Horizons Unlimited September 22, 2019 - September 30, 2019
HORIZONS UNLIMITED

Sunday September 22, 2019: Why Bother God?
Monday September 23, 2019: Conscientious Objection
Tuesday September 24, 2019: Nevertheless I Have Something Against Thee
Wednesday September 25, 2019: Christ Opened the Sacred Curtain
Thursday September 26, 2019: Immeasurable, Unmistakable, and Unending Love
Friday September 27, 2019: A Sickbed Is Not a Deathbed
Saturday September 28, 2019: How to Gain Honor from God
Sunday September 29, 2019: Good Reason to Trust God
Monday September 30, 2019: Yet Will I Praise Him

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Sunday September 22, 2019
Why Bother God?


Psalm 116:2, KJV: Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.

God inclines His ear unto me because He is listening to what I am saying. I don't call upon Him to just fix things for me. I talk to Him about what He has already done. His track record with me is one of success--according to His plan for my life and the lives of humankind.

When Barry Bonds hit his seventieth homerun to tie Mark McGuire's record, he shared with reporters that he was pleased to set a new record, but that it was more important to him that his team won. Likewise, I am very grateful for the success that God has provided for me personally, but that does not begin to compare to what I believe Him for on behalf of the team.

I have decided to call upon Him as long as I live. What am I talking to Him about when I call upon Him? Am I looking for personal deliverance? Do I want all of my needs met and "too bad for you" if you don't get what you need?

God is a fix me, do me, bless me God. But I don't have to bother Him about those things. He delights to do them as I talk with Him about the needs of others and His ultimate plan for humankind. I don't have to talk to God about me. He has added, multiplied, and increased me as I have sought Him and His kingdom first. And His kingdom includes other people obtaining His righteousness. Are you believing for that to occur?

Since God's ear is inclined toward me, and His hearing is pitched in my direction, I never have to be concerned that He will only half-hear me. He listens to what I am saying as though He has only one ear. When I practice calling on the Lord every day that I live, then His promise to deliver me in the day of trouble is mine before I need it (Psalm 50:15).

So listen up: Start now to talk to the one true God, whose ear you already have. Thank Him for your history and for your future. Discuss the future of others with Him. When your brook dries up, praise Him for this interlude in the performance of your life. All of heaven will rejoice when your final earthly curtain closes. The applause in glory will be that you called on your Father every day of your life. And, sometimes, it was for others.

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Monday September 23, 2019
Conscientious Objection


Psalm 35:1, KJV: Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.

In my early childhood, I never started a fight. However, I never walked away from one either. A couple of times, I tried to discourage fights; but when such efforts were futile, I jumped right in the middle--and, by the way, won them all.

Even though I never was beaten, I always felt a sense of loss because I never enjoyed one single fight. In fact, I secretly hated fights. I didn't like feeling as if I needed to protect myself from other people. I really liked most of the people I fought and wanted to be their friend, but I didn't know about the grace of God and His power within me to trust Him for my protection.

I still don't like the feeling of needing to protect myself. The difference is that now I know to ask the One who bought me at a high price to plead my cause with those who strive with me. Because the Creator of the universe is my Lord, I ask Him to fight for me.

He does it in the most unusual and unique ways. He challenges me to love them, to bless them, to do good to them, and to pray for them. And before I know it, my former opponents become my friends, members of the same family.

Sometimes my personality doesn't mesh with certain people's personalities, so I try to avoid contact with those people until His fruits are further developed in me. However, whether our personalities mesh or not, God requires me to love, bless, do good to, and pray for them.

Father, please forgive me for the many times I handled matters in the flesh. Thank You for teaching me that I may be called into the war, but I never have to fight the battle. When I have opportunities to protect myself at the risk of harming another, You provide me with the choice to refuse to defend myself because You protect and correct me. I may be drafted into the service, and I may be in the war; but as a conscientious objector, I refuse the use of all weapons that are carnal because I have mighty ones through You.



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Tuesday September 24, 2019
Nevertheless I Have Something Against Thee


Revelation 2:4, KJV: Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Jesus said, "I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted" (Revelation 2:2,3, KJV).

After all that was right and pleasing to the Lord, He still had something against this church. Folks, it is not always about what we do that is right. We have to guard against what we neglect and ignore that we should have done as directed by the Spirit of God.

If there is anything written in the Bible that helps me to keep a deflated head and to walk as humbly as I can before the Lord, it is these verses. One thing I have learned is that God's mercy is extended way out beyond anything we do. Admittedly I do not understand Christians, specifically leaders, not spending time in the presence of God, who have no hunger for the Word or pleasure in pleasing Him. Unless you see it as a privilege to serve Him according to His plan you have not grasped the essence of the reality of being a Christian.

When you are doing a good job in your service for the Lord, and you are improving in your fruit walk on a daily basis, your righteous indignation should rise up at the sign of evil or deliberate wickedness. You are on the right track and making progress. But do not become impressed with your press. It is a snare of the devil to trip you up in pride: "Look at me, look and see, I've been good." Continue to do what you are doing to please the Lord in every area of your life.

But do not neglect your first love, which includes learning to release His love in you toward others, especially believers, at all times. There may be some additional unique things the Lord has for you to do. Make sure to make time to spend with Him to hear what they are and purpose to do them. You will never regret your choice and He will have nothing against you.



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Wednesday September 25, 2019
Christ Opened the Sacred Curtain


Romans 3:30, KJV: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

Romans 3:30 points out that whether it be by the faith of Abraham with circumcision or through the faith of Jesus Christ without circumcision, only the true and living God justifies us. This scripture also identifies the two ways that God provided for people to have access to Him after the fall of Adam. Today, however, because the veil in the temple was torn in two, the only way to the Father God is through Jesus Christ.

Before Jesus came to the earth, God instructed the Jews to follow Abraham in circumcision, which is the ceremonial cutting of the foreskin on a man's genitals. A woman could only be in covenant with God through her relationship to a circumcised man of the covenant, such as her father or her husband.

But, praise God, in our day every man, woman, boy, and girl can establish a personal covenant with God through faith in Jesus Christ. Scripture says, "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God" (Romans 2:28-29).

Just as circumcision must be of the heart, so must worship be of the heart. Unfortunately, however, I have been told that some so-called Christian leaders are encouraging ignorant baby Christians to once again stand behind the veil. In other words, they are teaching that Old Testament ceremonial worship is the pattern for the church today. They are even hanging veils across church platforms with a replica of the ark and other symbols.

Yet the Bible clearly tells us that the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom. Hebrews 10:20 in the New Living Translation reads: "This is the new, life-giving way that Christ has opened up for us through the sacred curtain, by means of his death for us." Please do not be deceived by false teaching. Our doorway to God is wide open through Jesus, and we no longer need Old Testament symbols to get us there. Jesus is the only way.



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Thursday September 26, 2019
Immeasurable, Unmistakable, and Unending Love


Romans 8:39, KJV: Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Each time I read this verse, I realize that most of us don't have a clue about what it truly means to love. The emotional, "mushy-gushy" feelings we have about someone or something are not love. They are nothing more than emotional, "mushy-gushy" feelings!

This verse is telling us that we can't ascend to levels so high nor sink to pits so low nor encounter anything built, formed, or manufactured that can create space between God's love and us. Why? Because His love for us is found in Christ Jesus. God does not love us because of our natural personalities, abilities, or characteristics. He never looks at us except in Christ Jesus. When He looks at us, He sees the Body of His beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased. His kind of love cannot be measured. It is unmistakable. There is none like it anywhere. It has no beginning, nor does it have an end.

We cannot in our heads comprehend that kind of love, and yet God gives it to us so we can imitate it as best we can, as often as we can, to as many as we can. This may prove challenging at first, but if we will dare to walk in God's kind of love, it will cause a new you and me to surface.

Challenge yourself today to begin "the practice of love." Start with those you are not particularly fond of or who have done you an evil deed. Do something nice for them. This may take a little effort at first; but as you continue, you'll sense a change in them. Most importantly, you will begin to see a change in yourself.

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Friday September 27, 2019
A Sickbed Is Not a Deathbed


Psalm 41:3, NKJV: The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.

This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God. He will live and not die, and declare the work of the Lord," the Holy Spirit spoke to me. As I write this, no one in my household is under attack and I am not clear to whom this is directed, but I recognize the Spirit of God moving on me to write it down. This tells me from past experience that very shortly I will be using these scriptures to stand against an attack of the enemy. I believe I have been given advanced notice what to say and the matter's conclusion.

One of the most thrilling parts of being a Christian is to live by Jesus' statement recorded in John 10:27: "My sheep hear my voice...and they follow me." I have been privileged for many years to cooperate with the Spirit of God in altering what could have been devastating situations. I wish I could change every evil thing that happens in life, but I can't. However, God can use me to help alter situations when I obey His promptings.

I believe with all my heart that whoever this is about and whenever the situation occurs, the outcome will bring glory to God and benefit the person under attack, even if the natural prognosis doesn't appear favorable and the diagnosis is bleak. I know that by the time you read this, the situation that I am now impressed to address will be history with a happy ending.

I am also impressed to encourage every reader of this devotional passage to allow its message to inspire you to take a stand also. It may be the first time that you have stood against the odds. So what? Begin somewhere. People are depending on you, and lives are at stake. You don't have to make anything happen. You just have to believe that God will do what He said in His Word. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Trust Him today, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus. He is working all things together for your good. He is waiting for you to release your faith in His promises and watch Him bring it to pass, in His name.



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Saturday September 28, 2019
How to Gain Honor from God


John 12:26, KJV: If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

This verse helps to explain why some in the body of Christ enjoy an abundant life while others appear to barely make it from day to day. Servants never lead their Master; they follow closely behind, observing every deed of their Lord so that they can learn to anticipate His every need, His heart's every desire. A real, committed servant is never far away from his Lord. He and his Lord do not have separate paths and agendas.

God wants to honor us, and He determines to what degree by how we serve His Son. Our little gestures and meager efforts in the flesh are a stench in God's nostrils when we neglect His Son. The way to serve and follow Jesus is to practice His presence, obey His Word, and act on the promptings of His Spirit.

I have had employees who had to be told how to do every detail and never became creative. Then, there were others who studied me so closely that they would just do certain things and later report their deeds to me. They were not reluctant to try something new; neither were they injured if their suggestion or idea was not readily received. They would just go back and come another way until what they offered was received. In the meantime, their creative juices flowed. Why? Because their hearts' desire was to serve and follow; therefore, the Father honored them.

I have been honored to serve and follow certain men and women because they served and followed Jesus Christ. They were the human examples that helped to rid me of any and all excuses to do less than my best.

So often we extend ourselves to the point of abuse to be recognized for a moment by human beings. May I suggest that you reconsider the object of your attention and affection? Always do good to those who are of the household of faith, for in so doing you are also serving the Son of God. Follow anyone who is following Christ and prepare to take your place as one who is honored of the Father. Let me tell you, there is no honor like His honor of His children.



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Sunday September 29, 2019
Good Reason to Trust God


Psalm 105:14, KJV: He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes.

There are three basic requirements for each of God's children:

    1. Give thanks unto the Lord

    2. Call upon His name

    3. Make known His deeds among the people (Psalm 105:1)

I do not think that that is too much for us to handle. It is not too much to ask of us because of God's commitment to us through Jesus by way of Abraham.

When God establishes a covenant with you, it is not for the moment only. It is for the season that you are in and for every generation following.

Once God makes a promise to you, it matters not to Him how many are with you or how the numbers decreased. He will do just what He said He would. Verse 12 of this chapter in Psalms reads, "When they were but a few in number, yea very few." God is not as interested in the quantity of your work; but He is very interested in the quality of what you do.

When you are strangers in strange places in life and wandering from place to place, the Bible says He allows no person to harm you. God's eyes are roaming to and fro throughout the whole earth, searching for people willing to trust Him.

How do you know when you are trusting Him? You begin to consult with Him concerning every choice or selection. You are trusting Him when your next move finds you thinking more about doing His will and pleasing Him than about you "doing your thing" because it benefits you. Trusting God is when your thoughts and actions are more about being of benefit to people than personally hoarding and accumulating wealth and possessions.

It matters not the title or status of any human bent on harming you or trying to thwart your God-given assignment. You can trust the Lord Jesus Christ to cover His commitment to you because of God's covenant to you in Christ our Lord. So it matters not who is out to harm you from the mugger on the street to the king in the palace. God will deal with them, if you simply trust Him.

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Monday September 30, 2019
Yet Will I Praise Him


Habakkuk 3:17-18, NLT: Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation.

You may be unemployed at this point and all of the natural sources and resources may appear to be dried up. However, nothing should prevent you from rejoicing in the Lord. You can choose to say, "I will be joyful in the God of my salvation."

Joy does not come from our relationship or our dependency on others. Joy does not come from anything that is temporal or subject to change. Those things bring us pleasure. They provide moments of happiness, but true joy comes from an ever- living God for an everlasting life, and nothing and no one can prevent that.

How are you going to make it through this season of surface merriment? What do you do when others expect to receive what you no longer have to give them? This is what you do: give them what you have, which may be what they need more than what they requested. Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk" (Acts 3:6 NKJV).

When was the last time you gave a gift that only Jesus' name could pay for? David said in Psalm 138:2 (NLT), "I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I will give thanks to your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness, because your promises are backed by all the honor of your name."

Things in the natural may look bleak today, but that is because your focus is on the natural. I challenge you to tune in with your spiritual eyes. The world says, "Spend, spend, spend regardless." The Holy One says, "Believe, believe, believe regardless."

The prophet Habakkuk continued in verse 19 in the NLT with an insight for you today. "The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains."

If the mountain before you is too enormous for you to climb, that is good. Jesus never told us to climb each mountain. He told us to speak to it and believe that in His name, it will move, and you will walk safely to the other side. Be joyful in the God of your salvation.



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