Nature Joe: Egyptian Bear Chasing Problems

God Gold of the day

And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord , which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” ‘

Exodus 14:13-14

TBT: “Obedience Even When It Doesn’t Make Sense”

God Gold of the day

Acts 9:15-18

“But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; “

It amazes me that Paul and so many other people in the Bible who are so inadequate and sinful are chosen to be tools in the hands of God. Even Ananias was asked to do something that seemed ridiculous and even after questioning, he became obedient and helped give a new life and vision to a man that ended up doing so much for the name of Jesus. It’s so awesome that God does some His biggest works in the situations that seem so messed up or bad. He even mentions how much Paul will suffer for His name and if you look at the times Paul was suffering and going through the worst times, those are the moments that God’s glory is shown the most. Another thing that’s crazy is that Paul hardly questions it, once the presence of the Lord is upon him, he is nothing but obedient and if Ananias wasn’t obedient then we wouldn’t be reading this story. The faith and obedience shown in the most confusing and worst of times turned out to be such a huge Kingdom impact. It’s against our human instincts to want to suffer and be obedient  but if suffering and obedience is what it takes to allow God’s glory and power to be seen at a higher level then why would we not say “bring it on.” I pray that God breaks us, gives us tough and uncomfortable situations that we have to fight to be obedient in so we may have scales fall off our eyes with new vision or that maybe our obedience leads to someone else getting new vision because through the breaking and tearing apart of our flesh, He is molding and shaping us for something much bigger, a life of Kingdom impact here on earth and a life in eternity with Him. You never know how many Paul’s are around you so it’s up to us if we are going to be an Ananias. If we are living for Christ we are going to suffer, it’s up to us how we handle it, we can shy away and let it beat us or we can have faith that God is working it according to His will and be encouragers to each other along the way.

Open the Package: Blessing Inside

God Gold of the day

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, ‘

Ephesians 1:3 

I started reading through Ephesians this morning and HOLY COW!!! (No pun intended) Talk about some SERIOUS GOLD!!! I feel like a farmer who was digging for their crops and struck oil!!! For real though, I got to reading and as you can tell, verse three is as far as I made it before I had to stop and take it all in.

First off, THANK YOU GOD!!! Thank you is an extremely light way to put it considering the magnitude of how He has blessed us! At first, I was like, “okay, cool, God has given us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, that’s pretty awesome!” The more I got to digging into it, God unveiled some pretty wild and big time truth that has kept me moving forward all day.

How has God blessed us, simply put, He’s given us Jesus.

Looking at the verse at first, at a quick glance it looks like the blessing of Jesus and every spiritual blessing are two different blessings but PUMP THE BRAKES! Looking at it a little deeper, it says God has blessed us “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Note that first part that I placed in bold for you. “Every Spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” comes only through our relationship in Christ. Throughout the New Testament we see this term used a lot, “in Christ.” The power in these two words can easily be overlooked.

Do you realize as a follower of Jesus that you are in Christ, that Christ is in you, and that Christ and you are ONE, together, unified, can’t be separated. Let that blow your mind for a moment……Okay, your mind is blown, now lets blow it up even more.

You, as a believer and follower of Christ, through that relationship we have with Christ, it’s “IN CHRIST,” that we have access to and have been given every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. “EVERY spiritual blessing,” that’s not just some blessings when you are having a good day, did your devotion time or spent enough time praying. That means that since we are in Christ, which never stops or ends, and we can’t be separated from Christ no matter what we do or what gets in our way. Not just some that you deserve or a few today and a few more tomorrow, each moment as we live our lives in Christ, as ONE with Christ we have ultimate and total access to EVERY daggum spiritual blessing that comes with who Christ is, what He’s capable of and even more so, look at where they come from…..”in the heavenly places.” WHAT!?!?

If you’re like me, I read that this morning and honestly part of me wanted to question this truth, “so you’re telling me that through Christ I have access from every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places??” “Like the same heavenly places where our God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe and all things resides? It’s crazy when you sit down and really think about it but it’s God’s truth given to us, just as He has given us Jesus, His Son, and through access to Jesus we have access to every spiritual blessing in he heavenly places.

Now this is where things got hairy for me and God really blew me away. How come if all this is true, I’m one with Christ and through Christ I have access to all of these spiritual blessings literally from heaven. If God has given me access to all of this, that holds so much power I can’t even put it into words how much power that is. How come I spend so many days depressed, feeling like I don’t have enough, anxious, worried and doubtful? How come I mess up so much and continue trying to find solutions in this world? If I have access to all that God has given me in Christ, all of these spiritual blessings, why am I the way I am and why is my situation the way it is?

This is what I realized this morning and I pray this is such a HUGE encouragement for you today. God has given us access to all of this, why is our lives the way it is and why do we live so weak and timid?

Because we simply haven’t taken hold of these blessings God has blessed us with. He has freely given us them through His Son Jesus, we’ve received them but we haven’t accepted them. We haven’t believed these things to be any more true than just encouraging words on a page. God has given us so much and the reason we have struggled despite all of these blessings where God has literally given us everything and then some of what we need is simply because we haven’t accepted His truth into our lives.

Think about it this way. A UPS man drops off a package at your house. Inside is a brand new Iphone. Awesome right?!? From reading the reviews online when we ordered it we read and were blown away from all the power and capabilities it has. “Wow, this phone is really going to change my life.”

The package is left on the front door step of your house, you even get home and bring it inside but once you sit it down, you forget about it. Days go by, months go by, and you’re still struggling with your half-working, broken old iphone while this brand new iphone sits there collecting dust inside the package. You have made the decision to have this Iphone in your life, you have been given it by the UPS man and you’ve even received it. But as you continue using the old iphone you already have and wonder, “gosh, why can’t I fix this, why can’t this be better.” While still, the brand new Iphone is sitting there, ready to go to work, ready to display it’s power in your life and change your life but you continue to leave it there, in the box.

How often do we do this with the gift God has given us? The gift of Jesus that has came into our lives, we”ve received Him along with all the spiritual blessings He brings, but we leave Jesus and His blessings sitting in a box. We wonder why our lives are the way they are but we have Jesus right there with us, with all the power, all that we could ever need to help us, but we just continue to refuse to open the box and truly accept this gift God has given us. That’s the sad truth I learned about how I treat this gift of Christ in my life so often. I have been given everything by God but I don’t truly accept, believe and actually use the gifts He’s given to me.

Just imagine what you and your life would look like if you just stopped being stubborn and stopped trying to use other things of this world like an old iphone that never works. What would happen if you accepting God’s Word as truth, believed that what you read here is the truth of what He’s blessed you with, and actually lived in light of these truths as ONE with Jesus, with access to every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. What would change for you?

I don’t know what that is for you, but I realized today for me, the answer is EVERYTHING!!!!

Surrendering Trust (Matt Howard)

God Gold of the Day

I am extremely excited and thankful to share with you today a God Gold from a good friend of mine, Matt Howard! I had asked Matt if he was interested in writing a God Gold awhile back and thankfully he was because what I thought I saw in his pure and faithful heart was displayed for real in this message! Before posting this message I read it myself and it resonated with me the very next day as I found myself in a situation that called for this truth found here to get me through! Then, later that day, still before this Gold had even been posted, I was listening to a friend discuss some tough situations he was going through. Not having the words to say to help my friend, this God Gold message from Matt came to mind so I sent my friend these truths which turned out being EXACTLY what he needed to hear!!! It amazes me how God works from one person’s heart to another, and to another to bring His faithful and loving presence so HUGE in our lives when we need it most! After seeing what God has already done through this gold even before being made public, I can’t wait to see what all God has in store to use these truths in your life!!! BIG thank you to Matt again for sharing what God laid on his heart and Matt is also one of the most talented musicians I’ve ever seen so this may not be the last time you’ll hear from him!!!

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to Him, And He will make your paths straight.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

 

Good morning God Gold Family! My name is Matt Howard, and I hope that this truth speaks into your life this morning. Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of my favorite verses, reminding us to place all of our trust in God alone, laying all of our burdens at his feet. It promises us that God will take care of us no matter our circumstance. Every day, I have to remind myself to cast my cares upon the Lord and commit everything to prayer. I pray that whatever you are going through that you would realize that you are NOT alone in the fight and that every circumstance is a part of God’s PERFECT plan.

Isaiah 55:8-9- “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

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.”

God’s ways are higher than our ways, and he has a PERFECT plan for each and every one of us. Right now, I challenge you to commit anything and everything in your life to prayer. Whatever burdens or worries you carry; I pray that you would surrender it all to God.

Proverbs 18:10- “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.”

 

Video on Trusting God: