DON’T BE DUST-CONSCIOUS
Luke 13:11 – And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up.
Imagine being bowed over for 18 years. All you would see is the dust on the ground. That was the predicament of the woman in Luke 13. Dust was all her eyes fell on, all the time, everywhere she went, until she became dust-conscious. Thank God she finally saw the beautiful feet of Jesus, who brought her good news and raised her up.
Now, dust is the devil’s food. The Bible tells us that God cursed the devil to eat dust all the days of his life. (Genesis3:14) Dust represents death. (Genesis 3:19) The devil wants you to be like him—to fall flat on your belly, crawl and eat dust. To eat dust is to feed on your shortcomings and lack, until you constantly feel that there is so much in your life that you need to clean up. You may not be physically bowed over, but like the woman, you become dust-conscious and life every day is a struggle.
Having a dust-consciousness also affects the way you see others. You look at people’s faults all the time. You point out their shortcomings and rake up their past failures. When you are dust-conscious, you find your relationships robbed of peace and joy.
And if you, like the woman, keep looking at the dust, before long, that inward position of dust-consciousness becomes so entrenched that you become the devil’s food because dust is what he eats. God’s Word describes him as being like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
If you don’t want to be devoured by him, then lift your eyes above the dust! Instead of looking at your failures, look to Christ who has delivered you from every defeat. See yourself the way God sees you—righteous and holy in Christ. (Colossians 3:12, 2 Corinthians 5:21) You are not dust because you are not in and of the flesh—you are in and of the Spirit. (Romans 8:9)
My friend, the more you realize who you are in Christ, the more you will straighten up and walk the way God sees you—a new creation with His authority, power and overcoming Spirit!
NO NEED IS TOO TRIVIAL
As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. —Psalm 103:13
Several mothers of small children were sharing encouraging answers to prayer. Yet one woman said she felt selfish about troubling God with her personal needs. “Compared with the huge global needs God faces,” she explained, “my circumstances must seem trivial to Him.”
Moments later, her little son pinched his fingers in a door and ran screaming to his mother. She didn’t say, “How selfish of you to bother me with your throbbing fingers when I’m busy!” She showed him great compassion and tenderness.
As Psalm 103:13 reminds us, this is the response of love, both human and divine. In Isaiah 49, God said that even though a mother may forget to have compassion on her child, the Lord never forgets His children (v.15). God assured His people, “I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands” (v.16).
Such intimacy with God belongs to those who fear Him and who rely on Him rather than on themselves. As that child with throbbing fingers ran freely to his mother, so may we run to God with our daily problems.
Our compassionate God doesn’t neglect others to respond to our concerns. He has limitless time and love for each of His children. No need is too trivial for Him.
You take great delight in me, Lord, and quiet me with Your love. You rejoice over me with singing, like a mother singing a lullaby over her child. Thank You for Your tender love for me.
God holds His children in the palm of His hand.
DEVELOP YOUR GIFT …
Do not neglect your gift… – 1 Timothy 4:14, NIV
You were created and designed for a specific purpose. God has placed gifts inside of you to equip you to fulfill your purpose. Do you know what those gifts are? What are you passionate about? What can you do better than other people? What would you choose to do if there were no obstacles? God wants you to develop and pursue the gift inside of you because your gift is a part of your destiny.
The gifts God gives aren’t just for us. He gives us gifts to help build other people. You have a specific role to play in the body of Christ. That doesn’t mean God’s going to send you to a third world country or make you preach. But, there are people all around you that only you can reach. Are you using your gifts to build the kingdom? Are you serving in your local church? Even if you are still discovering what your gifts are, you can simply take a step and volunteer. Everyone has something to give. You can give a smile, a handshake or an encouraging word. When you step out and serve others, that’s how you develop your gift and move forward in the destiny He has for you!
PERFECT SACRIFICE, PERFECT FORGIVENESS
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses. COLOSSIANS 2:13
God’s unmerited favor can propel you forward in your career even if you’re not the most qualified or experienced. But how can you be sure that you have God’s unmerited favor if you are not even sure if God has forgiven you of all your sins?
Beloved, I want you to know that your sins are forgiven not according to the riches of your good works, but according to the riches of God’s grace (unmerited favor). All your sins—past, present and future—have been forgiven. Colossians 2:13 states clearly that we have been forgiven of all our sins.
The high priests in the old covenant had to offer sacrifices for sins daily. But Jesus, our perfect new covenant High Priest, offered the complete, perfect sacrifice “once for all when He offered up Himself” (Hebrews 7:27). We have been forgiven once and for all!
Now that you know that your sin debt has been completely cleared and settled by Jesus on your behalf, expect to experience God’s unmerited favor daily. Thank Him for it every day and begin to walk in good success in every area of your life!
John 6:45, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”
The Old Testament prophets prophesied of a new covenant where we would all be taught of God. This is speaking of revelation knowledge that comes from within, through our spirit. Under the Old Covenant, God dealt with the Jews through the outer man. He did this because an Old Covenant man (who was not born again) could not perceive the spiritual truths revealed in the New Covenant by the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14). This difference between the old and new covenants is the reason why there had to be two covenants.
The Old Testament man was comparable to a child in his ability to grasp spiritual truth. It is impossible to explain spiritual truth to a young child, and yet, a child must be restrained from submitting to evil. So, the Word of God teaches us to use the “rod of correction” (Prov. 13:24; 19:18; 22:15). The child may not understand resisting the devil, and yet, when the devil tries to entice him to steal, he will say “No!” because he fears he will get the rod if he does steal. Likewise, Old Testament saints were restrained from sin by a fear of the wrath and punishment of God. This curbed sin, but it also hindered them from receiving the goodness and love of God (1 Jn. 4:18).
Under the New Testament, which Jesus is speaking of in this verse, the punishment for our sins was laid on Him. We no longer serve God out of fear of punishment like once we did when we were “children” under the law, but we serve Him out of love; because He has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, making us His sons. We serve Him because our nature has been changed through the new birth. Today, be taught of God through the indwelling presence of Christ.
WHAT’S STOPPING YOU? FEAR OF SUCCESS! (4)
…the Lord gave him success in everything he did. – Genesis 39:3 NIV
In order to overcome your fear of success you must do these six things:
(1) Give yourself ample time to complete critical tasks on which your success hinges.
(2) Guard your ‘success-already-in-progress’, and don’t engage in actions that thwart it. For example, accumulating cash reserves for your small business and then spending them on clothes instead of marketing and publicity.
(3) Follow up with key individuals who can influence outcomes significant to your success. Get rid of the idea that you are unworthy of their attention, or that they wouldn’t have time for someone like you. ‘Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.’ (Proverbs 22:29 NKJV) Boaz not only owned the field that Ruth was gleaning wheat in, he fell in love with her and married her. Today there are people observing you who are capable of blessing you.
(4) Associate with goal-oriented finishers who get things done, and who demonstrate the right priorities in doing so. Watch how they operate and emulate the God-honouring aspects of their behaviour.
(5) Consider the good you can do as a successful person. Think of the non-selfish actions you could take, or the ministries and causes you could support, if you had wealth beyond your needs.
(6) Understand that success is God’s idea, and He gives it to us to fulfil His purposes. As long as your motive is to please God and do His will, you can stand on this Scripture: ‘…the Lord gave him success in everything he did.’