Happy Tails, Happy Hearts

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Numbers 6:25 “The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you”.

As I was driving recently from New Jersey to Colorado I saw a sign that said “Humane Society…Happy Tails, Happy Hearts”. Did you know that a dog wagging his tail serves the exact same function as a human smile, a greeting, or excited recognition? And what’s really cool is that for a dog to wag his tail, a person has to be in their presence. They don’t wag their tail when no one is around. This wagging of the tail means “a happy heart”. God created dogs this way!

God always looks at you with an approving look. He makes His face shine upon you, giving kindness, mercy, and favor! He is gracious to you. When He sees you or thinks about you, He overflows with intense love and joy. His greatest desires are to see you happy, joyful, and successful. God’s face is not frowning on you but shining with joy and elation over you, His beloved child. You, or nothing you do will ever change that about Him toward you. Simply smile back and receive it, soak it in!

 

May the Fourth Be With You

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Genesis 1:19 "And the evening and the morning were the fourth day" 

With Independence Day just behind us, I trust you enjoyed a day of rest and celebration of our nation’s birth, and the blessing that we have in being…the United States of America.    

However, there is another “fourth” that is very, very meaningful to all of us, no matter where we live. On the fourth day of what is called "creation week", God spoke into existence our sun, the moon, all the stars and the seasons. (Genesis 1:14) Interestingly, the Hebrew word for "seasons" is MOED, which is literally translated as "appointed times" (divine appointments).  Get ready for divine appointments in the coming days and some appointed times that are waiting specifically for you. 

“In the evening and the morning were the fourth day".  The Hebrew day started in the evening.  This means that while you are sleeping and resting, God's day has already begun.  Before you open your eyes in the morning, God is already causing favorable opportunities to be presented to you in your life, career, relationships, and pursuits.  

I really believe this means that God wants us to rest.  In the days, weeks and months ahead, as you rest in what He has already finished, divine appointments, key relationships, and Holy Ghost led associations are coming your way.  It's your appointed time.  A time where you will be at the right place with the right person.  

May the 4th be with you!...divine rest, divine activity, totally directed by the Spirit of God, that brings you to your appointed time.  So get ready and get excited because the 4th is with you, and His name is Jesus!

 

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

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James 1:17 NIV "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" 

The grace of God can be described in two words "free gift". Everything about the grace of God is simply "the gift that keeps on giving".   Grace is always giving in every circumstance, it's a gift that never stops! 

To understand the grace of God you have to understand that life is all a gift. Health is a gift, a promotion is a gift, a love one finding his way home is a gift, life is a gift. In James 1:17, I'm so glad it says "every GOOD GIFT" and every "PERFECT GIFT".  Sickness isn’t included as a gift from God, a car accident isn’t a gift, although walking away without a scratch is a gift.  Losing your job isn’t a gift, unless very soon after you get a better job with better pay and better opportunities, that’s a gift.   

What's really great is that the Father doesn’t change, He's always "good" and His gifts are always "perfect", that’s good news. The scripture says that God is not like a "shifting shadow".  I love that because a shadow is constantly changing second by second minute by minute day by day.  His love for us is a gift that never shifts like a shadow.  His provision for us is a gift that never shifts like a shadow.  

Since Jesus is full of grace and truth, then Jesus is a gift.  Our relationship with Him is a gift.  His friendship with us is a gift.  He is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. That's great, great news to me.  It's the nearly too good to be true news.  So enjoy a life of gifts, God's grace that just keeps giving and giving and giving every day!

Are You Plugged In?

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John 15:5  “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." 

Jesus said , "Without Me you can do nothing".  Wait, there are people all around us that are doing a lot of things without Jesus.  They work hard, they accomplish some big things, so what did Jesus mean?  Only what is done for Christ will last forever. What He meant is, apart from Him, you can do nothing of value, of substance, of eternal consequence of permanency that has results in this life and the life after. 

The other day I was trying to troubleshoot a problem with my freezer.  I spoke with someone on the phone, and the first thing they asked is, "Is there any power?  Was it plugged in?"  Very important, huh.  I ask you the same question today.  Are you plugged in to your power Source?  Just like your electric company, they are providing the power, but unless you "plug in" to that source, you are cut off.  

Galatians  5:4 in the NASB says, "You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by the law, you have fallen from grace".  Or in other words, you have fallen from the higher ground you fell from.  In the new covenant, grace is high ground.  Grace is heavenly, grace is where God is. How does someone fall from grace?  By sinning?  Nope!  You can't find a verse in the New Testament that says when you sin, you fall from grace. 

So how do you fall from grace?  By seeking the law, works, trying to be righteous on your own merit.  You don't lose your salvation, but the moment you start living by the law, you cut yourself off from the grace supply.  Christ is of no effect, you're not plugged in to God's unlimited supply.  Jesus is grace.  Get plugged into grace and don't unplug, stay connected.  Apart from the unmerited, undeserved favor of God, you can do nothing!

 

A Blessing Going Someplace to Happen

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Proverbs 10:22 "the blessing of the Lord it makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it" 

In the 1970's, there was a very successful sitcom called What's Happening?  It took place in Los Angeles and followed the daily lives of five young people.  The show is long gone, but the phrase lives on…Hey, what's happening?" 

In Proverbs 10:22 Solomon, the writer of the proverbs says, the blessing that's ON and IN your life, IT makes rich.  Wow!  That’s awesome.  That’s encouraging.  That’s empowering!  It's not what you DO that makes your rich, it's what's ON you, the blessing.    

That means that wherever you go, whoever you meet, whosoever hand you shake, when you go food shopping, when you go to the hair dresser, you are a blessing going someplace to manifest something great.  Something healthy.  Something awesome.  

The blessing isn’t a thing, it's not a car, it's not a house, the blessing is an empowerment that touches every single area of your life.  It's something tangible, supernatural.  If you touch something it gets affected for good.  Things last longer.  You have something in you that will make you rich in every area of your life.  Your health is rich, your family is rich, your money is rich, your days are full of riches.  Job 36:11 says you spend your days in prosperity.  

So when you wake up tomorrow, see yourself rich in every way.  Look at yourself in the mirror and say, "I'm a blessing going someplace to happen".  On your way to work say, "I'm a blessing going someplace to happen".  When you walk into that classroom or appointment say, "I am a blessing going someplace to happen".   THAT'S what's happening!

 

I'm Perfect

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Colossians 3:3 "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God" 

When you begin to see yourself the way God sees you, your life will never be the same again.  When you became a believer, God no longer saw you as you with your old sin nature.  When He looks at you, He sees Jesus. You are now in Christ. 

Let me give you an example: if I take a ballpoint pen, and I place it in the middle of my Bible, and close the Bible, can you see the pen now?  No.  All you can see is the Bible. The pen is now completely hidden within the pages of the Bible.  In the same way, the moment you accept Jesus as Lord of your life, you are hidden IN Christ.  When God looks at you, He doesn't see all your flaws and imperfections and failures.  What does He see?  He sees His darling Son, Jesus! 

Colossians 3:3 says, in your new life you are "hid with Christ In God".  Because your life is "hid with Christ", having a blessed future is not based on how much you strive to be perfect, or how hard you work at changing yourself.  It's based on the person of Jesus. It's not about whether you deserve to be blessed, favored, and victorious. The real question is, does Jesus deserve to be blessed, favored, and victorious?  Yes!  And since I am hid with Christ, I am too!  How?  1 John 4:17 declares "As He is, so are we in this world".  He's perfect, therefore, in our born again spirit, so are we.  Say it out loud, "In Christ, I am perfect!" 

 

Grace that Laid the Golden Egg

Deuteronomy 8:18 "Remember the Lord your God, for it is He that gives you the power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers as it is this day" 

One of Aesop's Fables, called The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg, is about a man and his wife who owned a very special goose. Every day the goose would lay a golden egg, which made the couple very rich. "Just think", said the man's wife, "If we could have all the golden eggs that are inside the goose, we could be richer much faster".  "You're right", said her husband, "We wouldn't have to wait for the goose to lay her egg every day". So the couple killed the goose and cut her open, only to find that she was just like every other goose. There were no golden eggs inside, and now they had no goose and no more golden eggs. 

In Deuteronomy 8:18, the Word of God speaks about where your wealth comes from.  Let's use this fable to better understand this scripture.  Please pay close attention.  

In this scripture, what would represent the golden egg?  Money, wealth, riches?  No.  The golden egg is God's favor and the power to get wealth.     

Who would be the goose?  Who would be the one producing the golden eggs?  You, with all your hard work, talents, and good business sense?  Those are all important, but no, it's not you. It's the blessing of God on your life, and your covenant with Him.  

It's God's super on your natural that makes you supernatural regarding your finances. It's the blessing of God that causes things to happen financially that can't be explained or seem impossible.  It's the blessing of God that gives you insight and wisdom beyond your ability and expertise.  It's the blessing of God that positions you for breakthrough and promotion.  It's the blessing of God that causes "whatever you put your hand to" to prosper. Do you see it?  He's "the grace that laid the golden egg!"

 

So Much More

I have to say, Romans, chapter 5 has some of the most amazing truths in one portion of scripture.  Four times Paul uses the term "much more" in reference to a believer’s life after the cross…

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him - Verse 9

But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many - Verse 15 

For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ) - Verse 17 

Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: - Verse 20 

God has called you to so much more.  You serve a much more God.  Much more opportunity in life, much more forgiveness toward others, much more favor on your job, much more restoration in your family.  Much more than you ever had before.  Much more than you will ever need.  So much more.

 

Check's in the Mail

Daniel 10:12  "Then said he unto me, fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, Thy words were heard, and I come for thy words".

Years ago when I was in a windows and siding business, after I would make a huge sale, I would stop by the customer's house at scheduled intervals to pick up a check for the job. When they didn't have it ready, I would get a little (okay, a lot) impatient and I would call the customer to check on the check!  Their response, these famous words, "the check's in the mail".

In Daniel chapter 10, it appears that it took three weeks for Daniel's prayer to manifest.  However, in verse 12, the angel of the Lord, said something really powerful and revealing to Daniel.  He said, "For from the first day...thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words".  That tells us that every prayer that's in agreement with God's word is answered instantly. 

It was the prince of Persia that withstood Daniel's prayer (verse 13), for 21 days.  The prayer was answered but the manifestation took time to get there! That's huge, but how come?  Daniel was under the old covenant he didn't have authority to speak "TO" the delay.  Daniel had to wait because he didn't have the authority on the earth that you and I have.

Do you have any "unanswered prayers"?  Don't give up.  If your prayer is in agreement with God's Word, it's on the way, "it's in the mail".  Use your authority and command the answer that rightfully belongs to you, and expect to see it!

 

Approved for the Master's Card

Romans 4: 6 Amplified Bible  "Thus David congratulates the man and pronounces a blessing on him to whom God credits righteousness apart from the works he does" 

An envelope comes in the mail with large letters on the front that says "APPROVED"!  Inside is a letter that begins with "Congratulations you've been approved for a ______ credit card!"  Not just one letter, one time, but dozens of letters from the same company, over and over again.  They figure that sooner or later you're gonna take the offer.  After all, if feels great to be "approved".  The companies that send those letters want you to feel that "This is great, I'm approved, something really good just happened!"  Everyone wants to be approved, it validates you, it says you're ok, you're doing well.  Hey, it's better than being disapproved, right?

In Romans 4:6, a blessing is pronounced upon your life, and guess what, you didn't do anything at all to deserve it!  I call this being approved for "the Master's card".  An important gift was credited to your grace account, it's the gift of righteousness.  The day you made Jesus the Lord of your life this gift was given to you and you did nothing to earn it.  

"The Masters card" has given you an unlimited account to draw upon, and the great part is, there's no payments!  Hallelujah!  No monthly reminders, it's all covered!  So what does God want us to do? Draw on His unlimited supply, no interest, and no payments.  

He has pronounced "the blessing" on you and you did nothing to deserve or earn it!  Final approval has been given through the precious blood of Jesus, all payment has already been made.  This card doesn't borrow from the future, but instead has secured your eternal future.  This card has been paid in full!  Enjoy!

A Place Called "There"

1 Kings 17:4“You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there."  A few weeks ago on a Saturday night, I was carrying some items to our van for our church service the following day.  Each trip I would cut across the front lawn, and in the process I had somehow dropped my car keys. The next morning...

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A Bug's Life - Living Abund-ANT"


Proverbs 6:6 "Go to the ant...consider her ways and be wise”.  In the classic 1998 Disney film, A Bug’s Life, a story is told of an incredible journey with one little ANT as he searches for a brave band of warriors to help him battle against the grasshoppers who threaten his home.  I enjoyed this story because...
 

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Grace Recliner

John 6:10-11 “Jesus said, Make all the people recline (sit down). Now the ground (a pasture) was covered with thick grass at the spot, so the men threw themselves down, about 5,000 in number.  Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks, He distributed to the disciples and the disciples to the reclining people; so also [He did] with the fish, as much as they wanted.”  “In our home the recliner in our family room is a special place...

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God's When is Our Then

Psalm 126:1-2 "When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter and our tongue with singing: Then said they among the heathen, the Lord has done great things for them."  There is incredible power in laughter.  God laughs!  I love to laugh, and I laugh loud, ask my family and friends (LOL!).  My dog Benny... 

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I Slept In and Saved Thousands

Proverbs 10: 22 (Amplified Bible) “The blessing of the Lord it makes {truly} rich, and He adds no sorrow with it {neither does toiling increase it}”  We’re in the height of the Christmas shopping season!  People are running all over town, or sitting for hours in front of their computer screen shopping for that got-to-have-it gift.  Personally, I don’t have a problem with

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Bright Future Ahead

Proverbs 4:18 - But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.  I just heard someone say, "In God, your future is so bright, you have to squint to see it".  Don’t you love it!?  I instantly thought of today's verse, which has blessed me countless times. That’s why I never have issues with...

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Grace Period

John 1 : 17 " For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ".  Have you ever experienced a "Grace Period" in your life?  A grace period is "a period of time after a deadline for an obligation, during which a late fee or other action that would have been taken as a result of failing to meet the deadline is waived.  Grace periods can range from a number of minutes to a number of days and even longer".  In the world's system...

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Where There's Smoke, There's Fire

Genesis 39: 2-3 "But the Lord was with Joseph, and He {though a slave} was a successful and prosperous man: and he was in the house of His master the Egyptian.  And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all that he did to flourish and succeed in his hand"  When my kids were younger, we had a fire pit in our back yard. It was such a great place to gather with friends and family, and roast marshmallows and relax around the fire.  The best part...

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Exhale

Genesis 12:2 (Amplified Bible) - “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you {with an abundant increase of favors} and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing {dispensing good to others}”. There's a really great song that says it all for me about grace, it's called Exhale by Plumb.  Listen to these powerful lyrics...

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