Horizons Unlimited October 20, 2019 - October 28, 2019

Sunday October 20, 2019: What You Do Determines Who Your Father Is
Monday October 21, 2019: Good Question
Tuesday October 22, 2019: Sexually Immoral People
Wednesday October 23, 2019: Knowledge of Jesus Leads to Liberty
Thursday October 24, 2019: The Ultimate Church Growth
Friday October 25, 2019: You!
Saturday October 26, 2019: Your Words Were Heard
Sunday October 27, 2019: Your House Is Covered, Not Theirs
Monday October 28, 2019: Reserved and Preserved

Horizons Unlimited PDF Archive

Sunday October 20, 2019
What You Do Determines Who Your Father Is

1 John 2:29, NLT: Since we know that God is always right, we also know that all who do what is right are his children.

You will be known by your fruit (Matthew 12:33, NLT).

You cannot fail to abide by the rules and by the book and still expect God's support. You are entitled to certain opinions and preferences. However, when you have been placed in a role of leadership, it is more important that you stick with what is written than what you think or feel. You can't serve two masters (Matthew 6:24, NLT).

I am harder on myself than I am on any employee of the ministry. I can't require something of our church members and employees, and then violate the policy by doing what I want to do because I am the senior pastor. There are certain rights and privileges conferred upon me by the board of directors that are not contrary to God's laws for me. Yet I never exercise those rights, because doing so could be confusing to others.

I have the right not to exercise my rights! Requiring the same basic things from everyone eliminates my being viewed as a respecter of persons. However, if God speaks to me to do something for someone, I obey, but I prefer to remain anonymous. I try to never use my position, gift, or call to take advantage of others or to exclude those who may not be my favorites. My Father is always right. In order to be identified with Him, I must always work at being right. So when Jesus appears, I will not have to shrink back in shame (1 John 2:28). Live by the Bible and you'll stay out of trouble-and you'll give the devil all kinds of grief.

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Monday October 21, 2019
Good Question

2 Chronicles 25:15, KJV: ...Why hast thou sought after the gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of thine hand?

My mother used to say that some people's brains went on vacation, which was to suggest that their mental capacities were experiencing a time of doing nothing or, at best, very little. That is what I believe happened to idol worshippers. Imagine worshipping something that could not protect itself or you! The Bible says when "Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them" (2 Chron. 25:14).

Any god that you can maneuver or manipulate is an idol; it is not the God, the only One who is worthy of all of your worship. If you can set it up, it should worship you; you should not worship it. It would benefit all of us to stand and examine our lives. What has grasped our attention and our affection? In what have we placed our trust and confidence? To whom are we looking for our pleasure and purpose?

Each of us has personal, direct access to our God through the blood and the name of Jesus. Your position in society or your role in your family does not affect your relationship with God. Yes, I believe that God ordained the man to be the head of his family, but that does not mean that women do not have access to God for themselves. Ladies, you are not to worship God through your spouse. Thanks be to God, as sheep of Jesus, all of us can personally hear from God for ourselves (see John 10:4,5).

Father God, please move by Your Spirit on the hearts of husbands to accept that their wives also are to be led by Your Spirit. Otherwise, they are entertaining a controlling spirit. If the man were to do everything by himself, then You, God, made Your first mistake in making a helpmeet for him. Since You do not make mistakes, please teach Your sons the value of the gift You have given them in their companions, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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Tuesday October 22, 2019
Sexually Immoral People

1 Corinthians 5:9, NKJV: I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.

Sometimes we act as though it is a crime to judge the behavior of sexually immoral people in the body of Christ. The Bible is clear we are not to judge the behavior of those outside the body; God will judge them (1 Corinthians 5:13). However, when it pertains to those inside the body, the Word of God instructs us to judge their immorality and refuse to keep company with them (1 Corinthians 5:9,11). Verse 13 concludes, "Put away from yourselves the evil person." The same is true for the covetous, idolaters, revilers, drunkards, and extortionists who may be a brother or sister in the Lord.

One reason ungodly behavior is prevalent in the Church, even among the leaders, is because leadership is afraid to preach the truth about it. To do so hits too close to home. You will not preach about what you are guilty of. If you stop preaching about the truth of God's Word because someone's friend or relative does not line up with it, you will soon find yourself with little to preach about. You must choose either to preach the whole counsel of God and let Him reward you, or to neglect preaching the truth of God's Word and have the Lord judge you. James 3:1 informs us that a greater condemnation awaits those who are appointed to teach truth, yet fail to do so.

God is not impressed with the size of your congregation; He is concerned only with the quality of disciples you are making. Any time truth is ignored to retain popularity, the power in the life of both leader and disciple is diminished. Love tells the truth and believes that the learner will repent and adhere to it in the future. Fear tells people what they want to hear and hopes they will not leave.

We do not help others or ourselves when we choose to violate God's Word just to retain their fellowship or to keep them as part of our lives or church family. Is it better to please God or people? Pastors, consider repenting.

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Wednesday October 23, 2019
Knowledge of Jesus Leads to Liberty

2 Peter 2:20, KJV: For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

When we were spiritual children, though we were heirs with Christ, we were little more than slaves. We still needed tutors and schoolmasters to teach us what is right.

Today, through love, we have become mature men and women in Christ, and therefore childishness is a thing of our past. This means for me that there ought to be more of a reflection of Jesus being displayed to the world than what is comfortable to the flesh.

The only reason that I can see that we are still yielding to our flesh is that we do not understand the value of being led by the Spirit. Tradition, culture, family, and selfish desires are some of the toughest strongholds to be broken in our lives. I have news for you, God is not going to deliver you from what you have the authority to resist. Without the decision to renew your mind on the Word of God, you will never walk in true liberty.

The Jabez prayer in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 was once the latest thing on the scene. When I inquired of the Lord why I could not pray the prayer as both sinners and saints were doing, He allowed me to see that it is the most selfish, self-seeking prayer in the Bible. Jabez wanted the God of Israel to make life sweet for him. But Jabez had no regard for anyone else, including the mother who suffered pain and sorrow to give birth to him.

I asked the Lord why He granted Jabez his request. The reply I received was for the same reason He gave Israel quail instead of manna when they asked. But with the request He also gave them leanness of their souls (Psalm 106:15). Jabez received what he requested, but there is no further mention of him anywhere in the Bible.

How would you like to be remembered only for having prayed selfishly with no regard for anyone else? Jesus did not pray for the world but He willingly sacrificed Himself for them to be restored to the Father. That is a good thing.

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Thursday October 24, 2019
The Ultimate Church Growth

Acts 9:31, NKJV: Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

Church growth conferences all over the world are trying to teach pastors and church leaders how to attract folk to their flock. Forget the gimmicks, gadgets, and games trying to attract people. If people come to your church for any reason other than the Word of God and the preaching of Jesus, they will not remain.

We do not find many peaceful assemblies today. Pastors and church leaders are often uptight because of great debt or operating expenses in excess of their income. Church is almost the last place anyone looks to be edified and exhorted, because the saints are not taught the foundation for trusting the Lord.

I am personally convinced that there is an urgent need to quit the "how-to's" and the "steps to church growth." It is time to teach the people the love of God as well as how to love God and how to respond to the ministry and the person of the Holy Spirit.

When the world observes the peaceful spirit of the saints who spend more time exhorting others rather than criticizing them, people will come to the churches out of curiosity, hear the message of Christ, and choose to stay. Do we have what it really takes to attract the heathen, or can they see little or no difference between them and us? I believe we have all that is needed to evangelize the world to Jesus. I am just not sure we have learned to trust God enough to pull it off without a "Madison Avenue" approach. Pastor, why not talk to Him about it today?

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Friday October 25, 2019

Deuteronomy 5:33, NKJV: "You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess."

The subject here is pretty obvious. God is speaking directly to each one of us. Why is it that we still look over our shoulder to see who is following? What does it matter who goes with you? You must follow the voice of the Good Shepherd and the leading of His Holy Spirit.

One of the best reasons that I know to listen to and follow His voice is so you may live and testify to God's goodness. One way I do this is by taking care of what the Lord has given me. I am very cautious and concerned about what I eat, how it is prepared, and generally what I can do to prolong my days here on the earth.

Reread Deuteronomy 5:33. It says each of us is due an inheritance; some of us will be given physical land. Are we possessing the portion allotted to us? We can if we walk in His ways and do that which He has commanded of us.

I love these "you" scriptures. Not only do they challenge me, they clearly state what my part is in the matter. They eliminate the wonder or the worry. I have never found God to obscure what He wanted me to do. Moses reiterated the Lord's instruction to the children of Israel that they should not turn aside to the left or to the right. That could only mean they were in a forward march because retreat and reverse were never His plan for His children.

It should excite you to know that God's love for you is such that He would specify for you what His expectations are so that you are not trying to walk in another's shoes. Follow God's plan for you. It will prolong your days and cause things to go well for you.

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Saturday October 26, 2019
Your Words Were Heard

Daniel 10:12, NKJV: Then said he to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come for your words."

Are we really interested in God hearing and answering our prayers? Then stop praying selfish prayers. We were not given the privilege of praying so that we could increase in our personal assets.

Prayer is the privilege of talking to God about changing cities and nations. We are to mature beyond praying just for I, my, mine, and me. We are to talk to God about universal and eternal things, not just about the local things. It is all right to pray about local and community changes, but never stop there. When our affection is set on things above then we should begin to speak of things on the earth that we want done in heaven. I suspect what we talk to God about universally will help to influence what we rule and reign over eternally.

Angels have no need to pray, but even Jesus found it necessary to pray while He was here in the earth. John 17 tells us what Jesus petitioned the Father while He was here. Notice that His primary focus was to benefit people. That is where we must go in order to get the heart of God. It is always God's desire for His people to be blessed in the earth, but for it to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Since it is true that we brought nothing into the world and will depart with nothing, doesn't it make Holy Ghost sense not to be limited by what we accumulate here? I want the mind of Christ concerning what to hold onto and what to let go of. Anything that will hinder my trust in the Lord-and my willingness to have confidence in Him alone to provide what I need when I need it to fulfill His plans and purpose-I want to let go of. It all comes from Him. It all belongs to Him and He decided to share some of it with us to enjoy while we work with Him to benefit people. Let go and let God.

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Sunday October 27, 2019
Your House Is Covered, Not Theirs

Joshua 2:18, NKJV: Unless when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father's household to your own home.

Rahab had acknowledged the God of the Israelites as the one, true God. She asked the spies to spare her parents and siblings when they returned to possess the land given to them by God. She understood that everyone was either going to be destroyed or enslaved, so she was buying some insurance for herself and her family also.

When you cooperate with God's plan for people, His covenant is with your house, not that of your relatives. Joshua stated, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).

When you are the head of the home, you choose which God you will serve. Rahab chose Jehovah, her family had not. But because she did, God protected her house. Therefore, anyone in her house enjoyed the benefit of her commitment to God. Her family could have rejected her offer and remained at home, however, they chose to move in with her. As a result, while everyone around them was destroyed, they were totally unharmed.

As much as you want God's protection for your loved ones, they have to establish their own covering with Him unless they come into your home and live according to His requirement of you and your commitment to Him.

Jesus is available to everyone who chooses to come to Him. If your words to your relatives do not seem to penetrate, perhaps you need to stop talking to them about the Lord and begin talking to the Lord about them. Stay in God's face and walk according to His Word. He will honor your request, because it is already His desire for them to be a part of His family. He will perform the supernatural, if that is what it takes. Commit them to Him. Rest in Him. Thank Him in advance for the manifestation. Start today.

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Monday October 28, 2019
Reserved and Preserved

2 Timothy 4:18, NKJV: And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!

Circumstances around you are not scheduled to improve. However, you can work and walk through all of them when you are equipped with Bible truth.

Evil work is a given, but according to my Bible, I have a reservation with God to be delivered from it. Not only that, but I am promised that He will preserve me. When something is preserved, it is protected from the destruction and decay of this world.

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, knows that His sheep are unable to protect themselves, just as a parent knows her baby cannot protect himself. Many years ago, when my children were babies and toddlers, I never expected them to be wise enough to protect themselves from danger. So I put up the necessary gates and restraints to limit their activity-to guard them from hazardous objects and situations. That is what our Shepherd can do for us.

Do you have a reservation of assured preservation? Even today, the tragedy of 9/11 gets blamed for almost everything that is negatively oriented. That is so sad because 9/11 is not responsible for all of the world's evil works. The devil is, and he just uses 9/11 as a distraction to keep us from the truth that Bible prophecy is being fulfilled in our day and age.

The U.S.A. has been so very blessed. We who are citizens are very fortunate to be able to call America "land of the free." We should also call it "land of the blessed," for that is what we are.

I believe that God is calling together a core of men and women who understand where we are according to the Bible: leaders who are not looking to exclude anyone, but want to get together in one accord to hear from God as to what His next move is for us individually and collectively; men and women who understand that they cannot prevent the evil of the world, but are wise enough to comprehend that they can live unaffected by it.

The power over evil is not to prevent it, but to prevent it from taking you and yours over. Make your reservation for preservation by accepting Jesus, God's Son, now. Don't wait.

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