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Devotion

Heartfelt Time with God: Our “Abba” Father—Our Daddy God

(John 4:24) “God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” 

 

 

 

How do you spend your time with God?  He is not only your El Shaddai, your Almighty God, but He is also your Abba Father, your Daddy God who longs to be with you. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4)

 

 

Do you spend quality time with God worshiping Him, talking to Him and praying or is it full of reading the Word or books by well known Christian authors or watching inspirational shows alone?  These are all good, but they should not take the place of quality time with God; not only praying but talking to Him as well.  Nothing can ever take the place of time just sitting in the presence of the Almighty talking to Him as a Friend and a Father.   (Proverbs 18:24) “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

 

You give God your time and your worship and He gives you so much more; peace, love and joy.  (Romans 15:13) “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”    Sitting in the presence of the Lord ministering to Him will minister to you as well; His peace will overwhelm you.  (John 16:33) “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  As His peace fills your soul it will also help you to just to be still and listen.  God will speak to your heart and tell you things you may have needed to hear in dealing with a problem or to help someone else out.  He will tell you things He wants you to do or issues in your heart that still need dealt with that you may be set free.   Sometimes God wants to speak to us, but we are too busy with our grocery list of concerns to be still our hearts, our minds and our mouth long enough to let Him speak.  (Psalm 46:10) “Be still and know that I am God.”

 

God wants true sincere worship; He wants time with us as we need time with our friends and loved ones.  We must draw near to Him with a sincere heart believing that He is who He says He is and He did what He said that He did, even if we were the only one left on earth.  (Hebrews 10:22) “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

 

As you start to treat your time with Him as time spent with a dear friend or the one you are in love with; it will be time that from day to day you look forward to and do not want to miss.  You will find yourself growing spiritually as well; learning in the process as God leads you.  In the presence of the Lord there is liberty! Exchange your anxiety and fears for the Lord’s peace and joy!  Learn to enjoy His presence and you will learn how to be content in every situation as Paul says in Philippians.    (Philippians 4:11-13) “For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

 

You will find strength for your soul and wisdom to know how to handle the conflicts of life and His joy will consume you!  Obey and worship God for who He is; your Almighty God and Father.  Talk to Him as your Friend; pray to Him as your Deliverer and Savior, but love and appreciate Him and spend time with Him because He is your Friend, Prince of Peace and Mighty God and because He completes you and without Him you are nothing; with Him you have eternity, peace and joy everlasting!

 

 (Isaiah 51:11) “The ransomed of the Lord will return.  They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads.  Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

 

 

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Devotion

            Adonai: The Lord

                 

(Genesis 15:1-2) “After this, the Word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid, Abram.  I am your shield, your very great reward.’  But Abram said, ‘O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 

 

Jesus Christ, is He the Lord of your life?  You say, “Yes I asked Him into my heart,” but do you live it?  Is He the Lord of your mouth?  (Colossians 3:8) “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips.”    Do you gossip in the name of concern?  (Proverbs 16:28) “A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.”  Does your language get the best of you when you get mad?  Is He truly the Lord of your life?  Is He the Lord of your thoughts?  Do you take captive every thought to the obedience of Jesus Christ?    (II Corinthians 10:5) “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”   Or are the thoughts you let permeate your mind worse than your mouth ever was or maybe even worse than it is now?  Is Jesus truly the Lord of your life?

Is He, Adonai, your Lord, your Master and Savior and the one you truly love and adore and long to please?    (Isaiah 29:13) “These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.  Their worship of Me is made up only of rules taught by men.”  Whatever has your devotion, whatever controls you, whatever you just cannot live without is your lord or your master.   (II Peter 2:19) “For a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.”  Is Jesus your Master?  What about your body, do you go to church on Sunday then out of preserving a relationship and not wanting to make waves you take part in smoking and drinking and then you tell yourself, “I don’t really like it and it is only once in a while?”  Is He truly your Master, Adonai?

What about your time?  When an opportunity presents itself to be of some help to someone, does your comfort come first?  Do you reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ?  Where would we all be if He just stayed home instead out of obedience and love, He came to earth to die for us?  (John 15:13) “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”   Where would we be?   (John 3:16-17) “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

Is He truly Adonai to you?  Do you get up extra early when something fun comes along or your boss needs you, but are always tired or just too busy to spend time with God in the Word or just in conversation?   He is your Lord when you need something but when things are going great, His Word has no place in your life?  Don’t you know that just as food is nourishment to your body, the Word is nourishment to your soul?  It is your “bread of life.”  (John 6:35) “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.”

Is He truly your Lord, Adonai?  This devotion comes from the Lord wanting to be your everything, your Friend and Confidant, your Savior,  your Shepherd who guides you, your Jehovah Jireh who provides your needs, your Jehovah Shalom who is your Peace, your Elohim who is your Powerful God, your El Elyon who is your God Most High, your El Shaddai who is your Almighty God, your Yahweh who is your Covenential God, your Jehovah Rophe who is the Lord who heals you, your Jehovah Nissi who is your Banner and the one who gives you victory, your Jehovah Mekadesh who is the One who sanctifies you, your Jehovah Tsidkenu who is your Righteousness, your Adonai the One who gave His life for you and lives to intercede for you.  Is He Lord over all in your heart, soul, mind, body and life?

(Romans 5:8) “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

God’s love for mankind is the greatest and most unselfish love you will ever experience or receive. He loved us first; do you appreciate His love?  Is your heart and mind overwhelmed with love and devotion for Him no matter what you are going through?  Is He your Adonai?

 

Devotion

The 3rd Day: New Life Give Yourself to the Master Gardener

   (Exodus 19:10-11) “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow.  Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.”

 

1st day—

 On the 3rd day Jesus rose from the dead–but the 1st day He died.  He died to plant His seed in us.  Our first day-we die to sin and His seed planted in our hearts.  (Matthew 17:23) “They will kill Him and on the third day He will be raised to life.”  Jesus died on the first day and He went into the depths of the earth to preach to the dead who died before He came, so everyone would have a chance at salvation.  (Romans 3:25) “God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood.  He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.”

(Ephesians 4:7-10) “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.  This is why it says: ‘When He ascended on high, He led captives in His train and gave gifts to men.’  (What does “He ascended” mean except that He also descended to the lower, earthly regions?  He who descended is the very One who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)  (I Peter 3:18-20) “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.  He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.”

The ark symbolically speaking is Jesus.  God had been preparing for Jesus to come all along and the Bible is His story.  Jesus is a seed planted in our hearts and just as a seed planted in the ground needs to grow, His seed and the fruit of His Spirit needs to grow within us as well; weeding out the impurities and making room for the fruit of His Spirit to grow.  The initial verse above said for the people to get ready “today and tomorrow,” that is the 1st and 2nd day.

 

2nd day—

  A seed is planted in the darkness of the ground and it needs the darkness for Germination  which happens when a baby plant is growing. The plant is between the cotyledons. This is a seed. The seed is underground and is collecting nutrients. — We go into the dark places of our trials to die to self and to grow spiritually.  This may take longer for some than others and it depends on the amount of healing and weeding God needs to do to heal us from our past; our past sins and hurts that has broken our heart.  (I Peter 1:22-23) “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.  For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God.”

The hard shell (outer crust of our heart) –the ground that needs broken to see daylight–needs to be broken so the plant can spring up into new life!  Our past has created a hard shell around our hearts and the trials we endure will not only allow God to pull the weeds of impurities from our heart, but it will also allow Him to heal our hearts as well.  (I Peter 1:6-7) “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

When the outer shell of the seed falls away it receives nutrients from the rain that seeps into the ground it starts to grow.  When we stay in the Word and stay close to God in prayer and communication with Him, we will also begin to grow as the rain of the Holy Spirit waters our hearts and soul.  (James 1:2-4) “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

The rain of the Holy Spirit will teach us and guide us through our trials and through what we read in the Word.  (John 14:25-27) “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

The trials you go through will help you to grow spiritually.  A seed planted in good soil will grow if watered and in time it will poke its way up through the ground.  The good soil of Jesus Christ in our hearts through the Holy Spirit will help us to grow if we continually feed on the rain of the Word and time with God.  He will break the crust completely off of our hearts and we will grow.  (Ezekiel 36:26) “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”  At the right time we will spring up and be raised from the dead of our past to new life in Christ!

 

3rd day—

 Ground is broken through, new life-day light and resurrection is at hand!!!  (Romans 6:2-11) “We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  If we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection.  For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who had died has been freed from sin.  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him.  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him.  The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God.  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

All the dead things in your life, emotions and spirit, the dead things that only keep you in the grave will fall away and new birth will spring up and you will have a newness in your spirit and a new direction in life as well.   You truly will feel as if you were “born again.”  (John 3:3) “I tell you the truth; no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

You may have to go through several trials of learning, weeding, growing and healing.  That depends on how badly you have been hurt and how much weeds of sin God needs to pull.  You may have a resurrection from one hurtful memory that has deposited wrong thinking into your minds and God will heal you through trials and then another one will spring up and our Father will start the process over again.  Just like the 12 months of beauty treatments Esther went through.  You begin God’s beauty treatment when you receive Jesus.  The 3rd day in your life will come, just believe!

(I Corinthians 5:17) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

 

 

Devotion

Seek And You Will Find

    (John 6:22-25) “The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks.  Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.   When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

 

 

How close to Jesus do you want to come?  Do you desire better spiritual eyesight, better spiritual hearing and a stronger faith?  What are you doing on a daily basis to renew your mind, spend time with the Lord and draw closer to Him?  Do you give Him five minutes a day in prayer and then the rest of the day belongs to the hustle and bustle of everyday life?  You say you want to draw closer to God, but what are you doing to draw close to Him?  Are you expecting Him to do all the work?  Well, think again, He already did it!  He died for us!  The Word says, (Matthew 7: 7-8) “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

 

We have to do the seeking for the Lord is “gentle and humble in heart,” and He will not force Himself on us.  If your boss asked you to come in earlier or stay later would you not do it?  Well how much more so for the Creator of the world and the Savior of your soul! (Leviticus 6:20-21) “A tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a regular grain offering, half of it in the morning and half in the evening.  Prepare it with oil on a griddle.”  If you would make a point to get up a little bit earlier and truly spend time with the Lord, not only will your heart be fulfilled but your day will also be more productive.  (Psalm 5:3) “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”

 

God loves you so much and in your time with Him you will discover a joy and peace in your heart from Him that will tell you just how much He loves you.  (Isaiah 55:12) “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”  Discover the joy of spending time with God; He will speak to your heart and through His Word.  (Romans 12:2) “Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  He says that He “will remind you of everything I have said to you.”  How can He if you do not read His Word in order for Him to tell you in the first place?

 

Spend time with the Lord, make an effort, after all, a relationship is two-sided in which both parties, not just one, makes the effort to spend time with each other and show the other that they do matter. Do you seek Him just to get?  Or do you seek Him to truly be with Him and worship Him?  Motive is everything and when it is just to “get” that you come to Him, then that becomes all about you and not Him.  Worship must be about Him, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)

 

When the worship becomes all about Him, then you get all of Him, “But you are holy, O you that inhabit the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22:3) When you truly seek Him, you will find Him, and all that He is!

 

 

When you make the time with God you not only get an eternal joy and peace in your heart that comes from just being in His presence, but you will find answers and deliverance as well!

 

(Jeremiah 29:11-14) “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and bring you back from captivity.”

Devotion

Are You Part Time or Full Time?

(Mark 12:30) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

 

The parable of the seed and the sower describes how we hear and receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The seeds that fell on the path eaten by the birds are those who hear but do not understand and the seed sown is snatched away by Satan.  The seed on the rocky places are those who hear the Word and receive it with joy but it has not taken root in their heart and the persecutions of life come and they fall away in discouragement and depression and they lose faith.  The seed that fell among the thorns are for those who hear the Word but the many worries of life with family, work and finances stunt its growth and trust and faith in God and His love for you gets choked out by all the worries of the world.

The second and third scenarios are “part time believers.”  They only believe and have faith when everything is going well, but when trouble comes, their joy leaves and their faith dies.  Do you fit into either of these two categories?   Are you a “part time believer”  believing in God and worshipping Him when things are good or maybe you think because you go to church on Sunday everything is ok but the rest of the week you can be found at the neighborhood bar or at home smoking a joint?  We are to come out from the world and be separate!  Not to be “holier than thou” but because that life will eventually destroy us!  (I John 2:15-17) “Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world– the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does– comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

The last seed is the one that fell in good soil and the roots grew deep and the seed grew and produced a bountiful crop.  This is the person that receives the Word and understands it; it takes root in his heart and he truly does belong to God; he is the “full time believer” who is eternally God’s child and will believe and trust in God no matter what; in good times or in bad.  He understands that our life here on earth is, but a breath and it is preparation for where we will spend eternity.  He knows that it is only in Christ that we have the promise of eternal life in heaven and lives his life on earth with that knowing in his heart. (John 14:6) “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Does your heart truly belong to God or are you having a little trouble with your faith when the going gets rough?  Do you want your own children or family members to love you at all times; when you are happy and generous, when you are angry and in a bad mood and on the war path, when you are down on your luck and your wallet is empty and when you are sad and depressed?  Well, the Lord went through trials and tribulations while He walked the earth and He overcame.   He wants us to love Him at all times as well.   He went through trials so He could understand us in our weaknesses.  (Hebrews 2:14) “Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death– that is, the devil.”  His humanity helps Him to understand our weakness and temptations.  (Hebrews 2:17-18) “For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people.  Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.”  He overcame and as we trust and keep trusting in Him we will too.  (John 16:33) “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

God is our refuge and He loves us unconditionally and loved us while we were sinning against Him and He still chose to die for us.  (Romans 5:8) “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  How can you ever doubt that love?  So in return trust in His unconditional, sacrificial love for us and trust and love Him at all times; He is your refuge and your “ever present help in times of trouble.”  (Psalm 62:8) “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.”  If you truly believed and received Him as Lord with a sincere heart then you are truly born again and He is your Heavenly Father and you are His child; a child of God!  Rejoice!  (John 3:3) “I tell you the truth; no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”  (John 3:5-6) “I tell you the truth; no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”  This means, that upon receiving Jesus, you are filled with the Holy Spirit, your heart is changed, and you are made alive in Christ, when before you were dead in your transgressions.  (Romans 6:8-11) “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him.  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him.  The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God.  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

When you receive Jesus, you receive His Spirit into your heart and the fruit of His Spirit which makes you a new creation in Christ.  You will feel His love and peace within, and you will be just as loving to others in return.  (II Corinthians 5:17) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  Is your faith sincere and do you truly love God at all times; in the good and the bad?  Search your heart and if there are any doubts, go to God in prayer and ask Him to reveal your doubts and help your with them.  He is faithful and will answer.  He loves you and longs to bless you!

 

(Jeremiah 29:11-14) “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and bring you back from captivity.”

 

 

 

 

Devotion

Stuck? Are you trusting God?

In Acts 12:1-8 you find Peter in jail, bound and stuck between 2 soldiers. That is stuck, but he was asleep! He was at rest because he trusted the Lord.
“About that time, King Herod reached out to harm some who belonged to the church. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. Seeing that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. He arrested him and put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out to the people after the Passover. So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was fervently praying to God for him. On the night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, with sentries standing guard at the entrance to the prison. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his wrists. “Get dressed and put on your sandals,” said the angel. Peter did so, and the angel told him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me. When we trust God we can rest like Peter. The Lord delivered him, the chains fell off, the prison doors did not stop the Lord from setting Peter free.” (Acts 12:1-8)
What prison doors do you have? Financial, health, family issues? Maybe a relationship or a wayward child? Maybe it is emotional or spiritual and maybe all of the above. Nothing is too hard for the Lord!
He told him, get up and put on his cloak and his sandals, meaning put on the, the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit, rise up and walk. When the Lord tells you to “go,”, He will also give you the inner and outer gifts and provision to do what is needed. You just need to trust and obey.
Peter trusted and walked out of the prison with ease and as you learn to trust, so will you.
“With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies.” (Psalm 60:12)
Devotion

HE HAS RISEN!

 

(Mark 16:6) “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.”

 

Easter; a day we celebrate our risen Lord who by His abounding love for mankind died for us.  God saw that the sin of mankind was just too great for us to pay, so He paid the price for us.  (Isaiah 59:16-17) “He saw that there was no one, He was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so His own arm worked salvation for Him, and His own righteousness sustained Him.  He put on righteousness as His breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped Himself in zeal as in a cloak.”

 

To look around at the world, the beauty of the mountains, trees and waters in the oceans, seas and lakes; you cannot deny that God exists.  Look at life; trees and flowers die and come back to life in the spring; the birth of human life in babies is a true miracle in itself.  How can you deny God’s existence?  (Isaiah 40:21-26) “Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  Has it not been told you from the beginning?  Have you not understood since the earth was founded?  He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.  He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.  He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.   No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than He blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.   “To whom will you compare me?  Or who is My equal?” says the Holy One.   Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?  He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls them each by name.  Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.”

 

So, with that settled, you must also believe in heaven and hell.  Where will you spend eternity?  Only God knows the hour and time of your death.  (Job 14:5) ”Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.”    The time of your death could be today, tomorrow, a year from now or 50, but only God knows the exact day and time.  Are living according to your flesh and the passions and lusts of the world?  Do you really want to take a chance on an eternity in heaven or hell for a few fleeting moments of the lust of your flesh?  (Mark 8:36) “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”

 

God says do not love the world or anything in it because it passes away but your soul lives forever and where you will spend it is your choice.  (I John 2:15-17) “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

 

On this special day of remembrance when Jesus gave His life in the painful way that He did for all of us, why not commemorate it with giving your life to Him?  He took our pain and was beaten beyond human recognition.  (Isaiah 52:13-15) “See, my servant will act wisely; He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.   Just as there were many who were appalled at Him—His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and His form marred beyond human likeness—so will He sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of Him.  For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.”

 

Have you given your life to Him in only words, but your heart did not mean it?  Have you been calling everything that has to do with Jesus pure rubbish, only because you still want to party?  Remember, you do not control the hour of your death.  Do you really want to take a chance with where you will spend eternity?  In life you will go through many hardships, but as a child of the King, He will always be there to back you up, help you up and bring you through to victory.  Who else on earth can make you that promise?  No one!  Only God loves you just because of who you are, and He loved you first.  He loves you now and will love you no matter what you have done or will do.  He may not always like your actions, but you do not have to do anything to earn His love.  He did it for you.  (Romans 5:8) “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

Only in Christ will you get a do over!  Who else promises that?  (II Corinthians 5:17) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”    Decide today to make it the first and best day of the rest of your life and pray the prayer of salvation above.  You will not regret it!

Devotion

Are the Stones Praising God in Your Place?


(Luke 19:37-40) “When He came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:  ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!  Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’  Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’  ‘I tell you, He replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

 

Do you thank God for the blessing of your salvation?  What about the basic necessities that He provides such as a roof over your head, electric, transportation, food, clean water and the many other luxuries you enjoy?  Do you thank Him for the little things He does for you to bless you and the prayers that He answers?  (Luke 17:17-19) “Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed?  Where are the other nine?  Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’  Then He said to him, ‘Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Are the stones crying out in your place?  Are you longing to feel and experience more of God’s presence?  God dwells within our praises, so start appreciating Him and praising Him a little more!  (Psalm 22:3) “But thou are holy, O thou that inhabits the praises of Israel.”  Our heavenly Father created us in His image; (Genesis 1:27) “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”  The emotions that we have came from Him!

So, isn’t it right to assume that just as we need to be appreciated, God does as well?  God loved the world so much, that He did not want us to have to pay the price for our sins; so He sent His Son, Jesus.

  (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

He saw that the sin was so great in the world that we would never be able to pay for our sins on our own and He wanted us, the children He created to be with Him in eternity, so He took the punishment upon Himself.  (Isaiah 59:16-17) “He saw that there was no one, He was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so His own arm worked salvation for Him, and His own righteousness sustained Him.  He put on the righteousness as His breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped Himself in zeal as in a cloak.”  That in itself is enough to praise Him and yet He still blesses us each and every day.  Have you made life all about “you?”

We are to follow His example of unselfish love.  (John 15:12-13) “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends.”   He despaired so in the Garden that His sweat was as drops of blood as He prayed.    (Luke 22:44) “And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

He set the example of putting us first; do you put Him first?  Do you put others before yourself?  Are you following His example?  (John 13:15-17) “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

He also gave thanks to the Father; is your prayers filled with the “give me’s” or are you truly worshipping God as well and not only in prayer time but all throughout the day?  Do you praise Him for who He is or are the stones crying out in your place?

(Revelation 11:17:19) “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because You have taken your great power and have begun to reign.  The nations were angry; and Your wrath has come.  The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding Your servants the prophets and Your saints and those who reverence Your name, both small and great–and for destroying those who destroy the earth.  Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within His temple was seen the ark of His covenant.  And there came flashes of lightening, rumblings, peals of thunder, and earthquake and a great hailstorm.”

 

 

Devotion

An Overwhelming Love

(John 15:13) “Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends.”

Life throws a lot our way; family problems, financial problems, health problems, emotional problems and problems with people in general.  Jesus suffered all of that for us.  He said, “The Son of Man has no place to lay His head,” He came as a servant so as to understand the same issues that we face.  (Hebrews 2:17) “For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people.”  He suffered problems with people, the Pharisees and Sadducees were so scared of loosing their standing, the praise of men, that they continually gave Him trouble.  He had emotional problems, He withdrew to Himself in the Garden to pray and His heart was so overwhelmed that as He prayed “His sweat was as drops of blood.”  Our Lord was beaten beyond human recognition, He was spit on and a crown of thorns hung on His head causing the thorns to dig into His forehead and blood ran down His face.  He did this for us.  (Isaiah 59:16-17) “He saw that there was no one, He was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so His own arm worked salvation for Him, and His own righteousness sustained Him.  He put on righteousness as His breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped Himself in zeal as in a cloak.”

 

So, remember the next time you are going through a rough patch and experiencing a great deal of turmoil that Jesus went through it too and He understands.  Remember that He is there for you and will deliver you; “the Lord watches over your coming and your going both now and forevermore.”  Remember what He went through to bring you salvation and the overwhelming love He has for all of us and what a faithful God we serve.  (Psalm 145:13) “The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made.”

Remember and take to heart that if He loved you so much that He died for you, that He will deliver you from this trial as well.  If He allows it, like any good parent, it is to teach you something, to draw something out of your heart that He did not plant and is harmful to your character, it is to mold you into His likeness or it is a consequence of something you chose beyond His wishes and are now reaping what you have sowed.  In all of it; it is out of love to transform you into a more loving, trusting, forgiving, humble, generous child of God.  We go “from glory to glory.”  The trials of life are what He uses to transform us not only for our character, but also for a purpose that He has already planned out.  The trials He allows will draw a passion out of you for His purpose that you may not have had otherwise.  Remember as you go through your next trial and instead of complaining, ask God instead, “What are you trying to teach me?”  Remember the death He experienced and the overwhelming love He has for you that caused Him to die for you in the first place and just trust Him.

 

(Romans 5:8) “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

 

 

Devotion

God is in Control

(Proverbs 20:24) “A man’s steps are directed by the Lord.  How then can any man understand his own way?”

  

As a child of God, you have a Heavenly Father who is always watching over you. “The Lord will watch over your coming and your going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:8)

You may feel as if everything is out of control, surrounded by issues much bigger than you have the ability to fix.  Then you are in the perfect place!  It is a set up for God to show up and be glorified!    When the Lord visited Gideon, the Midianites were oppressing them.  He was from the tribe of Manasseh and according to Gideon, the weakest, yet they were in a perfect place for God to be glorified and show them that He had not forgotten them.  When the issues are within your means to fix, then why do you need God?  Gideon and his people needed to see that God would not fail them. “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (I Corinthians 1:27)

They had lost hope, felt forsaken.  When the angel of the Lord visited him, all he did was complain.  This was a learned response and he had no confidence.  The people had lost faith and were worshiping other gods.  God calls things into being before they exist.  “(As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead, and calls those things which are not as though they were.” (Romans 4:17) The Lord called him, “Mighty man of valor.”  That is what he became!  Instead of complaining and giving the devil more ammunition, start prophesying over yourself, your family and your issues!  Give the angels seed to work with, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)

Gideon listened to the Lord, he did as the Lord commanded.  He put himself and his people in God’s hands. Gideon fleeced the Lord two times in order to receive a sign from Him that it was indeed Him, the Lord.  The Lord understood and knew he needed built up and gave into Gideon’s request.   After Gideon had torn down the altars of Baal, he called out people to come out and fight against the Midianites.  Thirty-two thousand people showed up, but the Lord reduced them to three hundred!  They needed this so they could see God’s hands in their victory. “So, he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” (Zechariah 4:6)

Surrender to the Lord, He has you and “Will never fail or forsake you.”  He is in control, believe it, accept it and surrender to it.  You will find rest for your spirit when you learn this response.  Gideon and his three hundred men went out to fight and the Lord delivered the Midianites into their hands!  He will do the same for you.

Live by it daily believing God is good and loves you and will as He says in His word that He will work out everything for your good.

As you surrender, trust and obey, you keep God in control, giving Him room to work. You will gain the victory!

 “With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies.” (Psalm 60:12)