Thursday, December 20, 2018

He Satisfies the Longing Soul

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I’m Doug Apple...and my heart is on fire!  (Luke 24:32)

You gotta have the want to.

That’s the title of an old book on my shelf by Pastor Allan Oggs.

You gotta have the want to.

As we square up for a new year, 2019, do you have the want to?

Even if you feel battle weary, even if 2018 wore you out – maybe you don’t have the motivation, maybe you feel depleted, maybe 2018 drained you – but do you WANT to do better?  Do you WANT to rise up and be all that God wants you to be in 2019?

WANTING it is the key.

Look at Matthew 5:6, where Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness...”  It doesn’t say, “Blessed are the righteous” though the righteous are surely blessed, but it says, “Blessed are those who HUNGER AND THIRST for righteousness.” 

In other words, blessed are those who WANT it.

I’ve spent the year 2018 doing a deep dive into the Psalms, and my reading today stopped suddenly at the powerful Psalm 107 verse 9, “For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.”

What is my part in that verse?  My part is to have a longing and hungry soul.

I long for the Lord.  I hunger for more of Him in 2019, more of His character in me, more of His will done in me and through me, more of “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” in ME as it is in heaven, in my family as it is in heaven, in my work as it is in heaven, in my church as it is in heaven.  HIS will be done.  I hunger and thirst and long for that.

And the good news is, He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness!

Do you feel it?  Are you hungry for it?

Psalm 42:1 – as the deer pants for the water, Lord, my soul longs for You.  I need You and want You and desire You.  I want to walk in Your Spirit and live by Your Spirit and bear the eternal fruit of Your Spirit.

I want it, and long for it, and seek it, and pray for it.

And everyone who asks, receives.  And he who seeks, finds.  And to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

And today I plant my flag of hope firmly in Psalm 107:9, for He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with good things.

May God bless you as you long for Him today.

I’m Doug Apple.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

They That Seek the Lord Shall Not Want Any Good Thing

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I’m Doug Apple...and my heart is on fire!  (Luke 24:32)

“They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.”

That’s what it says in Psalm 34:10.

Now I might need to explain the King James English.  When it says, “shall not want any good thing,” it means you won’t be lacking any good thing.  Of course you WANT good things.  You desire good things, and here’s how you get them.  You seek the Lord.

You seek the Lord by drawing near to Him.  We enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.  We come boldly before His throne of grace.  We draw near to God in our personal prayer time, alone, seeking Him, seeking His truth and His light and His heart.

When we seek the Lord, then His will begins to unfold in our lives.  We obey Him more; and when we walk in His ways, we become more pleasing and more attractive to other people.

When you are living a life that is pleasing to the Lord, it is a life full of love and joy and peace and patience, and people like that!  People will be drawn to you.  They will like you.

And they will be glad to help you get the good things you desire.

So that is one way that, when we seek the Lord, we shall not want for any good thing; because God makes us into a good person, and other people will be glad to bring their blessings into our life.

And when you are a good person, you will always be doing good for other people.  That is a blessing in itself; and then the Bible also says, “give and it shall be given unto you.”

I like the quote from Zig Ziglar, “If you help enough other people get what they want, they will make sure that you get what you want.”

Another blessing from seeking God is that He lavishes His love on us.  When we receive His love, especially during our personal times with Him, that gives us good mental health, and good spiritual health, and good emotional health.  It gives us hope and a positive outlook on life. 

When we seek God, then we stop grieving and quenching His Holy Spirit inside of us, which unleashes the power of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.  And that really opens the flow of every good and perfect gift that comes down from the Father of lights!

So you want good things?  You want a blessed life?  You want God to flow through you and your family, then do this with all diligence:  seek the Lord.

For they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.

May God bless you as you seek Him today.

I’m Doug Apple.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

By the Power Vested in Me

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I’m Doug Apple...and my heart is on fire!  (Luke 24:32)

I love this little phrase, “by the power vested in me.”

Like they say at weddings.  “By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you man and wife.”

It means you didn’t have the power, then someone “vested” the power in you.

That’s the way it is in our Christian life.  There are things God wants us to do, but we can’t do them faithfully in our own power.  We need His power to work in us.

For example, it’s not easy to forgive people like God wants us to forgive, but we can do it…by His power vested in us.

It’s like we’re saying, “I can’t forgive you for that, at least not in my own power; but by the power vested in me...I forgive you.”

God’s power is vested in us through His Holy Spirit inside of us.  God puts His Spirit inside every believer when they are born again, and He begins His good work in us, exercising His power to bring us to maturity.

So when Jesus says, “Love your enemies,” and you really do have an enemy?  In the flesh, in your own carnal power, you just can’t do it.  You can’t really love them like God wants you to love them, except by the power of the Holy Spirit vested in you.

How can you “count it all joy” when you go through trials?  You can’t really do it...except by the power of God vested in you.  But with that power,  you can literally “rejoice in the Lord always.”

So you’re a believer, and you know the Holy Spirit is inside of you, but maybe you aren’t really enjoying the full fruit of the Spirit.  You’re not really feeling His power vested in you.  Now what?

Maybe you need to waste some time with God.  That sounds strange, doesn’t it?  But that’s what a Christian counselor told Pastor Paul Westbrook when he was going through some problems.  He said, “Paul, do you ever waste time with God?”

As a pastor, of course he SPENT time with God, he studied and prayed and whatever; but WASTING time with God, that’s different.  It means hanging out with God, and talking to God, and listening to God and generally just being in the presence of God, or as the counselor said, “Wasting time with God.”

Time with God helps you stop blocking and quenching and grieving the Holy Spirit.  It helps you get tuned in to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd. 

And as we do that, we can feel the power surge, and God can enable to do all those things that He wants us to His power vested in us.

May God bless you, today.

I’m Doug Apple.