- Date: May 11, 2015
- Verse: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…” (Ephesian 4:11-12)
I want to encourage us to fellowship as a body and in what we ought to fellowship about. Some seem to want to get together and just do another study. The Scripture doesn't speak of the body as a whole coming together to do Bible studies. God has set ministry gifts among us to be teachers (Ephesians 411). They are called. They are gifted. They not only are gifted in the teaching, but they are gifted in the ability to hear the voice of God, to be able to set courses for us and speak to us as the oracles of God what the Spirit is saying to the church.
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Devotionals by Date
- Date: May 10, 2004
- Verse: "Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not."(Luke 12:40)
Earth-dwellers (those who love this planet) are marrying and giving in marriage, eating and drinking--caught up with everyday activities. Both in the days of Noah and in the days of Lot it says they were eating and drinking. What's wrong with eating and drinking? They were so caught up in the mundane, everyday activities that they couldn't see the day that was on them. Don't be caught up, because in the hour when you think not, He comes as a thief. If you had known, you would have been prepared. Stay prepared. Most policemen are killed when they think it's just routine.
- Date: May 9, 2004
- Verse: "But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions..."(2 Timothy 4:5)
We're living in this hour when men are being turned from the truth unto fables. They're believing lies and soliciting lies. They're inventors of evil, the Scripture says, not only doing these things but taking pleasure in and making heroes out of the people that reject the Word of God (Rom. 1:30, 32). Are you watching? Are you even aware of the seduction that's taking place in your minds? What am I saying? What we do we do as unto the Lord. We do it differently than the world does it.
- Date: May 8, 2004
- Verse: "But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."(Luke 8:15)
People don't want to hear the truth. We're living in a day when people want to be told a lie about how great they are. They want to be told how great the world is and that everything is going to be OK. It's not. Evil is going to wax worse and worse. This world is not going to get better; it's going to get worse. We need to come to grips with that. How many of us are honest with ourselves? Listen to the teaching of Jesus, the parable of the sower.
- Date: May 7, 2004
- Verse: "For some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled."(1 Corinthians 8:7)
Our conscience is established and formed based upon external input--social, spiritual, and cultural--that makes us who we are and sets our mores. The Scripture says that we, as Christians, can have both strong and weak consciences. The conscience can be defiled. There can be a good conscience; there can be an evil conscience. The conscience can be seared. So many things can happen to our conscience.
The conscience is not synonymous with the spirit man. The conscience is a part of the soul realm, of which the spirit feeds.
- Date: May 6, 2004
- Verse: "Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." (Luke 16:15)
We're breeding kids who can't think for themselves, can't make decisions, and have no idea of the responsibility of independence. There is independence from the law, and there is independence within the moral law of God. We must learn to walk in the spirit, make decisions, and work with our own consciences within that parameter of the law of God.
Why do you want to wear a certain style of clothes? Is it because the world wears them and you want to be esteemed in the eyes of men? The issue is not style or cost; the issue is the heart.
- Date: May 5, 2004
- Verse: "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." (James 1:25)
When we talk about the flesh, we're not talking about just the socially unacceptable sins--drunkenness, fornication, lasciviousness. We're talking about independence, separation from God, the self-life, living for self. Coming out of Romans 7, Paul gives us the good news. In chapter 7 the man in turmoil says, "Dear God, the things that I want to do, I can't do; and the things that I don't want to do, I find myself doing. Who is going to deliver me from the body of this death! I thank God, through Jesus Christ.
- Date: May 4, 2004
- Verse: "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." (Romans 6:14)
"Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God..." (Rom. 6:12-13). Yield yourselves unto God. What does that tell us? Sin can never overpower you. You might say, "I just couldn't help myself. The sin just overpowered me." No, it's impossible for sin to overpower you. Sin does not have dominion over you; you choose it. In every temptation, in every moment, there's a way of escape.
- Date: May 3, 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 8:16)
Our identification is with Jesus; we've been crucified with Him. If we've been crucified with Him and buried with Him, we'll be raised with Him, the Scripture says. The resurrection that Romans 6 talks about is not just the final resurrection, but it's a resurrection in Christ that frees us from the power and dominion of sin. We've been raised with Jesus, and therefore sin no longer has dominion over us. As a new creature we live free from sin. "For he that is dead [to self] is freed from sin." Romans 6, 7, and 8 talk about sin, carnal mindedness, worldliness, and the flesh.
- Date: May 2, 2004
- Verse: "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit."(Romans 8:5)
"For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh..." (Rom. 8:5). "Mind" means "to be intent upon, to have your mind set upon, to give yourself to." We can't draw a false conclusion that we shouldn't go to work, because for eight hours we have to concentrate on what we're doing. If we think that a hundred percent of the time we have to have our minds on Jesus, praying, and reading the Bible, we've missed it. We know we can pray in the Spirit constantly; we know that we pray without ceasing. It's an attitude of heart.
- Date: May 1, 2004
- Verse: "For he that is dead is freed from sin."(Romans 6:7)
Many are looking for independence and liberty. We should be asking, "What can I do to become more dependent upon God? What can I do to become freer from all of those appetites of the world, the weights and the sins that do so easily beset us? How can I change the treasures of my heart?"
"Think upon these things," Paul said in Philippians. You need to reprogram your mind. If you're asking questions about what's lawful and what liberty you have, it's because you've been feeding your mind with all the garbage of the secular, of the world.
- Date: April 30, 2004
- Verse: "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."(Romans 8:7)
Are we walking in the liberty that sets us free from the power of the world system and the sin in our members? How do we live in that daily? All of our lives are up and down to different degrees. There's not a person whose life has been on a constant incline of spiritual growth. We all need help; we all need our hands lifted up; we all need to be built up. To live in the Spirit, you have to realize you live in a community of people who love you, will strengthen you, and will bring to you reproof and instruction. You're never liberated to live as an independent being.
- Date: April 29, 2004
- Verse: "Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."(Romans 6:13)
"Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof" (Rom. 6:11-12). What is sin? The simplest definition of sin is "to miss the mark." What is the mark? It's godliness, life in Christ, total dependence upon God. Sin, then, would be any choice that leads me away to independence--all that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil supplies.
- Date: April 28, 2004
- Verse: "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace."(Romans 6:14)
If you believe that God will deliver you, that His Spirit dwelling in you can make you live victoriously and you choose to pursue that free gift, those that come to Him, He will turn none away. He'll do exceedingly abundant above anything that you could ask or think. So just change your course. Too many people are waiting for God to come and do it. Too many of us sit around and hope that somehow we will experience a Damascus road encounter. But most of us are going to have a Matthew experience: everything is going great--you're a fat cat, easy street--then you hear, "Follow Me.
- Date: April 27, 2004
- Verse: "Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."(James 4:4)
The problem with many ministries today is mingled seed--the Word of God "plus" Freudianism, humanism. To be a friend of the world doesn't mean you go out and party; it means that you embrace their philosophy. The world system is all about the deification, independence and success of man; it lifts man up. That's the root that we have to guard against. We live in a "sound-byte society" where everything is glazed over and image; when it's one phrase that sounds good.
- Date: April 26, 2004
- Verse: "Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved."(John 13:23)
"[You] adulterers and adulteresses, [don't you know] that the friendship of [this] world system is enmity with [in opposition to the kingdom of] God? whosoever...will be a friend [sympathetic with] is the enemy of God" (James 4:4). Friends come in different degrees. For one reason or another you may not be partaking of the world at this time, but are you sympathetic to it? Do you make excuses, saying, "If I could I would"?
Obedience can be approached from two major perspectives. External motivation-- the law, judgment, consequences--is for the immature.
- Date: April 25, 2004
- Verse: "Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk."(Acts 3:6)
The greatest impetus of power in prayer is compassion and love. We can't pray just because there's a need. We can't pray effectively just because somebody brings a prayer list to us. Our hearts have to be touched. Jesus looked on the multitudes and had compassion for them. We can't pray effectively if we don't realize the brokenness of humanity or the hurts of our brothers and sisters. If we don't have love in our hearts, we can't pray. If we have unforgiveness in our hearts, we can't pray.
- Date: April 24, 2004
- Verse: "At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you..."(John 16:26-27)
Jesus says the Father loves us. Father will respond to us in direct correlation to the way we respond to Jesus. To the degree we love Jesus, Father will love us. As we speak in the name of Jesus, the Father receives us because we're the bride that Jesus loves. He's the one that graced us and caused us to be brought into His bosom. He's the One who sought us out. He's the One that proposed this marriage. He's the One that wanted us to be joined with Him in His glory.
- Date: April 23, 2004
- Verse: "And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you."(John 16:23)
As we're praying properly and effectively, we're not praying to Jesus. We're praying to Father in the name of Jesus. That's how we're supposed to pray. One of the greatest truths in all the Word of God is where Jesus says, "You won't ask Me anymore. You'll ask the Father in My name, and He will give it to you." "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name..." (John 16:24). The disciples went out and came back rejoicing, saying, "Lord, it's tremendous! Even the devils are subject to us in Your name." They're out there casting out devils and healing the sick.
- Date: April 22, 2004
- Verse: "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."(John 14:13)
"If you shall ask anything in My name," Jesus said, "I will do it." This is the promise that comes to us. The name of Jesus is used in two distinct ways. This particular usage of the name is one of representation. The word "ask" literally means "to require, command, or demand." "Whatsoever you require, command, or demand in My name, I will do it." Why? He's commanded you to be about His business. He's the One that sent you and will work with you, confirming the word that you speak with signs following.
In John 15 we begin to see another usage of "ask.
- Date: April 21, 2004
- Verse: "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."(1 John 5:13)
How do we use this great name of Jesus lawfully? First, we have to know His name. We have to know everything that's inclusive in the name of Jesus. 1 John 5:13 says, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." When he says you've believed on the name of the Son of God, it is belief to salvation. Believing on that name to salvation gives you life. Once you've inherited life, you've believed on the name of Jesus to salvation.