Horizons Unlimited August 12, 2018 - August 20, 2018

Sunday August 12, 2018: Look at the Whole Picture
Monday August 13, 2018: Satisfaction Doesn’t Cost A Dime
Tuesday August 14, 2018: Blind and Stubborn Are Not Good
Wednesday August 15, 2018: Singleness Is A Gift to Be Accepted
Thursday August 16, 2018: Serving Platters Or Garbage Cans
Friday August 17, 2018: Put My Mark on You
Saturday August 18, 2018: Potholes Are Not Earthquakes
Sunday August 19, 2018: The Bible's Purpose: Instruction To Function
Monday August 20, 2018: How Would They Have Known?

Horizons Unlimited PDF Archive

Sunday August 12, 2018
Look at the Whole Picture

Psalm 73:2, NKJV: But as for me my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped.

How often we do not see the tragedy of the wicked because we fail to focus on the blessedness of trusting in the Lord.

We allow ourselves to envy the braggers because our natural eyes focus on their earthly prosperity. They are fat with abundance and their riches increase. They speak evil of what is good, and flaunt their wicked behavior. They seem to increase in strength, exempt from the challenges of the saints.

All of these things can cause us to doubt the point of living pure lives. We question the reason for staying innocent. We see only our troubles and the daily attacks.

I did not know how to deal with the discomfort of trying to understand what I experienced until I found my way to the house of God. There I could clearly see the whole picture and understand the entire story.

Verses 18-20 show us how quickly God works against all wickedness. My heart was grieved and my mind was pierced for being so dull in godly, spiritual things. How foolish and uninformed we are when we allow ourselves to focus on what the heathen have. The devil creates negative influences to appeal to our lower nature, which camouflage us from seeing what God has in store for us, His people. Though, at times, our hearts and our flesh fail, God is still our strength forever. Verse 28 says, "...it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works."

God has a plan and a purpose for His people that cannot be prevented. Repent today for doubting God's purpose for your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and help you finish the journey that you once so joyfully began in Jesus. It's not too late.

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Monday August 13, 2018
Satisfaction Doesn’t Cost A Dime

Genesis 43:1, NLT: But there was no relief from the terrible famine throughout the land.

Since money is no more than a medium of exchange, it has no value if what we need or desire is unavailable. When Israel sent his sons to Egypt the second time to purchase corn to eat (Genesis 43:2), he also asked them to tote double money in their hands, as well as the money previously returned to them on the last try (verse 12).

Israel’s sons obviously were not lacking in funds. However, in a severe famine, money does not feed the hungry. In fact, in this story, Benjamin—not money—was the medium of exchange.

The weekly news usually tells how many millions of dollars new movies have brought in. I always smile and say, “Even in this ‘slow’ economy, people have this excess money to attend films.”

No, the famine in our land is not for food. It is as Amos 8:11 (KJV) says: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.”

Looking around, I see money everywhere. A while back, a cruise ship left New York harbor for a trip around the world. The minimum cost per person for the trip was $25,000, and the maximum was $375,000. While I would have enjoyed the trip, I longed more to tell the passengers on board that if they were not believers, they would still have a hunger for something when they returned—and His name was Jesus.

I live well, but it is not because of where I live. It is because of “Who” lives in me. The One who lives in me will go wherever I go.

We never have to run to and fro, seeking to satisfy the spiritual famine we once experienced. Money certainly did not satisfy what I needed, only Jesus did. God gave Him as a free gift to everyone who believes, and He is alive forever.

I enjoy many creature comforts, but my famine ended when Jesus became my all in all. I simply sought first His kingdom and all of His righteousness, and I did not spend a dime to get Him.

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Tuesday August 14, 2018
Blind and Stubborn Are Not Good

Psalm 81:14, NLT: How quickly I would then subdue their enemies! How soon my hands would be upon their foes!

Obedience is a quality with which I would like to inject everyone. And that would be in large doses. God does not ask the impossible. He made us sit together with Christ in heavenly places. He made us complete with Him in Christ Jesus so that all we have to do is obey Him and be led by His Spirit.

Israel may have struggled with this since they did not have the Father's Spirit in them. But we are truly without excuse. You may ask, "What difference does it make? Life is life. You win some; you lose some." Shame on you. We the children of God need not ever lose anything.

Verses 12-16 of Psalm 81 tell us what God had in mind for His people. He promised to fill their mouths with good things- no matter how wide they opened them! He said if they listened and obeyed, He would subdue their enemies. They would have had no battles to fight, no wars to win-if they had just obeyed Him. God promised to put His hands upon their foes. That is defeat more crushing and swift than any heavyweight contender could ever achieve.

What will it take to make you truly commit to the one Person who wants nothing but the best for you? God just wants to fill us with the best and satisfy us with wild honey from the Rock. You know who our Rock is, and anything coming from Him has to be the best.

Folks, we are not going to make it very far in life without walking in obedience. Obedience is the rule of the game; to play it any other way is foolishness.

Choose today to live your life God's way. Don't let happen to you what happened to Israel. God gave them up unto their own heart's lust: and they walked in their own counsel. Let's face it. You and I are not smart or clever enough to know what is best for us. According to God's plan for us, we deserve the best and it is found in Him.

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Wednesday August 15, 2018
Singleness Is A Gift to Be Accepted

Matthew 19:11-12, CEV: Jesus told them, “Only those people who have been given the gift of staying single can accept this teaching.... Others stay single for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Anyone who can accept this teaching should do so.”

Following His teaching on divorce, Jesus began telling those present the value of singleness. He made it quite clear that everyone could not accept this teaching because the ability to remain single is a gift. Salvation, healing, and peace are gifts, but some people are still going to hell. Some will never accept healing as a part of the "redemptive package." Then there are those who will specialize in worry and anxiety, as if it's some badge of honor, forsaking the peace that has been provided.

Just because God provides gifts for His children does not mean they know how to receive them. I can buy you a present, show up at your party with it, and give it to you. But if you never choose to open it, although it has your name on it, I can do nothing more.

I have been married and divorced. I have been married and widowed. I am now, according to society, single. But society doesn't understand that I have been espoused to one Husband and His name is Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:2). Being single in the natural allows me the liberty of serving God better "for the sake of the kingdom of heaven."

A person who is "married" only to Jesus learns to appreciate the gift of singleness and accepts it. Until you acknowledge Jesus as your eternal Companion who sticks closer than a brother and whose fellowship is matchless and beyond compare, you will always be looking for external relationships. If you can't accept singleness as a gift, then get married. But don't knock anyone who finds himself complete enough in Christ so as not to desire marriage.

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Thursday August 16, 2018
Serving Platters Or Garbage Cans

2 Timothy 2:20, NKJV: But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.

Because of God's love and His desire for all people to be saved and to come into the knowledge of the truth, a variety of vessels or useful items will be found in His mega-house. However, not all these vessels are for the houseguests' use. Some vessels are of special value and esteemed to the highest degree. Others are less honorable and would be despised by man. After all, no one would cook a meal in a garbage container! But at least all the vessels are a part of the mega-house of God.

However, verse 21 in the KJV says, "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." This is why we humans are God's best workmanship. No garbage can make itself a silver platter or a goblet of gold, but we can change thoroughly; we can determine what kind of vessel we will be.

It was God's cleansing that got us into His house. However, it is our continual cleansing of ourselves with the Holy Spirit's assistance that will help determine how we will be used of the Master. The purpose in purging ourselves is to prepare to be pleasing vessels for the Master's use. Whenever the Master is pleased with His vessels, He puts them out for service to others. His work is always good, so we should desire and prepare for His pleasure.

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Friday August 17, 2018
Put My Mark on You

Song of Solomon 8:6, KJV: Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm....

Several years ago, my protég&eacute, shared that her first few days at college were void of familiar security, fun, and laughter. Depression and loneliness overwhelmed her. She questioned God and inquired what was happening. God challenged her to consider the meaning of the words "personal" and "relationship." She was inspired to accept that her priority on that campus was "to know Christ."

She quickly recognized that the joy of her youth was due to her involvement with her parents, peers, and pastor. She knew a great deal about Jesus and even knew the Word of God well enough to teach. Yet now that she needed to sense the presence of the Lord, it seemed He was nowhere to be found.

Her past involvement with others now clouded her ability to see and serve Him when she needed Him in a most personal way. The charge to "know Christ" was the turning point in her life.

God is saying to you today, "Make Me the signature that marks your heart so that all you believe, say, and do will first proceed from Me; then you will be pleasing in My sight and beneficial to others. Since love is as strong as death, develop your love for Me. Look only at Me; focus your affection toward Me. When death or deceit try to trap you and destroy your dreams, all you and I have together will rise to the occasion to remind you that you have marked yourself as Mine, sealing My strength, My power, and My love within you."

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Saturday August 18, 2018
Potholes Are Not Earthquakes

Psalm 121:5, NLT: The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.

Once we acknowledge that all of our help comes from the Lord, it matters not what comes our way. Nothing that happens to me takes God by surprise. He does not go on vacation; He does not sleep. Knowing that He observes all things concerning me allows me to keep doing His will for my life and for the good of others. The Lord is so close to me that His presence has become my protective shade.

What am I protected from? Verse 6 says, "The sun will not hurt you by day, nor the moon at night." If God will not allow the things He has created to harm me, how much more will He protect me from the things of the enemy? Notice that I did not say I would not experience attacks from the enemy. I said the Lord will protect me. His shade will not allow me to be defeated by the enemy. The Lord keeps me from all evil that is assigned to destroy my life.

How would I know the level of my faith if I never experienced a challenge or two? What does it matter as long as my life is preserved in the midst of it? I know that all of my help comes from the Lord. I also know that the devil's sole purpose is to rob me, eliminate me, and utterly cause everything about me to perish. Therefore, I can rejoice knowing that after each of the devil's attacks on my life, he must return to his camp saying, "Mission failed."

Where are you today in your faith walk? Have you been trying hard just to stay afloat and keep all of the balls in your life balanced? Do you want a word from the Lord? He said to tell you that you need to roll it all over on Him; He is the load carrier and the burden bearer. He is watching over you as you come and go so that He can see when your steps are not on course and can work with you to bring you back to His perfect plan for your life.

Remember: The next pothole you encounter is not an earthquake. It's a hole in the road to avoid.

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Sunday August 19, 2018
The Bible's Purpose: Instruction To Function

Romans 15:4, KJV: For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

The information you uncover during your study of the Bible has a purpose. First, you are to learn what is written. You might say it is your instruction to function. Then the waiting begins. However, this waiting period is not to be a laborious ordeal. Your instructions to function will teach you to cheerfully endure as you stay constant and consistent.

I get more excited each time I read the Word, because it gives me solace. It exhorts me, encourages me, and infuses me with hope. The Bible knowledge in me causes me to laugh and dance in the face of present circumstances and to see the desired results with eyes of faith. Before I learned what was written, I had days when I willed to die. But God would so gently and sweetly remind me that the battle was not mine but His. In those times, His grace, His joy, and His divine influence upon my heart were enough for me. However, that wouldn't have been true had I not learned what was written.

I don't yet have the manifestation of some of God's written promises. But because of what I have learned about faith, I'm enjoying those promises even while awaiting their manifestation. Patience is the bridge I stand on; it gives me the comfort and hope that one day soon, all the promises in Christ will be my manifested reality.

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Monday August 20, 2018
How Would They Have Known?

1 Peter 3:19, KJV: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.

The bodies of the Old Testament souls were in the grave just as Jesus' body remained in the tomb. In order for them to know Him, Jesus had to die and by His spirit go to them to preach to their spirits. Then, they too, could make a choice to receive Him or reject Him. These were the ones who "disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood" (1 Peter 3:20, NLT).

What chance did they have to hear and know truth as we have received it? There are those who have a challenge with Jesus' human spirit having gone into hell. They like to say that Jesus preached to those in Abraham's bosom. When the people drowned in Noah's day, Abraham's bosom was not an option because Abraham was not yet on the scene. When I meditate on what Jesus really did on that fatal day in order to save me and fill me with His fullness, I feel I could just burst with joy.

In these last and final days, we are to cease from sin in the flesh because of the example of Jesus Christ. We must arm ourselves with the same attitude that Jesus had concerning the suffering of pain in the flesh. It is not until we are willing to suffer with Christ that we are able to make a quality decision to stop sinning.

God, our Father, is the God of both the living and the dead. That means His love is extended to all of His creation and He is willing and able to do whatever it takes to have them restored to Himself. God does not want one soul to go to hell as a permanent residence. Would you want to see your masterpiece consumed in a fire? Of course not.

Adam made a dumb decision and an awful choice. All of us know that. But Jesus is also known as the second Adam, and He is always making the right choices. Let's work with Him to restore all men to the Father through Him.

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