- Date: July 9, 2018
- Verse: “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15)
We've been teaching on the love of God, and the mandate that the Lord Jesus gives us is that we're to love as we've been loved. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35). Nothing speaks louder than genuine love among the brethren. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Not how many Bible verses you can quote, not how big our fellowship is, but the world looking in and saying, "Those people love each other.
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Devotionals by Date
- 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.
- 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.