Those things which are before – Daily Devotional for Saturday December 31st 2016

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Those things which are before

Daily Devotional for Saturday December 31st 2016

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  Philippians 3:13

The worst thing we can do is live in the past.  To every life that begins with Jesus, the past has been erased.  All of the past faults, failures, regrets, etc.; all of those things have been cast into God’s great sea of forgetfulness and never to be remembered against us.  So why should we dwell there?  Our focus should rather be on the things which lie before us. 

Our greatest problem is we go on with our lives as though we are still in charge.  If we continue to live as we did before, then we are not forgetting those things behind us.  Accomplishing the will of God should be our main objective.  Winning souls for Christ, laboring in the fields and growing as a child of God; all of these things represent a reaching forth unto those things which are before. 

Another year has come and gone.  You may look back on this year rejoicing in all the victory Jesus won for you.  You could be viewing this year as one of the hardest years because of losing a loved one, divorce, spiritual failures and things of that nature.  Regardless, the things that lie before us should always be the object of our focus.

Paul wrote to Timothy that he had fought a good fight, finished the course and kept the faith.  He may have reflected on his life but did not end there.  He finished with the words “there is therefore laid up for me a crown of righteousness.”  Paul’s eyesight was toward Heaven.  Don’t allow the cares of this life to distract you from the ultimate goal; Heaven.  Living one hundred years down here will not be able to compare to what awaits us.  There is a home in Heaven that await all who have been washed in the blood of the Jesus Christ; the Lamb of God.


 

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Those things which are behind – Daily Devotional for Thursday December 29th 2016

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Those things which are behind

Daily Devotional for Thursday December 29th 2016

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, Philippians 3:13

Coming up on the end of the year causes us to look back on the events of the past year.  We remember the tragic events that happened in our country and around the world.  But in particularly, the events in our own lives.  We remember the failures, sorrows, trials and tribulations, but see how that God has brought us through them all.  We also tend to remember more clearly the great things we’ve done for God.  If we aren’t careful, this yearend review can hinder us whether it be bad or good.

Sometimes, in order to move forward, we have to forget about things in our past.  You’ve heard that some people are held captive by their past.  It’s true that in order to move forward, we have to forget those things behind us.  Many people cannot get move beyond someone hurting them.  These things have to be placed into the hands of Jesus in order for us to get victory over them.

Oftentimes we even have to forget about the “good” things we’ve done.  Too many times, we look back on the charities we’ve given to, labor in the field and service for God that we tend to feel like we can take a spiritual vacation.  The Lord does not forget your service to Him, but it is not His will that we allow works to keep us from working for the Lord in the future.

Whether your proud of what you accomplished this year or not, forget those things which are behind.  Whether you made great mistakes this year and are still wallowing in the torment of them, forget those things as well.  Don’t let the devil rob you of what God wants to do in you and through you tomorrow, by keeping you in prison to the good or the bad of yesterday.

Looking in the Mirror – Daily Devotional for Wednesday December 28th 2016

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Looking in the Mirror

Daily Devotional for Wednesday December 28th 2016

For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  James 1:23

Criticism is not welcomed in most of us.  The reason is because we tend to think very highly of ourselves.  Our shortcomings are not nearly as severe as those around us, even if theirs are the same as ours.  The mirror, on the other hand, is not biased.  It tells the uncompromising truth.  It does not dramatize an image, it simply displays it for what it is.  It is simply the reflection.  People do not get mad at the mirror when they do not like what they behold, but they make every attempt to correct the flaws, if at all possible. 

However, do we find problems in the word of God?  If so, it is mostly because we do not like the reflection of ourselves when reading it.  The word of God not only reveals a person’s works and fruits, but it does what nothing else in the world can do; it reveals the hidden things of the heart of man.  Did you know that the word of God is a spiritual mirror?  James said, when we read the word and do not correct the thing that needs correcting in our lives, then we are compared to someone who does the same thing in a normal mirror.  We glance at ourselves to make sure everything is okay, but if something needs correction, we should correct it. 

When viewing the word of God, we should look at ourselves in the same way we look in the mirror.  It’s not easy to confront our shortcomings, but it’s then the opportunity exists for us to ask God to correct the issues that exist in your life.  Do you wrestle with scripture concerning holiness and separation, or do you confess your sin, repent and ask the Lord to forgive?  Don’t ignore the scriptures after God has revealed an area of your life that needs His touch.  Instead, ask God to change you into the image He desires you to be.  If you will do that, then God will change you into the beautiful image of Christ.  Then you will be able to view Christ when you look in the mirror.

 

Wise Men – Daily Devotional for Tuesday December 27th 2016

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday December 27th 2016

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews?  for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.  Matthew 2:1-2

Wise men came from the East in search of the King of the Jews.  To them, Jesus was more than just an earthly king, He was the Promised One of ancient Jewish prophecies.  He was the single One in all of humanity that would be the ultimate sacrifice and change not only the world, but all eternity.  These men would not be satisfied until their eyes beheld the Christ child.  It is no different with us today.

Why do we spend so much effort and time seeking things of the world?  Are we caught up in the notion that worldly things satisfy more than the One who created us and breathed life into us?  Do material things bring us more joy than the giver of joy?  Very seldom today will you find men and women who are seekers of God; those who earnestly desire to know Him in a deeper way. 

What made these men wise wasn’t the fact that they could understand prophecy or recognize the one star in the sky that heralded the coming of the Messiah, but the fact that they chose to seek Jesus above all else.  Once they found Jesus lying in a manger in a stable, they were overwhelmed with gratitude.  They could have allowed the humble stable to deter their findings of Jesus, but no doubt in their heart they knew He was the One.

In our hearts we know as well.  If you allow your heart to chase after the foolish things of the world, you’ll find yourself empty and alone.  However, if beholding Jesus is your resolve, then you will find yourself among the wisest of men and women who know that the Messiah, Jesus, is the greatest treasure of all.  He’s the fairest of ten thousand! 


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To Whom Shall We Go – Daily Devotional for Weekend December 24 & 25th 2016

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To Whom Shall We Go

Daily Devotional for Weekend December 24 & 25th 2016

From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked not more with him.  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?  Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go?  Thou has the words of eternal life.  John 6:66-68

Will ye also go away? This seems to be an absurd question, but needs to be asked of all of us from time to time.  How many days to we wake up and a thousand things try to pull us away from Jesus?  In this passage of scripture, multitudes followed Jesus up until the time hard sayings came from Jesus lips. 

In easy times, many people will continue with the Lord.  But when the word of God begins to get a little hard and requires some things from us, we walk away.  Why do we do that?  Is the Lord asking something unrealistic of us or are we showing that we love that thing more than we love Him?

After we have been touched by the Lord so deeply; after we have tasted the Lord and know that there is none other and nothing else like Jesus, we should never let another desire turn our head or heart away.  When we were lost and outcast from God, Jesus came to us.  When He dealt with our hearts, we said yes to Him.  Once we said yes, a wonderful flood of His Spirit came and showered us.  How can we turn and walk away from the Lord knowing we’ve had that kind of experience with Him?

An answer was required of the disciples as it is of us.  Jesus wanted to hear their reply.  When times get hard, what will we choose to do?  Will we remember the wonderful love He showed to us, the great miracle of salvation He performed in us?  Peter’s answer was one of the greatest answers that could have been spoken.  There is nowhere else to go.  If we leave Jesus, then where else is there?  The truth is, there is nowhere else.  Jesus is my all in all!  He’s everything!  I live because of Jesus.  I breathe because of Him.  Everything I have, Jesus has provided.  I choose to stay with the Lord.  What will you choose?

Seeking the Kingdom first – Daily Devotional for Thursday December 22nd 2016

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Seeking the Kingdom first

Daily Devotional for Thursday December 22nd 2016

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

Jesus came to Israel during a time when the nation had become so cold and indifferent toward God.  Acknowledging God was very much accepted, while being a committed follower was not as much.  Men and women who had surrendered their lives unto the Lord and put God first in their lives were no doubt few and far between. 

Jesus preached many things unto His disciples in those days about how to truly live for the Father. When He said to seek first the kingdom, He spoke so much.  When we seek, we are reading the word of God, praying and listening to what He has to say to us.  After the answer comes, then we surrender to the will of God. Seeking the kingdom of God means that we are looking beyond the earthly governments and rules of this world.  It also means that we are turning in our citizenship to this earthly kingdom to enter into citizenship with God. 

Most importantly, Jesus said seek the kingdom of God first.  This means that everything else in our lives should fall in line after our commitment to Christ.  In our rush through life we often seek our wants and desires above all else.  Because our priorities are not in their proper order, we miss out on so much that God desires to do in and through us.  God must be the greatest priority of our lives.  If He is not, then our entire lives are out of order.  This is one of the greatest reasons why our lives continue with so much turmoil and trouble.

We often feel justified in our walk with the Lord if we just make an effort to give the Lord a small amount of time in our convenience.  However, Jesus said seek first the kingdom. There are untold blessings from the treasury house of Heaven that are available to us when we seek first the kingdom of God.

Spend some time in prayer asking the Lord if to reveal any an all things that may have come between you.  As the Lord reveals, rearrange them on your list of priorities.  If the Lord were to ask you to pray for whatever you wanted and he would grant it, what would you pray for?  Your answer will reveal your priority. 


 

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Our Light Affliction – Daily Devotional for Wednesday December 21st 2016

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Our Light Affliction

Daily Devotional for Wednesday December 21st 2016

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  2 Corinthians 4:17

As we continue to look at the hard times that come in our lives, how often do we view them as though no help from the Lord will come to us during them?  We must not forget that the Lord will behold your obedience to Him during trials and will always, without fail, reward your commitment. 

As Paul listed the troubles, perplexities, and persecutions he had gone through, he made one of the most interesting comments that could ever be made concerning troubles; our light affliction.  If you notice, there are two different things Paul compares the weight of in this verse; afflictions versus glory.  He uses the majority of this chapter to compare Satan’s attacks toward him to what God would accomplish in his life because of those attacks.  

When Satan attacks us, he attempts to use our love for self as a tool against us.  He knows that every man, woman, boy and girl typically cares for their own selves more than anyone else.  It is the love of self that always causes us to cave in times of trials.  But when Jesus saves our souls, in our hearts we develop such a love for Him that we would rather die than fail Him. 

When we experience life’s struggles, do we view them the same as Paul did?  Once the wonderful touch of God comes to us, then no affliction can ever be viewed the same.  No trial will ever be able to measure up to the weight of glory that God will pour out upon us.  The devil may bring on whatever he wants, but when He does, Jesus will pour out so much of His glory on us that our afflictions won’t even be able to compare to it.  The Lord made Paul to understand that He would always be there for him and keep him in whatever circumstance the devil could ever place him in. 

What about you, brother? Sister?  Has the Lord taught you this great truth?  If not, hold on, He will.  God is so faithful to us.  Whatever the devil attempts to do in your life, God will work out for you in such a way that your faith in God will be solid from this point forward. 

 

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