- Date: December 9, 2015
- Verse: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” ()
I want to set a bit of a foundation. Look at Joshua, Chapter 1, verse 8. "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night…" We have talked about this word "meditate" over the years. We realize that the word "meditate" brings with it the understanding of muttering, repeating over and over to ourselves and to those that are around us. We know that the Word of God is to be taken and placed upon the doorposts of our homes.
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Devotionals by Date
- 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.
- Date: March 31, 2004
- Verse: "...Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand,...thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words."(Daniel 10:12)
Daniel makes reference to praying by faith and waiting on the power and ability of God to manifest. Daniel 10:12 says, "...From the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard..." From the first day, thy words were heard. He will avenge us speedily (Luke 18:8). His ears are open to the cry of the righteous (Ps. 34:15). Many times the simplicity of these truths cause us to miss the magnitude of what's being said. We want things to be hard, detailed, and intricate;
- Date: March 30, 2004
- Verse: "And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy."(Matthew 26:43)
What does God expect of us in our attitude toward prayer? We see that Jesus prayed early in the morning, at the noon hour, at the evening time, and had all night sessions of prayer. After being exhausted from the busiest days, Jesus labored in prayer. Jesus prayed about the smallest things, and He prayed concerning the resurrection of Lazarus. In all of these areas, His life was saturated with the presence of God. We see Him coming into Gethsemane, the greatest hour and trial in His physical life. He came into the Garden of Gethsemane with the eleven.
- Date: March 29, 2004
- Verse: "And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;"(Luke 18:1)
Why do we pray? We pray to practice His presence, to be changed, to get direction from God, to spend time with God. We pray because we're commanded to pray. As we pray in the Spirit, we're edified. We pray to know the Lord. All of these are correct answers. But the simplistic answer is this: we pray to get an answer. Do you think that's oversimplified? The sad thing is that many of us seem to think there is some merit in spending time in prayer. We don't pray to pray; we pray to get results. We don't just pray to articulate or because it's part of our dogma.
- Date: March 28, 2004
- Verse: "Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak."(Mark 14:38)
"...Watch...and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak" (Mark 14:38). We say we need to pray but is the flesh truly brought under? Is the time you spend in prayer--the thirty minutes, the hour, the two hours--effectual time where the flesh is in subjection? It's not just the amount of time. You may have spent two hours in "prayer", but may have truly prayed only two minutes. The spirit is willing. The endeavor that we make is a spiritual endeavor. We want to pray, but all the while our minds are racing.
- Date: March 27, 2004
- Verse: "And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly..."(Luke 22:43-44)
As the revelation of taking the world's sin unfolds, Jesus sees its magnitude and becomes very, very sorrowful and heavy. He prays the prayer of faith, "Lord, not My will, but Thine be done." Then it says, "...There appeared an angel unto him from heaven," and began to strengthen Him. An angel appeared to minister to Jesus. Could you use that periodically? If you'll study out the angelic visitations, they come in the times that you've emptied yourself in service to God. The prayer Jesus is involved in is not a trite "now-I-lay-me-down-to-sleep" prayer.
- Date: March 26, 2004
- Verse: "And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."(Luke 22:41-42)
Jesus told the disciples, "Pray that you don't enter into temptation. Pray that you don't fail the test that's before you" (Luke 22:40). He separates Himself from them--that's the test. Do we pray only when we feel the presence of God or know that Jesus is there? We pray when we sense the unction or whenever God is speaking directly to our hearts, but He said we ought to pray always (Luke 18:1). If we don't pray always, we fail the test; we've entered into temptation.
- Date: March 25, 2004
- Verse: "Pray without ceasing."(1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Prayer is where our victory is. Instead of the mechanics of prayer, I want to deal with the intensity of our prayer lives that the Spirit of God calls us to. Across America, the average pastor of Bible-believing churches prays twelve minutes a day. The Church is in trouble. God is calling us to a lifestyle of prayer. As I read that statistic, it absolutely boggled my mind to think that the spiritual leaders of this nation may average twelve minutes a day in prayer. Then we wonder why worldliness is taking over the churches and why we depend upon psychology and higher education.
- Date: March 24, 2004
- Verse: "The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry."(Psalm 34:15)
Let's dispel a few myths so we can be effectual in our praying. We see the need for right relationship. Many of us have the fallacy that if we can get ourselves in enough trouble, God will be compelled to bail us out because He is loving, merciful, and compassionate. He is all of those things; but He's the faithful God to those who love Him and keep His commandments. God's Word tells us how He'll respond to us. If we love Him and keep His commandments, He will be faithful to us for a thousand generations. He will be there on our behalf.
- Date: March 23, 2004
- Verse: "...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."(James 5:16)
James 5 talks about the effectual, fervent praying of the righteous man. The effectual fervency is only a part; there must also be relationship. "Righteousness" means "right standing or relationship" with Father. The word "effectual" means "to be divinely energized." This passage doesn't say "an energized prayer" or refer to how sincere you are. Prayer has to be divinely energized with God as the source. Fervency is a true earnestness and understanding of who God is.
- Date: March 22, 2004
- Verse: "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."(John 15:7)
Understand the day and the hour that we're in--we're at war. Our enemy, Satan, goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8). If we're going to stand, we have to resist the devil, and he'll flee from us. To be victorious we have to take on the whole armor of God--the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, our loins gird about with truth, our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. We need to understand what it means to have as our defense the shield of faith and as our offense the sword of the spirit.
- Date: March 21, 2004
- Verse: "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."(Mark 11:25)
"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" (Matt. 6:12). The greatest hindrances to our prayer life are selfishness and unforgiveness. Many of us are dealing with and battling roots of bitterness and unforgiveness. Many of us don't even realize that the greatest object of our unforgiveness is God, thinking that God has wronged us in the past. We may think, "If Father really loved me, I wouldn't be experiencing all this grief and torment. If God really loved me, He would not have let that father (mother, husband, child) abuse me the way they have.