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Thursday, March 18, 2021

Daily Devotional March 18 - Doubt Interrupts The Connection To God

 "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

Note: Even if you never had any doubt and faith that was unwavering, you would still be in the world and subject to the free will of others to interfere with your life and to provide a cause and effect that does not always end favorably.  

"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.

Ok, so does that meant that there is no formula that always works, every time? Yes and no. Yes, with faith all things are possible and with faith you can move mountains, but all of this is under the parameters set by the Express will of God and in that express will of God there is in operation unbelief and doubt by those who oppose the will of God and do adversely to the provisions within the will of God that negative affect certain outcomes. Trusting God always works is a fact, but trusting God does not foretell the outcome. Yes, God knows the outcome, but you will find that the outcome is not always what you perceive is the will of God for you.

No, formula's don't work.  Formula's are religious in origin and designed by man to incorporate the church polity into the schema of God's economy. No God can not be thwarted by some religious jargon, nor can the will of God be suppressed or altered by some religious rite or some polity rule or some church doctrinal statement.  Formulas are for the religious minded and they work or don't work based on the unpredictable outcome of life's events, but in no way do the formulas avert God's will or alter the written Word of God of thwart the inner man working of the Holy Spirit. 

The takeaway from this is Doubt interrupts the connection between God and man that brings about healing and miracles.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Daily Devotional March 17 - Forgiveness Is Permanent

 "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."  Ephesians 4:32

Are you a believer?
If you were to live forgiven the results would be miraculous. Guilt from the past is a plague, a mental virus capable of gnawing at your soul and disrupting your plans. Guilt keeps great ideas down and guilt causes many who would become leaders to gather in droves like cattle with others who are burdened by guilt. Guilt causes you to think of yourself from the eyes of man. Guilt motivates people to follow this and follow that, afraid to break away and face the opposition.

You are forgiven. You need to live that way. Forgiven, once fully apprehended also travels through your soul, and it builds you up and stamps "Approved" on your plans. Forgiven opens the mind to have ideas and pursue them and causes us to be leaders, to seize the day and look at our obstacles as hurdles that can be jumped. Forgiven causes you to think from the eyes of God. The God who sees you through His Son. You look good to Him. You look beautiful, advantaged, empowered, inspired, courageous, strong and bold. Forgiven motivates people to follow Christ, who set an example for us. Forgiven makes a way, and breaks away from all that is dragging on you. Forgiven is the God/good life.

It is so easy to be revived by such a powerful message as this and then fall prey to the voices of oppression, and in no time at all to start feeling guilty again, dragging yourself through the quagmire of life. You need to believe you are forgiven, and do this until you are assured in the depth of your soul that God is true.

You say, Oh! but you don't know what I've done. You're right! and neither does God.

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 that is living this verse. He gets it. He has had a bout with infirmities over many 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

'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.'

Daily Devotional march 14 - Are You A Sceptic Or A Believer?

 "Art thou the Christ? Tell us. And He said unto them, If I tell you, you will not believe:" Luke 22:67

"Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Luke 16:28-31

It would do you well to consider the implication here. If you or others need to see a miracle, like someone rising from the dead, to believe the scripture...well the Bible says that won't be enough proof. Even if you did see a miracle, if you don't have faith to believe now, you will not have faith to believe then. Faith is made of much thicker thread than sight. Faith believes when sight questions. Faith replaces the need for physical proof. I can attest to this being true. If any of us were to evaluate where we would be without God's intervention in our lives,we would quickly see that God has performed many miracles on our behalf; some we recognize and others unknown to us.

What I'm saying is that the agnostic, atheist and unbelievers have all already seen the miracles of: creation, birth, a rose pedal, DNA, the depth of the galaxy, and in many cases maybe even seen someone come back from the dead.

It's just not enough for those who blatantly deny even the air they breath. Even if Jesus had honored the high priest and the religious sect with an answer, they would have mocked Him more. Answering the questions of those with questionable intentions is of no value in ministry or in life in general. Many people are busy bodies and gossips and there is nothing you could say that they would not slant/swing/spin into something altogether different than what you told them.

Many people just want to box you into a group of their making so that you are no threat to their ignorance. Don't assist them in devaluing your testimony and helping them to disarm the power of the written Word of God.

The Bible says let them listen to Moses and the prophets.

They have the written word. They have all of creation pointing to intelligent creation. The have the life they posses and the air they breath. The Holy Spirit of God pursues every man, woman and child to bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Just give the naysayers your testimony and God will take it from there.

Daily Devotional March 13 - True Rest Can Be Found

 "Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in the way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass." Psalm 37:7

I could go on for weeks just about finding the "rest" of God. The place where you are fully convinced that God is in charge and that you are in the center of His will. But the reason I chose this verse today is because I think we are too invested in comparing what others have or don't have and what we have or don't have. We should really mind our own business. Yes, many people are going to get rich and look prosperous while we are working hard and sometimes barely getting by. Many people are going to rise up unto stardom while we continue working unnoticed and unrewarded. It is going to look like we have got to do things their way to get what they have and to some extend your right. Except getting what they have, (those who have gotten their wealth by deception) means not only getting the things, but the inner turmoil and total dissatisfaction with themselves.

I wouldn't trade the "rest" of God, the peace of God, the mercy and grace of the Holy Spirit in my life for a few shiny toys. If I ever reach measurable material wealth, I want it to be by the plan of God for my life. I want it to come honorably and with no strings. Don't let the world fool you, you can smile while feeling empty and lost inside. You can don a new Ferrari while suffering from immeasurable loneliness. Don't fret, but if you are bent on worrying anyway, worry that you will obtain what you get in life with integrity and honesty and hard work, all the while not stepping out of the will of God to get there.

Don't focus on what others have accomplished or what others claim to have or really do have. Mind your own affairs and get on with getting what you get through righteous living and prayerful considerations.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Daily Devotional March 12 - Get It In Writing

 "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you..." John 14:1-2a

You need to count on what the Lord tells you. If you are to have confidence you need to know that the information that Jesus gave/gives you if correct. It is interesting that Jesus makes a point to let us know, "if it were not so, I would have told you..." What Jesus said during His ministry and what the Apostles and New Testament writers recorded was what Jesus told us/you.

Jesus spoke every word necessary for you to:
  • Recognize the enemies tactics
  • Abandon worldly pursuits
  • Break spiritual strongholds
  • Live free from addictions
  • Recover lost territory
  • Use what man meant for evil and turn it into something good
  • Sense the presence of God
  • Receive salvation
  • Live the abundant life
  • Intercede for others with expectation
  • Understand our purpose
"If it were not so," He would have told you. That is really comforting to me. The creator tells us everything we need to know, in writing, so we don't mess it up. Quit looking for deep truths elsewhere. They are within the pages of scripture and written on the tablets of your heart. "If it were not so," He would have told you.