- 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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- Date: March 11, 2004
- Verse: "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:"(1 John 5:14)
What is God's will? It's the establishing of the kingdom. If we ask anything that will enhance the kingdom--anything that goes along with kingdom principles or exalts Jesus Christ's lordship--then we know that He hears us. When we pray for God's glory with unselfish motives, we know He hears us. James said, "Ye have not, because ye ask not. [When you ask] ye ask amiss, [desiring to] consume it upon your [own] lusts" (James 4:2-3). Prayer is not to be consumed on self. An effective prayer life has to be invested in the kingdom.
Can you pray, "Thy kingdom come;
- Date: March 10, 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)
Petition has to be in agreement with the established purposes of God. We can pray for certain things in absolute confidence, and then rest. When you pray for a sinner to be saved, can you rest believing that God is not willing that any should perish? If God is not willing that Grandma should perish and yet she perishes, then Grandma wasn't willing. She chose to reject God. Can you see how subtle and how strong your will can affect your prayer life? If you can't pray for Grandma and rest, you're not in faith;
- Date: March 9, 2004
- Verse: "And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt."(Mark 14:36)
To pray effectively, we must understand that nothing comes upon us by chance. Our steps are ordered of the Lord. We don't pray, "Lord, change my steps," but rather, "Help me to understand why I'm here. What am I supposed to do at this particular time?"
The apostle said, "I think I would prefer to be offered up, but it's better for you that I stay. Not my will; Thy will be done."
What's best for the kingdom? We might think, "What's best for the kingdom is believing God for deliverance, because Paul needs to be on the road preaching and declaring this gospel.
- Date: March 8, 2004
- Verse: "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."(Matthew 6:9-10)
Prayer is for the purpose of getting us involved in the kingdom of God. Prayer is for the purpose of making us conscious of God bringing forth the kingdom of His will into this world and how we are to be involved in that eternal plan. We become so short-sided and so focused with tunnel vision because of our natural tendencies and frailties of the flesh. We see from the temporal, but to be successful in prayer, we need to look into the eternal realm. We pray for the will of God and the glory of God.
- Date: March 7, 2004
- Verse: "Pray without ceasing."(1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Diligence is not limited to the method in which we pray, but it's also an attitude. You seek Him early, the Scripture says. In other words, you seek Him first; you seek Him about everything. Diligent pursuit of God is not going to Him when you're having trouble; diligent pursuit of God is fellowshipping with Him on a daily basis--practicing the presence of God. Prayer is twenty-four hours a day, for the Word of God says that we're to pray without ceasing. Prayer isn't what you do in your devotions when you wake up in the morning.
- Date: March 6, 2004
- Verse: "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."(Hebrews 7:25)
Satan desires to sift you as a grain of wheat, but the Master said, "I've prayed for you" (Luke 22:32). What an encouragement to each of our hearts! Aren't you rejoicing in that? The Scripture says He ever lives to make intercession for us (Heb. 7:25). Jesus is at the right hand of God in power and all authority; and the essence of God emanates in all of that majesty and splendor. Trying to imagine what heaven and the presence of God is like is so futile and weak, but try for just a moment to imagine the majestic splendor of God. God is Spirit--omnipresent, infinite, and eternal.
- Date: March 5, 2004
- Verse: "If ye love me, keep my commandments."(John 14:15)
Your love directly correlates to your obedience. Do you love your wife and children? You love them and oversee their lives in direct correlation to your obedience to Jesus. Naturally that love is demonstrated by your fidelity, provision, instruction, etc. But everything you do has to be done as a representative of the Lord if it's going to be truly "agape" love. If it doesn't originate from the Word of God, if it's purpose is not to bring about spiritual, eternal and godly seed and fruit, then it's "phileo." What makes it "agape" is when God is the source.
- Date: March 4, 2004
- Verse: "But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you."(Mark 16:7)
"Lord, though everybody forsakes You, don't worry. I'll be with You till the end."
"Really, Peter? Before the cock crows you'll deny Me three times."
Peter heard it, but he didn't believe it. His doctrine said, "If the Lord says it, it must be true, but maybe it's a metaphor of some kind. I mean, you're talking about the 'Rock'!" How do you see yourself today? Do you say, "I'd never do that; I would never act that way; I would never sell out"?
"Peter, Satan desires to sift you, but I've prayed for you," Jesus said.
- Date: March 3, 2004
- Verse: "Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing."(John 20:27)
To be a Christian means to have allegiance to the kingdom of God and to submit totally to the lordship of Jesus. We pledge allegiance to Him above any flag, above any race, above any natural relationship, and above any blood relative. Until we come to that understanding, we're walking below what He endured on the cross and in the garden, when He partook of the cup, saying, "Father, if it's possible, let it pass; but nevertheless, not My will; Thy will be done." That's what it means to be a Christian--"Nevertheless, not my will; Thy will be done.
- Date: March 2, 2004
- Verse: "So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?"(John 21:15)
Commentators debate over whether the "more than these" are these fish or these other disciples. My answer to that is yes. I see that Jesus can speak truths if the subject is either. Let's for a moment talk about the fish. "Do you love Me, Peter, more than these? You said you'd go a fishing; I called you to be fishers of men. You've now been convinced of My resurrection. I've appeared to you; you've seen the nail scars in My hands.
- Date: March 1, 2004
- Verse: "Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing."(John 21:3)
Religion can't change you; obedience is what changes you. Every time you disobey Him, you deny Him as your Lord. I've never denied Jesus verbally, but far too many times I've denied Him in my disobedience. Knowing to do good and doing it not is sin. All unrighteousness is sin. Transgression of the law is sin. I can really identify with Peter's denial, and I've sold Jesus out like Judas for less than thirty pieces of silver--for just a momentary pleasure. As we contrast Judas and Peter, one wouldn't receive forgiveness, went out, and hung himself;
- Date: February 29, 2004
- Verse: "Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."(Revelation 22:20)
As we pray, "Come quickly," we're not just praying to escape the hard times; we want to see Him. We want to be like the Lord. We want to know as we're known (1 Cor. 13:12). We want to see Him in His fullness. The little glimpse we've had of Him has brought so much peace, joy, and strength to our hearts! When we look on Him in His fullness, then we'll be alive for the first time! Oh, it's our hearts' desire to see Him and be like Him. We are tired of this life. We're tired of the battles.
- Date: February 28, 2004
- Verse: "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."(1 Corinthians 15:52)
Isn't it exciting to refresh ourselves with the doctrine of the blessed hope and the promise that He's gone and prepared a place for us? He will doubtless come again and receive us unto Himself that where He is, there we may be also (John 14:3). It's an exciting time, praise God! He's gone and prepared a place that eye has not seen and ear has not heard. It hasn't entered in the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Cor. 2:9).
The external motivation of the blessed hope is not just about the fire escape clause, escaping the judgment of God.
- Date: February 27, 2004
- Verse: "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut."(Matthew 25:10)
In the whole parable of the ten virgins, the most informative thing to us is that the five foolish knew where to get the oil. Then why wouldn't you get it today? You can't say, "I believe that Jesus is coming; I believe that the Bible is the Word of God; I know where to get the oil, but I'm not going to bother. I think I'll take another week off for the flesh." If you know that your flesh is dominating and that you don't have sufficient supply of the oil, then you don't believe--period. That's all there is to it. Jesus said, "Don't say you love Me and not keep My commandments.
- Date: February 26, 2004
- Verse: "...But we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."(1 John 2:2-3)
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not" (1 John 3:1). You see whether or not you're in right standing with God by whether or not you're in right standing with the world. If you're "one of the boys," then you don't belong to the kingdom of light. If everyone can embrace you at work, in the neighborhood and you're "politically correct," then you're not part of the kingdom of God.
- Date: February 25, 2004
- Verse: "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."(Matthew 25:13)
The foolish virgins will stand outside crying just like those that were banging on the door of the ark in Noah's day! These virgins come, cry out, and say to Him, "Lord, Lord, open to us!" He answers, "I know you not." Oh, I wish we'd all been ready. There are no more chances. You can't run to get the oil and come back! You hear these words, but the reality has to be, "What are you doing to prepare yourself?" As you try to be as truthful as you know how to be with your own heart, what really is the priority of your life? You can say all the right words and quote the doctrine.
- Date: February 24, 2004
- Verse: "They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them...While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept."(Matthew 25:3,5)
We are living in the most bizarre time since the creation of man. Knowledge has increased to where man now believes he can live forever through all of the genetic engineering. We live in that hour that the prophets said men would be running to and fro (Dan. 12:4). In other words, there would be no limit to our communication and ability to unify in our human identity. It's an interesting hour that we're living in.
We look for the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our treasures aren't here on the earth; they're in heaven. We're not earth dwellers;
- Date: February 23, 2004
- Verse: "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him."(Matthew 25:6)
As a people we understand the days that are upon us, the hour that's at hand, and that at any moment the trumpet of God can sound, the dead will rise, and we'll be changed. Every one of us needs to be changed now. The most successful among us is so far short. There is no place for rest, for the Bride is making herself ready. We're watching because we don't know what hour He's coming. Matthew 25 tells us that the slumber cannot occur until the oil has been provided in abundance. The lamp burns, but it will burn out.
- Date: February 22, 2004
- Verse: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."(Matthew 6:33)
If you're praying about whether you should get this house or that house, then get the best, biggest, plushest house you can get--as long as you can pay your tithes. The fact that you can move up means you have abundance, so always be ready to distribute and ready to communicate. If you buy this house and the kids can only eat twice a week, then you've gone against the basic laws of preferring others, providing for your family, and loving your wife. It's not hard to make these decisions when you make them all within the parameters of what's really important.
- Date: February 21, 2004
- Verse: "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."(John 16:13)
God is speaking constantly to us. Most of us run into problems praying to know the will of God by failing to realize that everything God will say has been said. The Spirit of truth leads us into all truth. "Thy word is truth" (John 17:17). The Spirit of truth leads us into truth; and we shall know the truth, and the truth shall make us free (John 8:32). The Spirit has not come to speak of Himself, but that which He has heard (John 16:13). He has come not to speak of Himself, but to speak of Jesus and what He accomplished.