Horizons Unlimited April 22, 2018 - April 30, 2018

Sunday April 22, 2018: You're Not God
Monday April 23, 2018: Diet Man's Food But Never God's Word
Tuesday April 24, 2018: Are You Begging or Bragging?
Wednesday April 25, 2018: Under Close Scrutiny
Thursday April 26, 2018: The Strength of Israel
Friday April 27, 2018: The Worthless and the Wicked
Saturday April 28, 2018: My Presence Is Your Rest
Sunday April 29, 2018: Do Not Tell It All, Except to Jesus
Monday April 30, 2018: Afflictions of the Righteous

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Sunday April 22, 2018
You're Not God

James 3:1, TM: Don't be in any rush to become a teacher, my friends. Teaching is highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards.

Often we're good at training others with what "Thus saith the Lord." However, we fail miserably when it comes to applying it to our own lives or to the lives of those whom we love. The thought of them enduring pain or suffering is more than most of us can handle. You use your faith to believe God for healing and finances, but don't ask me to require that of my spouse or offspring. How we hinder their faith when we assume the responsibility of their care and keeping. God wants them well and wealthy because of His plan for them, not because of our ingenuity or investments.

Many have lost their anointing and even their lives because they stop trusting God to take care of those they love. When we begin to wonder, "What will happen to others if something happens to me?" it usually results in two things. One, we take on a messiah complex. Two, we neglect to obey God to the fullest because our focus and attention is no longer on Him, but on those He brought into our lives to be a temporary blessing not a burden.

Are you neglecting God in order to play God in the lives of others? That deception is a trick satan uses to prevent your progress in God. When satan can't stop you, he'll deceive you to think more highly of yourself than you ought. Stuck in that kind of pride, you will stall and stagnate until you repent. You'll stay humble and you'll stay effective as long as you remember you're not God.

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Monday April 23, 2018
Diet Man's Food But Never God's Word

Job 23:12, KJV: Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

At times when my flesh wants to eat, I choose to "eat" God's Word rather than partake of a meal. Each time I do this, shortly thereafter I don't even recall that I was hungry.

Desserts and sweets challenge me, and it's easy to yield to them by justifying them to myself, saying, "If my clothes get too tight, I'll just sow the old ones, and buy new ones." Yet, that simply means there are restraints in my life, but no discipline in that area.

I had to acknowledge this lack of discipline to myself and repent, asking God for grace to help me with each temptation--one at a time. I don't like dieting any more than you do, but it's essential to my spiritual development. Think about it: if I can't resist a candy bar or chocolate ice cream, what will happen when the enemy lures me with more devastating temptations? I shudder to think about it, which is why I gave up the thing I craved most. Surrendering what you're not attached to is no big deal; there are no sacrifices there.

For many people dieting food isn't an issue at all. However, there may be other things the Holy Ghost prompts you to lay aside. Are certain relationships or activities toxic for you? Perhaps you have people in your life who are good to you, but not good for you. Whatever you struggle to resist or do without is the very thing you need to lay down. I was called upon to diet, and I needed to refuse to indulge. Have I found a key? Definitely--you must esteem God's Word more valuable than your next or even last meal. And when you do, God will provide the essentials of life and strengthen your resolve! Never allow your schedule to plunge you into a diet from God's Word and voice. Perhaps there are changes you need to make in your life. You can do it! God's voice is perfected in weakness so begin to begin, and watch your progress.

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Tuesday April 24, 2018
Are You Begging or Bragging?

Ezra 8:22, NIV: I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, "The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his anger is against all who forsake him."

When our deliverance comes, how quickly we forget to continue to rely on the One who brought about our liberty. When we have decreed, declared, shouted about, and rejoiced over what God has just done for us, we should not ask of another human the means to continue what God has begun.

Too often, we suddenly begin to consider how our employer, parents, companions, or children can be our source of success. God has not brought us out of darkness into His will only to abandon us. Rather, He has rescued us from darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His Son (Colossians 1:13) so that we accurately assess that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

The welfare system in the United States was intended to aid the elderly, infirm, and dependent children without family. It was never to be used to the point of abuse. The problem is that the abusers of the system have become the abused because of the system. God wants His people to fare well, but welfare has robbed people of their initiative, creativity, self-respect, and pride of authorship.

Someone told me of a young man who expressed interest in his daughter, stating that God showed her to him. After meeting her, he proceeded to arrive at Sunday school early to set up chairs in the class they both attended. He would set up four chairs on one side and three on the side where the lady sat. He said that this was to ensure that no one else would sit next to her. Though he bragged about God showing him this lady, his actions were the true indicator of his perception of how big God was. He could believe God sent her, but he did not trust God to keep her for him.

We should be ashamed when we do things that fail to promote the good hand of our God. Are you a beggar or a bragger? Father, forgive my lack of confidence in You to establish all things that concern me, in Jesus' name.

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Wednesday April 25, 2018
Under Close Scrutiny

Jeremiah 16:17, NKJV: For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes.

I believe God is saying: "Just as I kept Israel under surveillance, I also keep watch over you to observe what you do in every circumstance and situation. Why concern yourself with concealing your deeds from man? Man has neither power nor authority to punish or reward you. My desire is always to bless and prosper My children, just as a parent desires the best for his or her offspring.

"I cannot, however, violate My own Word. To bless you for wrongdoing would cause me to self-destruct, for who can judge Me? So start each day by thanking Me that I am watching over you with close concern. I do not watch you to prevent you from enjoying life. My eyes are upon all your ways to ensure your safety and well-being. So, my precious child, move out and into the day with hopeful anticipation that I have only good planned for you.

"Do not forsake what you know to be the acceptable way to go, for I will not judge or reward others for your efforts. Practice pleasing Me in all that you say and do today and every day, for I have you under close scrutiny at all times.

"This is a new day. Let your decisions and choices be those you wish to live with. The seed of yesterday is already planted, and I will reward or chastise you accordingly. Even though the iniquities of yesterday may be forgiven, the responsibility for them remains. Be of good cheer. Trust My love for you so that when the dust clears and the day concludes, because you are My child you will still be ahead of life's game.".

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Thursday April 26, 2018
The Strength of Israel

1 Samuel 15:29, KJV: And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.

Many things have happened and will continue to happen concerning the nation of Israel, but they will never be destroyed. It's not that they've done anything to deserve this security, but they have a clear covenant with God because of their relationship with Him through His promises to Abraham.

As we observe and listen to the various reports concerning Israel and the Palestinians, what we hear is Bible prophecy being fulfilled before our eyes and in our ears. The natural fighting that we read and hear about is not all that is going on. There is so much more.

Do not become anxious or overly concerned about the happenings of the Middle East. The Strength of Israel is in control, and we haven't seen anything yet.

What excites me about the events of each day is that God is not a man; therefore, He will not lie or repent. Since what He has promised Abraham and his seed must come to pass, what He has promised you and me through Jesus Christ, too, must be so. The Strength of Israel is also my strength. I am a part of His holy nation in covenant to praise Him.

It is true that the more you serve the Lord and follow His dictates and His commandments, the more attacks of the enemy come your way. What helped to bring me peace in the middle of life's "mess" was to learn to rest in my covenant with my Creator. How did I get to be in covenant with God? I received Jesus Christ of Nazareth as my Savior and Lord and remain committed to His cause.

Psalm 20:6 reads, "Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand." "His anointed" obviously is speaking of Jesus. Since I am a part of His body, this promise has to apply to me also.

The world seems more immoral and confused than ever before, but I am excited about what is going on around me because I sense the presence of the Lord in the midst of it all bringing to me a peace that can be explained: He is coming soon.

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Friday April 27, 2018
The Worthless and the Wicked

Proverbs 6:14, NKJV: Perversity is in his heart, He devises evil continually, he sows discord.

God takes seriously the words that come out of our mouths, and He considers anyone who sows discord or disharmony to be worthless and wicked. The mouth of a divider is perverse, for he is a pervert. Proverbs 6:15 says that his calamity shall come suddenly. Just as suddenly, he shall be broken beyond repair.

Therefore, when you hear about members of the body of Christ sowing discord in the body, please stop and pray for those people at once. They have yielded to a spirit that will lead them on a path of destruction from which there is no return.

Examine yourself daily to make sure the words you speak about others are not causing division or disharmony. If you find that you have failed in this area, repent before God and to those whom you have negatively affected with your words. Then, use wisdom to discern what could divide, and leave it out of your conversation.

As believers we are not to conduct ourselves as worthless and wicked people, especially because Jesus' shed blood was for them also. Ask God to use you to help them to become worthy and righteous.

We cannot afford to yield to an attitude of hopelessness or helplessness that we might be exposed to through our conversations with others. It is infectious. Our hope is in the Lord, and our help comes from Him.

Heavenly Father, inspire us each day as we come to You for guidance, for when we fail to be led by Your Spirit we will be controlled by others who may not even know You. Make us more radical in what is right, but help us to do and say what needs to be said and done in love so that our tongues neither divide nor destroy those whom Jesus died to deliver. We thank You for teaching our mouths to speak Your truth, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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Saturday April 28, 2018
My Presence Is Your Rest

Exodus 33:14, KJV: And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

Moses had already brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. Now God was requiring him to take them into the Promised Land. This concerned Moses more than getting them delivered, so he wanted God's assurance for this task.

So many of us get delivered from the Egypt of our lives. We accept Jesus, and we are going to heaven someday. But God wants His children to enter into His Promised Land: to possess it and enjoy the fruit of the land, which is whatever benefits there are in whatever land He has promised to us. He wants us to get on with subduing it.

It is time we stop circling around the Promised Land. Did God promise us a journey to it but not the possession of it? No, He wants us both to enter in and to take it over as our own.

"How?" you may ask. Stay in His presence.

We don't have to linger around a certain location in order to sense His presence. He said, "My presence shall go with thee." Therefore, wherever we go, His presence will be with us; and there is nothing quite like His presence. His presence is the comfort zone that our spirits, souls, and bodies long for.

Rest is a gift that comes from being in His presence. It is not good enough just to know He is always with me and that He lives in me. I must sense His presence in order to rest, to be comfortable in the midst of chaos.

Moses said unto the Lord, "If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence." (Exodus 33:15) With him I say, Lord, don't even take me into Your Promised Land if I am not able to sense Your presence there. For it is Your very presence that is the daily shew bread that sustains me and stimulates me to rest in You.

Father, I desire Your presence more than anything in this world because with it, Your Word is a reality in my life.

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Sunday April 29, 2018
Do Not Tell It All, Except to Jesus

Micah 7:5, KJV: Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.

Let's face it, all of us talk too much to everyone except the Lord. I have had many friends over the years and I have considered myself a friend to more than a few. However, I have found my confidence in some of them betrayed and I have found my mouth repeating things that should have remained silent. I have repented and I suppose they have also, but to this day I have regrets that I could not be trusted to keep the doors of my mouth closed.

I share with the congregation of RLCC all the time, "Do not tell me anything you don't want repeated, not because I am a gossip but because I want to remain transparent. In addition, I don't want someone else's secrets to weigh me down." I use everything I hear as a sermon of how to live in freedom and victory. I may not call out names but I will surely use the example to try to help others.

One of my favorite tear-jerking songs as a child was, "I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus. I cannot bear these burdens alone; I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus. Jesus can help me, Jesus alone." Over the years that song has become sort of my theme. I am not aware that I have any burdens and if I did, He has authorized me to take care of them. He has empowered me to believe that nothing is impossible to God or me as a believer. Therefore, I try to avoid anything that I cannot openly discuss before anyone. The only secrets I have are those that the Lord speaks to me for me to ponder in my heart until He brings them to pass.

The Lord spoke to me once and called me "Big Mouth," because I had shared with my late husband what He had said to me about going to Bible school two years before we were to go. He told me if I ever told Clinton anything else that He told me first, He, God, would stop talking to me. I had been waiting all of my life to hear the voice of God and I was not about to risk losing that.

Learn to talk to the Lord about everything. He knows it already and will not tell another soul. Try working it out yourself with the Lord before you talk to anyone else. They may not help, but they could hurt.

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Monday April 30, 2018
Afflictions of the Righteous

Psalm 34:19, KJV: "Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all."

This verse about afflictions is as much a promise of God as is Mark 11:23-24, which says we can move mountains and have whatever we say when we pray in belief. One of the things we often do with the word "affliction," which we find in Psalm 34:19, is to confuse it with "infirmity," from which Jesus redeemed us. Infirmity and affliction are not the same.

Evil, adversity, calamity, distress, and grief often make an appointment to visit a believer. No one looks forward to affliction, yet it occurs anyway. Instead of running to the hills to hide from affliction, I have grown and learned not to sweat it or fret about it because I have the abundance of evil, adversity, calamity, distress, and grief that attempt to visit me do two things for me. First, it validates me as righteous. Second, it provides me with the good news that my total deliverance is imminent and I need not be concerned with it.

Afflictions come, and I can expect to be delivered from them all. Evil comes, but I expect to be delivered from it. The same is true of all the others: I expect to be delivered. However, they have to happen in order for my deliverance to take place from every single one of them.

Jesus took the feebleness of my mind and my body. He took my malady, frailty, disease, sickness, and weakness-and He never returned them to me. Therefore, I resist and refuse to accept from the devil that which Christ took and bore for me. Feebleness of mind and body, malady, frailty, disease, sickness, and weakness are best handled by Him. My righteousness is not confirmed by infirmities, but it is by many afflictions that knock on my door and discover that I am delivered from them.

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