Sunday, August 28, 2016

Why David Was A Man After God's Own Heart. Which of These Areas Need Your Greatest Attention For Improvement?

Why David was a “Man After God’s Own Heart” Have you had a hard time letting go of your past and accepting God’s grace in your life Read below why David was a"Man After God's Own Heart.  Acts 13:22 says, “After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.‘”

Nevertheless, for David’s sake the LORD his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem by raising up a son to succeed him and by making Jerusalem strong. For David had done what was right in the eyes of the LORD and had not failed to keep any of the LORD’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite. 1 Kings 15:4-5 NIV  (Emphasis mine)

Do you see that?  After David’s life had ended, God’s word still records him as a man following after God’s own heart…except in the case of the fall with Bathsheba.

What’s my point?  How does that impact your life?

That one “except” in your life….that one moment…that one season…that period of indiscretion…does not disqualify you from being a man (or woman) after God’s own heart.  I know too many people who have disqualified themselves from God’s call on their life because of their past mistakes, but I’m not sure God has disqualified them. Bottom line:  Your actions don’t determine your standing with God; your heart does. Actions indicate a heart’s direction, so if there is repetitive, unrepentant sin in your life, one would have to question your heart, but if your heart desires to be like Christ and give Him glory with your life, don’t beat yourself up for your exceptions.  Keep in mind, people can say about you whatever they choose to, but no one knows your heart (other than God) like you do.

An often-confusing term concerning the Biblical character of David is the term “man after God’s own heart”. Have you ever wondered what that really means? What does that kind of heart even look like? There is one verse from the writings of David that I believe perhaps best captures the meaning behind this phrase.

I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

(Psalms 16:2)

That’s it. Pretty simple, huh?

But, it’s really not that simple.

David recognized that the only good in him was the God in him. Great godly leaders and people are willing to step aside from their own need for ego building and self-confidence and humble themselves before an almighty God.
Next time someone asks you why David was called “a man after God’s own heart”, point him or her to Psalm 16:2. It’s an attitude of heart…of recognition…of worship.

The following words describe the heart of David as seen in his own writings:

David had an attitude of heart and God recognized all of these attributes of David.

Humble – Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. Psalm 62:9

Reverent – I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:3

Respectful – Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. Psalm 31:9

Trusting – The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

Loving – I love you, O Lord, my strength. Psalm 18:1

Devoted – You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. Psalm 4:7

Recognition – I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. Psalm 9:1

Faithful – Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6

Obedient – Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Psalm 119:34

Repentant – For the sake of your name, O Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great. Psalm 25:11

David’s example is a great road map for how we are to live our life.

Which of these areas need your greatest attention for improvement? Focus your life from this day forward on being like Christ and being found faithful.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Stop. Which Way Are You Going? Are You Following God's Path or Your Own Path? Then Why Do We Ask God For Direction?

STOP. Which way are you going? Are you following God's path or your own path?  Then why do we ask God for direction? God will never lead you wrong. Sometimes we take matters into our own hand and disregard God's direction and we find ourselves going in circles. Place your plans and desires before God. Pray about them and trust God to give them to you if and when they're right for you. Stay connected to God and you will stay directed by God.  We all need a beam of light on our dark path.  Sometimes only the step we're on, or the very next one ahead is all the light God will give us.  God gives just the amount of light we need for the exact moment we need it. If God changes your heart, be willing to change your plans. 

Serving means submitting to God and giving up your desires/plans.  When you learn to trust God, you are able to be at ease with life.  God is strategically orchestrating your steps. At those times we walk in surrender to faith, one step at a time, fully trusting that the light God sheds is absolutely sufficient.  By God's Words we can see where we're going; they throw a beam of light on our dark path. Rest in knowing that nothing happens unless it moves you toward your destiny.  God not only sees where you are, He sees where you can be. You need to be willing to move and you need to be moving if you want God to show you which way to go; whether it affects your plans or not.

Why not ask the God of light to show you where to take your next step? Those so called "coincidences" are really God speaking to you and giving you direction.  Don't overlook God's confirmations and His flashes of light to bring vision to your path, whether it's through people, places or things and what some may call "God Moments".

Trust God. He knows. You asked for direction, receive it as an answer. There is a quote that says: "God will wreck your plans when He sees that your plans are about to wreck you."  

J.P. Olson

Thursday, July 7, 2016

People Have Watched You Survive After All That You Have Been Through and Wonder Why:

People have watched you survive after all that you’ve been through and wonder why you‘re still here and standing. Why you haven’t lost your mind. How you’re able to fall, get up and still have joy. Make sure you tell them that it’s Jesus. In the midst of the storm people were expecting you to fall apart.  If God is with you, it doesn't matter if you're in the furnace or out of the furnace. Sometimes, God will deliver you from the fire. Sometimes, God will make you fireproof. Fireproof doesn't mean the fire will never come; it means when the fire comes that you will be able to withstand it.

No matter how bad it may become, remember your God is always good and will always bring about good on your behalf: You survived when people were expecting you to break and fall apart.

Remember This: Fiery Trials Work For You, Not Against You! Think about it: Where did God prove His faithfulness to Daniel? In the Lion’s Den. Likewise, think about this: Where did the Lord reveal Himself to the three Hebrew boys? In a fire that was heated seven times over! “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. Sometimes God will bring you through the fire and sometimes God will make you Fireproof.

John bowed, Jonah worshiped, Daniel trusted, the three Hebrew Boys maintained their resolve, But I Reiterate, HE IS STILL THE SAME GOD…YOUR GOD! So whether He takes you out, or leaves you in, you ought to serve Him with gladness anyhow, because He’s already promised to never leave you or forsake you.

Father I ask for strength and courage for today. Whatever may come our way today, we ask that You go before us and pave the way. Just as You were with Moses, I ask You to be with us today. Give us the wisdom and knowledge we need for this day. I pray that each one of us will be sensitive to the promptings and leading of the Holy Spirit, as we surrender to Him and allow Him to do a work in us and then do a work through us. Help us to be a blessing to whomever we come in contact with today and I pray the Light of Christ will shine so brightly in our lives, that somebody, somewhere might see Jesus in us! Father, get Yourself the glory out of this day and every day, in Jesus Name.

Today I challenge you to Believe: There is No problem He cannot solve, No question He cannot answer, No disease He cannot heal, No demon He cannot cast out, No enemy He cannot defeat, No difficulty He cannot overcome, No need He cannot meet, No bondage He cannot break and NO mountain He cannot move. Never sell yourself short of things you have been through, you could be playing a key role in someone’s life as you inspire them with your story.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

You're Trying To Do What's Right, and It Doesn't Seem To Be Working.

You're trying to do what's right, and it doesn't seem to be working. Maybe God has trusted you with the assignment to show His joy in the midst of physical suffering, because that's when everybody's watching you to see if what you've got is real. Maybe you're paying a price for your stand for Christ, and it's tempting to compromise, to back off, or to give in to despair, or just to give up.

Romans 8:17-18, we know was written by Paul, and this is a man who had a lot of bruises! Not from football or boxing, but the bruises he suffered in his life was from taking his stand for Christ. Listen to Paul’s list of bruises, “I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather. And that’s not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches...” (2 Corinthians 11:25-28 MSG).

Now that’s what you call bruises! But does that hinder Paul or dampen his perspective? Absolutely not! Here's what he says, “If we are His children, we are also God’s heirs. If we share in Christ’s suffering in order to share His glory, we are heirs together with Him. I consider our present sufferings insignificant compared to the glory that will soon be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:17-18 GWT). I like that word “insignificant”, it’s defined as “having little or no importance or value.” In other words, for Paul, when you compare the pain with the pleasure; when you compare the sacrifices with the rewards, there's no comparison. In fact there is little or no importance or value at all. The Pain is Worth it! Now that’s one way to look at pain with the right perspective!

Maybe you're in practice right now and you don't feel very victorious.  But note this: God will always remember your faithfulness, and He will reward it a hundred times over!  Now, Paul said, 'We are going to have an ultimate victory.' Which means one day all of our pain will be over.  In fact, you see, what Paul was talking about here is a reward that DOES LAST. Paul said any hurt we have here is going to be like minutes compared to the forever celebration of victory; even the victory in this life-a sense of having overcome, of having gone through this with Jesus, of knowing Him better than I've ever known Him before. Having tasted His power as I never would have tasted but for the hard times.

This enabled Paul to have a different perspective on his hurts. He said in this same chapter, 'We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.' The victory will be so glorious that I am willing to take my hits in practice! Romans 8:31-39, “So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending His own Son, is there anything else He wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” (MSG).

In other words, yes, life is tough; in fact it’s a lot like football practice! You get hit from multiple people at the same time from all directions! You’re hurting, in pain, tired, sore, bruised and battered and ready to throw in the towel, quit and hit the showers! I get it, believe me! But with what all the Scriptures say about our God and our ultimate and total victory, do you really think it is wise to give up now? Absolutely not! “…SO WE’RE NOT GIVING UP. HOW COULD WE!...” Paul, I Agree! How Could We Dare Give Up Now?!

J.P. Olson

Now You May Be Facing a Challenge Right Now That Looks a Lot Bigger Than Your Resources To Meet It.

One of my favorite Scriptures is Philippians 4:13, you may have heard it. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Another version states it like this: "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength" The key is, “Through Christ who gives me strength”. Now, Paul has just been talking about the extremes of our life's circumstances. He talks about being in need and having plenty. He says "I can do it", either one, whatever season through Christ. He talks about being well fed or hungry. "I can do it," he says, through Christ. He talks about being in plenty or in want. "I can do it," he says, through Christ.

Now you may be facing a challenge right now that looks a lot bigger than your resources to meet it. Well, think about how this affirmation changes that equation: "I CAN do everything through Him who gives me strength."

A lot of people live with this negative voice that has been planted there by others their entire life. Maybe you can hear it inside of you. I call it the "can't chant," even though the story of the little engine taught us to say, "I think I can, I think I can." We have this voice that keeps whispering, "I think I can't, I think I can't." And maybe you struggle with feelings of inferiority, inadequacy, and it's held you down. It's held you back many times. But today, I send you this little reminder that you will be held back no more. Today is the day that you release yourself from the “I can’t mentality.” Because the Bible, that cannot, will not, and shall not lie, has declared that YOU CAN do all things through Christ!

I remember seeing this refrigerator magnet. It was a picture of a dog and the dog was saying, "My name is ‘No, No, Bad Dog’. What's yours?" As comical as it sounds, a lot of us have had that kind of negative input in our lives and we think that's who we are! We believe we can’t get the job, we can’t graduate from school, we can't learn a new trade, we can’t own the house, we can’t start the business, we can’t travel the world, we can’t have a successful marriage, and we can’t have good health and great credit! 

Many of us have allowed others to label us with the “I can’t” motto for life, and worse than that, even more of us have labeled the “I can’t” motto to ourselves! But today, we’re getting rid of that negative, untruthful label! Why? Because, it's torn down our confidence and diminished our sense of worth. Consequently, we miss a lot of mighty things God wants to do in us and through us because we think we can't.

As a mentor, leader, counselor, preacher, you would be amazed at the amount of people I talk with from day-to-day who immediately start off every sentence with “but I can’t”. One swore she couldn’t sing, and she’s been traveling the world singing now for 5 years! One who said I can write devotionals, but I’ll never be able to write a book…needless to say, he’s on his 5th novel! Another said he can’t ever see himself getting married because of the horrible marital examples he watched in his family line growing up…needless to say, he and his wife will be celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary this year in Brazil! Amazing how many “I can’t” turned into “oh, yes I can!” And so CAN YOURS!

There is absolutely nothing that God has called you to do, that you can't do! God Himself strengthens and empowers you to fulfill His purpose for your life. And that's exactly what you need to remind yourself of the next time anxiety, nervousness, unbelief, doubt, wavering faith, second-guessing, and fear rear their ugly head.

And learn to actively and diligently distance yourself from naysayers! You know those who say, "you can't do that; how are you going to do that; you're not qualified to do that; you don't have the credentials to do that; you don't have the degrees to do that; you don't have the connections to do that; you don't have the experience to do that; you don't have the skill to do that; you don't have the money to do that; you don't come from the right background to do that." Or even worse, "what makes you think you can do that, no one in your family has ever done that!"

Now, get the license, get the passport, book the ticket, teach the lesson, preach the sermon, build the website, write the book, record the song, apply for the job, the loan, the mortgage...stop procrastinating, hesitating, daydreaming, hoping one day...when 

Today is the do it...With and Through God!
No more complacency, get out of that comfort-zone and conquer! Yes, YOU Can!

J.P. Olson

Whatever You Are Not Seeing In Your Life You Got To Call It Forth.

Whatever you are not seeing in your life you got to call it forth.

Isaiah 55:11. My word will not return to me void, but will accomplish that which I please & prosper. Your world is created by the words of your mouth. What are you speaking? Don’t reverse your miracle by the words in your mouth. Change your dialogue & you'll change your destination. Speak for it to come, but believe like it’s already here. God will complete - your in-completion. I don't have to figure out my life. God got His own plan already in motion. Step back from your life & let God be the director. Stay in the faith and make the decision that you will thrive, not merely survive. 

Prayer Will: Get you in, Get you Out, Get You Through. Never underestimate the power of prayer.  "If you can believe, you can achieve".  Show God Your Faith and He’ll show you His Faithfulness. God said trust Him, all you need is a mustard seed of faith.

Specify your prayer. "If the size of your vision is not intimidating for you, it is probably insulting to God". Dream big, trust and obey. Today, choose to release everything that has tried to hold you back, get ready to embrace what is about to come forth. Whatever you are not seeing in your life you got to call it forth. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

God Gave Us A Gift of 86,400 Seconds Today. Have You Used One To say Thank You?

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say Thank You?  Whatever you need today God is enough. If you're not rooted in the Word, your foundation is not stable. We must make time for God and give Him first place in our lives.  If you don't have time for God, nothing is going to work out right in your life. You Can Enjoy Anything - If You Can Enjoy God!   God is not hard to get along with!  If we can make a commitment to spend our first 30 minutes with God each day, it would change our entire life. We don't work God into our schedule. We are to work our whole life around Him. Don’t be overwhelmed by today’s obstacles. The same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead resides in you.

God wants to take all the happiness, joy and peace of heaven along with all the disasters, messes, pain, and heartache that we have endured and forge them together, blending them into a story of grace fulfilling His purpose in your life. When crisis strikes in our lives, He covers us and shelters us, providing us comfort to withstand it all by His grace. In our every moment of joy or hardship, He is there.  When we find that we are broken, stressed out, hurt or in pain is the time to cast our cares upon the Lord. When everything is falling apart, we must call on Him for strength. When we lean on Him, we can endure anything and trust that the difficulties will pave a way for renewed success. 

Don't let anyone destroy you after Jesus restored you.  Pray on it, Pray over it but most of all Pray through it.  Through every trial God will make sure you come out better than before. The idea that man can solve man’s problems is a lie that blocks the truth that we need God.  Perhaps the greatest error we could ever make would be to assume that God is like us. "My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways".  Until Jesus Christ is the obsession of your heart, you'll always be looking to mere men to meet needs that only God can fulfill.  I always prayed for God to lead me to where He wants me to go; now I pray for the courage to go where He leads me. We aren't called to defend our honor; we are called to defend God's. We aren't called to battle each other; we are called to battle the enemy.  We aren't called to be like other Christians, we are called to be like Christ. We aren't called to earn God's love; we are called to receive it.  Either the Bible will keep you away from sin or, Sin will keep you away from the Bible.

As we journey through life, we will get beaten up- we will get hurt and bruised along the way. Scarred memories mark our journey like markers on a highway.  We all wonder what tomorrow will bring; a better life; a better situation; a more prosperous job; or a happy marriage. It is in God that we can find the hope for our future not by falling prey to the devil's schemes and tricks.
God want each of us to live a life full of joy, love and abundance; not Satan's way; but the only way which is through our heavenly Father.  You can have a Change for Tomorrow, If you Change Something Today. Get up get out and get something positive going in your life! If you just give God a fraction of your heart; He'll mend your brokenness and make you whole. Doesn't matter what time it is, God wants to hear from you. Jesus has promised that our requests get God's personal attention!  So let us pray to the God who hears & answers.

God needs your feet to go for Him. Trust God for the directions. You always have a place to run to, always. The place is GOD.  People are not perfect. So stop depending on them. Trust He who is perfect. Trust God!  God does not care about your past: He cares where you are going!

NOTHING IS PERFECT EXCEPT GOD'S WORD!  Let's Take Time To Thank Him Today.

J.P. Olson