- Date: February 7, 2014
- Verse: “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Matthew 11:11-12)
"The kingdom of God suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force" (Matthew 11:12). Would you say that is descriptive of us, this fellowship? What are we seeing around us in the age that we are living in, and what are we experiencing personally? What is the fruit of our lifestyle? One thing we know very clearly is, "...the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power" (1 Corinthians 4:20).
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Devotionals by Date
- Date: January 17, 2004
- Verse: "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." (John 15:12)
As the children of God, we are known by our love. The highest expression of the representation of God (who is love) is in a life that exhibits, through death to self, the preference of others, freely giving of that which we have freely received. We can't call ourselves Christians and not love. To fail to love is to fail to keep the commandments of God. This is the commandment that you received from the beginning: that you would love one another. To break the commandment is to live under the power of sin.
- Date: January 16, 2004
- Verse: "Charity...is kind; charity envieth not..." (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Love is kind. Are you kind? Does kindness and tenderness, dominate your life? Is the first response you have compassion, or do you have the drill sergeant mentality? Love is kind and compassionate. There's no abrasiveness in our lives as Christians. There are times that we contend for the faith, bring reproof and rebuke, but that's done in kindness, beloved. It's not done in self-righteous, haughty, demanding tones. You don't have to become harsh to make a point, because we're kind. Our first response in the Spirit is always one of gentleness and mildness.
- Date: January 12, 2004
- Verse: "But the fruit of the Spirit is...temperance..." (Galatians 5:22,23)
True biblical faith produces the evidence that there is a new creature living within us. We're no longer under the dominion of sin in our members, which are the works of the flesh. What motivates us? After we become new creatures, do we still have the same ambitions? Even if we have the same ambition, we cannot have the same motivation. So we need to realize that old things have passed away; all things have become new (2 Cor. 5:17).
- Date: June 6, 2002
- Verse: "The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd."(Ecclesiastes 12:11)
It's amazing the power of words as goads! These things are inspiring! Words can motivate us! Words take these principles, solidify them, and establish them in our lives in areas that'll inspire us forever! You know, I have little phrases that are written down in the back of my Bible that are so powerful. "To respond is to pursue." Think about that -- the power. These are words, as I've gleaned from teachers over the years, things that I've read, seen, or heard, and things that I've written down in my Bible. Words can motivate us. "We're the sum total of our desires.
- Date: June 5, 2002
- Verse: "The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned."(Isaiah 50:4)
Isaiah speaks of a great ministry. Say, you know, I wonder if this would be a ministry that you'd like to be involved in? Isaiah chapter 50, verse 4, says, "The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned." Let's listen to the new covenant. We ought to be swift to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19). You see, He gives us, the Scripture says here in Isaiah, the ear of the learned. The man doesn't speak until God has spoken.
- Date: June 4, 2002
- Verse: "He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit." (Proverbs 17:27)
One of the great forces that each one of us possesses, and so many times abuse, is the force, or the power, of words that come out of our mouth. The Scripture has a lot to say about the power of speech, the power of words. We realize, from the epistle that James has spoken to us, the necessity of bringing about the oversight of the tongue. It's an unruly member and how great a fire a little spark, the Scripture says, can kindle (James 3:5). The mature among us, James goes on to say, is the one that can control his own tongue (3:2).