Monday, December 9, 2019

Daily Devotional December 9 - Believe

"And when much people were gathered together, and were come to Him out of every city, He spake a parable:  A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.  And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.  And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.  And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when He had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.  And His disciples asked Him, saying, What might this parable be?  And He said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.  Now the parable is this: The seed is the Word of God.  Those by the wayside are those that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the Word out of their hearts, lest (for fear that) they should believe and be saved.  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the Word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.  And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the Word, keep it, (believe) and bring forth fruit with patience."  Luke 8: 4-15

This word (keep it) literally means, (to hold fast to, possess and retain, continue to believe in).  I am going to show you something about this word believe that will change the way we you look at and define belief, forever.
To believe: To be fully persuaded; having your mind made up, convinced beyond question, without any doubt, past the point of turning back, trusting implicitly, that the object of your belief, (what you are believing for), will be accomplished.
Read this carefully
Can we just believe God for what He does with us?
Can we believe God for what He tells us?
If we believe - we can't help but to receive:

What are some things that we cannot help but receive if we believe?  Salvation - the indwelling Holy Spirit - power to overcome - answered prayer - healing for our bodies emotional healing - many blessings - new creation

I want you to establish where you are in relation to God.  Instead of saying where am I in time? Or where am I in God's overall plan for mankind, the question I want to ask is where are you in relation to God?  The answer to this question lies within what you believe.

I want to reveal, that what a lot of people call belief is not belief at all, and what is true belief works just like Jesus says it does.  What most people call belief about God, the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit, and other essential truths, is not belief. It really should be called guessing.

Here's the thing. Unless you are convinced, thoroughly convinced, like: Let's say you take a sponge and you squeeze the sponge and push it down into the water, and slowly release it so that the sponge is thoroughly saturated; Unless you are convinced of a truth, in the same way as the thoroughly saturated sponge, you have no authority with that truth. That truth has no efficacy in you.

Until you truly believe a truth, it stays the truth, but you cannot operate under the power of it. That truth remains stored for later use. It is stored in the Word of God, until, by faith, you believe it. Then and only then, is it released to you for use.

The principles that God established to be put into operation by His people can only be made available to His people when sponge-like belief is present.  It is belief that ignites or activates a truth and takes it from its hidden or stored state and puts it into operation in its active use state.

Are you ready to believe God for more than the daily hum-drum of an uninspired life? Then Believe God.

Daily Devotional December 8 - God Has A Plan And You Are In It

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."  Jeremiah 29:11 

Just because there are many ways offered by various religious groups doesn't mean that those ways are credible.
  • God is not in competition with anyone.
  • God is not concerned that you or someone you know or some guru from Nepal is going to come up with a better plan or a better way than His plan.
  • There is no book that God needs to be concerned about - One that might reveal something that God forgot to tell us in the scriptures.
  • God is not at all moved with the thousands of varieties of religious beliefs and religions that add to or take away from God's inspired Word.
  • God is not at all surprised when Islam or Hinduism or Taoism attempts to stake a claim as a viable authority into the heart of God.
  • God is not concerned that the whole world seeks after something or someone other than His Son to fulfill their inner desire to know their creator.
  • God is not a bit distraught that spiritist, crystal ball readers, palm readers and card readers make money off of the vulnerable and ignorant public at large.
  • God is not moved by all the skeptics that think that the Bible is just a history book and a not very accurate one at that.
  • God is not worried that scientist will discover that we were once monkeys and that the earth did begin by two stars colliding 5 billion years ago, give or take a few billion years.
  • God is not unsettled that politicians would refer to God as, an "opiate to the masses"
  • God is not moved by the poets referring to Him as the one that isn't.
  • God is not moved by the philosopher's final analysis that, "God is dead." We have come to learn that Notradamos is dead, not God.
  • God is not worried when satan and all his demons make up some new potion for people to try - or when satan repackages imitations of God's Word and sells them as philosophy.
God has a plan and you are in it. Are you on the field, on the bleachers or outside the stadium? 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Daily Devotional December 7 - The Power Of Communion

"And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by ordinance for ever." Exodus 12:14

Note: I sure hear a lot of complaints from Christians about the Sacraments. It is getting old fashioned to take communion now. Why bother? I would say to all the sacrament naysayers, "get over yourself." I understand that organized religion plays up some things and that bothers us, but playing down important Christian ideals is getting old too. Just be real about it. Communion is very important to anyone that is trying to stay up with the program of Getting To now God Better.

Jesus proves who He is more by this one act than any other - The institution of Communion.  I want you to see the connection between the Jew (the people of God) of the Old Testament and the Church (the people of God) of the new Testament.

It started with the Passover lamb. Passover:  The Old Covenant and the New Covenant all tied together by God to spiritually unite His people together with Himself. It was a symbol and more than a symbol of God's protection for His people and it was and is a remembrance of what God had done for His people.

What we have come to know and understand as communion is also a remembrance and more than a remembrance of the body and blood of Jesus, the Christ. It was the institution of the New Covenant between God and His people.  Communion is the sacrament that changed the order of the Levitical Priesthood to the Church. Passover has been honored since 1491 BC.

When Jesus met with the twelve at the upper room, for what would come to be known as 'the Last Supper' He met them to transfer the oracles of God from the Religious Priesthood of the 12 tribes of Israel (Jacob) to the 12 Disciples of Christ, signifying the end of the era of the law and the beginning of the era of grace.

It was about 1462 B.C. when God gave Moses instructions to take a lamb, without spot or blemish (Ex. 12:5) and kill it. "You shall take the blood of the lamb and strike it on the two side post of the entrance to every home wherein there is an Israelite. For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians (Ex. 12:23) And it shall come to pass that when the Lord passes by, He will not enter any home protected by the blood of the Lamb."

There would be a Passover dinner to be prepared prior to this night when the Lord would pass by. This Passover dinner would consist of the lamb (a type of Christ), unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

"And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by ordinance for ever."  Exodus 12:14
The Passover had been instituted since this time, and it was this Passover that Jesus was acknowledging and attending with his disciples.  It is important to see the connection between the Old and the New, because it reveals who Christ is better than any other proof.

Matthew 26:17-30 says, "Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?  And He said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand: I will keep the Passover at thy house with my disciples.  And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them: and they made ready the Passover.  Now when the even was come, He sat down with the twelve."
The twelve is of great importance. Under the blood covenant of the Old Testament the twelve tribes of Israel were protected by the blood of the Lamb.  Now the church, (which began with the twelve) would be afforded the same protection, but no longer by the blood of the sacrificial lamb. It would now be by the blood of the Lamb of God, Himself.

Communion was the birth of the New Testament, the New Covenant. It is by the blood of the Lamb of God that we have redemption and forgiveness of sins.  It was at the Passover meal that Jesus prepared the Lamb of God.  It is this moment in time that we remember. Jesus was offering Himself a blood offering once, for all. I doubt that the significance of this moment can ever be fully discovered.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Daily Devotional December 6 - Be Real, It's A God Thing

"Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds without rain." Proverbs 25:14

Solomon was the wisest man to have ever lived. I believe it would benefit us to look at what he tells us in Proverbs with a sort of intrigue. He received His wisdom from God and then he put the wisdom he received from God to practical use. Solomon was a very hard worker and certainly a man of many exploits. He knew about kings and queens, protocol, cultures and societal differences. He was acquainted with complex national treatise as well as mining and construction. He was intelligent and full of wisdom. Solomon knew people.

In the Proverbs Solomon exhorts, rebukes and enlightens his readers. Again, Solomon knows people. In Solomons time in order to be accepted as an architect or a lumberjack, a statesman, a nurse, a prophet or a thief, you had to possess proven attributes of your talents or skills. They were tested by actions and results. Solomon had met many a fake in his time. There were those who claimed they were someone they weren't and they claimed to have skills they didn't have. They were examined, observed and scrutinized for honesty, integrity and substance. Those possessing their claim were given positions of authority and excellence and those who made false claims were dishonored and cast out to live a life of wandering and poverty.

Today people make all kinds of claims without consequence. Especially concerning spiritual gifting and prophesy. All of us have encountered the false prophet, the false Christian, the false minister and false healers. There's even another level of those who dabble in spiritism and make claims of talking to the dead, seeing into the future, reading tarot cards, reading palms, and making claims that they have certain powers. It is out of hand. The unlearned Christian has a great deal to overcome just to sift out truth from all the false teaching and false spiritual guides.

There really is no need to make a false claim about who you are or what you do. God made you and God has endowed you with certain gifts and skills and talents, personal to you. You were created with unique qualities and characteristics, propensities and proclivities. You are all that you need to be to enhance the world by your presence, just being yourself, doing what you do best. No one likes it when someone says one thing and does another, acts like they are something they are not or tries to act like they are an expert when they have little or no experience. Our society has allowed this to happen. But as mature Christians we need to take a serious look at ourselves and make sure that we are representing who we are, our skills and talents accurately and without exaggeration, amplification or over-embellishment.

Side note: What we like most about people is when they are down to earth. None of us like arrogance, egotism, pompousness or pretentiousness. Just be real. It is a God thing.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Daily Devotional December 5 - What Part Of What Jesus Said Do You Believe?

"Thomas saith unto Him (Jesus) Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto Him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him. Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father; and how sayest then, shew me the Father? John 14:5-9

Depending on your religious background, I am sure that some of you might have a real hard time with these verses. I have resigned myself to believe what Jesus says. Jesus said many profound and troubling or questionable things.

He tells us that that He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it. Matthew 5:17

He tells us "resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." Matthew 5:39

He tells us "if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also." Matthew 5:40

He tells us to "give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away." Matthew 5:42

He tells us to "love your enemies." Matthew 5:44

He tell us to "bless them that curse you." Matthew 5:44

He tells us to "pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you." Mathew 5:44

He tell us that "Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;" Matthew 7:21a

He tell us "Follow Me; and let the dead bury the dead." Matthew 8:22b

He tells us that "whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." Mark 8:34

He tells us "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it." Mark 8:35

He tells us "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar, and to God the things that are God's." Mark 12:17

He tells us "But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judea flee to the mountains." Mark 13:14

He tell us "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26

He tells us "Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein." Luke 18:17

He tells us "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you." John 16:7

He tells us "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence." John 18:36

He tells us "Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find." John 21:6

Now He tells us "If ye had known Me, ye should have know My Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him. "Have I been so long time with you, and yet thou hast not known Me, Philip. He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, shew us the Father?"

What part of what Jesus has said do you believe?

I can say this: Whatever you believe of what Jesus has said, Jesus will unveil the depths of it for you. There is power in trusting in Jesus. It requires faith, simple faith. Don't make the gospel so complicated. Trust what Jesus says and the truths of God will be opened unto you.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Daily Devotional December 4 - Do You Want To Get To Know God A Little Better?

"And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another comforter, that He may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth him; for He dwelleth with you, an shall be in you." John 14:16-17

How long shall the Holy Spirit indwell the believer? Forever. There are so many teachings on this issue, because there are multiple schools of thought about the role of the Holy Spirit among the Churches. I choose to believe the scriptures. The Holy Spirit is God within you.

God comes to make His abode with you.  (John 14:23)
You are the building where God resides.  (1 Corinthians 3:9)
You are the temple of God.  (2 Corinthians 6:16)
You are the habitation of God.  (2:22)

With all that going on, doesn't it seem like you might want to get to know the God that lives in you a little better?
  • Maybe you could learn to trust the leading of the Holy Spirit within you, more.
  • Maybe the answers to your problems aren't that far away.
  • Maybe you have within you all the power you need to accomplish that daunting task that you have been ignoring because you though it was too big for you to handle.
  • Maybe the blessings of God have already been bestowed upon you and you are acting like you have sand in your eye.
  • Maybe you have a gold mine in your home, your work or in your thoughts and you keep passing over it because it is covered with dust or it might take a little effort to uncover.
  • Maybe your prayer was already answered but you are unwilling to accept "no", or "wait," or "not at this time" for an answer.
  • Maybe you have within you the power to heal your body or to heal your situation, but you haven't used the power within you to do much more than drag your body to church once a week.
  • Maybe you know the right words to speak that could change lives, but you were offended once, twenty years ago, and you aren't willing to let go and move on. Sometimes it's easier to stay offended about something, even if you can't even remember what it was, than to be vulnerable, all for the sake of an unthankful soul.
You are not your own, you were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). You are the steward of the Holy Spirit within, the holder of the sacred truths in the depths of your inner man, the one who provides a habitat for God.

Live large and let God be God in you and through you. You won't be disappointed. But if you continue to deny God His rightful place in your life/lifestyle, you will have forfeited a great deal of irreplaceable time for much lessor things. Not only do the lessor things lose their value, they change like the wind. Let God have His rightful place in your life and your life will be full beyond measure.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Daily Devotional December 3 - Being Like Christ Is The Goal

"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." Matthew 6:7

First of all Jesus says "when ye pray." Jesus doesn't say if ye pray. Praying is part of the connection between God and man that God grants. It's not just that your prayer is heard, but if you are born again, inside of you - you have the indwelling Holy Spirit to assist you with what to pray for and how to pray. Now you can see that God says that the heathen, (those who do not have Christ) think that if they pray they will be heard because they pray often and sometimes loudly. The heathen pray out of duty and religious upbringing. It's true, those without Christ pray and many of them pray fervently, some five times a day, some more. The non-Christian world prays and they have religious ceremonies. Entire nations are built upon this premise.

Jesus is instructing believers that when they pray, God does not need to be reminded that He is God, nor does God need to be reminded of anything. Don't use vain repetitions. Why is that important? Because anybody can use vain repetitions and appear to be in touch with God because they pray or they say something religious over and over again. That's not prayer at all. That's religious rhetoric filling the minds of the people with false hope and false belief.

Jesus is instructing you to be real with God. In the presence of no one, speak to God your mind. Ask for wisdom. Seek His face to know Him, not just so that you can get things from God, but to know God personally. When you pray, talk to God. Let God know your frustrations. Talk about your battles, your losses, your pain or your successes. Come boldly before the throne, not cocky as if you knew it all, but boldly, in that God wants to hear from you and it is your turn to speak. Praying is communication with God, not whining and complaining about so and so. Praying is about finding the heart of God on the matter so you can believe it in your heart and go and do God's will.

But what about all the weirdos out there that claim God told them to do this or that? And what about all the people that claim God told them to take or steal or kill or maim in the name of God? Don't be fooled by the tricks of the devil. You, nor anyone else will ever be told to do anything against the Word of God, against mankind or against disrupting or destroying God's creation. Those who are hearing that voice are not hearing the voice of God. They are the heathen. They are the ones that claim God on one hand while slaying innocent children with the other. That is a trick of the devil.

Pray because Jesus says to. I find that time in prayer just confessing my shortcomings and asking for wisdom takes a great deal of time. I find that God enjoys when I come to Him just to come to Him, no agenda, no questions, no preconceived ideas about the moment, just mindfully wandering into the throne of grace and thanking God and praising God and worshipping God.

Another reason that Jesus says "when thou prayest," is because God already knows about your situation. God has already gone before you and made a way. God has already intervened to bring about His will. But you and I, we don't see very far and we need to go to prayer so that we can see with the mind of Christ. Otherwise we could not handle the injustice and the improprieties that come our way. Pray to be filled with understanding about how God wants you to be like Christ. The scriptures make more sense when being like Christ is the goal and not just finding religion.