- 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: February 20, 2004
- Verse: "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."(Luke 12:32)
We all have the tendency to look for the ideal in life. How we've become so idealistic is really a problem in our society today. We think that everything needs to be perfect and exactly the way we want it. Much of our Christian life is spent trying to bring into reality these idealistic dreams and fantasies that we have, thinking that God exists to accomplish those things. We wouldn't say that's our doctrine, but our problem is we live that way. We are idealists about our work environment, the mate we look for, schools we want to attend and the vocations that we're going to have;
- Date: February 19, 2004
- Verse: "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come,...whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."(John 16:13)
Very seldom does the Holy Spirit speak in specifics. As we're praying about the specifics, we get caught up with, "Lord, is that the house? Is that the job? Is that my life's mate?" The Holy Spirit will speak, "Are you thinking of yourself more highly than you ought to think? Are you trusting in uncertain riches?" The Holy Spirit will always speak toward the motive, not the circumstances or the issues. People who are discontent think they ought to have a better house. The covetous say, "They don't deserve that! Look at them; they think they're so great.
- Date: February 18, 2004
- Verse: "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh."(Luke 6:45)
One of the things that places you in real danger is mistaking knowledge for experience, maturity and fruit. Don't listen to the knowledge that comes out of your head; listen to the revelation of the fruit that comes out of your heart. Your heart is where your treasure is, and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Many of us have head doctrine and heart doctrine, and they're different. The head doctrine can be right on, but is very difficult to distinguish from the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
- Date: February 17, 2004
- Verse: "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."(Philippians 3:14)
Anything you focus on that encumbers you, chokes out your time and energy from the great treasures, or keeps you from fulfilling the working of the Holy Spirit in your life is the enemy of your soul. I'm not talking about the necessary things of life but the things that are robbing you of what the Holy Spirit wants to do in your life. You're not ignorant of any of the things that hinder you; you just haven't made the quality decision to die to them yet.
- Date: February 16, 2004
- Verse: "And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak."(1 Kings 22:14)
How will we ever know what God is doing in our lives if we're not ready to hear the truth? In 1 Kings 22, Jehoshaphat really wanted to know the will of God, so he asked, "Can we inquire at the word of the Lord?" We're getting ready to do something important--finding a life's mate, surrendering my life to go to Africa or serve in the nursery. We need to hear what God has to say about this in our lives. "Is there not a prophet where we might inquire?" (22:7) There were many prophets hanging their shield on every corner. They'd tell you what you want to hear or tell you the obvious.
- Date: February 15, 2004
- Verse: "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me."(John 15:26)
"But when the Comforter [has] come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth..." (John 15:26). When making reference to the Holy Spirit, let that phrase "the Spirit of truth"--the Spirit that speaks the Word-- be predominant in your thinking. Contrast the Spirit of truth with the father of lies who is lord of the other kingdom. The liar will tell you whatever you want to hear. That voice that always agrees with you is, more than likely, not the Spirit of truth.
- Date: February 14, 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..."(John 16:13)
The Holy Spirit never speaks of Himself. In other words, there won't be any "unique" voice of the Holy Spirit except what the Holy Spirit has already authored in the Word of God. He will bring to remembrance and recite the words that Jesus had spoken. There is never selfness in the voice of the Holy Spirit. Apply that to many of those voices you hear within yourself.
- Date: February 13, 2004
- Verse: "...O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done."(Matthew 26:42)
One of the things that causes people to think that charismatics are a bunch of idiots are the "woo woo" Christians running around saying, "The Lord said. The Lord said. The Lord told me." God will tell you periodically to do some strange things--like offer your child up on Mount Moriah. God will tell you to step out of the boat. God will tell you to roll away the stone. Jesus said you would see the glory of God if you would only believe.
- Date: February 12, 2004
- Verse: "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"(Luke 11:13)
Jesus said, "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (Luke 11:9). Nothing is going to happen without our pursuit and our seeking. One obvious thing in the ministry of Jesus is that we need to be a praying people. Prayer is communion with God. Prayer is not trying to change, solicit or instruct God about how to fulfill your will on earth. Prayer is not enlisting God for your own selfish purposes. Prayer is not cooperating with God to accomplish your vision. Prayer is communion.
- Date: February 11, 2004
- Verse: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."(Romans 8:14)
The Holy Spirit is a person. He has personality. He can be known. He can be related to. He can be a friend. He desires to speak to us. We do not serve, as do the pagans, dumb idols, but the Holy Spirit speaks to us. God constantly speaks to us through the Holy Spirit. Are we hearing His voice or are we too busy? If God was speaking, would He be interrupted by your cell phone? We've lost the art of getting quiet. We are so concerned about being hooked into each other that we're missing out on hearing from God.
- Date: February 10, 2004
- Verse: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh..."(Acts 2:17)
God cannot be comprehended, but He can be known. The Holy Spirit enables us to know the incomprehensible God. The Spirit's abiding in us allows us to cry, "Abba, Father." It's the Spirit that bears witness with our spirit that we are the sons of God, right with Father and on course (Rom. 8:16). I want to take our understanding of Father--His love for us, who He is and what His purpose is--into the practical aspect of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- Date: February 9, 2004
- Verse: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."(James 1:17)
See how loving and how approachable your Father is. You should be confident of His purpose to bless you beyond your worth, to establish you beyond your ability, and to proclaim your victory that you're incapable to perform. That's the rest God has called you to. As you catch glimpses of Him, you need to understand that with the infinitude of God, there's no limitation to His love, His mercy, and His justice. As we pray to our Father, most of us have a lot of trouble with His immutability. You're going to find God the same every time you approach Him.
- Date: February 8, 2004
- Verse: "Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a-preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water."
Who are you praying to when you pray, "Our Father which art in heaven"? Jesus wants you to understand that you have a Father who knows what you have need of (Matt. 6:8). Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of these other things that the pagans are concerned with will be provided for you according to the love of your Father (Matt. 6:33).
- Date: February 7, 2004
- Verse: "And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."(1 John 4:16)
Do you ever feel alone, rejected or unworthy? Do you ever feel worthless like a failure? Father loves you. In this family there are no favorites; God is no respecter of persons. Every person is loved equally, and that equal love is total love. God, being an infinite being, has no limitations. His love, mercy and grace to you are without limitation.
- Date: February 6, 2004
- Verse: "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."(Galatians 4:6)
We want to catch a glimpse of our Father, how good and reliable He is. God cannot be comprehended, but He can be known. We're able to enter in, draw near to His bosom, and cry, "Abba, Father." Are you at rest in your Father's loving arms? Sadly, none of us can relate to having a perfect father on this earth, although some of us have had better fathers than others. But Father chose to reveal Himself to us in the Person of Jesus and through the revelation of His Word.
- Date: February 5, 2004
- Verse: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."(2 Corinthians 5:17)
If you die to self and surrender to His lordship, then you are a new creation. You know you are a new creature if your life has changed. Not just in outward performance, because you can change your behavior. But how do you view yourself? Do you realize that you deserve hell? What you've received is a gift given by the sovereignty of God; you are a debtor. When you see yourself as a debtor, you can respond by trying to prove that you're not a debtor and by trying to pay your own way.
- Date: February 4, 2004
- Verse: "So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king's table; and was lame on both his feet."(2 Samuel 9:13)
The blood of Jesus paid the great price to access God's presence. So often we take for granted the privilege of approaching a holy God. Not only do we have the legal right to approach Him, but He loved us while we were sinners and died for us (Rom. 5:8). Scripture says that no man seeks God, but God sought us (Rom. 3:11). He drew us by the Holy Spirit, and infused light into our understanding so we could see the great and unspeakable gift of God. As that illumination came, God also placed the gift of faith within our hearts.
- Date: February 3, 2004
- Verse: "Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little."(Luke 7:47)
The rich young ruler lived according to all the rules, yet he knew in his heart that he wasn't right with God. He said, "What do I lack? What else can I do?" (Matt. 19:20) Jesus said he needed to die to his pride of being a wealthy man, and to empty himself of self. Every one of us will be brought to the end of our self-oriented pursuit. Nothing can be held back. If there's a limit, He's not Lord.
At times we may say, "I don't understand why God does special stuff in some people's lives.
- Date: February 2, 2004
- Verse: "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you."(Matthew 6:14)
We've been so freely and totally forgiven. The Greek "apheimi" means "to be sent away, to be put aside, dismissed." What a phenomenal ability that our Father has to give us that bold access into His presence by the blood of Jesus, just as if we'd never sinned--justified. But if we don't forgive, we can't be forgiven. Matthew 18 talks about the injustice of that one who had been forgiven such a great debt and then went to make demands upon his brother to pay him all. God has the amazing ability to forget our sins.
- Date: February 1, 2004
- Verse: "So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."(Matthew 18:35)
If someone sins against you and asks you to forgive them, don't ever hold the sin against their account, demanding that they pay. The Lord said you'd better be careful, because if you can't forgive, you will not be forgiven. Is it worth having all of your sins brought up again? If you refuse to forgive, every sin God ever forgave you will be put back onto your account in the final judgment. In this parable, the servant went out, took this man by the neck, and said, "Pay me all that you have" (Matt. 18:28). Since he wouldn't, he had him thrown into prison.