Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thurs.'s Devo - Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding???

Read Proverbs 1:1-6
Let's study Proverbs. Proverbs is one of my favorite books that I read daily but don't think about studying. So let's see what God will teach us.
Solomon was the wisest man in the world because he asked God for wisdom and God gave it to him in abundance. God always does things big. Wisdom means being skillful. Instruction means properly chastised; warning or reproof. Understanding means knowledge. So we are suppose to gain skill, and proper warning and be able to mentally separate knowledge by studying the words of the Proverbs. We will also receive instruction in intelligence, the right morals, a favorable verdict or sentence and the ablity to know what is straight. We will be able to guide in discretion of the foolish, and give knowledge and right counsel to the young. If we are already wise we will add to our wisdom and if we already are quick to understand, we will gain understanding from those wiser than us. This will help us understand things superior to us and understand satire and be able to figure out puzzles. Now why do we need to know how to do this? The Bible is full of satire and puzzles and mysterious symbols. We need God's mind and help to interpret what he is saying in the Bible. He speaks in mysteries so we will have to seek out the meaning. He wants to give his wisdom and secrets to those who care to dig them out. Proverbs is full of these nuggets so we are going to go gold mining!
Lord, Give us your wisdom to understand your Proverbs. May we grow to be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (Matt. 10:16)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wed.'s Devo - The End.

Read 2 Pe. 3:9-18
God has everything well planned out and everything is on His ordained schedule. Sometimes it seems that he has forgotten us or what he promised us but he never forgets. Time is in his hands. He has great patience because he wants everyone that he has chosen to come in to the kingdom before the end comes. God will come "like a thief in the night". He will take the heaven and the earth back. The heavens will "pass away" which means they will come near earth with a great noise or with a crash. (That sounds to me like the sun exploding). The elements of the earth will melt from the heat and be burned up. Knowing this should put our lives in a different perspective. We put such emphasis on things that are going to burn up instead of the things that won't like our relationship with Him and others.
The earth and the heavens are going to burn up but we have the promise of a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness lives. If we set our sights on this future we will be spotless and without blame, living in peace. All the suffering we have done on this earth for God will be accounted for our salvation. We have all the wisdom we need available to us in God's Word so we will not be deceived by the devil to stray from God. Instead we are to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tues.'s Devo - Your Time Line

Read 2 Pe. 3:1-8
All through history there have been those who have laughed at the prophecies of God. They laughed at Noah when he warned them for years that water was going to rain down from heaven and drown the earth. They had never seen rain before so his words seemed absurd. But, whether they believed or not it happened and they were all destroyed. The world we now live in will be destroyed by fire according to the Bible and the unbelievers will be destroyed by it. Believers, like Noah will be lifted out of the world and not harmed by the fire. Then Peter dropped in a nugget of truth that is a gold mine when trying to figure out time and events. He says that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. Every thousand years represents one of the days of creation. So the first thousand years is summed up in the first day. "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the eath was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness; And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night." In the first thousand years it was the beginning of everything. There was God's creation of Adam and Eve and there was Satan (light and dark) Sin was introduced as dark and God was introduced as light. People lived in darkness mostly with a few bright lights like Enoch who walked with God. During this thousand years God distinguished what was sin and what was righteousness. We are in the 6th day where man is elevated to a god and the human form is highly worshiped. On the 7th day the earth will rest just as God did. The Bible calls this Millennium.
Lord, your Word is from everlasting to everlasting. Everything we need is written in these pages. It is life and our daily food. Help us to rightly divide it and eat its fruit.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday's Devo - The False Prophet

Read 2 Pet. 2:15-22
In Numbers 22 we find the story of Balaam and Balak. Balak was the king of the Moabites who hated the Israelites. He wanted to curse the people of Israel because he was afraid of them so Balak sent servants to hire Balaam to curse Israel. Even though Balaam was a false prophet, God spoke to him and told him not to go and curse these people because they were blessed by him. When the king got his message he sent more prestigious soldiers with greater promises to bribe Balaam to come. So, he decided he would ask God again. This time God told him to go but he could only say what God wanted him to say. On the way God got mad because he didn't obey his first word so he sent his angel to stand in the way. Only the donkey saw the angel so it veered off the path to avoid the sword of the angel. Balaam, oblivious to the angel, got mad and hit his donkey and turned her back to the path. The angel then stood in the path where there was a wall on either side and there was not room to pass. The donkey crushed Balaam's foot into the wall trying to avoid the angel again. Finally the donkey fell at the foot of the angel and Balaam got really ticked and hit her again. God then opened the mouth of the donkey and it explained to Balaam his strange behavior. Balaam's spiritual eyes were opened and he could see the angel which put the fear of God in Balaam. God would not let him speak a curse over Israel so he ended up blessing them instead.
Balaam was a false prophet who made his money being able to "see" prophetically. He used his gift to make money, not to help people. Verse 17 says that these false prophets are wells without water. They are deep in that they have a prophetic gift, but they are motivated by the wrong spirit so they can produce no life from their words. They are clouds carried by a tempest. They have been clouded by darkness and evil and are moved by the spirit of Satan. They are deceived and they deceive others with flatteries and false words of encouragement and grandeur. They can offer no hope because they live in a prison in their own mind. Their warden is the devil. If God reveals to them his power like he did to Balaam and they still go back to their ways then there end will be worse than ever. That is what happened to Balaam.
Lord, put your fear in us that we would never seek the power of the enemy and never be deceived by the power of money or false prophecy. May we seek your words alone.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sat.'s Devo - Don't Give Up!

I am always humbled and thankful by how quickly God disciplines me. I found myself judging a situation that happened this week and thinking of what these people should have done instead of impulsively reacting the way they did. They should have prayed about it first. Well, I didn't even get one day down the road till a similar situation happened in my life and I impulsively did what I thought was the right thing. It was the right thing to do I just failed to do one little thing first that made the difference of offending someone or preparing them. So after praying about it I saw my mistake and had to go back and seek forgiveness. God graciously gave it and so did the person but the damage has been done. I hate these kind of things because the only thing gained is a good lesson of what not to do next time. So I learned first, don't judge someone else's life, then don't be so prideful to think I don't need to pray first when you have a situation.
The good thing about this week is that I was able to minister to many people who needed a touch from God. It is so easy to stop and swim in self-pity and condemnation once you blow it, but this is not what God wants us to do. He wants us to get right back up and start again with more of His power than before.
Lord, thank you for your forgiving power and your power to mend and make new. Renew us in your spirit and give us wings to fly.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fri.'s Devo - Walking After the Flesh 4-23-10

Read 2 Pe. 2:10-14
We are given a picture of what a person looks like that walks after the flesh. First of all, they despise government. In other words, they hate authority or anyone telling them what to do. I once heard a great definition of rebellion: doing your own thing. That is why submitting to God's will is so humbling because we have no say so in the matter. Next, they are presumptuous which means they are daring and bold about their sins. Next, they are selfwilled (arrogant) and aren't afraid to speak bad about their authorities whether it is their boss or the President of the US. If even the angels that are greater in power than them don't speak against authority, who are we to do that? The Bible says that ALL authority is put there by him. These ungodly people are like the animals God made; they don't understand the things of God; they were made for destruction. They love to indulge in sin while they disgrace and find fault with others. They are totally deceived and are driven to adultery and sin. They trap people who have not made up their minds who they are going to serve. They practice evil and even despise children which is why there is so much abortion in our land.
Father, forgive us for speaking evil against the people that you have put in authority over us. Forgive us of all the unborn babies we have murdered in our land. Cleanse our hearts and let us walk upright in an unright society. May we be lights to the darkness.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thurs.'s Devo - Not Deceived! 4-22-10
Read 2 Pe. 2:1-9
Talking about false prophets used to scare me because I didn't want to be one. I thought that if I proclaimed something I thought God told me and it didn't come to pass then I would be labeled by God a false prophet. But that is not true. A false prophet means a pretended foreteller; a religious impostor. So either they know full well what they are doing or they are so deceived they don't realize what they are doing. Either way they have strayed from the fundamental truths of the Bible and they now believe a lie. There is no way to do this if you stay grounded in the Word of God and surround yourself with fellow believers who hold you accountable to truth. False prophets deny that Jesus bought them with the price of his blood which opens them to the enemy who kills, steals, and destroys. It is always surprising to us that people follow these false leaders with their crazy doctrines but they do because they have rejected truth and this false prophet offers them things that feed their desires. They don't realize till it is too late that the cult they have joined is really a prison and not the freedom they were looking for. Their end is damnation just like the angels that rebelled with Satan. They were cast down to hell and locked up in chains waiting their final judgment. Also, the people of the days of Noah were destroyed because they chose not to believe in God. Only Noah and his family were saved. God totally burned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha because of their evil lives and spared only Lot and his two daughters. Verse 7 says that Lot was vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked. We could write a whole blog on that. "Vexed" means tortured; harassed; oppressed. God delivered Lot from this and can deliver us from temptation too, even if he has to remove it from us. We are promised that one day the ungodly will receive their punishment and judgment.
Lord, may we be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wed.'s Devo - Divine Interruption

Read Ps. 91 again and again and again till you have it memorized
I want to interrupt this Bible Study to include you in what God is doing. I am a part of a project called Clean Slate at our church. This is a project we do every year where we take families who need a clean slate and we go in and redo their house in a week-end. I love it because decorating is my thing and I get to use my talents to bless someone. Well this year the house we got has mold. The dryer had not been vented properly so it vented into the wall instead of the outside. So for 7 years damp hot air has been pumped into the walls of their house. There is mold on the floor, in the windows and in the bathrooms and their children are experiencing health issues because of it.
Well, the more I thought about the problem the madder and more discouraged I got. One day I was complaining to God and I said, "This is impossible!" The moment I said that I almost started laughing because I remembered God's Word - "With God nothing is impossible." That night I kept waking up to Ps 91 on my mind. I memorized it when my kids were young and use to claim it for our household. The next morning as I was going to the gym God kept saying over and over: "There shall no plague come near my dwelling." I wondered what he was trying to tell me until I remembered that mold is a plague! I read in the Old Testament what God told them to do when a house was full of mildew and you scraped it down, applied the blood of birds and the priest looked at the house and pronounced it clean. Well, we can't get under the sheet rock and scrape it down, but God's angels can. But we can apply the blood of Jesus to the house and pronounce it clean as priests of God. So I shared it with my team leaders. At first they thought I was a little weird which I'm pretty use to. But over time they have come to realize that not only is God our only hope, but he is able to do that. So we prayed as a group about it last night. This week our project manager is going over to the house with a mold specialist to look at the mold. They drill a hole somewhere inconspicuously in the wall and put a little camera in the hole and look at what is in the dry wall. I believe with all my faith that they will find nothing. I wanted to tell you this before it happened so that when it does you will see the miracle and be a part of it. So here is your part. Just believe with us that God is delivering that house from the plague of mold.
Lord, thank you for including us in your miraculous power. May this be a testimony to everyone of how wonderful and great you are. To you be all the glory!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tues.'s Devo - Don't Forget

Read 2 Pet. 1:12-21
Paul knows that he only has a short time left on this earth but as long as he lives he is going to put his energy in stirring up the Christians under him and remind them of what God has taught them. He reminds them that they don't believe what people have passed on throughout the generations about a Messiah but they actually saw him with their own two eyes. They saw how he died, how he came back and how he arose in glory. They heard God's voice from heaven say that this was his son and he was well pleased with him. They actually saw prophecy unfold before their eyes so they would be held to a greater responsibility.
We are living in a day where prophecy is being fulfilled right before our eyes. The biggest sign was in 1948 when Israel became a nation. I wasn't living but I have seen a rocky, dusty and deserted land become a land of trees, cities, and people. God is speaking to us through signs and wonders in the heavens. Just this week there was a meteor that came to earth in the US. In Iceland there was a volcano that erupted and its ashes went all the way to Europe and kept the planes grounded costing the airlines millions of dollars a day. God is in control of the airways. He is more powerful than any of man's inventions. He can tear down and he can build up. Lord, we pray that you forgive us and heal our land. Pour your Holy Spirit into our dry hearts and ignite us with your fire. May we live our lives like Paul: stirred to remembrance of all you have done.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mon's Devo. Being Fruitful

Read 2 Pet. 1:8-11
Friday we talked about our progression from faith, to virtue, to knowledge, to temperance, to patience, to godliness, to brotherly kindness, to charity. If these things are growing in you then you will not be useless or without fruit for the kingdom. If you do not seek them then you will be blind and not able to see into the spiritual realm because you will have forgotten what the blood of Jesus did for you. It takes effort and study on our part to grow in the Lord. We have a calling and we have been chosen for a destiny but we have to be clothed with the right garments to enter into our destiny. If not then we will fall. If we earnestly walk toward God and his ways then he will open a door into an abundant kingdom that he dwells in. Our problem comes in our seeing. We see our mistakes, our failures, and our circumstances when God wants to bring to our remembrance what He has done and what he will do. We do this by abiding in the Word and reading of his power and miracles.
Lord, we long to grow in power and grace like Jesus did on earth. Help us to learn obedience through the things we suffer and end with love.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fri.'s Devo - Our Ultimate Bucket List

Read 2 Pet. 1:5-7
This is what I call the list to perfection. I remember studying Thoreau in English and how he had a list of virtues that he worked on one by one to master. But when he got to the last one it was humility which blew his whole mission. Jesus has been the only perfect man to walk the earth and somehow he did it with humility. So let's look at this list. We are to start with faith which is essential to go on which is why we start our walk with salvation - faith in Jesus. We are to add to our faith virtue. Virtue in the Greek means manliness or valor; excellence; praise. Webster adds a love of, or taste for artistic objects; the quality of being artistic, beautiful, rare. I think this means that you take your Christianity seriouslly and respect God's creation as an expression of Himself.
To virtue we are to add knowledge. This goes deeper than an appreciation for the things of God. This is intimacy with God. There is always a call to go deeper with God but few choose to sacrifice the time and effort to do it.
To knowledge we are to add temperance which is self-control and continence. Once we have drawn near to God we need to continue till the end. Walking with God is not a hit and miss, it is a life-style. We are in it for the long haul.
Once we have determined to stay we add patience. Patience is different from self-control in that it is CHEERFUL endurance. It is walking with God with hope and joy, waiting cheerfully for his promises to manifest.
To our patience we are to add godliness. This is when we choose to put away the things of the world and with all our heart we desire Jesus above all else.
To godliness we are to add brotherly kindness. This is the ultimate because it is not about us and our relationship to a perfect God who loves us with strictly pure motives, but this is about another human being who is not perfect and is bound to hurt or disappoint us sometime.
Lastly to our brotherly kindness we are to add charity. The Greek defines charity as love, affection or benevolence; a love feast. This is not our human love but a love from above put in our hearts by God. It goes beyond offenses and petty stuff. It is deep and satisfying.
Lord, help us to grow in all these areas. Thank you for the grace and the desire to go on with you. Be glorified on the earth through your children.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thurs.'s Devo - Partakers of His Divine Nature

Read 2 Pet. 1:1-4
Peter is praying for his fellow Christians under the power of the Holy Spirit which means this is what Jesus prays for us. He prays that we have an overabundance of peace and grace. We have been given the same power Jesus had to live a righteous life so that we might also live righteously. Which means that we have been given power to resist sin so that we don't HAVE to sin. Jesus made his power available to us if we appropriate it. We are called to glory and virtue. That glory we are called to is to be very apparent and virtue means we are to do everything with excellence, no matter how small or mundane the task. For we have been awesome promises in God's Word and if we apply them, then we will be "partakers of his divine nature" which I call living supernaturally. We have escaped the penalty of sin which is corruption. When John introduced Jesus he said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world." He came to take sin away. Jesus healed a cripple man and told him to leave and sin no more. Romans 6 talks about how we should not continue in sin if we are saved because we are dead to sin and when we raised up out of baptism we were to live in newness of life. Our old man was crucified that sin in us might be destroyed, so that we would no longer serve sin but be free from sin. So maybe we should see ourselves as righteous instead of sinners and live in the grace Jesus died to give us.
Lord, it goes against our doctrine to think that we could live without sin, but it goes against your Word to think otherwise so help us to walk a life worthy of your name and remind us that the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wed.'s Devo - Resist the Devil

Read 1 Pet. 5
Peter addresses the elders which are the older men who have proven to be wise in the things of God. They feed the people spiritually with pure motives and humility. They live their lives as examples that the youth should respect and pattern their lives after. The elders should in turn humble themselves before the youth and respect them because God hates pride and loves humility.
God is faithful and we can wholly trust him. He cares about what we care about. But, beware! We have an enemy that walks around looking for people he can destroy. It is no wonder that he brings up Satan after talking about pride since he is the epitome of pride. He was birthed in pride and God knows how tempting it is for people when they are given power to use it for selfish ambitions. But we can resist pride because Christ is in us and we have the hope that one day we will be perfect, steadfast, strengthened and settled in God. Satan could have had this same promise if he hadn't rebelled, but he did, so he is on a mission to make us fall too. The good news is that Jesus is on a mission to make us succeed in everything we do and Jesus has more power than the devil.
Lord we humble ourselves before you and our brothers and sisters. Raise us up to follow you in everything we do. Peace be with us that are in Christ Jesus. Amen

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tues.'s Devo - Glory in Trials

Read 1 Pet. 4:11-19
God wants to glorify himself through us which is an awesome thought. If we are given the gift of public speaking then what we say should be God's words and if we are ministering to people we are to do it with God's power. We are to glorify God is everything we do. When we do this we are a powerful force on the earth and the devil does not like it. He will send his attacks on us and we should not be surprised. The Bible calls these attacks fiery trials which Strongs defines ignition and calamity as a test. So trials are to ignite something in us that needs to be burnt up. It is also a test of our faith and when we pass it we will be promoted to the next level. It is in our trials that we identify with Christ and we find joy and God is glorified if we suffer for doing well.
God faithfully judges us who are his children first. We want this judgment here on earth so we can repent and not be judged when we die. He judges his house first then moves to the world. Our judgment results in repentance but woe to the world's judgment that will end in condemnation.
Lord, give us a healthy fear of You and help us to see that trials are our friends. They chip off the rough edges in our walk and make our paths more smooth, free of worldly hindrances. Your word is our lamp and your judgments are true and righteous all together.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mon.'s Devo - Jesus - Our Example

Read 1Pet. 4:1-10
Jesus was our supreme example of how to live on this earth. He suffered bodily harm but his mind was his weapon. He was able to endure extreme pain without sinning and we are to do the same thing. Jesus could do this because lived to do the will of God and never strayed from the mission he was sent for. We have also been commissioned with a calling but we have to give up the pleasures of this world and enter into a much greater kingdom called the kingdom of God. We will one day give an account to God for the way we lived the life he gave us. One day all things will come to an end so we must live purposely, praying and watching.
In the end it all boils down to love. Did we love God's creations, good or bad? When we do this we cover up their sins and they cover ours. Love is like the badgers skins that they put over the tabernacle in the wilderness. It kept the things of the tabernacle hidden and safe from rain, wind, or theft. Our love, God's love does that for people. We are to be hospitable which translates: fond of guests without grumbling. To me that means not complaining about picking the house up so people can come over. I have a neighbor who told me to drop in anytime because she didn't care if she was expecting me or not. That is true hospitality.
Jesus, thank you for coming to earth and showing us how to live. Thank you for the power of your life. Thank you that you showed us we can live with victory over sin and self. Empower us today to walk with you and fulfill the calling to love.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fri.'s Devo - Kingdom Power

Read 1 Pet. 3:18-22
I love how Peter will be talking then he'll throw some profound information in that is so insightful. He when Jesus died on the cross he descended into hell and preached to the spirits in prison. These were the spirits of those that lived before Noah that were in a place called the grave or Hades, which Strongs describes as: the world of the dead (as a subterranean retreat), including its accessories and inmates. God gave us the picture through Noah of baptism. Noah and his family chose to follow God so God cleansed them by baptizing them in the flood and when they came out of the ark everything was new. All the wicked of the world had been cleansed by the flood. They started a whole new life. That is what baptism does for us. We believe in God and baptism cleanses us from our past sin and cleanses our conscience.
Then Jesus ascended up into heaven where he is seated on the right hand of God where he rules angels, authorities, and powers. Eph. 2:6 says that Jesus raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Him: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us. So we rose with him and sit with him doing what he does. That is kingdom living. The trouble is we limit our seeing to this world and don't appropriate our inheritance. We have power over the works of the devil which include sickness, and sin. God is wanting to show his grace and kindness through us.
Lord, give us the boldness to rule the spiritual world through you. May we bring heaven to earth through the power of a risen Christ.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thur.'s Devo - Having a Good Conscience

Read 1 Pet. 3:13-18
Verse 14 says that we are not to be afraid nor troubled if we suffer under the hand of terrorists. This has a whole new meaning to us reading it in this day. Then it goes on to tell us hallow a place in our hearts for God and to be ready at any time to tell of the hope that is in us.
I was reading a story of a modern day terrorist who came to know Jesus just by watching a Christian's testimony as he was being martyred. We may not be facing impending death but we are all facing life and sometimes that is harder than death. Our testimony of how we live can be powerful to those who watch us.
We are to keep our conscience clear of unforgiven sins so that when we are accused of doing something we didn't do our accusers will be shamed in the end. It is better to be persecuted for doing good than evil. God sees everything and will be our advocate and defender; we don't have to defend ourselves. Jesus didn't. Jesus died for the unjust to bring us to God. It is hard for us to realize that God loves our enemies too. In fact, aren't we suppose to love them too?
Lord, love through us and let your testimony shine through our lives.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wed.'s Devo - Submission brings Beauty

1 Pet. 3:1-12
We tend to hate these next verses because we don't understand submission. Marriage is suppose to be a safe haven where we can be ourselves and love unconditionally with no fear of lose. Unfortunately, the devil hates marriage and has done his best to pervert and sabotage it. If one is married to an unbeliever they are to obey him out of obedience to God and their godly behavior and conversation will win them over without having to say one nagging word.
Our beauty is to be found on the inside in our heart which manifests a humble, peaceful spirit. The great women of the Bible were esteemed beautiful because of their obedience to their husband. Sarah obeyed and honored Abraham by calling him "lord". We are Sarah's daughters if we obey our husbands.
Husbands are to honor their wives knowing they are weaker physically, but equal spiritually and if they don't honor their wives then their prayers won't get answered. But, we are all to be in unity, compassionate, loving, having pity on the less fortunate, kind and not revengeful but gracious. If you want to have a good life then guard your tongue and choose to say blessings instead of curses. God watches over those who choose to do good and he hears their requests; but he is an adversary to those who do evil.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tues.'s Devo - Free to Serve

Read 1 Pet. 2:16-25
God has set us free from the bondage of sin. Think about that. What a blessing to be free from guilt. But, we are not to use this great freedom we have been given as a covering to be bad. We are to use this freedom to serve God. We do this by honoring all men. I'm already guilty. It is easy to honor those who give us a reason to want to honor them, but what about those who give us no encouragement in this area. We are still to value them and love them. We are also to fear God and honor the king (or president in our case). I guess that is why it says to fear God first; it takes Godly fear to honor the king. If we are an employer we are to honor our boss even if they are crooked or warped. Then it goes on to say that if we are moral and serve God we are to be thankful if we have to endure unjust treatment. It does not glorify God if we suffer because it's our fault; but it does glorify God if we patiently endure suffering when it is not our fault. Is that not what Jesus did? He has been the only sinless man to walk this earth and he was threatened, beaten, spit on, lied about, betrayed, and finally cut to shreds and nailed to a cross. But those scars bought our healing. We were all sinners getting worse and worse till we turned to Christ the Shepard and Bishop of our souls.
Lord, You set us free from bondage, may we walk in the freedom you purchased for us and may we walk in a manner pleasing to you.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mon.'s Devo- Silencing the Foolish
Read 1 Pet. 2:12-15
I can tell we are not going to get through this very quickly because this chapter is full of rich teaching. Verse 12 starts out with "having your conversation honest among the Gentiles." Our conversation is our behavior, which is to be honest. Honest in the Greek means beautiful, valuable, and virtuous. I like "valuable". I don't think Jesus was much into small talk unless it was going to lead to something of substance. His time was too short to waste on menial trivia. He came with a mission and a goal; to fill his disciples with as much truth as they could contain then die for the sins of mankind.
Peter tells us that those of this world will speak against us and think we are evil, but the good works that they see us do will cause them to glorify God when their final judgment comes.
One of the greatest ways we can do this is found in the next verse: submit yourselves to every (EVERY) ordinance of man for God's sake. That is easy to do when the leader is a Christian but a challenge when he is not. God raises up leaders to punish evildoers and praises those who do well. It is God who places all men in authority so our testimony to the world is how we honor those in authority and order our conversation to match that submission.
By the way, we went to that house and I did share with them from Ps. 91 and they were receptive. Now it is in God's hand to do the miracle. Last night we were coming home from a service at a friend's church and I asked Dave what time it was and he looked at the clock and said "9:11"!
Thank you Lord for confirmations and for watching over your word to perform it. Watch over our mouths and let us be people who speak life and live a life that glorifies you for your word says that if we do it will silence the ignorance of foolish men.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fri.'s Devo. The Kingdom of God

Read 1 Pet. 2:11
I just realized I put 2 Peter yesterday instead of 1 Pet. by mistake. Sorry if it messed you up. So back to 1 Peter... he is inviting us as strangers and pilgrims to restrain ourselves from wanting the things that are forbidden to us who want to walk in the spirit. I thought it was interesting that he called us strangers so I looked that up in the Greek and it meant those who have a home near; an alien resident. Jesus said that the kingdom of God was near and he said it pertaining to some miraculous act he had just done. That is because the kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom of supernatural health and blessings. When we by faith ask God to do miraculous things we are bringing the kingdom of God near.
God is giving me the opportunity to do that today. Our church does a ministry called "Clean Slate" where we find families that need a new start in their houses and we come in and do a home make-over. We do this in the natural but God takes this natural act and brings it into the spiritual and the family receives a spiritual make-over as well. The team does too. Today we are going to see our house for the first time. It has been plagued with mildew and mold due to faulty ductwork. So the mold is in the walls of the house. I found myself being overwhelmed and upset that the church would choose such an impossible task for us. Then I remembered that NOTHING is impossible with God. For the last 2 weeks God has been sending me this number 911. My plane was leaving at 911, my clock said 911, a tape I listened to said their church kept getting the number 911 and of course, it meant Ps. 91:1. I memorized Ps. 91 a long time ago and know it has to do with protection for your household but it wasn't till this morning I realized why God was speaking it to me. As I was in my car going to the gym God kept saying, "no plague shall come near your house" over and over. Then I got it! Mold and mildew is a plague and we have authority over plagues and like Lev. 14 says we,as priests to God just need to apply the blood of Jesus over this house and proclaim it clean. So now I have to do this. Please pray with me that this lady will be open and receptive. I know God gave us this task for his glory. I have no doubt this is a small thing to God but will be a big victory over the devil. Thank you Lord that your arm is not too short nor your hand too weak and your blood can cleanse this mold.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thurs.'s Devo - Bold and Confident

Read 2 Pet. 2:6-10
Peter quotes Isa. 28:16 which says, "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation; he that believeth shall not make haste." Isaiah could not imagine what this would look like because it was hidden from him, but we know this foundation stone to be Jesus. It is precious to us but a stumbling stone and an offense to those who do not believe. Verse 8 says that these wicked people were appointed to be wicked. That shakes our theology if we believe everyone can be saved. We are to witness to the whole world but God has only chosen a remnant to be saved. Our testimony will be their judgment which is why we might be led to witness to someone who is totally closed. God will use our testimony to condemn them. This is one of God's mysteries that we can't comprehend.
But we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, and a peculiar people (I fall under that category:) called to shew forth praises to God. He called us out of darkness and into light! The word "chosen" means favorite. We are his favorite offspring, a member of a sacred fraternity, a consecrated race, a purchased people. We read it, but do we believe it? If we do then we will walk through this thing called life fearless and bold. Our confidence is in Jesus who conquered death, hell, and the grave. We are part of God's family of priests who have access into the Holy of Holies. Lord, may we walk today full of your power and boldness, yet humbled by your grace.