Daily Word Archives



What Open Door posts on Facebook - March 2016

 

3/1/2016

 

Today we note this different side of "understanding":

 

And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. ~ Daniel 8:23

 

If a number of us were to sit down and discuss the verse (and surrounding context), we would likely have different views and thoughts. But we would perhaps agree on one thing:

 

What is described here is not good.

 

We usually think of understanding in the Bible as a good thing. Yet almost any ability and talent can be used for a bad purpose. We have noted in the past on how much time and effort some people will spend planning something evil. We note this verse:

 

For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. ~ Jeremiah 4:22

 

May we determine to be just the opposite: people studying, learning and applying ourselves to do good and seeking the Lord for wisdom and understanding. We seek understanding in the "sentences of light" that we may confound the "sentences of darkness".

 

Thank you Lord again that skill in wisdom and understanding will grow as we apply ourselves to it - through Your word and through Your Spirit.

 

3/2/2016

 

We thank God so much for this verse:

 

Then opened he (Jesus) their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, ~ Luke 24:45

 

Jesus wanted His disciples to understand the scriptures that they might walk wisely. How much more so should we believe the same thing.

 

If we believe that God wants us to live accordingly to the Word, we certainly should believe He is more than willing to enlighten us.

 

We thank God for His Word and Spirit that will lead us in wisdom and understanding - that we might walk in victory always and be a blessing to others.

 

3/3/2016

 

As we continue with our subject of "understanding", we note these words from Paul's prayer

 

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, ~ Ephesians 1:18

 

We see here that understanding has "eyes" or we might say that understanding has the capacity to see, recognize and discern what is right and wrong. Perhaps taking the opposite side may help us:

 

We may say: I just cannot see that, or understand that. In this case we would say the eyes of our understanding are not enlightened and the subject is dark, obscure or unclear to us. So now we might better observe to positive side:

 

The verse shows us that God wants us to see clearly and that we may know these glorious things of God. One first step is to agree that these words are the will of God. He does not want us ignorant of Him or the things of His kingdom

 

Therefore dear Father we pray this verse for ourselves. We believe that the entrance of Your word gives light. Help us to walk in the light we receive. We believe that You will make us successful in living in the light of Your understand and walking in Your wisdom

 

Hallelujah in the Name of Jesus for that blessing today!

 

3/4/2016

 

Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. ~ Ephesians 5:17

 

We could certainly look at this verse as a challenge. Many have likely said (ourselves included) that we do not understand the will of the Lord.

 

If we take the time to read the verses before and after this one, we will see things to both do and not to do which will greatly help our understanding.

 

We must first recognize that God is not intentionally keeping wisdom and understanding from us in order to frustrate us. Remember these verses:

 

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord ~ James 1:5-7

 

We will need to be diligent students in the word of God, steadfast in our faith and trust that God will give us the wisdom and understanding that we need.

 

We take this concept for granted in our natural walk. To learn anything new, improve our status in a subject, or develop skill in any area takes time, diligence and effort. May we recognize this spiritually.

 

Thus in looking at Ephesians 5:17 again: Because I ask the Lord in faith for wisdom and do not waver, I will NOT be unwise and I will grow in my understanding of what the will of the Lord is. I can be confident in this because God loves me perfectly.

 

We thank God for His help on this journey.

 

3/5/2016

 

This verse reminds us of what we looked at the last 2 days:

 

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; ~ Colossians 1:9

 

The words "filled" and "all" should especially get our attention. It reminds again of God's "over-the-top" desire for us.

 

It might help us to consider that the opposite of understanding would be something like "confusion". No parent wants their children living in confusion or making decisions while in that state.

 

How much more our Father God does not want us in confusion but as the verse above states that we be filled with all wisdom and spiritual understanding. It is hard to get better than that.

 

Thus we believe that we receive what this verse says and we are so grateful for God's provision of this in our lives.

 

3/7/2016

 

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. ~ I John 5:20

 

From this and other verses, we see that the "understanding" we have been talking about comes from God and it is spiritual. It is one of the Father's gifts to us. We do not have to beg Him for it.

 

We do not have to earn it but we must be diligent regarding our efforts toward it.

 

Father help us to be in a position to both receive Your understanding and walk in it consistently.

 

3/8/2016

 

We have noted the understanding that is "in God" and it is a gift to His children. For those not a part of His family, we read this in Romans:

 

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: ~ Romans 1:28-31

 

In this sad listing is the description "without understanding". Thus we humbly give thanks for understanding through Christ Jesus.

 

May our gratefulness be demonstrated by a heartfelt desire to walk in understanding in all of life's situations. Lord let this understanding be clear as we walk in faith trusting You.

 

 

3/9/2016

 

Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. ~ II Timothy 2:7

 

We look at this verse to again say that it is the Lord that gives the understanding we are talking about. We know that we can grow in natural understanding and wisdom as well.

 

But we note this verse again regarding spiritual understanding:

 

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; ~ Colossians 1:9

 

Do you remember when the prophet went to Jesse's house to anoint the new king? They all did what they understood naturally: They brought out the biggest, brightest and best looking as they understood it. You recall that none of them were chosen.

 

Samuel did not know what to do further except to ask Jesse if he had any more sons. Jesse said yes but his conception of David was not as a king but a run-of-the-mill sheep herder. Samuel just knew that God said he was anoint a son of Jesse.

 

There was no way anyone could naturally have known that David was God' s choice. So there is no use calling these folks slow-witted or dense. It had to be spiritually revealed.

 

Thus our point again is that God brings this understanding into our lives to bless, enhance, make things better, and show us the truth beyond just the way things appear.

 

May we ask God for this more and more and do all we can to position ourselves to receive.

 

3/10/2016

 

We have been talking about the gift of God's spiritual understanding. We note a humbling verse below:

 

For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? ~ I Corinthians 4:7

 

As children of God, we should recognize all the good that we have comes from God.

 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. ~ James 1:17

 

If we remember that the good we have and the good we are able to do is a result of what we have received, it not only should help keep us humble but should keep us hungry to receive more and more.

 

As in our study the past two weeks, we want to receive more of God's understanding - to walk in wisdom, be a blessing, and stand victorious against the wiles of the enemy.

 

3/11/2016

 

As we wrap up our discussion and study of Biblical understanding, we note these verses:

 

When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: ~ Proverbs 2:11

 

A study of this subject could last a lifetime. If you wish to continue on your own, the word "understanding" is found 53 times in the book of Proverbs. So we could be at it for a while.

 

We want to embrace all these things God has for us: wisdom, knowledge, discretion, and understanding as we desire to walk worthy of the Lord, be fruitful in every good work, and increase in the knowledge of God ~ Colossians 1:10

 

 

3/14/2016

 

When we hear the word "contribution", our thoughts might automatically go toward money - which is certainly an aspect of the word. When you think about it, giving money is a common way of giving yourself into a particular situation. Your money involves all you did to earn it - your time, effort, skill, materials, etc. It is a representation of what we consider important - it was more important to give it in this particular area than somewhere else.

 

Yet if we ask the question, "What can I contribute?", we know it involves much more than money. Our contribution can be far beyond just cash, checks or credit cards. Often the contribution of your love, compassion, time and effort can go a long way to touch the lives of others.

 

So without even a thought of a dollar sign, let us ask ourselves "What can I contribute today"? The number of answers will likely be staggering so certainly we can start out with just one. Thank God for such an opportunity.

 

3/15/2016

 

A few days ago we shared a verse from I Corinthians 4 that essentially asked: What things do we have that we have not received? The point is on the positive side - the good things we receive from God. The verse admonishes us in things that we have, what we have done, or what we might consider accomplishments on our own. It is by the grace and gifting of God.

 

The verse brings us to the subject of receiving. It seems to be a difficult concept at times so we want to share some things on receiving from God and how we might grow in it.

 

Often in looking at a certain subject, it can be helpful to look at its opposite. In other words, how do we "not receive" something?

 

If something is presented to you with the implication of: this is for you, this is what you ordered, this is just what you need, or "surprise" - enjoy this unexpected delivery.

 

If you did not want it, you would say so very quickly. There would be no part of you that would make any effort to take it. You would say: I did not order that, that is not mine, wrong address, take it away from here. You could destroy it yourself or in some way remove it.

 

You really do not have to give a reason why you will not receive it - the choice is yours.

 

Now turn that around and use the same principle and method to receiving - picture it both naturally and spiritually.

 

Remember Mary when the angel Gabriel appeared to her with a message and her response was:

... be it done unto me according to thy word (Luke 1:38). Mary received that message with her words. Her words could have been just the opposite.

 

Remember how we get saved (receive salvation) from Romans 10:9-10: We believe with our hearts and confess with our mouths.

 

If you recall the parable of the sower, Jesus talks about the seed that is "received" into various types of ground.

 

We hopefully are starting to see how we receive. We have just scratched the surface but we are on solid ground. The word "receive" is in the 4 gospels  105 times. It is a good study for us.

 

We pray, heavenly Father, for wisdom and understanding in receiving from You and Your word. We declare by faith that we are learning to receive.

 

3/16/2016

 

When we think of the word "commitment" from a Biblical standpoint, we normally view it as something good and positive. We envision being dedicated to the Lord, the giving of ourselves, and making a decision to serve.

 

Yet when we think about the root of that word "commit" we can think of the negative - like committing sin. "Commit" can be positive or negative depending on the circumstances.

 

The point we want to make is that something we commit is something that we do. When we think about "commitment" we think about an inner decision or something in a person's character.

Our commitments should be demonstrated in actions.

 

Think about natural commitments to a spouse, children, friends, jobs, etc. We recognize that things will not always go smoothly and people may let us down. But that should not stop our commitment to do what is right and desire the please the Lord. People that count on us will greatly appreciate this.

 

The spiritual is the same way. Things will not always go like we want them to. Disappointments and tough times come. But in the same way, these things should not stop our commitment to do what is right and desire the please the Lord.

 

Lord help us to make the right commitments and carry them out.

 

3/17/2016

 

The story is told of a couple meeting with their child's teacher. The main thing the teacher told the parents was: Your child has potential! The mother took that one way and the father took it another.

 

The mother understood the teacher as saying the child was ready for some special program - probably with the gifted and talented group. The father believed the teacher was saying there was potential but the child was essentially doing nothing but wasting time. He was planning on a good "stimulus package" for the youngster.

 

Our point here is to say we all hear things differently. Potential is the same way - what do we hear on the inside of us if we are told we have potential? From the Bible we see God instilling gifts and potential in everyone.

 

An old saying has been: Potential is God's gift to us. What we do with it is our gift back to God.

 

May we take seriously the gifts and calling God has given us. 

 

3/18/2016

 

Here is an intriguing scripture: If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. ~ Proverbs 24:8. This is one of those verses that can almost irritate you - especially if you take it the wrong way.

 

The times of adversity are generally the times when people faint - we all can be strong when we are not struggling with something. So it makes sense that the fainting comes in times of adversity.

 

We could get irritated at the verse if we take it as a "put down". We are good at this: Whenever someone tries to tell us something or point something out, we can often take offense and get "huffy".

 

But receive the verse like God is trying to get a principle over to us. The real test of strength comes with adversity. If our strength does not keep us from fainting, it is not at the level it should be and we need to get to work. Preparing ahead of time is much better than trying to build strength during times of intensity or crisis.

 

We mention this because we remember the week Jesus had before the crucifixion. He did not faint because His strength was built up. He knew to pray and admonished his disciples in that regard so that they would not faint or yield to temptation.

 

Notice the concept of "fainting" here and how it describes Jesus' striving: For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. ~ Hebrews 12:3-4

 

The purpose of the Proverbs scripture is to show us that strength (particularly the strength of God) will keep us from fainting in the day of adversity. We can certainly use that and we can work on it, pray for it, build ourselves up in it, and determine beforehand how we want to respond in situations of adversity.

 

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; ~ Ephesians 3:16

 

Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; ~ Colossians 1:11

 

3/20/2016

 

Today marks what is considered Palm Sunday - remembering when Jesus rode into Jerusalem with people spreading palm branches as a token of welcome with shouts of Hosanna. We also know that there would those that got "huffy" over this welcome.

 

For anyone associated with Jesus, this would begin a week they could never imagine. It is interesting that Jesus had already made His choice. The people would have opportunity to make a choice in a few days - Jesus or Barabbas.

 

Since that time, for those who have chosen Jesus over Barabbas - we rejoice. Yet each day we have the same type of choice: Jesus or Barabbas - if we can use these two names to describe two very different pictures. Many can picture very well the consequences of choosing "Barabbas" in daily life and the results - from experience over the years.

 

So during this season as we are likely to hear soul-stirring messages about Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, let us remember our choices. We are certainly blessed when we see those choosing Jesus regarding salvation. Let us also determine to choose Him each day. May we indeed rejoice in our choice!

 

3/22/2016

 

If we are following the timeline in the gospels, we know this week for Jesus is a very intense one. In considering His ministry on earth, He had a lot to accomplish:

 

He had to fulfill the law

He had to fulfill all righteousness

He had to deal with all types of people

He had to answer all types of questions

He had to minister in all manner of situations, give the right word to people, and flow in the             power of the Spirit

He had to minister to and deal with His own disciples

He had to resist temptation in the most difficult degree

He had to die as the spotless Lamb of God

 

In Hebrews 3:2, Jesus is described as being faithful to the Father that appointed Him.

 

Our desire also is to be faithful in all that God has appointed for us - that we walk worthy of the Lord and be fruitful in every good work. Stand up for Jesus - every day!

 

3/23/2016

 

Yesterday we mentioned this time in the life of Jesus from the Biblical record. It is interesting that the scriptures really slow down and becomse more detailed in the last week. There is so much that Jesus must accomplish and though many of us have heard countless sermons about this time period, the depth of meaning and spiritual purpose in all that Jesus would do takes time to seek out and grasp. Jesus would fulfill the law, pay the price for sin, have what is called the Last Supper, and bring the new covenant into being for mankind - and of course the resurrection.

 

There are a number of ways people have described this week. One of the terms used is; Passion Week. His greatest passion is described as Jesus desiring to fulfill the will of His Father to the ultimate. This indeed speaks of true passion.

 

A good question to ask: Will this week be a passion week for us? Indeed we may be moved to tears, a hallelujah shout, or some response that indicates that we have been stirred. But will there be a passion for God - a craving, longing, devotion and enthusiasm to fulfill the will of God in our lives.

 

If there ever was a time to seek that out, stir it up, and cry out to God for it; this week should certainly be it. May we all fulfill our calling with a passion for our Lord.

 

3/24/2016

 

As we again consider this week in scripture, we are reminded that Jesus humbled Himself even unto death. We are told in the scripture to humble ourselves.

 

Humbling yourself can be a great act of faith. When you humble yourself, you are yielding to another, putting someone else's will before yours; it is an act of selflessness.

 

The question has been asked if God humbles people. God can certainly do things to get our attention, and circumstances can arise that can take us down a peg. But true humbling is something that we do ourselves - because it is a matter of the heart. It is when we humble ourselves that we are well on our way to pleasing God.

 

As we think about this aspect of the week of Jesus, we could check our hearts to see if we need to deal with any pride. Remember that humbling ourselves is the exact opposite of lifting (or puffing up) ourselves.

 

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. ~ James 4:10

 

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: ~ I Peter 5:6

 

3/25/2016

 

As we come to the day that we remember the sacrifice of Jesus for the sin of man and to redeem us from the curse of the law, we note this scripture in particular:

 

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. ~ Luke 23:34

 

As we remember Jesus fulfilling all righteousness: He was condemned but He did not condemn - He forgave. Remember Jesus told Hid disciples to forgive if they had ought against any - Jesus did the same thing.

 

What a precious picture this is as opposed to such a scene of horror as the crucifixion. May this remind us each day that we are forgiven and we forgive. Resurrection is coming!

 

3/26/2016

 

Can you imagine yourself as one of the disciples of Jesus the day after He was crucified? You would probably be wondering "What do I do now"? You would likely be dealing with a rush of emotions and from the scripture record they would not likely be joyful.

 

Though Jesus had talked to His disciples about the resurrection, the jolt of seeing Him crucified seemed to erase any idea in their minds that He was talking about it happening after this crucifixion. We all know that it is often very difficult to believe in something you rarely see happen. As Christians we know it takes faith based upon what the Word of God tells us to develop a picture within us that something we believe is going to happen. For the disciples, it seems the picture of the death of Jesus was the most prevalent thing on their minds.

 

We have all had our "what do I do now?" moments. It has been said that we should not doubt in the darkness what God has shown us in the light. This is something we must do intentionally when darkness and the pictures it generates come against our faith. We all need to recognize that truth is true even when it is not readily apparent. This is likely one of the greatest battles we face in this life.

 

We may not be able to explain everything, but we do not have to lose hope and throw in the towel. The circumstances may not give us any encouragement, but we do not have to give up our faith or give up on God. We can boldly declare that we are still on the Lord's side, and we look to Him to deal with the things that are beyond us.

 

Resurrection was coming. Mourning would turn to shouts of praise and joy. We pray for each person dear heavenly Father who is seeking You in regards to some situation - that the power of the resurrection would be real to them and in all of us each day!

 

3/27/2016

 

As we celebrate and rejoice in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we know it has very special meaning in the lives of many. It can be both a time of public celebration and also one of very private reflection. This is because the resurrection of Jesus impacts us personally across a very broad spectrum. Thus there are many ways to praise and remember this in our lives.

 

There is a scripture in Hebrews that seems very applicable to this day we celebrate. Concerning Jesus we read:

 

Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.  ~ Hebrews 7:13

 

Have you ever considered those words: the power of an endless life?

 

So much of what we do today revolves around the fact that this physical life will end. We only have a certain amount of time. This  is always a focal point of decisions we make in this life.

But suppose this life would not end - we can immediately see that our thinking and actions would change immediately.

 

This shows the power of an endless life. Thank God we have that now in Jesus Christ - and we will have it at some point in a new body that is incorruptible and immortal ~ I Corinthians 15:53-54. Then we will be able to both experience and walk in the power of an endless life.

 

We rejoice in reality of it now and look forward to its full manifestation.

 

We pray that anyone reading who does not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior would receive Him today. What a great day to be born again! That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. ~ Romans 10:9-10

 

3/28/2016

 

We consider again the disciples right after Jesus was crucified. What would they have been thinking? From the scriptures it appears they considered the whole thing over. "Well I guess we are done" - they might have said. "I suppose I will go back to my old job." You did not get any indication they that they were going to keep on preaching Jesus - that appeared to be over.

 

Then came the resurrection. We read in Acts 1:3 Jesus showing the disciples by many infallible proofs that He was alive. Even after that, their thinking still seems in the natural:  One of their first thoughts was - surely He will now restore the kingdom of God here in Israel and all will be well. The natural, physical kingdom of God would be coming but not right at this time.

 

We do not fault them for this thinking - it was all they really knew. It would be safe to say that we would have been the same way.

 

In considering the kingdom of God, what would be value of physically establishing the kingdom of God on earth when all the citizens are dead in sin? That would be a kingdom divided against itself. That would have been the case if Jesus had declared the establishment of God's kingdom on the earth at that time.

 

If you read all of the above verse (Acts 1:3), the last of it says this about what Jesus did as well:

 

"... and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:"

 

The disciples began to see that the resurrection of Jesus would mean something for them on the inside (this would be rather new). We are thankful to learn these things as well:

 

that we could be born again, Christ in us the hope of glory, and resurrection life on the inside.

 

That is the initial step that will prepare us for the complete manifestation of the kingdom of God - a kingdom we can share in. This is surely a big part of why we celebrate and rejoice in the resurrection - people can now be the sons and daughters of God.

 

In speaking of the resurrection and what it meant for us, Paul writes about the righteousness provided for us:

 

But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. ~ Romans 4:24-25

 

We continue to rejoice and desire to learn more about this resurrection life.

 

3/29/2016

 

Do you recall these first lines of a hymn?

 

Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee!

 

This could be our prayer each day. Though we may be saved and born again, we realize that our conduct and attitudes always need "tending to".

 

It is great when we are able to have victory over a temptation before it ever comes. This does not happen by accident, but comes with prayer, meditation in the Word, standing in the armor of God, and confessing our faith of what we have in Christ.

 

Lord help us to train ourselves to resist temptation. Show us the path to victory that we may overcome. May we not grow weary in well doing and may this demonstrate our consecration Lord to Thee.

 

3/31/2016

 

If you look up the word "service", you will see that it always denotes or implies action. To serve is to do something. Even the word as a noun (a service of some type that you may attend) implies that something is going to be done, something is going to happen.

 

Remember in Psalm 100: Serve the Lord with gladness.

 

Colossians 3:23-24 ~ And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

 

As we have noted before, people appreciate good service. Certainly the Lord does as well - remember He commended to good and faithful SERVant.

 

Father, I come before You to pray

What can I do to serve You today

Let my light shine to glorify Thee

Let Your love flow to others through me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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