Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - The Last Words

Read: Malachi 3:1-4:6; Rev. 22:1-21; Ps. 150: 1-6; Pr. 31:25-31 When Jesus comes back he is coming to purify the earth. He will cleanse the motives of the hearts of his people. God implores them to turn now so they can be spared judgment. God will judge people according to their tithes and offerings. The tithe stands for their things required in the law and the offerings reflect the things people give above the law. When we do the things required in the law according to giving God will keep the devil from taking things from us. Our cars will last longer, our washing machines run smoothly past their warranty, etc. In other words the devil won’t be able to steal from us. Before Jesus comes back he will send the spirit of Elijah to the land which will turn the hearts of the people toward their families. The conclusion of Revelation shows us what it will look like when death is no more. We will have access to the water of life which is the Holy Spirit. From the Holy Spirit there will come forth the tree of life and fruit to nourish us every month. There will be no darkness or night. He gives us one more warning to do God’s commandments so that we can live in God’s city and have free access to his river of life. Lord, may strength and honor be our clothing and may we rejoice in time to come.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - The Description of the Bride

Read: Malachi 1:1-2:17; Rev. 21:1-27; Ps. 149:1-9; Pr. 31:10-24 Malachi was written about the same time as Nehemiah which is pre-exile. Malachi starts by telling the people how much God loves them because His mercy endures forever. Then God points out their sin as a people. He starts with the priests and rebukes them for their distain for the Law and their deceptive leadership. They led the people into idolatry and sin which they will be judged for. They offered God sacrifices that were blind and lame instead of the best. Instead of blessings, these priests would receive curses. The office of the priest was suppose to be one of truth and justice, but they had polluted the office and profaned God’s name. In Revelation, John saw the new kingdom coming down which was holy and righteous. The bride was adorned with beauty and her heart was for her husband. God’s presence was with his people. Death and the past was done away with. The overcomer inherited every promise in the Word. The sinners were gone…into the lake of fire. The angel took John and showed him the bride. She was a city of believers who shone with God’s glory. Her foundation was the teachings of the apostles yet her gates were the tribes of Israel. She was perfectly balanced in her doctrine. God was the very center of her existence because his presence was her light. This is a picture of what the church should and will look like. “The heart of her husband will safely trust in her…she will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Lord, may we be faithful wives who totally trust in You.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - In the End

Read: Zech. 14:1-21; Rev. 20:1-15; Ps. 148:1-14; Pr. 31:8-9 In the end every nation will turn against Jerusalem. God himself will defend her with an earthquake. It will be a leveling of all spiritual powers that opposed God’s people. God will smite the people that fought against Jerusalem with a plague that will eat away their flesh, their eyes and their tongue. The wealth of the heathen will be given to the righteous. Everyone that is left will be required to go to Jerusalem at the feast of Tabernacles. Those nations who refuse to come will be hit with drought. God’s temple will be cleansed and made holy. In Revelation we learn that the first resurrection will be the martyrs that died for the name of Christ. They will be judged and allowed to live with Christ a thousand years. Satan will be locked up those thousand years and let out at the end to deceive the nations and gather them to the battle of Armageddon. God will consume them with fire and cast the devil into the lake of fire. There with the beast and the false prophet will burn forever. The books will be opened and everyone throughout history will be judged. Death and hell will be cast into the lake of fire and be no more. Everyone whose name is not found in the book of life will be thrown in to the lake also. Lord, help us to keep the big picture in our hearts so that we can be your ambassadors on this earth.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - The Final Battle

Read: Zecharaiah 12:1-13:9; Rev. 19:1-21; Ps. 147:1-20; Pr. 31:1-17 God blinded the eyes of the Jewish people because of their rebellion but Zechariah prophesies of a day when God will take the blinders off and they will come to believe in Jesus as their Messiah. In that day God will pour grace and repentance on his people. The people will put away their idols and false teachings and call the Lord their God and He will call them His people. Revelation gives us heaven’s perspective of Zechariah’s prophesy. Babylon, the false church has been judged and the bride is presented. Many believers are called to the married supper but only the overcomes are the bride. All are blessed. Jesus comes forth on a white horse to wage war on the bride’s enemies. Flying fowls were summoned to eat the flesh of the people who opposed God. This was their supper which is called the feast of Leviathan. The beast and the false prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire. The rest were killed with Jesus’ sword which is the Word of God and eaten by the fowls. The enemies of God and us are spiritual principalities and demons which only the Word can conquer. But they will all come down with death being the last to fall. We should never be afraid of what the devil has in his arsenal because what we have been given is so much more powerful. We defeat him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. The Word of God is our sword. Lord, teach us to wield our sword and defeat your enemies.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - The End of Lebanon and Babylon

Read: Zech. 10:1-11:17; Rev 18:1-24; Ps. 146:1-10; Pr. 30:33 We can ask for the latter rain and God will give it. The latter rain is a spiritual outpouring of His Spirit. God is most upset with the shepherds who don’t teach their sheep truth and don’t care for them. For his people he promises to strengthen them and save them. God will bring them out of bondage into their inheritance. Zechariah prophesied against Lebanon which means deception and those shepherds who tried to deceive the people. When he had finished he asked the true believers that if they believed his word to give him thirty pieces of silver. He took them and threw them to the potter. This represented the price the enemy would pay Judas to betray Jesus. Then Zechariah took his staff and broke it to break the relationship between Judah and Israel. Like Lebanon, Babylon is judged. Babylon means confusion and it is the seat of deception, evil and apostasy. God first calls His people out of her then he sends plagues, mourning, death, famine and fire. Lord, we can truly say, “Happy is he that has You as their help and whose hope is in You.”

Friday, December 26, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - We Will Overcome!

Read: Zechariah 9:1-17: Rev. 17:1-18; Ps. 145:1-21; Pr. 30:32
The first eight verses of Zechariah nine have to do with principalities that are watching their kingdoms crumble. Verse nine turns the attention to God’s kingdom and the promised salvation that will one day ride into Jerusalem on a donkey and set up an invisible kingdom that cover the earth. It will set prisoners free and give them hope. Joy was coming to the people! Revelation 17 deals with the Roman Empire and its blasphemous power over religion and politics. The Roman Catholic church martyred more Christians over the ages than any other entity. It took the written Word out of the hands of the people and led them in apostasy and idolatry. This beast was Rome and its government and seven seats of power. Five were gone by the time this prophecy was written; one was then in being; the other was yet to come. This beast, directed by the papacy, makes an eighth governor, and sets up idolatry again. Jesus is the true leader and he will reign through us till all of his enemies are put under his feet. We are trained and equipped to do this very thing. He has put it in our hearts to do His will. How exciting it is to be living in the day we are in.
Lord. I thank you that we are a part of a kingdom that has no end and is bound for victory. Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Thur.’s Devo - End Time Blessings

Read: Zech 8:1-23: Rev. 16:1-21; Ps. 144:1-15; Pr. 30:29-31 Today’s prophecy is an encouragement to God’s people. This is what God says about the church. It will be a house of truth. All ages will prosper and live in peace and safety. We will be a blessing on the earth and one day people will come to us seeking the God in us. In Revelations we see that the vials are plagues like the plagues Moses released on Egypt: sores, water to blood and darkness with a few others like scorching heat, Euprates drying up and the earth being shaken added to the list. Instead of turning their hearts to God in repentance, the people blasphemed God only adding to their judgment and showing their true heart. To these people God will come as a thief. Babylon is finally being judged. Psalms 144 goes right along with what we are reading today. God is our goodness, our fortress, our high tower, our deliverer and our shield. God is going to come to our defense and give us a new song. Our sons will be mature in their youth and our daughters will leaders that are righteous and solid in their beliefs. We will be blessed with more than enough to live on and prosper. We will have nothing to complain about and we will be happy! Lord, thank you that you care if we are happy and blessed.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - The Two Marks

Read: Zech. 6:1-7:14; Rev. 15:1-16:21;Ps. 143:1-12; Pr. 30:24-28 
When you read the prophets you see a pattern in how God judges. He goes first to his people. Judgment begins in the house of the Lord. “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 1:17. The first of his people he judges are the priests - the godly leaders. In Zechariah they are judged for ministering with themselves in mind and not God. They wanted to look good to themselves and the people but their hearts were not right. God still does it that way. It is God’s job to purify His church and He doesn’t need our help. Our job is to stay pure ourselves.
 In Revelation there are two marks. One is the mark of the beast. It is a mark on the right hand or the forehead which is necessary to buy or sell. The other mark is the mark of God. It is the signature of God written on the foreheads of His saints. I wonder if these marks are only seen by heaven. I know everyone thinks the mark is going to be a computer chip or some type of physical mark but I wonder if the mark isn’t a system that causes you to compromise your faith to be able to function like the rest of the world. Those who overcome will not only overcome the mark but the number of his name and his image. I’m not sure what all these will look like but I wonder if they are going to be as obvious as I had thought in the past. 
Today we see holy angels sent from God with vials of God’s wrath to pour out on the earth. They only fall on those with the mark of the beast. These are the last things that will happen before the battle at Armageddon. Whoever thinks God doesn’t send bad things on the earth has never really read the Bible all the way through. Even in judgment God is righteous and holy. 
Lord, help us to understand your judgments and your ways.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - The Judgments of God

Read: Zechariah 4:1-5:11; Rev. 14:1-20; Ps.142:1-7; Pr. 30:21-23 
Zerubbabel is the governor of Judah and he is responsible for rebuilding the temple but God wants everyone to know that this temple is not going to be built by manpower and man’s resources. It will be built by His Spirit. He was referring to the Church which would not be a building or an organized structure that man manages and controls but it is going to be a spiritual force. 
The flying roll is a picture of God’s bread, the Word coming down to judge the nation for its stealing and using God’s name to swear falsely. The woman in the measuring cup stands for wickedness and idolatry. She is being measured and lifted up by the wind and carried to the land of Babylon. This speaks of a time when God will rid his people of idolatry and sin. This is God making a separation between His people and evil people. 
Revelation speaks that same theme only it takes it a little further into the future. We see Babylon fall and those who worshipped idols and hated God. We see Jesus reaping the earth of his children first then we see another angel with a sickle coming forth to reap the souls of the earth that are left. These last people are cast into the winepress of the wrath of God. 
Lord, may we be that force that sweeps through the earth bringing salvation and truth to a lost world.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - The Church and the Antichrist

Read: Zechariah 2:1-3:10; Revelation 13:1-18; Ps. 141:1-10; Pr. 30:18-20
 The angel is told to measure Jerusalem which is the same thing as to judge it. He speaks of a day when Jerusalem will once again be inhabited with people and filled with God’s glory. Their enemies will be judged and punished. Jerusalem will have a reason to sing and rejoice once again. 
In chapter 3 we see Joshua representing the priesthood. God is showing the state of the priests that they have become polluted with sin. He prophesies Jesus, the High Priest, that will come and remove the iniquity of the land in one day… the day he dies on the cross. 
Every time I read Revelation, I get a deeper understanding of it and I realize that most of it has already happened. We are further into this than I thought. Beasts are representative of powers that oppose God. When Nebuchadnezzar told his kingdom to worship him as God, he was reduced to a beast. He was like a beast with a womb that God healed when he humbled himself. Constantine was another example of a heathen king who opposed God and then came to a knowledge of Him. He changed his policy only to turn away from God and become more harmful to the truth than before. He was a type of Antichrist. Antichrist has been alive and well since Christ. 
The first beast attacks the church from without. The second beast is a false prophet who attacks the church from within. There are two churches just as there were two trees in the garden. One is the true church and the other is the counterfeit. The seven heads were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, and Germany. The ten horns are leaders that have authority. Notice that the beast looks a lot like the creatures that are before the throne. Satan always counterfeits what God has…he’s not creative. Notice that the second beast looked like a lamb (Jesus). He is the false prophet that can do great miracles but his heart is self-motivated. His number is 666 because six is the number of man. He is totally self-centered. 
Lord, open our eyes to see truth and let us not be deceived by miraculous exploits but be established in You.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - The Church

Read: Zechariah 1:1-21: Rev. 12:1-17; Ps. 140:1-13: Pr. 30:17 
Zechariah means “Yahweh Remembers”. He prophesied before Israel was taken into bondage to Babylon. He followed Haggai and was one of the most Messianic prophets in the Old Testament. Zechariah starts by calling God’s people back to Him. He sees a man riding on a red horse along with others on red and speckled and white horses. The man explains that these were God’s watchmen on the earth. The angel said that the temple would be rebuilt inspire of the four powers that had risen against her (the four horns). 
Revelation 12 is a summary of the church. She is pregnant with the Messiah all through the Old Testament. She has the Word of God in her belly. He comes forth and is taken up to God - resurrected. The Church flees into hiding where God feeds her. In heaven there is a battle to cast Satan and his hosts out. They are cast down to earth along with his demons. The Church overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony and the fact that they don’t love life but are willing to die for Jesus. In the place of hiding, the devil tries to flood the Church out of its place of rest. The earth helps the Church so the devil, who is irate wages war on her seed. We are that seed. The devil will try to flood us out of our place of rest and faith with adversity and anything he can come up with. We need to stay in peace and trust in God. We are in a war where we will win! 
Lord, thank you for this great picture to show us of what is going on. I pray that we not be flooded away with fear and dismay but keep our eyes on You!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - Judgement and Rewards

Read: Haggai 1:1-2:23; Rev. 11:1-19; Ps. 139:1-24; Pr. 30:15 
Haggai’s name means “festive” because Haggai came with a message of hope and encouragement. He prophesied during the time when Israel was in exile. A few of them had come back to their land to rebuild the temple and Haggai was among them. They had started out well but when opposition came against them, the people had stopped construction. Haggai’s message caused the people to rally and finish. Haggai is an encouragement to us since he also prophesies the end when God will destroy the earth as we know it and rebuild it. 
We can take this very literal since we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We need to build up our walls and set our foundation firmly on Christ or the enemy will come in and discourage us from finishing our race. Take heart and stand back up and finish strong.
In Revelation we have the two witnesses. These are two last day prophets who will demonstrate great wonders and miracles. I hope we are here to see this. They will have the ministry of Moses and Elijah. They will be killed and resurrected then judgment will come upon all men who ever lived. God’s children will be rewarded before the throne of God. 
Lord we ask you to search us and know our hearts and thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in us. Lead us in the way everlasting.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - The Open Book

Zephaniah 1:1-3:20; Rev. 10:1-11; Ps. 138:1-8; Pr. 30:11-14 
Zephaniah means “the Lord has hidden”. Zephaniah traces his lineage back to King Josiah who brought about major reforms in the nation to bring the people back to God. Unfortunately, his sons did not follow in his path. The Assyrians had invaded during his grandfather, Manassah’s reign and his father, Amon’s reign. The Assyrians took most of Judah into captivity and filled the land with its people and its idolatry. They worshipped the sun, moon, stars, zodiac signs and all the host of heaven on the roof of the temple. When Josiah became king he found a copy of the book of the Law and purged the land of its idolatry only he couldn’t purge the people’s hearts. There was a superficial sense of welfare and prosperity so the people thought they were in God’s favor. This is the time that God sent Zephaniah to rock their boat and expose their hearts.
In Revelation we are shown the sixth and seventh angel. The sixth angel is wearing a rainbow which is a symbol of God’s covenant with his people. It is like this angel is declaring God’s Word over the earth and sea. This angel stood and didn’t sound his trumpet. Instead he is holding the book and crying with his voice. This is the age we are living in. The Word is open for us to understand if we will study and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us. When the seventh angel blows his trumpet, the mystery of God will be finished. 
Lord, may we eat the Word like the seventh angel told John to do.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo - Put Your Hope in the Lord

Read: Habakkuk 1:1-3:19; Rev. 9:1-21: Ps. 137:1-9; Pr. 30:10 
Habakkuk wrote this prophesy and sang it as a worship leader and member of the Levite family. The timing was probably between the fall of Nineveh 612 B.C. and the fall of Jerusalem 586 B.C. He is overwhelmed by the injustice he is witnessing - the poor being oppressed, the collapse of the legal system and the violence of the age. (Sound familiar?) He seems to work through his anxiety and in the last few verses he lifts up his head and puts his hopes in God. He sees a place in God where he can walk above the circumstances with the joy of the Lord. Let’s not let our life be three chapters of gloom and doom and three sentences of hope. Let’s let our lives be just the opposite. There is very little in the world to put our hope in but our world is outside this world. Our world is the big picture. God is in control of everything so we can put our hope in him and walk in joy unspeakable and full of glory!
In Revelation we have the fifth angel who opens the bottomless pit and allows locusts to be released on the earth. The first four plagues were on the earth itself but this one attacks mankind. Like the fifth plague of Exodus, God makes a distinction between his people and the rest of the people. They can not touch his people! Since this is a vision these locusts represent a powerful presence that is like a locust. They are allowed to torment but not kill the people. In fact, if doesn’t let them take death as an option though many would choose it. 
The sixth angel is allowed to kill man. The whole reason is found in verst 20; God is giving man a space to repent before it is too late. God’s heart is always for men to be saved and come to Him.
Lord, in these lasts days may we enjoy You and put our trust in Your unfailing love.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment

Read: Nahum 1:1-3:19; Rev. 8:1-13; Ps. 136:1-26; Pr. 30:7-9 
The Assyrian nation had been a thriving leader of nations for centuries before Nahum prophesied against it. The capital of Assyria was Nineveh and they were known for their cruelty and savagery. The Assyrians had conquered Israel and was threatening Judah. God had used Assyria as an instrument of judgment but it was now their turn to be judged. It fell when Nineveh was destroyed just as Nahum prophesied. 
Nahum’s name means “Comforter” because his words were a comfort to Judah. They would experience God’s favor once again.
In Revelations we have the sounding of the first four angels. They walk us through the succession God uses to judge a nation. First he touches the earth and we see destruction on the land: wildfires, blight, floods, etc. Second He touches the sea and we see death in the seas and those who are on it. Third, He touches the rivers and they bring forth death and the water supply is tainted. Then he does things in the heavens. Right now God is speaking through this forth trumpet as we see blood moons and unusual storms and weather. If we were to look at our history we would find evidence of all four of these judgments on America. 
The thing about God is his mercy triumphs over his judgment. We who know Him and are His are safe in His mercy. We don’t have to worry about judgment because He is our shelter and strong tower.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - Hope and Restoration

Read: Micah 5:1-7:20; Rev. 7:1-17; Ps. 135:1-21; Pr. 30:5-6 
Micah prophesies that Messiah will come from Bethlehem. In the middle of his prophesy of judgment he gives us some key scriptures like Micah 6:8, “He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what the Lord requires of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” And living in the midst of idolatry and wickedness he says in 7:7, “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the GOd of my salvation; my God will hear me.” He ends his prophesy with hope and mercy. God will turn again and have compassion on them and cast their sins into the sea.
In Revelation John sees four angels which are in charge of keeping the earth. They stand at the north, south, east and west keeping back a destroying wind. They must wait till the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. There are 144,000 to be sealed - all of them Jews. Once they are sealed there is a meeting in heaven of people in white robes before the throne. These people were the believers who came out of the great tribulation. Their suffering is over forever.
Lord, may we be sealed for Your kingdom.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - Micah

Read: Micah 1:1-4:13; Rev. 6:1-17; Ps. 134:1-3; Pr. 30:1-4 
Micah prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah about 800 years before Christ. Micah’s name means “He Who is Like Yahwah”. He came on the scene when the kingdom had been divided and the temple had been destroyed. Judah had been badly influenced by Samaria and enticed into idolatry. Samaria was the capital of Israel and Jerusalem the capital of Judah. Both of them had high places where idolatry took place and Micah rebuked them both. Not only did they participate in idolatry but they coveted their neighbor’s fields, and used violence to steal. God does not look away at these things but warns if they continued without repentance there would be judgment.
But in the last days…things will turn around. Jerusalem will be raised up as a place of worship and God’s people will walk in his paths.
 In Revelation we read about the six seals. They correspond to the church ages. Once again it is a progression of time as we walk down church history. The first seal describes the church of Ephesus and so on. The last seal describes a huge earthquake but it is also symbolic about what is happening in the spiritual realm. God is going to shake the realms of the religious, political, entertainment, sports, business and everything that can be shaken. The mountains have to do with the proud people in authority and the islands have to do with those the people that thought they were safe in their expensive shelters. Things will get so unpredictable and scary that these great men will hide in fear. 
Lord, It is comforting to know that You planned the end and everything You do is good.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - God’s Mercy

Read: Jonah 1:1-4:11; Rev. 5:1-14; Pr. 133:1-3; Pr. 29:26-27 I’ve heard so many sermons about Jonah and why he didn’t want to go to Nineveh but I wonder if he didn’t want to go because he was afraid of all the evil people and what they would do to him if he went and cried out against them. God was adamant about Jonah going. He wasn’t interested in Plan B. Jonah was a type of Jesus in that he was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights (Matt. 12:40). When he was spit out by the whale, he was a changed man. He probably look like he had surfaced from the bowls of earth. I’m sure that the prayer Jonah spoke in chapter two was the same prayer Jesus prayed as he ascended into hell. Don’t you know, Jonah was shocked when they repented! Shocked and dismayed since he hated the very people he preached to. I think that Jonah was more concerned about his reputation than the hearts of the people. What would they think of him if his prophecy didn’t come true? He couldn’t trust God’s eternal purposes. The book of Jonah should be a great encouragement to us. If God would spare a heathen city because they repented, how much more will he spare us if we repent? In Revelation we see that there is only one worthy to open secrets in heaven. That person is Jesus. These secrets are sealed with seals. God reveals revelation a little at a time. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” (Isaiah 28:10) This is true in our lives; only the spirit of Jesus can give us wisdom and understanding into the Word and He metes it out in small portions. Lord, may your Spirit give us wisdom and understanding into the Word of Life.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - Obadiah and the Throne

Read: Obadiah 1:1-21; Rev. 4:1-11; Ps. 132:1-18; Pr. 29:24-25 The backdrop of Obadiah was the age-old struggle between Esau and Jacob. When they parted ways back in Genesis 27, Esau took the land of Edom and Jacob went the way of Cannan. They remained bitter enemies through the years. When the Babylonians came to attack Jerusalem, the Edomites joined the Babylonians. In 586 B.C. the Babylonians took Jerusalem and exiled them to Babylon. This prophecy or vision was given during the time of exile. It is a warning of God’s vengeance on Edom for joining forces against Judah. Notice that one of the things God does when he punishes a nation is to take wisdom and understanding out of the land. Next, God attacks their physical strength and causes their enemies to triumph over them. For Edom, that would be the people of Judah. We see this progression in our own land. We have leaders devoid of godly wisdom and understanding and we see our enemies encroaching on our land. In Revelation, John is invited to walk through a door into the very throne room of God’s presence. God was on his throne surrounded by brilliant colors. It was encircled by 24 seats in which sat white-robed elders wearing gold crowns. Lightning and thunders proceeded from God’s throne and he saw the menorah of heaven which stands for the 7 spirits of God. The floor was shining crystal and before the throne stood 4 beasts. They were the same cherubims described by Isaiah in Isaiah 6:2 and Ezekiel in his first chapter. Cherubims are the highest ranking angels in heaven. They are symbolic of the courage (lion), strength (ox), intelligence (man) and speed (eagle) of God. The beasts and the elders continually gave glory and praise and worship to God. Lord, we put our trust in You and in You we will be safe.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - The Church of Laodicea

Read: Amos 7:1-9:15; Rev. 3:7-22; Ps. 131:1-3; Pr. 29:23 God showed Amos a plumbline that He would use to judge Israel for their idolatry. The priest, Amaziah, turned Amos over to the king of Israel accusing Amos of conspiring with God against them. If that wasn’t crazy enough, he told Amos to take his prophesies and leave their town and go to the land of Judah. Amaziah told Amos to leave Beth-el because it was the king’s chapel and the king’s court. Did he not know that “Beth-el” means “house of God”. It was the place that God spoke to Abraham and Jacob. It remained a place where priests dwelt but obviously the priests had become defiled. Instead of running, Amos stood up to the priest and prophesied even greater judgment on the city and the people of Israel for their sins. He told Amaziah that his wife would be a harlot in the city and that his sons and daughters would die by the sword. Israel would go into captivity. Today we read of our church age - the church of the Laodiceans. Laodecea means “peoples rights”. The city was one of the most politically important and financially prosperous cities in Asia Minor. It had a medical school and was known for its arts and sciences. It was striving for a one-world government and one-world religion. Sound familiar? So what is our admonition? We are to buy gold tried in the fire which will make us rich. These are our trials that we go through to try and test us and refine us. We are also to buy white raiment to cover our nakedness. In other words, we are to walk in righteousness and covered with the blood of Jesus. Lastly we are to anoint our eyes with eyesalve that we might see. That means to let the oil of the Holy Spirit enlighten our spirits that we might understand the Scriptures. Lord, may we be overcomes in the age we live and may we hear what the Spirit is saying.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo - The Church Ages

Read: Amos 4:1-6:14; Rev. 2:18-3:6; Ps. 130:1-8; Pr. 29:21-22 Amos refers to the rich as cows. They oppressed the poor, corrupted justice, and did evil. Even though God sent them famine and pestilence, they refused to turn to the Lord or consider changing, so they would be the first to be carried away. God warned them to seek good and not evil and to restore righteous judgment in order to live. Yesterday, I said that the church ages have to do with the history of the church so I thought I would break it down in a chart: Ephesus - 30 AD - 100 AD Smyrna - 100 AD - 313 AD Pergamum - 313 AD - 590 AD Thyratira 590 AD - 1517 AD Sardis 1517 AD - 1790 AD Philadelphia 1730 AD - 1900 AD Laodicea 1900 AD - to the end So you see, we are in the days of Laodicea. Notice that in every church age it ends in “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” The world can not head the warning because they can not hear it. God has given his people ears to hear what the Spirit says so that we can have no excuses. God always warns his people of what they are doing wrong, then he gives them a space to repent. If they refuse, they will be judged. If they turn, they will be blessed. Each church age has an “angel” assigned to it. I don’t know who our “angel” is but I’m thinking Billy Graham isn’t a bad guess. The angel is a person who carries the message of that age. Dr. Graham came with an uncompromising message of repentance and being born again. He was loved and admired by more presidents and foreign leaders than anyone I have ever seen. His legacy lives on. Lord, help us to have ears to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to us individually and to our nation.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - Amos

Read: Amos 1:1-3:15; Rev. 2:1-17; Ps. 129:1-8; Pr. 29:19-20 Amos was not a professionally trained prophet like most of the others. He was a herdsman who lived in the Judean hills. He wrote his prophesy down as opposed to giving it orally like so many others did. His name means “burden-bearer”. Amos’s prophesy was given to Israel at a time when she was living in great prosperity outwardly but even greater spiritual and moral decline. Amos makes two statements that stand out to me found in the third chapter. The first is in verse three: “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” Jesus talked about the power of agreement. If you are married, or have been in any business deal with another person, you know the truth in this statement. The other is found in verse seven: “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” We can know trust that God is not going to surprise us with anything that He hasn’t already warned us about. I find the “Elijah List” to be so informative about what the prophets of our day are saying. You can get this in your e-mail by going to and signing up for it. It is totally free. Today we start going through the church ages. In every church age there is an encouragement to the true church and a warning to the false church. Every church age had a messenger which was a person of that age that carried the message. It will be impossible for me to blog in detail what all these mean but you may go back into my archives where I dealt extensively with Revelations. In every church age, we are given a clue to its history. They are in order from the earliest church age to the present. Lord, thank you for your encouragement and truth. Reading the prophets and Revelation gives us assurance that You are in charge and everything is in your hand.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - Joel and Revelation

Read: Joel 1:1-3:21; Rev. 1:1-20; Ps. 128:1-6; Pr. 29:18 “Joel” means “Yahweh is God”. He lived in a time when a plague of locusts blew through the land and in hours stripped the countryside of all vegetation. It even stripped the bark off the fir trees. All crops were lost and the seed for the next harvest was gone. People and animals were dying of starvation and Joel could only conclude that God was judging them. Moses had warned the people that locusts would destroy their land if they turned away from Him (Deut. 28:38-46). Everyone was affected by the plague. Joel explained that this plague was nothing to compare to God’s judgment in the end of time. The sound of locust will be small compared to the voice of God when He roars. But even in judgment, God promises to pour out his Sprit on all flesh. People of all ages will prophesy and anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. We are experiencing this right now. The theme of Revelation is “the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” John has the vision of Revelation during a time of extreme persecution of the Christians by Nero. As John was contemplating the persecution of his age God thrust him into the future where he saw an even greater persecution coming to the church. John blesses anyone who reads or hears this prophesy read aloud. John tells us that Jesus will come with clouds and every eye throughout history will see him. John was to write everything he saw in a book and send it to the seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Jesus spoke this prophesy from the midst of the seven candlesticks or the menorah in heaven. John was to write the mystery and we are left to unlock it with the help of the Holy Spirit - the light of the menorah. Lord, help us to understand the future and the day we are living in that we might be encouraged to stand strong.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - Jude

Read: Hosea 10:1-14:9; Jude 1:1-25 Ps. 127:1-5; Pr. 29:15-17 Israel was called out of God and from her moment of conception chose other gods. God extended arms of love to them and they repaired Him with rejection and rebellion. God said that they were bent on backsliding from Him. Over and over, Ephraim chose other gods over the True God. They destroyed themselves by their hard hearts. Hosea pleads for Israel to return to God. Jude is a most interesting book. He warns us to contend for the faith we have in Jesus. God delivered many people out of Egypt that he had killed later because of unbelief. There were angles who left the abode of heaven and came to earth and had sex with women (Gen. 6) who had to be locked up until the final judgment. Sodom and Gomorrha were filled with people who gave themselves over to sin and homosexuality who had to burn as an example of the final judgment. Jude warns us to let God bring the judgment. If the archangel, Michael didn’t rebuke the devil himself but did it in the Lord’s name…we should follow his example. God will bring judgment in His timing. We are admonished to keep ourselves in the love of God. You are the One who is able to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before the presence of Your glory with exceeding joy.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - The Truth

Read: Hosea 6:1-9:17; 3 John 1:-1-14; Ps. 126:1-6; Pr. 29:12-14 God warns a nation of judgment before He actually brings it. He even gives the people little discomforts to turn them and to spare them of greater judgments ahead if they would only repent. When Israel and Judah were in trouble, instead of going to God for help, they hired the Assyrians. This only made matters worse for them. God is a jealous God and He will have no other nations or gods before Him. God was waiting and longing for His people to feel worse about their sins than their afflictions. Then there would be hope for them. The same is true of us and our nation. Until we start turning to God for our answers we are just going to get deeper and deeper into debt, despair, trouble and depression. God is our ticket out! So what can we do as mere citizens in a huge nation where we hold little influence? We can make our voice to be heard on high. It is not the heart or the ear of the President we need to reach; it is the heart and ear of God. And, He is listening. It is so refreshing to hear that God wishes nothing more than that we prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers. He wants us to walk in truth. Lord, thank you that when we walk with You, we walk in truth because You are Truth!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - The Truth and the Lie

Read: Hosea 4:1-5:15; 2 John 1:1-13; Ps. 125:1-5; Pr. 29:9-11 Hosea’s prophecy can be summed up in 4:6. The people of Israel were destroyed for lack of knowledge. Their teachers, the priests encouraged them to worship false gods and led them in idolatry. If they had truly desired to know their God and learned of His ways they wouldn’t have turned from Him to the counterfeit of other gods. Now, they will be judged and their children because they have not taught them the truth either. John makes it clear again that to come to God you have to believe in Jesus and come through Him. If you believe in Jesus then you believe in God but you can’t have God without Jesus. To bless someone’s ministry who doesn’t have this basic belief is wrong. “Coexist” is not Biblical. John says that to bless them is to take part of their evil deeds. Jesus didn’t come to bring peace but a sword that would divide the truth from the lie. (Matthew 10:34) To tip-toe around the lie in the name of peace is to agree with the lie. We have to be bold and live true to our convictions. Lord, help us to recognize the truth and stand firm against the lie.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - Hosea’s Children - God’s Children

Read: Hosea 1:1-3:5; 1 John 5:1-21; Ps. 124:1-8; Pr. 29:5-8 Hosea lived during a time of great prosperity in his nation that led to their down fall. Little by little they started worshipping what their money could buy which led them into idolatry. God sent Hosea to be a picture of his love for them. He was to marry a harlot who would stand for Israel in it’s idolatry. They had a son and named him Jezreel because God said that he would avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu. (2 Kings 9) Jezreel is figurative of the northern kingdom of Israel. When Jehoram was king a prophet went to Jehu and told him he was to be the next king. He and his buddies got all excited and started killing off Jehoram and all his leaders. They should have let God do that. God is the revenger of blood. It is his job to kill and exalt but Jehu took it into his hands. He killed Jezebel and had the idols taken torn down except for the two golden calves which remained and were a snare to the nation. Their second child was a son named Lo-ruhamah which means “not pitied”. Israel was to have no pity for Israel when He judges her. They will be judged in the valley of Jezreel which is another name for the valley of Armageddon. Judah who stands for the church will be shown mercy and they will not be killed in war. (Hopefully the Rapture) Her next son was Lo-ammi which means “not my people”. One day these same people will be God’s children and come out of the land as one. One day they will call God their husband and put away their false gods. In Chapter 3, God told Hosea to go buy a girl out of the brothel and love her as a picture of how God was going to redeem Israel out of her idolatry and love her. Thank you that You have given us understanding, that we may know You as the truth.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thur’s. Devo - Resurrection From the Dead

Read: Dan. 11:36-12:13; 1 John 4:1-21; Ps. 123:1-4; Pr. 29:2-4 The end of Daniel 11 describes Anitiochus who marched into Jerusalem and twice. The first time he offered a pig on the altar and desecrated the temple. He also killed eighty thousand, took forty thousand prisoners, and sold forty thousand as slaves. The last time he came to Jerusalem he fell on the worshippers in the temple and killed them. Then he proclaimed that he was the Greek god Jupiter and demanded that all people worship him. Once again, he is a type of the Antichrist that will come before Jesus comes back. Daniel 12 speaks of the resurrection of the dead back to life during the final millennium. They will be like the dry bones that Daniel saw coming back to life. Many come back to be judged and others to have the spirit of God poured into them. They will be the ones that shall be purified and made white. John gives a new criteria for being of God…confessing that Jesus came in the flesh. I guess he is implying that if we believe he came in the flesh then we believe that he died for our sins and rose from the grave. The main point of his sermon is if we believe then we have the spirit of truth. Then John encourages us to love one another. Our love is the outward proof of God in our hearts. Lord, help us to love like you love.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - He Has the Whole World in His Hand

Read: Dan. 11:1-35; 1 John 3:7-24; Ps. 112:1-9; Pr. 29:1 The events of Daniel show the timeline of what happened the millennium before Christ came the first time. These are the events of the 70 weeks Daniel spoke about yesterday. The northern kingdom was the Seleucid kingdom of Syria, the southern was the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt. The other powers that are involved are the Jewish Hasmonean dynasty, the Roman Empire, and Herod the Great, the vassal of Rome. Antiochus IV and Herod the Great were antichrist prototypes. This whole scenerio is a picture of what will happen before Jesus comes again. The most important factor is that God is in control of world events. Everything happens according to His plan. I love what our Psalms says today in verse 7 talking about the man who fears the Lord: “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is fixed trusting in the Lord.” First John brings up some interesting thoughts. When we have the seed of God in us we are righteous because the seed God placed in us is righteous. Cain had the seed of Satan in him so he was evil and wicked. He took life where God gives life. Lord, we live in peace and joy because we know we can rest in Your plan.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - Daniel’s 70 Weeks

Read: Dan. 9:1-10:21; 1 John 2:18-3:6; Ps. 121:1-8; Pr. 28:27-28 Studying end time prophecy can be very confusing because there are so many different opinions out there. I have decided that when God gets ready to tell us what’s right then it will be time to know. The primary focus of Daniel’s prophecy was to tell Daniel when the Messiah would come. It also predicted the Jews’ rejection of Jesus as the Messiah and what that would mean to Israel. Then Antichrist appears in the last 3 1/2 year time period which will usher in the messianic age on earth talked about in Daniel 11 and 13. Then the trumpet will sound and sin will be over and righteousness will reign. John reminded the people that there have been many antichrists that have arisen and will be many more. He tells us that an antichrist is someone who denies God and Jesus, the Father and the Son. He makes it clear that you can’t have God without Jesus which clarifies that God is not Allah since believers of Allah deny that Jesus is God’s son. John really brings it home that Christians do not sin. Not a clear teaching to the body of Christ but none the less it is Bible. Sin died in us the day we accepted Jesus as our Saviour. When we understand this we are unstopable and dangerous to the devil because condemnation is the power he holds over us. When we realize we are eternally justified we are free to walk in righteousness and power. Lord, give us an understanding of the grace and power of the cross.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - The Tribulation

Read: Daniel 8:1-27; 1 John 2:1-17; Ps. 120:1-7; Pr. 28:25-26 Daniel saw this vision while staying at the palace at Shushan, the very palace that Esther became queen. He sees a vision of what will happen in the end days. Even though he was to see the interpretation partially fulfilled in his lifetime, it was a picture of what will happen in the very end during the Tribulation. The antichrist will arise with occultist powers that mimic the miracles of Jesus. His influence that God gives him will seduce and deceive many. He will defy Christ but Christ will win. The Bible teaches us not to sin where we teach everyone has to sin. I’m going with the Bible. Jesus told the woman at the well to go and sin no more as if it was possible. John thinks it’s possible too. But if we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ. Everyone sins before Christ, but after Christ we should be obeying God’s commands. Jesus only gave us two: Love the Lord with all our heart and love one another as we love ourselves. We get caught up in the nit-picky things that the devil loves to accuse us of. Let’s just choose to walk in the light. Lord, shine your light on our hearts and enlarge our hearts to love you more.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - The Four Beasts

Read Dan. 7:1-28; 1 John 1:1-10; Ps. 119:153-176; Pr. 28:23-24 Daniel’s dream of the four beasts is enough to scare anyone, especially Daniel who actually saw them. In Daniel’s time the lion stood for Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom, the bear was the Medo-Persians, the leopard was Greece and the fourth beast was Rome. Jesus came when Rome was ruling and brought an everlasting kingdom. These beasts also stand for the major players in the end, but the exciting thing is that no matter how much havoc they wage on Christians and the world in the end the kingdom and dominion will be given to the people who are saints of the most High. Jesus will come again when the fourth beast is in place. He wasn’t afraid to live during the time of the Roman Empire and we shouldn’t be afraid of the future either. If we realized our authority that we have in Christ nothing should make us afraid. We are under the shadow of God’s wing. The New Testament was written during the period of the Roman Empire and every writer encourages us to have joy and walk in the light. We have the privilege of being able to fellowship and know God…something few people in the Old Testament aspired to. We are most blessed. Lord, we pray with the Psalmist: “Let our cry come near you, O Lord: give us understanding according to your word.”

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - The Lion's Den

Read: Dan. 6:1-28; 2 Pet. 3:1-18; Ps. 119:129-152; Pr. 28:21-22 The kingdom was taken over by the Medes and their king, Darius appointed presidents over the land. Daniel was the most powerful because of the favor of God and the excellence of his spirit. The other presidents and leaders were jealous of Daniel and sought to discredit him so they sent a message to the king saying that ALL of the presidents and leaders agreed to put up a statute of the king and order everyone to bow to it for 30 days. Daniel was the number one president and he didn’t even know about it. When Daniel was found praying to God instead of bowing to the statue he was reported to the king. King Darius was sick that he had let these men trick him and sought to find a loophole so he could set Daniel free but couldn’t. When it was time to execute Daniel, the king came and encouraged him that his God would deliver him. This ungodly king couldn’t eat or sleep that night and ran to the lion’s den early the next morning to see if Daniel’s God had been able to save him. Daniel was alive and his accusers were thrown into the den to meet the fate they had planned for Daniel. God was glorified in the kingdom. This is what will happen to us if we allow God to execute vengeance on our enemies. He will do it in a way where He will be glorified the most. Second Peter gives us such insight into the last days. He makes one statement that is so important to understanding end times. It is found in verse 8. “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Verse ten is not talking about the rapture but the day when Jesus will come to judge the earth. They will not know when that day will come. He will come as a thief in the night. The whole earth will burn with fire. Then there will be a new earth and new heavens. These are hard things for us to comprehend now so Peter leaves us with this: grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Lord, to You be the glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - Judgment

Read: Dan. 5:1-31; 2 Pet. 2:1-22; Ps. 119:113-128; Pr. 28:19-20 Once again Daniel is called in to interpret God’s signs. This time it is words written on the wall by the finger of God. Nebuchadnezzer’s son, Belshazzar is king and even though he heard of how God humbled his father, he had not repented and honored God as the Lord. Because of this, the words written sealed his fate. His kingdom would be divided and given to the Medes and Persians. Surprisingly, Belshazzar honored Daniel and promoted him in the kingdom. That night the king was killed by the king of the Chaldeans and the kingdom was taken. Second Peter gives us a description of what it will be like when Jesus comes back. There will be false prophets who speak against God and are a god to themselves. Today we would call them new agers and other cults. God will bring judgment on them just like he did during the day of Noah. Lot was a picture of a man who goes through the days of tribulation in the midst of ungodly men. But God promises to deliver that man just like he did for Lot. Then he warns us to guard our freedom and salvation and continue to walk with God. Lord, may we not be afraid when we face ungodly people but be bold and at peace.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo - Nebuchadnezzar’s Humbling

Read: Daniel 4:1-37; 2 Peter 1:1-21 ; Ps. 119:97-112 ; Pr. 28:17-18 God went to drastic measures to humble King Nebuchadnezzar of his pride. He, instead of Daniel wrote this chapter to tell how God dealt with him. He dreamed it before it happened and it was decreed by a “watcher”. A watcher was an angel, maybe his own guardian angel or the guardian angel over the country. In Ezekiel 9 and 10, Ezekiel mentions men clothed in linen garments. I wonder if these aren’t heavenly priests. They usually have ink horns in their hands like they are recording what they see. The men in linen and the watcher mentioned here seem to have the job of observing and recording what is happening on earth and reporting it to God. Everything that happens is written in books in heaven and in the end they will be opened and read from. That makes me realize the importance of what we do and how we spend our time…someone’s watching and recording what we do. I wonder if they are ever amused and laugh! It took a season of mental break down for Nebuchadnezzar to humble himself before God, but he did. Sometimes it takes drastic measures to get our attention and the attention of those we love too, but this should encourage us that God has a purpose and it is always to redeem. God wants to be able to say of us what he said of Jesus, “This is my beloved child in whom I am well pleased.” Lord, may you say that of us. Thank you for your long suffering and your chastening because it speaks of your great love for us.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - Daniel’s Humility

Read: Daniel 2:24-3:30; 1 Peter 4:7-5:14; Ps. 119:81-96; Pr. 28:15-16 Arioch seemed happy not to have to kill all the magicians by the speed he got Daniel an audience with the king. Daniel was a very humble man which was why God could use him. Daniel made sure that he didn’t take the credit from God who gave him the interpretation. I find it interesting that God would reveal his secrets of the future to a heathen king but God’s ways are past my understanding. Because he did, it was recorded and it stood as a witness to all that God declares the future. Daniel reminded the king once again that it was not because he was special, but because God was special that he received the interpretation. After the king heard it and knew that was what he had dreamed he exalted Daniel, and Daniel had his three friends exalted. Daniel was promoted to a judge who sat in the gate and decided civil matters because of his godly wisdom and God was glorified. But, King Nebuchadnezzar let the interpretation fill him with pride and erected an altar of gold in his image. When evil men who were probably jealous of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s position brought it to the kings attention that they were not bowing to his statue they were thrown into the fire. God was able to deliver them and they ended up promoted even higher. God is able to protect us at work or anywhere the devil tries to slander us or falsely accuse us. One day we might have to lay down our lives for the truth and we can remember these three men and take courage. Our God is able to deliver us! 1 Peter follows this thought reminding us that the end is coming and our relationships with God and others is the key to our survival. Trials are a part of life and we need them so it shouldn’t surprise us when they come, but our joy is found in Christ alone who can carry us through our trials victoriously.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - Be Brave and Love

Read: Daniel 1:1-2:23; 1 Peter 3:8-4:6; Ps. 119:65-80; Pr. 28:14 I don’t think we are ever told Daniel’s lineage but he must have been of noble birth since the king took children who were from the king and the princes’ families. Also, the fact that he was so intelligent and educated spoke of royal blood. Daniel had such diplomacy and conviction. He was the one who spoke up about the kind of food they ate and the one who negotiated for time when they were to be killed along with all the other astrologers and magicians. Don’t you know the astrologers and magicians loved Daniel because he saved their lives. God set Daniel up to be noticed and exalted but if Daniel had been afraid to speak up he would have died along with all his friends. Daniel didn’t turn circumstances over to “God’s will” but fought for what he believed and for his own destiny. Life is full of risks and you have to have the spirit of God to know which ones to take. Taking the easy road is not always God’s way. He is not afraid of obstacles or the unknown because nothing is unknown to Him. Peter exhorts us to love one another and treat others with honor and respect. Be imitators of Christ who suffered doing right in order to save us from our sins. When Jesus died he preached salvation to the spirits in the prison houses in the realm of death. (3:19; 4:6) The eight people that were saved from the flood during the days of Noah were a type of us being baptized into life, saving us from the flood of sin and death. Peter ends by exhorting us once again to love one another because love covers a multitude of sins. Lord, you remind us over and over that love is the main thing. Help us to love You and all your creation.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - The Last Millenium

Read: Eze. 47:1-48:35; 1 Pet. 2:11-3:7; Ps. 119:49-64; Pr. 28:12-13 These last two chapters in Ezekiel look like a picture of the new millennium. The waters are a picture of the Spirit cleansing the land. The trees are the people of the land. They bring forth fruit in their season just like Psalms 1 talks about. Joseph shall have two portions. Joseph is the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim who were Joseph’s two sons. They stand for the Gentile Church. This looks like a picture of what it will be like in the 7th Millennium when we will come back to earth. There will be some unbelievers who will live through the Great Tribulation and they are the strangers mentioned in verses 22-23. We are to welcome them in our towns and let them dwell amongst us. The earth will mainly be filled with God’s people who will divide by their tribes. Everyone is a member of a tribe according to their gifting even if they are not Jewish. We will dwell in these tribes during this thousand years. No one dies and Jesus is King until the end of the thousand years at which time we will have the Great Judgment. I don’t claim to know how all this is going to work but this is my understanding. In reading 1 Peter today I was struck again by how many references he made to our conversation. If our conversation is honest then it will change the conversation of the evil and they will glorify God in the end. It will be the conversation of the godly wife that will win over the unbelieving husband. The power of life and death is in our tongues so let’s issue out life. Lord, thank you for your plan that is already in motion. We can trust in You, knowing that You have this all worked out. Guard our tongues and train us to bring forth life.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - The Feasts Explained

Read: Eze. 45:13-46:24; 1 Peter 1:13-2:10; Ps. 119:33-48; Pr. 28:11 God’s plan is laid out in his feasts so Ezekiel notes them. The Passover was the first feast which represents our salvation. Jesus fulfilled it by dying on Passover. The Feast of Unleavened Bread represents our sanctification. Jesus was buried on Unleavened Bread. He rose on First Fruits and sent the Holy Spirit on the Feast of Pentecost. In verse 25 Ezekiel eludes to the last three feasts. They are Roshashana, Yom Kippor and Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus will come back on Roshashana. The world will go through The Tribulation during Yom Kippor and the Great Judgement will happen on Feast of Tabernacles. We don’t know when this will happen but God has set up his feasts as markers for what he will do on them. Ezekiel 46 speaks of the eastern court being shut for 6 days but on the 7th it will be open. God says several times that a day in heaven is as a thousand years on earth (2 Peter 3:8) so the first 6 days speak of the first 6 millenniums. We are at the end of the 6th millennium. In the 7th, the earth will rest just as God did on the 7th day. Then the prince, Jesus, will enter through the eastern gate when he comes back. First Peter agrees with James about how important our conversation is and loving one another is. He reminds us that we are chosen, royal, holy and peculiar. “Peculiar” means “purchased” in the Greek which gives it a whole new meaning. Lord, thank you that you chose us and purchased us by your blood.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - Our Inheritance

Read: Eze. 44:1-45:12; 1 Peter 1:1-12; Ps. 119:17-32; Pr. 28:8-10 The Muslims know this scripture and they have walled up the eastern gate in Jerusalem so that the Messiah won’t be able to come in. Little do they know that stones won’t be able to keep Jesus from coming back. In these scriptures about the ministry of the priests we are getting a picture of what it will be like in the 7th millennium when Israel gets control of the temple mount and sacrifices are once again made. Notice that the priests were not to wear any material that would make them sweat. That is a picture of our ministry on earth. If we are working ourselves to death trying to do the work of the gospel then we are sweating. Jesus said to take his yoke upon us and learn of him for his yoke is easy and his burden is light. If you walk by the spirit, it will be easy and everything will unfold before you. If you walk in the flesh you will be always trying to make things happen and it will be stressful and exhausting. First Peter was written to the Gentiles that had come to faith in Jesus and were suffering rejection by their friends. He encourages them of their heavenly inheritance. Inheritance took on a new meaning when my mother passed away. My dad had passed in 2004 and my mother two years ago. When she died we received our inheritance. It was far more than I had ever thought it would be since they lived very frugal lives but the joy was more in thinking of how excited they were to give it to us. I know that that was just a drop in the bucket to what our spiritual inheritance will be. It will be far greater than we could ever imagine and well worth any rejection or persecution we could face on this side. Lord, enlarge our hearts to love you more and our faith to see your ways.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - The Expanding Kingdom

Read: Eze. 42:1-43:27; James 5:1-20; Ps. 119:1-16: Pr. 28:6-7 This temple is symbolic of the temple inside us and the eternal temple God is raising up. Today we read about the chambers of the priests. We are all kings and priests before the Lord. The first floor was smaller than the second and on and on. This represented the first Christians as being the foundation and all the others that came later and built on their fountain. The kingdom is becoming larger and larger with each generation so each level become larger than it’s predecessor. In Israel schools the children learned their alphabet by Psalms 119. So instead of learning “A” is for apple they learned Alpha is for “Blessed are the undefiled in the way…” Today we read Alpha and Beta the first two letters in the Hebrew alphabet. James sounds like one of the old testament prophets in this chapter. He comes out against the rich who oppress the poor and are arrogant in their own eyes. Then he encourages those that have becomes true followers of Christ to be patient and wait for the second coming of Jesus. In the meantime, pray. Prayer brings God’s will to earth. Lord, help us to love everyone and pray Your will to be done on earth. Let Your temple expand on the earth.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo. - The Simplicity of the Gospel

Read: Eze. 40:28-41:26; James 4:1-17; Ps. 118:19-29; Pr. 28:3-5 In reading the description of the new temple that Ezekiel saw there is no mention of the ark of the covenant that represents God’s glory and presence. That is because God’s glory and presence is no longer contained in a room. When Jesus died, the veil was torn allowing all to come in and God’s presence to go out. James asks a viable question: what is the source of our quarrels? They come from the lusts in our hearts. To be a friend of the world and a friend of God is adultery. You can’t love the world and love God because they are in direct conflict of one another. Pride is of the devil but humility is from God. A humble person doesn’t slander his brother, or judge him. He doesn’t judge others or the Word; only God can do either of those. He is the one who knows the future so the only wise thing to do is ask Him to guide us through it. So, to make it simple: just do what is good in God’s eyes. Lord, what You ask of us is very simple and we make it so hard. All we have to do is trust You, follow You and do good to others. This is the day that You have made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - The New Temple

Read: Eze. 38:1-40:27; James 2:18-3:18; Ps. 118:1-18; Pr. 28:2 Ezekiel is describing the reign of Antiochus who was a godless anti-christ before the first coming of Christ. He is a picture of the Antichrist that will come to power before Christ’s second coming. Antiochus left Egypt for an expedition against Palestine, and so shall the last great enemy of God be from the north parts. God will cleansing the land from sin and bring Israel to know that Jesus is the Messiah. Chapter 40 begins the description of the new temple. It is so different than any other temple of God and the dimensions won’t even fit on the topography of Israel so I have to believe this is the description of the new Jerusalem that Revelations talks about. God promises to bring a new heaven and a new earth so this temple must be for the new earth. James explains that our faith should become evident by the things we do. Our conversation should reflect what is in our heart. If we fill our hearts with God’s Word and love then our conversation will follow. Lord, truly Your love endures forever.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - The Tribulation

Read: Daniel 8:1-27; 1 John 2:1-17; Ps. 120:1-7; Pr. 28:25-26 Daniel saw this vision while staying at the palace at Shushan, the very palace that Esther became queen. He sees a vision of what will happen in the end days. Even though he was to see the interpretation partially fulfilled in his lifetime, it was a picture of what will happen in the very end during the Tribulation. The antichrist will arise with occultist powers that mimic the miracles of Jesus. His influence that God gives him will seduce and deceive many. He will defy Christ but Christ will win. The Bible teaches us not to sin where we teach everyone has to sin. I’m going with the Bible. Jesus told the woman at the well to go and sin no more as if it was possible. John thinks it’s possible too. But if we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ. Everyone sins before Christ, but after Christ we should be obeying God’s commands. Jesus only gave us two: Love the Lord with all our heart and love one another as we love ourselves. We get caught up in the nit-picky things that the devil loves to accuse us of. Let’s just choose to walk in the light. Lord, shine your light on our hearts and enlarge our hearts to love you more.

Tues.’s Devo - The Valley of Dry Bones

Read: Eze. 37:1-38:23; James 1:19-2:17; PS. 117:1-2; Pr. 28:1 We all know this story from our childhood - the valley of dry bones. It is a picture of what God is going to do with the children of Israel in the last days and how He will bring them together, breathe his spirit in them and raise them up as a mighty army. It is also a picture of what he will do with the church in the last day and what will happen at the very last day when God brings to life every believer who has ever been to fight in the battle of Armageddon. And it is also a picture of what God does every time he saves a person. He causes their dry bones to come together, breathes his eternal life in them and raises them up to fight the good fight of faith in the earth. Chapter 38 is a picture of when the Maccabees with Antiochus came down from the north and attacked Israel, but more importantly of what will happen in the end when God will wage war on his enemies at Aramageddon. One of the verses in James that I repeat to myself often is verse 20, “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” Every time I am tempted to get mad I remind my self that my wrath is not representing God’s righteousness. It helps! I love the way verse 25 is worded. It describes the Word as the perfect law of liberty. We are tempted to see God’s Word as a book of laws that confine us when they are really suppose to be words that free us when we do what it says. Chapter 2 reminds us to honor all people the same no matter what their economic state is. Jesus chose to be poor on this earth and he is the most honored of all. Lord, help us to take courage in this world knowing that You have overcome and to honor all men as You do.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - The Perfect Law of Liberty

Read: Eze. 35:1-36:38; James 1:1-18; Ps. 116:1-19; Pr. 27:23-27 God pronounces judgment on Israel’s greatest enemies. Those that laughed and were glad when Israel fell will be punished with a greater judgment than Israel’s. In the end, God will bring Israel back into her land and cleanse them from the inside out. They will have a new heart to love God and a new spirit. Then God will prosper their land once again. He will remove their poverty and famine and bless them with abundance. The whole earth will see what God has done for his people. I pray this for America as well. I love James! I need to read James weekly because I need to remind myself that trials are my friend. Trials are our tests to promote us to the next level. They are not punishments from God. God is so willing and ready to give us wisdom when we ask in faith. We have to keep our eyes on Jesus and set our rudder in Him or we will weave back and forth between doubt and belief. We have to settle it in our mind that God is for us and working for His best interest for us and our family. Lord, help us to walk in your word, to be thankful in our trials and have faith.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sun.’s Devo. - The Responsibility of the Watchman

Read: Eze. 33:1-34:31; Heb. 13:1-25; Ps. 115:1-18; Pr. 27:21-22 Another name for a prophet is a watchman. If God shows him what is coming and he doesn’t warn the people then their blood will be on his head. But, if he warns them, it is up to the people to respond rightly and the prophet is free of his responsibility. The only correct response to a warning is to repent and turn to God. When they found out that Jerusalem was completely taken over, God asked them if they thought they could commit all their abominations and still be saved. In Chapter 34, God rebuked the shepherds for not keeping good watch over their flocks. It is the leader’s responsibility to teach the people not to sin, but they had joined in their abominations so they were held accountable. God promised to send the Great Shepherd and He will bring the flock back into the fold. He will take care of Israel; feed them, lead them, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick. Evil will be driven from the land and they will be blessed and become a blessing. Hebrews 13 gives us a hodge podge of nuggets to pay attention to. It encourages us to love our fellow brothers and sisters. Be kind to strangers because they could be angels in disguise. Don’t forget the ones that are being persecuted for the kingdom. Honor your marriage. Be content with the things God has blessed you with. Pray for our leaders. Let the Word of God be your doctrine. May the God of peace make us perfect in every good work to do his will.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sat.’s Devo.- Satan’s End, Our Glory

Read: Eze. 31:1-32:32; Heb. 12:14-29; Ps. 113:1-114:8; Pr. 27:18-20 Ezekiel keeps us up with where Israel is in its 70 year exile. Today they are in the eleventh year, third month, first day. God declares judgment on proud Egypt. Egypt had been exalted above all the earth, like the devil and is now brought low. He even compares his glory to something the trees in the garden of Eden would envy. He is describing Satan before the fall. But, because Satan tried to exalt himself to be higher than God, he was thrown from heaven to earth. Egypt will be brought low the same way. Satan embodied the serpent but he also embodied the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Once Adam ate of his fruit, death entered his body. To eat of the fruit of the tree of life brought eternal life. In Chapter 32, God describes in a parable how he left Satan on the earth to vex people’s hearts and bring destruction upon the ungodly. Starting at verse 17, God describes the fate of the followers of Satan. They all go down to hell…the pit in shame because they brought fear on earth. In comparison, in Hebrews we have a picture of heaven. It is the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, where there is a innumerable company of angels. There the Judge of all will judge every man and Satan and his angels. God’s kingdom cannot be moved or shaken. In it we will worship God in spirit and in truth. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - Running the Race

Read: Eze. 29:1-30:26; Heb. 11:32-12:13; Ps. 112:1-10; Pr. 27:17 Ezekiel prophesies the scattering of Egypt though he promises to bring them back one day. But Egypt will not be the strong powerhouse it once was but one of the weakest, basest of nations. History has proven this true. Psalms 112 would be a great chapter to memorize. Those who obey God’s word will be great upon the earth and his seed be blessed. He will be blessed with wealth because he is compassionate, gracious and lends. This man will not be moved but shall be remembered for his life. He trusts in the Lord even when the news is bad. His righteousness will endure forever. Hebrew mentions four judges, a prophet and a king who lived by faith. None of these men were perfect but they had faith. They endured much hardships on this earth looking forward to a much better place after death. They have become our crowd of witnesses that cheer us on in the faith. They are watching and waiting to see the promises they lived for and endured hardship for be fulfilled in us. That should make us want to do whatever it takes to fulfill the destiny God has put in our hearts to do. The writer encourages us to allow God to do his perfect work of sanctifying us through trials and God’s correction. If we do, we will yield God’s fruit of righteousness. Lord, we want to bear much fruit so help us to fight the good fight and run the race you have set before us with grace.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo - By Faith

Read: Eze. 27:1-28:26; Heb. 11:17-31; Ps. 111:1-10; Pr. 27:15-16; Ezekiel got a word from God for Tyrus. Tyrus means “a rock” and was a trading port by the sea. It had enjoyed the beautiful exports of many nations and was a prosperous place with the best of the best merchandise from slaves to wares. It was well fortified with the best of warriors. But in all its finery, it was destined to fall. Tyrus became proud and arrogant and thought themselves like God so God was going to send evil nations against them to war against them. In the end, God always promises good; He will bring His people back into their land where they will dwell in peace and prosperity. In Hebrews we continue our “Hall of Faith” leaders. Isaac was the next type of Jesus as our lamb that was slain for the sins of the world. Isaac’s role-playing sacrifice was a picture of Jesus’ real sacrifice. God called his seed righteous as all who believe in Jesus are righteous. His blessing of salvation continued to Jacob and Joseph. Joseph spoke of the promised land which we know today is a type of heaven. Moses was a type of “Jesus our deliverer.” He chose to be one of the Hebrews instead of counted as a king in Pharaoh’s court just as Jesus took on him the seed of Abraham. (Heb. 2:16) Moses understood that the true reward was not on this earth. Last but not least Hebrews mentions Rahab, the harlot. She is a picture of the Gentile church. She heard of the power of the god of the Hebrews and believed in him for herself and her household. She was the first convert of the heathen of the promised land. She is our hope. She was saved by faith and so are we. Lord, thank you for those who went before us to be our examples of your goodness and your validity.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - The Hall of Faith

Read: Eze. 24:1-25:17; Heb. 11: 1-16; Ps. 110:1-7; Pr. 27:14 It had been nine years to the day that Babylon took over Jerusalem when God spoke this word to Ezekiel. So for nine years God had tried to purge Israel of her sin but she refused to repent and turn to God. Because their hearts were so hard, God was going to judge them harshly. God told Ezekiel that He was going to take from him what he loved and he forbade Ezekiel to mourn or cry but to dress like any other day. I wonder if Ezekiel knew that God was going to take his wife the next day? When the people asked him what his strange behavior was about he was able to give them God’s word. They would experience the same thing. Everything they loved would be taken from them and they would not have time to mourn. God rebuked the Ammonites for being happy over Israel’s misfortune. The Ammonites were the descendent of Lot. They lived outside of the border of Israel and their relationship with Israel was not friendly most of the time. Because they rejoiced when Israel was being judged, they would experience God’s wrath also. We need a week alone on Hebrews 11… otherwise known as the “Hall of Faith. Abel was a type of Jesus, who offered the perfect sacrifice that still speaks today. Enoch was a picture of the resurrected Jesus and the raptured church. Noah is a picture of Jesus who saves us from the storm and judgment on earth. It is a picture of the church that is left after the rapture to go through tribulation. It is also a picture of end-time judgment on the earth. Abraham is the father of God’s children… a picture of God. His job was to walk out the promised land and start a new family of God. He is a picture of the new kingdom that will come after the earth is destroyed. Sarah is a picture of the risen church that will begin a new generation on the new earth. They were seeing a heavenly country even as they lived here on earth. They never saw it in their earthly bodies but they will see it one day. Lord, prepare us for your heavenly kingdom.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tues.’s Devo -God’s Judgment

Read: Eze. 23:1-49; Heb. 10:18-39; Ps. 109:1-31; Pr. 27:13 Ezekiel prophesied against Samaria and Jerusalem calling them Aholah and Aholibah. Samaria was Israel’s capital and Jerusalem was Judah’s capital. They were guilty of lusting after the military of Egypt and Assyria. God was supposed to be their defender but he doesn’t wear handsome uniforms and ride on horses. They not only lusted after their military but the gods they served, the way they dressed and their customs. They forgot God’s ways. They used the holy oil and incense that was supposed to be used to worship God to worship their idols. To punish them, God was going to send a company of people against them who would kill them and burn their houses with fire. They would rid the land of its sin. In Hebrews we read that we are to provoke one another to love and good deeds which is why we need to meet often with believers and encourage one another. If we choose to live a lifestyle of sin after receiving grace we will be judged for our disobedience. Only those who do the will of God receive the promise. Lord, give us grace to understand You ways and please You with our lives.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - Standing in the Gap

Read: Eze. 21:1-22:31; Heb. 10:1-17; Ps. 108:1-13; Pr. 27:12 God’s fury was prophesied against Jerusalem. He used Babylon to bring his wrath through. Nebuchadnezzar came down to conquer and came to a fork in the road. One fork led to the land of the Ammonites and the other to Judah. He used his divination and it led him to go to Jerusalem. God promises to come back and judge the Ammonites later. God called Judah to repentance for their sexual perversion, bribery and murdering. The priests violated the law, profaned the holy, made the clean unclean and didn’t keep the sabbaths. They took bribes and killed innocent people for money. There was no righteous person found to stand in the gap for the nation and intercede for their sins. The priests of the Old Testament had to daily and yearly offer up sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people and the priests. In the New Testament Jesus died once for our sins and that was it. There is no more sacrifice to be made. Now Jesus sits waiting for all his enemies to be put under his feet. Lord, may we stand in the gap between Your judgment and Your blessing for our nation and pray that she return to you. Wake up your church to pray.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - The Plan of Salvation

Read: Eze. 20:1-49; Heb. 9:11-29; Ps. 107:1-43; Pr. 27:11 God reminded Israel of their history of rebellion. They were a nation bent on doing their own thing and following the gods of the nations that were their enemies instead of following their own God who was the only one who could deliver and save them. It seems like a no-brainer to us when we read about Israel, but we live in that same state where people worship people and things and other religions that are opposed to the one true God. In Psalms we read that when God would punish them for their sin they would cry out to the Lord and he would save them out of their distresses. God would send his word, and heal them. “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” Christ as our High Priest doesn’t enter into the man-made Holy of Holies which is a type of the throne room of heaven. But Christ enters into the very presence of God with our prayers and prayers for us. One day, we will all stand before God and watch the judgment of the wicked. We will be saved from judgment because of Jesus’ blood. Lord, thank you for your great plan to save those who want to be saved. We deserve death, but You brought us life through Jesus. We are eternally grateful.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - We May Enter In

Read: Eze. 18:1-19:14; Heb. 9:1-10; Ps. 106:32-48; Pr. 27:10 The children of Israel were blaming their fathers for the mess they were in but God sent Ezekiel to set them straight. God judges everyone fairly according to their heart, not the heart of their fathers. If they had the worse parents in the world they can’t blame them for their own decisions; they have to make their own path. Israel is judged as a nation according to the decisions of their leaders, but they are also judged individually which is the most important. The same is true of us in America. That is why we walk out our salvation in the fear of the Lord and we pray for our nations and vote for godly men to be put in office. Hebrews explains that the first tabernacle had three parts: the outer court, the inner court and the Holy of Holies. The people were invited into the outer court where there was the brazen altar and the laver which was a huge bowl filled with water. The sacrifices were made on the brazen altar to atone for the sins of the priests and the people. The laver was where the priest washed himself to represent the cleansing power of the sacrifice. In the inner court stood the candlestick, the table of incense and the table of shewbread. Only the priests could go there. It represents the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the prayers of the saints and the Word of God that we eat daily. The third part was the Holy Place where only the High Priest could go once a year on the Day of Atonement. In that room behind the veil was the ark of the covenant, the manna, and Aaron’s rod. On the top of the ark sat the angels. Now that Jesus has come and died, we are invited as priests of God into all of those rooms. The blood of Jesus covers us so that we can come in. When Jesus died the veil was torn from heaven to earth inviting us all in. It is our decision to enter; we are always welcome. Lord, help us to set aside time daily to enter into your throne room and enjoy the beauty of Your presence.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - The Promised Covenant

Read: Eze. 16:43-17:24; Heb. 8:1-13; Ps. 106:13-31; Pr.27:7-9 Sodom’s sin was pride and haughtiness, prosperity yet not helping the poor, and being idle. Samaria’s sin was idolatry but Israel surpassed them both. By the time God gets through humbling them they will return to Him. In chapter 17, God gives Judah a parable of two great eagles. This prophecy was given in the 6th year of Zedekiah’s reign five years before the carrying away of Jehoichin and the destruction of Jerusalem. The great eagle is the symbol of Babylon’s supreme god, Nisroch so in the parable it stands for Nebuchadnezzer, the king of Babylon. Lebanon was the chief city for the Hebrews and King Jeconiah was the king. Zedekiah was the “seed of the land” spoken of in verse 5. He was from the seed of David. Judah had sworn allegiance to Babylon’s allegiance which had given it peace. Zedekiah was the vassal of Judah and he wanted to stop giving money to Babylon because he was selfishly ambitious, prideful and ungrateful so he revolted. He was not only rebelling against Babylon, but against God. The king of Egypt was the second eagle. Zedekiah asked Egypt to help him against Babylon. Three times the writer asks if Israel will prosper. The answer to the question is “yes”. The Messiah came when Israel looked hopeless and He brought hope and salvation. He will come again when there seems to be no hope for Israel and he will bring everlasting hope and deliverance. God made a covenant with Moses about the children of Israel, but Christ has made an even better covenant with us that is perfect. With this covenant we can KNOW God. Jesus, thank you for the better covenant you brought us. We joyfully await your return.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo - Noah, Daniel and Job

Read: Eze. 14:12-16:42; Heb. 7:18-28; Ps. 106:1-12; Pr. 27:4-6 The sins of the people were so great that even Noah, Daniel, or Job could save them. Why did he name these three? Noah was righteous when the rest of the world sinned. He preserved man’s seed to repopulate the world after the flood. Daniel stood firm in his convictions as a captive in a foreign kingdom. Job lived righteously as a wealthy leader who faced humility and slander. The world was restored because of Noah; a kingdom was restored because of Daniel; and a family was restored because of Job. These men had great authority and favor with God yet their righteousness would not be able to change God’s judgment on the land. Chapter 15 says that God will send one disaster right after another on the land…sound familiar? Chapter 16 describes the rising of the Israel nation but it is also a perfect description of the rising of America. We rose to be the most powerful nation on the earth but we have trusted in our own beauty and played the harlot. We’ve killed our own children through abortion and abuse and trusted in our own success and glory and forgotten God. God will judge until his fury is past then He will stop and heal us. God’s judgment always ends with hope and restoration. His cleansing is for our good, not our harm. Hebrews reminds us that all the priest’s before Jesus died in sin, but Jesus lives forever in righteousness. Jesus’ priesthood is eternal without end. Lord, we pray for our nation to be spared Your judgment. Help us as your people to soften our hearts toward you and repent of our sins and stand in the gap for our nation.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - Jesus - Our Priest Forever

Read: Eze. 12:1-14:11:Heb. 7:1-17; Ps. 105:37-45; Pr. 27:3 Ezekiel is speaking to the remnant that stayed in Jerusalem after the first siege that Jeremiah prophesied. They didn’t learn from God’s discipline so he warns them of a second siege that would be coming to Jerusalem. Ezekiel was told to act out having to leave and go into captivity. In chapter 13 he was to prophesy against the false prophets that lied to the people saying there would be peace when God was not saying that. They had built a wall with cheap supplies that would not stand. It personified their vain prophesies that were without substance and God’s backing. They would not stand either. These prophets would be punished for deceiving the people. Hebrews 7 reminds me that what I do influences the next generation. When Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedek, his seed also received the benefit. Levi was a descendent of Abraham and he would be the tribe of the priests of God and one day the people would bring their tithes to him. He also paid tithes through Abraham. Jesus didn’t come from Aaron or Levi’s loins but Judah’s so there has to be a change in the law since the law pertained to the Levites being priests. Jesus was a priest like Melchisedek who rose out of obscurity and no one knew his ancestry. Melchisedek was a type of the priest of heaven - a type of Jesus our High Priest. There was no record of Melchisedek’s death and Jesus didn’t die either. Thank you for being our High Priest forever.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - The Day of Atonement

Read: Ez. 10:1-11:25; Heb. 6:1-20; Ps. 105:16-36; Pr. 27:1-2 Exekiel is taken by the spirit to God’s throne. It is the day of Atonement when the High Priest enters the Holy Place. It is showing us what happens in heaven since the earthly temple was a replica of heaven’s temple and the priesthood a replica of heaven’s priesthood. As “the man” - the heavenly High Priest went into the house the glory of the Lord filled the temple. He took the coal from the altar of incense with him. This represented prayer and intercession for the people. The cherubims were sent forth to carry out God’s will on the earth. Next, Ezekiel was taken to the princes of the land and told to prophesy against them since they were not carrying out God’s will and were wicked. They would be killed by the sword because that was their greatest fear. When he said this, one of the leaders fell dead. Ezekiel cried out to the Lord on behalf of the rest of the people. God promised to bring them back and preserve a remnant. This remnant would have a new spirit and a heart of flesh. They will follow the Lord and be God’s people. God took Ezekiel back to the people so he could tell them what he had seen and warn them. Hebrews six is a much misunderstood passage. I have read several commentaries on these verses and I’m not sure I agree with any of them so I’m going to leave you to your own interpretation. I’m going to continue to pray for clarity. He sums it up in verses 7 and 8: rain falls on the earth and the land that is prepared to receive it brings forth herbs. The land that is not prepared to receive it bears thorns and briers and is cursed. The rain stands for the spirit of God that rains down upon all flesh. Those that prepare their hearts to receive it bear fruit, those that don’t will be judged and condemned. He also reminds us that it is through faith that we receive His promises. Lord, give us faith to receive Your rain.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mon.’s Devo - Jesus Our High Priest

Read: Eze. 7:1-9:11; Heb. 5:1-14; Ps. 105:1-15; Pr. 26:28 When God brings judgment there is a complete exchange of wealth. The once wealthy are brought to poverty and the holy places are defiled. The worst of the heathen take over and the land is devastated; its people turned to desolation. Six years after Jerusalem was besieged, God gave Ezekiel a vision showing him the abominations of the people. It was acts they did in secret that God saw openly. God sent angels to mark the people who didn’t participate in idol worship and were true to Him. Like the death angel in the days of Moses they were sent to kill all who didn’t have the mark of God on their foreheads. In Hebrews we learn that the High Priest has to be a man who knows the weaknesses of man so he can have compassion. That is why Jesus had to become a man. Jesus was a priest in the manner of Melchisedec. He was an intercessor for the people who prayed with great fervency and power for the sins of the people. God heard him because he understood the holiness of God. Jesus was that kind of intercessor too. Thank you for being our intercessor and High Priest.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sun.’s Devo - Ezekiel - The Living Parable

Read: Eze. 3:16-6:14; Heb. 4:1-16; Ps. 104:24-35; Pr. 26:27 God took Ezekiel in the spirit to the people he would be speaking to. God told him that if he didn’t warn them of their sin and rebellion then their sin would be on him. God knew they wouldn’t repent but He has to warn people first before he judges them. Ezekiel was a living parable of what God was saying so he was asked to do some pretty strange things. He was to draw the city of Jerusalem on a slate and portray the besieging of their city. Then he was to lie on his left side for 390 days to stand for 390 years that Israel would be punished for their sins and then on his right side 40 days to stand for the number of years Judah would be punished. Then he was to make bread out of wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and fitches and eat it 390 days. It was to be measured out and cooked over his own dung. He talked God into letting him use cow’s dung. It was to represent the unclean food that would be meted out to them in the land of their captors. He was to do another sign with his hair to show that a third of them would die with a plague and famine, a third by war and a third would be scattered across the world. Then they would know that the Lord is God. In Hebrews, the author speaks of a rest that God’s people who have faith can enter into. It is rest of mind knowing that God’s promises are sure and good. We can trust in our High Priest who has walked this earth as a man and knows the mercy and grace we need to enter into God’s rest. We always have access to our high priest.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sat.’s Devo - God Will Stregnthen

Read: Ezekiel 1:1-3:15; Heb. 3:1-19; Ps. 104:1-23; Pr. 26:24-26 Israel had been sentenced to 70 years out of the land. It is now the 30th year, the fifth day of the fourth month when God showed Ezekiel an open vision. Ezekiel is a priest who is with the captives by the river Chebar. Ezekiel’s name means, “God will strengthen” so he is raised up to strengthen the captives. In his vision he sees four creatures each having four faces and four wings. They stood on their feet like a man and their faces were a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle. They flew wherever the spirit led them. They were accompanied by a wheel that had eyes and rings which embodied the spirit of the creatures. Above them was the throne and God sitting on it. There was fire and colors and glory everywhere. In the midst of it, God spoke to Ezekiel and told him to go speak to the rebellious house of Israel. He told Ezekiel not to be afraid of the people and their reaction to his words. He was given a scroll of all the lamentations and woes of his nation and told to eat it. We see in Hebrews that the children of Israel that followed Moses out of Egypt were the same way. Hebrews talks of a rest that they were not able to enter into because of unbelief. I think that will be the dividing line in our future. To those who believe in God who can provide, protect and defend, they will be safe and blessed. Those who through fear and intimidation lose that confidence in God will suffer lack and oppression. Gird up your loins and be strong in the Lord! Lord, You are our hiding place, whom do we have to fear?

Friday, October 31, 2014

Fri.’s Devo - The Mercy of God

Read: Lam. 4:1-5:22; Heb. 2:1-18; Ps. 103:1-22; Pr. 26:23 We read again the devastation that went on when Jerusalem was taken over by the Babylonians. Everything that once was beautiful and prosperous was tarnished with devastation and oppression. The nation they depended on to save them could not. They describe death as better than life. This is a picture of a nation that forgot her god. Israel’s god was Jehovah and so was America’s. We pray for the mercy of God. Hebrews warns us that we should strongly pay attention to the things that have been taught to us of the past because if God would punish the angels for rebelling against Him, then He will punish us for the same sin. There is no escape for those who refuse God’s salvation. Even though man is lower than the angels God has put him over the earth and God’s creation. Jesus chose to become a man so that he would destroy the devil and the power of death and take the fear out of death. Jesus became a man so that he could experience what we go through as mere men. Only then could he be our High Priest that is understands our weaknesses and failures. He went through the temptations we go through so he can better represent us to God. Lord, thank you that You are merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thurs.’s Devo - The Oil of Gladness

Read: Lam. 2:20-3:66; Hebrews 1:1-14: Ps. 102:1-28; Pr. 26:21-22 One of my favorite scriptures is “The compassion of the Lord never ceases, they are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” But, I never knew the context until today. Jeremiah is saying it at a time where the enemy has come and destroyed his city, the temple, his government and taken away all his friends and family. In the midst of all this Jeremiah says he has hope because the Lord is good to those who wait for him and seek him. May we say the same thing when the time comes. I love Hebrews! I started memorizing the book of Hebrews years ago and got to the 5th chapter. Every time I read it or quote it something new stands out. Today it was the “oil of gladness” in verse 9 that God anointed Jesus with. It is a direct quote from Ps. 45:7. The word “gladness” means “exultation; specially, welcome - exceeding joy”. “Oil” speaks of the Holy Spirit so this anointing is a welcome joy to the whole earth. Jesus came at a time when the Jews were under the rule of the Roman Empire. Things were oppressive and hard for God’s people. From the midst of their oppression and poverty there was a cry in the wilderness to prepare the way for the Lord. The Messiah came with a message of joy and hope and rest. Jesus will come again with that same promise. Then He will fold up the earth like the garment he wore that was folded in the tomb. Then he will proclaim once again that, “It is finished.” Lord, may we be anointed with that same oil of gladness as we hope for your return.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wed.’s Devo - The Power of a Changed Life

Read: Lam. 1-2:19; Philemon 1:1-25; Ps. 101:1-8; Pr. 26:20 Lamentations was written by Jeremiah as the Chaldeans came and took over the temple. He describes Israel as a widow who was once the powerful princess. I can’t help but be sad as I think of how this correlates with America. I wonder how long it will be before we will be living Lamentations. I highly recommend every Christian reading “The Harbinger” and “The Mystery of Shemitah” by Joel Rosenberg. I am in the later book right now and it is amazing to read how far our nation has fallen in the past decade. We are living in the day where good is called evil and evil called good. It is important to us to pray for our nation and not be intimidated. We really do have the answer of the universe. It is important to know the history behind Philemon to understand the letter. Philemon lived in Colosse and was wealthy and important. He had been converted under Paul’s ministry. He had owned a slave named Onesimus who ran away from him and fled to Rome where he too was converted to the gospel by Paul. He stayed under Paul’s mentorship until Paul found him mature in the faith. Onesimus wanted to right the wrong he had done to his master, Philemon by running away so he asked Paul to write his master and put in a good word for him. That is the letter of Philemon. Paul praised Onesimus’ faith in Jesus and his love for the body of Christ. He expresses Onesimus’ desire to make amends and pay his debt. He ends with a blessing. It is amazing the power of salvation. It is the power to totally change a life. Lord, help us to remember that with You nothing is impossible. You can change the vilest sinner into another Paul.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tues.’s Devo - Prophecy Fulfilled

Read: Jer. 51:1--52:34; Titus 3:1-15; Ps. 100:1-5; Pr. 26:18-19 Everything that Jeremiah said would happen happened. King Zedekiah refused to surrender to Babylon when they besieged the city. He was hunted down and taken to Babylon where the last thing he saw before they gouged out his eyes was his sons being killed. Then he spent the rest of his life in a prison in Babylon. Most of the people were either killed or carried captive to Babyon. The poor were left to take care of the land. The temple was stripped of its treasures and torn down. The king of Judah, Jehoiachin was taken to Babylon and imprisoned for 37 years. When Evil-merodack became king of Babylon, king Jehoiachin was released from prison and fed from the king’s table. Titus warns us of things that are not profitable to man. We are to avoid asking stupid questions. I’ve heard all my life that there are no stupid questions but I guess there are. He goes on to tell us to avoid genealogies and contentions and strivings about the law because they are unprofitable and vain. So we should avoid studying for debates on things pertaining to law and condemnation. If we are studying genealogies to find out if we are important or to give us clout then it is not profitable. We are not to use our pedigree to impress or gain power. Our Psalms tells us that we are his people and the sheep of his pasture and that is good enough. Lord, may we be profitable to your kingdom today.