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The Treasure He Wants

This was a difficult message for me to receive and understand.  I have often wondered why sometimes the Lord seems silent instead of responding to my prayers.  He doesn’t always move my circumstances the way I ask.  I have wondered why it is that some of us struggle with things that don’t change.  I just didn’t understand.

Why do some of us become sick, while others do not?  Why do some of us have what we need, and others do not?  Most of all, why it is that the right thing seems to happen to the wrong people, and the wrong thing happens for the right person?

Why didn’t someone stop Russia from invading and killing the people of Ukraine and destroying their country?  How should we feel about that?  What should we do?  Things like these make no sense to me.  But then I learned that the very thing I want from God my situations, He wants from me.  Here is what I mean.

There is a parable in Luke 12:32-33 of a rich man who asked Jesus to tell his brother to divide their inheritance.  Now that seems fair and right to me.  If your parents leave an inheritance, it seems right to me that the siblings who remain should divide the inheritance.

In my view the man wasn’t asking Jesus to do something wrong.  It seems like a fair request.  Tell my brother to do right.  But Jesus responded to the man by saying man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?  That’s all He said.  He didn’t doanything.  So, I wondered, why did Jesus not make the brother do what was right?

Then in verses 29-33, I found the answer.  Jesus will never make you or me or anyone else do anything against what we want to do.  He says this to the people who heard how He responded to this man, “Do not seek what you should eat or drink, nor have an anxious mind.  But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you.”

Here is what made this so difficult for me to understand.  I have often wanted the Lord to make others do right.  I have wanted Him to change the hearts of others.  And especially in close relationships, I have wanted Him to step in and to make people do right by other people.  But it seems like He doesn’t hear me.

But He does hear.  And He responds to me by helping me to see something important.  While I cannot make God move the way I want, I can be to Him the treasure that He wants.   When I want Him to move on something I love, He wants me to move my love to Him even more.

When I wanted Him to make my brother do right by me, He wanted me to store up the treasure of doing right by others before Him.  When I wanted Him to heal someone from a sickness, He wanted me to store up with Him my reliance on Him for my health and the health of others.

Each time I want Him to right an injustice against me or make someone else do right, I must instead store up with Him the treasure of my own desires to do right by others and do the right things for others.

The Lord may not change the ways of others directly before you.  But because He treasures your ways before others, it is His good pleasure to give you the treasures of the Kingdom.  He may never change our circumstances, but He will give you enough kingdom treasures to make you learn to live through your circumstance until what is against you changes.

Learn to be the treasure He will store up for Himself in heaven.  Adversity can’t live there with you and Him.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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Listen Up!

The book of Numbers tells the story of the prophet Balaam riding on his donkey to go to visit some men God specifically told him not to visit.  Along the way, the donkey encounters an angel of God standing in the path ahead with a sword drawn, ready to kill Balaam.

The donkey tries three times to get Balaam to change his course, but Balaam would not change.  When the donkey stopped, Balaam would strike the animal trying to keep him moving.  Finally, God allowed the donkey to speak to Balaam, who then realized there was an angel ahead who would have killed him.

Sometimes, we are so fixed on doing what we want to do that we do not hear the Lord when He tells us what He wants us to do.  The Lord cries out to us, “Now listen up!  Hear what I’m trying to say to you.”  But we do not listen, nor do we hear, because our hearts are set on what we want.

Now hear this!  This is the Lord’s exclamation to introduce something or to make an announcement instructing us what He wants us to do.  Often, we miss His instruction because we are tuned to our own channels.  We hear only what we say to ourselves.  We don’t have the sense to hear what is going on around us or ahead of us because we are set only to hear what is in us.  We lack the discretion to hear what we should fear.

Proverbs 2:10-12 tells us this about who we should listen to.  It says, “When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you, to deliver you from the way of evil.”  How then do we get this sense of discretion and understanding?

Well, we must remember that if God tells us to do something specifically, we must not disregard it.  Jonah spent a few days in the belly of a large fish because he tried to disregard what God told him to do.  We must learn to listen up in all our circumstances.  God doesn’t just come to speak to us when things are tough; He doesn’t just come to speak to us when we are in the deepest and darkest times of life.

God wants to speak to us when things are going well for us.

You can know if you are not listening up when you find yourself kicking against a goad.  A goad is a pointed object the farmers of old would use to prod their livestock to get them to go in a particular direction.  The goad was used to train the behavior of an animal to do what the master wanted.  The animal didn’t want to be pricked by the pointed end of the goad.

In Acts 26, Paul recounts his conversion story.  When his name was still Saul, he was on his way to Damascus to persecute followers of Jesus.  As he approached the city, he was stunned by a bright light and a voice saying “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

It was Jesus, and He was telling Saul, “Now Listen Up!  You are fighting for what I want you to fight against!  You are pursuing what I don’t want you to catch.  You are missing what I want you to catch because you are not listening for My voice in your life.”

I know that in my life when things have been tough, I looked for the Lord to show up in my circumstance only to find that He wanted to show up in my response to my circumstance.  When things were great, I thanked and blessed the Lord only to find that I should have thanked Him and blessed Him in every circumstance.

I needed to learn to shut my mouth and to listen up for Him in every way and in everything so that I could learn to hear Him when He was ready to speak to me.  Don’t wait till your circumstances scream at you to talk to Him.  Learn to listen up for Him in everything.  Then you will have discretion and understanding to guide you before you need to be goaded to change your course.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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Don’t Rush

Sometimes I find that my impatience is a worse enemy than anyone else could be to me.  I’m pretty sure this may be the case with many of us.  We are too impatient to wait on the Lord for His help.  Often, we will pray and then we act, or we act and then we pray.  Either way, we get ahead of the Lord.  We may be answering our own prayers ourselves.

We saw this behavior clearly with King Saul.  He was the first king of the Israelites.  Scripture tells us that when he was anointed king, the Prophet Samuel told him to go to Gilgal and wait for Samuel to meet him there seven days later.  Samuel was coming so that he could offer up sacrifices to God for anointing Saul king.

But Saul was impatient.  In his hast to act as a king, he started a war with the Philistines.  And because the Israelites were greatly outnumbered by the Philistines, the people were afraid.  So, on the seventh day, when Samuel had not arrived yet, Saul decided to offer up the sacrifices himself.  He was impatient because he was hasty.

1 Samuel 13:8-12 says, “Then he (Saul) waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel but Samuel did not come to Gilgal.  So, Saul offered the burnt offering.  Now it happened as soon as he had finishing presenting the burnt offering, Samuel came.  And Samuel said to him, you have done foolishly.”  Because we are impatient, we rush, we get ahead, and we get it wrong.

Saul rushed to fix things.  He saw how big of a problem he had before him in the Philistines, so he took matters into his own hands.  He felt compelled to offer up the offering so he could get on with fighting the Philistines.  Saul saw his circumstances through the eyes of his fears.  The Lord wants us to learn to see our circumstances through the eyes of our faith.

It doesn’t matter what we face, the Lord is always there to face things with us.  Psalm 37:1 tells us, “Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass.”

It doesn’t matter what we are up against nor what we face.  If we wait patiently and do not rush the Lord, He will soon come up against our circumstances.  Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years for Isaac to be born from the time God told them they would have a son.  Eventually God’s timing came to their circumstance.

If we do not learn to wait for God’s timing in our lives, we will for sure fail to have the blessing of His work in our lives.  We cannot rush God’s work into our lives.  We can only wait for God’s work to come to our lives.  Yes, I said we must wait for His work to come to our lives.  If we fret or are fearful, we will rush to act on our fears.

But when we are patient and wait on the Lord, we act through our faith.  Our faith is the surest way to bring God into our circumstances.  So, today I’m asking you – Don’t rush.  No matter your circumstances, rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.  Don’t rush because of the things you see going on with you and around you.

Don’t be angry.  Don’t retaliate against others.  Don’t rush; it only causes you harm in the end and it is never good.  Don’t rush; let this be the cry of your faith before the Lord.  Learn to be meek in all your circumstances for then you will be filled with an abundance of peace, no matter what you face.  Peace overcomes fear and anxiety.

God will never forsake the righteous person who has learned to wait patiently on the Lord.  When you rush, you act foolishly.  But when you are patient, you respond wisely your circumstances, knowing the Lord is preparing a way for you.  Don’t rush to answer your own prayers.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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I Can Work with That

In the book of Mark, we find the account of Jesus feeding over four thousand people.  He had been teaching the people in a remote desert area.  At one point Jesus tells the disciples that He is concerned that the people had been with Him for three days without anything to eat.  He wanted them to be fed.

Mark 8:5-9 says that in response to His concerns, His disciples asked Him, “‘Where can anyone get enough bread here in this desolate place to fill these people?’  ‘How many loaves do you have?’ He asked them.  ‘Seven,’ they said.  He took the seven loaves, blessed them, and then distributed it to all the people.”

They were saying no one had enough to feed all these people.  He was saying that He could work with what they had if they would just believe.  We should never think about what anyone else can do when it is time for us to be someone.

The disciples could see the overwhelming size of the problem, but they didn’t see themselves as part of the solution.  They saw it through their limits.  They could not imagine how they could deal with this problem. 

Jesus may ask us to do a lot, but that doesn’t mean He leaves us to do it all alone.  He wants us to be someone He can use in His work in the lives of others.  He is not looking for anyone.  He is looking for you to be someone He can use.  Your part is to be ready when He asks.  He can work with that.

The disciples saw a big problem because they saw they had little means.  They determined they could not help because they did not have enough to do what was needed.  Jesus never asks us simply for our help; He asks if we will participate.  He can work with that.

We should not size up our problems based on the size of the Goliath we face.  Instead, we should compare our problems to the size of the faith we have in the fight with our Goliaths.

The disciples had to learn that Jesus could work with anything they had to make provisions beyond what their eyes could see.  He asked how many loaves they had because He wanted His disciples to know that with Him, four thousand people could eat from the same loaf and be filled.  Our part in life is to bring the loaf when it is our means to do so.  He can work with that.

I once worked for a very senior leader in the Pentagon.  He would always ask me if I had done my best in the work I did for him.  I typically responded yes.  Then he would tell me, “Then I can work with that.”  I did my part, and it was enough for him.

What he was saying is this.  He could take my best effort and together we could make it better. Our part is always to be willing to do what we can do with what we have and let the Lord do more.  He can do miracles with that when we are willing to do our part providing a little hope.

Jesus is always asking us how many loaves we have.  When we see a great need before us in the lives of others, let’s make sure we don’t try to serve that need from what we don’t have.  Our part is to give the Lord what we have and allow Him to do with that what we cannot do on our own.

He can work with that if you will be someone who will give Him all you are to work with.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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How To Be Happy

When I look around today and see all that is before me, I wonder why people seem so unhappy.  Why aren’t we happy?

Disney used to have a clear and simple vision statement—“Make People Happy.”  They did this by creating environments and objects that cause people to find a moment of fun, to enjoy life for a short time.  Disney allowed people to experience a time when they could be removed from the day-to-day stuff and just have some fun.  But having fun isn’t the same as being happy.

There is a time and a place for having fun, but fun will come and go.  You can visit Disney, but you cannot live at Disney.  Eventually you will have to go back to your life at home.  To be happy is to learn to live life in a way that brings you contentment in any circumstance of life.  Fun can visit, but Happiness wants to come and stay.

Being happy is not an emotion; it is a state of being.  If it takes things like a cake and candles and a surprise visit to the place you’ve always wanted to visit, and fun wishes from all the people who know and love you for you to have a happy birthday, there is a great chance you will never have a happy birthday.

Riding a roller coaster is not a fun thing to me, though you may love it.  Being a happy person is what makes for a happy birthday.  Being a happy person is what makes the cake special.  Being a happy person is what makes fun things fun.

So, what is happy?

Happiness is being content with your life no matter where your life is now.  Being happy is keeping your wants from determining if you are happy.  Being happy is to define your circumstances with your life rather than to let your life be determined by your circumstances.

God speaks to us about being happy.  In 2 Chronicles 9, the Queen of Sheba pays a visit to King Solomon.  She had heard of his wisdom and fame, so she came to see for herself if all that she heard was true.  When she had seen all that Solomon had accomplished, she said, “Happy are these your servants, who stand before you continually to hear your wisdom.” (2 Chronicles 9:7)

So, what did she see in these people to describe them as happy?  They didn’t have roller coasters to thrill them.  They didn’t have movies to entertain them.  They had work and lots of it, yet she saw that they were happy.  What should we look for in ourselves and others to know if we are happy?

Well, we will see people who are satisfied with what they have more than they are discontent with not having what they want.  What’s more,

  • we will see people satisfied with what they get to do more than they are discontent with what they must do;
  • we will see people pleased that they know someone more than they want others to know them;
  • we will see people who live through what lives in others;
  • we will see people who find being a friend is more important than having friends;
  • we will find people better at controlling themselves than they are at controlling others;
  • we will find people who find possibilities for good more than they find fault; and
  • we will find people living a great day in the middle of what others would find to be a bad day.

The kid’s nursery rhyme says, “If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands.”  God’s spiritual rhyme might say this, “Happy is the life that needs nothing but to stand before and to live daily and continually before the Love of God hearing the wisdom of His plan for how we ought to live.”

If you are happy and you know it, your life will really show it.  If you are happy and you know it, just say Amen.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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The Unlike Life

When I am coaching people in my work, I remind them that today we have a crisis all around us. Leaders don’t look any different, they don’t talk any different, they don’t dress any different, and they don’t live any different.  Leaders don’t appear different from the people they lead.

For example, some parents who don’t act much different than their kids.  Some churches don’t act any different from the unchurched. And worst of all, some believers don’t act or live any different than those who are unbelievers.  We have a mess.

Many of us, even many churches, believe that believers should not make others feel uncomfortable by being different.  For sure, we should not make another person feel uncomfortable around us simply because we believe we are better people.  We are no better than they are.  Yet believers are called to represent a better life.

Believers are called to chase after God and to be chased by God.  Believers are called to be transformed from a life of self.  Believers are called to the love of God instead of the love of things.  This says a lot.  We should not live to be unlike others, but we should live to be unlike our old selves.

Our lives should not make others uncomfortable being themselves.  Instead, we should make them uncomfortable not being better than they are.

In Luke 6:27-35, Jesus tells us how we should look and how we should not look. Verse 27 calls us to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us. Verse 28 calls us to bless those who curse us and to pray for those who spitefully use us. Verse 30 calls us to give to those who have need and never to ask for things back from him who takes from us.  Verse 31 tells us just as we want others to do to us, we should do that to them. 

Finally, verse 33 explains the reason for all these commands.  If we love those who love us, if we do good to those who do good to us, what benefit is it to us?  Even sinners do the same things.

If we are doing the same things that others do, how will anyone know us for the transforming of God in our lives?  If we say what they say, if we love who they love, if we give like they give, then how is that different?  Yet we are called to live a different life.

We should do what others would not expect us to do. We should love our enemies because it’s unlikely our enemies will love their enemies.  We should bear with those who hate us and use us because it is not likely a person who hates another will bear with that person.

Others may lend expecting the same and more in return, but we should give expecting nothing in return.  God wants us to stop living like we have not been changed at all.  If we are nothing unlike the persons we were yesterday, perhaps we are nothing unlike the unbelievers around us.

Let’s learn to live the unlike lives God calls us to live.  Our reward is in heaven, and it comes to us from the Lord.  We do not have to have all that the world believes is right for us because we should be living a life unlike the lives people of the world live.

Live a Delivered Life. Love you.

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Love Never Fails

Sometimes life can be so hard that it seems everything around us is but one step away from failing.  I know this feeling well.  But then I have learned I have something that can overcome anything.  That thing is love.

I’ve learned that the single greatest thing we can have, the greatest thing we can give, the greatest thing we can receive, and the only thing that will last in the lives of others is Love.  Love is the greatest because Love lives, and it will never give up trying to find you.

We know that God loves us.  He gave us His Son so that we may have eternal life just because He loves us.  More than that, Scripture describes God as Love.  But there’s even more.  In 1 Corinthians 13:8, Scripture says these three simple words: “Love Never Fails.”  God never fails.  God’s love for us will never fail. God’s life in us will never fail.

The first commandment we have is to Love God with all our hearts, minds, and souls and then to love others. God’s Love for us is perfect because He is perfect.  His Love in us is perfect too.  Since we are not perfect, we need the perfecting work of the love of God.  We need to love God and love others so that we can be complete.

So, what then is love and how is it that it does not fail?

Well for me, I have learned that Love is feeling toward God the same way that He feels towards others.  He lives for us so we should live for Him.  He sacrifices His wants to give us our wants, so we should sacrifice our wants to have His wants.

He puts what is best for us before what is best for Him, so we should put what is best for Him before what is best for us.  He believes in each of us so we should believe only in Him.  This is our love for Him.  His love for us never fails.  When we love Him in this way, He will not let our love for Him fail.

Loving others is to feeling toward them the way God feels toward them.  God is patient and kind with others, so we should be patient and kind in love toward others.  Love like this will never fail others.  God’s love for others will never quit; it will hang in there and bear all things hoping to make its way into the hearts of others.

Our love for others should never quit.  Our love should bear with others hoping to at some time make a way into their hearts.  Our love should never quit even when we want to quit.  Love like this from us will never fail others.

Sill, some of you may be wondering if it can really be as I am saying.  How can love never to fail when people fail us all the time?  How can love never fail when we don’t really know how to love like God or even how to receive the love of others who love us?  People will fail us because people are imperfect; but love doesn’t fail because love is perfecting.

So, we must learn to help make imperfect people more perfect by giving them the perfecting work of our love.  But we must watch out for fear.  Fear is the one thing that will keep us from experiencing the perfect Love of God, and fear is the one thing that will keep us from experiencing the love of others.

Fear will keep us from receiving the love of those who love us.  Fear wants to remind us we are hopelessly imperfect.  It keeps us from experiencing the love others want to give us.

Receiving just a little of the Love of God casts out fear.  The perfect love of God will cast out your fear of receiving, of being, and of giving love. Love never fails because the work of love can never fail.

Love is more than an emotion or a feeling we receive from others and more than an emotion or a feeling we have toward others.  Love is a life that comes to live in us, to work to free us from the fear of ourselves.  So, let love have its perfecting work in you.

Learn to receive the Love of God.  Without fear, learn to receive the love of those who fearlessly love you.

Love will never fail to perfect itself in you because love can never fail at being love.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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Grace

Recently I watched a newscast about family who attended the trial of a person accused of killing their son.  The family was permitted to speak to the man.  And speak they did.  Through their anger and hurt and pain, they called the man all kinds of names. They wished nothing but bad upon him; they said he didn’t deserve to live.

As I watched, I asked myself.  Could there ever be a time when I would withhold grace from a person I didn’t think deserved it?  So I’m asking you.  Would you ever withhold grace from someone you didn’t think deserved it?

As I thought about myself, I must admit the question challenged me and my feelings.  I was confused a little because I thought about forgiveness and mercy and grace.  I thought they were all about the same.  But then I realized I wasn’t asking myself about forgiveness or about mercy.  I was asking about grace.

Forgiveness is what we do when there is a situation or circumstance in which we feel wronged.  Forgiveness is an act.  It cancels a debt owed to us.

Mercy is also an act.  It is an act of compassion in response to a situation.  Both forgiveness and mercy then are acts we choose to do because of a situation we have with others.  To forgive says to someone, that things are ok.  You can even forgive yourself.  We can move on from this.  Mercy says to someone that I don’t have to have all that I am due from you.  We can move forward with this.

But Grace is different.  Grace is more a life than an act.  Grace is the reason many of us can forgive and can be merciful towards others.  We cannot earn grace, but we can position ourselves so that grace will recognize us and choose to bring its favor on us.

1 Peter 5:5 says, “Likewise, you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders.  Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

So, would I ever withhold grace from someone I thought didn’t deserve it?  My answer is this.  I would never withhold grace from anyone for any reason.  There is never a person who is so bad that they do not deserve the grace of God or our grace.  There is never a person who is so unfit for life that grace would be wasted on their life.

If we find it difficult to give grace others, it may be because we do not find grace alive in us.  Grace is of no use and no value unless it is used to lift up people who are down.  Grace is of no use if we believe people must do something to earn it.

Grace is God’s good in action for our good.  It is never earned.  Grace is grace just as Love is love.  Grace helps us stand apart when others will stand out.  Grace helps us be humble when we have much.

Grace helps us be thankful when we have little.  Grace helps us see a future when we have nothing.  Grace strengthens us when we are weak, and it weakens so we are never too strong.  Grace helps us see how special we are without acting as if we are special.

The bible says that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.  Noah tried to live righteously in an unrighteous world.  Grace helps you live with your challenges.  Live through your challenges, and it helps you live with the good found in our greatest challenges.

We may be asked to forgive someone a debt they owe—let’s do that quickly.  We may be asked to show mercy to someone who needs a break—let’s do that quickly.  We are never asked to show grace.  We are expected to let grace live in our lives so that when He looks around, the Lord will find grace living through us.

But grace helps you live strong when you need forgiveness and you don’t get it.  Grace helps you live strong when you need mercy but you don’t get it.  Grace helps you thrive in life no matter what life throws your way.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.  

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The Unimaginable

Where were we when the foundations of the earth were determined?  Where were we when we were not yet conceived?  How was the size of the earth determined?  How many stars can the universe hold? Where does the wind come from?  Where does it go when it has blown past? And when we say there is no wind today, where is it?

God challenges Job at one point to answer these questions and many more.  He even said, “Where were you (Job) when I laid the foundations of the earth?  Tell Me if you know.”  God was saying to Job, imagine all that you know and still that would be not enough to know How great I am.

To imagine a thing is to be able to think of the possibilities of a thing.  But if we can think that something is possible, it is no longer unimaginable.  We serve a God Who is Great, and a God Who is Great serves each and every one of us. Imagine how unimaginable that is!

So how should we think, knowing all that we know, yet knowing that there are still things around that we cannot even imagine?  Well, we should be full of thanksgiving, and we should be moved to grateful prayers.  Even though we know much, there is much more we cannot imagine that only He knows.

Ephesians 3:20 gives us a hint of how we should think of this.  It says, “Now unto Him Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in church by Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.  Amen.”

We should learn to live, speak, and pray in terms of the unimaginable.  We should learn to live, speak, and pray as much about the unimaginable greatness of God as we do about the things we know of God.  We should learn to live, speak, and pray of the amazing greatness of what we obviously do not know about our God and about His love for us.

There is a quote and there are many songs that say this: “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future.”  Sometimes we personalize this by saying, “I don’t know what my future holds but I know Who holds my future.”

Either way, can we even imagine what is the future?  Where is our future today?  When will our future come, and what will it be?  The saying is truer than we can even imagine.

In times past, I knew God was able to do anything, even more than I could think or imagine.  But more often, my thoughts were selfish, wanting more for me from a God who has no limits to what He can do.  I wanted to get something.

Today I am different.  I live—and I encourage you to also live—the unimaginable life.  I want you to live in the favor of the things we cannot even imagine God has ordained for us because He is an unimaginable God.  Let your life be to Him who is able to do exceedingly above all and anything that you can think.  Learn to live by giving something.

Let’s learn to live in glory by giving lives to an unimaginable God.  And perhaps when we do, He will bless us with the favor and riches of good things only He can imagine.

In all your circumstances, no matter how difficult, learn to pray for what you want.  But more than that, seek God’s best in your circumstances.  Seek for what only God Himself can imagine.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.

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Where Are Your Treasures?

While the Israelites were wondering about in the desert for forty years, God sustained them by providing them manna for food each day. They were instructed to take only what they could eat each day. But on the sixth day they were to take enough food for two days so they wouldn’t have to gather on the Sabbath Day.

When they failed to follow these instructions, the food they gathered would spoil. They learned obedience and dependence on God this way. When they crossed into the Promised Land, God stopped providing them manna. They had to learn the wisdom needed to go from gathering what was provided to preparing for what they needed.

God provided them wisdom to build storehouses that would contain things of value they would need going forward. Many years later, Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:19, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

In a way like with the Israelites, Jesus is telling us it is time for us to move on from simply living in the desert of today, gathering and storing up things that perish.  It is time for us to cross over into the heavenly land and to live in a way that we store up things that will have eternal value.

So, I asked myself, what would the Lord find in our storehouses? This is what I found. 

Those of us who are still focused on ourselves will store up the kinds of things that spoil. We will store up things that are important to us; the things that make us important before others.  But the Lord is not asking us to store the things we treasure. The things we treasure are not treasures at all.

We should store up things that are treasures. And we should store our treasures in our heavenly storehouse.  Just like stored food will eventually spoil, when we store up the pride we feel when we give to others, our pride will fail.  But when we store up the treasure of provision to others, it will never fail.  And when we store up as our treasures of our positions and status, these can be taken away.  But when we store up the treasure of humility and support for others neither can be taken back again.

When we store up as our treasures what we get from our hard work, thieves can come in and steal it.  But when we store up the treasure of hard work for others, there is nothing thieves can steal. The treasure is not what we get from what we do but what we get to do for others.

When we store up as our treasures the love and service others give us, it can grow rust.  But when we store up the treasure of love and service to others, it will never rust. We treasure getting love and service from others, but the real treasures are loving and serving others.

Storing what we treasure is nothing more than gathering what we want to have and to consume.  Storing up treasures is taking what we have that is of great importance and help to others and providing that in abundance for the good of others.

Our own storehouse of things we treasure should be close to empty.  Let’s make sure we store up our treasures in the heavenly storehouses of others.  For scripture also tells us where our treasures are, there our hearts are also.

What’s in your storehouse?  Where are your treasures?

Live A Delivered Life.  Love you.