Horizons Unlimited December 16, 2018 - December 24, 2018

Sunday December 16, 2018: What Happened?
Monday December 17, 2018: Love Makes You Somebody
Tuesday December 18, 2018: God Provides as He Wills
Wednesday December 19, 2018: My Teaching Has Purpose
Thursday December 20, 2018: With Whom Are You Aligned?
Friday December 21, 2018: If Any of You Lacks Wisdom
Saturday December 22, 2018: Eat the Fruit of What You Take Care Of
Sunday December 23, 2018: Salvation Comes by Grace
Monday December 24, 2018: Deep Trouble Vows

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Sunday December 16, 2018
What Happened?

Jeremiah 2:21, KJV: Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?

In the verse above, we see that God was pretty upset with Israel and He was not biting His tongue. In verse 2 (NIV), He said to Jerusalem, "...I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown."

When did the honey leave the honeymoon? God did not miss it when He made a covenant with Abraham and the nation of Israel. Neither did He make a mistake when, by His divine intelligence, He wooed you to Jesus.

Years ago a woman said to me, "I hope that three years from now, you are still as excited and hungry for the Lord as you are today." I couldn't imagine myself or anyone else not loving the Lord and being excited about being saved.

Since then, however, I have watched many become indifferent. What happened? I don't believe that it was any one thing, and it certainly did not happen all at once. It was most likely what I refer to as the "lobster boil."

When Clinton was alive, I would occasionally visit our local fish market and bring home two live lobsters. I would put them in my largest pot filled with cold water, which they were thrilled about, and placed it on the stove. Then I would put the top on and turn the flame up full blast. The water would gradually heat up, which the lobsters enjoyed. And by the time they realized it is too hot, they were too weak to even thrash about. Shortly thereafter, my husband and I would enjoy a scrumptious meal.

When did we Christians get in the pot of discontentment and apathy? When did we stop being excited about the songs of heaven, the Cross, and His blood? God planted us as a noble vine. We are seed of highest quality.

Don't despair; it is not too late. Come as a little child would, humble before the mighty hand of God. He still wants to exalt you. He loves you, and His plan for you has never changed. It has only been delayed.

Let me be the first to welcome you home.

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Monday December 17, 2018
Love Makes You Somebody

1 Corinthians 13:2, KJV: And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

Fame and notoriety often follow the demonstration of the gifts of the Spirit in the lives of His people. People can be known for their wisdom and ability to discern and interpret hidden things. The mountain-moving-faith folks are known the world over. But how many of us are known for our love one for another?

Are you well-known for your ability to endure the challenges of life patiently without quitting? Is kindness your badge of honor, or do people confuse your kindness with weakness?

I thank God for John Edward Lypscomb because God used him to teach me that I could not be a successful Christian without yielding to God's love as my guide. He taught me that I may not be my brother's keeper, but I am his covering against the attack of the evil one. John taught me that to be an intercessor is the greatest calling of any Christian. I knew how to level mountains in my life. I could distinguish the voice of the Lord clearly speaking to me. I was seldom, if ever, in confusion about life's situations. I had a firm grip on those handles; but my friend John taught me that with all of that in my favor, minus love, I was nothing.

So today, my friend, former pastor, and son in the Lord rests in peace with our Maker; but he will live on through me and many others because he taught us how to really be somebody. He taught us to love unconditionally.

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Tuesday December 18, 2018
God Provides as He Wills

Exodus 15:27, NKJV: Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the waters.

You have learned by now that you cannot worship the Lord when and where you want.

God’s command to go into the wilderness a three-day journey and worship Him was not a suggestion. He says what He means and means what He says.

When you go beyond what He told you to do, your waters always will be bitter. Bitter water comes from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When you miss God, admit it, repent, and keep going until He makes the next move.

“What can I do to fix it?” Never stay in a place just because it is comfortable or convenient. If you linger too long where you’re not supposed to be, you could miss His best for you. Keep going until you’re back in His arms, which is your place of twelve wells and seventy palm trees.

Things could have been different for the children of Israel if they had stopped to worship Him when He told them to. While they were not permitted to return and get it right, God’s love and covenant still provided for them. They found water at Marah, but they needed God to intervene on their behalf. In fact, all they really had to do was to keep going until they reached the level of His provision.

God is committed to provide for His children. He is not short when it comes to caring for you. Never doubt Him. In this case, they never knew whether their obedience to worship Him would have produced twelve or more wells and seventy or more palm trees. It is possible their obedience and worship could have produced more.

Some of us today have settled for what we have because it is more and better than what we have had. But, is it God’s best for us? Would there be more if we took the time to worship Him?

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Wednesday December 19, 2018
My Teaching Has Purpose

John 15:11, TM: I've told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature.

Obedience must be taught and learned before there is joy in your life. Joy generates strength. The absence of joy causes weakness.

So disobedience results in weakness.

When a Christian does not have a developed spiritual life, sin and the works of darkness become more attractive to the carnal nature. Begin each day making a choice to do your part. Do not put off rejoicing for another day. God's joy is for each day. Tomorrow may be too late. Make it your will to be glad in spite of circumstances.

The history of my past must never be mentioned again unless God ordains it for His glory. As long as I keep talking about my past, I'm remembering what God has decided to forget. My history was bleak and dark. Meditating on your history will hold you in the sense realm.

Paul said, "Forget those things that are behind and reach with your spiritual eyes for what the Lord has in front of you." God has an even better plan for your future than what you've yet experienced. Once I met Jesus, the life and light of humankind, I was introduced to eternal life. Eternity is bright before me. Success is based on being pleasing in the sight of the Lord as I walk out the fruit of my re-created spirit.

The same as everyone else, I have DNA from my human parents. However, when I made the choice to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, I received His LNA. When we cease to breathe here in the earth, our DNA has little significance; it's part of our history. But our new LNA-His Life, His Nature, and His Ability-will accompany us throughout eternity. This brings me joy. And that joy contributes to my strength.

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Thursday December 20, 2018
With Whom Are You Aligned?

2 Chronicles 18:31, KJV: And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them to depart from him.

The king of Syria was so determined to get Ahab, the king of Israel, that he had commanded his army not to pursue anyone else, large or small (verse 30). Though Jehoshaphat had asked for a word from the Lord, when the prophet shared it with him, Jehoshaphat did not respond because he had aligned himself with Israel's wicked king. King Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to disguise himself as the king, and this placed Jehoshaphat in a potentially fatal position.

It does us no good to love the Lord and seek His face if we are going to cooperate with others who are not committed. Do not lose your life or your peace because of wrong associates who want to do what they want to do. They may be reacting to the influence of a lying spirit (verses 21-22). Do not allow a human association to put you in contact with a lying spirit. Thank God that He is still merciful to protect us in the midst of our foolishness, but learn to surround yourself only with those who cooperate with the Spirit of Truth.

Dear Father God, forgive me for the many times I failed to adhere to Your direction for my life. Thank You for giving me the presence of mind to call on You when I am under attack and about to be destroyed. You always help when I call You, and You alone divert the attackers from me. I am truly grateful.

Help me to remember, O God, the value of godly relationships and the priceless treasure of obeying Your leading regardless of who else wants to go another way.

Remind me constantly of the fact that though the devil wants me destroyed, he can only defeat me when I fail to follow You. I thank You for this lesson, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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Friday December 21, 2018
If Any of You Lacks Wisdom

James 1:5, NKJV: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Many of us are privileged to be blessed with the wisdom and ability to make choices that seem right and sometimes lead to worldly success. Lacking wisdom means that you are void of God's mind and heart.

One of the most successful men I know tells people to follow their "gut" when contrary situations surface. But I am uncertain of his personal relationship with the Lord. As successful as he is in this world in material things, without the wisdom of God as to how to be saved and spend eternity with Jesus Christ, he is what I call a "deprived child." He likes wisdom, but he is lacking wisdom. Being cleaver, shrewd, and wealthy without the Savior is so limited. They only make you comfortable in this life.

What about eternity? No one would be concerned just with what he can achieve in this life if he could get a slight glimpse of hell. I have never seen the flames of hell, but I have been out of fellowship with the Lord. I was willing to give up all I had to be restored to fellowship with Him.

God's wisdom comes when a person recognizes that he does not have it and asks Him for it. He is never stingy with it. He gives as much as you need, but not so much that you never return to Him for more. I sense that the Lord provides His wisdom to His children, and then watches what they do with it on behalf of others and for His glory. I don't believe God gives us His wisdom so that we alone are blessed. I believe that He blesses us with the residue of what is gleaned from impacting others. It's sort of like the twelve baskets of leftovers after the multitude was fed. He is always more than enough.

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Saturday December 22, 2018
Eat the Fruit of What You Take Care Of

Proverbs 27:18, KJV: Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.

I believe God is saying: "This is yet another principle of seed-time and harvest. Never feel guilty or condemned for partaking of what you have invested time, energy, or talent into. Your gift will make room for you, but it will also be used to meet your needs and some desires. When you willingly serve another, looking for nothing in return, you cause My power to be released on your behalf so that the very service you provided will be what I will use to cause you to be blessed and highly favored. My Word says that the ox that treads out the corn must never be muzzled.

"While you do not sow just to reap, when you sow because it is right, you will reap. So look at where you are and what you are doing because your next meal, your next blessing, is that close."

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Sunday December 23, 2018
Salvation Comes by Grace

Titus 2:11, NIV: For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.

When asked, "What happens to people who die without having heard the Gospel message?" I usually respond with, "For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts" (Romans 1:19,20 NLT).

From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth, the sky, and all that God made. They can clearly see His invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.

I do not make light of the preaching of the Gospel to all nations. But I also do not try to single-handedly reach everyone. I do what I believe that I am called to do to the very best of my ability, and I rest in the Lord for Him to complete His plan through whom-ever He chooses. He has set the members in the Body as it pleases Him (1 Corinthians 12:18). Therefore, everyone is already in place to do what He has assigned them to do. You and I simply have to be the very best we can be on our assignment.

So stop in your tracks and ask God to show you your assignment in His whole scheme of things and watch God add to the Kingdom daily.

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Monday December 24, 2018
Deep Trouble Vows

Psalm 66:13,14, NLT: Now I come to your Temple with burnt offerings to fulfill the vows I made to you-yes, the sacred vows you heard me make when I was in deep trouble.

We want God to keep His promises to us, but what about our vows to Him? A lad said to his parents, who were running from a terrible storm and stopped to pray, "Ma, Pa, scared prayers don't work!" Scared prayers may not work, but vows made to God when you are in deep trouble are the same as promissory notes. God is not going to chase after people to make them pay their vows, but He expects us to honor our words to Him.

Today, are you experiencing the crush and crunch of the enemy all around you? It's a test that you can and will pass, because abundance is just around the next bend in the road. No, you can't see it, and neither could David in his situation. But by faith, while in deep trouble, David made a vow. God knew that in order for David to pay the vow, God would have to bring David to a place of abundance. In that wealthy place, God observes what we do about our vows offered in times of trouble. What we do will determine where He takes us next.

If you have failed to pay your deep-trouble vows, stop right now, repent, and ask God or others to forgive you. Then request wisdom on how to make your first installment so you can continue on the road of abundance that God has already prepared for you.

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