Here are thoughts that came to mind as I focused on God this morning during my quiet time before coming to work.
I was thinking about my encounter with God yesterday evening and wondering what He is trying to speak into my life and the life of others. Here are some of the thoughts I noted as I focused on God. I want to reflect on four things:
- Our heart must be passionate for God and His heart, the sheep of His pasture, the wounded and lost.
Scripture tells us the heart of man is more deceitful than all else. Our heart is center core of our being. It is from the heart the thoughts of our minds and the words of our lips flow exposing the condition of our heart. A word fitly spoken is live giving: Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances (Proverbs 25:11).
Words can tear down and destroy a soul and spirit within a moment. Words are like the fiber of a spider’s web. They easily break the spirit of man or they can heal the heart of man when spoken from a heart of love. There is life and death in the tongue of man. A man or woman can be filled with head knowledge and completely lack wisdom and the love of God. Paul wrote much about this in I Corinthians 13.
Love is so easy to destroy and difficult to regain. A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a citadel. (Proverbs 18:19). The thin, fragile thread of love is easily severed and may never be recovered. It is like a nerve ending. When a nerve is pinched, there is pain and sometimes it is constant.
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?”
Psalm 52:4 “You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.”
Psalm 109:2 “For they have opened the wicked and deceitful mouth against me; they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.”
Psalm 120:3 “What shall be given to you, and what more shall be done to you, you deceitful tongue?”
Proverbs 4:24 “Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you.”
Proverbs 12:5 “The thoughts of the righteous are just, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.”
Notice what happens to those who have a pure heart. These are some of my favorite verses in the Bible.
Psalm 24:3-5 “And who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive a blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
Psalm 15 “O Lord, who may abide in Your (presence) tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? 2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. 3 He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; 4 in whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; he swears to his own hurt and does not change; 5 he does not put out his money at interest, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.”
Luke 6:45 “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
Ecclesiastes 12:11 “The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.”
- We must make prayer a core activity of our life daily along with the reading of God’s word.
KEY: Passion for God, God’s people and the lost can only be birthed in prayer and the reading of God’s Word.
1 Chronicles 16:8 [Psalm of Thanksgiving] “Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples.”
Psalm 105:1 [The Lord’s Wonderful Works in Behalf of Israel.] “Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. Then I called upon the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I beseech You, save my life!”
Psalm 116:13 “I shall lift up the cup of salvation And call upon the name of the Lord.”
Psalm 116:17 “To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, And call upon the name of the Lord.”
Isaiah 41(I am including this entire chapter because there is something in it which I need to see and understand) “Coastlands, listen to Me in silence, and let the peoples gain new strength; let them come forward, then let them speak; let us come together for judgment. 2 “Who has aroused one from the east whom He calls in righteousness to His feet? He delivers up nations before him and subdues kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, as the wind-driven chaff with his bow. 3 “He pursues them, passing on in safety, by a way he had not been traversing with his feet. 4 “Who has performed and accomplished it, calling forth the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.’”
5 The coastlands have seen and are afraid; the ends of the earth tremble; they have drawn near and have come. 6 Each one helps his neighbor and says to his brother, “Be strong!” 7 So the craftsman encourages the smelter, and he who smoothes metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil, saying of the soldering, “It is good”; and he fastens it with nails, so that it will not totter. 8 “But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham My friend, 9 you whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its remotest parts and said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. 10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 11 “Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish. 12 “You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent. 13 “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ 14 “Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. 15 “Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; you will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, and will make the hills like chaff. 16 “You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, and the storm will scatter them; but you will rejoice in the Lord, you will glory in the Holy One of Israel.
17 “The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the Lord, will answer them Myself, as the God of Israel I will not forsake them. 18 “I will open rivers on the bare heights and springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry land fountains of water.
19 “I will put the cedar in the wilderness, the acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree; I will place the juniper in the desert. Together with the box tree and the cypress, 20 that they may see and recognize, and consider and gain insight as well, that the hand of the Lord has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it.
21 “Present your case,” the Lord says. “Bring forward your strong arguments,” The King of Jacob says. 22 Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place; as for the former events, declare what they were, that we may consider them and know their outcome. Or announce to us what is coming; 23 Declare the things that are going to come afterward, that we may know that you are gods; indeed, do good or evil, that we may anxiously look about us and fear together. 24 Behold, you are of no account, and your work amounts to nothing; He who chooses you is an abomination.
25 “I have aroused one from the north, and he has come; from the rising of the sun he will call on My name; and he will come upon rulers as upon mortar, even as the potter treads clay.” 26 Who has declared this from the beginning that we might know? Or from former times, that we may say, “He is right!”? Surely there was no one who declared, surely there was no one who proclaimed, surely there was no one who heard your words. 27 “Formerly I said to Zion, ‘Behold, here they are.’ And to Jerusalem, ‘I will give a messenger of good news.’ 28 “But when I look, there is no one, and there is no counselor among them who, if I ask, can give an answer. 29 “Behold, all of them are false; their works are worthless, their molten images are wind and emptiness.”
- We must have the power of God in our life to live and walk in righteousness and to be effective in building the Kingdom of God.
Just like the web of a spider has super strength and power, we need the power of God in our lives. While there will be those who do not understand how God can use vessels that seem so weak and fragile, we can rest assured it is not our strength that accomplishes anything in building the Kingdom, but the hand of God’s power upon and in our lives. The right hand speaks of the authority and power of God.
Psalm 80:17-18 “17 Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself. 18 Then we shall not turn back from You; revive us, and we will call upon Your name. 19 O Lord God of hosts, restore us; cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.
2 Chronicles 20:5-7 5” Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord before the new court, 6 and he said, “O Lord, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. 7 Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?”
Ezra 8:21-23 21 “Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions. 22 For I was ashamed to request from the king troops and horsemen to protect us from the enemy on the way, because we had said to the king, “The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him.” 23 So we fasted and sought our God concerning this matter, and He listened to our entreaty.”
Job 12:12-14 12 “Wisdom is with aged men, with long life is understanding. 13 “With Him are wisdom and might;
To Him belong counsel and understanding. 14 “Behold, He tears down, and it cannot be rebuilt; He imprisons a man, and there can be no release.’
Job 27:10-12 “Will he take delight in the Almighty? Will he call on God at all times? 11 “I will instruct you in the power of God; what is with the Almighty I will not conceal. 12 “Behold, all of you have seen it; why then do you act foolishly?”
Psalm 66:2-4 2 “Sing the glory of His name; make His praise glorious. 3 Say to God, “How awesome are Your works! Because of the greatness of Your power Your enemies will give feigned obedience to You. 4 “All the earth will worship You, and will sing praises to You; they will sing praises to Your name.”
Psalm 68:34-35 34 “Ascribe strength to God; His majesty is over Israel and His strength is in the skies. 35 O God, You are awesome from Your sanctuary. The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people.
Blessed be God!”
Daniel 2 19 “Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven; 20 Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. 21 “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding. 22 “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. 23 “To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for You have given me wisdom and power; even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, for You have made known to us the king’s matter.”
Romans 1:15-17 15 “So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”
Romans 15:13 “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 1:18 [The Wisdom of God] “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:23-25 23 “but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
1 Corinthians 4:19-21 19 “But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power. 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. 21 What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?”
2 Corinthians 4:1-10 6 “For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;”
2 Corinthians 6:6-8 6 “And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain – 2 for He says,
“At the acceptable time I listened to you,
And on the day of salvation I helped you.”
Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation” – 3 giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, 4 but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, 5 in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, 7 in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, 8 by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; 9 as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, 10 as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.”
2 Corinthians 13:3-5 3 “since you are seeking for proof of the Christ who speaks in me, and who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. 4 For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you. 5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeed you fail the test?”
2 Timothy 1:6-8 6 “For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,”
2 Peter 1:2-4 2 “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
- We must have the presence of God active in our daily life to be effective in building the Kingdom of God. (Serving God, fellow believers and reaching out to the wounded and the lost without Christ).
Unless God shows up on the scene, we can do nothing. We must desire and cherish the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is through the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit that we have not only power and strength but knowledge and wisdom for the application of God’s Word in our lives and the lives of others. The presence of God flows from deep within a heart of the well of God’s Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Psalm 42:1-3 “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God, with the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival. 5 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence. 6 O my God, my soul is in despair within me; therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan and the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.”
Psalm 51:10-12 10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.”
Psalm 52:8-9 8 “But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the loving kindness of God forever and ever. 9 I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it, and I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.”
Psalm 68:7-9 7 “O God, when You went forth before Your people, when You marched through the wilderness,
8 The earth quaked; the heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God, the God of Israel. 9 You shed abroad a plentiful rain, O God; You confirmed Your inheritance when it was parched.”
Psalm 139 “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar. 3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. 4Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all. 5 You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10 even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,” 12 Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. 13 for You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works,
and my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; 16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written
the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. 17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You. 19 O that You would slay the wicked, O God; depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed. 20 For they speak against You wickedly, and Your enemies take Your name in vain. 21 Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? 22 I hate them with the utmost hatred; they have become my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; 24 and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”
Ecclesiastes 5:1-3 “Guard your steps as you go to the house of God (my heart is His house) and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil. 2 Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few. 3 For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words.”
Romans 4:16-18 16 “For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 (as it is written, “A father of many nations have I made you”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. 18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”
1Timothy 5:20-22 20 “Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning. 21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality. 22 Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and hereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.”
1Timothy 6 11“But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time – He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”