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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Daily Devotional July 31 - You Do Not Need A Mediator

 "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh;" Hebrews 10:19-20

Note: It amazes me that many denominations go out of their way to keep you from a personal and private relationship with God. Some more than others, but in the case of the Catholic Church there are actual walls built where the parishioner is expected to stay on one side of the wall while the Priest on the other side communes with God. For as many things that the Catholic Church does that are very good for society, this is not one of them. Furthermore many of those so-called mediators are not fit to mediate between you and God.

You can boldly go before God, because Jesus made the way for you to enter into His holy place. Jesus paid the penalty for sin and thereby changed the way we obtain righteousness and changed the way we bring our sacrifices and changed the way we enter in to His presence. It's no longer through a physical door, nor is God hidden behind the veil, nor is His presence summoned by burnt offerings or sacrifices, nor is it through the prophets, nor is it through the priests. The new way is through the inner man. There is no more veil, it was torn down by Jesus. The new way is a living way where living people trust in and serve a living God and have living conversation and living cooperation and living co-creation.

We are not serving God through a textbook experience. We are serving a living God that lives within us and without. He has consecrated us by the blood of Jesus to become righteous, positionally and experientially. Positionally through the work of the cross and experientially through personal experiences with Jesus. God wants us to come boldly before the throne.

God wants us to come boldly as in confidently. We can do that if we know Him. God wants us to come to His throne with expectations. Not expectations like rubbing the genie in the bottle and making a wish, but expectations that whatever God hands you, is for you only and to be utilized for your good and the betterment of all mankind.

Yes, God has global expectations for all mankind and those parameters and instructions are established in the scriptures, but when you come boldly before the throne it is for personal instruction. We are not lemmings and the scriptures were not written so that we could all do the same thing and be the same thing. The scriptures were written to memorialize God's intent for mankind so that when you forget your way, you can go to the scriptures and find your way back.
Don't be afraid to come boldly before the throne. Nothing will happen there other than you will be made a little more like Jesus. Don't believe anyone that tries to tell you that someone must mediate between you and God because you are not able and they are. It is a lie. God wants you, just as you are, to come and meet Him, at His throne.

Daily Devotional July 30 - The Secret Place

 "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1

Note: Reminds me of a great book written by Bob Sorge, The Secret of the Secret Place.  Don't hesitate to buy it and read it.  It is on my top ten list.

Where is God's dwelling place so we can dwell with Him? It is the tabernacle of our body. God indwells the believer. "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry (workers), ye are God's building." 1 Corinthians 3:9

God indwells the believer and to dwell in the secret place of the most High, we need to be in the presence of God that dwells in us. We do that by listening to the inner man, the one that God lives in.
Your inner man is in touch with the Holy Spirit.
Your inner man is saturated with the presence of God.
Your inner man has been taught all things by direct communication with the Holy Spirit.
Your inner man is the secret place.

You are body, mind, spirit and soul. You are a whole being, but you are able to operate independently one of the other to a degree. The Bible talks about carnal Christians, because God knows that you can be born again, have a spirit that has been made alive by faith in Jesus and still do things contrary to the perfect will of God. You can also, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, fight against the propensities of the flesh, using your mind as the tool to bring your flesh into subjection to your spirit.

If you want to be in the secret place with God and benefit from it, you will have to obey the laws of God while in His presence, in the inner man.

In the presence of God in the secret place, you will have to enter without an agenda. What God has to say to you when you are listening, is not what you are thinking of. What God has to reveal to you might even be foreign to your thinking, unless you have been following Jesus faithfully for some time; unless you have been on the mountaintop and also the deep valley; unless you have been through the fire, not just skirting around it; unless you have suffered a little and not just ridden comfortably in the pew; unless you have been reading your Bible and not just hearing it interpreted.

In the presence of God in the secret place, you will have to listen. I would say without a doubt that listening carefully is not the average Americans most distinguishing characteristic. Too often we want to speak so badly that we don't even hear what someone is saying. It's that way with God too. If you are more interested in railing on God about all that is missing in your life, you will not be able to hear God speak to you. God might say something to you that you don't want to hear. God is not man. God does not speak fluffy, candy coated, sayings that resemble a reading from Confucius. God is going to speak to you what brings you into alignment with His perfect design for your life. I can say without any doubt, that what God will speak to you will surprise you. If all you are hearing from God are platitudes about how you are going to get everything you want, you haven't been in the presence of God.

In the presence of God in the secret place, you will be changed. If you were to get into the presence of God, (not in the inner man) but in the flesh, you would burn up; no questions asked. When you are in the presence of God you come away changed, not a little. God is conforming you into the likeness of Himself and if you consider just how far we have drifted from the original idea, it should be clear that change, and a lot of it, is eminent. You can't help but be changed in the presence of God, because God designed you to grow in grace and to grow in faith, both of which are increased in the presence of God.

If you don't want to change your agenda, and if you don't want to hear a better idea than your own and you don't want to change what is familiar to you, don't get in the presence of God in the inner man. "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man." Ephesians 3:14-16

Daily Devotional July 29 - What Are You Leaving On The Table?

 "And He entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into His own city. And, behold, they brought to Him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins have been forgiven thee."  Matthew 9:1-2

I want to talk about faith. There is so much to gain from the scripture. The men who were carrying the man with the palsy is whose faith was recognized. The men who were carrying the man with the palsy had faith that if they could get to Jesus, their friend would be healed. Jesus not only forgave the man with the palsy his sins, but he healed him and sent him home also.

This is one of many examples where we see a direct correlation between faith of man and action from Jesus. What is your faith capable of? I'm serious. What is your faith made of? Here's why I'm asking. If your faith is made of going to church and reading a little bit of Bible, your faith is probably commensurate with your attendance. In today's society you need faith that can move mountains, not faith just as a namesake.
  • You need faith that you can speak and the heavens move things. 
  • You need the kind of faith that can pray against terrorism and at the same time pray for the terrorist. 
  • You need the kind of faith that can do battle against the world. 
This world's system is designed to take everything you have and even more. You need faith to come against that mind-set and take back lost territory.

You need the kind of faith that can say to your neighbor:
"I pray in the name of Jesus that you will be healed."
"I pray that your financial situation will turn around."
"I pray that your daughter will call you and make amends."
"I pray that your son will come to Jesus."

You need the kind of faith that Jesus gives liberally to all who ask. If you don't ask you won't grow in faith. You can go to church until you die and stay stagnant if you haven't started a personal relationship with Jesus. Faith grows like a tree. The root needs to be watered. The trunk needs to be protected. The branches need to be pruned. The leaves need Son-light. The flowers need to blossom and the fruit needs to flourish and be picked and used.

Evaluate yourself. What is your faith made of? Could it be that you are leaving on the table much that could and should be yours? Learn to apply your faith and get results. God designed us this way. Having faith, and a lot of it, is the way of God for man. Don't find yourself under-faithed when you might really need a miracle. Get serious and let God fill you up. Then, you can take a few friends and someone you know who can't fend for themselves and take them to a Jesus meeting and let them down through the roof and have their sins forgiven.

Daily Devotional July 28 - Is There A Limit As To What God Will Do For You?

 "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."  John 7:37-38

It amazes me that God would make a plea for us to believe. Again God reaches out to man and man rejects Him. God comes to man and gives to mankind faith and reveals Himself in the person of Jesus, the Christ, and makes a plan to die for our sins, (while we are yet sinners) while we are still ascertaining whether God is real or not, while we are living like the world, while we are entertaining the the possibility of maybe living the godly life in our later years.

God, who created everything and gave us all that there is stands before you and pleads and cries for you to recognize Him and accept His free gift of eternal life.
  • What could cause God to bend so low as to try to make sense to us when we are so caught up in ourselves, thinking we are really something?
  • What could cause God to give to us living water, knowing that we will drink it like an elixir and use it for our own exploits?
  • What could cause God to allow us to participate (co-create with Him) in the greatest of all creations, salvation of the human soul?
  • What could cause God to even begin to trust any of us with so precious a gift as His only Son?
Only the love of God for us has the efficacy to overcome our faithless, stubborn and sinful nature. If it were not a gift and if it were not free and if God didn't give us faith, none of us would be saved.

Daily Devotional July 27 - Quit Judging Others

 "And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased, and said unto Him (Jesus) Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yes; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?" Matthew 21:15-16

We condemn the way that the chief priests and scribes treated Jesus. We abhor that they marvelled at their own pride, while they spurned Jesus at every opportunity. It kind of sickens us that the same people that Jesus came to be with, not only denied Him His rightful place among them, but they created a plan to kill Jesus. Doesn't it amaze you that the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that Jesus did and they hated Him even more? Has that ever happened to you? It has to me.

We still have some of that kind of thinking going on today. A man or a woman can work diligently for the Lord and do great things for the kingdom, even just be present when God heals the sick, and Christians, (not non-believers) want to spurn them. Christians talk down other Christians who don't do church like they do on Sunday or Saturday or Saturday night, or the Sabbath day or whatever day. Christians are telling other Christians:
that God doesn't heal today
that the Bible stories are just allegories
that prayer is just for the individual to benefit themselves internally
that you must do this or that to please God
that you have to give this amount or that amount to get God's blessing
that you have to do it their way with their instruments, their lighting, their media

Christians are judging other Christians. This ought not to be.

Daily Devotional July 26 - Go Thy Way

 "And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto Him a centurion (Roman man of power over one hundred men), beseeching Him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented, And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thous shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, God, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not is Israel. And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour." Matthew 8:5-13

There are so many lessons in these passages, but I want to focus in on one. Jesus is not about religion; what side of the fence you were born on, what denomination you attend or who you watch or don't watch on TV. Jesus is about faith.

This centurion was a leader in the Roman army. More than likely he was part of the group of men that helped build the temple in Jerusalem under Herod's reign. Generally speaking a centurion was loyal to the Roman empire and he had to carry out brutal punishments to those in the region who broke the Roman law. This was a man who had learned the art of war and was very good at it. But somewhere along the way he found out that Jesus had authority in another realm that he was unfamiliar with. Somehow in his heart he knew that his servant had no chance except the captain over sickness and death were to give a command, i. e., Jesus.

He knew he was not worthy, even for Jesus to enter his home, unlike so many Christians today, who really think a lot of their situation, but he also knew in his heart that this Jesus had power over this realm. I think it is interesting that Jesus commends him as having more faith than all of Israel. This tells me something about what Jesus is looking for in us. It is more than a superficial accounting of the days we served as SS Superintendent. It is also more than the lip service that so many people give God and their pastor. Jesus is looking for men and women that know that He is Lord and that He has the power to do what man cannot do. Jesus is looking for men and women, teens and children that believe and trust God.

It doesn't matter who you are or what you have done, but it does matter what you believe about the Master. What do you believe? Is it enough to secure a miracle?

Jesus said to the centurion, "Go thy way, and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee."
Jesus says to me, "Go thy way, and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee."
And Jesus says to you, "Go thy way, and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee."

Daily Devotional July 25 - Behind The Scenes

 "Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive Him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven."  Matthew 18:21-22

The kingdom of God is made up of people who believe what Jesus says and does it. This was a little thing for Peter to ask and I'm sure Peter was trying to be spiritual and come up with a good answer to show Jesus how spiritual he was. Peter was trying to impress Jesus with his spiritual prowess. Jesus didn't rebuke him or make him feel like a fool or belittle him in any way, but Jesus did set him straight. I want Jesus to set me straight on all the things I believe that are from my own vision/version of what God desires of me. I hope you do to.

Not knowing something and making this mistake that Peter made is a normal part of learning and neither Peter or you are going to be chastised for testing the waters and trying to be spiritual, but once you get the answer, you have a different set of parameters to live by. Sometimes when we are reading the Bible or listening to our pastor we learn something that we don't like, something we don't want to live by, something we have rationalized just doesn't fit our current life/lifestyle. That's not kingdom living. Kingdom living is when we look for opportunity to observe, follow and abide in the things of God. Religious living is when we look for loopholes that fit our current perspective on the issues of our life/lifestyle.

You will always be able to find a church or denomination that fits your agenda, but adhering to a system, any system, to fit what what you desire into a religious or non-religious system is wrong.

Kingdom living is for you to fit into what God designed for you. Kingdom living is for you to read the Word of God or hear the Word preached and to find solace in the many changes you will have to make to conform to the image of Christ. After a season of kingdom living you will start to look for changes you can make in your life/lifestyle that better suit your relationship with God in the pursuit of fulfilling your purpose in life.

You look for what God purposed for you and you look for what you were purposed for and when the two meet, you find your place and you understand your commission. Being godly is not following a complex set of rules, or following a specific program or formula. Being godly is more about abandoning a great may rules and human notions and allowing God to work in you and through you without any aids, than it is following some predetermined school of thought. Listening to and following God is the goal. Trying to act spiritual so that everyone can uh and ah at your magnificence is not part of God's great design for your life. More often than not, true spiritual work is done behind the scenes, without personal recognition and without formal reward.