- Date: November 14, 2013
- 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)
We'd like to think that as believers we're living sanctified lives, living free from the world. But we don't want to minimize how vexed we are by the world. We've been challenged in recent months as to how carnally minded we really are, how vexed we are by the world that we're living in. If you don't think that's possible, remember what the Lord said. He said, "Listen, you're living in a time when, if it wasn't shortened, even the very elect wouldn't be able to stand.
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Devotionals by Date
- Date: April 20, 2004
- Verse: "Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name."(Psalm 91:14)
Those that know His name will be a victorious people. We sing that chorus, "There's Just Something About That Name." We sing that name, Jesus. At that name every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that He's Lord. There's no other name under heaven whereby a man can be saved but the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12). The power is in that name. There's no greater force or power on this planet than the name of Jesus. When a man has a true biblical understanding and confidence in that name, it surpasses all other power. Yet we just throw it around and use it so loosely.
- Date: April 19, 2004
- Verse: "Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."(Psalm 37:4)
We can misunderstand this verse to mean if we delight in God and love the Lord, He'll give us anything we want. So we make up our lust list--a house, a car, a yacht, an island, or whatever else. We're fooling ourselves if our hearts are desirous for the things of this world. We'll never be satisfied. The wise man said, "He that loves silver will never be satisfied with silver" (Eccles. 5:10). There is not enough to satisfy our lusts. We need to discern where our heart is in these things.
If you delight in Him, that means your hope and your trust is in the Lord.
- Date: April 18, 2004
- Verse: "Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all."(Psalm 34:19)
The life of Elijah shows that effectual, fervent praying is the white hot, burning Word placed into our heart by the Spirit of God. "Effectual" means divinely energized. To be effective, prayer must originate and consummate in God. He sends His Word into our hearts, and it doesn't return unto Him void. That is what we articulate in agreement with His will. "And this is the confidence [or the boldness that's been afforded us] in him, that, [we could now come and] ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us" (1 John 5:14).
- Date: April 17, 2004
- Verse: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."(Romans 8:28)
Everything that happens in our life is for the purpose of conforming us into His image. The whole purpose for man and life is to have fellowship with God; there's no other reason. Fellowship with God is why man was created. He's given us a lot of side jobs like ruling the planet, but that's not why we're here. He created us to fellowship with Him.
Fellowship was broken. The plan of redemption was to bring us back to that fellowship. You can't have that fellowship without sanctification. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord (Heb. 12:14).
- Date: April 16, 2004
- Verse: "And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."(1 John 5:15)
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). Righteousness does not require sinless perfection; it's based on our relationship to Jesus. Elijah was a man of like passions, subject to depression and to the valleys. He would sit down and say, "It's enough; let me die," and God would say, "I have another trip for you to take." And Elijah would submit his life one more time. That's a righteous man. It doesn't mean that you have to run through life giggling like you've been on laughing gas.
- Date: April 15, 2004
- Verse: "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me."(Matthew 14:30)
When they came to the place called Gethsemane, Jesus said to the disciples, "Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder" (Matt. 26:36). Then He took with Him the inner circle. Is there a distinction between people in the body of Christ? Yes, Jesus is making a great distinction here. He leaves one group and says, "You three guys come with Me." He says nothing to the other eight. He tells the three, "I want you to watch and pray with Me." He didn't share that with the other eight. There are people that He shares His heart with.
- Date: April 14, 2004
- Verse: "...And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always..."(John 11:41-42)
The hour comes for the betrayal. Jesus said, "Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me" (Matt. 26:46). Many of us attend church regularly and read our Bibles, but we don't do His will. This is no different than betraying Him with a kiss. We're not blaspheming His name or saying "I don't believe that Jesus is the Son of God." But we like to call Him "Master" and kiss Him, yet we betray Him by our actions.
Do you think Peter would have pulled the sword if he had been praying? Jesus said, "It's enough; put the sword away.
- Date: April 13, 2004
- Verse: "Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench."(1 Kings 18:38)
"Hear me, O LORD, hear [this prayer], that this people may know that thou art...God..." (1 Kings 18:37). What is the desire of Elijah's heart? What was God leading him to do? The whole purpose was for the reconciliation of the lost. A remnant needs to be brought back to the reality of the living God; if we would effectually and fervently pray, be bold enough to scale Mt. Carmel, lay our lives on the line, and say, "If God is God, let Him answer by fire." God is calling us into warfare of this magnitude in the days ahead. We need to prepare ourselves now.
- Date: April 12, 2004
- Verse: "And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded."(1 Kings 18:29)
"And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them" (1 Kings 18:28). Effectual, fervent prayer is not how loud, how hard, or how much you sweat when you pray. The proof of that can be seen here with the false prophets of Baal. They're cutting themselves, dancing, running around, hollering and screaming; but nothing happens. It's not how loud you pray; it's whether you pray in faith; it's whether you believe God hears. If we have a God that hears, then He hears well. You don't have to yell.
- Date: April 11, 2004
- Verse: "And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him..."(1 Kings 18:21)
A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). Anytime you pray in that mode of instability, it's because you're halting between two opinions. Are you going to believe God or not? Will you stand and believe for the miraculous intervention of God or not? What will you choose today to rule your life? It was more than a theological problem here, because the people had turned to spiritual adultery, worshipping false gods and involving themselves with all kinds of sexual promiscuity. There were those who sacrificed children to honor the different gods.
- Date: April 10, 2004
- Verse: "And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth."(1 Kings 17:24)
In the 17th chapter of 1 Kings, Elijah had been sustained by the widow, and then in the midst of this ministry, her child dies. There are adversities in the middle of God's will. You can experience tragedies. When things go wrong, people think they're out of the will of God. The fact that things are going wrong, doesn't mean you're out of the will of God. The fact that Satan is opposing you could indicate that you are right where God wants you. Satan is trying to move you off the promise of God. The little child dies.
- Date: April 9, 2004
- Verse: "Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months."(James 5:17)
We pray for effect so that God's power can manifest in the circumstances that we're facing. James says that Elijah was a man of like passions such as we are. We see this in the life of this man, because we see the ups and the downs in his walk. Although we strive toward that continual increase in our relationship with Him, every one of us experiences the valleys. Have you ever been discouraged? Have you felt like finding the closest juniper tree, sitting down and saying, "It's enough, let me die"? Elijah was a man of like passions, just like you--but maybe not exactly.
- Date: April 8, 2004
- Verse: "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."(2 Corinthians 3:17)
True liberty comes from the presence of God, where the Spirit of the Lord is. The moment you walk outside of the Spirit you're in bondage, a slave again to sin and all of your passions. Many of us think that liberty is being free from the law, but it's not. Jesus did not do away with the law, but fulfilled it. We need to understand that the law is good, perfect, and just. We belong under the law if we're living lawlessly. But if we are fulfilling the law, then we are not under the law. To fulfill the law is not to be under the law, for the law is for the lawless (1 Tim. 1:9).
- Date: April 7, 2004
- Verse: "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"(Romans 6:16)
We want to talk about real liberty. When we look at what the Scriptures have to say about liberty, very few speak about secular or temporal behavior. The liberty that we have been graced with--the liberty that's available to every one of us, the only liberty that a human being can experience--is experienced when we solely and fully trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord. The only way to be free is to become a voluntary slave. For to whom you submit your members to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey (Rom. 6:16).
The devil tries to sell us a bill of goods.
- Date: April 6, 2004
- Verse: "And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain."(1 Corinthians 15:14)
Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. People say that Jesus died for us, but His death is not just about the sacrificial atonement. He was raised victoriously according to the Scriptures, and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain and you are still in your sin! But if He's raised, one truth beyond all others has been established.
- Date: April 5, 2004
- Verse: "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life..."(Deuteronomy 30:19)
Tragically when we as Christians choose self-will, we always support it with Scripture. Our knowledge of Scripture causes us to be puffed up, thinking of ourselves above others and more highly than we ought to think (Rom. 12:3). We hold the right doctrines, are hearers of the Word but not doers, deceiving ourselves. We say "Amen" to the doctrine, but say, "Don't judge" when the Word is applied to us. The Word is good and pure. The law is good; it's not death. The law is alive in every one that's walking in the spirit.
- Date: April 4, 2004
- Verse: "And Elijah the Tishbite...said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word."(1 Kings 17:1)
See what happens to Elijah, a true man of God that stands and proclaims the truth. Elijah the Tishbite begins to prophecy against Ahab. Remember that old Ahab and Jezebel are the bad guys. He says, "As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand..." (1 Kings 17:1). The issue is whether God is alive or not; that's the whole issue of prayer. There are a lot of people on a Sunday barbecuing, playing basketball, going for their walks and jogs; everybody is going to and fro. They would not be doing those things if they believed that they were going to face a living God.
- Date: April 3, 2004
- Verse: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."(Ephesians 6:12)
The woman that pressed in through the crowd and touched the hem of Jesus' garment said, "If I could only touch it, I'll be made whole." The great patriarch, Jacob, wrestled with the Angel and said, "I will not turn You loose until You've blessed me." Our lives need that kind of discipline. When we come for prayer into the presence of God, we have that mandate to enter boldly by the blood of Jesus. We come to receive of God. If we leave before we've obtained, we've left too soon. If we stop praying before we've received the victory, then we've left too soon.
- Date: April 2, 2004
- Verse: "But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us."(Matthew 15:23)
"And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word" (Matt. 15:22-23). As they're walking along, the disciples say, "Lord, send her away. She's wearing us down; she's crying after us. Tell her You're not answering her prayer."
She's hanging on, crying, "I'll not let You go until You bless me!" That's how we need to pray.
- Date: April 1, 2004
- Verse: "I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"(Luke 18:8)
We're to pray in every situation and not faint. Jesus gives the parable: "There was in a city a judge..." (Luke 18:2). God is not the judge in this parable. When interpreting these parables, people get so carried away trying to symbolize everything and everybody that they miss the point Jesus was teaching. "There was in a city a judge which feared not God, neither regarded man." How could that relate to God or Jesus in any way? This is a wicked judge who didn't fear God or care for man.
"And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.