Devotionals
Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57   Entries 211-215 of 283
April 17, 2017, 5:00 AM

The great news about God’s invitation is that it allows us to call on Him any time and all the time.


 ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3 The great news about God’s invitation is that it allows us to call on Him any time and all the time. The situation in which Jeremiah found himself when this invitation was issued holds a significant lesson for us. “While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the Lord came to him a second time.”Jeremiah 33:1 That’s a way of saying he was in prison.   Can you say that you sometimes find yourself in some kind of a prison?

 

More often than not the prison I find myself in is the one of guilt.  That’s one of the biggest struggles in my relationship with God.  As I have said before, if satan can get us to a place where we feel like we’re unworthy to come before a holy God as we are, we won’t.  But we truly can call upon God at any time and any moment, in any condition, and not only will He hear us, but He will answer us.  Why?  Because there isn’t one of us that He’s expecting to be perfect because it’s not our perfection that He sees, but His Son’s.  The reason we’re eligible to come before God is because we’re in Christ, and let me just say that the reason that 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” was written is so that if we are being attacked by guilt we can bring those things before God and know that the moment we confess them they’re forgiven. 

 

Listen to Hebrews 4:16 which says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  Do you know when my time of need is?  It’s when I feel ineligible to approach God because of sin in my heart.  I need grace and mercy at that moment and God’s word says I can receive by approach His throne or “Calling on Him”.  Some of you have things on your heart and minds that you really need God to move upon in your life, but you feel like you can’t take it to Him.  You feel like you can’t because of that prison of guilt.  I’m here to let you know that God wants to remove the shackles of that prison.

 

This is my Prayer: Lord Jesus, I need You, but I feel like I’m ineligible because of sin in my heart.  Your Word says that if we confess our sin that You are faithful and just to forgive us of all unrighteousness.  So, I ask You, Lord to cleanse my heart and forgive me for anything that’s in my heart.  I ask You to release me from the guilt, shame, remorse, and condemnation over the sin in my heart.  I thank You for hearing me, for forgiving me, and setting me free. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” 

 

Do you hear God extending that same invitation to you?  Let Him take those shackles off and take a moment to answer God’s invitation.  “Hello, it’s me God what’s on your mind? I am free of guilt, I am free of shame, I am free of condemnation, and I am free to approach the throne of grace to obtain the mercy and grace I need.  I receive the grace, mercy, and cleansing of the blood of Jesus, right now.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.




April 16, 2017, 5:00 AM

Shameless is a word that we need to be more familiar with in the Body of Christ.


When God says, “Call to Me” it’s an invitation to shameless and loud intimacy!  I can’t quite move past this point yet.  Shameless is a word that we need to be more familiar with in the Body of Christ.  Do you know why we don’t pray with the passion and intensity as we should?  I submit to you that it’s because we’re ashamed or concerned about what that looks like to the people around us.

 

How would you feel if your significant other treated you the way you treat God?  How would you feel if every time you wanted to hold their hand, they looked around to see who was watching?  How would you feel if every time you wanted to hug them or kiss them in public they looked around to see who was watching?  How would you feel if you were extremely excited about something, and you went to tell them about it, and they were like “calm down, don’t make a fool of yourself, you’re embarrassing me.”?

 

Did I hit a nerve yet?  Good because that’s exactly what we do to God.  When the pastor gives an altar call on Sunday morning, you know what happens?  You look around to see who is watching, and sometimes you know God’s tugging at your heart to respond, but no one else goes up front so you don’t either, and you miss out on what God wanted to do because you were ashamed to take a step towards Him because you were afraid of how it made you look.  I’m saying this, because I’ve done this before myself.  Can I get to the heart of that problem?  We’re full of too much pride!

 

Listen, if you’re too ashamed of God to go to the altar even when no one else is going because you’re worried about what so and so is going to think.  You don’t need to walk to the alter you need to run.  I just told you I’ve done it, so don’t think I’m scolding just you.  I’ve missed out on something God had for me because I knew He had something He wanted to do in my life, but I didn’t go to the front because no one else did.  I didn’t want to look like a fool.  I was worried about what everyone was going to think of me instead of what God thought of me, and that’s too much pride.

 

We all know what Jesus said about those of us who are ashamed of Him before men don’t we?  “If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.” Luke 9:26 That’s correct, He will be ashamed of them before His Father. I don’t know about you, but I do not want Jesus to be ashamed of me.  So I need to learn to lay down my pride and whether it’s an altar call, praying out loud, or whatever it is.  I need to learn to not be ashamed, embarrassed, or worry about what everyone else is thinking of me.  We need to stop worrying what everyone else thinks and worry about our heart’s condition towards God.

 

I know if my heart isn’t right with God, I’m not going to cry out to Him with the passion that I need to. When I’m not right with God, it’s allows for guilt, condemnation, shame, and worry to creep in and I wind up feeling unworthy to approach God, so I don’t!   I let that get in my way of answering God’s call to respond to Him, to “Call on Him”.  How about you?  Can you hear God extending that same standing invitation to you? “Call to Me, My child!”  We need to get this point right here in our hearts.  God wants us to call upon Him.  Wither you feel like you can or you can’t, you must respond and call on God.

 

This is my Prayer:  God help me have the courage to approach You even when I’m feeling unworthy.  Lord teach me how relinquish my pride and respond to Your call, whatever it may be.  Jesus show me the relationship I can have with You, if I am willing to call on You.  I do not want You to be ashamed of me Lord, teach me to call on You shamelessly.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.




April 15, 2017, 5:00 AM

The Lord says "Call on Me!"


Are you one of those people who like to talk?  Do you have the gift of gab? The average person speaks 34,000 words a day. I you think about that, you talk a half a book every day!  I wonder if we’re talking a half a book a day, is there even a page of dialogue with God?  When was the last time you gave half a chapter, a page, or even a paragraph in a single day to the God who says, “Call to Me?”

“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name:  ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:2-3

 

That’s an invitation to intensity. God invites us not to whimper to Him. God is not telling us “Say something to Me.” Notice the word call, it means to be proclaimed loudly and summoned by named. “Call to Me”.  Have you ever had a pet get outside, and you couldn’t find them?  Maybe you were somewhere and you lost your child for a moment.  What do you do?  You called their name and searched for them with intensity, tenacity, and feelings that couldn’t be uttered with words, could they?  I remember as a boy one my sister wondered off from our family while we were at the beach.  The whole family searched to find her she was nowhere to be seen.  I remember the anguish my parents experienced. I remember how scared I felt as I looked and searched and called for her.  I sought to find her with all my heart.  We later found her and I remember the joy and celebration we experienced.  How many of you maybe had a similar experience with a pet or child or some other reason that you lost something and you sought to find it with a tenacity and intensity because it was near and dear to your heart.  Heck some of us get that way when we lose our car keys or misplace our wallets, but now we get to the important question.  Do we have that same anguish and intensity with calling on God?

 

I’m willing to be transparent and honest with you, and my answer to that question is no, at least not all the time.  I do have a burning passion and desire for God, but sometimes that fire loses its intensity.  I don’t always seek God with that tenacity and anguish, and that’s part of having a powerful prayer life, we need to.  We need to seek God with that kind of anguish and passion. We need to have a raging fire in our hearts when it comes to seeking God, not just the smoldering ashes of a once hot and intense fire.  I admit sometimes I’m the smoldering ashes, but I don’t want to be.  I desire to have the flames of passion in my heart fanned into that raging inferno that the early church had.

 

I know I’m certainly not the average person.  I probably talk more that 34000 words a day, I like to talk, that’s the way God made me.  But I can freely admit that I don’t spend nearly enough time talking to God, even though I talk to Him quite a bit, I still know I could spend more time in prayer.  I think if most of us we can admit that we could spend more time in prayer. “‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” That’s an invitation to shameless and loud intimacy with God.  God says, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 We need to “call on” God is such a way that we can’t picture our life without communicating with Him, a calling on God with a desperateness for His presence.   When is the last time you felt that way in your prayer life?   Could that be the problem with your prayer life?

 

This is my Prayer:  God I’m desperate for Your presence.  Teach me Lord to call on You with all of my heart.  Help me to have a burning desire to communicate with You.  Jesus show me how to seek You with passion, urgency, and intensity.  I am calling on You Lord.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.




April 14, 2017, 5:00 AM

What is more important to you than taking the time to talk to God?


We are gonna spend the next few day talking about prayer, and I want to start with a question. What is more important to you than taking the time to talk to God?  Whatever your answer is, sorry but you’ve created an idol.  Because whatever it is, it has become more important to you than getting to know God.  If you want your prayer to have any kind of power to it, then you need to take the power away from the idols in your life.  Hey I’m saying that to myself as well.  If we spend more time watching the Walking Dead than in communication with God, we can’t expect to see more power and authority in our prayer life.  Jesus didn’t go away from the disciples and watch television.  He went away to get alone with God and got on His face and sought His Father’s face. 

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is swallowed up in sorrow to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with Me.” Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”  Matthew 26:36-46

 

Jesus took every opportunity He had to pray and communicate with the Father.  The truth is many of us in the Body of Christ have weak prayer lives because we spend as little time with God as possible, and only consult Him when we need Him to do something, give us something, or get us out of something we got ourselves into.  So we go to God in prayer to ask Him to get us out of the mess we created and when He doesn’t help us in the time and speed in which we think He ought to we get mad at God, throw up our hands in the air, and talk about how this prayer thing doesn’t work.

 

Listen I know that it’s much more entertaining to turn on the television, and do nothing but veg out in front of it.  I like to sit and do nothing as much as anyone else, but the problem comes when doing nothing becomes more comfortable than being in the presence of God.  If we don’t spend any time in God’s Word, God’s presence, praying, and worshipping God, how can we expect to be powerful men and women of God?  We can’t, yet when we’re not we point the finger at God and blame Him for the reasons why “this God thing just doesn’t work”.  Have you ever just for a moment thought that maybe the reason this “God thing doesn’t work for you” is because you don’t do anything to help it work?  Have you ever thought that maybe the reason you have no power in your prayer life is because you aren’t plugged into the Power Source?

 

You cannot spend 5 minutes with God and expect to have the kind of power and authority of someone who spends 5 hours with God.  There’s an old expression “The more you put into something the more you’ll get out of it.”  I don’t think I need to explain that too much, but here’s my point.  If you want a stronger and more powerful prayer life, then you need to spend more time praying. 

 

This is my Prayer:  God help me make spending time communicating with You a top priority in my life.  Lord show me how to be intentional with my time, so that I can take the opportunities You give me to be with You.  Jesus help me have a heart of prayer like Yours.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.




April 13, 2017, 5:00 AM

Has anyone ever told you, "It all right we all make mistakes, no one is perfect"?


Has anyone ever told you, “It's all right we all make mistakes, no one is perfect”? Did it help or do you still feel chained to and burdened by your guilt? My bet is that your still chained to that guilt, how did I guess, because I am too. Knowing someone else has made mistakes, doesn’t change the quilt I feel when I making them. How about you?

 

It’s easy to let the guilt of past mistakes get you down, make you feel inadequate, and get your focus off of God and on yourself and your failures, but God wants to draw you into a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him. He wants to bring you to a place where you realize you have things that can help you grow and mature in your walk with the Him. You see it isn’t the job of the Holy Ghost to weigh you down, it’s to lead and guide us into all truth and to constantly point us to the Cross, because it’s at the Cross where our mistakes were paid for.

 

Listen anything that takes our focus off of the Cross, and brings it to ourselves isn’t from God. The devil is constantly striving to get us to take our eyes off of Jesus and the Cross and place them upon ourselves. Because he knows if he can get us to stop looking to where our help comes from that we will start giving in to those feelings of guilt. He knows that where the feelings of being unworthy come from and the more unworthy we feel the more likely it is we will take a step back from our relationship with the Lord. We’ll begin to feel unworthy to keep walking with Him. Isn’t it interesting that the only way to battle off those feelings of guilt is to constantly be walking in Christ Jesus. Jesus did all the work that we would ever need to do, therefore there is no more work to be done because Jesus did it all on the Cross.

 

“When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” John 19:30 What in the world do you think: “It is finished.” means? It means that all the work, all the striving, and all that could need to do in order to be in right standing with God was done by Jesus. There’s no more work to do, just walking. Walking in the grace and mercy of God. Walking with the assurance of knowing that we who have confessed Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior are safe and He has taken those mistakes away forever.

 

The Bible says that we’re new creations in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17), we’re alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:5), we’re accepted in Christ (Ephesians 1:6), and we’re crucified and made alive in Christ (Galatians 2:20) see the whole key to all of this is that we are IN Christ. So if we are IN Christ we ought to be walking in Jesus’ completed work. He said on the Cross “It is Finished”, that means He completed all the work necessary for us to be forgiven and walking with Him. So what are you waiting for, start walking!

 

 

This is my Prayer: God restore the joy of my salvation. Lord help me to overcome my feeling of guilt. Jesus I know you have cleansed me from my sin. Help to continue to walk close to you when the devil is condemning me. Lord teach me to walk in Your completed work of the Cross. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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