Category Archives: Availability

Don’t Sacrifice Family on the Altar of Corporate Success

Some time ago I had opportunity to talk to two Christian leaders. Both were well respected in their churches and had successful careers.

When asked how his family felt about his travelling from home so much (and he was gone sometimes weeks at a time), one of the men replied, "My family understands that my work comes first." There was no question that everyone understood this – especially his family.

While enjoying a meal with the other gentleman and his family, I asked if his wife cooked such good meals for him every evening. He replied, "I travel so much, I rarely eat at home."

What makes these examples so tragic is that both of these men had teenage children that had rejected the Lord, and both these men believed that their job or ministry was more important than meeting the spiritual and emotional needs of their family.

If you are a parent then the most important ministry you have is toward your family (1 Timothy 3:5; 5:8; Deuteronomy 6:7; Genesis 18:19; Ephesians 6:4). If God has blessed you with children then they and your relationship with your spouse are your top priority after you own personal relationship with the Lord (Matthew 6:33).

Tom Peters is a secular author who has written several best sellers on the subject of business and excellence. He says, "We are frequently asked if it's possible to 'have it all'—a full satisfying personal life and a full and satisfying, hard-working professional one. Our answer is: No. The price of excellence is time, energy, attention and focus, at the very same time that energy, attention and focus could have gone toward enjoying your [child’s] soccer game."

Parenting is one of the most important jobs we will ever have. We can be successful in business, successful in the ministry – but if we are not first successful at home as a spouse and parent, what does it all matter? The most precious thing we have is the relationships we have with each other – especially family. Don’t sacrifice those relationships on the altar of corporate or even ministerial success.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

The Titanic’s Last Hero – How a Man Won a Crown of Life by Showing Deference in the Face of Death

John Harper was a passenger aboard the Titanic. As the ship was sinking, he made sure his daughter was safe then gave his life preserver to another who was not a Christian.

Even while perishing in the icy waters, survivors later testified of John Harper leading others to faith in Christ.

Here Am I, Lord, Send Me

The spiritual climate of Israel during days of Isaiah was at all time low. There was corruption among those in government; immorality among the religious leaders; and although the people of the land went through all the religious motions, their hearts were far from God. To a certain extent, even the prophet Isaiah was affected by lethargy of his day. But something was about to happen to Isaiah that would change whole course of his life. 

THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE PROPHET (1a)

v.1 begins with statement regarding the circumstances of the prophet: “In the year that king Uzziah died….” Uzziah was a Godly king. 2 Chr 26:5 tells us that “…as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.”

The tragedy was that in midst of his power & prosperity his heart was filled with pride. And because of his pride, God struck him with leprosy, and he was leper until day of his death.

It was in the year that he died that Isaiah saw the Lord, high and lifted up. And having seen how God would humble and judge even a king for his sin, Isaiah saw what a holy God he had to deal with and he said, “Woe is me.”

The circumstances of our seeing God will vary. Something will happen that will precipitate a crisis and we will find ourselves standing before God in some new way. Sometimes it’s the judgment of sin that causes us to see God in this new way. Sometimes it’s a terminal illness, an accident, or a death. The variety of things God uses is infinite; but He will use circumstances to get our attention and to cause us to look up.

What are the circumstances in your life right now? Could it be that God is trying to get a hold of you, trying to shake you, trying to get your attention?

What is God trying to say to you through the circumstances in your life?

Notice what Isaiah saw in v.v.1-4 as we consider…

THE CONTEMPLATION OF THE PROPHET (1b-4)

Isaiah had a vision of God in His glory and he never recovered from the impact. The interesting thing that Roy Hession points out in his little book – When I Saw Him – is that this man had been a preacher before he ever had this vision. In fact we have five chapters of his sermons before he ever saw the Lord in this wonderful way. Now the question that comes to mind is this: “What was he doing all those years of preaching before he had this vision?” The answer of course is that he was working for God, and doubtless he was working very hard; but – and this is the tragedy – before he saw the Lord high and lifted up, he was a man working without a vision of the Lord and without a vision of what God wanted him to do.

One of greatest tragedies of our day is that so many Christians are content to live without a vision of who God really is in all His holiness and without a vision for what He could accomplish through our lives!

As Christians, we need to see that God is involved in every area of our lives. For the Christian there is no such thing as a difference between the secular and the spiritual. For the Christian everything is spiritual! Every decision we make, every word we speak carries a deep spiritual significance.

As Christians we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. We are to walk in the spirit rather than in the flesh. Christians cannot separate the secular from the spiritual because for the Christian everything is spiritual!

Isaiah had a vision of God in all His holiness and when you truly see God in all of His holiness it will have a profound impact upon every area of your life – not just Sundays! There may be things that you’re asked to do in your job that you cannot do. WHY? Because God is holy! There may be things that you’re tempted to say that you should not say because God is a holy God! There may be things that you’re tempted to watch or music that you’re tempted to listen to that you know you shouldn’t. Why? Because God is holy and His holiness should penetrate every single area of our lives.

Look with me now at v.5 as we consider… 

THE CONFESSION OF THE PROPHET (5)

This is turning point in Isaiah’s life. In the first 5 chapters, Isaiah was busy pronouncing woes on everyone else; but now in chapter 6 he says, “Woe is me!” Why? Because when you’re confronted with the holiness of God, all you can see is your own sinfulness.

You see, when we’re really walking close with God we’re not preoccupied so much with the sins of others, but we see the reality, the awfulness, the ugliness of our own sinful hearts.

What is there in your life that no one else knows about? What are the secret sins that would cause you to be ashamed if you thought someone else at church knew? What is that one area of your life that comes to mind right now. DO YOU SEE IT? Do you see it in all its vileness?

These are the areas that God wants to deal with in your life. And unless you deal with them you will never progress further in your Christian life. You will know nothing of the deep things of Jesus Christ and you will live a shallow, superficial Christian life.

There’s nothing exceptional about Isaiah’s confession. It would be the cry of every one of us where we to have that proper perspective of the holiness of God. Because when you’re confronted with holiness of God all you can see is your own sinfulness.

But let’s move on to v.v.6-7 where we see…

THE CONSECRATION/CLEANSING OF THE PROPHET (6-7)

Isaiah was the best Israel had to offer but in God’s eyes he was as unimpressive as the dirty rags Queen Victoria saw one day as she toured paper factory in London. She saw a room filled with rags from city’s garbage and asked guide, “What are these for?” The guide told her that this was raw material from which the company’s finest paper was made. A few days later the Queen received a gift of stationary and as she held it to the light she saw it had a water mark that bore her image; and she realized this beautiful paper was made from rags picked up from refuse of the city of London.

That’s precisely the work God is involved in. He begins with the raw material. He takes a life that’s worthless and by His grace and mercy He cleanses it and transforms it into something of value that bears image of Jesus Christ.

As Isaiah stood before God, he was frightened, beaten and broken. As he acknowledged his need and cried out to God, v.v.6-7 says….

6  Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7  And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

What beautiful picture of the altar of Calvary’s cross! There is hope! There is forgiveness! God wants us to see the desperate condition of our own sinful hearts but He doesn’t stop there. He provides healing and cleansing through the blood of Christ.

Robert Lowry wrote the words:

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow That makes me white as snow;

No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

In the first part of v.8 we have…

THE COMMISSION OF THE PROPHET (8a)

The circumstances had caused Isaiah to look upward. His vision of God had caused him to look inward. Now having been cleansed and consecrated he is forced to look outward.

Jesus said, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”

After Isaiah had been broken and brought to knees. After the seraph had touched his lips and assured him he was useful. Then Isaiah heard “the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”

God is constantly searching for men and women and young people and He is asking this same pleading question: “Whom shall I send?”

I used to think this passage applied only to those who were surrendering themselves to go to the mission field. But it’s not! It has application for every one of us.

The truth we need to understand is that God has a very specific plan and purpose for each one of our lives. And if our lives are to count for eternity then it is essential that we discover what that purpose is.

God’s will is not a secret! It is first and foremost a matter of the condition of the heart. It’s not WHERE you are or WHAT you’re doing; but WHAT YOU ARE that really matters. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 says, “For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification….”

If you want to be in the will of God then start dealing with those areas in your life that need to change. Purpose to become the man or woman of Godly character and the Lord will make clear to you What He wants you to do and Where He wants you to go. Proverbs 11:3 says, “The integrity of the upright shall guide them…” As long as you continue to develop the character of Jesus Christ you will continually have the guidance to keep in the will of God.

Notice with me now…

THE COMMITMENT OF THE PROPHET (8b)

Isaiah responded to the Lord’s call by saying, “Here am I, Lord, Send me.”

Isaiah wasn’t just playing with religion. He was deadly serious; and when you start getting serious about your relationship with God, radical things start to happen.

For years I played with Christianity and sometimes when I compare myself with Godly men and women  that I know I feel as though I’m still just playing with it, but over twenty years ago after God dealt with my life through a car accident, I began to take the Bible and read it, and God showed me that He wasn’t interested in some kind of half-hearted commitment.  He wanted total commitment, total dedication, total abandonment to His will and purpose for my life.

Dr. Alexander Duff said: “There was a time when I had no care or concern for the heathen. That was the time I had no care for my own soul. But by the grace of God when I began to care for my own soul, I began to care for the heathen too. And in my closet on my bended knees I said: ‘O Lord, Thou knowest; silver and gold have I none for this cause. What I have I give; I offer myself; wilt Thou accept the gift?'”

That’s what God wants – nothing more but nothing less than the total surrender of our lives to His will and to His great cause of world evangelisation.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

The Reformation’s Two Martins

At the beginning of the reformation, Martin of Basel came to a knowledge of the Truth; but, afraid to make a public confession, he wrote on a leaf of parchment:

“O most merciful Christ, I know that I can be saved only by the merit of Thy blood. Holy Jesus, I acknowledge Thy sufferings for me. I love Thee! I love Thee!”

Then he removed a stone from the wall of his chamber and hid it there. It was not discovered for more than a hundred years.

About the same time, Martin Luther found the Truth as it is in Christ. He said:

“My Lord has confessed me before men; I will not shrink from confessing Him before kings.”

Personal Evaluation: Availability

  • Do you choose to serve God rather than money?
  • Do you purpose to be a giver rather than a taker?
  • Do you work to make others successful?
  • Do you deny yourself distracting pleasures?
  • Do you set aside personal ambitions in order to advance the kingdom of God and His righteousness?

The Power for True Success & Character Clues

Everybody, Somebody, Nobody and Anybody

Once upon a time, there were four church members;

Their names were Everybody, Somebody, Nobody and Anybody.

Whenever there was an important job to be done, Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

When Nobody did it, Everybody got angry because it was Everybody’s job.

Everybody thought that Somebody would do it, but Nobody realized that Nobody would do it.

So consequently Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done in the first place.

Shackelton’s Advertisement

The following advertisement was placed in a London newspaper:

“Men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.”

The advertisement was signed by Sir Ernest Shackelton, Antartic explorer. Thousands responded instantly to the call. They were available and read to sacrifice all for the elation of adventure and uncertain honor.

Just You and Me, Brother

 

Our Church Membership 140 Balance Left to Do The Work
Nonresident Membership 8 132
Elderly Folks Who have done their share in the past 10 122
Sick and shut-in folks 4 118
Christmas and Easter members 30 88
Members who are too tired and overworked 25 63
Alibiers 26 37
Members who are too busy somewhere else 35 2

Just you and me – and brother, you’d better get busy, for it’s too much for me!

How to Demonstrate Availability

at Home

  • Doing our chores without having to be reminded.
  • Making sure that others are served first.
  • Coming immediatley when called for.
  • Putting aside personal hobbies when they conflict with family time.
  • Stopping in the middle of a project to hear what another family member has to say.
  • Changing plans with friends in order to help the family prepare for guests.

at Work/School

  • Being willing to do more than what is expected of you..
  • Working to make your boss/employer successful..

at Church

  • Being prepared to serve in any way you can.
  • Faithful giving of your tithe each week.

The “I Wills” of Availability

  • “I WILL put others ahead of myself.”
  • “I WILL find a way to help, not a way to hide.”
  • “I WILL be ready when I’m called.”
  • “I WILL be glad for the chance to serve.”
  • “I WILL check with the right person before I make commitments.”

Character First! Education Series 4

Character Definitions of Availability

  • Learning to reject distractions that hinder me from fulfilling my responsibilities. Rejection ambitions that would hinder me from delighting in God-given priorities. Standing by a task until it is fully completed (Character Clues Game)
  • Simplifying our daily needs so we are ready and able to serve those whom God brings to us (The Power for True Success)
  • Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I serve (Character First!)

Bible Verses Related to Availability

0190 akolouyew akoloutheo ak-ol-oo-theh’-o

from 1 (as a particle of union) and keleuthos (a road); TDNT-1:210,33; v

AV-follow 91, reach 1; 92

1) to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him

2) to join one as a disciple, become or be his disciple

2a) side with his party

  • Matthew 4:20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed <190> him.
  • Matthew 4:22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed <190> him.
  • Matthew 4:25 And there followed <190> him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
  • Matthew 8:1 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed <190> him.
  • Matthew 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed <190>, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
  • Matthew 8:19 And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow <190> thee whithersoever thou goest.
  • Matthew 8:22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow <190> me; and let the dead bury their dead.
  • Matthew 8:23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed <190> him.
  • Matthew 9:9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow <190> me. And he arose, and followed <190> him.
  • Matthew 9:19 And Jesus arose, and followed <190> him, and so did his disciples.
  • Matthew 9:27 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed <190> him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.
  • Matthew 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth <190> after me, is not worthy of me.
  • Matthew 12:15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed <190> him, and he healed them all;
  • Matthew 14:13 When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed <190> him on foot out of the cities.
  • Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow <190>me.
  • Matthew 19:2 And great multitudes followed <190> him; and he healed them there.
  • Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow <190> me.
  • Matthew 19:27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed <190> thee; what shall we have therefore?
  • Matthew 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed <190> me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
  • Matthew 20:29 And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed <190> him.
  • Matthew 20:34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed <190>him.
  • Matthew 21:9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed <190>, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
  • Matthew 26:58 But Peter followed <190> him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.
  • Matthew 27:55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed <190> Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:
  • Mark 1:18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed <190> him.
  • Mark 2:14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow <190> me. And he arose and followed <190> him. {at the…: or, at the place where the custom was received}
  • Mark 2:15 And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed <190> him.
  • Mark 3:7 But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed <190> him, and from Judaea,
  • Mark 5:24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed <190> him, and thronged him.
  • Mark 6:1 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow <190> him.
  • Mark 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow <190> me.
  • Mark 9:38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth <190> not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth <190> not us.
  • Mark 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow <190> me.
  • Mark 10:28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed <190> thee.
  • Mark 10:32 And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed <190>, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,
  • Mark 10:52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed <190>Jesus in the way. {made…: or, saved thee}
  • Mark 11:9 And they that went before, and they that followed <190>, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:
  • Mark 14:13 And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow <190> him.
  • Mark 14:51 And there followed <190> him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:
  • Mark 14:54 And Peter followed <190> him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.
  • Mark 15:41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed <190> him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.
  • Luke 5:11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed <190> him.
  • Luke 5:27 And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow<190> me.
  • Luke 5:28 And he left all, rose up, and followed <190> him.
  • Luke 7:9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed <190> him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
  • Luke 9:11 And the people, when they knew it, followed <190> him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.
  • Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow <190> me.
  • Luke 9:49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth <190>not with us.
  • Luke 9:57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow <190> thee whithersoever thou goest.
  • Luke 9:59 And he said unto another, Follow <190> me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
  • Luke 9:61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow <190> thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
  • Luke 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow <190> me.
  • Luke 18:28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed <190> thee.
  • Luke 18:43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed <190> him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.
  • Luke 22:10 And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow<190> him into the house where he entereth in.
  • Luke 22:39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed <190> him.
  • Luke 22:54 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed <190> afar off.
  • Luke 23:27 And there followed <190> him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.
  • John 1:37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed <190> Jesus.
  • John 1:38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following <190>, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? {dwellest: or, abidest}
  • John 1:40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed <190> him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
  • John 1:43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow <190> me.
  • John 6:2 And a great multitude followed <190> him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.
  • John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth <190> me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
  • John 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow <190> him: for they know his voice.
  • John 10:5 And a stranger will they <190> not follow <190>, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
  • John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow <190> me:
  • John 11:31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed <190> her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.
  • John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow <190> me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will myFather honour.
  • John 13:36 Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow <190> me now; but thou shalt follow <190> me afterwards.
  • John 13:37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow <190> thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.
  • John 18:15 And Simon Peter followed <190> Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.
  • John 20:6 Then cometh Simon Peter following <190> him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
  • John 21:19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow <190> me.
  • John 21:20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following <190>; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
  • John 21:22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow <190> thou me.
  • Acts 12:8 And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow <190> me.
  • Acts 12:9 And he went out, and followed <190> him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.
  • Acts 13:43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed <190> Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
  • Acts 21:36 For the multitude of the people followed after <190>, crying, Away with him.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them <190>: and that Rock was Christ. {followed…: or, went with them}
  • Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed <190> with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.{unto them: or, to him}
  • Revelation 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow <190> the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. {redeemed: Gr. bought}
  • Revelation 14:8 And there followed <190> another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
  • Revelation 14:9 And the third angel followed <190> them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive hismark in his forehead, or in his hand,
  • Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow <190> them. {from henceforth…: or, from henceforth saith the Spirit, Yea}
  • Revelation 18:5 For her sins have reached <190> unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
  • Revelation 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed <190> him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

533 aparneomai aparneomai ap-ar-neh’-om-ahee

from 575 and 720; TDNT-1:471, *; v

AV-deny 13; 13

1) to deny

1a) to affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone

1b) to forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests

  • Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny <533> himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
  • Matthew 26:34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny <533> me thrice.
  • Matthew 26:35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I <533> not deny <533> thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.
  • Matthew 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny <533> me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
  • Mark 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny <533> himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
  • Mark 14:30 And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny<533> me thrice.
  • Mark 14:31 But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny <533> thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.
  • Mark 14:72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny <533> me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept. {when…: or, he wept abundantly, or, he began to weep}
  • Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny <533> himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
  • Luke 12:9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied <533> before the angels of God.
  • Luke 22:34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny <533> that thou knowest me.
  • Luke 22:61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny <533> me thrice.
  • John 13:38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied <533> me thrice.

Other Verses Related to Availability

  • Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
  • Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
  • Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
  • Matthew 16:24 ¶ Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Personal Evaluation – How flexible are you?

  • When plans are changed, do you get discouraged, or do you immediately look for reasons why the new plans are better?
  • Do you quickly adjust to a change of direction, or does it require time for you to mentally or emotionally adjust?
  • When you learn that you must move, does it cause anxiety in you, or do you rejoice in it as a further reminder that you are a stranger and a pilgrim?
  • Do your parents or employers have to explain instructions twice, or do you understand what they mean the first time?
  • When God calls you to a ministry or work, do you resist and make yourself busy with other activities?
  • When others suggest a better way to do something, do you try it or do you keep doing it the way you had been doing it?
  • Do you misuse flexibility by having no daily plans or life goals?
  • Is your life so encumbered with possessions and debt that it would be impractical or impossible to exercise flexibility at the leading of the Lord?
  • Are the thoughts of your heart in harmony with the will of God so that changes are easy transitions?

– taken from The Power for True Success – How to Build Character in Your Life

What Do You Love The Most?

“And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of” (Genesis 22:2).

Our lives are built around the people and things that we enjoy: a spouse, children, special friends, a job, and possessions. These are the things we tend to put our security in – and if one of them is removed, we feel as though our whole world has suddenly come apart. There are times when God simply says to us, “Let go!” If you’ve ever been in that situation, you know the pressure a test like that can exert on your faith.

There was a day in the life of Abraham when God told him to let go of something which he dearly loved. Abraham did not choose the sacrifice. God did! Beware of self-chosen sacrifice for God! God always starts with the things that we love the most, because unless these things are dedicated to Him they will become the objects of our worship. Unless we are willing to place the things we love the most on that altar and dedicate them to the Lord, God will never be able to use us to our fullest potential and we will never experience God’s richest blessings.

Have you ever dedicated the things that you love the most to the Lord? We do that by building an altar in our heart and saying, “Lord, from this moment on these things belong to You. I give them to You. I have no more rights to them or claim on them. If you choose to take them, I will thank You for that. If You allow me to continue enjoying them, I will thank You for that also.”

Like the young boy who gave the Lord his meagre lunch, God is able to multiply whatever we give Him to be a blessing to others.

How Much Does The Holy Spirit Have of You?

“Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?” (James 4:5).

There is much talk today about the Holy Spirit. Much of what is said is irreverent and unbiblical. Many think that the goal in the Christian life is to possess more and more of the Holy Spirit; when in reality the opposite is true – He seeks to possess more of us. James 4:5 can be translated: “The Spirit who indwells you, jealously yearns for you.”

As a Christian, you have been bought with a price and for a purpose; and we discover that purpose by the giving and yielding of ourselves to the control of God’s Spirit. 2 Samuel 15:15 says, “And the king’s servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint.” That’s the kind of servants God is looking for.

In 1882 a small congregation had gathered for a gospel service in a barn. The name of the preacher was Henry Varley. As he concluded his message on 1 John 2:17, he lifted his eyes to a nearby haymow where an interested young man was seated, and he said, “The world has yet to see what God can do with, for, in, and through one man who is fully consecrated to Him!” The young man who was listening was stirred and convicted by those challenging words. He said to himself, “Varley means any man. He is not saying he has to be educated or brilliant or anything else – just a person who is willing to be used! Well, by the Holy Spirit in me, I will be that man.” Within just a few years after that commitment, the world was feeling the impact of the life of that young man who had totally surrendered himself to the Spirit of God. His name was Dwight L. Moody, and God used him as an instrument of revival that circled the globe.

The issue is not about how much you have of the Holy Spirit – but how much does the Holy Spirit have of you? What “areas” of your life are you holding on to, refusing to allow God to have control? These are the areas that the Spirit of God yearns for you to give to Him.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

Choose to Serve

Philippians 2:7 tells us that Jesus “made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”

Most people don’t mind being a servant as long as they’re not treated like one. We like the recognition. We like the pats on the back. We like our name in the church bulletin. But the true test of a servant is not getting upset whenever we’re treated like one. When no one sees or hears of the time and effort we’ve expended and we get no recognition – that’s the true test of being a servant.

Jesus chose to become a servant. He chose! It was an act of the will. You don’t become a servant by sitting around and hoping that one day you’ll feel like it. You might never feel like it. That’s why we have to make a deliberate choice each day.

Think of the people that come into your life every single day. These are the ones God wants you to serve. These are the ones God wants you to pour your life into. Your wife, your husband, your children, the people you work with, the people at church, and your neighbors next door. And it’s as we’re willing to humble ourselves and serve others and put the needs of others before ourselves, that we demonstrate true greatness and reflect the character of Christ. Jesus Himself said, “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:11).

Look for practical ways to serve those that God brings across your path today.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

Ways to Invest in Younger Brothers and Sisters

Take the initiative to invest in the lives of younger brothers and sisters. Here are a few ways to motivate younger brothers and sisters to spiritual maturity. A parent’s guidance is also invaluable in working with brothers and sisters.

“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven… for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:20-21)

  • Praise your siblings in public; never correct in public.
  • Only correct if absolutely necessary; earn the privilege to correct through praise.
  • Be what you want your siblings to be.
  • Pray together for your parents each day.
  • Fast and pray together during a mealtime.
  • Make a prayer list and record God’s answers together.
  • Challenge them to rise early with you to pray and study God’s word.
  • Choose a specific country to pray for together and research this country at the library.
  • Memorise Scripture together and then give appropriate rewards.
  • Go for a walk each morning, sharing with each other your rhema for the day.
  • Make a tape of a passage of Scripture for them to listen to at night.
  • Share your struggles and ask them to pray for specific prayer requests.
  • Receive God’s grace by asking them to point out your blind spots.
  • Clear your conscience and create projects to counteract the damage of past actions and poor examples.
  • Memorise the names of God together and choose one to focus on each day.
  • Memorise the 49 character qualities and their meanings and choose one to focus on each day, being accountable to each other.
  • Discover the meaning of their names and look for ways that they are demonstrating this and them praise them for it.
  • Find out the spiritual gifts of your family members and discuss how they affect the way each one responds.
  • Research together the four types of smiles and them reward them for demonstrating a consistent smile.
  • Sing hymns together and learn hymn histories.
  • Teach them how to present the gospel.
  • Treat them better than you treat your best friend.
  • Plan a special time each month to take them out individually for a time of fellowship (i.e. dinner, picnic, the park, zoo, etc.)
  • Spend five minutes a day with each sibling talking, reading, or doing whatever they would like to do.
  • Write notes of encouragement telling them how much you appreciate them.
  • Choose a relative to whom you can express gratefulness and write a thank you letter.
  • Teach younger sisters how to sew or bake for neighbours, friends and church members.
  • Show younger brothers how to be good stewards by teaching them basic auto mechanic skills (i.e. how to change a tire, the oil, and sparkplugs.)
  • Plan special times to meet the needs of a widow in your area.
  • Teach orderliness by instructing them how to properly care for their clothes (i.e. polish shoes, do laundry, hang them up)
  • Volunteer to clean your church or take care of your church grounds together.

Christianna Reed – COMMIT