord (Haggai 1:12).
Sometimes God has to stir up the spirit of one man to initiate needed change. Zerubbabel was that man. Scriptures say, "The Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel" (Hag. 1:14). God is stirring up the spirit of a remnant of workplace believers throughout the world today. They are seeing what breaks God's heart, and they're responding. Has God placed the spirit of Zerubbabel in you? Are you one who will make a difference for the Kingdom, or are you concerned about building bigger and better barns? The Lord is calling forth His people in these last days to make a difference. Ask Him what He wants to do through you.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


"But remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your forefathers, as it is today" (Deut. 8:18).

Muhammad Ali is considered the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time. He won 56 of his 61 professional fights and knocked out 37 opponents. His most famous catchphrase was, "I am the greatest!"
One day, Ali was seated in an airplane when the flight attendant came up the aisle to make sure that all the passengers had their seatbelts fastened. Reaching Ali's seat, she asked him to buckle up.
"Hmph!" the champ sneered. "Superman don't need no seatbelt!"
The flight attendant smiled sweetly and replied, "Superman don't need no airplane, either." Ali fastened his seatbelt.
The greater our success, the greater the risk of us thinking too highly of ourselves. Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle observed, "Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity there are a hundred that will stand adversity." And Oswald Chambers wrote, "Sudden elevation frequently leads to pride and a fall. The most exacting test of all to survive is prosperity."
Each of us must view success as a gift from God. We must learn to see all of our successes as a gift from God, not our own achievement. The Lord is the source of all success, all elevation, all blessing. If you have a good mind and a healthy body, if you live in a land of opportunity, if you have a good education, if you've had a few breaks go your way, then you have much to be grateful for - and no cause for arrogance. You didn't achieve success; you received it as a gift. Each of us must voluntarily humble ourselves before God - or God will have to humble us Himself. I have learned it is better to learn humility voluntarily, than involuntarily! Paul tells us: "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you" (Rom. 12:3).

Monday, June 8, 2015


"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:9 

The apostle Peter was one of three disciples who walked with Jesus closer than the other nine. He was the most enthusiastic and the one man who was willing to step into territories where others would not dare. He was the first to step out of the boat and walk on water. He wanted to protect Jesus at times when Jesus rebuked him for having a demon influence him. He cut off the ear of the guard who wanted to arrest Jesus in the garden. As Peter matured, the Holy Spirit harnessed his many extreme emotions.
The greatest trial for Peter was when he denied the Lord just before Jesus was crucified. Three times he denied knowing Jesus. Jesus predicted that the cock would crow after the third time just to reinforce the prophecy to Peter. Peter was crushed when he realized he had failed His Lord so badly.
The Lord forgave Peter for his denial. However, gaining forgiveness from Jesus was not the most difficult part for Peter. The hard part was forgiving himself. As we mature in the faith, we begin moving in victory after victory with our Lord. Then out of nowhere, an event happens that reveals our true sin nature, and we are confronted face to face with this reality. We cannot believe that we are capable of such sin. There is no good thing in us save the grace of Jesus Christ and His blood that cleanses us. When God looks at us, He looks at the blood of Christ that has covered our sin. He does not look at our sin once we confess it.
When we have difficulty forgiving ourselves, this is pride at its deepest level. We are making an assumption that we should never have sinned and that we are too mature to sin. This is a trap from the enemy of our souls. People who cannot forgive do not recognize from what they have been forgiven. That includes us.

Friday, June 5, 2015


"And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in Him and in Moses His servant." - Exodus 14:31 

What makes an effective Christian leader today? Is it charisma? Is it ability? Is it communication and oratory skills? God's view of an effective leader has nothing to do with these qualities. They may be a part of an effective leader. However, the core attribute of a Christian leader is his integrity with God and his obedience to follow Him. When this happens, God manifests His power in and through that leader. Moses was effective because he was willing to obey the commands God gave him. When Moses did this, God manifested His presence in him. The result was that people followed. They followed because they saw God working in and through the man. They saw that this man was worthy of following because God's anointing was on him.
When people see the Lord's power manifested in your life, they will have a healthy fear of the Lord. They will look at you and say, "This person has something I don't have that is worthy of more investigation." Your challenge is to seek the Lord with a whole heart, resulting in God's power being manifested in the daily activities of your life. When this happens, you can expect others to be drawn to what they see in you. The problem with many Christians today is that non-Christians see nothing different about the way they live to motivate the unsaved to desire their faith.
What makes you different from your neighbor? Is your experience with God noticeably different from that of the man next door? If you're not experiencing regular encounters with God, it's time to ask why not. We don't live day-to-day for the next spiritual experience, but we should see by-products of a life centered in God that is reflected in fruit from His presence in our lives.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


"But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it." - Exodus 4:17 

What is the staff God has put into your hand? Is it being a builder? Is it being an office worker? Is it being a doctor? Moses' staff represented his vocation as a shepherd. God had something in mind for his vocation - to perform miracles. And awesome miracles He did! God turned the Nile river into blood with the touch of the staff. He turned the staff into a snake. He parted the Red Sea with it. These are just a few of the miracles God did with that staff.
When we yield our talents and abilities to the Lord, God can perform miracles through them. First, Moses had to yield what He had in his hand to God. Only after this took place could God use that staff. As long as Moses held onto it, God could not and would not perform miracles through it.
Until we come to this place with our heavenly Father, we will fail to see miracles performed in our work. He delights in showing His power through us. When we become an open vessel, we can expect to see things happen.
Have you given your staff to the Lord? Offer it to Him and see what He might want to do through it. Your life will never be the same.