Daniel 4:37 All That God Does Is Right

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble. Daniel 4:37

After seeing the three young men survive the fiery furnace, King Nebuchadnezzar chose to follow God and lead his nation to follow God. God gave the King a vision that his kingdom would prosper, but there would be a time when he would be crushed. Later, the king stood up and claimed that he was God and he built his own kingdom. Immediately God took his sanity and he lived for several years as an animal in the wild. Later the king looked up to the heavens and declared that God was God and honored him. His sanity and kingdom were restored.

Going through life it is easy for a person to think that he has done all that he has done by his own power. Hard work appears to pay off and no one can see God, so it must be by his own hands that all has happened. Some believers are even guilty of thinking this way and putting God on the side.

When a person puts God on the side, He will often do something to get his attention. His goal is to get the person’s heart back in the right condition.

Many believers also get angry with God when He knocks them down, so that they will look up to Him. The pain of the knock down causes many to give up on God, rather than see that it was for their benefit in the end.

Looking up to God and allowing Him to be in absolute control is the best thing you can do. Everything that God does is the best thing for your life. Had not God knocked King Nebuchadnezzar down, he would never have turned his heart back to God. He would have died living in the sin of believing he was God.

If you are already following God, keep your eyes on Him and allow Him to be in control. Do not take that control away from Him. He knows what is best for your life.

If you have fallen away and God is knocking you down, look up to Him. There is forgiveness available. God has great things in store for you, if you trust Him.

I pray today that you will allow God to be in control; that you will trust all of God’s actions; that you praise God for all that you have and are; and that you will be humble before God.

 

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Ezekiel 31:10-11 Being Cast Aside

” ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because the great cedar towered over the thick foliage, and because it was proud of its height, I gave it into the hands of the rulers of the nations, for him to deal with according to its wickedness. I cast it aside,’ ” Ezekiel 31:10-11

God had been claiming judgment upon the nation of Egypt. He had raised Egypt up to be a great nation, one of the most powerful nations upon the earth. The Pharaoh had chosen to claim all the power for himself, as though it was his own doing. He claimed he was a god. Therefore God was going to break Egypt down.

God points the people to look at Assyria, whom God had raised up to be a really great nation. Yet, when pride got in the way of the king, God also tore the nation back down. They were destroyed because of their wickedness.

Nations and people are raised up by God to do great things for Him. The more nations and people do for God, the greater God will allow them to become. However, when either the nation or a person starts to do things for themselves or reject God’s ways, God will cast them aside.

There is no place for sin in God’s kingdom. It was because of sin in the lives of people, that Jesus came to the earth to die upon a cross. He came to remove all the sin from every person.

Sin can show up in the lives of a person in many different ways. All of the ways come down to personal pride and greed. People want things their own way, rather than following the ways of God. Many people want to be the one who is in control, rather than accepting that God is the one who is in control and allowing Him to have that control.

As you look at your life, you may not be living in some massive sinful lifestyle, but are you allowing sin in your life on purpose?

Pride and greed can show up in many different ways in your life, if you allow them to do so. Reject pride and greed and allow God to have all the credit and power. Do not give Him a reason to have to cast you aside and tear you down.

I pray today that God will use you in great ways to build His kingdom; that you will give God all the credit and power for everything in your life; and that you will not allow sin to get in the way of your relationship with God.

A Week Of Firsts

Turning 50

This last week has held two different firsts in my life. The first was that I turned 50. That did not really seem like that much to me. It is just a natural part of life. I have been bald on top since I was 17, so that did not mean much to me. And I have had some grey hair for several years already, nothing new either.

Getting older has never bothered me in any way. I guess having eight wonderful children has kept me young, even though I am getting older and slowing down. I can no longer run as fast, or as long as I used to be able to.

The other first for me this week did have a major impact on me. My oldest daughter got married and I had to be the one to give her away.

I am not one to cry very easy or at every little thing that comes my way. Although there have been movies that have brought tears to my eyes, and I am not ashamed or afraid to cry, when needed.

Over the last few months, since she got engaged, I have been ready for this wedding to happen. I never cried or was sad about it. I was very excited that she was getting married. It never bothered me that she would be leaving the house now, after 23 years.

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However, Saturday, when I began to walk my daughter down the aisle, the emotions started to overwhelm me. It was tears of joy, but tears none-the-less.

One of the things I had to do, as part of the ceremony, was to stand up in front of everyone and pray for her new marriage. She and her husband held hands, the pastor had his hands on them also, and I put my hands on top of hers when I prayed.

I have spoken in front of many people, many times over the years. I have also acted and sang in front of hundreds of people. I have even been the pastor over a wedding and over a funeral. Never once have I been afraid, or unable to speak, till that day.

As I was getting ready to speak, my mind went blank for the first time ever, another first in this past week. What I planned to say completely left me speechless. When I tried to speak, I had to really force the words to come out of my mouth. At that moment, my heart was overwhelmed at what was happening. It was overwhelmed with joy and pride. I also knew the value of the prayer that I was getting ready to pray. It was to be a blessing upon the new marriage.

I knew that the man she was marrying was the one God had for her. If I were to list everything that I would want in a man to marry her, he had it all, and then some. Over the last ten years, I have watched him grow up and become a great man of God. He has a heart to pray for and be a witness to anyone and everyone, anytime and every time. He has a servant’s heart to serve any person in need, no matter the cost to himself. He came from a family that serves God with all of their hearts, souls, minds, and strengths.

My daughter had desired to be married since before she graduated high school. She had continually prayed to God for the one that she was to marry. She constantly asked God where that man was and when would she get him. Although my daughter and her husband had grown up together, for most of that time, they were not together or even considering each other. God, however, was building both of them up to be who each one needed the other to be. They are the perfect helpmates for each other.

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As I prayed that prayer of blessing upon them, I knew that God is going to bless their marriage and ministry together. I am looking forward to the ministry that God will do through them, now that they are together in marriage. Both have great ministries of their own, but now together they will work together building God’s kingdom for His glory and honor.

I did pray a blessing over them. God filled me with His overwhelming peace of His Holy Spirit to say the words I prayed. As I prayed, I also had tears of joy welling up in my eyes. Afterwards, my wife was very surprised, because that is not something normal for me.

While I was watching the wedding, and watching it again on video, because it was recorded, I had the same feelings I had when I married my wife 25 years ago. I knew then that my wife was the one God had for me beyond any shadow of doubt. And I still know that to this day with no doubts. As I knew my wife was the one for me, I knew that this man was the one for my daughter. I also know that they will keep God at the center of their lives and their marriage.

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For those who are still single and want to get married, keep your eyes focused on God. He will bring the right person to you at the right time. Wait on His perfect timing.

For those of you who are married, also keep your eyes focused on God. Keep your marriage centered on pleasing God and He will do great things in and through your marriage.

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Staying in the center of God’s will, will always have many firsts in it, but God will strengthen you to do whatever comes your way or make it through whatever comes your way..

 

Isaiah 39:6 Failing In The End With Pride

The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD. Isaiah 39:6

Hezekiah had faithfully followed God and led the nation towards God all his life. At some point, he came down with a sickness and was told he would die. After crying out to God, he was told he would live another fifteen years.

The king of Babylon had heard of Hezekiah’s sickness and recovery, and so he sent envoys to him with a gift. When they showed up, Hezekiah showed them everything that he had in his entire kingdom. Right after showing all of this stuff, Hezekiah was told that after he dies the kingdom would be taken from his descendants.

At first glance at this, one may ask why all of his stuff would be taken away? And what did he do that was so wrong?

As Hezekiah was showing off all of the stuff that had been accumulated over the years, he did it without giving God the credit. It was pride that was showing off everything. The king of Babylon had sent a gift because of the illness and recovery. It had nothing to do with what had been accumulated or done before.

It was a great opportunity to tell the king of Babylon how he had recovered from the illness. It was not the time to show off all of the treasures.

There are times when God may do a healing or some other miracle in a person’s life. Often, instead of pointing people to what God has done, they continue on with life and show off what they have done.

When God does some healing or miracle in your life, take the time to show people what God did in that situation. Point people to who God is and His great mercy on you.

Do not be like the rest of the world, and point them to what you have accomplished in life. The pride of the things you have accumulated will be a downfall and failure in the eyes of God.

You did not get all that you have because of your own power, it was blessed to you by God and His power.

Do not allow pride to bring your downfall at the end of your life.

I pray today that you will recognize God’s work in your life; that you will point people to God; that you will not show pride in your own things; and that you will give credit to God for all that you have and do.

Isaiah 16:6 Empty Boasts

We have heard of Moab’s pride–how great is her arrogance!–of her conceit, her pride and her insolence; but her boasts are empty. Isaiah 16:6

As Israel was being punished and crushed under the hand of God, Moab was boasting about their power and abilities. Moab was a powerful nation, even though not the largest or most powerful, and felt that they were among the best. They were very proud of what they had accomplished and let everyone know about it.

However, God said that all their boasting and pride was empty. There was very little truth in what they were boasting about. Later in this chapter, God says that within three years they would be wiped out and destroyed.

Everywhere a person goes, one can hear of boasting. It starts in the kindergarten playground when one boy or girl is boasting to another about something. They may boast about a parent or it may be about winning a game. The boasting continues in life, usually, until they are dead. For many people it is a way of life.

Adults will boast about their great accomplishments in life. Businesses will boast about their product. The boasting usually goes beyond what is actually truth. Just as with the fisherman talking about the fish that got away, and each time it is told the fish is larger, so it is with boasting. The more one boasts, the more it moves away from the truth.

Boasting in one’s own power, abilities or accomplishments is an empty boast. The real truth about everything that you accomplish is that it was God who has given you the strength and ability to accomplish it.

There is nothing that you have done, whether good or evil, that God has not given you the ability to do it.

So all that boasting that you do and pride that you feel about what you have done, needs to be re-directed to God. God is the one who is really in control and has the ability, not you.

As you boast, boast about what God is doing, boast about what others are doing. Do not boast in yourself. Boasting in yourself is an empty, worthless boast. God can change any situation you are in, in one second. You, on your own, cannot really change anything, but your trust in God.

Don’t waste your breath on empty boasting today.

I pray today that you will know God’s power in your life; that you will know it is God who is working in and through you; that you will not boast except in God; and that you will allow God to work in and through you in all situations.

Isaiah 10:12 Pride Over A Fallen Enemy

When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes.” Isaiah 10:12

Judah, the southern nation of the split Israel, had chosen to walk away from God and follow false gods. God chose to punish them by using the king of Assyria to take over the land and crush Jerusalem. The king of Assyria did not follow God in any way and was very harsh in his treatment of the Israelites.

Judah and all the Israelites were an enemy to Assyria, so as the king of Assyria conquered Judah and Jerusalem, he did it with great pride. He considered himself better than the Israelites. God saw his heart and promised that once the punishment of Judah was done, He would punish the king of Assyria for his pride.

Pride over the destruction of an enemy is something that many people have. They like to see the enemy fall. It is especially great pride when the enemy falls at their own hands and power.

The world feels that pride is a good thing. Everyone deserves to be proud when they are able to crush and destroy their enemy.

Yet, God hates pride. Pride looks at self and says that self did it all. The only reason the king of Assyria was able to destroy Jerusalem was because God allowed it to happen. In himself, the king had no real power.

The same is true in your own life. In yourself you have no real power. All of your abilities have been given to you by God. There may come times when God allows you to crush your enemy. When this occurs, it should not be done with great pride.

Jesus said that we are to love our enemies. Having pride in their destruction does not display true love. As a follower of Jesus, you should be weeping over the destruction of your enemy. You should be praying for their souls and redemption.

Jesus redeemed you when you were His enemy. Can you not do the same for your enemies?

Remove pride from your life and allow God to work through you to touch others for Jesus.

I pray today that God will reveal any pride in your heart; that God will strengthen you to remove all pride; that you will remain humble before God; and that God will use you to touch many lives for Jesus.

Psalm 131:1 Proper Concern

My heart is not proud, LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. Psalm 131:1

People everywhere have opinions on just about everything. This is seen a lot when watching the news or sports. Opinions are given as to how things should have been done differently or how it was done very well.

At times the discussion about these opinions can get into a heated debate. One person holds one view, while the other holds the opposite. Each start calling the other names and cutting each other down. There is no love in the middle. Both are filled with self-pride, thinking that he knows best.

The sad part about these debates is that neither person is really an expert in the knowledge being offered. Neither see the big picture of the situation and therefore cannot offer a great solution or opinion to it.

Alongside of news and sports, the other area that many heated debates come up is in discussion of religion or God. Debating about what the Bible says about a particular situation or how God would react to something is often grounds for arguments.

There are also times when an individual is debating, not with others, but with God. People try to concern themselves with what God is doing and the way He is doing it.

David said that he does not concern himself with things too great for him. There are things that occur in the world that are beyond our abilities to control or beyond our wisdom to fully understand. God allows things to happen for His own reason and does not always reveal that reason to men. Debating why God allows something to happen does not always bring out the love of Jesus in a person. It usually brings separation and discord.

In your own life there will be things that occur that are way beyond your wisdom and full understanding. At those times you need to let it go and trust God. Trust that God knows what He is doing or allowing. You don’t know everything and do not fully see the big picture as God does.

What do you concern yourself with?

Is your concern or should it be God’s concern?

I pray today that God will help you see what you can do and cannot do; that you will know what is your concern and what is God’s; that you will trust God in things too great for you; and that you will not let self pride create division in your life.