Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Daily Devotional December 11 - All In All

"And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." 1 John 5:20

God has come to us in the person of Jesus Christ and given to us understanding. That way we can know Him that is true. And knowing Him that is true causes us to abide in Him and He in us throughout all eternity.

I talk to many people that claim to be a Christian. And there's nothing wrong with claiming to be a Christian. Many people tell me about their relationship with Jesus as if Jesus was in a distant land, not participating in our daily lives; a figure head, but not a living spirit actively participating in the daily affairs of mankind. Many people tell me that they are a Christian, but no mention of personal relationship; speaking to and hearing from God, co-creating with God so that the purposes of God will come to pass, not just in spite of us, but through us and by us, in cooperation with the express will and active participation of Christ in our daily lives.

Jesus isn't a figure head at all. Jesus is our All in All. And if yo are one of those people that have a cursory understanding of who Jesus is, what Jesus has done for you and what Jesus is doing for you right now, today, then you are not abiding in and by the teaching of Christ in the scripture. Even if you want a distant relationship that only acknowledges the once existent Christ, you have to do so by denying the truth of the same scriptures that teach a different philosophy. In other words, if you are satisfied with a understanding that Jesus once lived and He was the Son of God, you are in perfect agreement with the Muslims and demons. But the scriptures teach about a Jesus that not only once lived and was the Son of God, but a Jesus that lives and is the Son of God and more. Jesus offers continuing education in spiritual matters by being personally involved in the whole of our life. There is nothing you do that Jesus does not know aforehand. Doesn't it make sense to make an attempt to have a better relationship with Jesus than a simple knowledge that He once existed?

Jesus gives you understanding in equal proportion to you receiving it. Jesus will not give you information that is not wanted, nor will Jesus hold personal seminars with those who can't even find the time to thank Him for all that He has done and all that they already have. Knowing Jesus in the way that the scriptures portray Him and learning about how Jesus interacts with us today, through the scriptures, is a goal that everyone that names the name of Jesus should strive for and encounter.

Jesus doesn't make it hard and Jesus doesn't charge for His services, but you have got to ask to get answers, seek to find and knock to have the door opened. Jesus gives you understanding that you may know Him, now, today. Christianity was made for use for the living, not the dead.

Daily Devotional December 10 - Partner With God

“Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” James 4:8

Today requires God

Many of us are trying to work today’s problems out with yesterday’s solutions. Things change and the methods needed to solve a problem today may be different than the way the same problem was solved yesterday or ten years ago or one hundred years ago.

Our spiritual walk with God is very much the same. Many believers today are holding on to a religious relationship with God and trying to solve today’s dilemmas with archaic solutions. God is alive, and to be current with the way to solve your problems, you will have to be communicating with God on a daily basis. It’s not safe to rest on the traditions of men when the immediate power of God is available at any given moment.

Praying to and listening to God today is the only way to live your life to the maximum potential. Have you noticed that it isn’t urgent to live your life to the maximum potential anymore? The bar has been set soulfully low. If you find yourself in a place where you no longer desire the best that life can offer you have been distracted or deceived.

God’s best for your life is available and always was available for you. You may have been detoured, but God is working on your behalf right now, awaiting your personal response to His invitation. We have been taught by many who do not experience the day to day communion with God and in some cases we have been taught by those who have not experienced God at all. And in the most distressing circumstances of all we have been taught by many who haven’t even received the Spirit of God through a personal salvation experience.

God has been with you every day steering you and guiding you, but if you have not heeded God’s call; if you have not committed yourself to God, should it seem odd that you should be experiencing adverse results. Any turn, however small toward God, will bring about measurable positive results. You must learn how to think with the mind of God if you are to defeat your foe and live life to its fullest. I say must because all the peace and joy that was designed for you will go to waste if you do not receive it. You must learn how to receive the blessings of God and you must learn to deny/starve what is keeping you from the blessings of God.

Why are we bent on complicating the simple truths that work?
Why do we feel we have to be better than someone else to have worth?
Why have we changed the clear and simple truths from God to man-made phylacteries?

We say we don’t understand and that we just can’t see. God says we do understand and that we can see clearly. Pastors, teachers, priests and rabbi’s are selling God like a commodity. Why aren’t they pointing to the Master?

You are empowered by God
You are a fit vessel to receive all the blessings of God
You have received enough revelation
You have within you the understanding
You can commune with God today:
   Without a reservation
   Without mediation
   Without more revelation
You can touch the hem of His garments and be healed
You can discuss the path you’re on and get clear direction
You can ask and receive
You can know
You can understand
You can because God says you can.

I have found that You are the only barrier to having and deep and fulfilling relationship with God. The truth is that most of us really want the onus to be on someone else for just about everything unfulfilled in our lives.

We could be walking with God in the cool of the day
But we have chosen a lesser, more undesirable way
We could be looking ahead knowing the path is clear,
but we choose to wallow in the saying, “not another year like last year”
We could be partnering with God and exploiting time
But we choose to partner with the world and recline.

"Draw nigh unto God and He will draw nigh unto you."

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

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.

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.

Daily Devotional December 6 - Just 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.

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.