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Giving Thanks 2021

This week we will observe a national holiday we call Thanksgiving.  Now to some people, Thanksgiving is a secular holiday and to others it is firmly rooted in a special relationship we have with a living God.  I am a believer in the latter.  Thanksgiving is a special time of the year when we take a moment to say, “Thank you, Lord.”  It is a time of year when we look at our blessings and we pause to thank God for the wonders of His great love for us and for the riches that He pours onto us daily.

Psalm 100 is a short book in the bible of only five verses.  It is a Psalm of Thanksgiving.  We are urged make a joyful shout to the Lord (verse 1), then to serve the Lord with gladness (verse 2).  We are reminded that God made us—we didn’t make ourselves, and we are his people and the sheep of His pasture (verse 3).  Then we are urged to enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise (verses 4 and 5).  Be thankful to Him and to bless His holy name.

So, I will look at Thanksgiving the way God asks us to see Him—to give thanks with a grateful heart,  giving what is due to Whom it is due.  I imagine the early settlers in America had some hard times those first years, so they created this day to give thanks for all the things that God did that they couldn’t do.  He gave them rain when it was needed; safety when it was needed; healing when the doctor wasn’t there; a harvest when it was needed; shelter when it was needed; help when it was needed; seed when it was needed; protection when it was needed; friends when they were needed; clean water when it was needed; bread when it was needed; clothes when they were needed; Love because it is always needed; and Jesus because He is all that is needed.

Thanksgiving is more than a turkey dinner with all the trimmings that you get to share with family and friends who share your life throughout the year.  Thanksgiving is a spirit of life that says I will give to God all that I should, and I’m going to give Him the one thing too that is all I need to give Him.  Because like Jesus is all that we need, giving God your life and your grateful thanks is all that you can give Him that He hasn’t already given you.

So, marry gratefulness with thankfulness and go to Him to give Him thanks because of all that He has done for us.  Be grateful for it all because He didn’t have to do anything for us.  Thank You Lord; I am grateful to be one of your people to dwell as a sheep in your pasture.  You didn’t have to do it for me, but You did.  I thank You for that and I am grateful for what it all means to me.

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When Payday Comes

Once while Jesus was teaching, someone in the crowd said, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” (Luke 12:13)   Jesus responded by saying He wasn’t there to be a judge over our desires between one another.  Then Jesus said to others around that they should all be aware of having a spirit of covetousness, of wanting more things.  Life does not consist of the abundance of what we have, Jesus said.  How many of us need this advice?  So many of us live as if our lives depend on getting every penny we are due from others, even if it’s the last penny they have.  Afterall, it’s rightfully ours, and it belongs in our own abundance.  We demand it.  But should we?

Scripture says that Jesus will ultimately judge our lives and not our abundance.  Roman’s 2:5-6 says, “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart, you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of righteous judgment of God, who will give to each one according to his deeds.”  We must understand that the hard work we do to get what is rightfully ours is at the same time self-centered work that God pays us very little for.  If we want what is rightfully due to us from man, God will be obliged to give us what is rightfully His to give us for the work of selflessness we do for Him.

Look at the work you do with your life as it relates to others.  If you want to know the extent of the wages you will be due from God, answer these questions:

  • Do I do what man’s law permits me to do, or do I do what the goodness of God will reward?  You will add or withdraw from your account with God by the way you respond.
  • Do I do what is right for me to do, or do I do what is good in sight of God?  You will add or withdraw from your account with God by the way you respond.
  • Do I forgive others, or do I punish others for needing my forgiveness?  Yes, you will add or withdraw from your account with God by the way you respond.
  • Do I treasure what I have, or do I give what God will treasure?  Once again you are adding or withdrawing from your account with God by the way you respond.
  • Do others make me to have a soft heart towards them, or do they make me harden my heart because of them?  You account with God is going to be smaller or larger by the way you respond.

Let me encourage you to live your life in such a way that your earthly account is rich with the things that are of value to the Lord.  It is then that both your account here on earth and your eternal account with God will be at their fullest.  When you lay your eyes on yourself, you are taking your eyes off the work that matters most to God.  Learn to forgive people the things they owe you, learn to pour into people the things they need from you, and learn to store up things that are of value to man and to God.  In these ways you will be certain that when payday comes, you will receive better good for the little good you do, you will receive greater forgiveness for the little forgiveness you give, you will receive more patience for the little patience you gave, and you will receive perfect Love for the little love that you loved.  If you want to get all that you are due, make certain you are sowing things that that God will give back to you.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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More Than Enough

There is a scripture in the book of Jeremiah that speaks to a bird called a partridge.  A partridge will lay its eggs in a small hole in the sand and then sit on them.  However, partridges are very skittish, fearful birds.  If they are startled by the least little thing, they will flee and abandon their eggs to save their own lives.  A partridge may steal the eggs of other birds and attempt to hatch them, but fear will drive them away from those eggs also.  Fear is a dreadful thing.  Whether real or unfounded, fear can drive us away from where we should be.  Fear is a real thing that is an unreal thing.  We are fearful when we replace what is real with something unreal, something that is in some ways more comfortable to us.  Fear happens most when we feel like we do not have what we want and when we do not understand what we have.

Believers must remember that we always have more than enough of any real thing that we may want or need.  That is because we have the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  Psalms 16:5 says, “Or Lord, you are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot.”  This passage is a little difficult to comprehend, but here is what I understand.  The Lord provides all that we need for life.  He controls our destinies and how all things will unfold for us.  But this is only if we believe and do not try to take control of our lives ourselves.  He is indeed more than enough for us, more than enough of anything we might need to live a good life here with Him.

We must remain faithful to believe and to trust in Him for our all.  If we turn from the Lord to seek after our own things our own ways, then in some ways we are saying we do not have enough.  But as believers we always have more than enough.  We simply need to believe and to remember that:

  • God will keep us when we put our trust in Him.  We should not trust our ways, for our ways are not His ways. (Psalm 16:1)
  • We can have nothing good that is apart from the Lord.  If He doesn’t provide the good in our life, then what we think is good is no good at all.  (Psalm 16:2)
  • The crooked places of our lives, the high places of our lives, the low places of our lives, the curves in our lives, and all things that would challenge us will be straightened by Him because He provides a good inheritance for us here. (Psalm 16:6)
  • Jesus has the Words of life that give us life.  Though life may sometime seem tough to live, we must stay with Him and not turn away for He is more than enough for us to get through all that is before us.  (John 6:67-68)

Remember that you are never enough to achieve enough for yourself.  Set yourself behind the Lord, and He will go before you, making the way straight for you.  He is at your right hand if you will not remove yourself from His presence.  He will never leave you so alone that you are alone.  He will always show you the Way for your life so that you do not follow a path of your own thinking.  When we come to know that we have more than enough in Him, we will know that in His presence we are full of joy and have all that we need.  We will have no fear for anything at anything.  At His right hand are good pleasures forevermore for all believers.  Have no fear for He is indeed more than enough for us.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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New Every Day

I generally observe three types of people around us.  Those who spend a new day trying to do more of what they did yesterday.  Those who spend a new day trying to have more of what they had yesterday.  And those who spend a new day trying to be more than they were yesterday.  I have been each of these people.  I didn’t want my old self or my old ways to become old. I loved who I was more than I could see how I should love who I could be tomorrow.  I imagine there are lots more like I was.  Yes, I say who I was. We can spend our lifetimes trying to make new days just like the old days because we won’t change our old selves or our old ways.  That is not who I am today.  I have learned that a new day is a new day.  I tell people now that if they are the same person today that they were yesterday, they should go back to sleep and wait for a new person to wake up.

We should have this mindset about us.  We should all want to be better today than we were yesterday and better tomorrow than we are going to be today.  We are not blessed just so that we can stay the same as we are.  God’s blessings are designed to make us want to be more unlike who we are and more like who He wants us to be.  But we find this hard to understand so it is even harder to do.  We want His blessings, but we do not want to change who we are.  Then the world tells us we can come to Jesus just as we are and that is true.  But we should stay with Him, dwell with Him, and live with Him just as He wants us to be.  But we make it so hard to do.  I was one who wanted all that it meant to live with Him, but that really did not mean I was ready to do all that it meant to have that. 

Scripture encourages us in the Lamentations 3:21-23.  It says “My soul still remembers and sinks within me.  This I recall to my mind; Therefore I have hope.  Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”  Through the Lord’s mercies we could be and perhaps we should be, but we are not consumed.  Through His mercies we make it through each new day.  It doesn’t matter if your day was good or bad, it is through His mercy that you made it through.  Be grateful.  Remind yourself that you couldn’t have gotten through today to your tomorrow save for the wonders of His mercies today.

Now, when I find myself trying to live today the way I did yesterday, I am reminded in my soul that His mercies are new every day, and they are new because He wants me to be new every day.  So, I say to myself, don’t let the old me have a say in the new day that is meant for a new me.  When I find myself trying to live today to have more of what I had yesterday, I am reminded in my soul that His mercies are poured out to give me something new today that I didn’t have yesterday.  He doesn’t just brush off the old stuff and present it as new stuff to us.  He gives new stuff because His mercies are new each day.  And now when I find myself living today trying to be more of who I was yesterday, I am reminded in my soul that His mercies are poured into me today to make me be someone better than I wasn’t yesterday.  A new day; a new me; and a new way!

His compassions indeed never fail, nor does He ever run short of His mercies.  Knowing this should help us learn to run short of trying to have what we had yesterday, to run short of trying to do what we did yesterday, and to run short of trying to be who we were yesterday.  If we would give up all the old stuff about us, He would bless us with New Days full of New Stuff and New Ways that He has reserved for the New Lives in us that He loves daily.  Will the New Day see a New You?  I pray that it will.  Life Delivered.  Love you.

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Lord, What Now?

Today’s message will be a powerful message of revelation for some of you.  It is a message that answers a question we never ask.  Why do we find it so difficult to change our ways when we know continuing in the way we are heading is not good for us?  How many of you have ever stopped to ask yourself, “Why won’t I change?”  Sometimes, when we listen to the Lord continually, He gives us answers to questions we never thought to ask, or that we are afraid to ask.  Today will be one of those days for many of you.  You will not change your ways because the longing of your soul for the things you desire is stronger than the longing of the desires your spirit has for you.  Your longing will go unsatisfied until you allow your spirit to rule your soul.  You must learn to change easily.

Here is why I say that.  Our souls are our humanity.  The soul is the place from where all our wants and desires come.  It is the place of our emotions and our needs.  Our soul responds to the things of the world.  If you live more like you are of the world, your soul will rule.  The way you look at life and the way you approach satisfying the desires of your heart will determined by your soul.  Our souls are the place where we look at ourselves and take care of ourselves.  If we need a job, we may pray that the Lord will bless us with a job.  But often we ask this because our practical and emotional needs for work dominate the moment in which we live.

Our spirits are the place in our lives that are focused on God.  Our spirits try to teach our souls to be converted from focusing on ourselves to focusing on God.  But this is hard for many of us to hear and even harder to understand.  Our souls will say to our spirits, “I am focused on the Lord, which is why I prayed and asked Him for help.”  But our spirits respond to us by helping us see that when our lives are really focused on God and not on ourselves, we would pray, “Lord, what now?”  When we tell the Lord we need work, or we need a friend, or we need a favor, we are speaking from our souls for our souls.  But when we ask the Lord what now, we are coming at Him from our spirits, asking Him to direct our minds, thoughts, and emotions so He can direct our ways.

Why do you think so many of us are unwilling to change our ways?  Why do we pray for people, but those people never seem to change?  It is because they do not want to change their emotions because it would change who they are.  So, they do not have fulfillment because they do not change so that they can have fulfillment.  Much of what you desire would change for you if you learned to change from an emotional human desiring to satisfy your soul to a spiritual person desiring to feed you spiritual growth and development.  We don’t recognize when our souls fight against our spirits. Our souls focus on us.  Our spirits are the things in us that are of God.  Our spirits are always trying to point us toward God.  So, we have a fight.  The soul points us towards ourselves while our spirits tell us to look to God and ask, “What now, God?”

Scripture captures all this in Psalms 107:8-9.  It says, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!  For He satisfies the longing soul, and He fills the hungry soul with goodness.”  The Lord knows we are in a battle between our souls and our spirits.  But He is telling us that He is the only One who can satisfy the longing of our souls.  We cannot do it ourselves.  A new job will not do it.  A new friendship will not do it.  A promotion will not do it.  The only thing that can satisfy what we want in our souls is the Lord who transforms us from looking at ourselves for our needs, to looking at Him for our direction.  With one question, you can starve your souls.  You become one who changes quickly and easily when you learn to go to the Lord with this one simple question you’ve probably never asked: “Lord, what now?”  Ask Him that today and ask Him that all the days of your life.  He will give you the desires of your heart.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you. 

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Ask for Mercy

We all know that there is nothing impossible for God.  He made the earth from nothing.  He made man from the dust of the earth.  He made the stars and the heavens.  He made the moon and the sun.  He parted the Red Sea and the Jordan River.  I could go on, but you get the point.  Nothing is impossible with Him.  He is able to…  Well, you can finish the sentence with your own words, and it will be a true statement.

Still, sometimes we find it difficult to find comfort in simply knowing that He is able to do anything while believing He will do an impossible thing for us.  This is a problem we have with our faith.  When our faith is based on what we believe He will do, we limit the effectiveness of our faith.  Scripture tells us that two blind men followed Jesus, crying out to Him saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us.”  It is interesting that the two men did not specifically ask Jesus to restore their sight.  Instead, they asked Him to have mercy on them.  I believe faith told them Jesus could see that they could not see.  Faith also told them Jesus knew that because they were blind, they also had many other issues besides their lack of sight.  So, they begged Jesus to have mercy on them.

In Matthew 9:28-30 scripture says Jesus responded to the men saying, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”  The men responded, yes Lord.  Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.”  Instead of asking what they wanted Him to do, Jesus asked whether they had faith enough to believe that He was able to do whatever was needed to show them mercy.

Then, Jesus said to them, “According to your faith let it be done unto you.”  According to what you have been able to believe, that is what Jesus will give to you.  The men believed Jesus was able to grant them the mercy of restoring their sight, and so it was done for them.  It is important that we understand faith works best when it first seeks the grace and mercy of God to act on our behalf simply because we know He will always be merciful and full of grace and Love towards us.

It is always okay for us to go to God in prayer and make our requests known to Him.  If you need healing, you should go to Him and ask for healing.  If someone you know needs healing, you should go to Him and ask healing for that person.  If you need work, you should go to Him in and ask Him for work.  But you should go to Him in a state of faith and belief that first asks that He be merciful on you and your situation.  When you do this, your faith will be stronger because God will always give you grace and mercy and Love even if He chooses not to fix your problem.

The blind men knew what they were doing.  They knew Jesus was able to do anything, that He could even restore their sight, but they asked for something more.  They asked for Jesus’s mercy.  They wanted their sight to be restored as an act of mercy bestowed upon them.  Because of their faith, they got all that they wanted.  So, learn to see your situation not as just problems or needs.  Instead, learn to see your situation as opportunities to strengthen your faith by simply asking God to have mercy on you.  When you approach Him in this way, He will touch your life, and according to your faith it will be to you.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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Learn to Live by Discretion

I have often wondered why some people feel compelled to say everything that comes into their mind.  Why is that?  Then why is it that some people seemingly say very little compared to what they could say?  Why does it seem like some people cannot keep silent while others are careful to speak as little as possible?  And why is it that some people never stop talking about what’s wrong with others while others are hesitant to share their opinion about what is wrong with anyone but themselves?  Why is it that many people tend to respond to everything that they hear but they miss most of what is being said?

The answer is discretion.  But what is discretion?  Scripture tells us in Proverbs 19:11, “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.”  Discretion is the ability of a person to pause for a moment to consider the implications of saying something before saying anything at all.  It is the ability to keep yourself from saying everything that comes to your mind.  It is the ability to keep yourself from telling yourself that others need to hear everything that you have to say.

The devil makes many people believe speaking your mind is a strength and a strong character trait; however, speaking your mind without discretion is a powerful weakness we all must learn to deal with.  When you speak your mind on all things, people will tune you out on most things.  If you want to be heard, learn to speak less, and speak to fewer people.  If you want others to hear you learn, to wait for others to ask for your views.

Scripture tells us in James 1:19 that we should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.  This scripture is trying to tell us that people who listen will be smarter than those who have to say something about everything.  People who are slow to speak will be heard more than people who cannot keep silent except for rare occasions when they are asleep.  And people who are slow to anger will be praised for their discipline while those who talk all the time will be seen as angry people who create more anger with anger.  So why can’t many of us hear this message?  Well, its because we do not learn to live by discretion.

Discretion makes you care more about how others will feel about what you have to say.  Discretion makes you ask yourself why you cannot keep silent on some things to allow some things to be spoken in ways other than through you.  Discretion makes you understand and consider for a moment if what you have to say is necessary to be said at all.  Discretion makes you understand that some things that come to your mind are meant for your understanding and for your development more than for you to express to others.

If you want to keep speaking and not being heard, keep speaking all that comes to your mind without discretion.  If you want lots of people to hear what you say but value little of what you say, keep speaking without discretion.  If you want to be seen as an angry mouth more than anything, keep speaking without discretion.  There are lots of people who are glad to be this way.

I am hopeful this message will be a message of discretion for you, and by it you will learn how to allow discretion to live in you.  Discretion will teach you that you have options in life to control what you say to yourself and to others.  It will tell you that you have options to overlook things that happen to you and with you and around you.  It will tell you that you can look for the calm in the storm of anything if you are willing.  Discretion has made many to be wise who otherwise would have shown how foolish a smart person can be when they cannot be silent.  When you learn to live with discretion as the guide to your heart, others will see you and they will glorify how you humbly overlook many things and control your responses to much so that the seeds of life can have a chance to break through in the dark of transgressions.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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The Praise of Broken People

Recently, I listened to the worship song “Broken People by Israel Houghton.  This song tells how the Lord loves the praise of people who are broken.  It made me wonder what it means to be “broken.”  It also made me wonder how we can bless the Lord.  Since He is the author of all blessings and all good things, how can we ever give Him anything that could be considered a blessing to Him?   Can we really bless God with our brokenness?  

Scripture is full of references about how we should praise and bless the Lord.  For example, Psalms 34:1 encourages us in this way, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”  But scripture also talks about brokenness.  In Psalms 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and He saves those such as have a contrite spirit.”  I don’t believe this scripture speaks of broken in the way we might think.  He is speaking of people who are broken for Him, not broken because of a personal loss.  He speaks of having both a broken heart and a contrite spirit for the things that are God’s more than for things we might want or for things we must endure for ourselves.  Of course, He cares when we are broken because of personal loss, but He is drawn closer to us when we are broken because He does not get the honor and the glory that He is due from us or from people around us.

When we are crushed in spirit for the things that are of Him, He is moved to come to us so He can restore our hearts and spirits to stand strong in Him.  So, David says in Psalms 34:1 that he will always bless the Lord. David knew that all praise belongs to the Lord, so those praises will continually be spoken by his mouth.  When we ask the Lord for His blessings, we are asking Him to bring His good to our lives or to the lives of others.  What, then, can we give Him that would be good enough to be a blessing to Him?  There are several things we can offer Him Who needs nothing, and these things would bless His heart to have from us.  But before we offer anything to bless Him, we must first have a heart that is broken for Him and a spirit that is crushed because we know He does not get from us the things that He loves.  When we do this, we actually bless and praise Him.

If you want to bless Him and if you want to praise Him with something that will glorify Him, learn to come to Him and to give Him all the things that you desire.  When you give Him your desires, He is happy because He loves satisfying the desires of His children with His love.  Give Him all your heart.  When you give Him your heart, He is happy because mending broken hearts is one of His favorite things to do.  Give Him your love.  When you give Him your love, He is happy because perfecting His love in the way we love is how He lives boldly among so many who do not know Him.  And then give Him your life.  When you give Him your life, He is happy because He loves to come into a new life and find a place to live.

If we do these things from a heart broken for Him and from a spirit that is crushed for Him, then we will find it easy to bless Him with the things of our lives that will make Him happy.  Loving a broken people is a blessing to Him.  It is the praise that belongs to Him.  Indeed, He loves people who are broken for Him.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you. 

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Look for What You Hear

Difficult circumstances are very real.  But often, we don’t see how God is at work in these circumstances because we see so much of what is at work against us.  Scripture shows us an example in the book of Job.  Job was a man who lost everything important to him because of his righteousness before God.  The devil believed Job served God only because God favored him, and that Job would curse God when he seemed to lose that favor.  But the devil was wrong. Through many trials, Job did not stop believing in God nor did he curse God.  Job not only believed what he heard, he believed what he saw.

I would like to be more like Job.  I know I am too easily moved and too easily challenged.  I cry out and complain about my circumstances when things don’t go my way.  Many of us tend to base our beliefs on the promises God makes to be good to us.  We put our faith in what we hear in His word.  But that’s not enough.  To endure the way God intends, we must not only hear with our ears, but we must be able to see with our eyes and hearts how God is at work in our most challenging circumstances.  We must look for what we hear!

Scripture encourages us this way in Psalm 34:19-20, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken.”  I’m sure when we hear these words, it’s difficult to find them encouraging at all. We question what we hear, but if we look, we can see God in these words.  We hear, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous.”  Why, we might ask, must the righteous face many afflictions?  When we hear something negative, we tend to withdraw and shut down. When we do this with scripture, we give up the chance to hear all that God says, and it becomes difficult for us to see Him in what He says.  We need to keep looking.  He says many are the afflictions, but He also says He will deliver us through them all.

I want to share a method to help you not only hear all that God says, but also see Him in all that He says.  The scripture says, “many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”  Reverse how you read this scripture and look for the promise of God’s good.  Now the scripture says that the Lord delivers the righteous out of all the many afflictions he will face.  This is what I mean.  This way we can hear more easily that the Lord is saying He will deliver you from all the afflictions you will face.  You can be sure of that because He said it.  We are more easily encouraged when we hear Him in this way. And because we are encouraged by what we hear, our eyes and our hearts can more easily see Him at work in ways we would not have seen before.  We are never happy with afflictions, but we can be joyful to know that He is always going to be there to deliver us, because He said it.  Sometimes, nothing will change about our circumstances until we change how we see our circumstances.

So, if you want to learn to see Him in all areas of your life, you must go beyond hearing simply what the Word says.  You must get to a place of assurance that He said it, you saw Him in it, and He is performing what He said He would perform.  Towards the end of his trials, Job said to God “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.”  Job was saying to God, when I listen well enough, I will see you in all that I hear, and then I will learn to see You in my circumstances always.  God said He would deliver the righteous, so learn not only to hear Him, but to see Him at work in delivering you through your daily trials. He said it, you see it, and you believe it.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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As Wise As an Ant

The ant is a small creature without human intelligence, yet it teaches us an important lesson in preparing for its future. Ants treat each coming winter as a natural disaster. If they are caught above ground during the freezing temperatures, they will die.  An ant colony must store a surplus of food during the summer so its members can survive the winter below ground on their provisions. Ants live today as if it is tomorrow.

We could learn a lot from the ant.  Scripture tells says so in Proverbs 6:6-8, “Go to the ant you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, they have no captain, no overseer, or ruler, yet they prepare their supplies in the summer and gather their food in the harvest.”  The ants live today as if tomorrow depends on it.  How much more would we benefit if we lived the same way?

If you want to secure a better tomorrow for yourself, you must act with prudence today.  Prudence is thinking that what you do today will impact what you face tomorrow.  Prudence is the first step toward learning to live your life free of the desire to consume all that you have.  God wants us to be prudent because otherwise someone will use our greed and laziness against us.  Ants work hard in the summer to store up for the times when they cannot work at all.  They are smart enough to know if they don’t do this, they are likely to die.  The devil doesn’t want us to have the wisdom of an ant.  Instead, he wants us to be just smart enough to believe we can get our needs met from the people who are less wise and lazier than we are.  He makes us believe we can be satisfied by taking from those who are unwilling to prepare for properly for themselves.  The devil wants you to be a smarter lazy than the lazy people around you.

But God says it is smart for you to work hard with your own hands at things that do not include taking from the hands of others.  God wants you to prepare yourself today for the life you want tomorrow. The ant doesn’t take from other ants. The ant takes from what doesn’t belong to any other thing.  It is not prudence when we take advantage of the unwise for our personal gain.   Rather, it is deception and laziness.

God also doesn’t want us to be sluggards in the way we live. This type of living is wasteful, unprepared living.  It’s the type of living in which everything we face daily must happen perfectly for us to have what we want.  Life is not perfect, and it is not going to play out perfectly for us unless we work at it.  The ants prepare for a disaster before there is a disaster. They are not sluggards.  There are no slackers in the ant colony.  

Often, we create our own disasters because we do not prepare ourselves for the successes we want in life.  If you learn to get to work on time or to do your homework, you may learn that you can find a job, keep a job you like, or finish school with the degree you want.  Life gives back to the prepared all that they put into it, but life passes sluggards by because they are too lazy to prepare.  Sluggards are not ready when their ride comes.

If you want to live in favor, wisdom and understanding, God wants you to be like an ant.  He wants you to be accountable and responsible for how you live.  The ants have no king, no overseer, and no ruler, yet each ant contributes its part to the preparation of the whole colony.  Often, we do not have what we want because we have not shown ourselves to be responsible and accountable enough to have those things.  When we learn to be accountable for how we live, wisdom and knowledge will come to us, and we will live more abundantly.  God wants us to get caught up doing today what is needed to secure a great tomorrow.  God wants us to rise up from our laziness, unfold our hands, step out of the poverty of our desires, and step into the prosperity of someone who lives today as if it is the last tomorrow they will see.  If the ants can do it, then, with God’s help, so can we.  Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.