Horizons Unlimited August 18, 2019 - August 26, 2019

Sunday August 18, 2019: Unto the Image
Monday August 19, 2019: Cultivate the Friendship
Tuesday August 20, 2019: Provisions Come from the Provider
Wednesday August 21, 2019: Chastened For Our Profit
Thursday August 22, 2019: Make Prison Productive
Friday August 23, 2019: Self-Control Is a Powerful Fruit
Saturday August 24, 2019: What Is the Gospel?
Sunday August 25, 2019: Never Lose Hope
Monday August 26, 2019: Excessive Baggage Will Cost You

Horizons Unlimited PDF Archive

Sunday August 18, 2019
Unto the Image

Judges 2:3, KJV: Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.

A snare is deceptively attractive, and a thorn is an irritant. What the enemy sends to deceive us, God allows to become a thorn to irritate us. So many have grown cold and turned their backs on God because of the devil's promises to them. Never forget that satan is a liar, and there is no truth in him. Don't think that he has any goal other than to kill you, steal everything God has made available to you, and destroy you.

As long as Joshua and the Elders who outlived him were alive, the people served the LORD (2:7). Why? Because having seen the works of the Lord, they believed the one, true God. After that generation died, another generation arose who knew neither the Lord nor the works He had done for Israel.

History seems to be repeating itself. Like the Israelites, this generation we're living in seems to have forsaken God. They appear to be clueless as to who is the real Lord. Thank God for the young people who are on fire for God. Our prayers should cover them constantly. Family members who have had a positive track record with the Lord appear to have ceased sharing about His goodness and His faithfulness. How can they know about what He has done in our lives if we don't show them His love? Flesh, fun, and folly seem to be dictating their future. It's not about losing them because you offer a standard to them; we're losing them because we provide no standard. Young people were not given as a possession to complete your life. They were given for us to train so that we can raise up a generation to serve the Lord. You were not intended to be your children's buddy. The devil certainly won't be. Teach them to conform to the Lord's image. It's the only way.

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Monday August 19, 2019
Cultivate the Friendship

John 15:15, NLT: I no longer call you servants, because a master doesn't confide in his servants. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.

There are no secrets between Jesus and me. There should be none between you and Jesus. That is what best friends are for.

When I hear others say, "I just don't know what God's will is for my life," I know that they have not cultivated their friendship with Jesus. When He said, "I told you everything the Father told Me," He was saying, "There is nothing additional you need to know at this point because when you need to know it, the Father will tell Me and I'll surely tell it to you."

Would you withhold from your friend what he needed to know to be happy and successful in life? Of course not, and neither will Jesus. What a wonderful peace I enjoy knowing that He withholds nothing from me that is essential to my progress. Why would He? I am part of His body, and my part must be fruitful in order to complete the rest of Him.

What causes some people to be so comfortable with Him, regardless of their circumstances? Most likely, they have cultivated their friendship with God. We can do this pretty much the same way we do it with others. We spend time together. We discuss issues that are important to both parties, and we agree on what is best for all involved. It is not about individuals having their own way or promoting their own plans. Friends care most about the good of all, not merely the individual.

How much of each day do you spend with Jesus? Prayer is a privileged conversation with Him. But study of His words brings wisdom and power with practical answers for everyday questions and problems.

I have some friends with whom I converse occasionally. We share a mutual respect for each other and enjoy one another's company, but they can never be my source of direction for life's concerns.

Friendship must be cultivated to be fully enjoyed. Today, stop where you are and spend some time with Jesus, both in prayer and in His Word. It will make the journey you are on much easier. Your directions will become so clear that you'll smile at how simple your life has become.

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Tuesday August 20, 2019
Provisions Come from the Provider

Hosea 7:14, NKJV: They did not cry out to Me with their heart When they wailed upon their beds.

Most of the desperation in our lives is allowed to move us closer to God. Instead, we often turn to others for help forgetting that God, and God alone, is our only source.

God may use people to relieve us, but they are never to be confused with God, our help. Thank God for every person He uses to aid us in getting us to where He wants us to be, but never allow the focus to be placed on them. Then when God moves them on or wants to use someone else we’re not so attached that we cannot release them or so blind that we cannot see that He is including others to complete His work in us.

The same is true if you are the one being used of God. Never allow yourself to become so attached to anything or anyone God is trying to improve that you see yourself forever involved with them. We all have a season when God uses us concerning others and we need to know when that season is over.

Respect and honor should be to anyone that God uses to help us, just remember not to leave Him to follow them and all will be well. Our cry must always be to Him with our whole heart and He will always respond. He is the provider and our prayer to Him will be answered the closer we get to Him.

God is always interested in blessing the body of Christ. He wants to provide, extend mercy, show compassion, and direct us along a path that is lit to show us the stumbling blocks trying to prevent our progress. He is not going to remove the stumbling blocks and obstacles. He is going to provide His Word as the lamp to our feet, showing us His way.

God gave us the power to be led, not by our flesh, but by His Spirit. Fix, with God’s help, what needs to be fixed in your life, but never pray for His provision then remove yourself from the provider.

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Wednesday August 21, 2019
Chastened For Our Profit

Hebrews 12:5, KJV: And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the LORD, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him.

How would I ever know what I could endure if I never endured anything? Many of our earthly fathers, doing the best they knew how, disciplined us for a few years. But God’s discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in His holiness.

All of God’s children need to be tutored, educated, corrected, and trained. The Greek word translated “chastening” carries the implication of punishment as a part of education and training. This does not suggest for a moment that the punishment consists of sickness, diseases, poverty, or chaos. On the contrary, we are chastised as children by a loving, caring Father.

Would you make your child sick or diseased? Would you extract everything from your children and have them walk around lacking of the basic needs of life? Of course you would not. And neither will our God do that to His children.

Just as children do not arrive in this world with instructions attached to their bottoms, we as new believers require some instruction and education.

Self-discipline certainly has to be learned, and usually this training comes with practice. Denying ourselves, taking our cross, and following Christ can only become a habit when we break the habit of doing what we want to do, when and how we want to do it.

God’s chastening is for our profit, not for our pain. The pain occurs because of the lack of discipline we have experienced. We even seem to have forgotten that His discipline is an exhortation and a promise to all of His children.

Fainting is not allowed during the training time. Fainting in the day of adversity is an indication of weak faith (Proverbs 24:10).

God did not cause what you are going through today that looks like defeat and disaster. He will help you turn it around if you don’t blame Him for it. Believe me, His chastening is by choice, not by chance.

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Thursday August 22, 2019
Make Prison Productive

Genesis 39:21, KJV: But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

Are you in prison? Know that you are loved of God and special to Him. Consider this: He allowed you to be caught because the path you were on was leading to disappointment, depression, despair, destruction, and possibly death, and your temporary layover in prison can cause you to become productive.

Prisoners are in good company. Joseph, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and Jesus were each in jail. The apostles Paul, Peter, and Silas were also prisoners with a purpose. All of these biblical people were innocent of the charges that caused them to be imprisoned. However, instead of griping and complaining, they decided to make their time in prison productive. In Acts 16:25-32, we see that Paul and Silas praised God in prison until the power of God descended and not only loosed their chains, but also those of the prisoners around them.

We have the freedom to make choices about what we do wherever we are. Some prisoners may be innocent. They may have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. Since their steps are ordered of God and He promised to uphold them with the right hand of His righteousness, their prison uniforms only cover their outer beings and will be discarded one day. But while in jail, they can become robed in His righteousness.

Prisoners can choose to make their jail time misery, or they can decide to make it meaningful. Since all of us have the same twenty-four hours, seven days a week, what we choose to do with them determines the effect of every experience.

Today you may be in a prison of some sort, with no end in view. While in that prison, you can’t change anything or anyone except yourself. You can make prison life a lifestyle or a learning experience. The choice is yours. Choose today to become productive. Declare yourself a prisoner with a purpose.

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Friday August 23, 2019
Self-Control Is a Powerful Fruit

Galatians 5:22-23, KJV: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

We can learn a great deal about the various aspects of the fruit of the Spirit. Volumes are written on love, joy, peace, and faith. However, I seldom come across many writings on the fruit of temperance (or self-control), which is crucial for every believer to develop and walk in.

How easy it would be if, when we were born again, the sin nature were removed from us so that all we were left with was our own new, re-created human spirit, which really does not need to be managed at all. But God would not get as much glory in that as He does in leaving us with the human, or sin, nature to reside in the same vessel with His Holy Spirit, who energizes and directs our new re-created human spirit.

The sin nature in our flesh does not die permanently once it is crucified. A daily, moment-by-moment crucifixion must occur. The sin nature in anyone has its own energy. It does not care what it does, even if it destroys the house it lives in.

We are blessed with the gift of God's divine power to equip us for all that life and godliness require or need, as we gain knowledge of Him. He has given us His very great and precious promises to aid us with participating in the divine nature.

His power and His promise are the keys that lock up our old sinful nature when necessary so that we can access and demonstrate His divine nature, which is the only way to escape the corruption, the distortion, the compromise, and the pollution that evil desires cause.

We can't operate in the divine nature as long as we play with or desire the sinful nature. Holy living according to the life of God in us will not be a reality to us until we allow ourselves to take advantage of His divine power and accept His promises, which can help us to become more knowledgeable of Him.

Self-control brings God glory because He understands the war that takes place daily within us. Control of oneself should be every believer's priority. Self-control is a powerful fruit of the Spirit and nothing else will work in our lives without it.

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Saturday August 24, 2019
What Is the Gospel?

Galatians 1:12, NKJV: For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Unless by the grace of God Jesus Christ is first revealed in you He will not be revealed to you in order to teach others.

There is nothing wrong with attending Bible school if God told you to do so. Paul said, "But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood" (Galatians 1:15-16).

There is nothing quite like knowing whom you are to preach to. Paul was to preach to the Gentiles, not the Jews. I am learning who I am to preach Jesus to by basically staying at RLCC. The Spirit will bring the people there to hear what He gives me to say because RLCC in Nanuet, NY, is where I am called to be.

Paul was an apostle, and he had to go to a number of places. I am a shepherd, and shepherds are to remain with their flock. I go other places occasionally, but as the Spirit directs. It is only for a brief time and never to the neglect of the sheep in my own flock.

God arranged for us to attend Bible school to separate us from family and secular work. Then through our obedience He could prove to us that the just could live by faith. When you look back over what you used to be, hopefully you and others who knew you when, can see Jesus now revealed in you. People are more willing to listen to revelation about Jesus when they observe in you who He is and what He has done in and with you.

I don't remember every detail of the subject that I learned in school, nor have I tried to teach them. But I do know who I have become because of the revelation of Jesus in me. I can preach that because I can support it from the Word of God. Jesus revealed in me is the Gospel.

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Sunday August 25, 2019
Never Lose Hope

Ecclesiastes 9:4, NIV: Anyone who is among the living has hope-even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!

As long as there is life in us, we should have hope. "The hope of the righteous is gladness..." (Proverbs 10:28, NASB). Our dreams, passions, and desires may not yet be a reality, but hope holds on to them for a future manifestation.

Where life no longer exists, hope also ceases to exist. Anyone who is hopeless is also helpless. Ecclesiastes 9:4 contrasts a living dog with a dead lion. While a living dog will never be a lion in life, a dog can enjoy its existence while it remains alive. In contrast, regardless of how a dead lion was admired for its stately stride and its regal presence, it is dead: it is hopeless and helpless. It does not even command fond memories.

The life in us is what keeps hope alive. God places certain things in every human heart to cause each person to recreate those things for the good of others. Every dream, desire, and passion within us can become a reality if we hold on to hope. In fact, God expects us to hope for better things in life. Our Father Himself is the substance, the basis, for this hope. When we refuse to let go of our hope, faith becomes the very audience of the invisible in our lives (Hebrews 11:1).

Heavenly Father, since my childhood, I have had hopes and dreams that could only have come from You. The older I become, the more I realize that what I hope for does not benefit me alone. My hope is in You to bring to pass Your will in the earth. My hope is that Your Word will become a reality to all people so that they can understand its practical application in their lives.

My hope is that these words I write will penetrate hearts and affect the lives of others long after I have ceased to record what You speak to my heart. I believe I receive this. I believe it is done because I have hope in You and Your promises. "Sustain me according to Thy word, that I may live; and do not let me be ashamed of my hope" (Psalm 119:116, NASB). Thank You for it, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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Monday August 26, 2019
Excessive Baggage Will Cost You

Genesis 14:14, NLT: When Abram learned that Lot had been captured, he called together the men born into his household, 318 of them in all. He chased after Kedorlaomer’s army until he caught up with them in Dan.

Airlines inform each passenger of the amount of luggage allowed on each trip for the price of the ticket. However, a person can bring as much as he or she is willing to pay for. In other words, everything over the predetermined allowable amount becomes the customer’s responsibility.

Had Abram left Lot behind, as God told him to do, then he would not have had to concern himself over the weight of his excess baggage. He would not have been responsible for his safety and care.

Cute little puppies grow into large dogs. Children who plead for a puppy need to understand their responsibility for the dog. Parents rob them of a very important piece of maturity when they release them from the responsibility of their choice.

These same children whose parents rob them of such learning experiences may fail later in life to support and care for their own children, especially those born out of wedlock. When parents assume the responsibility of the puppy-turned-dog, they can expect to do the same for the infant-turned-teenager.

My mother made it very clear who would support any babies brought home to whom she didn’t give birth. When I bore a child out of wedlock at age twenty-five, I had my own apartment, worked every day, and paid for the baby-sitter, my baby’s food, clothing, and medical care. And I did it without the help of welfare. Why? It was because I understood that my son was my responsibility for my moment of lustful pleasure. Guess what? That infant was the last one I bore out of wedlock!

What has God spoken to you in His Word? Any violation of His Word will carry with it consequences and responsibilities. Have you counted the cost? Are you discouraged because your paycheck has sprouted wings? Check to see how much excessive baggage you have brought onboard. Did you say, “But that is my child, grandchild, or other family member?” We must be responsible for our decisions, and require others to do the same. It will cut down on the excess.

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