Horizons Unlimited January 12, 2020 - January 20, 2020
HORIZONS UNLIMITED

Sunday January 12, 2020: You Alone Do I Worship
Monday January 13, 2020: Salvation Through Faith in Jesus Christ
Tuesday January 14, 2020: Cloud Watchers
Wednesday January 15, 2020: Except
Thursday January 16, 2020: Nothing to Compare It With
Friday January 17, 2020: Good Begets Good
Saturday January 18, 2020: Perfect Liberty, or Perfect Love
Sunday January 19, 2020: Insight and Understanding
Monday January 20, 2020: Concerning My Children

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Sunday January 12, 2020
You Alone Do I Worship


Isaiah 26:13, NKJV: O Lord our God, masters besides You have had dominion over us; but by You only we make mention of Your name.

Life may have allowed for others to rule over us, but it is our choice to accept God's rule in us by His Spirit's direction. We respect and give the proper honor to parents, presidents, and people in authority, but God alone will we worship.

In 1 Corinthians 10:32-33, Paul told the Corinthian church not to give offense to Jews, Gentiles, or the church of God. He explained his desire to please others in his actions and not just to do what he liked, because his commitment to Christ Jesus was not to provide for his best but for their best so they would be saved. Then, in verse 1 of chapter 11, Paul said, "And you should follow my example, just as I follow Christ's." In other words, "Imitate me, mimic me in leading others to Christ."

Paul exhorted the church of Thessalonica to live properly by staying away from any Christian who was unwilling to work hard, who wanted to be idle and lazy. He did not want them to "mooch" off others. They were to pay for what they ate. Even though he had the right to request to be fed by them, he did not; and he wanted them to mimic and imitate him in this.

Paul was not trying to gather to himself sons and daughters. He was attempting to lead all Christians to follow Christ, who desired for all men to be saved and to come into the knowledge of truth (1 Timothy 2:4).

Watch out for people who are gathering people to themselves. It is idolatry, and God is not pleased. The purpose for our salvation is to be an example to the world and other Christians, to bring men and women, boys and girls, to Christ.

Isaiah acknowledged that humans act as masters, or as husbands and wives, but he said that he was married to one God, who alone was worthy of worship. He would mention only His name in honor and praise.

Church, it is time for us to grow up. Learn the difference between respect and gratitude for human authority over you, and pledge your absolute and total commitment to worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ.



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Monday January 13, 2020
Salvation Through Faith in Jesus Christ


Galatians 3:26, NLT: So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Some teach that everyone is a child of God, period. They do not teach that the only way to the Father is through faith to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Satan and the love of money have blinded them to the nonnegotiable Truth of God's Word and His plan of salvation.

In his letters to the brethren at the church in Ephesus, Paul says, "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named" (Ephesians 3:14-15, KJV). This does not include unbelievers or the unsaved. The same is true of Ephesians 4:6, which says, "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." This is written to Christians and not to people who are unwilling to accept Jesus Christ of Nazareth as their Lord.

God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4, NKJV). "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). This is the will of God, and it will never be different.

His will is to allow men, women, boys, and girls to make the choice. We must choose to be His children, or we must choose to be lost forever.

Whatever you do, tell everyone--especially those under the impression that all of humankind are children of God--that the only way is to accept His Son and to become His child by faith. We are all His creation, but we are not all in relationship with God as sons and daughters. The goodness of God leads us to repentance. Repentance is reversing your thinking and your deeds. Right now, make the decision to reverse any thinking that does not line up with the Word of God. Your eternal future depends on it.



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Tuesday January 14, 2020
Cloud Watchers


Deuteronomy 33:26, CEV: Israel, no other god is like ours. The clouds are His chariot as He rides across the skies to come and to help us.

I don't think I'll ever see a cloud the same again. They are not just beautiful and wispy, soon to vanish cotton-like balls. They are God's chariot that He rides across the skies to rescue you and me. Surely, there is no god like our God.

From now, when you look up and see clouds in the sky, think on this verse and be encouraged. See each cloud as a part of one huge supernatural chariot. Then remember that the Living God, your God is riding across His sky, looking to assist His people - the Body of Christ.

In the past I did not consider myself a cloud watcher, but that's changed. From now on, I will observe the clouds with spiritual eyes, looking for my Creator's assistance. Clouds not only fill the sky in the daytime, they are present during the night, too. We don't see them as well by night but we know they are there with purpose. So it is with my Lord. He neither slumbers nor sleeps. He rides the skies looking to see where He is most needed.



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Wednesday January 15, 2020
Except


1 Kings 15:5, NIV: For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life-except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.

David’s habit of obeying God’s commandment had to have counted for something, because what he did to Uriah was not a good thing (see 2 Samuel 11). David certainly paid a price for this one transgression; however, only God could judge graciously in this situation.

David did what was right-”except...” Don’t you wish the word “except” weren’t in our vocabulary? My mother used to say, “Girl, you are like an old cow. You give a good pail of milk; then you turn and kick it over.” She never had to explain it; we all understood that she meant that there is no profit in doing most things right but making occasional blunders.

Before Jesus came into our hearts, all of us had a lot of “excepts” that should be behind us now. However, “except” still seems to surface.

We come to the assembly to worship the Lord, except we are distracted by the lack in our lives or by someone not speaking to us. We commit to tithe, except a bill comes due or a certain garment goes on sale or we need to pay to go on a special trip with the church.

Listen to people talk long enough, and you can locate why the blessings of God are not overtaking them. There are just too many “excepts” in their walk with the Lord. In their eyes, they are doing a lot of good and right things-except they forget to confer with the Lord concerning people and choices in their lives.

We come to church every Sunday and Wednesday, except we seldom arrive on time. We are appointed the noble task of counting offerings in church service collections, except we gossip about how much someone tithes.

Can you imagine God loving the world so much and knowing what was required to restore people to Himself, except He could not bear to send His only begotten Son to the cross to accomplish the task? Don’t leave this life having sacrificed and done so much for the kingdom, except that most people will remember the one thing you did wrong when your story is told.



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Thursday January 16, 2020
Nothing to Compare It With


Hebrews 11:7, NJKV: By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with Godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Noah had nothing to compare what God was saying to him in this warning. A boat this size was never built before. There had never been a gathering of animals like this before. Rain of this magnitude had never fallen before. All he had was faith. All he needed was faith.

God seldom asks us to do the familiar and the comfortable. Obedience to what God asks you to do could benefit your entire household.

Noah accepted by faith this divinely inspired word from an invisible source because he had Godly fear or reverence for God. One of the many challenges in the world today is lack of Godly fear. I truly believe that everyone who reverences Him and truly understands who He is will have a degree of fear of Him.

For me, it was not fear of what He would do to me if I did not obey Him. It was fear of not knowing and not experiencing His benefits and His blessings.

So what if you have never seen a thing like it before! What is the Lord speaking to you? What is He trying to accomplish through you for the benefit of others? Are you being asked to do something unique and contrary to what is the “norm”? Pay close attention, it is probably God.

Will it spare you and your family? Will others benefit from your obedience? Most of all, will God get glory from it? The fact that a thing has never been done before does not disturb God. His grace is new every morning. He delights in taking the foolish things of this world to confound the wise and the mighty. When He wants to create something, He often starts with nothing.

Do that thing now and you will be known as an inventor or a co-creator. Are you getting the message?



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Friday January 17, 2020
Good Begets Good


Ephesians 6:8, KJV: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

There are several lessons in this verse. It says that it matters not your status, your color, or your gender-you will receive good for good. It says to me also that healing is the banner under which we march, because God only does good to those who have done good to others. It is another form of seedtime and harvest.

There is so much envy and unrest in the body of Christ about what another person has. We need to learn that where much is given much is required, and the grace to perform it is also given. When you scheme and create ways to do what someone else is called to do, and you have not received God's grace to pull it off, as my mother would say, "That will be a tough row to hoe." That means you will experience much opposition and unnecessary difficulty in getting that ground cultivated.

We need to educate our children on this verse early in life so they can practice it and recognize that the good in life comes as a result of God responding to what they first did. Conversely, the devil will "reward" any man for the evil and bad that he does. I assure you God's reward will be far more palatable.

As a person of color, I have real challenges with any one suggesting to me that the color of my skin is a hindrance to me. God did not make a mistake when He made me this color. Society may try to prevent me from experiencing all that God has planned for me. But they will not be successful unless I believe that their puny efforts are greater than my God's promise: "Whatever God has said to me, that thing shall surely be."

That does not mean that just because it is written in the Bible that I am going to have it. It means that when the revelation of His Holy Word is received in my heart as Him speaking to me, that thing shall come to pass. Therefore, my plans are to keep doing good. Then the magnet of good will attract the magnet of God, and I will beget whatsoever I do.



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Saturday January 18, 2020
Perfect Liberty, or Perfect Love


1 Corinthians 8:2-3, NLT: Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn't really know very much. But the person who loves God is the one God knows and cares for.

I used to think my liberty in Christ Jesus was the ultimate success. I thought I could do anything I wanted to that was according to God's will and Word, and I had no responsibility to those still in bondage.

That's how I lived until I read this chapter. Verse 6 says, "But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we exist for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life."

Verses 7-9 say, "However, not all Christians realize this. Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as being real, so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and their weak consciences are violated. It's true that we can't win God's approval by what we eat.... But you must be careful with this freedom of yours. Do not cause a brother or sister with a weaker conscience to stumble."

When I found out that I was responsible for others in the body of Christ, I suddenly remembered the day I looked at our month-old son many years ago and realized that he had the potential of being a six-foot-tall, two hundred-pound human, and I was going to be largely responsible for how he developed! While we are responsible for the development of every child given to us--spiritually and naturally speaking--at some point, regardless of what we have said or done, they have to assume responsibility for their actions. We can only trust that what we have trained them to do will continue to guide them in the future.

Never allow your superior knowledge to cause a weak Christian for whom Christ died to be destroyed (verse 11). That is not the purpose of our perfect liberty. When we fail to focus our liberty properly for the freedom of other believers, we sin against Christ (verse 12).

Today, thank God for your liberty, your life of freedom, and your knowledge. Then, thank Him for His love at work in you and ask for His wisdom to both enjoy it as well as disperse it to other believers.



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Sunday January 19, 2020
Insight and Understanding


Daniel 9:22, NIV: He instructed me and said to me, "Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding."

Some things that are set in motion that God has decreed will not be changed, regardless of how much or how long we pray. We see in Daniel 9 that God did not change what was going to be because Daniel prayed. What He did was send a messenger to give Daniel insight and understanding of the future. Today we have the Holy Spirit to do the same thing for us.

I have accepted that there are some things I can change because of my words, but there are others that I have no power to change. I simply want to know the difference.

Insight and understanding remove the fear that often accompanies future events. Most of us do not fear the past and can deal with what's current, but the future sometimes causes our hearts to fail us.

My mother used to say, "Never cross a bridge until you get to it." In other words, deal with a matter when it's present. Many things could occur before then to alter the circumstances, and you may not have to go the way your head is taking you in advance. Why cross a bridge twice when once may be enough? At times, God will speak to us to prepare us for future events that cannot be changed because they are part of His plan and purpose for the future of humankind. Other times, He alerts us about future events to prepare us to take our authority concerning them. Both revelations come from the Holy Spirit, and He brings us insight and understanding to distinguish between them.

Heavenly Father, I thank You for another day of learning that though You are in control and aware of all things concerning Your people, sometimes You act in Your sovereignty and other times You assign Your offspring to do some things.

Our desire is to grow up spiritually to operate with Your mind, Your compassion, Your interest. May our prayers not be contrary to Your plan for humankind and the future. Help us live in such union with You that nothing takes us by surprise. We believe we receive divine insight and clear understanding of all that we need to know, in Jesus' name.



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Monday January 20, 2020
Concerning My Children


Jeremiah 31:16-17, KJV: Thus saith the Lord; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border.

These two verses have been the very foundation that I have received to stand on concerning my children.

The Lord has required two things from me and then doubled His promise to me. When I keep my voice from mourning and use it to state what God has promised, and when I allow my eyes to stay dry from tears, then He will reward my work. My children shall return from the influence of anything or anyone that is contrary to the Spirit of Christ in them. I shall experience the substance of what my hope is in, and my children shall come again to their own landmark, space, territory, and limit.

My children don't have borders; they have one border that they are to operate in and function in as a part of my covenant with God. And it shall be that when I purpose to rejoice instead of weep, and to keep my eyes focused on His bountiful promises to me instead of grieving as one without hope, I shall receive.

Thank You, heavenly Father, that You cared enough to make me a promise concerning my sons. Since You are the One who gave them to me in the first place, I can and do trust You enough to confine them by Your Spirit to the space Your plan calls for them to operate in. How reassuring it is that Your hand is on them for good, and their actions are not the conclusion of their story.



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