Archive for November 2013

“Did You Know That You Cannot Run With The Turkeys If You Want To Soar With The Eagles?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

turkey 

Did You Know That You Cannot Run With The Turkeys If You Want To Soar With The Eagles?”

Have you ever heard it said that, “Birds of a feather, flock together?”  That’s just a parabolic way of stating that the people and the things you associate with are either adding to your life or taking away from it because it’s impossible not to imitate those who are influencing you from becoming just like them.

Achieving or winning is a continuing lifestyle that’s filled with good choices and discipline.  So, if you’re unhappy with your lifestyle and you really want to change the direction of where you’re going, one of the first steps is to carefully consider who you’re hanging around with or what you’re allowing into your spirit. 

The people who you’re associating with the most are the ones who are speaking into your life either by what they say or by what they do to influence you.  They are either using you as a dumping site for their negative and pessimistic comments, their critical and discouraging ways, their counteractive and ineffective ideas, and their corrupt and deprave manners……

Or they’re impacting your life, family, finances, and your futurethrough their constructive, spiritual, optimistic, positive, desirable, upbeat, faith-filled, acceptable and edifying ways, ideas, instructions, advice, assistance, guidance, wisdom, and manners.  Good role models are those people who refuse to accept their current conditions when they knew they were created for so much more.

God says in Proverbs 13:20 NIV,He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”  Isn’t it interesting THAT IT’S NOT GOD who will bring down the harm or destruction into your life?  NO, it’s following the advice, instructions, ways, influence, input, and companionship of the foolish and unwise people.  It will bring untold misery, depression, and destruction upon your own head during this lifetime as well as for eternity.

Not only does it apply towards who you’re associated or involved with, but it also pertains to the type of television, radio, or Internet programming that you watch or listen to.  The movies you see, the books, newspapers, magazines, and other literature you read will also have a great impact on your life.

But God is now saying that You Have A Choice Or The Decision Is Yours.”  So, choose carefully whose advice you’ll follow and what you’ll be influenced by.  If a person gets out of prison only to go back to his or her old environment, he has set himself up for re-incarceration.  You must escape the environment in order to have a brand new beginning or fresh start.  You can overcome anything if you’re first willing to be transformed.  Learn to regulate and control your conduct and behavior by rising up, trusting The Lord, and reaching higher.

So select your friends and associates carefully and be led by The Holy Spirit.  Take on the mindset of champions, the attitude of those who’ve achieved in the field that you’re interested in, and learn from their wisdom and commitment to excellence.  Develop the lifestyle of a winner simply by associating with those who are what you want to become. Learn from their character and re-shape your habits in order to become a high achiever and a good role model yourself.

Become a leader.  Make prayerful and wise personal, career, family, and financial decisions.  Remember, IT’S YOUR LIFE, and it’s just too precious to waste.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“Why Does It Seem As If Giving Up Is Easier Than Standing In Faith?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

answer 

Why Does It Seem As If Giving Up Is Easier Than Standing In Faith?”

The “Spirit of Quit” doesn’t want you to know that “You will win if you don’t give up!”    The second thing that the devil doesn’t want you to understand or realize is that “God’s grace is greater than the trial, hardship, heartache, sorrow or test that you’re going through.”

The Lord Jesus Christ is the only one that can break into your situation and take you from the place of being overwhelmed to the place of being overjoyed.  For His Grace is more than enough and more than sufficient once you determine in your heart than you’re going to trust The Lord through your circumstance, at all costs.

Listen with your heart as you read the words God has declared in Isaiah 43: 1-3 NLT, “But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.  When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.  For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.”

Though originally the Prophet Isaiah’s prophesy was given directly to the nation Israel, God’s Word still remains and yields it’s strength to believers in the Church world today.  For God is still declaring, “Whatever problem, negative situation, painful condition or hard time you find yourself in today, I  have provided my Grace and if you will only believe and trust me, I WILL SEE YOU THROUGH.”

The Lord has always set apart THE REDEEMED for Himself.   Here, God not only revealed His divine word of commitment to His people but He additionally continues to assure His people not to have fear because HE’S GREATER THAN ANYTHING YOU CAN EVER EXPERIENCE OR THAT WILL COME AGAINST YOU.   

Now the terms, “Fire and water” not only speak of devastation, but “water” denotes an overwhelming destructive force and “fire” represents a consuming danger or attempts of annihilation.

When Our Heavenly Father considers the blood of Jesus Christ, His all-seeing eye is upon every believer and then we are found to be precious in His sight. 

Though we are subject to temptations and attacks from the forces of darkness as well as  pressures and persecutions from wicked people in this world, Jesus Christ is “Our Atonement, Antidote and Anointing” who enables us, through His Word and Holy Spirit, to prevail and persevere through to the very end.  Our victory is completely connected to God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

God had brought His people out from Egyptian bondage, through The Red Sea, through a wilderness journey, through the reign of evil kings and corrupt priests, through a Babylonian captivity and through various attacks from other jealous groups or ill-willed nations as they returned back to the promised land.  His lengthy and faithful history is just too wonderful to ever deny.

So today, the divine promise of being kept as we walk through the water and fire remains a special word of encouragement to the faithfulness of God.

On our way to glory, there are pathways that we must go through but when the enemy tries to rise up like a great flood, believers MUST remember that “GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN US THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD. 

Therefore, be mindful that NOT ONLY is Satan NOT equal with God, for God is the creator of heaven and earth, but that the existence of both the nation of Israel and THE CHURCH are in The Lord’s Almighty Hand.

 

“Does Asking God For A Sign Imply A Lack Of Faith?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

sign from God 

Does Asking God For A Sign Imply A Lack Of Faith?”

Is it asking for a sign or confirmation evidence of doubt or unbelief in a person’s heart?  It appears that Gideon’s requests, in Judges Chapters 6 & 7, for signs weren’t because God responded to them and according to Hebrews 11:6, God never responses to unbelief. 

The Lord looked down on Israel and once again they had fallen into sin and turned away from The Lord.   With a new generation now on the scene, “the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord.”  So by refusing to follow God, God allowed an enemy to rise up against them. 

God allowed the Midianites to afflict, oppose and enslave Israel.  They were unmerciful nomads that invaded the land to ravage it.  They plundered the land, caused great destruction and made life unbearable for the nation of Israel.  In order for the Israelites to survive, they fled and hid in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds and there they began to call on the name of The Lord and God began to go to work on a man who would become Israel’s answer to prayer.

The Angel of The Lord came and personally appeared to Gideon, who was actually hiding and trying to cover up what he was doing in a winepress.  Then The Lord greeted him by saying, “The Lord is with you, mighty man of valor.”  

Now from every natural standpoint, Gideon did not appear to be a deliverer, a judge, a strong man of any quality to lead Israel into victory.  It was quite the contrary.  Gideon was a weak man, full of doubt and fear, living in a pagan home, which had ceased looking to God and was now filled with idolatry. 

But God came into his situation and began to move in his life, calling him by name and then referring to him as  “a man of great valor.”  God saw in him what he couldn’t see in himself.

While Gideon’s response began to imply reasons why he felt that he wasn’t suited for this leadership role, The Angel of The Lord told him that he was because, “I will be with you.”  God’s presence is more than enough and makes all the difference in any task, position, or work than we are called to do. 

Gideon was full of doubt, skepticism, he was weak, he was afraid.   He didn’t understand the direction from the Lord on how God was leading him.  So out of uncertainty, Gideon then asked for a sign as proof to substantiate this calling and The Lord condescended to his request.

Finally, it appears that after the all the supernatural signs and evidence from God that Gideon finally realized the supremacy of the one that had been speaking to him and it strengthened his heart.

While the Bible has many different historical accounts of miraculous signs, when a person’s heart revealed that they were earnest, God chose to use them to reveal Himself and His Will in different ways.  When a person’s heart was wrong, demanding a sign was always refused by our Lord because of their wickedness.

Now while signs are not essential, God requires us to trust Him without any outward or physical evidence other than placing faith in His Word.  But whenever The Lord deems it necessary to use signs as a means of confirmation or encouragement, He will do what’s necessary to make an impact upon the heart and mind of that individual.

Now it’s important to also know that not all signs are from The Lord.  Just as Pharaoh’s magicians were able to duplicate some of the miracles of Moses in Exodus 7: 20-22, some workers of iniquity are able to produce counterfeit signs today.  Many have been known to try and produce and manipulate signs to prove their anointing or suit their own selfish wishes. 

So believers must study God’s Word, learn to depend upon The Holy Spirit of God for the gift of discerning of spirits, see if it glorifies The Lord Jesus Christ and remain steadfast in the faith.

We must learn and remember that signs are only used to confirm God’s Word and His Will in our lives.  We are only to be led or guided by The Holy Spirit, who uses  God’s Word as the light to direct our pathway and footsteps.

Signs are only a gift of God’s grace as He deems necessary but they lack the power to transform the human heart.  Only God’s Word, being used by our Lord can do that.

So instead of pursing signs, seek Christ Jesus.  Whatever dream, vision or supernatural confirmation that He thinks you might need to assist you, will come only as The Holy Spirit wills.

So devote yourself to The Word of God, get in God’s presence, listen to The Holy Spirit and in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.

“Are You Willing To Fight In Faith Or Will You Settle For Something Less?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

 

fighting 1 

 

Are You Willing To Fight In Faith Or Will You Settle For Something Less?”

 

Even when you’re feeling overwhelmed by opposing circumstances, are you willing to fight in faith or are you just merely hoping for anything to happen, even if it’s much less?

 

What would you say to a high school or college student that studies extremely hard, disciplines his time and behavior, but still finds it hard to achieve a passing grade?

 

While we’ve all had to deal with circumstances that didn’t produce the hopeful results that we were looking for, we also have learned that settling for something less didn’t give us the joyous satisfaction that we originally sought after or desired.

 

An employee, who worked very hard to get ahead in his career, is unexpectedly handed a pink slip layoff notice and now must face unemployment during the recession.  A mother proudly delivers a beautiful bouncing baby boy, only 16 years later has to struggle to get him off drugs and has to bail him out of jail.

 

Many of our attempts to be successful or victorious will be met with situations that will try to beat you up and take you down no matter how courageous you might be.So, What Should You Do When You’re Facing Any Difficulties Like These?

 

In Mark 5: 24-34, we are given the brief but wonderful story of the woman who had been hemorrhaging from a chronic disorder for 12 years. She had suffered many different treatments at the hands of many different doctors, but even continued to grow worse yet after spending all of her money. But then she heard about Jesus and allowed faith to arise in her heart to win against her battle with sickness.

 

Mark 5:27-28 says, “When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind and touched his garment. For she said, if I may touch but his clothes, I shall be made whole.” Jesus commended her for her faith and she was totally healed from her painful and lengthy condition.

 

Like the woman with the issue of blood, we too must become relentless and tenacious in order to prevail over many of the adversities that we face. At first her secret act of faith was only known to the Lord. But finally it was revealed that she had the mindset of a champion and refused to accept anything else outside of being healed as she touched Jesus. Her faith became her strong assurance and confidence, which against all odds, drove her to press her way through the crowd, forward to extract what she needed from Christ.

 

You too can tap into Christ and harness and convert the storms of life into winds that will allow us to soar. Whenever you feel that you’re being pushed to the wall, then break through that obstacle and enlarge that room. When the adversity tries to press in against you, you need to start and continue pressing into God’s Word and draw closer to Him. Stand on His Promises, be filled with His Holy Spirit, and realize that Greater Is He That’s In You Than He That’s In The World.” (1st John 4:4)

 

Trust Christ to help you rise up and move beyond the limits of your past mistakes or wounded past and be transformed by faith in His Word. Recognize that your battle scars have now made you more tough and resourceful and go forward in the power of His Holy Spirit. He will see you through all the storms of life. 

 

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

 

“Do You Want To See A Change In Your Situation?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

 

pain 

 

Do You Want To See A Change In Your Situation?”

 

Despite what you see on your local news, wonderful things are happening today as the gospel is being preached throughout the world.  Yet while we are on the brink of even greater breakthroughs in world evangelism, too many people are like the crippled man at the side of the pool of Bethesda in the 5th chapter of the book of John.

 

They’re hopelessly lying by the wayside discouraged, bleeding, shipwrecked and immobilized in a sinful state, negative situation or painful condition, not knowing the love, grace and power of God.

 

In John 5:1-16, we are given the story of this man’s miraculous healing by Jesus Christ as he first laid there in that demoralizing and heart-wrenching condition.  After Jesus came on the scene, he asked the man, Do you want to be made whole?”

 

Just as the man tried to explain his present circumstances, Jesus immediately took authority over his painful and miserable status and changed his entire situation by speaking His Word.

 

Today, Christ is asking you the same question.  But this time, He’s not just passing by, He’s seeking people out, trying to gain their attention, moving by His Holy Spirit and letting people everywhere know that God has always had their best interest in His heart. 

 

Yes, His eyes are now even set on you.   He’s here to heal your brokenness through His same Word that He spoke to that crippled man lying hopelessly by the side of that pool.

 

Are you ready to hear and listen to His voice?  Are you ready to recover your lost dreams and arise from that negative situation?  Are you ready to see things change in your life?  Are you ready to turn and LIVE?

 

Whether your hope or longing is for restored usefulness, to have another chance or a new opportunity to have a fresh beginning, or to have a restored home or a new future, The Holy Spirit of God wants you to realize that you can “LIVE AGAIN.” And Christ is now commanding you to “Rise, take up your bed and walk!”  

 

It all begins with you starting right where you are, making a clear and conscious decision to begin taking God at His Word, professing faith in Jesus Christ and walking in obedience as you’re led by The Holy Spirit of God.

 

It is God’s Will for your life to be governed by His Word and Spirit as you journey through this world.  It’s God’s Will for His Authority to reign in your life.

 

Hear and receive His command, arise in THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST!  Believe the words of Christ, then take and use the authority that He’s given, you in His name, over the situation that has brought you discouragement and pain.

 

Rise above and look beyond the place of misery, discouragement and defeat and now walk forward in faith by His Grace.  He wants to lift you so you can lift and encourage others.  Will you except God’s new plan for your life?

 

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

 

“Are You Afraid To Believe God Because Of The Opinions Of Others?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

prisoners 

Are You Afraid To Believe God Because Of The Opinions Of Others?”

 

When you are afraid to believe God because of the opinion of others, you literally have become a prisoner of those that you want to please.  But, it’s more important for you to learn to please God than to be careful of what you say to people and who you’re saying it to when you initially decide to step out in faith. 

Sharing your personal goals, ministry vision or business dreams to the wrong people can have a crippling or devastating affect before it even gets off the ground and has a chance to blossom.

Just because someone makes inquiries, doesn’t mean that they are concerned or care about you and want you to succeed.  Our world is full of lost dreams and unrealized visions because of the criticism from others, even from some that you’ve attempted to please.

In John chapter 9, we read the amazing story of Jesus healing a man that was born blind on the Sabbath day that reveals this truth.  After spitting on the ground and making clay from the dirt, Jesus rubbed the mud on the eyes of the blind man and instructed him to go wash in a certain pool.  As a result of his obedience, the man miraculously received his sight.  But because of this taking place on the Sabbath day, along with their hatred for Jesus, many began to deny that a miracle had even taken place and referred to Christ as a sinner.

So in John 9: 25-27 NIV, we read that after numerous inquiries, interviews, interrogations and accusations from neighbors, family members and the overzealous religious Pharisees, the former blind man completely exhausted and anguished because of their lack of joy over the fact that he had been marvelously healed, replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”  Then they asked him again, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”  He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”

After hearing of his miraculous encounter with Jesus, they continued to show disregard in their attempts to intimidate, ensnare, discredit his testimony and confuse him.  Overwhelmed by their unbelief and their willingness to reject his experience, he stung them with some strong sarcastic questions.

Today, many just don’t want to hear the facts, while others are just jealous of anything that you’ll try to rise up to try and accomplish.  Therefore, you shouldn’t reveal, share or release anything until The Holy Spirit of God instructs you too.   Their words of discouragement will be used by Satan as a tool to distract you from what God has placed in your heart to do and make you start questioning your instructions from God.

So, it doesn’t matter what your parents, relatives, neighbors or even your best friends will say to you.  At the end of the day, God is going to hold you accountable for what you did with His Son, Jesus Christ.

Obstacles will come but God will only allow them to reveal if you’re more concerned about the opinion of others or about trusting Christ and doing His Will.  Will you dare to be different and stand on God’s Word?  Are you going to listen to the opinions of man or will you place your confidence in God?

Finally, after being cast out of the synagogue and being ostracized by everyone, Jesus found him, and the man worshipped Christ because of His awesome love and grace. And God gave him a new beginning.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

 

“What Does It Mean To Be Kept From Dangers Seen And Unseen?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

praise 2 

What Does It Mean To Be Kept From Dangers Seen And Unseen?”

I quickly turned around as I heard the tip of the gun barrel as it rested on the car window as it was being aimed straight at me……

I was a street evangelist and a working pastor of a small church in the Compton, Watts and inner city of South Central Los Angeles, California.  During those years I had many different experiences in my ministry and life as I took God’s word and the gospel of Jesus Christ into the streets and various homes in that community.

I awoke early that morning, as usual with God’s praises softly being sung from my lips, not trying to awake my sleeping family, as I prepared for work.  As I locked my front door, I took the long walk down my driveway to my pick-up truck parked out on the street.

It was a dark but very quiet 5 am morning and as usual I kept an open eye on all my surroundings.  All seemed perfectly calm and peaceful as I continued singing praises to The Lord as began to unlock my truck.

Just as I put my key into the door to unlock it, I suddenly heard the sound of something metal tap on glass and I quickly turned around to see the tip of a gun resting on a slightly lowered, dark tinted window of a car being driven without the headlights on.

Quickly elevating both my arms and hands, I immediately shouted, “Wait, wait, I’m an older man with little children and I’m on my way to work!”   My red coat being opened because of my elevated arms revealed my job uniform shirt and my I.D. Badge dangling from my shirt collar.

Suddenly,  I heard a few voices whispering in the darkened car, then one of the unseen persons said, “Alright old dude, get rid of that coat!”   With that the gun disappeared and, just like they had came, they quickly sped off into the darkness of the night. 

Even though Satan was out to destroy someone that morning through a cowardly drive-by shooting, evidently the color of my coat drew attention to me as it represented the color of a rival gang.

While I had previous encounters dealing with gang activity, street violence and other types of hostility and demonic activity, this was totally different.  For like an unforeseen tragic car accident or an unexpected life threatening sickness or disease, I DIDN’T SEE IT COMING.

Immediately, The Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance  the insightful words found in 1 Peter 1:5-7 NLT , “And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”

I had been kept by the power of God from both dangers seen and unseen.  The ones seen are bad enough, so we can’t even begin to imagine the unseen warfare going on in the spirit realm all around us.

As Satan and the forces of darkness organize and attempt to set up bad or negative situations, temptations, pitfalls, ungodly plots, wicked entrapments and demonic activity, it’s vitally important to remember who we are in Christ and the awesome power of praise.

Do you believe in guardian angels? Do you in God’s Divine Intervention and Protection?  Do you believe in the awesome presence, power, grace and the Almighty Prevailing Hand of God?

The sweet smelling aroma of true worshipping praise ascending up into the throne room of God can break yokes, destroy demonic set-ups, become bridges of troubled waters and give victory through the storms of life. 

So regardless of whether the dangers are visibly seen or unseen, walk in the Spirit and lift your voices up before the Lord Jesus Christ and continually give Him the highest praise.  Then you too will realize that you’re being kept by His Grace and Power for His purpose.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

 

Special Offer From Pastor Andrew Bills

Special Offer From Pastor Andrew Bills
  
Up From The Ashes
  “Your Guide To Walking In The Favor Of God & Victorious Christian Living”
This 120 page book is a 40 day inspirational devotional for inner healing, recovery, restoration, deliverance, strength and providing answers that have been tried by fire.
From a homeless, jobless, backslidden, convicted & divorced position, God forgave, restored and placed His hand upon his life and took him from living on the streets to having a thriving worldwide ministry.

Now Pastor Andrew Bills presents this inspiring book where you’ll learn that “the hardest spots in life can also become the place of new revelation and a new beginning for you.”

 

You too will be healed, delivered, restored, inspired and blessed from the spiritual principles within this book.

 

Andrew Bills, along with his wife Ann Marie, is the Pastor of Victory Fellowship Church in Orange, California and is the Founder, President and Bible Teacher of “The Victory Report Hour” Global Outreach Internet, Radio & TV Ministry.

___________________________________________________

While Andrew Bills is a loving husband, father and grandfather, he has preached in various churches including Baptists, Pentecostal, Charismatic Catholic and Non-Denominational Faith Ministries despite any minor doctrinal differences as he reaches out and touches lives with the very special message of “Victory Thru Calvary.”

He’s been in ministry for over 30 years and has served in many different capacities including Pastor, Lecturer, Advisor, Broadcaster, Author, Evangelist and in various managerial positions in the logistics industry. As a preacher of Jesus Christ and as a teacher to the Body of Christ, he’s influencing many as he continues to preach salvation to the lost, build faith, bring hope, joy, deliverance and inspiration to many hungry souls.

“Have You Ever Showed Kindness Only To Be Repaid With Meanness?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

meanness 2 

Have You Ever Showed Kindness Only To Be Repaid With Meanness?”

In certain countries, those who show hospitality or kindness to strangers are rewarded, while those who do harm stand in jeopardy of facing a harsh judgment.  

During His earthly ministry, Jesus was both a host who received strangers and a guest who received hospitality. So He instructed His disciples to be a blessing wherever they were received.

While we would love to believe that all of our good deeds and godly actions shown to others will result with the same affectionate display back to us, we must remember we are in a world filled with “spiritual warfare.” 

While it’s a shame, we must not think it strange if ugly comments, negative remarks or evil railing actions are demonstrated after a display of our generosity and love.  Satan is out to deceive us, create strife, promote ill will and give rise to evil reports about believers.  He will always attempt to provoke you to even cease in doing good works towards others.

Whether in the church to other members or unto strangers in the street, we must always remember that any good deed that we render, we do it out of a heart filled with the spirit of love unto Christ and that He alone is the source of our reward. 

In The Old Testament, in II Samuel Chapter 10, we are given a special account where David’s kindness was misconstrued and repaid with evil.

While we are not told about any special alliance or agreement between David and Nahash, or about the kindness that Nahash showed to David, when Nahash died, David thought to send a delegation to express his condolences to his son, the new king.

II Samuel 10: 2-4 NIV says that,  David thought, “I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent a delegation to express his sympathy to Hanun concerning his father. When David’s men came to the land of the Ammonites,  the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun their lord, “Do you think David is honoring your father by sending envoys to you to express sympathy? Hasn’t David sent them to you only to explore the city and spy it out and overthrow it?” So Hanun seized David’s envoys, shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their garments at the buttocks, and sent them away.”

David’s gesture was sent to do honor to the memory of the passing king and comfort his son doing the loss of his father. Not only was this an act of sympathy but also a possible attempt to build a new relationship with the new king.  But Hanun and his nobles drew other conclusions, believing that they were spies coming to examine their nation to launch a future attack.

So instead of treating them with respect, they were man-handled and violated in a shameful and humiliating manner.

The beard was the mark of being a free and important man and to cut it off on one side was an insult to David. Additionally, as only the priests wore long underwear, the ordinary dress of men consisted of a tunic and a loose flowing robe thrown over it.  So the cutting of this robe up to the hip and exposing their buttocks was a vile, shameful and abominable act.  In the midst of all of the mourners, they were laughed to scorn.  David had meant peace and friendship, but kindness was not returned.  So David vowed revenge for this public outrage.

What led them to believe that David wasn’t sincere?  Did they deliberately want to provoke a war?  Were they jealous of David’s previous military success?  Were they harboring grudges against the nation of Israel? Have you ever showed kindness to someone and they repaid your kindness with evil deeds, slanderous words or actions?  Why do you believe they did this to you and what have you done to forgive them?

I know that it may naturally appear to be very difficult not to become angry at someone that you’ve reached out to encourage, befriend, feed and bless and you were treated otherwise.

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you,” but these words from Jesus are not a request.  For God tells us in Proverbs 25:22, “In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head and The Lord will reward you.”

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

 

“How Does God Bring Order Out Of Disorder?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

the hand of God 

How Does God Bring Order Out Of Disorder?”

It’s important for us today to remember that the Christian Life is an ongoing fight against the forces of darkness.  It’s also important for us to remember that when Christ makes us victorious in any area, it doesn’t mean that we won’t face any future battles or hurdles.

So you need to remind yourself to remain strong in faith, diligent in prayer and keep God’s word in front of you in order to experience the grace of God and The Holy Spirit orchestrating in your life and affairs. For it has been said that “when praises go up, blessings come down.”   Nothing is ever the same as you learn to trust God and turn things over to Him.

In 2 Chronicles Chapter 15, we read the amazing account of Asa, the king of Judah, who was on his way home, back from the battlefield.  God had just given Judah the victory over their enemy when a prophet came out from Jerusalem to meet the returning victorious king with a special prophetic word from The Lord.

2 Chronicles 15: 1-2 NIV says, “The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me Asa and all Judah and Benjamin.  The LORD is with you when you are with him.  If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.”

The nation of Judah had earlier sinned, turning it’s back against God and had given itself over to idolatry.   Suddenly, the nation of Ethiopia began to rise up and come against Judah just as Asa was made the new king.

Judah had been greatly outnumbered but King Asa and the people turned to God in prayer.  Rather than attempting any strategic military plan, they humbled themselves before The Lord and God wonderfully gave them the victory over their enemy, which was more than twice their size. 

God not only gave them the victory over that nation, but fear also came upon all the other surrounding nations that God was with them.

Now Asa is met by this Prophet of God with a message that “God has helped them” with a new call or word of encouragement “to obedience.” 

As long as they stood with God, followed His commandments and worshipped Him, they would be blessed in seeing the hand of God moving in their midst.  But the same message from the prophet also sounded a danger warning of abandoning God and abdicating faith in His word.

So often, the forces of darkness will try to get believers “to relax and let down their guard” especially after being exhausted from a hard struggle or at the end of a stressful day.  The devil believes that’s a good opportunity for him to remind you of your physical, emotional or material needs, in an attempt to distract, persuade or lead you off course.

In our weakest hour or most exhaustive condition, we should always remember that The Holy Spirit is there to be our comfort and strength.  Christ wants us to praise Him from our hearts, keep our minds renewed in His word, keep our faith in Him and remain focused.

The prophet’s message was so accepted by King Asa that he began to make drastic changes and reforms throughout the entire kingdom of Judah.  He even pronounced a death penalty on anyone who didn’t respect The Law and obey God’s covenant, even starting with his very own grandmother.    

Does God Have Your Heart?  Are you walking in His Grace?  Are you seeking His face through prayer?  He has promised that He would never leave or forsake you but have you made the same commitment to Him?  

Many today are in the trouble that they’re experiencing because they’ve turned their back on God.  When you leave your first love and abandon the biblical principles of The Lord, you’ll end up suffering the consequences of “reaping what you sown.”

All those that turn to God and trust Him will discover that the Lord shall be your helper as you continue to walk in his ways.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!