Humility Before Honor – Daily Devotion for Wednesday August 23rd

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Humility Before Honor

Daily Devotional for August 23rd

But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. {23:12} And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12

Life in the Spirit sometimes can be confusing. We are up one minute and down the next.  It has been described as a spiritual rollercoaster.  While there have been times that you think those ups and downs are a sign of spiritual inconstancy, I’ve come to realize that the ups and downs are necessary in our spiritual life. 

When we experience the presence of God so intensely and powerfully upon us, we desire it above all things and strive to experience God greater. We want the Christian experience to be all about the ups, but we want to avoid or reject the downs.  Why do we at times sink into very strange places in our Christian lives?  Places of loneliness, times of despair, testing, low valley, even times we cannot even articulate in words the pressure or anguish we are experiencing.  Right now you may be experiencing a time of severe spiritual dryness.  There is a reason for it friend.

There is a truth in God’s word; a law of the Spirit if you will. That law is found here in Matthew 23:11-12.  Did you know that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble?  James 4:6.  God’s eyes are on the humble.  There is another truth that is evident in our hearts that we must guard against; and that is, when we receive anything from God, we tend to allow our hearts to leave a place of humility.  Once we leave that humble state, God will work to pull us back to this place of humility.  Why does God want me to remain in humility?  It is so that He can give us grace, revelation and promotion.

The reason you are in a place of dryness, loneliness, and emptiness right now is because God is pulling you to a place of humility. The ultimate goal is so that He can give unto you.  Let God’s work be completed in you.  Allow your heart to become humble.  God is bringing you into this place so that He can give you revelation, understanding, grace and power.  If your in this condition right now, be encouraged because you are about to receive of God.  This is God’s way!  We must be humbled so that God can exalt us.

Counting it Loss for Christ – Revival Series Devotional for Tuesday August 22nd 2017

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Counting it Loss for Christ

Revival Series Devotion for August 22nd

Scripture Reading:
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.  Philippians 3:7-8

The Message:

In this world we are taught so contrary to the truth since the fall of man into sin.  One could honestly say that they could look at the lineage of your family, the wisdom of this world, and the value we place on things, the opposite would be the truth in the Spirit.  We value self; our strengths, knowledge, ability and happiness.  The world values gold, silver and the dollar more than any other thing.  But the reality of life in the Spirit, the greatest value is loving God, loving our fellow man, and most importantly the souls of men.

So what if I don’t get the one million dollars I always wanted?  So what if I don’t get the vacation home in the Bahamas?  Does it really matter if I win the lottery and are able to live in luxury the rest of my life?  In light of eternity, our family history means nothing really.  The amount of money we acquired while here will fade into only a memory.  Everything that was done to bring happiness and peace will swiftly be stopped.  The only thing that will last throughout eternity is eternal things.  There is a void raging on the inside of us that so seeks fulfillment.  Your life was meant for so much more.  You have an assignment from the King of kings Himself.  You’ll never be satisfied wallowing in the dung of this world.

Paul taught us here that the things the world counts as valuable are actually dung when compared to eternity.  We adorn ourselves with Gold here but we will tread upon it in Heaven.  What is your life revealing to you that you hold most valuable?  Did you know that your motivation reveals what your heart holds most valuable?  While the world continues to chase fortune and fame, God is continuing to chase souls that are doomed for destruction in Hell. 

Life is truly a vapor; an exhale of breath.  We are all here today but gone tomorrow.  This world and the world to come are two very different realities with two very different sets of values.  Your soul is the most valuable thing to God.  As a child of God, we should be chasing the same things that are in the heart of God.  If you are not burdened for souls to be saved, then it is a sign you have drifted from God.  If you do not desire God more than anything else in the world, it is a sign you have not been in God’s presence in a while.  If your heart does not hurt for the same things God hurts for, then you haven’t been in contact with God in a while.

The Altar Call:

God is continually challenging us to get back to viewing eternity and the value of eternal things over anything else.  Your life reveals the things you hold most valuable.  Are you seeking to grow in God daily, or have you become just another victim of life?  Has Satan gotten your eyes off of Jesus; your first love?  Has your own will and desires trumped God’s desires in your life?  All these things do is make us miserable friend.  It’s time to return to living your life for Jesus Christ.  You’ll find that chasing after God and fulfilling His will is the most rewarding life that could ever be lived.  A life of self will never satisfy.  It cannot satisfy.  That’s why it must be denied and counted as loss.  You’ll find Jesus Christ will satisfy every longing within your heart and life.  Ask the Lord today to forgive you of going your own way.  Turn away from the direction you’ve chosen for your life that has done nothing except make your life miserable.  Surrender your heart and life to Jesus and the joy of the Lord will return in your heart.  God will give you a direction and purpose so worth living that nothing short of fulfilling God’s purpose in your life will ever satisfy you.

God Provokes Me – Daily Devotion for Monday August 21st

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God Provokes Me

Daily Devotional for August 21st

We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

When we come to the Lord in our very desperate hour of need, we come because we know that God is the only one who can deliver us and save us. It is our need that directs us to Him.  After we are redeemed though, our focus turns from our needs to focusing on our God who loved us enough that He would go to the great lengths to save us.  Why would God choose to love the unlovable as me?  Why would He even look my way after the terribly wicked and gross sins that I willingly committed?  It’s a thing called Love!

Out of all the strengths of God, Love is God’s strongest characteristic. Our Father commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us! Romans 5:8.  The love of God goes much further than head knowledge; it is heart knowledge.  The very soul of man is touched by the love of God.  Once you have experienced the love of God, the only proper response to that love is to love Him back. 

Some people go through their lives asking God for things selfishly, but never get to know God. God is so much more than someone who gives to those who ask.  God is Love.  God is the very lover of your soul.  He loves you!  Even though He knows what you’ve done, He loves you anyway!  God will never ever quit loving you friend.

There’s a point in which I cannot love God anymore because of the blessing He provides to me, but because of who He is! Relationship with God must go beyond blessings!  To know God is to love Him!  All God has ever desired from us is relationship and God deserves my all; my everything.  I cannot walk away from Him knowing all He has done for me!  I cannot behold the Cross on which Jesus died and turn away unaffected.  God’s love provokes a response from my heart. 

Your commitment; the way you live the rest of your life is all based upon your love for God. If you love God with all of your heart, then you will be faithful to Him; committed to Him.  As a man and woman forsake all others and exchange wedding vows, our relationship to God should be the same.  I want to walk faithfully with the Lover of my soul!  He is beautiful!  He is the fairest of ten thousand to my soul!  I love Him because He first loved me!

Canker Words – Daily Devotion for August 19th

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Daily Devotional for August 19th

But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 2 Timothy 2:16-17

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me! If only that were true!  We understand this instructs us to not allow hurtful words to effect us but there is definitely power in words!  Most of the world understands how powerful words are.  With the tongue, you can bless or curse; you can bring life or death.  James said the tongue is a fire; a world of iniquity.  James 3:6. 

Paul exhorted Timothy to shun profane and vain babblings; which is fruitless discussion. These are subjects about doctrine or God in general; mysteries of the world, etc. where no proof or evidence exists either way.  These types of discussions only increase doubt.  What’s worse is they lead from the truth.  Once the seed of doubt is placed into the mind about something, it will gnaw and eat as a canker.  There are different uses of the word canker that is used.  We understand canker sores, canker worms, and finally cancer.  Regardless of which Paul was referring, the truth remains; words will slowly eat and devour until nothing is left.

The worst thing about this type of talking is the effects it has on the hearers. These two men Hymenaeus and Philetus were saying the resurrection is past already.  They had no biblical right to say such a thing, but their words were destroying the faith of those who heard them.  Did you know that you can destroy or build someone’s faith with your words?  You can bring hope to someone in bondage by telling them Jesus will deliver.  Sadly most people remain in bondage simply because they are continually told there is no hope.

Paul instructed young Timothy on how to combat these babblings. First, study the scriptures.  The word of God is full of truths about doctrine and truth in general.  Next, shun these babblings.  In other words, do not allow yourself to get caught up in them.  We must understand that no man has all the answers, but the word of God is sufficient.  The word of God is the final authority.  It will put to silence the babblings of men.

As ambassadors of the gospel and witnesses of His grace, we must hold dear a very valuable principle. Where God speaks, we must speak!  Where God is silent, we must remain silent.  Your personal experience with Christ is another valuable tool that will destroy the babblings of the world.  Have you been spiritually hurt by words that someone said to you?  God’s word will be your comfort.  It does not matter what man says to you or about you.  What matters is what God’s word has to say.  Let the word of God rule your heart today and don’t allow the babblings of men consume you as a canker.

A Disciplined Prayer Life – Daily Devotion for Friday August 18th

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A Disciplined Prayer Life

Daily Devotional for August 18th

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Luke 18:1

What is prayer anyway? To some people it is asking for needs to be met in your life.  To others it is about fellowship.  In some circles, there is a misconception about prayer that if you pray about something more than once, then you do not have the faith to see answer to prayer.  Jesus had a different lesson that this parable would teach concerning prayer and how we must be disciplined in our prayer life.  While we must pray believing and trusting in God to answer, we must also be committed in our prayer life. 

Jesus taught a parable of a woman who petitioned a king and did not stop until her petition was granted by the king. How often do we do this?  God is not like the king mentioned in this parable who did not care for the woman’s problem, He cares about everything you bring before Him.  As a matter of fact, we are instructed to cast all of our care upon Him because He cares for us.  1 Peter 5:7.  He does, however, desire you to bring your burdens and cares to Him and cast them down at His feet.  This woman persisted because she knew the only the king had the power to take care of her problem. 

Why are we not consistent in our prayer life? Why do we have times of persistent prayer while other times that God hardly ever hears from us?  Could it be that when people have stopped praying to the Lord that it reveals that their coming to God was not because they desire relationship with Him, but because they only desired Him to answer a need?  Prayer is much more than bringing our needs to God though, it should be about developing a relationship with our king!  Some people use God like a genie in a bottle but to others Jesus has become the One they have disciplined themselves to run to whether they have needs or not.

It’s easy to pray when you are facing difficulties or opposition in you life. Some times we are driven to prayer based upon concerns we have upon our hearts.  But when no storms are present or no giants stand before you, does your prayer life suffer?  Do you find it difficult to maintain a commitment to prayer?  Jesus taught here that ought always to pray and not to faint.  It is in the hard times we learn to pray, but it is in the good times where we develop a disciplined prayer life.  God so desires to hear from you regardless of whether you have needs or not.  He will answer prayer!  He promised that He would.  The truth is that a disciplined prayer life can only come through a genuine love for God. 

I AM: God’s Name Forever – Daily Devotion for August 17th

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I AM: God’s Name Forever

Daily Devotional for August 17th

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. Exodus 3:14-15

The catch phrase what’s in a name has been used and worn out in our generation.  When it comes to God’s name, the depths cannot be measured.  Down through the years in the bible, we read of men and women whose name described them or their purpose exactly.  God has revealed Himself to man that shows a particular characteristic of Himself; such as God Almighty, Exo. 6:3, God my Provider Gen. 22:14, God my Banner Exo. 17:14, etc.  God’s name describes His character; what He is like. 

God revealed Himself to Moses in verse 6 as the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.  God was present in their generation and worked wonders in their lives, but that wouldn’t necessarily mean that He would be present in Moses’ troubles.  Isn’t it the same with us today?  Haven’t you seen or heard God do great things in the world in the lives of others?  It doesn’t  necessarily mean that He will do it for you, does it?  Once you understand God’s character, then you must conclude Yes! The truth is that God does not move for one, but not for another.  He does not skip one need and choose to deliver in another. 

The name I AM reveals something very wonderful. His name is not I WAS or I WILL BE, but I AM!  The name I AM describes plainly that God is present; He is in the now!  God is in the midst of your problem friend.  The devil would love to convince you otherwise, but God will never ever stop performing great and mighty things in this world when someone looks to Him in faith.  By the Lord saying “This is my name forever” tells us that God will always be in your present; He will always be in the midst of what your facing friend.  You do not have to worry or question whether God will be there for you.  This is His name forever! 

God’s name has been blasphemed among the world but there is truly no justifiable reason for it. When people say that God doesn’t move like He once did; i.e., He doesn’t perform miracles for those in need, they are violating His name.  The very name I AM declares His willingness to work in every life and in every generation.   This is God’s name forever and this is God’s memorial unto all generations.  Are you in a situation today and need God to come on the scene?  Be of good cheer, you have God’s name on it!  I AM is His memorial to ALL generations.

God of Second Chances – Daily Devotion for Wednesday August 16th

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God of Second Chances

Daily Devotional for August 16th

And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.  But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:  Luke 15:21-22

Our Heavenly Father has been so ridiculed amongst the unbelieving world. Some view God as a hurtful tyrant awaiting an opportunity to take vengeance, while others consider Him to be an unconcerned aged being that has left them on earth to fend for ourselves.  But to the contrary, God so hurts over fallen humanity.  He so longs for reconciliation between man who has fallen to sin and will forgive if man will just come unto Him.

This parable of Jesus reveals so much to us regarding our repentance and forgiveness. Many have even titled the parable; the parable of the prodigal son.  But this parable reveals as much about the character of our loving Heavenly Father than it does the repentant heart of the prodigal son.  The most serious concern of the prodigal’s father was not the things the son had done, but the condition he was in and the fact that he was hopelessly lost and away from the father’s house. 

It is important for us to come with a broken and contrite spirit unto God, asking for His forgiveness. What if, though at the end of your journey that you found no forgiveness?  What if there were no open arms when you humbled yourself before the Lord?  The truth is our Lord is a God of second chances.  It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or how you’ve failed the Lord.  All the Lord said was if we confess our sins; that is, admit that we’ve done wrong, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Maybe you’ve lived for the Lord at some time in your life, but have went back to a life of sin and wonder if there are open arms of love at the end of your prayer of repentance. Maybe you’ve been faithful to God and even been a faithful laborer, but at a weak moment in your spiritual life you’ve found yourself falling to sin that you never thought you’d ever do.  God is a God of second chances!  Although we’ve sinned, He has mercy and pardon!  There is love in His touch if you will repent and reach out to Him today!