Horizons Unlimited November 12, 2017 - November 20, 2017
HORIZONS UNLIMITED

Sunday November 12, 2017: Created For His Pleasure
Monday November 13, 2017: Stony Hearts Are Out-Spirit-Directed Hearts Are In
Tuesday November 14, 2017: Lord, I Thirst for You!
Wednesday November 15, 2017: We Must Know With Confidence
Thursday November 16, 2017: Surely There Is a Hereafter
Friday November 17, 2017: Refuse to Confuse Your Faith
Saturday November 18, 2017: Stinking Thinking Smells Up Your Life
Sunday November 19, 2017: Almost
Monday November 20, 2017: Does It Matter That No One But Jesus Knows Your Name?

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Sunday November 12, 2017
Created For His Pleasure


Colossians 1:19, TM: He was supreme in the beginning and - leading the resurrection parade - He is supreme in the end.

When you read and meditate on Colossians 1, you begin to discover that the resurrection of Jesus put us in the original state in which we were to function-in order to bring pleasure to the Father, to the heart of God.

We have done both God and our offspring a great injustice in not realizing that from the beginning, man not only had dominion and authority over God's earth, but he had a responsibility to co-create children for God's pleasure, not theirs. This helped me to better understand Abraham's willingness to offer up Isaac to the Lord, as well as Hannah's willingness to give Samuel for the service of the Lord. Zacharias and Elizabeth released John to fulfill God's plan for mankind.

We have so hindered our children's lives in requiring them to do what pleases us and not giving them back to the Lord. Instead, we have forced them to attend our alma mater or learn our trade, and, at times, take over our business. Some time ago, a young lady said to me that she was attending the college of her parents' choice, because that's where they attended.

I don't believe it ever occurred to us that one of our responsibilities to God is to give birth to His children and then train them in the nurture and admonition of Him (Eph. 6:4). By so doing, they can develop their own relationship with God and grow up with a desire to please Him, not to please their parents, whose ideas and plans for them are so limited.

It is through Jesus Christ's resurrection that we are to be born again, not to miss the fires of hell, but to bring pleasure to the Father through our submission and obedience. We submit because we reverence Him. We obey because we love Him.

Parents, those offspring do not belong to you. They were created for His pleasure. Give them back to their real Parent. You can never give them what He has for them.



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Monday November 13, 2017
Stony Hearts Are Out-Spirit-Directed Hearts Are In


Ezekiel 36:26, KJV: A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Rebellious, stubborn hearts are never in line with God. Pure hearts and a desire to obey God and to remain faithful is all God has ever wanted from His people. In order for us to stop being self-willed and to become God-willed, we must permit His Spirit to enter our flesh, which will make it possible for us to obey and live according to God's Word and His will. Flesh that is not submitted to God will follow the dictates of the devil. Yet God made our flesh, and everything He made is good.

So stop cursing your flesh. After all, God gave it to you! Through Adam's transgression of giving, dominion of all he had been given was transferred to satan. In that one act, Adam released a force that would influence the flesh of all mankind, affecting it in a negative, ungodly way. However, Jesus' death and resurrection came to condemn sin in the flesh, bringing deliverance and freedom to every believer willing to let Christ be enthroned in his heart.

Crucifying the flesh begins by allowing the Holy Spirit to dominate it.



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Tuesday November 14, 2017
Lord, I Thirst for You!


Psalms 42:2, NKJV: My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?

Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled (Matthew 5:6). Is God all you crave and long for? Do you find yourself seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness? Are your prayers asking God to make you hungrier for Him and to let your spirit always strive for the satisfaction of finding Him? Prosperity, health and wealth are just a portion of the benefit package Calvary made available to me. Like the rich young ruler, I had all this, but was still desiring and longing for something that was missing.

Poverty certainly is no badge of honor, but neither is health or wealth if you are living without Jesus. It is even possible to be born again, filled with His Spirit, to walk in health, wealth and wisdom and still experience a void in your life. That void translates as a spiritual hunger and thirst.

When things lose their luster and all you want is to know Jesus and His power and resurrection, you're thirsty. When you have access to leading ministers and teachers, but you only want to hear from the Lord on a daily basis, you're thirsty.

Acknowledge and position God as first in your life and you'll start to enjoy a quenching of that thirst, but it will never be fully satisfied until you behold Him face to face.



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Wednesday November 15, 2017
We Must Know With Confidence


Hebrews 3:14, KJV: For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.

It is so important for us to grasp and settle it once and for all that we are who the Word of God says we are. We cannot afford to focus on what we think or feel or what may have been said about us by anyone other than the Lord.

How great is the love that God has shown to us! He calls us His very own children. The heathen don't recognize or identify with us because they don't have God's nature within them. As the old saying goes, "It takes one to know one."

We must have the confidence to know that we are God's offspring now. The future will confirm what has not yet been revealed. We, however, have no need to wait until Jesus is manifested on this earth, for we are convinced today and every day that we will be like Him. He has put His seal on us to mark us as one of His. Like branded cattle, it matters not how far we may stray; we belong to the One whose seal has branded us.

We have been positioned in Christ to confidently profess that we are His by His choice. We must come to a place where all doubt is eliminated; we are who we are because of whose we are. Just because we confess God's promise doesn't guarantee we'll ever possess it. We must confidently believe and not doubt.



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Thursday November 16, 2017
Surely There Is a Hereafter


Proverbs 23:18, NKJV: For surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off.

There are some who say that it is hard for them to believe that there is life, or anything else, after death.

Whether you believe it or not, there is life after death. Ceasing to breathe here on this earth, on this planet, is not the end of your story. Your story will never end. It will either be rewarded by the Lord or tormented by the devil.

The devil knows that he, the false prophet, and the antichrist will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. Because he has no hope for a future with God, he wants to see how many others he can prevent from their hope with the Lord.

I am yet without a clear picture of where the spirit of a believer goes once it leaves the body until Jesus appears for both the dead in Christ and those who are alive and remain to be caught up together to meet Him in the air. I do know that all of us who believe in Him will have a new name, a new body, and a new place to live for all eternity.

When Paul spoke of believers asleep in Christ, he did not make it clear where our spirits would be. But Paul said a saint departing was asleep in Christ until He appears. When He appears we'll be out of here in the blink of an eye with our new bodies that will enable us to enter into heaven. Without a glorified body you and I cannot enter into heaven. The place is too holy for non-glorified flesh to inhabit.

Proverbs 23:18-19 (NLT) says, "For surely you have a future ahead of you. Your hope will not be disappointed. My child, listen and be wise. Keep your heart on the right course." Listening and being wise are our responsibilities. Keeping our hearts on the right course is our responsibility also.



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Friday November 17, 2017
Refuse to Confuse Your Faith


John 11:22, NKJV: "But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You."

In John 11:21, Martha says, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died." But in the following verse, she changes gears and says, "Whatever You ask of God, God will give You." She essentially says, "Jesus, You have the ability to work with the living, but You'll have to get God's help once they are dead." Her faith was confused, and confused faith never pleases God; He does not authorize confusion of any kind.

Like Martha, so many of us who call ourselves believers confuse our faith. We say one thing in one breath and something else in another breath.

Even when Jesus said, "Your brother will rise again" (verse 23), Martha assumed Jesus meant that he would rise in the final resurrection of the dead (verse 24).

John 6:63 says, "...The words that I [Jesus] speak to you are spirit, and they are life." How often do we, too, find ourselves missing what Jesus is saying to us because we think He'll wait for tomorrow to do it? Martha should have responded to Jesus' Word with "I agree, Lord; and since You didn't say when, now is as good a time as any." Likewise, if we can believe that Jesus could have prevented something or that He can talk God into doing something, why should we not believe that His spoken Word to us is for the moment? Precious Father, thank You for being so patient with us while we learn not to confuse our faith. If we believe that Jesus can prevent the enemy from destroying us, let us quickly learn that He does not have to go back to You for another injection of authority and power to get the next level of a miracle done.

Help us to remember that Jesus' spoken Word is sufficient to fulfill what He says. Unless He specifies a time, we simply need to agree with what He says and claim it "even now." I now understand that many blessings in my life were delayed because I did not know Him as a "right now" Jesus. I expect to claim all His promises to me now, unless He tells me they have an appointed time. I refuse to confuse my faith.



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Saturday November 18, 2017
Stinking Thinking Smells Up Your Life


Proverbs 4:23, KJV: Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

We really do become what we think. That is why clean, healthy, and positive thoughts are like medicine to our bones. Conversely, negative, perverted, and bad thoughts aid in the deterioration of the physical body.

Years ago, I began to develop a system to protect myself from aging prematurely, while at the same time renewing my youth. I examine everything and everyone in my life to either embrace it for the good it adds to my life, or reject and eliminate it for its toxic effect.

I rejoice at the very thought of God using me to reach the lost, the downtrodden, and the rank sinners. However, God does not require me to bring each of them home with me, nor does He require me to be the answer to every need. I am to present Jesus, live an exemplary life, teach the Word in season and out of season, pray, and help them to focus their affection, adoration, and worship on the one true and living God.

Because I am responsible for the thoughts I retain, I find that rehearsing negative thoughts about what someone said or did to me is absolutely exhausting. Therefore, I confront issues and people as soon as I realize I am thinking too much about what to say or how to relate to them.

Confrontation without anger is healthy for all concerned. However, anger without confrontation will develop into a root of bitterness in your heart. Paul said that meditating on true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and good reports, and setting your affections on heavenly things will result in a long, healthy, prosperous life.

Father, because Your Word guarantees that I have the mind of Christ and Your wisdom as a part of Calvary's benefit package, I reject any thought that seeks to hinder my heart's free flow of love, joy, and peace. My life is to be a sweet smell unto You because my heart trusts in You. Stinking thinking is not part of Your good gift to me in Christ Jesus. I choose to think on those things that help me to run this race pleasing in Your sight, in Jesus' name. Amen.



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Sunday November 19, 2017
Almost


Psalm 119:87, NLT: They almost finished me off, but I refused to abandon your commandments.

Almost is not a word to be used when we trust God and His Word. It is not to be a part of our identity as Christians. When on assignment from God, almost is unacceptable. However, when it comes to any attack of the enemy, almost is a sound of victory for anyone who refuses to abandon the precepts of God.

When the devil assaults you as a child of God, his plan is never to just upset or disturb you; his intentions are always to destroy and eliminate you. When he comes to steal from you, he wants all that you have. When he comes to kill you, a temporary incident or an accident is not his plan for the day; he wants you finished.

As long as you are able to say, "They almost finished me off," the devil has been defeated in your life. Just make sure that you stay in a position to say, "They almost...."

How can you be sure that almost will be your declaration of his defeat? Refuse to abandon God's commandments. Anyone who stays with the promises, requirements, and principles of God's Word will be able to say of satan, "he almost finished me off."

You don't want to say, "Jesus almost saved me" or "He almost healed me." But when speaking of the devil, "he almost" is a statement of victory and is usually heard coming from the mouths of God's children who understand their covenant rights.

If today it appears that there is not victory in sight and the prognosis and diagnosis are not favorable, what does the Word of God say? If the devil could have destroyed and finished you off, he would have already. The fact that you are still standing-even if you are in a leaning position-means that he has not caused you to quit, which is the only way on earth that he can be successful.

Your choice to take God at His Word is the devil's greatest fear. Even if your strength and resolve have weakened to the point that your departure is imminent, he still cannot finish you off. As God's offspring, you are homeward bound and the devil can't prevent that.

Keep your house in order, refuse to abandon God's Word, and see what the Lord will do.



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Monday November 20, 2017
Does It Matter That No One But Jesus Knows Your Name?


Romans 16:5, NIV: ...Greet my dear friend Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.

Though he was a dear friend of Paul's and the first convert to Christ in Asia, his name is not mentioned anywhere else in the Bible and it would appear that no monuments were built to honor him for his role in being the first. I often say this to other believers who think certain choices you and I make should carry with them a memorial or plaque. Surely a room if not a building or an avenue or street should bear your name according to them. Does your name or mine matter except that it is written in The Lamb's Book of Life?

The congregation of RLCC has been asked to abstain and refrain from naming anything after me when I depart this life. If I had an impact on your life while I lived, that was my duty and I am grateful to be used by God in that way. If I did not impact your life for Jesus and His Kingdom, I failed all of us, and don't deserve to be remembered. If I led you in the salvation prayer, or imparted to you some of the wisdom that was freely given to me, you will never forget me no matter where you go and what you do. Though none of us know the name Epaenetus, Jesus does, and that is all that matters.

An inmate shared with me that he did not want to die and have no one attend his funeral. Thank God I was able to get him to see that it won't matter to him at that time and that he was wasting a lot of valuable time worrying about something that won't concern him later. Today, make sure Jesus knows who you are. Being first or last in His book is not the issue. Being in there is crucial. Do what's necessary to get your name written down in the Lamb's Book of Life, and do it now!



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