Horizons Unlimited July 22, 2018 - July 30, 2018

Sunday July 22, 2018: Heaven, Home of All Saints
Monday July 23, 2018: Step Out of the Boat - Shore Is Nearby
Tuesday July 24, 2018: Convinced That There Would Be Followers
Wednesday July 25, 2018: Make It Light on Yourself
Thursday July 26, 2018: Favor and Abundance Are for Good Works
Friday July 27, 2018: Delighting in God's Word Saved My Life
Saturday July 28, 2018: Companions With Compassion
Sunday July 29, 2018: Love, Obey, and Serve
Monday July 30, 2018: Outside Conflicts and Inside Fears

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Sunday July 22, 2018
Heaven, Home of All Saints

James 4:14, NKJV: Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

I once had to repent for some plans that I was making a year in advance.

I believed the Lord had asked me to invite a certain person to speak to us at the 25th anniversary of the church and I did. What I forgot to do was say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that" (James 4:15).

Too often we set aside the truth that all of us are like vapor, the morning fog, and we forget that none of us has a guarantee that we will be here tomorrow, let alone next year. It is His will to regulate our departure or our continuance. To make plans for tomorrow is both arrogant and evil, and is considered by God boasting (James 4:16).

That kind of choice clearly is a sign we have abandoned consulting with the Lord concerning His plan for our future and are leaning to our own understanding.

Psalm 39:5 reads, "Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths and my age is as nothing before You; certainly every man at his best state is but a vapor." It grieves me when Christians become so distraught over the passing of a loved one. Death begins at birth and the only way I know to avoid death is to never be born. Since death is more sure than taxes, each of us should ask for the grace of God to live each moment and day as though it were our last.

The important thing for us to remember is to try to encourage others to believe, as with Jesus, they have a season here and a work to be done during that time and there isn't any need to stay once their task is complete.

Don't spend your life heaping up riches and not knowing by whom or how they will be spent. Keep your hope in the Lord who hears every prayer.

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Monday July 23, 2018
Step Out of the Boat - Shore Is Nearby

John 21:8, NCV: ...They were not very far from shore, only about a hundred yards..

How often have our provisions been so close, but we missed them because we would not get out of the security and comfort of our boat? After fishing in the flesh, the disciples caught nothing. But Jesus told them what to do, and the fish heard His voice and swam to get into their net! Jesus did not have to wait for their catch; He showed them that He was able to provide for them regardless. There is no indication that Jesus had anything to fish with, yet the disciples saw fish cooking over the fire once they got out of the boat.

Too many times, we fail to see what the Lord has for us because we neglect to come ashore to be with Him. Peter became so excited when he heard it was the Lord, he jumped overboard and swam to Him. He remembered that walking on water had not completely worked for him, so he did what he knew to do: swim. Once we stop dwelling on our past failures and mistakes and continue with the Lord in what we know to do, we'll reach Him. The object is Jesus and being in His Presence by whatever means works for us to achieve that goal.

Never permit your boat to get so comfortable that you miss what the Lord is saying to you. He may ask you to go fishing for a season. However, at some point, He is expecting you to get out of the boat and come ashore. How else can He show you how He wants to reward your obedience? Going fishing is a test. Shore is nearby, and the blessing is there awaiting your arrival.

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Tuesday July 24, 2018
Convinced That There Would Be Followers

John 17:20, NCV: I pray for these followers, but I am also praying for those who will believe in me because of their teaching.

This prayer of the Lord Jesus has convinced me more than ever that all I need to do is teach and preach the Word to those I come in contact with. Why? Because Jesus has already conferred with the Father about them.

When people assemble together, I believe that taking the opportunity to teach and preach about Jesus carries with it enough anointing and power to change the crowd from mere "people" status to "believer" status. However, too often, we want people to come to the local assembly so we can preach Jesus to them. But I say preach Jesus wherever and whenever there are people to hear. Preaching should occur whenever two or more are gathered. Introduce them to His name. Teach the assembly of believers, but preach to all other people assembled, wherever they are assembled.

Jesus was headed to the Cross for the sins of mankind, and He knew that the Father would not require this of Him without a plan. More than just those considered His disciples or followers would benefit from His death. This is why He could endure the cross with joy (Hebrews 12:2). He understood that those traveling with Him would tell others about Him, and the hearers would believe what was told them.

Altar calls in the assembly are great, but I personally believe that more people would be won to Christ if we who are followers would more openly share about Him in everyday conversation. It's the Holy Spirit's job to prepare hearts to receive. It's our job to seize the day and to proclaim God's truth to others. After all, Jesus did pray for them already. How will they know if we won't tell?

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Wednesday July 25, 2018
Make It Light on Yourself

Proverbs 15:16, TM: A simple life in the Fear-of-God is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches.

It is so sad to see how much the media - television, in particular - has affected our values and lifestyles. The result is that so many youth today hardly ever use their brains to make choices that will benefit anyone but themselves. When you locate a person who thinks outside of this box and is not afraid to express these thoughts, you find that he or she is often labeled as anything from a nerd to a rebel to a snob.

Because most people want to be accepted and liked, they often compromise what they believe and recognize as truth in order to fit in. Too often we are fed thoughts and attitudes by others, even by our loved ones, because they have a goal for us that, actually, they have for themselves. And they do this regardless of whether their goals fit us or are even a part of God's plan for our lives.

A simple life is sometimes frowned upon anymore, because others measure us by what we have, not by who we are in Christ. In truth, we are measured in life by our fear of the Lord - by our reverence for Him - not by our treasures that often bring with them the turmoil of having to maintain them. The richest life we can experience could include wealth (God is not opposed to blessing us financially), but we must continue to reverence Him.

A simple, uncomplicated life provided by God can be so rich for those who understand what life is really all about: the worship of Him without grief while allowing Him to determine our worth, not our financial portfolio or the neighborhood where we live.

A little free advice: Make it light on yourself and avoid a ton of headaches.

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Thursday July 26, 2018
Favor and Abundance Are for Good Works

Proverbs 8:35, KJV: For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.

There is no question that wisdom should be one of our main priorities.

When we obtain wisdom (not education), true living starts for us. With wisdom, we obtain the favor of God.

When we have wisdom, we know how to pray, what to ask for, how to act, and what to say in general conversation. Being Christ-like in the earth takes the wisdom of God in Christ revealed to us. The Holy Spirit will lead and guide us into all truth and show us things to come, but without God's wisdom we will not know how to practically apply what is revealed to us.

"Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord" (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

People often try to convince me that no one really understands God. I disagree. I concede that we may not have arrived yet; but because of these verses, I can boast that I understand Him and know Him. I may not be aware of every move He is about to make. I don't even always know what I am going to do next.

But just as I understand that there are some things I will not do and some attitudes I will not change, I understand God's loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness remain the same. He delights in them, and I can obtain favor from Him in each of these areas.

My late husband once asked me, "Are you trying to be a perfectionist, or do you consider yourself perfect?" I replied, "Not yet, but I'm constantly working on it." As the body of Christ, we should be striving every second of the day to be like He was in the earth and to do what He did because we understand the Father.

Jesus' priority was to be pleasing in His Father's eyes and to do His will at all times. Make no apology for working out what He has worked in. Just do and live right all the time.

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Friday July 27, 2018
Delighting in God's Word Saved My Life

Psalm 119:92, NKJV: Unless Your law had been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.

I had been in church all my life but I recall only hearing the Word of God preached a few times by someone so excited by what it said that they were convinced that everything apart from it was in vain. At forty years old I was introduced to Scripture as being truth and life. Think of all the years between my conviction at age seven and my conversion at age forty.

Thank God that He allowed me to find out that nothing would work for me apart from His Word.

Materially and socially I was successful. I knew how to acquire and achieve; I did not know how to be happy or content. I wanted to be happy with or without the trinkets and toys. That is what the Word of God did for me.

When I began to delight in the Lord through the Word, life entered into me. When I read, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4), a hunger for the Lord became almost insatiable.

I am grateful God did not allow me to be satisfied with anything apart from Him. I enjoy many wonderful things but there is nothing I am so attached to that I cannot walk away from it. I feel the same way about people. I experience some wonderful relationships, but because of my love for Jesus I don't expect to miss a step in my walk with the Lord whether another person is present or absent in my life.

Enjoy everything you have as well as the people you know. Love Jesus more than anything or anyone and you will wake up every day happy or, at the least, content.

Whatever it is that you think will make you happy does not come close to what the Lord has for you when you seek Him first, His kingdom and His righteousness. His Word equips you to be happy and successful.

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Saturday July 28, 2018
Companions With Compassion

Hebrews 10:34, NKJV: For you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourself in heaven.

It is important to remember our early days when we first learned of Christ, and how we committed to remain faithful even though there might be unpleasant things in our future.

No one wants to experience adversity. But, learning what Christ endured for us to escape the fires of hell and experience a life of liberty for all eternity caused us to pray that we would walk worthy of what He did for us. Not only did we go through seasons of difficulty, we also aligned ourselves with and became companions of those also ill-treated.

One of the most exciting days of my life was when I was made free from trying to protect the possessions provided for me here in the earth. I got a revelation that God's promises to me for heaven were better and more enduring than material possessions. Once you understand the world's limitations, you are free to identify with the people of God and not your earthly achievements and possessions.

I have been blessed to enjoy many benefits. Yet, some of the happiest days of my life were as a child who was introduced to Jesus early while my life was abased. Though I have abased and abounded through the grace of God, He taught me that either state requires His help and grace.

Nothing matters if you do not show compassion for companions who may not be where you are. What is the point of abounding if you can't share what you have with others? The way to release what you have now is to know that it does not compare with what you will have in heaven. I am thrilled that Jesus Christ is my companion, and He has compassion toward me.

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Sunday July 29, 2018
Love, Obey, and Serve

Deuteronomy 11:22-23, KJV: For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him; Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.

With this requirement to love, obey, and serve came a solemn promise to the children of Israel from God Himself. What do you suppose He has in mind for us when we respond to His commandments in willing obedience? Some seem to struggle with willing obedience. Their obedience is expressed when there is no way to get around what God desires. I personally believe that we are void of the ability to willingly obey and serve God until we have fallen so in love with Him that it becomes our pleasure to obey and serve Him.

The promise to Israel when they obeyed God diligently was that He would initiate the removal of anything or anyone from their lives that was not contributing to their success in Him. They would dispossess nations that were "greater and mightier" - nations beyond the scope of their natural abilities to conquer.

God is expecting us to possess "mightier" nations than ourselves. Today, there are nations and neighborhoods inhabited by too many heathen who have never had an encounter with Jesus. They are our inheritance (Psalm 2:8). We must love, obey, and serve God and then watch Him fulfill His promise.

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Monday July 30, 2018
Outside Conflicts and Inside Fears

2 Corinthians 7:5, NLT: When we arrived in Macedonia there was no rest for us. Outside there was conflict from every direction, and inside there was fear.

We know that fear is not from God; therefore, we are not to entertain it. However, when it comes, that is not the time to question our salvation. It is the time to exercise our authority and get rid of it.

Fear comes solely to make us doubt ourselves and God. When through doubt we fail to recognize the enemy's attacks, we don't resist him, and he won't flee from us. When we entertain him and his forces, he is not required to flee from us. But we need to know that the devil was never intended to be a part of God's plan for our lives. At best, the enemy is an unattractive, temporary nuisance. He has no permanent role in our future.

The apostle Paul experienced conflicts, fighting, battles, striving, and controversy accompanied by alarm, exceeding fright, and terror on every side--that's top, bottom, left, right, and in the middle. Paul did not ignore what was happening. He learned how to gain the victory in spite of his emotions and all-out attacks.

My years on earth have taught me to understand that the longer I live, the more conflicts and fears I will attract. Like you, I'd rather avoid the "stuff" life sends my way. But when I can't change lanes or shift gears, I can choose to be comforted by the God of all comfort.

So if conflicts seem to surround you, and fear tries to consume you, lift your head, square your shoulders, and act as if you've already won. The devil won't know the difference.

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