And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.– Luke 19:4-5
In order for us to receive the blessings of God, we need to position ourselves. When we position ourselves, we put ourselves at an advantage. Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus and instead of pitying himself on how short he was because he could not see over the crowds, he made a decision that he would run before the crowds and climb up in a tree. He position himself into receiving a blessing. Because when Jesus came to that spot, he looked up and said to Zacchaeus, today I will abide at your home. Position yourself to be blessed by seeking God.
I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. — Psalms 34:1-3
Be thankful for ALL that God has done for us. We must learn to praise him at all times. In the good times or in the bad times, in the happy times or in the sad times, in good health or in bad health. He is aware of all of our conditions. We must praise and magnify his name regardless of how we feel. Let us exalt his name together and just watch what God will do.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.– Proverbs 31:26
How we speak is very important in our walk with God. We must be very careful in how we address our families, our neighbors, people on our jobs and people in our church or just a stranger. Let our words be kind. A soft word turns turns away wrath but painful words stirs up anger. A wise woman builds her house with positive and uplifting words, but a foolish woman will tear her house down with ugly and negative words. When words come out of our mouths, wise or foolish, they cannot be taken back. So be careful in your speech because God hears us. And one day we will have to give an account as to why we said it. The old saying about sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me is not true. Words will turn into stones and can do a lot of damage for life. Think before you speak!
And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.– I Chronicle 4:9-10
Have you ever felt like you were in a box? It seem like you would take one step, and then it looked like you were going back two steps. This sounded like the story of Jabez. Because when his mother was birthing him, she went through a lot of pain, and she named him pain. Can you imagine your name was pain? It sounded in this passage of scripture that his life was a pain too. But Jabez turned to God in his situation and by praying to him, he asked God to change his life around by blessing him and giving him favor. He also asked him to increase his border and keep him from evil. The most wonderful thing happened, God answered his prayer! Think about it, if God answered Jabez, can you believe he would answer you? (But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. –Hebrews 11:6)
It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. — Lamentations 3:22-24
Good morning Lord! Thank you for a new day and a new beginning to this day. Thank you for your mercy and your compassion that you have given me each and every day even when I sometimes fall short and have not always met your mark. Lord my hope is in you and I look to you to lead me and keep me through this day. I pray for my families and my friends and for my enemies. Yes, even my enemies because you tell me to pray for them which despitefully use me and persecute me. God you know what they are in need of and what they are facing today. Bless them, Father. I am thankful for all that I have and having you in my life is more than enough. For you are my portion, you are my hope, and I wait on you.
31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
If you want to be forgiven, you must forgive. Do not hold onto past faults or hurts from others because it will become a weight. Learn to forgive and forget because that is what God has done for us.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
What are we waiting on? It is time to draw closer to God. Let us wash ourselves of everything that we know and what the word of God says is unholy. Our Father is a holy God and he commands us to be holy for he is holy!
Before the priests could go into the sanctuary, they had to wash themselves and put on clean robes. We should go before God with a repenting heart. Hebrews 10:22 says, Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us not straddle the fence, but make up in our minds that we will serve God always and keep our focus on Him. Let us draw closer to him day and night by taking the time to know him and become intimate with him by reading our word, spending time in praying, and by fasting.
For anyone who has asked the same questions over and over in Sunday school, but hasn’t gotten straight answers, coming summer 2016 is my book: "When Sunday School Answers Don't Cut it.." In a culture where the Bible is a number one best seller, but almost nobody actually reads it, this book gives the reader a gift of simple, clear, dinner party Bible trivia and beyond. Way beyond. Sample chapters found (here).