Tag Archives: James 4:8

Carols Series – Prepare Him Room Outline – Christmas Eve Message

Make Room for the King

“Joy to the World”

Joy to the world, the Lord is come

Let earth receive her King

Let every heart prepare Him room

OUR HEART NATURALLY DOESN’T WANT TO PREPARE ROOM  

WE ARE ALL SINNERS… WE ARE ALL IN NEED OF JESUS

 

Ezekiel 11:19 English Standard Version (ESV)

19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.

 

WHEN JESUS WAS BORN, THERE WASN’T ANY ROOM

Luke 2:7 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

7 She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there wasn’t any room for them in the inn.

 

THE SHUNAMMITE WHO MADE ROOM

2 Kings 4:8-9 English Standard Version (ESV)

One day Elisha went on to Shunem, where a wealthy woman lived, who urged him to eat some food. So whenever he passed that way, he would turn in there to eat food. And she said to her husband, “Behold now, I know that this is a holy man of God who is continually passing our way. 10 Let us make a small room on the roof with walls and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that whenever he comes to us, he can go in there.”

 

THE GREAT PROMISE OF GOD

Jeremiah 24:7 English Standard Version (ESV)

7 I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.

 

How can we prepare Him room?

 

#1 Accept the love God offers

John 3:16 English Standard Version (ESV)

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 5:8 English Standard Version (ESV)

8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

#2 Draw near to Jesus through prayer and reading of God’s Word

James 4:8 English Standard Version (ESV)

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

#3 Honor Jesus with obedience

2 John 6 English Standard Version (ESV)

6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.

2 John 6 The Message (MSG)

4-6 I can’t tell you how happy I am to learn that many members of your congregation are diligent in living out the Truth, exactly as commanded by the Father. But permit me a reminder, friends, and this is not a new commandment but simply a repetition of our original and basic charter: that we love each other. Love means following his commandments, and his unifying commandment is that you conduct your lives in love. This is the first thing you heard, and nothing has changed.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come

Let earth receive her King

Let every heart prepare Him room

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Words to Live By Series Outlines

Words to Live By: Meek 2-12-17

  • 1strecognize poor of spirit (spiritually bankrupt, true knowledge of ourselves)
  • 2ndcomes mourning (sacred grief)

[Matthew 5:5]

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

“Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the gentle[the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth.”

[Galatians 5:23] – fruit of the Spirit “prautes” (prah-oo-tace) – mildness, gentleness

What it is not…

It’s not weakness. It’s not about being nice or easy going.

It’s not about not getting easily upset.

MEEK – Strength under control

The elephant’s truck has more than 40,000 individual muscles. Strong enough to rip branches from trees, but gentle enough to pick up a single blade of grass.

Having the power to do something but refraining from it

Meekness begins & ends with God

  • “The person who bears and suffers evils with meekness and silence, is the sum of a Christian man.” – John Wesley
  • Don’t fight because you trust God will fight for you.
  • Patient Endurance

 

[Numbers 12:1-4]

Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth. “anav” (aw-nawv) – poor, afflicted, humble, meek

 

[Psalm 37]

Meek are… People who wait for the Lord

  • Trust God[v. 5b] – this means bearing insults – LEAN ON / RELY ON

 

  • Commit their way to God[v. 5a] GOD’S WILL

 

  • Quiet before God & wait for Him[v. 7a] – quietly submit to God – BE STILL AND REST, PATIENTLY LEANING UPON HIM

 

  • Don’t fret over wicked[v. 7b] – keep silent or answer softly/gently

 

  • Produces peace[v. 11] “anav” (aw-nawv) – poor, afflicted, humble, meek – SHALL DELIGHT THEMSELVES IN AN ABUNDANCE OF PEACE

 

 

[Ephesians 4:2] Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. “prautes” (prah-oo-tace) – mildness, gentleness

Forgiving disposition – no resentment, don’t return evil

Slow to anger – Not easily provoked

IF THIS IS NOT YOU – YOU ARE NOT SHINING LIGHT LIKE YOU COULD

 

[2 Timothy 2:25] Opponents must be gentlyinstructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, “prautes” (prah-oo-tace) – mildness, gentleness

 

[1 Peter 3:15] But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. “prautes” (prah-oo-tace) – mildness, gentleness

 

 

BENEFITS

  • Will be guided by God[Psalm 25:9] He leads the humblein doing right, teaching them his way. “anav” (aw-nawv) – poor, afflicted, humble, meek – leads & teaches

 

  • Will be satisfied[Psalm 22:26] The afflictedwill eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let your heart live forever! “anav” (aw-nawv) – poor, afflicted, humble, meek – Those who [diligently] seek Him and require Him [as their greatest need] will praise the Lord.[AMP] – TRUE SATISFACTION

 

  • Will be filled with joy[Isaiah 29:19] The meekshall obtain fresh joy in the LORD, and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. “anav” (aw-nawv) – poor, afflicted, humble, meek – The afflicted also will increase their joy in the Lord[AMP] – THIS IS A JOY NO ONE CAN TAKE AWAY

 

 

Promise to inherit the earth gives us the strength to endure.

It’s a promise that God has already sealed for you and I through a Messianic King

 

  • [Zechariah 9:9] Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowlyand riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. “ani” (aw-nee) – poor, afflicted,humble

 

  • [Matthew 21:5] “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentleand riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'” “praus” – meek

 

  • [Matthew 11:29] Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentleand humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “praus” – meek

 

 

Meek = JESUS

 

[Philippians 2:6-8]Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

 

[John 10:18] No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

 

[Isaiah 53:7] He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.

 

  • WHO AM I that He would give up His divine privileges?
  • WHO AM I that He would be led as a lamb to the slaughter?
  • WHO AM I that He would be spit on, beaten, & hung on a tree… to die a criminal’s death on a cross?

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Words to Live By – Pure in Heart

[Matthew 5:8]

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

What does it mean to be pure in heart?

What does it mean to see God?

  • What does it mean to be pure in heart?

Pure – Katharos (Kath-ar-os)– clean, pure, unstained – either literally or ceremonially or spiritually; guiltless, innocent, upright, unmixed without undesirable elements, being purified by God – being free from contaminating influences of sin

Heart – Kardia (Kar-dee’-ah)– Spiritual center of life (thoughts, desire, sense of purpose, will, understanding, character), inner self, mind, intention

The heart is what you are

Life with Jesus is not about behavior modification or breaking bad habits… it’s about purifying a dirty heart, having a change of heart

Undivided clean (pure) heart – [Matthew 22:37] Love God with all heart

But many of us have a split heart, a divided heart – willing 2 things instead of 1.

Single-minded devotion to God

God’s truth & God’s value in everything we do, align with Him, magnify / glorify Him, pursue God with single-mindedness

All about JESUS

[Jeremiah 17:9] Heart is deceitful

[Matthew 15:8-9] Honor with lips, but your heart is far from Me – worship Me in vain

[Matthew 23:25-26] – 1stclean inside of the cup (inside you are full of greed & self-indulgence), clean the inside and then the outside will become clean too. – JESUS IS CONCERNED WITH OUR HEART

[1 Samuel 16:7] Man looks outward, the Lord looks at the heart

[Proverbs 11:20] The LORD detests people with crooked hearts, but he delights in those with integrity. (crooked / perverse)

[Jeremiah 31:33] This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.”

[Jeremiah 32:39] And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants.

[Titus 3:5] He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.

[Psalm 119:9, 11] Keep pure with living according to the Word, keep Word in heart. {{LIVING BY THE WORD}}

[2 Chronicles 16:9] The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.

[Proverbs 3:5] Trust in the LORD will ALL your heart, do not lean on your own understanding

[James 1:6-8] But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

[James 1:23-24] For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.

[James 4:4, 4:8] Clean hands, purify heart, don’t be double-minded(heart divided between God & world)

  • What does it mean to see God?

To see God – to see face – to be in presence – to be admitted in presence

Expression of great favor

Dwell with Him in His kingdom

 

[Revelation 22:3-4] Seeing God – servants will worship Him, they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads

 

Seeing God – perception, understanding, discernment

 

  • Admitted into the His presence
  • Stand in awe of glory– awestruck by the glory – direct experience of His holiness
    • [Revelation 21:23] His glory will be very light in which we move – the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light.
  • Confronted by His grace[Psalm 27:7-9] – Hear me as I pray, O LORD. Be merciful and answer me. My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”DO NOT HIDE YOUR FACE FROM ME. Do not turn your servant away in anger. You have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God of my salvation.

Believe Jesus saved you[James 1:6-8]

Confess your sins[1 John 1:9] But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Eagerly Expect[1 John 3:3] – And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.

  • Ask God for a clean heart ([Psalm 51:10] Create in me a pure (clean) heart, renew a steadfast (loyal) spirit within me.
  • Trust [Acts 15:9] Heart purified by faith, cleansed by Spirit

 

[Psalm 24:3-4] Clean hands, pure heart – Who may climb the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in His holy place?Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.

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Words To Live By: PERSECUTED – pMatthew 5:10-12

First 3 Beatitudes lead us to a hunger for righteousness (right with God).

#1 – Poor in Spirit– Realize we are poor in spirit (Spiritually bankrupt, Nothing without Jesus)

#2 – Those Who Mourn– Mourn / grieve over our sin – Realize “I am a sinner” (Dead in Sin, Need Savior)

#3 – Meek– Strength under control, God’s will over my will – Realize God’s plan is better and say, “Not my will, but Your will be done.”  (Living for Jesus)

These three beatitudes remind us that we are empty & have a need

This need results in a hunger…. A hunger for…

#4 – RIGHTEOUSNESS– we desire to be right with God, to fill that void, to connect to the One who created us, Who designed us to be in fellowship with Him.

Because of this hunger for righteousness, we are satisfied by the next 3 Beatitudes.

#5 – Merciful – Receive mercy of God, overflowing mercy poured out to others (we received what we don’t deserve, pour out the same to others)

#6 – Pure Heart– Single-minded devotion to God, desiring only Him & His will (it’s all about Jesus)

#7 – Peacemaker – Peace with God, peace with others, sharing message of Prince of Peace with all. (spreading the peace of God)

Living this out… having these the words you live by, provide the fullness. You’re no longer empty. The result of this though is persecution.

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” – 2 Timothy 3:12 [ESV]

Diókó (dee-o’-ko) – to pursue, aggressively chase, like a hunter pursing a catch (prize), to be hunted down, to harass

[Matthew 5:10-12]

“Those who are persecuted for righteousnessare blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. You are blessed when they insult and persecute youand falsely say every kind of evil against youbecause of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” [HCSB]

You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you downor throw you outor speak liesabout you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, Ido! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.” [MSG]

 

“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.’”– 1 Peter 3:12-14 [NIV]

 

“Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory.” – 1 Peter 4:13 [HCSB]

 

“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.”– Romans 8:18 [NLT]

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Words to Live By – The Lord’s Prayer – 4-2-17

[Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:2-4]

 

[Philippians 4:6] Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

 

This isn’t an actual prayer that Jesus prayed. Note He says “pray like this.”

For an example of how Jesus prays, see John 17.

*connection with God*

Our Father in Heaven

[James 1:17] Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Jesus prays to Abba Father. Only prays to “God” instead of “Father” while on the Cross when darkness came and God couldn’t face the sin that was upon His Son. When He turned away, Jesus said, “My God, why have you forsaken me?”

OUR FATHER – In relation to Him

 

Kezazah means “the cutting off.” Think of shunning. It appears in the Talmud as a ceremony for those Jews who lose their inheritance to a Gentile. They are shunned, cut off from the community when they return. When the person would return home, they break a pot in front of them.

The father ran toward his son, didn’t care how he would appear though it was something men didn’t do (considered undignified). It appeared bad. He ran before this ceremony could happen—to accept him, forgive him, welcome him home. THIS SAME FATHER OPENS HIS ARMS TO YOU!

The reason for the celebration when the son arrives home is because of the sacrifice of the Father. He sacrificed his social dignity by running. He broke the patriarchal code. He graciously restored his son.

Is He your Father?

[John 1:12] But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.

[Galatians 3:26] So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.

 

IN HEAVEN – In reverence of God

Recognize He is separate from all and He is exalted above.

He is higher than all. Sovereign.

He has the power to answer prayer.

 

Hallowed be your name

[Psalm 46:10] Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.

Declare God is holy.

Keep His name holy.

Realize who we are praying to.

 

See God for Who He is – He is holy

Honor Him, Treasure Him

 

 

*surrender to God*

 

Your kingdom come

 

[Matthew 6:33] But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

 

Do you acknowledge His sovereignty?

 

Are you ready for His kingdom?

 

The Kingdom is present but also future.

 

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven

 

[Romans 6:13] Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.

 

Do you really want His will?

 

Are you accepting God’s authority?

 

God is a good Father and He wants to give you good things—the best things.

*dependence on God*

 

Give us today our daily bread

 

Do you recognize Him as the One Who provides?

 

[Deuteronomy 8:3] He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

Provides the food we eat daily – physical and spiritual

[Luke 22:19] And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

Provides the Sacrificial Lamb that pays for our sin – our daily sin

Do you trust that He gives you what you need for the day?

 

[Philippians 4:19] And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

The provision of God supplies all we need – to bring glory to God

[2 Corinthians 9:10-11] For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.

He gives enough for everything needed, everything we are called to do—this means He provides enough for us to be generous!

 

 

*cleansing from God*

 

Forgive us our sins and we forgive those who sin against us

 

[1 Peter 2:24] And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

 

Must admit we sin to be forgiven of sin

Must forgive those as He forgives us

[Matthew 6:14-15] For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

[Ephesians 4:32] Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

[Lamentations 3:40-41] Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD! Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven.

 

[Hebrews 12:1-2] Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

*deliverance from God*

 

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil

 

God does not tempt us—He gives us the power to overcome any temptation

 

[Hebrews 4:15-16] For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

[1 Corinthians 10:13] No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

 

*fulfillment from God*

 

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.

Doxology (“glory” & “saying”) – an expression of praise, usually at end of psalm or hymn

This wasn’t something that was in original text. It was in later manuscripts.

 

God’s kingdom, power and glory are HIS.

[Romans 11:36] For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.

Stay True

Paul told the Philippians to “stay true to the Lord.” This is all about being totally committed to God, not letting anything come between you and your relationship to God. In Matthew 5, we read that those who are pure in heart are blessed. They will see God! How awesome is that?! Staying true to the Lord is having a pure heart—a heart for Jesus.

James speaks of a divided heart, a heart that is for the world and for God. This isn’t a pure heart. This is not staying true to the Lord. In James 4:7, we read that we should submit to God, resist the devil, wash our hands, and purify our hearts. We should stop being double-minded, and stay true to the Lord.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Do all you can to stay true to the Lord. When you find your heart divided between God and the world, ask that He give you a clean heart and a steadfast spirit (Psalm 51:10).

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.” – Philippians 4:1 [NLT]

Coming Closer

My dog Max is laying on the sofa by my side as I type this devotion. If I get up and go into the kitchen, I have moved away from him. We then are not as close in position. When it comes to God, some people will say they feel like God isn’t around, like He moved from them. But the truth is, it is they that have moved.

James reminds us that if we come close to God, He will come close to us. We simply need to reach toward Him, and He is ALWAYS reaching back.

Today, be intentional with your relationship with Jesus Christ. Recognize that if you dig into the Word of God, you will hear God speak. If you spend time in prayer, you will feel the presence of God. If you feel like God is faraway, take a few steps closer to Him and you’ll find you had strayed. Thank God, He continues to keep His arms wide open awaiting His children.

“Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” – James 4:8 [NLT]

Return to Me

People many times say that God is hiding from them, that they cannot tell if He’s around. The truth is that God never moved—you did! Again and again, we read in the Bible of people who fall short, people who do not walk with God. A holy God cannot look sin in the face. Even so, God is gracious and merciful. Again and again, He forgives us. Each day we are offered the opportunity of a daily cleansing, a new day. It is through Jesus Christ alone that we are able to stand before the throne as white as snow.

In Zechariah 1, we read about a call to return to the Lord. Zechariah declares what the Lord says, “Return to me… and I will return to you.” It’s that simple. Don’t allow it to be complicated. Don’t allow people to put stumbling blocks between you and God. Don’t think His grace and mercy are for everyone but you. Return to Him and He will return to you.

Every day we have an opportunity to decide which road we will take. Every day we can move closer to Jesus or in the opposite direction. When we seek Him with all our heart, we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). When we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). Today, take time to reach out to Him. He’s already reaching out to you.

“Therefore say to them, Thus declares the LORD of hosts: Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts.” – Zechariah 1:3 [ESV]

He Restores

I have been studying Jeremiah this month. One of the most quoted verses in Jeremiah is Jeremiah 29:11: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Many times this verse is not used in the proper context. As you read the verses around it, you read of a people who is in exile. This does not sound like something desirable. The promise for a hope and future is made to the people in captivity. It was a promise to those who spent seventy years under the rule of others. It was a promise to bring back the people.

After the seventy years were up, just as promised, God delivered his people out of captivity. The people of God were able to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple and the city walls. God restored His people. Just in the same way, He is able to restore all that is broken. That includes you and I. For just as the earth and all it contains, you and I are broken. Praise God, He promises to restore us.

Though this verse speaks about a people long ago, God also promises us hope and a future (Hebrews 10:23). He also listens to our prayers (Psalm 77:1, 1 John 5:14). His Word also says when we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). Today, remember what the Psalmist wrote: “Trust in Him at all times… pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge” (62:8 NIV). Let Him continue to restore you by fixing your eyes on Him and following His leading.

“This is what the Lord says: ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.’” – Jeremiah 29:10-14 [NIV]

You Don’t Know

“Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.” – Job 10:8-12 [NIV]

You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me.” – Job 30:21

“You have become cruel (NLT) – basically saying God changed toward him.

1) God does not change

Malachi 3:6a says, “I am the LORD, and I do not change.” (NIV)

Job realized that God was gracious, kind, and his Creator

But thinks God changed because of his situation.

2) God does not think like us

“’My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the LORD. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.’” – Isaiah 55:8 [NLT]

“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.” – Psalm 139:16 [NASB]

3) We cannot understand everything

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11 [NLT]

“I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim.” – Ecclesiastes 8:17 [NLT]

“God’s riches, wisdom, and knowledge are so deep that it is impossible to explain his decisions or to understand his ways.” – Romans 11:33 [GW]

“Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.” – Ecclesiastes 11:5 [NLT]

4) Ask – Show me Your ways

Moses said to God, “If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.” – Exodus 33:13 [NLT]

“Now show me Your glory” (v. 18)

I want to KNOW YOU

I want to SEE YOU

I want to BE IN YOUR PRESENCE

Psalm 103:7, the Psalmist writes,

He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel.” [NASB]

God’s ways must be MADE KNOWN.

  • He MADE KNOWN them to Moses
    • Ways – Intimate Relationship
    • Know God (Hosea 6:6)
  • To the Israelites He taught them by His actions, but his words were concealed. The relationship wasn’t the deep relationship like that He had with Moses.
    • Works – Observation – What God does
    • Parting Red Sea / Water from Rock / Walls of Jericho

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

– Jeremiah 29:13 [NASB]

Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” – James 4:8a [NLT]
“I long to look on the face of the One that I love
Long to stay in Your presence, it’s where I belong”

(Jesus Culture “Show Me Your Glory”)

Download You Don’t Know Outline

Exiting the Cave Outline

Exiting the Cave Basic Review of 1 Kings 17-18 Main Passage 1 Kings 19

  • There’s a great and strong wind.
  • There’s an
  • There’s a fire.
  • There is the sound of a low whisper – a still small voice.

How do you recognize God’s presence? Desire the Presence of God “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” – James 4:8 [ESV] “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and He with Me.” – Revelation 3:20 [ESV] Desire to Know God To recognize God, you should know Who He is “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” – Hosea 6:6 [ESV] God wants you to know Him and to love Him – that’s a RELATIONSHIP Desire Leads to Readiness “Be still, and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10a [ESV] You cannot predict how God will be present from past experiences. Each moment is we should be ready for Him with great expectation but not by placing Him in some prepackaged box. If you box Him in, you’ll miss Him. Desire More of Him & Less of You “Why climb the mountains or go down into the valleys of the world looking for Him Who dwells within us?” – Augustine If you believe in Jesus Christ and are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit it means that God dwells within. That means the Spirit of God dwells within you. You don’t have to ask for the Holy Spirit once you have obtained – you simply ask “More of You, less of me.” Each day. Every day. Listen. The Holy Spirit will help you, comfort you, remind you, teach you, empower you, assure you, strengthen you….

Wandering

As I entered the hotel with the remaining items from the car, I heard the rattling of my dog’s tags. My children had accidentally left him sneak pass them when entering the hotel room and he was out searching for his mom. He was in a strange place and he wanted only to be with his mom, for she was his master.

In this same way, we are to seek the Lord. We should be wandering around to find Him at all times. The thing is we don’t have to wander around to find Him. If we reach out to Him, He will do the same.  We have been given His Word and we have the opportunity to also have His Spirit. There is no need to wander around trying to find God. He’s right here. We simply need to have the desire.

Many people spend years of their lives wandering around the earth in search of something. Many times they don’t even know what they are searching for at all to fill a void, or they may call it “love,” or “success” or “a future” or “happiness.” There are many words I could list, but each one points to God. What are you seeking for today? No matter what it is, it can only be found through God. There’s no need to wander any longer. Take the time right now to reach out to God—He will reach back.

“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” – James 4:8

Trusting the Power of God

This weekend I had the opportunity to teach two classes, one on trusting God and another on the power of God. These two topics are so vital to each of our lives, and yet we all have some difficulties in these areas.  Recently, the husband of a friend of mine was in dire need of a liver transplant. With a congenital liver disease weakening his body, many people would have considered that hope was lost. Family and friends joined together in prayer.  The Bible says that we must ask and believe, and then we will receive (Mark 11:24, James 1:6). The family organized a group, continued to stand firm in their faith, and clung to God during the storm. As family and friends trusted God, uniting together in prayer, they were able to see the power of God at work. He received a new liver and doctors were amazed at the miraculous transition they witnessed, something that couldn’t be explained except as the power of God.

These people trusted God to provide, but we all have moments when we have a problem with trusting God. To trust God, it means that we abide and rest in His goodness—that we trust that He protects, embraces, and surrounds us with His compassion and His favor. It is important to understand that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). It is important to remember the many promises of God—promises we can only know about if we read His Word. Psalm 34:10 says that those who seek God will “lack no good thing.” Yet, why are we so tempted to seek elsewhere, to try our own methods, to think that we could have something better doing things another way?

In the wilderness, Jesus was tempted three times. Each of these temptations represents temptations that we each face, temptations of: power, prestige, and possessions. Each time, He responded to the devil by saying, “It is written.” It is so clear to see the power of God’s Word at work.  In Ephesians 6, we are told to stand firm and put on our spiritual armor, which includes the “sword of the Spirit, which is word of God” (v. 17). Do you have your armor on? Are you daily arming yourself with this sword?  See each of us has the ability to tap into the power of God. We have His Word. We as believers have His Spirit. Yet it is apparent that so many people do not use what is right before them.

Is it a trust issue? Do we not trust the character and promises of God? Do we think we know better? Do we not have the time to read God’s Word? Do we believe we are fine as we are? There are so many possibilities, but each answer is simply an excuse—an excuse to not accept the love, grace, mercy, protection, favor, direction, comfort, and will of God.  As we make these excuses, complaints and grumbling follow. When will we get it? When will we reach forward to the hand that God extends to us?

I told my students this weekend that we must not simply remember “it is written,” but we must also remember another short and powerful statement made by our Lord and Savior. We must remember “it is finished.”  We have victory thru Christ, “for everyone born of God overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4). We need to live right now as if we have this victory. We need to stop allowing the world to get the best of us, and cling to this victory that we already have in Christ. We need to trust Him and trust in this victory. In doing so, we would live very differently. We need to learn not only to trust God’s character and the promises in His Word, but also to live by them each day of our lives. As Burl Ives sang, “O victory in Jesus, My Savior forever. He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood.”  The song goes on to speak of singing a song of victory one day in heaven, but I think we should start singing this song today, as we trust God, as we cling to Him and His Word, as we hold tight to the power of God. Surely, we have victory. Let us trust in Him and open our eyes to His power which is at work even today.