- 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: 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.
- Date: January 31, 2004
- Verse: "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?"(Matthew 18:21)
Love is living in the spirit of forgiveness. Peter came and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Seven times?" (Matt. 18:21) Peter was so proud of himself for coming up with that number seven. Jesus said, "Not seven times, but seventy times seven." You know that freaked Peter out. The natural mind, the natural man, can't receive those things. Peter was looking for a number, and then all of a sudden he saw 490 times in a day.
- Date: January 30, 2004
- Verse: "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye."(Colossians 3:13)
Colossians 3:13 tells us to forbear and forgive one another. Forbearance and forgiveness frequently work in conjunction with one another. How ready are you to have a spirit of forgiveness? Forgiveness is the ability to set aside and no longer hold this offense to their account as you relate to others. The Greek "apheimi" means "to send forth or to dismiss". You may say, "The way that guy dresses offends me; the car that guy drives offends me, the movie he watched offends me.
- Date: January 29, 2004
- Verse: "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love."(Ephesians 4:2)
The one thing that hinders the process of bringing forth fruit in the Body, as it's being perfected, compacted together and edified into the fullness of the stature of Christ, is the lack of biblical forbearance. Forbearance is the expression of the love of God, the fruit of the Spirit, in each of our lives. "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbear one another in love" (Eph. 4:2). The word "forbear" means "to endure." The fruit of love in our midst is the quality of endurance.
- Date: January 28, 2004
- Verse: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."(John 13:35)
The greatest opportunity to allow the fruit of the Spirit to manifest in our lives is through the time that we spend relating to one another. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, [when] ye have love one [for] another" (John 13:35).
- Date: January 27, 2004
- Verse: "For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."(Ephesians 5:5)
Are we seeking how mature and pure we can be? Or are we seeking how little we can do and still be acceptable? As we walk in the spirit and produce fruit, we're pruned to produce more fruit. If our lives are dominated with good fruit, why detract from so much good by identifying with something other than the Body of Christ?
Paul in Ephesians 5 is not saying that by committing one of these acts-- covetousness, uncleanness, whore-mongering, coarse speaking--we will not inherit the kingdom of God. The issue is not the individual act;
- Date: January 26, 2004
- Verse: "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called."(Ephesians 4:1)
"Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called" (Eph. 4:1). Our vocation is to love God and to love our neighbor. Paul says we are to walk worthy of that job, that calling. This vocation is who you are. You're not an electrician, a computer programmer, or a government employee. You're an ambassador of God's love. That's first and foremost. You don't live to yourself; you don't die to yourself. God's love doesn't make us feel all warm, fuzzy and secure. In your vocation you receive God's love in order to readily transfer that love to those in need.
- Date: January 25, 2004
- Verse: "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." (Galatians 5:24)
The fruit of the Spirit is the proof that God's Spirit is living in us. The fruit of the Spirit cannot manifest without the abiding presence of the Spirit of God. We must abide in the Vine and His words must abide in us. Fruit, as it's being produced, will always be pruned so that we could bring forth more fruit (John 15:2).
Look at your life and ask, "Is this who I am? Is this what's dominating my life?" Just because you accidentally produced one act of the fruit of the Spirit doesn't mean you're walking in the spirit. You are what you are in abundance.
- Date: January 24, 2004
- Verse: "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16)
Paul is addressing the Spirit-filled life, the Spirit-led life. People often ask, "How can I be free from the flesh?" The answer is to walk in the spirit. That's easy to say, but how do we walk in the spirit? By choice, we crucify self. We choose each moment whom we will serve. Walk in the spirit at all times. Seek the things that are above where Jesus is seated at Father's right hand (Col. 3:1). The reason so many of us are not free from the flesh is because we're still so preoccupied with it.