Devotions
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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.




April 12, 2017, 5:00 AM

Do you know how the Word of God works in our lives? Part 2



I wanted to continue with the idea of “Renewing” today.  I think a lot of the times we go to work trying to change our lives without change our thinking first.   For us to make a complete change for the better in our lives we must actually strive to make a complete change of the way we think.  I can think of no better way to “renew our minds” than by diving into the Word of God.  When we fill our minds with the truth of God’s Word, we will be changed from the inside out.

 

Can you imagine what would happen if the construction workers only worked to renovate the outside of the house these real estate agents are trying to flip for profit?  We all know that Jesus talked about the religious people having a gorgeous outside appearance, but on the inside they were a filthy mess and that’s much the same with us today.  Nowadays, most of our attention is on making our outward appearance look better while ignoring what is on the inside. We all have heard that God doesn’t look at the outward appearance; He looks at what is in our hearts.

 

Don’t you know that when people buy a house they don’t just look at the outside of it, and say “hey that looks gorgeous we’ll take it”.  No they go inside the house, they inspect everything.   They want it to look immaculate both inside and out, don’t they?   The majority of us are so consumed with making sure our outer image is improved that we neglect and even ignore the inside.  We try to dress ourselves up a little, maybe we tan, maybe we spend hours at the gym trying to look how we think we need to look, it’s all outward…outward…outward.  Can you imagine how much money these real estate people would lose on these properties if they just concentrated on making sure the outside of the house was fixed up and left the inside in ruin? 

 

Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”  If we are going to be renewed our heart has to renovated by the blueprints of God.  Why?   Merely “doing” something good or right without the right heart won’t last. When we hide, treasure and breathe the word of God, the Holy Spirit can bring forth the changes within us.  The Word of God is the blueprint, and it contains what the Holy Spirit is going to need in order to bring about the necessary changes and renovations needed in order to reflect His work in our lives.  Then it produces things like love, peace, joy, and so forth until we begin to reflect more and more of the image of the Son of God. 

 

So that brings us back to our verse,  “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  Romans 12:2  The only way to know what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God is, is by the Word of God. 

 

This is my Prayer:  God give me spiritual eyes to see what You would have me to see.   Lord teach my heart to receive and respond to Your Word.  Jesus lead and guide me into all truth and to help me as I walk and journey with You.  God give me knowledge of Your word and the wisdom to allow it’s work in my life.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.




April 11, 2017, 5:00 AM

Do you know how the Word of God works in our lives? 



“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

In Romans 12:2 the Greek word for “renew” is anakainosis and it means “renovation” or a “complete change for the better.” I find the word “renovation” interesting here, because anyone who has watched shows like “Fixer Upper", about flipping houses you know that what those people do is buy these old rundown houses, make plans for renovation or completely changing them for the better, and then turning around to sell them to hopefully cover the cost for not only buying the house, but the cost of the renovations.  The main goal is to hopefully sell the house for more than it cost to buy it and renovate it so that you can make a profit.

 

Do you know that’s exactly how the Word of God works in our lives?  Come on, most of us when we come to the Lord for salvation are kind of like these old, broken down shacks that are bought by these real estate agents who are seeking to take something old and ugly and turn it into something beautiful and profitable.  You do know that the Word of God is “profitable” don’t you?  If not, I’ll show you turn in your Bibles to 2 Timothy 3:16 – 17 says this:  “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”  The good news is that we have a Savior who is a Master Carpenter who is responsible for the renovation of our lives!

 

As I said the good news here is that it’s Jesus who does the renovation, but the problem for most Christians is that we don’t understand that the Bible is the blueprint that the Master Carpenter uses to renovate us from.  Just like when the construction workers have to adhere to the blueprint that’s drawn up by that the real estate and architect.  The Holy Spirit is bound by the blueprint that’s drawn up in the Word of God and it’s only through the Word of God that the Holy Spirit can operate in our lives and do the rebuilding in our hearts, our minds, and transform us and conform us into the image of Jesus

 

When those people buy and flip the house, you have before, during, and after photos.  The goal is to get the flipped property to look like the image in the final photo at the end of the renovation process.   The image of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, is the final photo of what we’re to look like while the Holy Spirit is working on us.   In order for the Holy Ghost to “flip” our lives from being the old, broken down shacks that we were into beautiful temples of God, we need to be in the Word of God. 

 

We come to the Lord as broken people, and then as we learn from Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” and also in Philippians 1:6 we read that “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”   Friends, there is power in the Word, and I am confident that it is the determining force to renew our mind.  It’s the Word of God that causes the Holy Spirit to bring forth the changes within us.  The problem is that we are the ones who are trying to do the building and we refuse to follow the blueprint.

 

This is my Prayer: God speak to my heart about things of the world that have taken more importance in my life than You, Your presence, and Your Word.   Father help me to understand just how important Your Word is to my own renovation and transformation.   Show me how the Holy Ghost uses it conform me into the image of Your Son.  Lord help me to have a deeper and more intimate relationship with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.




April 10, 2017, 5:00 AM

Pray without ceasing, Oh Boy!



Does the term pray without ceasing intimidate you?  Do you feel defeated even before you’ve begun?  You are definitely not alone in this one.  I have always been a little (a lot), intimidated by the challenge of “praying without ceasing.  I find those challenge people are always giving about praying for this amount of time and on this hour very difficult for me.  So I decided to look up the word “ceasing” in the original Greek text and found that it meant “ongoing communication without intermission.” Now don’t let that make you feel defeated. Let me explain, I believe that we can have ongoing communication with God if we truly realize with communication means.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 

For me communication just starts with talking.  I don’t know about you, but I am always talking to God.  Do you know that we can talk to God just like we talk to anyone else?  You know, there’s always a time and a place for formal prayer. I don’t know about you, but I cannot get through a day without just talking to God just to talk to Him, and you know what He blesses that just as much as He blesses formal prayer.  I can’t tell you how many times I’m sitting outside or in my car or where ever and I just have something on my heart and I’m like:  “You know Lord, I really appreciate this beautiful day.”  Listen, I don’t walk around all day saying:  “My gracious Heavenly Father, how I thank Thee for what Thou is doing, Oh that Thouist wouldist…”  I honestly think if I went around talking to God like that He’d probably in return be like:  “What are you doing?  Why are you talking to me like that?  Don’t you know how ridiculous you sound?”

 

Now listen, I’m not making fun of the way people pray, and if that’s on your heart to pray that way that’s awesome.  Can I ask you a question?  Would you walk around talking to your dad like most people pray?  I don’t talk my dad like that, so why in the world would I talk to my Heavenly Father like that?  I can assure you that I’ve gotten more out of my informal chats with God than I’ve gotten when I do the formal praying like we hear in churches and everywhere else. 

 

No, like I said.  Sometimes, I will just start talking, and I know that God knows I’m talking to Him.  That’s what Paul means to pray without ceasing…it doesn’t mean I going to pray 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  It just means I gonna talk to God.  I gonna talk to Him about things that bugging me and about things that make making me happy.  I’m gonna talk to Him about how my day is going and ask Him how His is going.  We all know that prayer is talking to God, so just talk to Him.  Think about it this way, if we just talked to our friends whenever we felt like it they would probably start to get the feeling that we really don’t care about them, and don’t want to talk to them.  God’s no different.  He wants us to talk to Him.  He wants us to put down our fake religious praying and just talk to Him like we’d talk to anyone else.

 

I believe that sometimes the reason people don’t get their prayers answered is because they approach Him in a way that’s fake and inauthentic, and He’s not impressed by that.  Believe me, He’ll let you know when it’s time to get into your prayer closet, and really sincerely seek Him and pray like we do at church.  But friend, what I believe God wants is for us to be real with Him.  So be real, be yourself, be authentic, and I promise you that God’s not going to throw fire down from Heaven to consume you.  He’s going to honor that because you’re being open, honest, and vulnerable to Him. God’s blessed more by you coming to Him as you are, than coming to Him the way you think He wants you to approach Him.  He wants you to approach Him like He’s your Father, your Friend, and anyone else you’d talk to because that what is meant by “praying without ceasing”.

 

This is my prayer: God I ask You to help me to be more real and authentic with You.  Lord teach me to just talk to You, like we would anyone else.  Jesus show me how to communicate with God like you did.  God help me to be real, open, and honest and just spend my day talking to You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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 216-220 of 285