Horizons Unlimited January 17, 2021 through January 25, 2021
HORIZONS UNLIMITED

Sunday January 17, 2021: Shepherdize
Monday January 18, 2021: Wisdom Prevailing Prevents Riots
Tuesday January 19, 2021: The Outcast Could Be Your Resource for Good
Wednesday January 20, 2021: Corruption of the Flesh
Thursday January 21, 2021: Jesus Broke Sin's Power So We Could Resist It
Friday January 22, 2021: I've Settled It; You, Oh Lord, Are My Choice
Saturday January 23, 2021: Oh, What Love
Sunday January 24, 2021: Refuse To Be Driven
Monday January 25, 2021: Did God Give You Permission To Say It?

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Sunday January 17, 2021
Shepherdize


Micah 5:4, KJV: He shall stand and feed on the strength of the Lord...

Progress has its advantages, but because society today has robbed us of so many experiences due to the many machines and modern day conveniences, I question if we could survive if we find ourselves in a real life crisis.

One of the responsibilities for a pastor or parent is to "feed the flock of God" (1 Peter 5:2). Because we have had little or no training in raising sheep, we never learned the principle of what a shepherd does to insure the care, teaching, restoring, tending, guarding, watching and preserving of his sheep. The principle has not changed. Jesus still does for us all these things because He is the true shepherd. In fact, the original word for feed is shepherdizing. Look up the words feed and shepherd; you'd be surprised at what we have permitted in our lives and congregation.

Another word for feed is rule. This does not suggest, for a moment, any kind of abuse of the sheep. Neither anywhere in the Bible does God suggest that sheep know more than shepherds. All of these subjects: sheep, shepherds and feed need more light to have the true picture to follow. We are out of balance and corrections are necessary.



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Monday January 18, 2021
Wisdom Prevailing Prevents Riots


Acts 19:40-41, NKJV: 'For we are in danger of being called in question for today's uproar, there being no reason which we may give to account for this disorderly gathering.' And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.

The assembly was so confused, they had forgotten why they had gathered (verse 32). Because the group recognized Alexander to be a Jew, with one voice, for two hours, they yelled, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians!" What commitment, albeit frenzied. In some churches today, Jesus' Name is barely mentioned once in a two-hour service. Getting everyone in one accord is almost more than we can hope for.

Although the city clerk was not a believer, he allowed wisdom to speak through him. After quieting the crowd, he explained the correct way to charge someone with what you believe to be a legitimate concern (verses 38-39).

When I observe men and women of the cloth instigating and heading up protests about what could be legitimate concerns, I think about Jesus and what He would do. Often these men and women have a following of uninformed people who do not think for themselves. Don't allow ambitious people to use you for their personal gain, especially if you are a believer being encouraged to act more like an animal than a Christian.

Dr. Martin Luther King led thousands of people from all walks of life in peaceful protest, highlighting the many ills of our society. He was not sent to make a name for himself. He just wanted to right the wrongs of this country. When you allow God's wisdom to prevail, ultimately the results will be favorable. Mob rule will cause would-be supporters to avoid you. Get quiet and listen for God's lead.



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Tuesday January 19, 2021
The Outcast Could Be Your Resource for Good


2 Kings 7:9, NKJV: Then they said one to another, "We are not doing right. This is the day of good news and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now, therefore, come let us go up and tell the king's household."

Four leprous men, considered unacceptable by society, made a decision. Rather than starve from famine, they would risk their lives by surrendering to the enemy camp. What did they have to lose? When they arrived at the camp, they discovered that God had scattered all its inhabitants. The enemy army had fled and left behind all their supplies.

There is a lesson in that biblical account for you. Your seemingly negative circumstances can be changed overnight when you allow God to manage the situation for you. Your lack today can become your ample abundance tomorrow.

So when you are desperate, don't give up. Also, don't reject whom God will use to meet your need. The person you least expect-even someone from "the enemy camp"- could become God's chosen source for good in your life.

And when you experience a breakthrough, don't hoard the blessing for yourself alone. Sharing brings relief for all. Society may label you the outcast and withdraw from you, but remember that God may be positioning you for future service to others.

Don't allow yourself to remember how others mistreated you in the past and thus withhold a blessing when you're able to meet a need. If you do that, you'll only sever your own resources. As my mother always said, "You can't do wrong and get by."

Are you failing to receive from God because of preconceived attitudes of how God will provide? Stop now and thank God for His blessings, no matter how He brings them to you.



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Wednesday January 20, 2021
Corruption of the Flesh


Romans 7:24,25, NKJV: O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death-I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So with the mind I serve the law of God but with the flesh the law of sin.

The mind is our intellect and can be geared toward the divine or the human side in our thoughts, feelings, and will. Therefore, Paul advised us by the Spirit of God to renew our minds, training them with God's truth to serve the divine side because the human side leads to corruption.

As Christians, we need to walk and live in two kinds of perfection: our justification in Christ and our sanctification in the Holy Spirit. Justification makes us pure before God when He wipes our slate clean. Sanctification makes us holy before God and man.

Since Jesus was made unto us sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:30), we are to walk out that state of purity in this life in order to allow others to see what can be done while they remain in the flesh. Uncontrolled flesh will serve the law of sin, which will result in corruption. A Spirit-managed mind will control the flesh in order to serve the law of God, resulting in life here and there. A Spirit-led mind will always dominate the body. A flesh-led mind will choose sin every time. Jesus makes the difference.



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Thursday January 21, 2021
Jesus Broke Sin's Power So We Could Resist It


Romans 6:10, NLT: When He died, He died once to break the power of sin. But now He lives, He lives for the glory of God.

The influence the devil once had over us is broken. Sure, the devil tries to make us think he's still in control, but he's the same liar he always was.

When anything is broken, it is never as strong as it once was. Therefore, you should consider yourself dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus (Romans 6:11). Everyone who dies in the natural is free from sin. But you don't have to cease to breathe to be rid of sin. You just have to crucify your flesh so your spirit man can dominate you. You have to determine that you will not let sin control the way you live or give in to sinful desires (Romans 6:12).

The power of sin was broken at Jesus' death; now He lives all for the glory of God. We are called to do the same, but we can't live for God's glory without His help.

If we find that some of our previous habits still try to surface, we should ask ourselves, Will God be glorified if I yield to this, or will my flesh just be satisfied-which will never bring Him glory? Masturbation, drinking, gambling, smoking, overeating, shopping, or pampering our flesh when we can't afford it are all habits you and I can resist. To the flesh it will be painful, but to our spirit man, it will bring godly fruit.



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Friday January 22, 2021
I've Settled It; You, Oh Lord, Are My Choice


Psalm 119:12, CEV: I praise you LORD! Teach me your laws.

Until we have renewed our mind and dedicate our bodies to do what is pleasing to the Lord, we could be subject to influences that are not necessarily of the Lord. Psalm 119:72 (CEV) says, "I would rather obey you than have a thousand pieces of silver and gold." Verse 111 (CEV) says, "They will always be my most prized possession."

It has to be settled that the Lord and His Words are your true treasure. Nothing offered to you or experienced by you will alter that.

I once did a little skit in a recent message with several people from the congregation representing fear, lack, doubt, unbelief, rebellion, and the lust of other things. They hovered over me at the same time with locked arms, trying to prevent me from overcoming them to reach my Bible, which was being held by a lady in the congregation. They were not allowed to touch me, so I merely spoke to them with the authority from Jesus to overcome. My faith-filled words caused them to unlock their arms, which then allowed me to pass through them to possess what was my most valued possession.

The reason God's Word is my most valued possession is because it is the source of my joy. Why would you not protect and pursue that which brings you joy? The joy of the Lord is your strength. Settle it once and for all. The Lord is your choice, and everything and everyone must adjust accordingly.



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Saturday January 23, 2021
Oh, What Love


Ephesians 4:2, CEV: Always be humble and gentle. Patiently put up with each other and love each other.

As Christians we often fail this assignment, but it is not impossible to do. Because we are chosen by God to be one of His, we can live worthy of that position. He only asks that we do our best to permit His spirit to keep us united.

It took me a while to learn and accept that God never asked me to do more than my best. I found that when I did my best, His best took over and infused me with His grace to keep going. What a comfort it became to know that I didn't have to quit because I had reached the end of my rope. I know my limitations. Since the Lord does not have any, I persevere in Him. I no longer have to concern myself with proving how tough and strong I am. To be humble before the Lord and gentle with others demonstrates a different kind of strength for me.

I ask the Lord to teach me to be as patient with others as He is with me. It works. Divine love is superior to human love; it's higher and deeper and does not run out. It helps me to act more like Jesus. Oh, what love!



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Sunday January 24, 2021
Refuse To Be Driven


Luke 8:29, KJV: (For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil in the wilderness.)

There is no question that demonic spirits can influence people at times, but they are not all-powerful. If demons can do whatever they want, why did they need Jesus' permission to enter the swine? Mark's version of this account says that when the demon-possessed man saw Jesus from afar off, he immediately ran to Him and then fell down and worshipped Him (Mark 5:5,6). If the mob of demons in the man truly controlled him, they would never have permitted him to get to Jesus. Although the devil somewhat occupied the man's body, his heart wanted to be free and recognized Jesus as his deliverer. After the man's deliverance, the devils couldn't take over even the pigs without Jesus' permission. So how much more can we resist demonic spirits when they seek to attack us?

Very often what we label as "demon-possessed" is nothing more than a case of being controlled by undisciplined flesh. Jesus has never given His Church permission to be driven by the devil.

It's when we neglect to follow God's Spirit and we follow our flesh instead that we get into trouble (Romans 8:1-10). Since we belong to Christ, satan cannot gain access to our lives unless we cooperate with him. The law of Christ's Spirit has already set us free from the law of sin and death. It was part of the completed work at Calvary that was ours when we received Him.

I didn't let bullies frighten me when I was a child, and I refuse to let satan bully me today. I know who I am in Christ, and that puts me in the winner's circle.



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Monday January 25, 2021
Did God Give You Permission To Say It?


Speaking what God has not approved is another form of fear or gossip. Most of us do not intend to be gossips, but we, even as Christians, fear being abandoned, so we seduce others to take our side by sharing little tidbits with them they have no need to know. The Lord showed me that was insecurity.

Jesus never revealed that Judas was the one that would betray Him. He merely stated that one of them would. Why? He did not want to contribute to their attitudes or opinions in a negative way. What He accomplished was for them to each examine themselves to make sure they were not the one. When God approves our words, they will never criticize or condemn another person. I have found myself in mid stride having to stop what was about to proceed from my mouth because it was not godly and was not going to edify anyone.

One of the things that helped me was obeying the Lord when He told me to stop reading newspapers or other periodicals and to abstain from watching television. I never realized before how much they were influencing me. I found out that most of what I was reading and watching I had no need to know. Do I feel out of touch? I sure do and I'm glad because it affords me more time in His Word, which puts me more in touch with Him.



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