Fill Me Up Holy Spirit

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Scripture

Matthew 25:1-4 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.”

Observation

In these verses, the Lord is teaching about preparation for his second coming by sharing the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. The wise virgins who were prepared to meet the coming bridegroom had oil in their lamps, but the foolish took their lamps and no oil with them.  Unfortunately, when it was time to go out and meet the bridegroom for the wedding, the foolish virgins had empty lamps. As a result, they were not prepared to meet him and were left out of the wedding banquet.

Application

This parable is a powerful illustration of the importance of continually inviting the Holy Spirit into our lives – to walk with us and sup with us on a daily basis as a friend that sticks closer than a brother. When we refresh ourselves each day with the filling of the Holy Spirit, we are being like the wise virgins – filling our lamps with the oil of His presence, power, and strength so that we can be used by the Lord [our bridegroom] to be a light in this present darkness until He returns and welcomes us into His wedding banquet. Without the oil of the Holy Spirit to light my lamp each day, I am nothing but an empty lamp unable to shine the light of His presence in my life.  Furthermore, in Matthew 5:16, Jesus says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Unfortunately, if I do not invite the Holy Spirit to fill me afresh each day, I am like the foolish virgins in the Lord’s parable – all dressed up and nowhere to go, or in more modern terms, like a car in the driveway without any gas – all ready to go and no power to get there.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Tsebaioth, the Lord of Hosts, who gives me Your precious Holy Spirit to set me apart as a vessel of Your light for Your good and noble use.  Strengthen me Lord and fill me to the top with Your anointing so my light in You may shine brightly before men and glorify You, my loving heavenly Father. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Fill Me Up Holy Spirit Copyright 2010, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Fill Me Up Holy Spirit, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

The Promises Of God

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Scripture

2 Corinthians 1:20 “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”

Observation

In this verse, the Apostle Paul makes an extraordinary statement that all of God’s promises are Yes in Him, and in Him Amen, to His glory through us.  Wow! This means that God says Yes to every one of His promises to us that He has made to us in His Word.  Furthermore, Webster defines Amen as a solemn ratification which means that God solemnly ratifies each of His promises to us by His Word. Simply put, God will do what He promises to do in His Word because He is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19) and He is faithful (1 Corinthian 1:9).

Application

Regardless of my circumstances in life, I know that God is good, He is faithful, His Word is true, and He will fulfill His promises to me when I place my trust in Him!  In fact, in 2 Timothy 2:13, the Apostle Paul says that “if we are faithless, He (the Lord) remains faithful, because He cannot deny Himself.” I am grateful that even in the times of my life when I’ve been faithless, God has remained faithful to fulfill the promises of His Word in my life because He is faithful and He cannot deny Himself.  Because the Lord’s faithfulness reaches to the clouds (Psalms 36:5) and His mercy endures forever (1 Chronicles 16:34), I have hope in Him that He will solemnly ratify His promises in my life to His glory through us. Amen!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are El Elyon, God Most High, Creator and Possessor of Heaven and Earth!  Thank You for the truth of Your Word that brings comfort and peace to my life and my soul! In You alone I place my trust to fulfill Your promises in my life, work all things together for my good, and complete the good work that You have begun in me. I love You Jesus! Amen!

The Promises Of God Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, The Promises Of God, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

The Make It Happen Moment ® Simplified Life

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sparrow

Sparrow

Quote: “If you want a simpler life, you must learn to develop a more trusting life!” – Joyce Meyer

Several years ago I was traveling on a commuter express jet with some colleagues to visit the corporate headquarters of one of our company’s corporate business partners when all of a sudden our plane encountered some very turbulent weather.  In a matter of seconds the plane dropped about a thousand feet and then began to violently shake, rattle, and toss around in every forward direction.  Our drinks flew into the air, people began crying, praying, and thinking that we were going to die in a fiery crash.  After about five minutes of magnificent maneuvering through the troubled weather, the pilot was fortunately able to regain a normal and steady flight pattern.  Relieved that we were going to be fine, one of my colleagues turned to a young boy around twelve years of age whom was traveling alone and had been in the bathroom during the mayhem and said, “Boy, I bet this is the worst plane ride you’ve ever been on, huh?”  The young boy looked at him somewhat bewildered and responded, “No man, this is the coolest plane ride I’ve ever been on…I was in the bathroom and flew up so high that my head hit the ceiling…” ☺  So I guess the moral of this true story is that life is not that much about what you experience, but rather how you simply view and respond to what you experience! 

Why is it that different people can experience the same exact bitter lemons of life, but yet some find a way to turn them into a sweet taste of lemonade while others can only taste the bitterness of lemons?  What’s the difference?  Personally, I have found the difference to be in the ability to trust that God is good and that He is in complete control of everything in our lives.  In Romans 8:28, the Bible states, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”  If we really believe this promise from God, then no matter what, we can find peace knowing that God has us in the palm of His hands and will not allow us to suffer any circumstance that He cannot turn for our good.  In fact, Matthew 10:29-31 states, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” 

When we learn to trust God to take care of us the same way that He takes care of the sparrows, we will begin to live a more peaceful and simplified life with an eager expectation of what God will do for us and through us each new day.  The apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 5:7 of the New Living Translation, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.”  Imagine that the Maker of the Universe cares so much about you and I that He invites us to cast our burdens on Him.  If we actually learn to do this, there is no reason that we should not wake up each morning saying, “Good morning, Lord!” rather than barely rolling out the bed with a groan and a moan, saying, “Oh Lord, it’s morning!”  With a spirit of wisdom and faith, let us trust Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our Provider, for He cares for us and will never fail us!

The Make It Happen People Value: “Make It Happen” People Possess A Positive Attitude!

Have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

Edited by The Make It Happen Moment ® Editorial Team

The Make It Happen Moment ® Simplified Life Copyright 2009, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint The Make It Happen Moment ® Simplified Life, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

According To The Time Of Life

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Scripture

Genesis 18:14 “Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”

Observation

In this verse, the Lord visited Abraham and declared that his wife Sarah would have a son according to the time of life appointed by the Lord for them.  However, because Abraham and Sarah were both advanced in age and Sarah was past the age of child-bearing, Sarah laughed within herself, considering such a plan to be too unlikely for them. In His reproof, the Lord reminds Abraham and Sarah that there is nothing too hard for Him.  In fact, according to the time of life that the Lord had planned for Sarah, He visited Sarah as promised and she bore a son as He had spoken.  As a result, Abraham named his son Isaac, meaning laughter.

Application

From this passage, I can be assured that God has a good plan for my life and at the appointed time He will make it happen because there is nothing too difficult for Him.  Even if His plan for my life doesn’t make sense in the natural and seems too laughable to consider, I must trust that He is faithful.  In fact, in Jeremiah 29:11 the Lord says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” A future and a hope in this economy?  Yes.  A future and a hope in this relational situation? Yes.  A future and a hope in this set of circumstances? Yes.  Regardless of the laughable odds perceived in the natural, in faith, the answer is simply yes because the Lord is faithful, He has a good plan for me, and at the appointed time He will fulfill His Word in my life.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are El Shaddai, the All-Powerful and All-Sufficient Lord of my life!  Thank You for the future and the hope that You have planned for me.  At Your appointed times in my life, I trust that You are faithful to complete the good work that You have begun in me because You are the faithful Author and Finisher of my faith! I love You Jesus! Amen!

According To The Time Of Life Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, According To The Time Of Life, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Discovering Treasures of Darkness

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Ruby Falls, inside Lookout Mountain, in Chatta...

Ruby Falls

In Isaiah 45:3 the Lord says, “I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.” I’m not sure about you, but I have never really been one to think about darkness as a place to find treasure.  In fact, what happens when we find ourselves in a serious storm at night and all the power goes out?

It’s A Dark Place When The Lights Go Out

For me, it is at first a little alarming when the lights go out because I don’t normally expect for the power to suddenly turn off.  Secondly, it is a little fearful in the house because everyone is instantly in total darkness and it is difficult to find our way around. Then, it becomes an immediate search for light – a flashlight, a lighter, matches, a candle – anything that will give some light in the midst of the surrounding darkness.  If you are prepared for such a situation and know where you can find some light, it makes things a whole lot better a whole lot quicker.  Otherwise, you can do nothing except wait in the darkness until the power is restored or morning comes.  Either way, any waiting in darkness is never fun.

It’s An Even Darker Place When The Lights Go Out Spiritually

So that’s an experience in physical darkness, but what about finding yourself in the midst of a spiritual darkness? It could be a spiritual darkness that comes upon you by no fault of your own such as finding out that your child has a life threatening cancer like my parents discovered in my sister when she was 16 years old.  The uncertainty and fear of the unknown can create some dark spiritual places.  Or, what about the long journey home as a real prodigal son or daughter in the house of God?  This would be someone like me who was a legitimate blood bought son in the house of God, called by God’s name, living in the Father’s house, and then leaving one day with the Father’s inheritance and blowing it through prodigal living and personal failure away from the Father’s house. The journey home can have some dark spiritual places for a legitimate son or daughter of God turning back to the Father’s house.   

For anyone who has never found themselves in such a dark place as a prodigal child of God, they might think, “How can that be? Doesn’t God have forgiveness? You must not understand the fullness of God’s grace and His mercy.”  To such a response, I would say, yes, God does have grace and mercy, but I also know that God has truth too and we must all face the brutal truth in our lives.  For instance, a real prodigal son or daughter of God must face the brutal truth found in Luke 9:62 stating, “But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” and John 14:21 stating “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me [Jesus].” Plus, the devil knows the truth of God’s Word pretty well also and will try to use parts of it in a way to heap condemnation upon us if we don’t know the whole truth of God’s Word and allow His whole truth to search us and know us as we face the brutal truth in our lives, while never losing hope.

We Must Face The Brutal Truth Of  Life Even When It’s Dark

In Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great, his research found that “good” companies become “great” companies, when they are able to face the brutal facts of their situation, yet never lose hope. I have learned and continue to learn that genuine people of faith are able to do the same thing – face the brutal facts of their life, yet never lose hope because their hope is in Christ and the totality of His Word.  1 Corinthians 9:10 states “that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope” and Colossians 1:27 states, “To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  Therefore, when the devil tell tells me that I’m not fit for the kingdom because I put my hand to the plow and once turned back, I respond to him in the spirit of truth by telling him that I am plowing and threshing in hope – Christ in me, the hope of glory – and the whole truth says that I have every right to be a partaker of this hope.

When I read and study the Word of God, I am so thankful that God recorded the truth about the lives of the heroes of faith in the Bible as I find comfort in such truth when I have to face the brutal truth in my own life.  In fact, when Peter denied the Lord three times on the night of the Lord’s trial, I’m certain when the rooster crowed and the brutal truth confronted Peter, he found himself in a dark spiritual place.  Luke 22:56-62 records the truth:

“And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, ‘This man was also with Him.’ But he denied Him, saying, ‘Woman, I do not know Him.’  And after a little while another saw him and said, ‘You also are of them.’ But Peter said, ‘’Man, I am not!’ Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, ‘Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.’  But Peter said, ‘Man, I do not know what you are saying.’  Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’  So Peter went out and wept bitterly.”

Afterwards, as Peter faced the brutal truth of his failure, I believe the devil could have very well been heaping loads of condemnation upon Peter by telling him, “If you loved Jesus, you would have been there for Him.  If you loved Jesus, you wouldn’t have denied Him three times. If you really loved Jesus, you would have kept His commands.”  However, isn’t it interesting that when Jesus meets Peter after His resurrection, He calls Peter, Simon – son of Jonah – and asks him three times:  “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me? Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me? Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?”

So let me ask you this question: In the biblical story of Jonah, where did Jonah find himself?  It was in the belly of a whale which most definitely had to be a dark spiritual place.  Therefore, by Jesus calling Peter, Simon – son of Jonah, He was in essence saying: “Peter, son of God in a dark spiritual place, do you love me? Peter, son of God in a dark spiritual place, do you love me? Peter, son of God in a dark spiritual place, do you love me?”  And each time, Peter said, “Yes, Lord, I love You” including the third time when Peter says, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”  With Peter’s third response, I believe he was quite possibly intimating, “Lord, You know all things. Your truth has painfully searched me and you know me – the good, the bad, and the ugly truth about me.  Yes, Lord, I love You because You first loved me to the point of giving Your life for me even though I don’t deserve it.”  In that place of painful truth, the Lord called Peter out of spiritual darkness and into his spiritual destiny where Peter also found the treasures of the Lord’s faithfulness that reaches to the clouds, His mercy that endures forever, and His grace that is sufficient.

God And His Treasures Can Be Found In The Dark Places Of Life

When we allow the truth of God’s Living Word to fully search us, know us, and do a work in us, no matter how painful the truth of our lives may be, we truly can find treasures of darkness that can be found no other way in our relationship with the Lord.  In fact, I like to relate such personal spiritual discovery to the personal discovery of Ruby Falls by Mr. Leo Lambert on December 30, 1928.  Following his discovery of the falls nestled deep into the Lookout Mountain Caves in Chattanooga, Tennessee, he shared the following sentiment as written on a plaque hanging on a wall at the Ruby Falls tour site:

“Discovering Ruby Falls was like discovering God. At first, it is very dark, scary, and uncertain.  You don’t know what lies ahead. You bump into things you didn’t even realize were there and you suffer injuries, bumps, and bruises. You fall down in sticky mud and mire and feel like you cannot go on.  But you get up with a feeling that somewhere ahead lies something more wonderful than you can ever imagine.  As you add light to what you discovered, you find that the things that caused you suffering and injury were wonderful God made things put there for you to witness and give you joy.  It is all more than you ever imagined you could witness. It is God, and Ruby Falls and the Lookout Mountain Cave are God’s creations, made for man to enjoy. I am just a little proud that He used me [to discover it].”

Sometimes on our journey of life, we can find ourselves like Mr. Lambert, crawling through some tight dark places where we may suffer some bumps, bruises, and pain; however, if we keep on going with the light of God’s Word to light our path in those dark places of life (Psalm 119:105), we can rest assured that the Lord will lead us to His treasures of darkness that we could not find any other way than to go through the darkness with Him. Just like Mr. Lambert’s surprising discovery of the magnificently beautiful Ruby Falls in the deep dark caves of Lookout Mountain, we too will find unimaginable treasures of spiritual growth and maturity as we trust the Lord to faithfully lead and guide us through the darkest places of our lives.

In fact, no matter how dark the situation may be in our own lives, we can find great encouragement from David who was no stranger to finding the Lord’s treasures of darkness in his own life.  There is no better example of this than Psalms 23:4 where David states, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Furthermore, in Psalm 139:7-12, David writes, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.  If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’ Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.”  I take great comfort knowing that God is always with us (Matthew 28:20), even in the dark places of life, and He promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). May all glory, blessing, and honor be to the Lord for He is good, He is faithful, and His Word is true!

Discovering Treasures Of Darkness Copyright 2011, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint the leadership article, Discovering Treasures Of Darkness, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

The Make It Happen Moment ® Dream Team

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The San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl XXIX troph...

49ers' Super Bowl Trophy

Quote: “It is not enough to have a dream. You must also have a dream team!” – John Maxwell

Recently I had the privilege of hearing the great NFL Quarterback Hall of Famer, Joe Montana, speak at an international health and fitness conference in San Francisco.  He said that many people think there is no “I” in team – which is true; however, he also emphasized that many people fail to see that there is also a “me” component in team.  He then further explained that a team wins championships when each team member fulfills their personal responsibility to become the best that he or she can be for the team – fully developing their individual strengths and talents – just like Jerry Rice did from the first moment he joined the San Francisco 49er team.  For example, whenever Jerry Rice would catch a pass in practice, he would turn and immediately run for the end zone, no matter what, as if he was playing in the Super Bowl.  After doing this every time, Joe Montana asked him one day why he was always running for the end zone and making practice longer than it needed to be.  Jerry Rice simply commented, “Aren’t we practicing to make touchdowns?”

After that, not only did Jerry Rice continue practicing every day to make touchdowns, but all of the other wide receivers began to do the same thing.  As a result, on game day when one of the receivers would catch the ball, it was their disciplined habit to run for the end zone along with their team mates running down the field.  Often one of them would be in position to make a touchdown-scoring block for the receiver with the ball. Such personal commitment from each team member to practice with excellence each and every day was one of the primary reasons that the San Francisco 49ers scored so many touchdowns and won five Super Bowl Championships as an unprecedented professional NFL dream team.

Did you know that a dream, just like a team, has no “I” in it either, especially when it is a God dream?  However, all God dreams most definitely have a “me” component as they are not designed to be accomplished without Him.  John 15:5 states “I [Jesus] 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.”  Because God must personally prepare and qualify each of us individually for the dream He has put on our heart to accomplish with Him, we must daily submit ourselves to His practice field of character development necessary for becoming all that He created us to be.  Plus, no God dream can be accomplished alone, so we must carefully discern the divine relationships established by the Lord for His kingdom dream teams.

The Lord Himself modeled this when He developed His own God-appointed dream team as stated in Mark 6:7, “And He [Jesus] called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.”  It is clear from the team model established by the Lord that a God dream cannot be accomplished without Him nor can it be accomplished without others.  Therefore, with a spirit of wisdom and excellence, trust the Lord to prepare you individually to accomplish the God dream He has put on your heart and fully equip you as a God-appointed member of a mighty kingdom dream team!

The Make It Happen Training And Development Value: “Make It Happen” People Invest And Participate In Training And Development!

Have a blessed Make It Happen day!

Edited by The Make It Happen Moment ® Editorial Team

The Make It Happen Moment ® Dream Team Copyright 2009, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint The Make It Happen Moment ® Dream Team, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

The Beginning Of Wisdom

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Scripture

Psalm 111:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.”

Observation

In this passage, the psalmist declares that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. To me it is pretty simple and can be summed up this way.  No fear, no wisdom. Know fear, know wisdom. This is true because the Lord is the Author of all wisdom; He is all wise and all knowing. Meditating on this truth produces a healthy fear of the Lord in me.  Furthermore, in truth, what can the created [me] – tell the Creator [God] that He doesn’t already know about His creation?

Application

The only way that I can truly know wisdom is to humbly surrender myself to the Lord, my Creator. When I submit myself to the Lord with my whole heart and humble myself before Him as a living sacrifice through prayer, praise, and worship, I am drawing near to Him with a healthy, reverential fear and He draws near to me.  I [the created] get to know the Lord [the Creator] by boldly coming before His throne of grace and through my personal relationship with Him, He draws nears to me and shares with me His mind.  James 4:8 states, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” and 1 Corinthians 2:16 states, “For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are El Elyon, God Most High, Creator and Possessor of Heaven and Earth! Thank You for making a way for me to come boldly before Your throne of grace that I may obtain mercy and find grace to help in my times of need. For without you Lord, I have nothing. I love You Jesus! Amen!

The Beginning Of Wisdom Copyright 2010, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, The Beginning Of Wisdom, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

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