Horizons Unlimited October 18, 2020 - October 26, 2020

Sunday October 18, 2020: Tried, Not Tired, by the Word
Monday October 19, 2020: The Value Is the Same
Tuesday October 20, 2020: The Gift of Victory
Wednesday October 21, 2020: Rejoicing In Spite of Sorrow
Thursday October 22, 2020: Give All: Withhold Nothing
Friday October 23, 2020: Familiarity Breeds Contempt
Saturday October 24, 2020: Administrations Don't Affect God's Prosperity
Sunday October 25, 2020: The Right to Yourself: The Essence of Sin
Monday October 26, 2020: New Gifts for a New Ministry

Horizons Unlimited PDF Archive

Sunday October 18, 2020
Tried, Not Tired, by the Word

Psalm 105:19, KJV: Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.

How often it may appear that what we have spoken has been just idle words; and unless they are inspired of God, generally they are. However, words uttered from our spirits are guaranteed to come to pass with "scrupulous exactitude," in the words of an old saint of God.

Joseph was probably as stunned as anyone when he spoke the words in Genesis 37:7 to his brothers concerning his dream about ruling over them. Verse 11 says, "And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying." Thank God that there is at least one person open to observe what you speak by inspiration! The time would certainly come that Joseph had spoken of. The Lord would prove that Joseph was right. But this leader, this ruler, this man whom the Lord was with, making everything he did prosper, showing him mercy, and giving him favor, was sold as a slave. Most of us would have disqualified ourselves at that point and abandoned God, not remembering that He would not abandon us. But the Scripture says that God allowed the famine upon the land, that He sent a man before them-Joseph, who was sold for a servant.

When we are being used by God, closely related to Him and committed to His cause, we could find ourselves in what appear to be peculiar circumstances. Look at Jesus. I know it takes effort; I've been there. But that is the time to stay steady and declare, "Lord, I may not understand what is going on, but I know this: You are working it all for my good because I love You, and nothing will separate me from Your love. Please continue to work in me both to will and to do of Your good pleasure." It really is about God's plan for humankind being fulfilled, not our temporary creature comforts.

Heavenly Father, forgive us for our murmuring and disputing about these momentary light afflictions we occasionally experience. Help us to grasp the whole picture by faith in Your promises to us and through us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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Monday October 19, 2020
The Value Is the Same

God uses ordinary things to show us our prejudices and our smelly attitudes. He does this for the purpose of highlighting our need to grow spiritually in certain areas of our lives.

A member once approached me and said, "Ever since you shared with us that you still pick up pennies off the street, I decided to do the same." The woman then proceeded to tell me that a few days earlier, she'd seen a grubby, grimy-looking penny on the street and, because it was so dirty, had decided to skip that one. After all, it was a "bad" penny. As she reached her car, the Holy Spirit spoke to her heart and said, "Shirley, it has the same value as the clean ones." She repented of her attitude and then went back to retrieve the dirty penny. It had not lost its value because of its appearance.

What a lesson! What must we have looked like when the Father received us while we were still His enemies? Imagine sending His prize Treasure to the Cross for us while we were in such a deplorable condition. That is called love-not the emotional, mushy-gushy stuff the world calls love. We were as valuable to God before He cleaned us up as we are to Him today.

I thank God for that story of the dirty penny because it will help me to remember the meaning of true value. One hundred dirty pennies make a dollar, just as 100 clean ones do. Aren't you glad that, to God, our value is the same-both before and after He made us new?

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Tuesday October 20, 2020
The Gift of Victory

1 Corinthians 15:57, KJV: But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Victory is a gift. It is not what we achieve or acquire because of what we display as skill, talent, and ability. What is this victory that Paul says we have through our Lord Jesus Christ? It is mostly our attitude about life.

Many who surround us will express their opinions about what we should say, think, and feel in any given situation. They are entitled to their opinions, but what they think or believe should in no way affect us or our choices.

People are so programmed to follow traditional, popular, and comfortable routes that they seldom question what they are doing. We shouldn't think of ourselves as rebellious when we refuse to go along with what the crowd is doing if they have no good, biblically sound reason for it.

Here is just one natural example of a rule that many people have chosen to follow based on man-made traditions. In certain parts of the South, when a funeral procession is passing by, the cars coming towards the procession are expected to stop and remain still until the last car in the procession has passed. Though such a rule may intrude on an individual's daily schedule, tradition mandates compliance.

Whether we acknowledge them or not, we all have reasons for the choices we make. Ask yourself why you do what you do. Are you serving the Lord or the church because of your commitment to Christ, or are you following in the tradition of your family and friends? God did everything with a purpose and a plan. Idle, unimportant things were not the priority of the day to God. He made us to be productive and useful to His kingdom.

God not only wants us to receive His gifts; He also wants us to give them away. I am grateful to receive His blessings of health, wealth, and peace of mind. However, the joy of being used by God to bless others with His gifts is indescribable.

Now that we have received the gift of victory, let us go forth in the liberty wherein we are made free. Others are watching how and what we are doing with it. They, too, want that gift. Let's show them the way to the Giver.

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Wednesday October 21, 2020
Rejoicing In Spite of Sorrow

2 Corinthians 6:10, KJV: As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

There are several things you and I must do in order to rejoice in spite of sorrow. Probably the first thing is to come down out of the spiritual clouds. We want to think that serving the Lord will exempt us from any kind of suffering and that patience is for everyone else because we can have what we say immediately. But if you just keep living, you'll find that sorrow eventually comes to us all.

For example, I try to help prepare people for the passing of a loved one, and teach them the importance of maintaining the right attitude about the Lord, regardless to the winds of life and how they blow. But some people fall into the bottom of the barrel when these things occur.

God never promised that there would be no sorrow in this Christian walk. What He did promise is that in spite of the sorrow we could and should still rejoice. It is a disservice to the memory of a loved one to grieve as those who have no hope. My mother did not die to cause me pain to the point of not being able to function. She certainly did not die to cause me to resent God or turn from Him. No, she raised me to love and worship Him so that when it was time for her to depart, I would still have Him as my anchor to keep me steady.

I get real nervous when people start to make me out to be more to them than I really am. I am not cold and indifferent, but I thank God for the ability to recognize those who, if allowed or encouraged, would make me their reason for being. I am a human being who will one day cease to breathe in this earth. But I don't want my departure to be the focus. I want my example in life to be what will cause your heart to rejoice when I am gone.

Keep your focus on Jesus. Receive whatever I teach that is supported by Scripture. Love it and walk it out to the glory of God. Please do not mar my purpose for living by grieving sorrowfully beyond what is pleasing to God. I live to teach you how to live victoriously, which includes rejoicing in spite of sorrow.

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Thursday October 22, 2020
Give All: Withhold Nothing

Genesis 25:5, KJV: And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.

Why did Abraham favor one son, Isaac, over seven others he sired? Isaac was the child of promise, the covenant child. While the others were children of the flesh, God had spoken Isaac into existence and had confirmed His promise through the bodies of two people who, naturally speaking, could not produce a child.

God, in His mercy, blessed Abraham's firstborn son, Ishmael. He also provided gifts for the other six children. However, there was no mistake about which son was God's chosen one to fulfill His plan for humankind.

Today, we usually equally distribute our abundance among our children. This is certainly appropriate, unless they demonstrate disrespect for the God who provides us with the abundance.

Yet if we will watch closely, we will begin to see the ones being led by the Spirit of God. We will see that certain ones are operating in His wisdom and allowing God to establish their works as they commit all to Him.

Romans 8:32 says, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all." And 2 Peter 1:3 says that, along with His Son, God gave us "all things that pertain unto life and godliness."

As parents, we must choose how we will distribute these gifts. We need to link up with God so closely that we even write our wills according to God's perfect design. God knows what our loved ones will do with what He has blessed us with. His provision for us is not solely to benefit our individual families. God wants channels to work through to fulfill His plan for all of humankind, so seek His wisdom before signing a will. Then freely give as God designates, for He will anoint and multiply that which He has ordained! Father, too often we make decisions based on our emotions and not on Your leading within. You have provided absolutely foolproof and fail-proof assistance in our decision-making through the person of the Holy Spirit. Forgive us for leaning to our own understanding. Teach us to be led by Your Spirit. It's not about favorites, partiality, peer- or family-pressure. It's about working with You so that we can please You and bring You glory, in Jesus' name.

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Friday October 23, 2020
Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Luke 4:24, KJV: And He said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.

We need to get over being accepted and popular if we have been called to share truth. There were many widows and lepers in Israel, but God only sent the prophets to one widow in Sarepta, a city in Sidon, and to a Syrian leper. Why? Because the widows and lepers of Israel would not walk in their covenant rights or show proper respect for the servants of God as being representatives of Jehovah. Therefore, they were not going to be able to receive what God had already provided.

Neither the widow in Sarepta nor Naaman, who was a Syrian, had a covenant right to the blessings of Abraham. But, God wanted the covenant people to know that He is the God of mercy and love and that He is free to pour out His blessings on whomever He chooses. He also showed them that those who treat His messengers without the proper respect are doing so to Him. Failure to recognize and discern Him in and through His servant or messenger hinders your receiving, even though you have been given covenant rights.

God does not like it when we show disdain for His leaders. We are not to worship them or make idols out of them, but we are to receive them as from the Lord. Even though they have the anointing and ability to act on the Lord's behalf, they are unable to be effective where they are not received as from the Lord.

How many times have we missed out on God's provision because, when He attempted to work through the person of His choice, we allowed our familiarity with him or her to prevent us from receiving through that person God's best for us? The Lord is the One deciding whom He will use. Our only response is to be open to receive and then thank Him for meeting our need, because that brings Him pleasure.

God does not meet our need just because we have a need. Yet He delights in the prosperity of His people. He did not make money or finances available to the widow or the leper; instead He met their need. Often, we must refocus and become reprogrammed concerning what the Lord wants to do for us. Never allow familiarity to breed contempt on your part.

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Saturday October 24, 2020
Administrations Don't Affect God's Prosperity

Daniel 6:28, NIV: So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Every four years, the United States presidential administration is subject to change. Millions of people and dollars put the favorite candidate of a particular party in office.

I suppose it's as good a system as any for determining a leader. However, I have been troubled in the past by the abuse of the office and the tax monies extracted from the people who are supposed to benefit from the government. Officials are to be elected "by the people, for the people"; they are to bring benefit to the people they represent.

I simply have chosen not to look to other humans to do what is right or what is for the good of all. Instead, I study who God is and what He has promised His children. I do my very best to abide by His statutes, His precepts, His commandments, and His laws. And when I do, like Daniel, I am found pleasing in His sight.

I prosper during the reign of the Republicans, of the Democrats, of the Independents, of whoever is the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

When God makes us to prosper, His wealth and abundance are not limited to finances. Our minds, our souls, our bodies, and all that we put our hands to shall prosper as well.

Prospering for me is pushing forward, breaking out to mightily go over, to advance, and to be promoted.

I cannot focus on money. I have watched far too many people with more money than they will ever spend become sick in their bodies, broken by families torn apart, and grieved by tragic deaths of loved ones.

People use money to do many things, but God does not need money to get the job done. Because He is God, He'll use what is available or, better yet, create a new thing to fulfill His plan and prosper His children.

Father, I thank You for teaching me that retreat is not a word You use often, if at all. As Your child, I expect to advance and be promoted to be in a position to assist others. I may not be able to change the election, but I don't have to be affected by it as long as You are God.

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Sunday October 25, 2020
The Right to Yourself: The Essence of Sin

We know the Do Not's of the Bible and the Ten Commandments. Every man born in this world and especially in this country knows that murder, adultery, and robbing a bank are wrong.

There are times people allow themselves to be influenced by others and things like drugs and alcohol. Wrong influences lead to a path ending with negative consequences.

There is a sad belief that often says, "I can beat the wheel." Very few ever do. I used to work in a drug rehab center. Never did I ever hear one user say, "I intentionally started using drugs to become an addict." Every one of them thought they could play and not have to pay the piper.

If they understood that Jesus had already paid the price for them to walk in the liberty He provided, they would not foolishly say, "I have a right to do with my body what I want." No, you don't.

Jesus bought us back from the devil as He hung on the tree at Calvary. His desire is for us to willingly submit to His leadings. When we fail to receive Him and to take up our cross daily and follow Him, we begin to operate in the essence of sin, which is nothing more than arrogance. It is foolish to believe that you can know more about what you need than God does. That is faulty thinking to believe that you have a right to yourself. You belong to Christ whether you receive Him or not.

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Monday October 26, 2020
New Gifts for a New Ministry

I am not removing anything from you. Are not My gifts and calling without repentance? Think over what the world considers modern conveniences. Are they really better? Do you really have more time for the things I call you to do? The world's 'new' is just strange and different. My 'new' is strange, different, and profitable for both you and others whose paths will cross yours.

You want more time for yourself, but you will have more time for Me if you so choose. I will not intrude on your time. I just will not let you be at peace if you neglect Me. I am not out to extract from you what you have. I want to impart new life and a dynamic and dimension yet not evident in you. I can never allow you to become comfortable in your complacency. You would lose your luster to attract others to My Son.

Your age does not factor into anything I have for you to do. The more birthdays you celebrate, the more satan uses each celebration to cause you to doubt what I want to do in and through you. Men and women of old acknowledged another year of their lives as the yardstick by which they could proclaim My goodness and My faithfulness on their behalf. Surely, you remember Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Caleb. Joshua took the lead for a hard-hearted, rebellious people. Zechariah and Elizabeth became the parents of John the Baptist when they were old and Viagra was not part of the equation.

Clear your thinking and renew your mind with that of Christ. Your new gifts for your new ministry will only operate when they are received and dispensed from a new mind. Forget those things which are behind. Put your faith in gear and get ready to do mighty exploits. Go back to when you had only your faith to go on. Your faith worked for you then. It will work for you again with your new gifts for your new ministry. Trust Me. I've never failed you.

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