Horizons Unlimited January 21, 2018 - January 29, 2018

Sunday January 21, 2018: Demon Power Is Limited; God's Power Is Not
Monday January 22, 2018: Come in for a Landing
Tuesday January 23, 2018: Hear and Accept
Wednesday January 24, 2018: Willing Givers Always Have Plenty and More to Spare
Thursday January 25, 2018: Special Purpose or Ordinary Jobs
Friday January 26, 2018: Tried, Not Tired, by the Word
Saturday January 27, 2018: The Value Is the Same
Sunday January 28, 2018: The Gift of Victory
Monday January 29, 2018: Rejoicing In Spite of Sorrow

Horizons Unlimited PDF Archive

Sunday January 21, 2018
Demon Power Is Limited; God's Power Is Not

Romans 5:20, MSG: All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn't, and doesn't, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace.

There is no question in my mind that demonic activity is increasing worldwide. Rejoice, brothers and sisters, because that assures us that God's goodness and His grace is increasing much more. Another way of saying the above scripture is, "But where sin abounded, grace does much more abound."

Never forget that the devil may be mighty in his doings, but our Heavenly Father is the Almighty and there is no God in all the universe like Him. He does not draw us to follow Him and then abandon us once we're completely dependent on Him. Those who follow the devil and his ways seem to flourish for a season; then like the summer flower, they fade and go away.

Now I know why I've never liked to receive cut flowers. They, like the devil, don't last, because they have been separated from their source of life. We can never be separated from our God. Hallelujah! He set it up that way to give us the hope we need for the substance of our faith.

Do not ever allow yourself to think that anything or anyone is bigger or greater than our God. We can sing it, shout it, preach it, and declare it because it is so.

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Monday January 22, 2018
Come in for a Landing

John 21:9, NIV: When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

Teaching is so plentiful about how to soar and fly high that we forget there is also power in knowing how to land.

Flying is the easy part of being a pilot. In fact, planes can even fly on auto-pilot, traveling a considerable distance-until they run out of fuel. That's when the real test comes.

The best part of trusting and obeying God is discovering what He has waiting for us when we come in for a landing. How many times have I found myself pursuing what I thought I needed or wanted? I may even have been somewhat discouraged when it did not immediately appear, only to have the Spirit direct me to where it is. Then I finally come in for a landing and discover that Jesus has already provided what I really needed all the time. He is not opposed to my pursuing my little personal ambition at times, as long as I recognize that the real value of my relationship with Him is not what I go after but what always awaits me when I land.

Father, I thank You so much for these wonderful lessons You use to help me to see how much You love and care for me. I have paid some high prices for doing my thing apart from You only to discover that You were providing what I needed most all the time. My failure to settle in with You delays me from experiencing Your blessings.

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Tuesday January 23, 2018
Hear and Accept

Mark 4:20, NKJV: "But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred."

In order to bear fruit, one must hear, gain understanding, receive it with gladness, endure tribulation, and allow oneself to become rooted. Unfortunately, too many Christians allow themselves to stumble or to be offended and to move from where God planted them. Without becoming rooted, there will be no growth. Sure, you can keep changing churches until you find one preaching what tickles your ears, but are you maturing spiritually? If you are in a church where you are not being pinched or prodded to do better, you are in a dangerous place. The message of the Kingdom is supposed to disturb you. I am not talking about condemnation, but of conviction. The difference between the two is this: Condemnation leaves you without hope of restoration of your covenant; conviction sets a standard for you to strive to reach.

When you hear and receive the Word, you are able to see beyond the limitations of your eyes and understand beyond what you hear. What you hear and accept should always turn you toward the light and life of the Lord.

Ask for His help today. He wants you so much; His desire is to forgive you.

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Wednesday January 24, 2018
Willing Givers Always Have Plenty and More to Spare

2 Chronicles 31:10, NLT: And Azariah the high priest, from the family of Zadok, replied, "Since the people began bringing their gifts to the LORD’s Temple, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare, for the LORD has blessed his people."

After Hezekiah restored the celebration of the Passover in Judah and the people praised and sacrificed to God for a total of 14 days, King Hezekiah inquired as to where these huge piles of gifts came from. Once the people began to tithe in the spring, the corn and other commodities began to grow until early autumn (2 Chronicles 31:7).

God loves a cheerful, joyous, prompt-to-do-it giver whose heart is in his giving (2 Corinthians 9:7, AMP). Everything we give to God, He doesn't just add to it - He multiplies it. Three plus three is six, but three times three is nine! Our currency is only money until we plant it. When we plant our financial seed, a supernatural thing happens. God's part increases and our part never seems to decrease. We always seem to have enough and some to spare. Our barrel of meal and jar of oil have no end (see First Kings 17:16).

When you plant your seed in God's field, stop looking for your harvest and just expect your increase. Farmers don't check daily for their harvest; they just know they planted good seed into good soil and that in due season, that seed will produce. Why? Because God always blesses His people.

It's true. You really can't beat God's plan for giving.

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Thursday January 25, 2018
Special Purpose or Ordinary Jobs

2 Timothy 2:21, KJV: If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

It is time for the body of Christ to wake up to the reality that the work God wants to accomplish in us individually is already completed in Christ. We now choose to work on ourselves externally because most often that is where the challenge lies.

Godly fruit manifested in our lives is partially the work of patience. Without patience in practice, our hearts will start to doubt, and a doubting heart is a dishonest heart. Choose to trust God and become "a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." You and I must consistently make a conscious effort to cleanse thoroughly from us those bad habits, those undisciplined attitudes, and those behaviors that are displeasing to the heart of God.

Our approval must come from God. When we hear, study, and choose to model the teaching we receive, we will never be ashamed of our work. The pride of authorship will bring us before the Master of our house, who will use us for special purposes, not just ordinary jobs.

Average and ordinary vessels come cheaply, but special purpose vessels are costly. Purging oneself carries with it a high premium, but to be used of God brings dignity and esteem of the highest degree.

The expression "to thine own self be true" sounds nice, but its logic is limited. Our allegiance is not to us, but to our Lord Jesus Christ. We have been bought with a price, the shed blood of Jesus; therefore, our vow is to our Father. I purpose to be true to him. Will you? Father God, in Jesus' name, I thank You that the fruit of patience is mine now through the new birth. I elect to hear Your Word and keep it, thereby causing my heart to be honest before You, and my life to be a vessel fit for Your use.

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Friday January 26, 2018
Tried, Not Tired, by the Word

Psalm 105:19, KJV: Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.

How often it may appear that what we have spoken has been just idle words; and unless they are inspired of God, generally they are. However, words uttered from our spirits are guaranteed to come to pass with "scrupulous exactitude," in the words of an old saint of God.

Joseph was probably as stunned as anyone when he spoke the words in Genesis 37:7 to his brothers concerning his dream about ruling over them. Verse 11 says, "And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying." Thank God that there is at least one person open to observe what you speak by inspiration! The time would certainly come that Joseph had spoken of. The Lord would prove that Joseph was right. But this leader, this ruler, this man whom the Lord was with, making everything he did prosper, showing him mercy, and giving him favor, was sold as a slave. Most of us would have disqualified ourselves at that point and abandoned God, not remembering that He would not abandon us. But the Scripture says that God allowed the famine upon the land, that He sent a man before them-Joseph, who was sold for a servant.

When we are being used by God, closely related to Him and committed to His cause, we could find ourselves in what appear to be peculiar circumstances. Look at Jesus. I know it takes effort; I've been there. But that is the time to stay steady and declare, "Lord, I may not understand what is going on, but I know this: You are working it all for my good because I love You, and nothing will separate me from Your love. Please continue to work in me both to will and to do of Your good pleasure." It really is about God's plan for humankind being fulfilled, not our temporary creature comforts.

Heavenly Father, forgive us for our murmuring and disputing about these momentary light afflictions we occasionally experience. Help us to grasp the whole picture by faith in Your promises to us and through us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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Saturday January 27, 2018
The Value Is the Same

God uses ordinary things to show us our prejudices and our smelly attitudes. He does this for the purpose of highlighting our need to grow spiritually in certain areas of our lives.

A member once approached me and said, "Ever since you shared with us that you still pick up pennies off the street, I decided to do the same." The woman then proceeded to tell me that a few days earlier, she'd seen a grubby, grimy-looking penny on the street and, because it was so dirty, had decided to skip that one. After all, it was a "bad" penny. As she reached her car, the Holy Spirit spoke to her heart and said, "Shirley, it has the same value as the clean ones." She repented of her attitude and then went back to retrieve the dirty penny. It had not lost its value because of its appearance.

What a lesson! What must we have looked like when the Father received us while we were still His enemies? Imagine sending His prize Treasure to the Cross for us while we were in such a deplorable condition. That is called love-not the emotional, mushy-gushy stuff the world calls love. We were as valuable to God before He cleaned us up as we are to Him today.

I thank God for that story of the dirty penny because it will help me to remember the meaning of true value. One hundred dirty pennies make a dollar, just as 100 clean ones do. Aren't you glad that, to God, our value is the same-both before and after He made us new?

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Sunday January 28, 2018
The Gift of Victory

1 Corinthians 15:57, KJV: But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Victory is a gift. It is not what we achieve or acquire because of what we display as skill, talent, and ability. What is this victory that Paul says we have through our Lord Jesus Christ? It is mostly our attitude about life.

Many who surround us will express their opinions about what we should say, think, and feel in any given situation. They are entitled to their opinions, but what they think or believe should in no way affect us or our choices.

People are so programmed to follow traditional, popular, and comfortable routes that they seldom question what they are doing. We shouldn't think of ourselves as rebellious when we refuse to go along with what the crowd is doing if they have no good, biblically sound reason for it.

Here is just one natural example of a rule that many people have chosen to follow based on man-made traditions. In certain parts of the South, when a funeral procession is passing by, the cars coming towards the procession are expected to stop and remain still until the last car in the procession has passed. Though such a rule may intrude on an individual's daily schedule, tradition mandates compliance.

Whether we acknowledge them or not, we all have reasons for the choices we make. Ask yourself why you do what you do. Are you serving the Lord or the church because of your commitment to Christ, or are you following in the tradition of your family and friends? God did everything with a purpose and a plan. Idle, unimportant things were not the priority of the day to God. He made us to be productive and useful to His kingdom.

God not only wants us to receive His gifts; He also wants us to give them away. I am grateful to receive His blessings of health, wealth, and peace of mind. However, the joy of being used by God to bless others with His gifts is indescribable.

Now that we have received the gift of victory, let us go forth in the liberty wherein we are made free. Others are watching how and what we are doing with it. They, too, want that gift. Let's show them the way to the Giver.

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Monday January 29, 2018
Rejoicing In Spite of Sorrow

2 Corinthians 6:10, KJV: As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

There are several things you and I must do in order to rejoice in spite of sorrow. Probably the first thing is to come down out of the spiritual clouds. We want to think that serving the Lord will exempt us from any kind of suffering and that patience is for everyone else because we can have what we say immediately. But if you just keep living, you'll find that sorrow eventually comes to us all.

For example, I try to help prepare people for the passing of a loved one, and teach them the importance of maintaining the right attitude about the Lord, regardless to the winds of life and how they blow. But some people fall into the bottom of the barrel when these things occur.

God never promised that there would be no sorrow in this Christian walk. What He did promise is that in spite of the sorrow we could and should still rejoice. It is a disservice to the memory of a loved one to grieve as those who have no hope. My mother did not die to cause me pain to the point of not being able to function. She certainly did not die to cause me to resent God or turn from Him. No, she raised me to love and worship Him so that when it was time for her to depart, I would still have Him as my anchor to keep me steady.

I get real nervous when people start to make me out to be more to them than I really am. I am not cold and indifferent, but I thank God for the ability to recognize those who, if allowed or encouraged, would make me their reason for being. I am a human being who will one day cease to breathe in this earth. But I don't want my departure to be the focus. I want my example in life to be what will cause your heart to rejoice when I am gone.

Keep your focus on Jesus. Receive whatever I teach that is supported by Scripture. Love it and walk it out to the glory of God. Please do not mar my purpose for living by grieving sorrowfully beyond what is pleasing to God. I live to teach you how to live victoriously, which includes rejoicing in spite of sorrow.

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