October 31, 2016

Matthew records in13:45-46 another parable of Jesus in which He says, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. {46} When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” In this parable of Jesus there is no question about the process of finding the treasure. It must be sought out. What we need to note however is Jesus does not say the kingdom of heaven is like a pearl of great value, rather He says, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. The merchant had a goal, a definite purpose, a dream of what would be. He had as Napoleon Hill suggests we must do, defined his dream and had a burning desire for its achievement.

This merchant was looking forward towards success in his endeavour and he was taking action towards that purpose which involved diligence, persistence, excitement, enthusiasm and a feel good anticipation as part of the journey. These are all qualities identified by Napoleon Hill as necessary to the achievement of your dreams in his book, “The Law of Success.”

For those who would desire to be part of the kingdom of heaven these would be qualities worth implementing in your search for the greatest of all treasures. Remember the phrase, ” kingdom of heaven” means, the “realm where God abides.”

In this parable the merchant was seeking “fine” pearls. The word translated “fine” literally means good quality or beautiful.”The merchant had set his sights for what was valuable, but what he found was a pearl of “great value,” literally “extreme value.” When the merchant found the pearl of extreme value Jesus said, “he sold everything he had and bought it.”

At the moment in time the merchant discovered the pearl of extreme value, he had a decision to make. Would he commit to the process of attaining it? Would he sacrifice everything in order to achieve his goal? Would he be successful at all costs? Jesus presents the case to you in this parable in relation to the kingdom of heaven. Do you perceive the kingdom of heaven worth the sacrifice necessary to achieve it? Are you willing to commit and sacrifice everything to successfully achieve it? The word translated “bought” in the original language carries the idea of redeemed.

Jesus looked at you and declared, “your entry into the kingdom of heaven is worth My willingness to sacrifice everything so you can be redeemed.” The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; {20} you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.” Hebrews 12:1-3, “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. {2} Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. {3} Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” The Apostle Peter wrote in1 Peter 1:18-21, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, {19} but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. {20} He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. {21} Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.”

What does that mean for us? It means the Eternal Son of God, the Word who was made flesh and dwelt among us, sought us out and then gave His all, His very life, so we can become children of God and have access to the place where He abides on an on-going basis. Don’t you think that is an amazing secret that has been revealed to us? Isn’t that worth getting excited about? So what are we going to do about it? Are you willing to take your treasure and share it with those who are not part of the kingdom of heaven, but could be if you would share the good news about it?

October 30, 2016

Before you answer the following question, stop and give it some serious consideration and thought. The question: What do you fear? If you said, “nothing,” are you really sure about that?

In Job 1:8 we find God’s estimation of the man Job. We read in that verse, “Then the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who reverences God and shuns evil.’” Yet even with all his virtues Job was not without fear. Note what is recorded in Job 1:4-5, ” His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.

{5} When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, ‘Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ This was Job’s regular custom.”

Job’s point of vulnerability to fear came in relation to his children. When given a green light by God to attack, where did Satan attack? The place where Job was vulnerable due to fear, the place where his thoughts and beliefs provided a negative reap what you sow possibility. Notice what he said in Job 3:25-26, “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. {26} I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” To Job’s credit, he did not blame God for what took place. In Job 1:22 we read, “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”

Napoleon Hill in the 1925 Edition of “The Law of Success” writes, “Fear is the chief reason for poverty and failure and misery that takes on a thousand different forms . . . . The man who masters fear may march on to successful achievement in practically any undertaking, in spite of all efforts to defeat him.”

With all the challenges which came into Job’s life he demonstrated the qualities necessary to be successful, in spite of all efforts to defeat him. We read in Job 42:12, “The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.” Job’s health was restored, he had 10 more children and lived long enough to see four generations of his family. His wealth was also double what it had been before his losses.

So, let me ask you again. What do you fear? Identify the fears so you can take action to eliminate points of vulnerability. Do not consciously leave any opportunities for the enemy to use against you. As the Apostle Paul admonishes us in Ephesians 6:10-18, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. {11} Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. {12} For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. {13} Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. {14} Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, {15} and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. {16} In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. {17} Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. {18} And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

October 29, 2016

There is a saying that says, “You can know people by the friends they keep.” Then there is the saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” Solomon wrote in Proverbs 28:4, “Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law resist them.”

These are days when discernment is a valuable asset to possess. When you look at the level of corruption which permeates a chunk of society and rises right through the ranks of politicians and the financial elite in our world, it would be a good thing to ask, who is forsaking universal moral law and who is supporting it? Can you identify those who praise the wicked, whether in action, or in energetic and verbal support? Do you see how those who support moral law are vilified by those who don’t?

Evil creates a distortion of truth. Proverbs 28:5 declares, “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully.” What many people do not understand is, there are consequences to individuals and nations when universal moral law is ignored or rejected. God’s Word speaks about blessings and curses related to what we think, believe, say and intend, because these impact our actions and create our reality and outcomes in life. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”

I write these words as a reminder anytime you have an opportunity to vote it would be good to use discernment, asking will the person I vote for influence the nation towards supporting universal moral laws, or will they influence the nation away from them? What has their past record indicated? So that leaves many people saying I can’t support any candidate so I will not vote. Your none vote did just support a candidate and if the society is focussed towards evil, guess what, you just helped evil on its way to future success.

According to quoteinvestigator.com the statement made by John F. Kennedy, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” may have had its origins in a speech by the Reverend Charles F. Aked who was calling for restrictions on the use of alcohol. It is reported in the San Jose Mercury Herald, October 31, 1916, he wrote, “It has been said that for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing.”

When light is removed or extinguished, the automatic result is darkness. When moral universal law is taken from a nation, wickedness will prevail. Each person has a role to play and an influence to make in the expression of what our world is like.

Let’s seek to make our world a better place for everyone, one thought, one word, one intention and one action at a time, each and every day.

October 28, 2016

Proverbs 19:20 declares, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.” To be known as someone who is wise is generally considered a good thing. The demonstration of true wisdom is assumed a valuable thing by many people.

Dictionary.com defines the word “wise” as: 1. having the power of discerning and judging properly as to what is true or right; possessing discernment, judgment, or discretion. 2. characterized by or showing such power; judicious or prudent: a wise decision. 3. possessed of or characterized by scholarly knowledge or learning; learned; erudite: wise in the law. 4. having knowledge or information as to facts, circumstances, etc.”

This single verse in Proverbs demonstrates both the importance of who you listen to and the value of having a high teachability index. “Listen to advice.” There is value in listening and paying attention only if the source of your advice is trustworthy and comes with reliable validation. How many times removed from the source is your advice? What kind of personal opinions and agenda are influencing and motivating the information being given? When you listen to advice you must use discernment in order to make the right decisions in regard to what you are hearing.

There is also the need to “accept instruction.” To what degree are you willing and committed to the application of the instruction in your life? If you do not follow through and take some sort of action within 48 hours of receiving instruction you will move into a stop mode and will very likely not take action at all. I heard last evening some advice from one of my mentors, Don Boyer, who said if someone responds to you with the words, “I’ll think about it,” they will not likely proceed. Delayed action means stopped action. Another response from someone you should watch for is, “I’ll try.” Try means, I am putting in place the opportunity, which I will likely take and not follow through.

The wise person is the individual who listens, decides and takes action to follow through. If you were to ask your self the question, “How many people do I know who live with this attitude? I hope it is many people, but within the general population the percentage is not overwhelmingly high. They listen to the wrong people and therefore do not get the best advice. They fail to accept instruction, because they are not willing to learn and not willing to change. In other words their teachability index is low. What is the result? They do not make wise choices and fall short of being the best version of themselves they could be.

What we think and what we believe and what we say and the intention of our heart matter, because it impacts our actions which determine the outcomes in our life. “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.”

October 27, 2016

The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 55:22, “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” There are many passages in Scripture which speak about the fact that our battle’s are really in God’s hands and we are to rest in Him.

The Apostle Paul speaks of the power of “Christ in us,” because we are “in Christ.” When you investigate the power of the conscious mind and understand the influence of the subconscious mind, it opens the door, if you are willing to look deeper into the mysteries of the superconscious mind.

It is in this place, where we set aside all doubts and fears and live in a state of confident faith and knowingness that we realize the benefits in every area of our life. What would it be like for you if you did not have to carry the weight of all the negative pressures that build up in your life? How would you feel if there was someone able and willing to carry those cares for you, if you were willing to surrender them and have a confidence you would be sustained?

When you surrender to God’s will in your life you are not giving up control, you are giving permission and allowing Him to guide and direct your life towards its best possible outcomes. It is a willingness to trust and say, “I believe You will work all things out for good, even when I cannot see how this situation can do that.”

When you appoint the Holy Spirit as the gate keeper of your conscious and subconscious minds you can move into the superconscious mind with an expectation that the battle is being fought not in your own strength, but in His strength. From my perspective, this is a really good place to be because greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world and that spells victory.