Archive for March, 2013

With Love

Posted: March 31, 2013 in Devotions

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.
I Corinthians 16:13, 14 NKJV

Watch is Paul’s way of saying wake up! He wants them to see and acknowledge that Jesus is their savior not the men who serve as Christ’s messengers. He wants them to get their faith straightened out. Stand because they are wavering back and forth between popular leaders. Be courageous and strong not like little children. Address the necessary issues without compromising on the Christ as the focal point of our faith. Be careful not to do this to be right but do it in love. All of the struggles and disagreements have to be dealt with by both parties in love. No rising up to fight, just reaching out to each other to understand the truth and follow that together wherever it leads us.

The same is true for us today we need to apply all these practices. Let’s pay attention to our faith. Let’s ask the hard questions about our faith’s condition. Let’s be strong and brave and not waver between human leaders. Then we won’t be so prone to infighting because we will be operating in LOVE. Armed with Truth and Love we will go into the future prepared for whatever because we are dealing with reality.

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Resurrection

Posted: March 30, 2013 in Devotions
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And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!
I Corinthians 15:14-17 NKJV

The Resurrection is the fulcrum that our faith uses to give us a solid base to change our lives. Without that point of leverage we have nothing more than religion or philosophy. I know that in academia it is considered quaint at best and more often scoffed at and hated as the source of all the problems in the world or looked down on as a primitive ignorance used to comfort people who aren’t particularly bright. The truth is that if Jesus is not risen then we ARE fools and wasting our lives.

But Christ is risen and we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies. We will be like Him and we will be with Him forever where His/our Father has many places, one which He has prepared for each of us.

Thank You, Jesus, for the life you have opened to us all!

Prophets

Posted: March 29, 2013 in Devotions
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But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.
I Corinthians 14:3 NKJV

Often in the Church today there is a caricature of what prophecy and the prophet should look like. He/she should be dressed a little weird and stand with a stern or tearful demeanor while pointing at someone so they can properly depict God’s anger/passion/grief etc. Paul tells us other wise. Prophecy (especially public prophecy) should edify, exhort, and comfort people.

With very few exceptions (correction does sometimes happen in public) these three modes should be the primary thrust of our speech in general as well as when prophesying. This is God’s heart for us. He is on our side. He takes no pleasure in punishing the wicked. He knows we have enough to struggle with without a heavy-handed God to keep us afraid of making mistakes.

He wants to edify or build us up not tear us down. His goal is for us to be moving towards the image of Christ. He will instruct and correct us to that end. Our Father wants to exhort or stir us up. He wants to give us hope and encouragement along with passion so that we are enthusiast partakers in His plans, not reluctant participants. If we will listen to His heart in our darkest times we will find His comfort waiting for us.

Before we speak in His name we need to understand His heart of lifting others up, empowering them to go on and caring for their hurts. The comfort He has given us MUST be passed on to others.

Ignorant

Posted: March 28, 2013 in Devotions

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
Corinthians 12:1 NKJV

It can’t get any clearer than this. God doesn’t want us to be ignorant about spiritual gifts. We need to look into scripture to teach us what the gifts have been given to us for. We need to find others who are practicing the gifts and share our knowledge with each other.

We don’t want ignorant doctors or ignorant lawyers. We pay extra for expertise. We need to start applying this to spiritual matters. We certainly don’t want to be ignorant about Jesus and what we believe in.

Learning with you,

Heart & Soul

Posted: March 26, 2013 in Devotions
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Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.
Joshua 23:14 NKJV

You know it! Deep in your heart you know God is faithful. Down in your soul you know He is reliable. All the good things He has promised us are real. Many of His promises have already shown up in our lives and many are yet to be experienced. It is up to each of to follow that urge in our heart and soul to believe God is good.

He hasn’t failed us yet!

Common Man – Faithful God

Posted: March 25, 2013 in Devotions

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
I Corinthians 10:13 NKJV

I know this is a familiar verse, but it still stirs me up. I remember early in my teenage years when my Bible Quiz Leader assigned us this verse to memorize. He explained it to us clearly. He told us how that as young people we would be told to think that we would have to give in to some of the temptations that we faced but that it wasn’t true. He reminded us about other young people who served God recorded in the Bible. Samuel, David, Jeremiah, Joseph and Daniel to name a few. He taught us how they had maintained holiness in the face of incredible pressure. They had set a standard that cannot be improved upon, but can be set in out own lives and hearts. Whenever things were tough I remembered I was not alone in my temptation and that God was faithful to leave me an escape route so that I could carry whatever I had been trusted with by Him!

A common man with a faithful God.

Divide And Conquer

Posted: March 22, 2013 in Devotions
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Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the Lord said to him: “You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed. This is the land that yet remains: all the territory of …—them I will drive out from before the children of Israel; only divide it by lot to Israel as an inheritance, as I have commanded you. Now therefore, divide this land as an inheritance to the nine tribes and half the tribe of Manasseh.
Joshua 13:1, 2, 6, 7 NKJV

The Lord came to Joshua and asked him why he was wasting time. There was a lot of land left to be conquered; what was holding him back? The promise of God to drive out the enemy was still good; his command to take authority over the Promised Land was still in effect. The only reasonable thing to do was to divide up the rest and conquer it.

This applies to us as a church. We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies, we have His promises, and His command to make disciples. The only reasonable thing for us to do is to divide up the work and get it done.

This applies to us individually. All of the same benefits are ours personally too. We need to conquer the areas of our lives that do not glorify Him. Casting lots isn’t for us any more but pick ANY area and apply His Power to disciplining it and healing it. It’s ours to take.