Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Daily Devotional March 21 - Restore Me Oh Lord Because I Forget

"Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit." Psalm 51:12

When I forget all that God has done for me and all that God is doing for me, I pray this prayer. There is nothing like the feeling of the free spirit of God running through my veins. I love the feeling of knowing I am in the beloved. I love the feeling of knowing I am forgiven and God sees me as His child. I love knowing that all is well because my God is in charge. I love knowing that when God looks at me He is pleased. Of course not because of what great things I've done, but because of the work that Christ did in me and for me.

But, sometimes I wake up disappointed, worried or anxious, unsure, full of questions and even some doubt lingering like the mountain mist. When I am wise I shake it off with a prayer. I pull myself up and remember what God has taught me and who I am. When I am not wise I continue in this state, sometimes for hours until I am reminded of how totally unimportant so many things are that I have wasted my time, energy and money on.

All that said, I always keep a Bible handy. Just the flip of a page and I am revived. I am brought back into remembrance of the truth and I am reminded of what is real. Of course I sometimes just go outside or look up and say, "Father forgive me for being so petty, I am sorry for not trusting you." Either way I need reminded just like David needed reminded because we are in the flesh. My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak. Yes I do turn to God to lift me up. Yes I do rely on the scriptures to help remind me of what I forget.

Daily Devotional March 20 - How Well Do You Know Yourself?

"For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21

Do you know yourself this well? Are you convinced that Christ is life? Do you have the kind of relationship with God that you can say that today you know why things are the way they are...? Does your mission in life start with Jesus said? Paul made this statement which is really a condensed version of his whole life, past, present and future.
  • He has found out why he was a Jew.
  • He found out why he hated the Christians.
  • He found out what it means to have a Damascus Road experience.
  • He found out that not all people do what they say they will do.
  • He found out that his friends and family might very well betray him.
  • He found out that you might get lied about if you profess Jesus.
  • He also found out that Jesus provides more to life than just working a job for pay.
  • He also found out that within him lived the Spirit of God.
  • He found out that those whom he used to kill, now he heals.
  • He found out that heaven was a real place with.
  • He found out that he was already living in eternal life and that even though to cross over into heaven was an advancement, the work to be done here required someone like himself; a man of faith with deep convictions and the guts to live it out.
For Paul, "to live is Christ."  How about you?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Daily Devotional March 19 - How Mmany times Do You Need To Learn something?

"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat."  Hebrews 5:12

It's that way across America. So many people have chosen to follow and learn and then once they learn to follow and learn the same things over again. And if anyone gets too deep for them, they bail. They enjoy not knowing what they have already learned. What a shame that we would rather choose to be unlearned in the things of God.

I've known people who never found their place in ministry. Of course they weren't looking either. It is kind of vogue in our country to act religious, but to live shallow. Sorry, but the truth hurts sometimes. God has graced you and I with the greatest teaching this world has ever seen.
If you are not growing in Christ it is because you don't want to. From the storefront ministry to the mega churches, God is teaching. God wants you to get it and then to move forward and be taught deeper truths and to get that too. And then to go real deep and find understanding.

But to be taught the same truths over and over again without growth and change is not the way of God. If that is where you find yourself, do something about it. More than likely it's not the ministry you are under.

Daily Devotional March 18 - Do You Love Darkness Or Light?

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the Light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."  John 8:12

Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus gives life to the world through His light. If you have "the light of life" you have eternal life in you. If you follow Jesus (go where he goes and do what he does) you will not walk in darkness. It's not that you cannot make a mistake or have an indiscretion or even commit a sin, but your pathway has been cleared; your way has been lit up. Jesus goes ahead as the light so that you do not have to walk in darkness. Without the light of Jesus you are guessing about your direction at best. That's why so many people that do not know Jesus have unfounded beliefs based on confused philosophies. They are walking in darkness.

It does not mean that they are necessarily doing evil things it simply means they do not have a lighted path. But from the perspective of having a lighted path, what business do we have dabbling in dark anything. Dark TV, dark books, Dark video games. Jesus comes and gives us life and lights our path. We should respond by staying true to our calling, i. e., a holy life. This life is very short and it should be a goal to live it in the light.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Daily Devotional March 17 - Just How Important Is God-Thinking?

"And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind Him, and touched the hem of His garment: For she said within herself, if I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned about, and when He saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour." Matthew 9:20-22

"She said within herself." If you have ever wondered just how important God thinking might be, here is the center of how our faith works. The mind of God hears the voice of man, whether it is spoken outwardly or just thought inwardly. What we think becomes awfully important in light of this truth.

"She said within herself, if I may but touch His garment , I shall be whole." Whether she was a religious person or not, whether she had read the scriptures or not, what she said within herself was a statement that only faith can generate. At least up unto this time it had not been so, that if you thought in your mind, that if you touched the edge of Jesus's clothes, you would be healed of a disease that you had been suffering from for twelve years. This was the kind of thinking that comes from believing that God is who He says He is. This is the kind of faith that comes from understanding the omnipotence and the omniscience and the holiness of God. This is the kind of faith that is available to every one of us.

If you are not getting this kind of faith-building teaching at your church, at some point in time, it would do you well to think deeper and let God teach you about Himself for a season. It will change your mind. If you are a pastor and you have trouble believing that verses like these are just as potent today as when they were written, you too need to let God teach you about Himself for a season. It would do your congregation more good if you were to take a sabbatical, than to teach the Bible with doubt in your heart. Doubt interrupts the connection between God and man that brings about healing and miracles."

Daily Devotional March 16 - Uncommon Trust

"For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."  2 Corinthians 12:8

I met a man this week that is living this verse. He gets it. He has had a bout with infirmities over the years. He was healed of serious infirmities. Then something else happened and in was in need of the Lord's touch again. And he was healed and then something else came about and he prays for healing now. He does not demand from God, nor does he complain that God is just not moving fast enough for him. No. He is glorying in his infirmities, just like the Apostle Paul and the power of Christ will rest upon him.

He gets it. He understands that God's grace has already done more for him and through him than any man deserves. He trusts God for the healing he needs right now, but he waits in faith and his faith is not swerved from left to right if he is not healed tomorrow or the next day. He besought the Lord. The Lord spoke to him and now he glories in what God has done in him, to him and through him.

He gets it. "Most gladly therefore will he glory in his infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon him." God healed him and he was thankful. More things happened and he trusted God with them and through them. Now he needs prayer again for God to heal him. But this man gets it.

God let's things happen that are not pleasant to us, but the faithful stay faithful despite the outcome. Their faith is not based on what God might do, but on what God has already done. They get it."

Daily Devotional March 15 - Quit Looking To Others For Confirmation

"Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses and of Juda, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house." Mark 6:3-4

Paraphrased:
'Hey, isn't this the guy who grew up down the street. I know his brothers and they were a real bunch. We knew his sisters too. There's no way that Jesus is a prophet. We would have know it. You remember his mom and the trouble she was in 30 years ago. And Joseph marrying her when she should have been stoned. Who's he trying to kid. We've been in town, going to this synagogue for forty years and now he is trying to make a mockery of us. He's just another charlatan.'

It was that way for Jesus and maybe for you at times. Have you ever had a great idea and you were just bubbling with enthusiasm and excitement. You just couldn't wait to tell you friends or family in hopes they would stand behind you and help you to see your dream come true. And then...

These are some observations that you might want to look for if you are about to tell somebody about some great idea, thought or positive change you are about to make in your life:

Don't be surprised if your family would rather you just keep your job and work for 'the man' until you die.

Don't be surprised if your best friends, even your very best, top of the list friend, finds some way to mess it up for you, or in many cases take it from you or explain to you why you aren't worthy.
Don't be surprised if people start to bring up something you did twenty five years ago when you were still a teenager, holding it against you like it happened yesterday.

Don't be surprised if others start to compare your idea or your change of mind or your new found way of life with every other idea that has failed.

Jesus could do no mighty work in His own town and maybe it is true for you too. But,don't be discouraged. There are many wonderful, positive, intelligent, kind, and open minded people that would just love to hear your ideas and stand behind you and support you and help you reach the pinnacle of success. You might have to take the best that you have and use it on strangers, maybe in another town, maybe in another state, but don't let the 'prophet' in you die in you just because of the close proximity of naysayers.

No. "...A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.'