Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Daily Devotional April 25 - Don't Believe Everything That You Hear

"And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:4-5

The serpent is the person , the devil, disguised in this case as a beautiful serpent. "The (devil, satan) said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die." It doesn't matter if the serpent said to the woman or to the man. Too much speculation has been made about why the serpent went to the woman instead of the man. satan is a liar. He simply wanted to assuage Eve to do something that Eve knew in her heart was not right. He simply wanted her to disobey God. But the devil could not get Eve to disobey God unless he lied to her about the outcome of the event.
satan is using that same tactic today. satan says that if you do this or that, the consequences will be positive, wonderful, great; you will be happy, fulfilled, satisfied. satan is a liar. Anything that steers you from perfection drives you to ruin.

Too many people, Christians as well, have bought the lie, hook, line and sinker. They/you have read the Word, heard sensible intelligent and anointed preaching, read many books that were enlightening and in many cases even taught the truth by a loving father or mother and yet they/you believe the words of the devil. When you do not heed the Word of God, (despite what form it was delivered in), you start to create a religion of your own. As this religion develops you eventually become your own god. "then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods." You shall be as gods, but not God.

You were designed in the image and likeness of God. And in this image and likeness, along with all the power and self-reliance that you were endowed with, also comes the need to connect with God. Every human needs to connect with God in order to activate the spiritual DNA (so to speak) that opens up the channel between God and man. That is being born again. Once you are born again, you have within you the Holy Spirit of God to direct you and keep you from following the messages of satan.

As a Christian, if you are dabbling with the world and living outside of what you know is the will of God, you have heard the message of satan and condescended. You have made a conscious choice to believe his lies. Have you ever considered the outcome of making such a decision? Little by little as you accept the lies of the devil, you will move further and further away from the blessings and comfort and voice of God.

The further you get away the harder it is to come back. Because along the way satan will have told you so many lies you won't be able to recognize the truth. Usually it will take calamity or tragedy, utter devastation, shame and loss to bring someone back after years of playing god. There is a better way. Believe God and turn away from the lies of satan and whatever you go through, you will go through with God carrying you through it. Isn't that what you really want?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Daily Devotional April 24 - Don't Trust Your Flesh

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"  Jeremiah 17:9

First the heart is deceitful to you. When your flesh desires something or someone that is not from God, your heart will go along with your flesh unless you are disciplined in lifestyle. Your flesh screams with desire and your mind rationalizes your actions to fulfill your desires. Those desires from God within the parameters of living a life in alignment with God are good and should be nurtured. But those desires for that which has not been ordained by God will tear you apart and ruin your chances for a peaceful and contented life.

God speaks clearly to us through the Bible and clearly to us in our heart to empower us to overcome, but our heart can be hardened and it can choose a alternate way from the way of God. Why is this important? Because those who make up their own private belief system are not advancing the kingdom nor are they living their life in a way that glorifies God, nor are they leading their children or others in the right direction.

It matters what you think and how you process the events of the day. Your future relies on good judgement and others who are in desperate need of a right word or a good example are counting on you to provide them with it. Being a Christian is about doing what God says to do, quite often it is not what you feel like doing and even more often it is not going to satisfy some temporal flesh desire. Follow your heart is a good saying if your heart has been purchased by God and you are lending you rights and will to God for use. But following your heart if you have not come to the place where you realize that your actions and decisions need to be guided by prayer and the Word of God, well you just can't count on it.
It's true, you just can't count on the heart of those who are more interested in building themselves up and advancing their own cause than that of God's.

  • You just can't count on the heart of those who are willing to live outside of the will of God under the pretense that they aren't hurting anybody.
  • You just can't count on the heart of the believer that lies and deceives and tries to get others to go along with them in order to build themselves up or make themselves look good.
  • You just can't count on the heart of those who look teary eyed into you eyes in hopes that you will continue to support them in their illegal/illicit/immoral lifestyle.
  • You just can't count on the heart of those who say one thing and do another.

You can count on the heart of God to lead you and guide you as you yield your will to His. Can a man's heart be changed so that you can count on him? Yes, but only by the grace of God and only in due time. Maybe you need a change of heart. Maybe you can't trust your own heart because it has deceived you so many times. Maybe you are stricken with a habit that is killing you and destroying your family and you need a change of heart. You can count on God. Just be humble and let God know that you have been trying to do it on your own and you need His help. God will be there and is there now. God can change a heart.

Daily Devotional April 23 - Can You See God?

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." Psalm 19:1-3

For your sake and that of the entire world, God cannot be hid. That which you can see declares that which you cannot see. Day and night God is being revealed. There is nowhere you can go where the words of God cannot reach you. They are within and without. There are no walls thick enough to hide the knowledge of God. Every man, woman, teen and child can hear the voice of God and see His handiwork. They hear it in their own language and they see with their eyes the work of His hands. They hear His voice, they study His sciences, they see what God has done with their eyes.

God is real and God is wonderful. I am thankful that God used His universe to reveal Himself to me. I have taken note of the many ways that God has used to get my attention. They are more numerous than the sand of the sea. I have also noticed that not one moment in time goes by where God is not present, fully aware of my situation and circumstance and completely invested in me. Through it all, (and some of it has not been pretty), God was God in my life. The knowledge I have of God, He has taught me through the experiences of life.

  • If the heavens do not declare the glory of God to you, what is declared when you look out beyond yourself?
  • If the firmament does not show its handiwork to you, what do you see when you see all of nature cooperating together to produce clean air and clean water?
  • If during the day you are not hearing the voice of God, whose voice are you hearing?
  • If at night you are not receiving the knowledge of God, what knowledge are you being filled with?

What language do you speak, that what God has said and done, is not translated to your understanding?
The heavens declare the glory of God and so do I.

Daily Devotional April 22 - Christians Are Peculiar People

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light:" 1 Peter 2:9

Most of the time when people are talking about this verse, they mention the part about Christians being 'peculiar' people, almost always in jest. We should be a peculiar people, but not in the way that we are profiled by the world. Here's how I see it:

We are a chosen generation
  • Every generation of men and women has been chosen for service in God's Kingdom, not everyone accepts the invitation
  • Because God knew ahead of time who would choose to accept and who would reject His invitation, it appears that the blessings of God are only for His chosen generation and that's right, but anyone could have been a part of God's great gift.
We are a royal priesthood
  • God made us a kingdom of priests by ordaining believers into ministry.
  • The reason we are a royal priesthood is because we are priests of the King of Kings
We are an holy nation
  • Our nation awaits us. We will be with the King after the rapture as a nation of people with God as our Father and Sovereign King.
We are a peculiar people
  • Because we give to others without any expectation of return
  • Because we pray for the sick and play an active role in co-creating with God
  • Because we abide by the laws of our nation in order to give God the glory
  • Because we do not lie
  • Because we have integrity at home, in business and in all of our dealings
  • Because we do not follow the trends of the world
  • Because we read our Bible and meditate on it and follow its instructions
  • Because we have a risen Savior, one who is alive and active in our daily life
  • Because we gather together in church with others who are imperfect like ourselves in order to honor God with our attendance
  • Because we love one another in a way that just can't be explained
  • Because we have forgiven and will continue to forgive those who have hurt us
  • Because we bless those who have persecuted us
  • Because we pray positively for those have have misused us or betrayed us
  • Because we have become fools for Christ and we follow His teachings even if it is going against the tide
  • Because we believe in miracles that are orchestrated and performed by a loving and faithful God
  • Because we believe that angels are going about working on our behalf as directed by the Holy Spirit
  • Because we believe that the devil and his demonic forces are real and they are intent on destroying us or our relationship with God
  • Because we believe in heaven as a real place where we will become residents
  • Because we believe in hell as a real place where those who do not accept God's free gift of salvation will take permanent residence
I hope this is what you were thinking of concerning what peculiar means.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Daily Devotional April 21 - Put Off The Old Man

"But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man and his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him." Colossians 3:8-10

When you are changed by conversion from darkness to light, from lost to found, from unrepentant to saved, God did a work inside of you. That work included giving you the power to overcome in all situations where you did not have power to overcome before. God changed the way you think, the way you look at things. The Holy Spirit took up residence in your heart and mind and is active in giving you the inclinations you need to make the right decisions.

Over time you will still have the opportunity to make decisions that are not godly, nor do they represent the mind that is in you. But you can, with enough influence from others start to act like the old man again, the person you were before you became born again. In your mind you rationalize that since you are human you will have these tendencies and because of your inherent weakness you will have to succumb to some of them. Or in some cases you simply do not share with God the same ideals. In essence you have created a religion of your own.

Those who have created a religion of their own is the largest denomination on earth. It is made up of those who like to be a part of something and they have agreed to some of the tenets of faith, but rather than being faithful to the truth, they have found many ways to compromise their position and live according to their own whims and wishes. They do not agree with the Word of God nor do they live in its precepts. And this doesn't refer just to Christians. It could refer to any religion where the followers are off on their own tangent.

It was never meant to be like this. The born again believer has within themselves the power to overcome and live a life in agreement with God's will and full of peace and joy, adventure and excitement. When we go off on our own tangent we lose a great deal. It does matter what you think and how you live out your life. Your lifestyle reveals whether you are in love with God or satisfied with your own man-made religion. I'm not saying this to be harsh or to hurt your feelings. But I have learned it is hard to break away from the pleasure that disobedience provides. Is it true that you would really rather do it all your own way rather than to follow the guidelines of the God who made you? Down deep do you really think it will turn out right if you go about wrong?

The Bible says to put off the old man, not to nurture it and feed it. If you have created your own religion, who do you pray to when you need assistance?"

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Daily Devotional April 20 - Perfect Peace

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." Isaiah 26:3

Note: Before you read this I want you to  know that over time all of us question our faith and to what extent we are actually reaching God with our prayers and petitions. I get it if you are not at perfect peace and if you are feeling the stress and the strain of the world, issues, mistakes, indiscretions, overwhelming conditions. You are going to go through things and it will not all be pleasant. There are times when you just want to throw good theology out and just run with your your feelings, let go, give up, give in, etc. What I have concluded is that there is no better way to go through all the imperfections associated with this life than with an active, personal relationship with God. It always turns out in the end that God/God's instructions and prophesy as written in the Bible is always right and just. Everything with God is better than anything without God.

First of all if you are not interested in perfect peace, there is no advantage to investigating the Word of God concerning having perfect peace. Most of the scriptures are for contemplation and once that contemplation has taken place then the connection between God and man via the Spirit of God can take place. Spiritual truths can only be understood and utilized in direct relation to the degree of involvement that we give it. In other words, if you read a verse of scripture and understand it, and then make it the truth that resides in your heart and you use it as a guideline for all future events in your life, that truth can and will get fully utilized by you to fulfill the purposes of God in/by you.

If on the other hand you only gloss over the scripture and say, "it's all Greek to me," you will not possess the truths contained therein for use and you will not be aligning your will with God's will for the purpose of fulfilling the purposes of God in/by you. The word stayed means; to lean on, lie hard upon, rest upon, stand fast to and sustain. Stayed isn't changing your mind all the time. Stayed is your mind made up. It means that when conditions are not favorable and situations are seemingly out of control, and even if it looks like the bottom is/has fallen out, you hold fast to the truth that is in you. Even if the circumstances say it's not true, you hold fast. Even when others are falling away from the principles that you have come to know as godly, you hold true.

Perfect peace takes effort. I know, effort and hard work and diligence and long-suffering aren't popular trends, but they are biblical trends. I won't belabor the issue, but I do want to say, living a wishy-washy, candy-coated, watered-down, on and off relationship with Jesus is really empty and futile. You really can't have the best of two worlds and somehow think that you can separate one part of your life from another. You are a whole person and every input and output that goes into you and out from you, is you. Learn not to be satisfied with the status quo and you might find that the way of God is really far superior to the way of the world, no exceptions."

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Daily Devotional April 19 - The Kingdom Of God Is Within You

Don't Wait 4
"This group (the prideful group) is hardened and prideful - Self-sufficient and quite often religious. This group is difficult to win for Jesus. I want you to feel with me the urgency of your ministry.

God calls every person to accept the sacrifice of His Son as the payment for the penalty for their sins.  But do you know who God uses to make the call?

God uses you to make the call. And if they make excuse and don't come, God uses you to follow up, and if that doesn't work God uses you to go the extra mile, until through example, persuasion, nurturing, admonition and love - that person says yes to Christ.
Let's look at another example of what happens to those who procrastinate making a decision for Jesus.
Mark 10:17-22, "Andwhen He was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to Him, and asked Him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inheret eternal life? V18 And Jesus said unto Him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. V19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. V20 And he answered unto Hi, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. V21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest; go thy way, sell whatever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow me. V22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions."

I wonder which it was that disappointed the rich young ruler the most?  Selling his riches and giving to the poor?
Or
Taking up the cross and following Jesus?

But they go hand in hand.  I really admire Jesus for facing this rich young ruler with the truth. Jesus didn't preach easy believism to this young man. Jesus simply told him the cost."