Horizons Unlimited October 13, 2019 - October 21, 2019
HORIZONS UNLIMITED

Sunday October 13, 2019: Never Confuse Mercy With Disobedience
Monday October 14, 2019: One Woman's Wisdom Saved the City
Tuesday October 15, 2019: Recognized Because of Time With Jesus
Wednesday October 16, 2019: Bribes Lead to Deceit
Thursday October 17, 2019: Act Like It Is So
Friday October 18, 2019: Conditional Blessings
Saturday October 19, 2019: Fervent Prayer and Bold Testimony: Killers of Ungodliness
Sunday October 20, 2019: What You Do Determines Who Your Father Is
Monday October 21, 2019: Good Question

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Sunday October 13, 2019
Never Confuse Mercy With Disobedience


1 Kings 2:36, NKJV: Then the king sent and called for Shemei, and said to him, "Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and dwell there, and do not go out from there anywhere."

Some people find it hard to stay focused on what is ultimately best for them. Shemei had cursed David and David agreed not to kill him by the sword. He did, however, assign his son Solomon to deal with the situation in his own way and in his own time. King Solomon's wisdom extended mercy to Shemei, giving him explicit instructions not to ever leave town or he would die. For three years, Shemei complied. But when two of his slaves ran away, Shemei pursued them and lost his life because he failed to hold to the agreement that would have preserved his life if he continued to abide by its guidelines.

Is anything or anyone so important to you that you'd risk losing your life to retain or retrieve them? Why are you running after things God has asked you to give up or leave behind? God is so gracious that He shares with us the consequences of disobedience. That is nothing but mercy. The devil never tells us the price we will pay when we allow ourselves to be enticed by him. Then, when we bite his bait, he'll gloat over our fall and failure.

Shemei should have been grateful not only that the king was merciful enough not to execute him, but also that he was in a position to have slaves instead of being one himself. Instead of staying focused, grateful, and obedient, Shemei gambled with his life and lost.

Again I ask you: Is anything or anyone worth losing your life to retain? Your answer should be no. You may be at a crossroad, waffling in your commitment and about to falter in your obedience. Don't take God's mercy and longsuffering for granted. Are you willing to risk losing everything because of that person or thing you want to pursue? Think about it. Life is all you have.

Obedience to the Word of God and to the voice of the Spirit will extend your life and give you peace. Pay close attention to what is spoken to you in the Word and by the Spirit. Everything you have can be replaced, but not your life. Choose wisely. Your life depends on it.



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Monday October 14, 2019
One Woman's Wisdom Saved the City


2 Samuel 20:22, NLT: Then the woman went to the people with her wise advice, and they cut off Sheba's head and threw it out to Joab. So he blew the trumpet and called his troops back from the attack, and they returned to their homes. Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem.

I have learned that it is not my place to fight physical battles for the Lord. However, it is my place to be used of the Lord with wise words that will penetrate the heart of those on a mission that could bring harm to what belongs to God. God is capable of protecting Himself and what is His.

I recall a time when I received some letters from prominent, well-known ministers, some who are personal friends whom I love, suggesting that we get involved in petitioning against the purchase of a cable TV network "because it could negatively affect the spreading of the gospel." My spirit was grieved as I read the letters because some of these same people had taught me confidence in God, how I was not to resort to the world's way of doing things, and that God was big enough to defend Himself and I was to simply follow His lead.

What grieved me the most was that these people genuinely believed that man's choice and actions could prevent the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ from being spread in these last days.

Could it be that like in the book of Acts, when the believers were all gathered together in Jerusalem, when they were told to "go into all the world," that maybe it is now time for people to get out from in front of a TV and go to a local church to be taught by a pastor? Are these people really concerned about the Gospel being shut down or are they concerned that their donor base will decrease and they need the viewers' money to support their empire? Just as God protected the innocent when the good people were willing to rid their city of the guilty Sheba, He will spread His Word to save the sinner and to instruct the saints when we trust and follow His plan.

When people stop using TV preaching and teaching as a substitute for attending a local assembly, then maybe He will cause secular stations to allow the message of Christ to be spread on their channels.



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Tuesday October 15, 2019
Recognized Because of Time With Jesus


Acts 4:13, NKJV: Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.

A person could be unlettered, illiterate, and absolutely ignorant in worldly knowledge and still impact the world for Jesus. If a person will spend time with Jesus, then the Holy Spirit will make that person bold to do things that would cause others to marvel.

People are not impressed with what you know. They want to know about what you can do with what you know, especially when it will positively affect their lives.

Education and information are wonderful, and God can and will use our knowledge for His glory when we submit it to Him for His service. However, we are never to allow the devil to hinder us from running through troops and leaping over walls, pulling down strongholds, or anything else that we need to do to complete the task that God has called and equipped us for.

Regardless of your academic achievements, spend time with Jesus. The more time you spend with Him, the bolder you will become. Soon you will begin to demonstrate what you believe about Him, and the next thing you know people will recognize you-not because of what you look like or what you have because of your natural parents, but because you have been with Jesus.

Dear Father in heaven, I thank You because one day you allowed me to see Jesus in another person. It piqued my curiosity, and aroused and stimulated my spirit to the point of causing me to pursue the peace and the power that is the hallmark of a person who has been with Jesus.

May others see in me the One whom I represent in the earth. Increase the spirit of boldness in me to speak, do, and live what I truly believe. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.



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Wednesday October 16, 2019
Bribes Lead to Deceit


Deuteronomy 16:19, CEV: Don't take bribes to give unfair decisions. Bribes keep people who are wise from seeing the truth and turn honest people into liars.

Bribes are not always an exchange of money or a gift of money to one in position to influence. Sometimes it's a dinner or an invitation to a person's home or the use of others time-share, or second home for vacation purposes. It will be helpful to ask yourself, Why are they offering this? Do I have the Holy Ghost's permission to accept it? Will it interfere or influence my future choices? Will the wisdom God has given me to discern truth be affected? Will my reputation as a representative of God and His honesty result in me becoming a liar?

All bribes lead to deceit. I have learned, with the Holy Spirit's help, to say "No thank you" to some offers because I don't need to think of them in the next equation I make for the Lord. Sure it has cost me relationships and finances, but it has never hindered the blessing of God from overtaking me. Watch how a person reacts to your reason for not accepting something from them. Make sure you are faithful to your role in their lives. When God sends you something through another person there are never any strings attached.

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Thursday October 17, 2019
Act Like It Is So


1 Corinthians 6:11, CEV: Some of you used to be like that. But now the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the power of God's Spirit have washed you and made you holy and acceptable to God.

I don't know about you, but at times I have been both disgusted by what the "old me" used to do, while at the same time I have been grateful, wanting to jump around the room because of the love, patience and compassion God displayed by tolerating me for such a long time. Reading this verse helps me understand the Apostle Paul's commitment to the purposes of God. I'm thrilled as I read that his zeal for spiritual things did not diminish once he met Jesus. In fact I sense it was enhanced.

Most of us will not have a face-to-face encounter with Jesus before He raptures us, but we can be washed by the blood of Jesus to be made acceptable to Him. It's time for us to act like it is so. We don't have to wait for the rapture to act like Jesus. We have been equipped with all we need to start using His name with boldness.

The world as well as other Christians are watching what we say and do. Our words and actions should be the reflection of Jesus in the earth. The reality that they are in need of a Savior is upon both them and us. We must be ready, so act like it is so.



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Friday October 18, 2019
Conditional Blessings


1 Kings 8:23, NKJV: And he said: “LORD God of Israel, there is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts.”

God has no favorites and He withholds no good thing from those who walk upright before Him. Evidently, walking upright before Him is the same as walking before Him with all your heart. Going to church, reading your Bible, and praying are all good things to do, but God is far more pleased to bless us when we simple obey His voice and His Word.

“Walking upright” before Him is our practical application of His Word to daily living. How we treat others, not just how we respond to God, is a clear revealer of our heart. “With all your heart” is an expansive statement that explains why some walk in the blessings of God and why others are constantly struggling. God keeps His covenant toward His servants who walk before Him without reservation or trepidation in their hearts. This “walking before Him” with all your heart guarantees His mercy on your behalf. And, His mercy is always greater than your challenge.

Mercy may not be needed every minute of the day, but it certainly is reassuring to know that mercy is available when we need it. My Mother used to say, “Mercy suits your situation.” In other words, whatever you may encounter, the Father’s mercy will fit perfectly like a handmade garment. If you walk before Him, single minded in your heart, then you can expect His mercy to manifest whenever it is needed.

At the close of a prayer meeting, one of our deacons made the statement, “Walking in the wisdom of God ensures living in His victory.” I believe that. Seeking the wisdom of God is to be the primary pursuit of our lives. But while we are seeking wisdom, we must seek understanding also. Understanding teaches us how to apply wisdom to every situation in life. Without question, you will live in victory when you approach every situation with godly wisdom and understanding.



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Saturday October 19, 2019
Fervent Prayer and Bold Testimony: Killers of Ungodliness


2 Corinthians 10:3, KJV: For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh.

We are in a military campaign in the spirit realm and cannot afford the luxury of contending with carnal inclinations, which is where our flesh, or carnal nature, would have us waging war. Too often as believers, we are duped into acting as though we are soldiers in the natural. Yes, we are soldiers, but we are spiritual soldiers. The weapons provided for us are not made by men; rather, they are given to us by the Lord Himself to demolish and destroy the strongholds of satan in the earth.

We are God's demolition crew. The way we perform our job is to pull aside with the Lord in fervent, secret prayer, and then to come out of our "prayer closet" with a bold testimony. God wants the world to know that we have been equipped and re-equipped to pull down every stronghold of the enemy.

Prayer and a bold testimony are the only forces I know to combat satan and his lies. There is no question about it, the enemy spreads his arsenal of lies anywhere he can. Too often, he does it in churches where neither the leadership nor the member is sensitive enough to understand the "perilous times" in which we live (2 Timothy 3:1).

The purpose of fervent prayer and bold testimony is that God has chosen this method to win every war and not wear us out. He energizes our prayers with power that no force of darkness can defeat. Fervent prayer and a bold proclamation of God's Word are the weapons we must use, because they are mighty through God. All other weapons merely sting satan. We are to carry out completely Jesus' purpose for coming: to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).



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Sunday October 20, 2019
What You Do Determines Who Your Father Is


1 John 2:29, NLT: Since we know that God is always right, we also know that all who do what is right are his children.

You will be known by your fruit (Matthew 12:33, NLT).

You cannot fail to abide by the rules and by the book and still expect God's support. You are entitled to certain opinions and preferences. However, when you have been placed in a role of leadership, it is more important that you stick with what is written than what you think or feel. You can't serve two masters (Matthew 6:24, NLT).

I am harder on myself than I am on any employee of the ministry. I can't require something of our church members and employees, and then violate the policy by doing what I want to do because I am the senior pastor. There are certain rights and privileges conferred upon me by the board of directors that are not contrary to God's laws for me. Yet I never exercise those rights, because doing so could be confusing to others.

I have the right not to exercise my rights! Requiring the same basic things from everyone eliminates my being viewed as a respecter of persons. However, if God speaks to me to do something for someone, I obey, but I prefer to remain anonymous. I try to never use my position, gift, or call to take advantage of others or to exclude those who may not be my favorites. My Father is always right. In order to be identified with Him, I must always work at being right. So when Jesus appears, I will not have to shrink back in shame (1 John 2:28). Live by the Bible and you'll stay out of trouble-and you'll give the devil all kinds of grief.



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Monday October 21, 2019
Good Question


2 Chronicles 25:15, KJV: ...Why hast thou sought after the gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of thine hand?

My mother used to say that some people's brains went on vacation, which was to suggest that their mental capacities were experiencing a time of doing nothing or, at best, very little. That is what I believe happened to idol worshippers. Imagine worshipping something that could not protect itself or you! The Bible says when "Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them" (2 Chron. 25:14).

Any god that you can maneuver or manipulate is an idol; it is not the God, the only One who is worthy of all of your worship. If you can set it up, it should worship you; you should not worship it. It would benefit all of us to stand and examine our lives. What has grasped our attention and our affection? In what have we placed our trust and confidence? To whom are we looking for our pleasure and purpose?

Each of us has personal, direct access to our God through the blood and the name of Jesus. Your position in society or your role in your family does not affect your relationship with God. Yes, I believe that God ordained the man to be the head of his family, but that does not mean that women do not have access to God for themselves. Ladies, you are not to worship God through your spouse. Thanks be to God, as sheep of Jesus, all of us can personally hear from God for ourselves (see John 10:4,5).

Father God, please move by Your Spirit on the hearts of husbands to accept that their wives also are to be led by Your Spirit. Otherwise, they are entertaining a controlling spirit. If the man were to do everything by himself, then You, God, made Your first mistake in making a helpmeet for him. Since You do not make mistakes, please teach Your sons the value of the gift You have given them in their companions, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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