- Date: November 14, 2016
- Verse: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
When we're talking about the works of the spirit, many of our minds are going towards deliverance from the financial situation we're in or the sickness that's in our bodies. But I want us to realize that we are talking about these things to be delivered from the flesh and to be able to take on the character of Christ. It's when I'm weak that I finally realize that I can't do enough to please God, and I'm going to stop trying. Finally, His strength is able to work in us and begin to show forth the fruit of the Spirit. "I'm no longer doing things out of obligation.
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Devotionals by Date
- Date: August 17, 2018
- Verse: “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Mathew 6:34)
I was sharing with somebody recently just what these last number of years have done in me and how thankful I am for what God has done in my life to this point, and how fearful I am that He's going to require more. Does anybody know what I am talking about? Asking for the grace to walk in the sufficiency of the day. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" (Matthew 6:34). I'm not taking thought for tomorrow. Help me to walk in today and be thankful and not borrow tomorrow. That's difficult for me. I'm a tomorrow guy. I'm a next-week guy.
- Date: August 13, 2018
- Verse: “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently…” (1 Peter 1:22)
He said in 1 Thessalonians, Chapter 3, verse 12, "And the Lord make you to increase [in faith] and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we [have loved] you." The apostle goes on to say, "[I want] you to…abound in love one toward another…" What would you say as you look at your life right now? This is Paul's admonition to those in Thessalonica.
- Date: August 6, 2018
- Verse: “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” (Romans 12:9)
As the Scripture speaks to us, we see these great commandments, I like the fact that John 15:12 makes it very clear: "This is my commandment, That ye love one another [Man, if it would just stop there], as I have loved you." Romans 12:9 says, "Let [your] love be without dissimulation [hypocrisy is what that word means]. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good." You know, we do a lot of abhorring, but how much cleaving do we do? Because the fact of the matter is we're not all bad.
- Date: August 1, 2018
- Verse: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13)
Scripture says very clearly that before we were even born, God foreknew us. So that's kind of cool. While we were yet in our mother's womb. We see a scriptural principle that prophets were even chosen and selected while they were still in the womb. God separated them through His foreknowledge and His predetermination to be used for the kingdom of God in a great way. Yet, some, when these people are raised to greatness, begin to covet their role. We begin to resent that. We become in competition with them. "I want you to love as I have loved you.
- Date: July 30, 2018
- Verse: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)
We'll pick up where we've been in our study in John's gospel and quickly look at a couple of verses. John 13, verse 35 and John 15, verse 12, these are foundational verses that we've been working off of. "By this [John 13:35] shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." We've been talking about the fact, out of John 17, that when people look into our fellowship, look into our lives, and see a genuine love, it's so unnatural, so unnatural. Love is so unnatural to Adam's children.
- Date: July 19, 2018
- Verse: “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” (1 John 4:12)
When we're doers of the Word, when we're not just hearers, we can't, as James says, say to those that are in need around us, "Be warmed and filled," and we have the wherewithal to meet the need. Let's take it out of the monetary, the material, for just a moment, because unfortunately we as Americans, that's how we think. Let's put it into what's really important and that's our spiritual needs. How many of us have the wherewithal to care for somebody here in the fellowship, to bring ministry to them? How many of us have the wherewithal-we've been through trials;
- Date: July 16, 2018
- Verse: “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” (1 John 3:14)
The Scripture makes it clear. There is an intimacy that the Holy Spirit mandates in His church, and there's a love in this intimacy that He mandates in His church. We cannot have anybody in the church, the body of Christ, that to us is insignificant, on the fringe, but we're to love as we've been loved.
1 John speaks toward this; and it's an interesting thing. I'd like you to look at a couple of passages. Let's begin at 1 John, Chapter 3, verse 14.
- Date: July 11, 2018
- Verse: “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” (Colossians 3:13)
We see that love is the foundation, then, on which the church is built. Ephesians 3:17, "…being rooted and grounded in love." Love, that ability to put worth on an object other than ourselves. We value those people around us with the same value that Jesus places on them. That's pretty cool, man. God being able to love through us and put that worth upon those people, and we're able to then observe that and say, "That's the worth that I'm going to put on them." That's the love of God, and it's the foundation on which we're built.
- Date: July 9, 2018
- Verse: “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15)
We've been teaching on the love of God, and the mandate that the Lord Jesus gives us is that we're to love as we've been loved. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35). Nothing speaks louder than genuine love among the brethren. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Not how many Bible verses you can quote, not how big our fellowship is, but the world looking in and saying, "Those people love each other.
- Date: June 20, 2018
- Verse: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
One of the things you'll see as you study this out is that the Holy Spirit is saying to us here that longsuffering is patience. It's endurance. It's bearing up under these real or perceived assaults on our divinity, and so if we truly understand the love that God has for us, and the love that He has for our brothers, just start putting the same value on one another that God did when He loved us before the worlds were created. The Holy Spirit is speaking to us here and talking about this longsuffering.
- Date: June 13, 2018
- Verse: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” (Epesians 4:32)
How do you respond to individuals you have offended? Is it, "Hey, we're going to have conflicts"? And, as well as we all know each other, as intertwined as our lives are, we're going to have conflicts. How do you resolve the conflict? By you being the first one to humble yourself and seek healing. "Yeah, but I was the one that was wronged." Well, now you can be right, again. Look what he goes on to say.
- Date: June 6, 2018
- Verse: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Ephesianbs 4:29-30)
A while back, we were teaching a lot on the cross and we were asking how do we really perceive ourselves. See, if we see ourselves as truly low and humble, then can anybody ever do anything that's humiliating to us? Can you be humiliated if you're humble? And the response is you turn the other cheek. You pray for those people. You look to speak in grace into their lives and speak unto edification. Why? That you might be perfect like your Father in heaven is perfect. "Man, I don't know if that's possible." It's possible. The blood of Jesus provided it for us.
- Date: June 4, 2018
- Verse: “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26-27)
We want to look at a couple of passages in Ephesians, Chapter 4 and see what Father has for us. We were talking about this the other night, but just a quick look at a verse here that might be helpful to us in getting started. As Paul speaks to us, "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:26-27). I want to tell you something, man. The longer you put this off, the greater bondage you're in. Don't give place to the devil.
- Date: May 30, 2018
- Verse: “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:15)
The Holy Spirit has been really ministering to our hearts in a very practical and, I think, productive way to bring unity and strength into the body of Christ. The main thing He has been speaking to us, of course, is the basic principle that we've been talking about, and that's doing unto others as we would have them do unto us, the Golden Rule.
- Date: May 21, 2018
- Verse: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Ephesian 3:17-19)
Paul, in Colossians wrote these letters to the church here in Colosse. It's very obvious that this church is just like us. They're just folks, right? And they get crosswise with each other sometimes, and there are those that act preeminent. There are those among us, you know, that are connivers and manipulators, and there are the haughty and the boastful. You know, we're just folks. And He says, "In your mess, I'm going to make something out of you that represents Me, that honors Me.
- Date: May 14, 2018
- Verse: “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” (Colossian 3:13-15)
He says in Colossians Chapter 3, "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved…" (verse 12)-those of us that are the elect, those of us that are sons, He speaks toward our holiness. "I wonder what that word 'holy' "-we know what it means. It means to be separate. It means to be exclusive. It means to be preeminent. There's nothing equal to it. It's pure, undefiled in every way. And in our election, He says, that's who you are. "That's how I perceive you." So He refers to us as the elect.
- Date: May 9, 2018
- Verse: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)
Scripture says in Ephesians, Chapter 4, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called." Now, the whole context of this, beginning here in Chapter 4, is unity. I mean, you can see it as you read down. He's very clearly speaking of the unity of the body of Christ. There's one body, there's one Lord, there's one faith.
So He says, "I want you to walk worthy of this vocation, this calling that's been put upon you and with all lowliness and meekness with longsuffering.
- Date: May 7, 2018
- Verse: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love…” (Ephesian 3:17)
Let's look at a couple of passages that we were talking about that have to do with the practical expression of love. Ephesians 3:17 says we're to be rooted and grounded in love. Love is our foundation. Everything is built upon this foundation. Without it, there will not be successful representation of the kingdom of God. There will not be the building up of a church or the edifying without the foundation and our being rooted and grounded in love.
- Date: May 4, 2018
- Verse: “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15)
There's another thing that we need to look at, and Jesus made it very clear that if you hate your brother-the Holy Spirit speaking, John speaks it clearly-if you hate your brother, you're a murderer. Is that hard for us to accept? Love your neighbor as you love yourself. This is my commandment that you love one another as I loved you; and if you don't do that, you're a murderer. Wow! Does that change it a little bit? First of all, let me ask you, do you believe that's a biblical principle? Can we say that and be accurate scripturally? The answer's yes.
- Date: April 30, 2018
- Verse: “ If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.” (James 2:8-9)
Let's look over at James for just a second, a couple of more Scripture verses to set the foundation for us. James' reference to the teaching of the Lord in the sermon on the mount in James Chapter 2. He says starting in verse 8, "If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well. But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors." If you keep the royal Law, you do well. Love your neighbor as yourself.