- Date: December 10, 2018
- Verse: “There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” (Proverbs 19:21)
I just want to encourage us, when sometimes you think it's out of hand, sometimes when you think Satan is preeminent and he's in charge, when you seem to think that there's no way that these circumstances-all of these circumstances that demand failure, demand defeat, demand the loss of your job, demand the loss of your home, demand the loss of your life, whatever it might be, I want you to know something. Nothing happens if it's not in the counsel of God's will. So in the midst of it all, we give thanks.
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Devotionals by Date
- 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.
- 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.