19 Jul R3 Online Prayer, RESOLVING THE DIFFERENCE, Wednesday, July 19, 2017
1 Peter 2:9 Amplified
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Ezekiel 44:23 NIV
They are to teach my people THE DIFFERENCE between the holy and the common and show them HOW TO DISTINGUISH between the unclean and the clean.
Malachi 3:18 NIV
And you again see THE DISTINCTION between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
Choose you this day…so said Joshua. More than ever before “the chosen” need to choose to believe and behave as the special ones. His very own valuable possessions. Created in his own image and likeness, we are valuing beings. We possess the ability to analyze and weight our behavior before our God and ourselves. True too, is the gift of discernment we all have, to distinguish excellence from inferiority, high standards from low, proven character from lacking. We are responsible in choosing!
How we resolve these differences is what sets us apart from all other creatures and demonstrates our uniqueness as those who are in the likeness of our God. It is in our differences from the world, not our similarities that will make a difference in reaching those who’ve lost their identity in the fall.
Elijah posed a probing question to the people to God: How long are you going to jump back and forth between two positions? The Hebrew word “jump” is paw-sakh, meaning to waver or falter; to halt or hover in-between; to be divided or double-minded: to bounce back and forth or ping pong between positions. (It is cognitive dissonance—attempting to hold two positions at once.) Proverbs 23:7 says, As a man thins in his heart, so is he. We are not necessarily what we think, but what we think we are! Tozer wrote, “To be right, we must think right.”
Another quality created in us is: to the ability to decide or the will to choose. The will-gate is where Adam opened the gates of hell to come in to but where Jesus opened the gates of heaven for us to go out.
If we are going to make a difference we must resolve the difference in us! We choose in the direction we will go for ourselves—better yet—you should choose in the direction chosen for us by the Author and Finisher of our faith. We cannot run a race until we choose to be in the race. We cannot finish a race until we determine to overcome every obstacle and opposition to complete the race. We likewise can decide how we will run a race. We can begin with the end in mind!
Jesus said, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies it remains alone; but if it dies, it reproduces much more fruit (Jn. 12:24). Choosing to die is the place where the will to live on is born again. Committing a seed to the ground is the first choice to reaping a harvest in the end. Tozer questioned…To what does a tree owe its long life? It is because it stands forever in its grave.” As long as our roots are at the foot of the cross our fruit will remain!
As we pray we are resolving ourselves to: DECIDE to follow; DETERMINE to finish; DISTINGUISH our significance; DEFINE our identity; and MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the world.
Today we seek to close the gap between us and the “Author and Finisher of our faith”, we seek to put distance between our sins, this world, and the adversary; we seek to measure our value and excellence by the difference we make in a fallen world and that which we have been entrusted with.
- Making a DECISION
Joel 3:14 NKJV
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration;
resolving a question, judgment, or direction;
to fix, establish, or settle in resolving a choice or choices.
Main Point: To have the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding in decisions that must be made today; the discernment of what to prioritize for you with what to postpone till later; to decide in the direction of greatest return. To learn and practice hourly obedience; to decide in the moment whose will to choose and which step to take in the destiny planned for me; our habit of deciding is the vehicle that will take us to our future.
- Today if you hear His voice…–Heb. 3:10-12
- Choose you this day…–Jsh. 24:14-15
- Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. –1 Cor. 11:1 NIV
- 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. –Mt. 6:33 NKJV
- …that you have left your first love.5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. –Rev. 2:4-5 NKJV
- It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. –Gal. 5:1, 13 NIV
- 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. –Jn. 8:31-32, 36 NIV
- 30, 60, 100 fold…–Lk. 8:4-15; Mt. 13:1-23
- And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” –Gen. 2:16-17 NKJV
- For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; –1 Cor. 9:19 NKJV
- 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. –1 Pet. 2:16 NIV
Decision is choosing what to do for the moment or the next step. (Ex.) I have decided to follow Jesus…!
Determination is choosing a direction with the end result in mind. (Ex.) I am determined to finish this race!
- The secret of our future is hidden in our daily routine.
- The condition of the soil of my heart and mind determines the reproduction of the seed.
- I choose to give You a good, noble heart/mind that will yield 30, 60. 100 fold increase.
- Ask myself; Has there ever been a time when I was more devoted, more faithful, more in love with Jesus than now? If yes, I’ve left my first love—return.
- Every step I take is in You—Your word is a lamp to my feet and light to my path.
- Today, I choose to deny myself and take up my cross and follow You.
- Lord, give me an undivided heart that I might fear Your name.
- Today, I choose to hear Your voice and follow Your instructions.
- Today, my will is to do Your will so I can finish the work you started in me.
- You schedule the permanent on the ledger of choosing today.
- Making a DETERMINATION
Daniel 1:8 Amplified
But Daniel DETERMINED in his heart that he would not defile himself…
a resoluteness of purpose; the will to choose towards an eventual conclusion;
to think towards an expected end; to begin with the end in mind
Main Point: To determine the end from the beginning; to will to do the will of the Father and finish His work; to run in such a way as to get the prize at the end and hear Jesus say, “Well done, good, and faithful servant.”
- …count the cost…-Lk. 14:22-23
- For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. –Jer. 29:11 KJV
- Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. –1 Cor. 9:24-27 NKJV
- For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]. –Eph. 2:10 AMP.
- For he is the kind of person who is always thinking about the cost.“Eat and drink,” he says to you,but his heart is not with you.– Prov. 23:7 NIV
- Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” –Gen. 1:26-28 NKJV
- 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – 6: 33 KJV
- Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.–Col 3:1-3 NIV
- Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. –Heb. 12:1-2 NIV
- I determine to run the course set before me and I choose to FINISH WELL so You can say “well, done…”
- Learn to think with the mind of Christ—think with the end at the beginning.
- To change, not out of “self-determination” but determine to allow I AM to change who I am?
- Help me to remember how I think is what I am becoming. (Prov. 23:7)
- Help me to determine to offer myself as a living sacrifice, daily take up my cross to follow, and be transformed by the renewing of my mind through Holy Spirit and the Living Word.
- Where your treasure is, there will be your heart.
- Let my heart and mind be set on things above, not on earthly things.
- His imprint becomes my expression—I determine to leave Christ’s imprint in everyone around me and in my journey.
- Not to run the race I choose for myself, but the race chosen for me.
- To allow the Author and Finisher of my faith to finish what He started in me.
- Making a DISTINCTION
Joshua 24:14-15 NKJV
14 “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
a difference or contrast between similar things or people;
a defining significance between dissimilar things; a contrast by comparison in defining differences.
Main Point: To practice a long obedience in the same direction; to set my eyes on eternity and distinguish the excellencies of His work in me; to be holy and godly separated from sin and devoted to God in worship and serving; to be conformed to Christ and allow Him to accomplish what concerns me.
- And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. 12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; – Phil. 1:9-13 NKJV
- Choose the fear of the LORD. –Prov. 1:29
- I set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. I counsel you to choose life. –Deut. 30:19-20
- And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience…–Eph. 2:1-2
- 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 14 This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.–Eph. 5:7-11, 14-17 NIV
- 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. –1 Cor. 6:19-7:1 NKJV
- Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. –Jn. 15:13 NKJV
- “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. –Jn. 14:12 NKJV
- 20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation;21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” –Lk. 17:20-21 NKJV
- 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. –1 Jn. 3:8; 1 Jn. 4:4 NKJV
- 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. –Mt. 7:15, 20 NKJV
- 8 He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.–Jam. 1:8; 4:7-8 NKJV
- Parable of Talents- 10, 5, 1 –Mt. 25
- Make up your mind—our future will remain unstable if it is built on double-minded thoughts.
- Help me to remember the only true measure of my success as a disciple of Christ is the ratio between what I might have been and what I have become.
- Help me to not forget that my God-given potential is Your gift to me and what I do with it is my gift to You.
- The distinction in my reward and my regrets is what I do or did not do with the least of these; hungry, thirsty, naked, stranger, imprisoned, and shut-ins.
- To accept my difference from the world and realize that there are others you have called who are the “same kind of different as me”—I am not alone.
- To realize regardless of religious zeal and activity the bottom-line is that my tree will be known by its fruit.
- Making a DEFINITION
1 Kings 18:21 Complete Jewish Bible
How long are you going to jump back and forth between two opinions?
the act of determining; the power of describing, explaining, or making clear something;
to give details or deeper meaning; to expound upon for greater clarity and understanding.
Main Point: To define myself from the One who made me and redeemed me at a great cost; to place myself in the Potter’s hand to mold, shape, and use me according to His definition; to be a definitive witness for Christ and define my worship to the Father in spirit and in truth.
- Rich young ruler…You lack one thing. –Lk. 18:16-27
- The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: 2 “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” 3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. 5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! –Jer. 18:1-6 NKJV
- “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. –Jn. 15:5, 8, 16
- 12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. –2 Cor. 10:12 NIV
- 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. –1 Cor. 2:14-16 NKJV
- I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works,And that my soul knows very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.—Ps. 139:14-16 NKJV
- Whatever I hold too tightly to becomes deformed in my hands
- Daily place my mind, motives, moves and momentums in the Potter’s hands.
- Teach me the fear of the Lord and to love what God loves and hate what He hates.
- Help me to learn dependence on You and You alone by living outside my comfort zones.
- Help to realize that You are pushing the outer limits of my world to broaden my perspective and enlarge my mind for eternity.
- Understand my significance is not in my similarity to others but in my difference—I must measure myself by measuring every motive and conformity to Christ. (Gal. 4:19)
- To define myself by the handiwork of My Creator and value myself by the price that was paid to redeem me.
- To learn to see and define myself the way I am seen and defined.
- Making a DIFFERENCE
Jude 22 KJV
And of some having compassion,
MAKING A DIFFERENCE:
And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire.
a point or way in which people or things are not the same;
that which is different or unlike something else; to opposite of something or someone;
the variation or separates our otherness by comparison.
Main Point: That to make a difference there must be a difference in me; that I cannot win a world that has won me; I must make up my mind to accept that I am different and my difference is what makes a difference for me.
- 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…-Matt. 28:18-19 NKJV
- 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature 19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. –Mk. 16:15, 19-20
- 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” –Lk. 24:49 NKJV
- 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul[ from death and cover a multitude of sins. –Jam. 5:20 NKJV
- 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. –Jn. 3:16 NKJV
- As the Father has sent Me, I also send you. –Jn. 20:21 NKJV
- 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! –Jn. 4:34-35 NKJV
- 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” –Acts 1:8 NKJV
- 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 1 Cor. 12:18 NKJV
- 3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: — Rom. 12:3-6b
- Am I fulfilling my call to the Great Commission in being a fisher of men?
- Am I affecting the harvest by sowing, working, or reaping?
- Help me to be an effective witness for you among the lost!
- Holy Spirit, give me the Father’s heartbeat for the lost.
- Open my eyes to see the lost perishing and those who need discipling.
- Give me discernment of how to save with compassion or save with fear.
- Help me remember that I can’t win a world that has won me—that my witness is not because of my similarity to sinners, but because I am different—holy set apart—unique to My God.
- That because of the difference in my beliefs, behavior, and words the world will know I have something they do not have.
- That to make a difference I must be different to make a distinction.