Wednesday, May 31, 2017

REJOICE TODAY


Ezra 3:11 (NKJV) And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD: "For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel." Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

I am always amazed at people that can shout and scream at football games, and every other sporting event, but when they come to church, they are so quiet and look at other people who are praising God loudly like they are crazy.  Yet when I look into the Bible, I see that God is happy when we shout and celebrate for Him!

We see in this verse that after the people laid the foundation to the temple, they got excited and they rejoiced!  Every time we build something new for the Kingdom of God, we need to get excited too!  Maybe it is a new facility at our home church, or a work overseas.  Whatever it might be, we need to shout and praise God, because it goes against everything that the devil does not want to see done.

You see, the devil does not rejoice when we put an addition on a church.  He does not get excited when we put a roof on a church overseas.  No, he does not want the Kingdom of God to spread in our community or around the world.  He wants Hollywood to spread, and sports to spread, and everything else that has no eternal value.  

So make a decision that when you go to church, or when you hear of a new church plant going on, you rejoice and celebrate that God is on the move, and that people are going to be saved.  Rejoice that lives and marriages will be restored, and that people will receive eternal life.

Remember, when Jesus is lifted up, He will draw all people onto Himself.  So let us celebrate today that God’s Kingdom is on the move, and that we serve the One and only true God.  Let us rejoice that our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and that we will be in His presence soon, and we have the opportunity to bring many with us to heaven!


CONFESSION: Today, I choose to rejoice in my Father God, because His Kingdom is moving on this earth.  Today, I rejoice because God is for me.

Today's Bible Reading
(Click here to read it online)

2 Samuel 17
John 19:23-42
Psalms 119:129-152
Proverbs 16:12-13

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

HE GAVE HIS SON


Genesis 22:1-2 (NKJV) Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." 2 Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."

So many people read this story of God asking Abraham to offer His son and say, “How can God do that?”  He is not like that anywhere else, so why would He ask this man, Abraham, to offer his only son?  We will never understand the Old Testament until we get a revelation of the New Testament; until we see Jesus!

The Old Testament is “types and shadows” of the New, so when we look at a story like this and see Jesus in it, it brings great blessing.  Abraham was a covenant man with God, and as a covenant man, what was his belonged to his covenant partner.   Here, God and Abraham had made a covenant, and so for God to offer His Son, there had to be one that would offer his.  I believe that Abraham knew this by the different statements that he made.  Here are a few:

Genesis 22:4-5, “Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off.  And Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.’”

Genesis 22:7-8, “But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, ‘My father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ Then he said, ‘Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’  And Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.’ So the two of them went together.”

So we see that Abraham was a man of faith, and he saw that day when Jesus would be given for the sins of the world.  He saw into the future, and he saw, not his son Isaac, but God’s Son, Jesus.  God would provide a Lamb for the burnt offering.   Rejoice today that Abraham was willing to give His son so that God could give us Jesus!


CONFESSION:  Jesus is the Lamb of God, and He has taken away my sins.   Because of His great sacrifice, I am forgiven, restored, and loved by God my Father.

Today's Bible Reading
(Click here to read it online)

2 Samuel 15:23 - 2 Samuel 16
John 18:25 - 19:22
Psalms 119:113-128
Proverbs 16:10-11

Monday, May 29, 2017

ALL IN THE CROSS


Exodus 15:23-25 (NKJV) Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?" 25 So he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet...

What a beautiful picture of our lives before the cross, and after.  Here we are in life, bitter with sin, and getting more bitter each day.  People say they enjoy sinning, but deep within, sin pulls us down, and at times, it seems like there is no way to get back up.  Thank God for Jesus and what He did on the cross for us!

You see, when Moses heard the people complaining, he cried out to the Lord.  God could have told Moses so many things, but He showed him a tree and He said to cast the tree into the water, and the water would become sweet.   So it is for us.  It is when we look to Jesus, and look to the finished work of the cross and resurrection, that freedom comes, that deliverance comes, and that healing comes.

In Galatians 3:13 it says, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’).”

Jesus became a curse on the tree, or the cross, so that we could be blessed.  Do you see that today?  Instead of saying what a mess you are, and that you can never do anything right, start thanking God that He placed all of your shortcomings on Jesus so that you could be blessed in life.  God is for us, and all that Jesus did on the cross, He did not do for Himself, but for you and me.

When God sees us washed by the blood of Christ, He sees a new creation.  He sees the very righteousness of His Son.  He sees a winner and not a loser.  So do not listen to the lies of the enemy.  Listen to the truth of the Word of God.


CONFESSION:  My bitter life is over because of the cross that my Jesus was crucified on.  I am redeemed and blessed today, because of Jesus!

Today's Bible Reading
(Click here to read it online)

2 Samuel 14 - 15:22
John 18:1-24
Psalms 119:97-112
Proverbs 16:8-9

Sunday, May 28, 2017

TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON


Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NKJV) To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; 7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

As we read today’s verses, we can see that this is so true.  Life has its ups and downs; its days of great victory and its days of trial.  But what I have found out is that when we put God in charge of our lives, He helps us get through those rough times.  He promised us that He would never leave us or forsake us, and that is a promise that I hold on to!

You see, this world is still under the curse, and because of that we have to fight the good fight of faith.  One day when Jesus returns, all will be put back in order.  Today is not that day for the world, but it is that day for you and me!  What do I mean by that?  It says in Galatians 3:13-14, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

You see, I might be in a curse-filled world, but with Jesus on my side, I know that through every test and trial that the enemy brings, Jesus will give me the victory.  So yes, there are seasons in life, but look at them as adventures that God is going to get you through!


CONFESSION:  Jesus has redeemed me from the curse, so whatever comes against me, God, my Father, will always give me the victory.


Today's Bible Reading
(Click here to read it online)

2 Samuel 13
John 17
Psalms 119:81-96
Proverbs 16:6-7

Saturday, May 27, 2017

IT’S TIME TO PRAY


2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

God is looking for a separate people; a people set apart unto Himself; a special people that will not get caught up in the things of this world, but will be a treasure unto Him.  In this verse, we see God talking to us, and not to the evil ones in the world.  He is saying, “If my people…”  That is me and you!  We are the people of God, and if we, the people of God, are doing things that are not pleasing to Him, then we need to change some stuff or we are not going to see healing in our land.

If you read the book of Daniel, when he came to pray to God, He did not say that it is everyone else’s fault.  He said, “We have sinned.”  He included himself in the sins of the nation, and here God is telling us to do the same thing.  Look again at what it says: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 

God is not looking for a perfect people, but for ones who will humble themselves, pray, seek Him, and turn from their wicked ways.  The amazing thing is that if we do this, God will bring healing to our land.  So this verse shows us that we are responsible for what is going on in the world.

Some might say, “Oh no, it is the democrats, or the republicans.”  No, it is us!  We need to do our part, and if we do, God will do the rest. 

So today, let us take a few minutes and ask God, our dear Father, to show us things in our lives that He wants us to change.  Let us be open to the voice of the Holy Spirit within us, and make a decision to walk in His ways.  Not only will it bless us, but it will bless a lost and hurting world.


CONFESSION:  Holy Spirit, reveal to me the things that are hindering me from being a blessing to this world.  I want to change so that I can help this hurting world.


Today's Bible Reading
(Click here to read it online)

2 Samuel 12
John 16
Psalms 119:65-80
Proverbs 16:4-5

Friday, May 26, 2017

YOUR GOD WILL BE MY GOD


Ruth 1:16-17 (NKJV) But Ruth said: "Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me."

These are some powerful verses of Scripture.  Here we have Ruth, a Moabite woman, whose father-in-law, brother-in-law and husband have all died.  She has a chance to go home, but she sees something special in her mother-in-law, Naomi.  She sees something that makes her want to stay with her instead of going back to her own land.

I think about us as Christians.  Are people seeing things in our lives that make them desire our Jesus?  Do they see love coming out of us?  Do they see forgiveness?  Are our words seasoned with salt, or do they hear the same things they hear in the world: backbiting, gossip and all the other things of this world’s system?

You see, we may be the only Jesus that people ever see, and if we do not let our light shine, all they will see is darkness.  The Apostle Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”  Can we say the same?  Can we say to people, “Look at my life, at the way I live as a Christian, and follow that example”?

Ruth saw something in Naomi that caused her to want to stay with her.  Because of that, she was blessed, Naomi was blessed, and the nation of Israel was blessed.  Ruth became the great grandmother of King David!  Look what it says at the end of this wonderful, short book:

Ruth 4:21-22, “Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed; Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.”

So today, make a decision to let your light shine.  Become so in love with Jesus that you want to fulfill His one commandment that He gave us, and that is to love one another.  The world says that is impossible, but Jesus says all things are possible to them that believe!


CONFESSION:  Today, I make a decision to be a person that others desire to follow.  I choose to live the Christian life, and I will do unto others as I would have them do unto me.


Today's Bible Reading
(Click here to read it online)

2 Samuel 9 - 11
John 15
Psalms 119:49-64
Proverbs 16:1-3

Thursday, May 25, 2017

RIGHT IN HIS OWN EYES


Judges 17:6 (NKJV) In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Judges 21:25 (NKJV) In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

These verses can be so scary, because if people do not have the Holy Spirit in them, or upon them like these Old Testament people, then there could be sin in the camp.  You see, without the restraint of the Holy Spirit, man will gravitate to his own fleshy nature, instead of to God.  We see this within children.  Left to themselves, children will lie, steal, disobey, and more.  But when they are disciplined properly, they will grow up, be blessed, and have a good long life.

Man has the fallen "adamic" nature within him, and will go towards that nature until the Word of God gets into his heart and mind, and he is born again.  The Spirit of God will convict us and show us what is right and wrong. The Word of God has this power within it, and when the Bible is taken out of a society, it is only a matter of time before that society goes down.

Today, we believers have God’s Word within us, and we have the Holy Spirit in us, so let us let Him be the driving force in our lives.  When we sense that the flesh is trying to take over and have us do things that we know are wrong, it is time to spend more time in the Word and let it wash us of the junk of this world.

We are all going to make mistakes in life, but God’s Word is living water, and it will help us to overcome the attacks of the enemy.  So go ahead and drink deeply of the things of God.  Spend time with your Heavenly Father, and let His power do the work within you.  It is so important for us to do that if we are going to live an abundant life in Christ Jesus.  Remember that God is for you and not against you.  He has your back and your front.  Give Him your whole life, and watch the victories come.  Choose not to do what is right in your own eyes.  Choose instead to do what is right in God’s eyes.


CONFESSION:  Today, I choose to live for God and not for myself.  God has my best interest in mind, and I want to be blessed to be a blessing.

Today's Bible Reading
(Click here to read it online)

2 Samuel 7 - 8
John 14:15-31
Psalms 119:33-48
Proverbs 15:33

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WALK IN LOVE


John 15:12 (NKJV) This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

When Jesus says that something is a commandment, we know that He is not just suggesting it, but it is something that He wants us to do.  The commands of God are not to hurt us, but to bless us.  Wherever we see that God tells us something as a command, He is looking to get a window open in our lives, so that He can pour us out a blessing.

In this verse, the Bible teaches us that love is not something that we can choose to do if we would like, but that it is a command for us to live by.  God wants Christians to be different than the people of the world.  He does not want us being a bunch of gossipers and backbiters, but people that believe the best of one another.  He wants us to go the extra mile in love for each other.

If we choose to live by God's command of love, it will protect us from what the enemy wants to bring against us.  Satan has no power over a person of love.  The great Apostle John could not be killed, and that is why they ended up sending him to the island of Patmos.  They tried to end his life in every way they could think of, but he would not die.

The Apostle John is known as the apostle of love.  You just cannot kill love!  Love will give you victories in your marriage.  It will give you a family that is second to none.  It will lift you up, and develop within you the staying and overcoming power that you need.

Do not look at love as some weak thing.  See it for what it is, or should I say, Who He is, for GOD IS LOVE.  Everything that God does He does in love.  He does not do anything unless it is flooded with His love.  

Today, let us imitate our Father.  He is love, and so we should be also.  Let us let this fruit of love flow in us, and through us.  When we do, it will change us like nothing ever has.


CONFESSION:  Today, I make a quality decision to walk in love.  Love is not something I can do if I feel like it.  It is a command of God, and I want to always do what He wants me to do.

Today's Bible Reading
(Click here to read it online)

2 Samuel 4 - 6
John 13:31 - 14:14
Psalms 119:17-32
Proverbs 15:31-32


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

FREEDOM COMES ONLY THROUGH JESUS


Romans 5:19-21 (NKJV) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul wraps up this great teaching with a bang.  He shows us what we received because of Adam.  Again let me say, it was not good.  Because of Adam, we received condemnation, disobedience, sin, death, and eternal damnation.  But because of Jesus, we received redemption, life, health, joy, peace, and eternity with Him, the Father, and the Holy Spirit.

Sin might be strong, but like verse 20 says here, “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.”  Grace is so much more powerful than sin!  Grace, God’s undeserved favor, is so much greater than what Adam did.  I am living in the dispensation of grace, not law, and I am going to enjoy the benefits of it.  How about you?

I hear so many Christians saying that they are no good, or how they are just a failure.  Well, if that is what you are saying, then you are saying that Jesus is no good, and that Jesus is a failure, and I know that is not what you mean.  If we do not take time to renew our minds and see ourselves IN HIM, then we go by what this world tells us, instead of what His Word states.  We need to remember that God’s Word is above anything this world, or even a person, might say.

So today, live in His grace.  Enjoy the freedom that can only come through Christ.  See yourself the way the Bible says you are, and enjoy all the benefits of the New Covenant that God gave to us, through the blood of Jesus Christ His Son.  Remember, this is not about us.  It is about Christ in us, the hope of glory.  Stop dwelling on yourself and all of your shortcomings, and start dwelling on Him Who has no shortcoming.  You will see such a change in your life and attitude!

CONFESSION:  Because of Jesus, I am blessed.  Because of Jesus, I am loved by my Father.  I choose today to dwell on His perfection, and not my shortcomings.    


Today's Bible Reading
(Click here to read it online)

2 Samuel 2:12 - 2 Samuel 3
John 13:1-30
Psalms 119:1-16
Proverbs 15:29-30

Monday, May 22, 2017

PRAYING ALWAYS


Ephesians 6:18 (NKJV) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

The last part of this great armor that the Lord has given to us is our prayer life.  As we take time to pray each day, it is a protection in our lives.  It might not be one specifically mentioned as a piece of armor, but it is still so important!

Here it says to pray always.  In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 it says, “Pray without ceasing.”  “Well,” you might say, “how in the world do I do that?  How do I go to work, and all the other things I have to do in the course of a day, and pray without stopping?”  What I believe these verses are saying is to have an attitude of prayer.  There are so many types and ways to pray, and we can use them throughout the day.  Let me give you a few.

There is the prayer of praise and worship, the prayer of petition and supplication, the prayer of faith, and the prayer of intercession.  There is the prayer of agreement, and the prayer of commitment (or casting our cares on the Lord.)  There is the prayer of praying in tongues, and the prayer of dedication.  These are just a few, but you can see that there are so many ways to pray.

During the day, you can say within you, “Father, I love You and I am so glad I am saved and on my way to heaven.”  You can also have a time where the Holy Spirit will put someone on your heart, and you can lift them up under your breath.  You see, prayer does not have to be only when we are alone and on our knees.  We can use walks to pray, or even when you are driving. (Please keep your eyes open when you are driving!)

So today, look for different ways, and times, that you can lift up different things to the Lord.  Just watch!  By the end of the day, you will see how much time you spent in prayer.


CONFESSION:  Today, I make a decision to pray without ceasing.  As the Holy Spirit directs me during the course of this day, I will lift up many things to my Heavenly Father in Jesus’ name. 

Today's Bible Reading
(Click here to read it online)

2 Samuel 1:1 - 2:11
John 12:20-50
Psalms 118:19-29
Proverbs 15:27-28