Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - To Be Exalted in the Kingdom

Read: Matthew 19; Mark 10
Today Jesus is talking to the disciples, not the Pharisees. Divorce must have been an issue in their day like ours. When they asked Jesus about it he referred back to the law. The law told them in order to divorce they must write a bill of divorcement. Divorce was never God’s perfect plan. To be married to one wife or one husband was the Garden of Eden of God’s plan. But, because man’s hearts were hard he gave them the law. But he did explain the spiritual consequences of it. Physically, the person who divorced was going to have sexual relations with another person which would be committing adultery against the first partner since God had made them one. Spiritually, the person is going to have to rip apart their emotional tie with the first person to join it to the next. Divorce is a painful thing to go through and God’s grace is there for everyone who has to endure it.
One thing we can be sure of. No matter what we do, God loves us like these little children that bugged the disciples. We are never a bother to Jesus.
When the rich man couldn’t give up his riches, Jesus wasn’t condemning the wealthy he was condemning those who trusted in their riches to enter the kingdom. The kingdom of God is not for sale. Those that have trusted in the true riches of the kingdom will not be disappointed.
Since the disciples were not rich and trusted in Jesus, they wanted to know if they could be exalted with him in glory. They had no idea what they were asking so Jesus gave them a short lesson on how to be exalted in the kingdom. To be exalted in the kingdom is to walk in the footsteps of Jesus through his rejection, suffering and death. To be exalted later, you must be abased now. That was not what John and James wanted to hear I’m sure.
Lord, help us to be willing to be abased on this side of eternity for the sake of the gospel.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - The Ten Lepers

Read: Luke 17:11-37; Luke 18:1-14
Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem to be crucified when he ran into 10 lepers. He told them to go show themselves to the priest and they were healed in the process. The nine that went to show themselves to the priests must have been Jewish but the one Samaritan would not be able to get in seeing he wasn’t Jewish so he returned to the true High Priest and showed himself to him and gave thanks. They were all healed but only one was saved by faith.
The Pharisees demanded that Jesus tell them when the kingdom of God would come. He told them that it would not be something they could see with their natural eye because the kingdom is within you. They were always looking for a sign when the real sign stood right in front of them fulfilling the scripture they had devoted their lives to study. Jesus went on to tell them that their generation would reject him and that it would be like the days of Noah and Lot before he came back. God had to remove Noah and put him in a safe place before he could destroy the earth and God had to take Lot to a safe place before he could destroy Sodom. God will do that to his people. He will take us out and put us in a safe place before the judgment comes. I used to think it would be years between the two events but looking at their stories they were able to see the judgment coming. There are ten days between Roshashana and the Feast of Tabernacles so I am now wondering if the time period between the rapture and the judgment isn’t 10 literal days. The next thing Jesus talks about is people being taken and people left. I will be the first to admit, it is all puzzling but I believe by faith that everything in the Bible will happen just as it is written.
Lord, help us to walk out the remainder of our days in holy fear and vibrant love for you.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - Wait on the Lord

Read: John 11
We all know the story of Lazareth but did you know that his name in Hebrew is Eleazar. Eleazar was Aaron’s sons name. He was a major priest in Moses ministry. His name means “gift of God”. Nazareth was a forerunner of what Jesus was going to do. Jesus raised him from the dead because it was not his time and to show that he had power over death.
When Jesus told his disciples he was going back to Judea they were afraid for his life and I love Jesus response. “Are there not twelve hours in the day?” He was saying that if they walk in God’s light there is no fear. Fear comes in the darkness and they carried the light. Jesus knew that he had come to bring life from death and that it would cause him his own death. He raised Lazareth and positioned himself for death. The Pharisees met to stop his ministry. The high priest was Caiaphas who prophesied that one man would die for the Jews and then all the children of God would come together. So he reasoned that since this was a good thing and God’s will, they would help it along. This is always wrong strategy. We can’t hurry God or his will. He has set things in order and on his time table so that all things are working for the good of all his children. David understood this when he refused to kill Saul every time he had the opportunity which was more than once. He never saw those opportunities as God’s will for him to do God’s work. We are not the hand of judgment - God is and revenge is His business. Our job is to patiently wait and that is not easy to do.
Lord, help us to wait patiently for your promises to be fulfilled.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wed.’s Devo. - Heavenly Wisdom

Read: Luke 16; Luke 17:1-10
When I read today’s scripture I was almost offended by what Jesus said in verse 8. He said, “…for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” Then I meditated on it and understood what Jesus was saying. The people in the world are better connivers and sinners than Christians. Their father is the father of lies and deception. This man was totally deceptive and selfish. He didn’t care about his boss - he cared about himself. A Christian’s response to being audited would be to bring the facts of his labor to his boss and let the facts prove his innocency then he might have been able to keep his job. This man was not innocent so he needed to find a way to be taken care of when he lost his job. So, he resorted to more deception. His boss applauded his quick thinking, not his fraud. We can learn great things from ungodly minds but godly principles can only learned by godly people. Our goal is not to outsmart the world but win it to the truth. Jesus went on to say that God knows are hearts and those that are highly esteemed among men are an abomination in the sight of God.
Jesus went on to explain that every Hebrew letter, called a tittle has significant meaning just as every law did. He gives divorce as an example of this. Men were divorcing their wives without going through the proper procedure. The law says that man has to write his wife a certificate of divorcement to divorce her. (Duet. 24:3, Is. 50:1, Jer. 3:18, Matt. 5:32, Mark 10:4). They weren’t doing that so they were not legally divorced. When they remarried they were committing adultery because they weren’t legally divorced. The spiritual meaning to this is that when we divorce the devil to marry Christ we have to legally divorce him. We can’t be married to both just like Jesus said you can’t serve God and mammon both.
The next story Jesus gave them about the rich man and Lazareth was Jesus’ explanation of why the Pharisees were not going to accept Jesus. They had studied Moses and the prophets and still didn’t recognize the Messiah when he came so they would not get it when he rose from the dead either. They thought they were rich because they knew the scriptures but they were poor because they were blind to its spirit.
Lord, help us to be wise to the things of the spirit.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - Two Perspectives

Read: Luke 14-15
Today we read of two perspectives. In Chapter 14 we have the perspective of earth. If we want to be exalted, we need to humble ourselves. I think it is interesting that Jesus gave this sermon in the house of one of the chief Pharisees. He had set Jesus up by asking him to eat on the Sabbath and having a man there with dropsy. Jesus discerned his motives and called him on it. Then he healed the man and gave them parables about humility. Every Pharisee wanted to be invited to this supper but Jesus told them a parable about another supper that no one wanted to go to. This was God’s supper. He was making the point that they didn’t want to eat the true bread so God was going to invite others. They were suppose to be the salt of the earth, but they had lost their saltiness.
Chapter 15 has to do with heaven’s perspective. God didn’t care about their righteousness, he cared about the lost. He delights in mercy, not in fairness. In the story of the prodigal son he was giving them a chance to see themselves and repent. If they were the foolish son, they could come back and God would welcome them with open arms. If they were the older brother, they needed to change their perspective and see as God sees. There were some Pharisees who actually got the message of salvation but most of them remained hard-hearted.
Lord, we pray for the church and the world to wake up to the grace and mercy of the Lord. Thank you for bringing the grace message back to the church.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - Seek the Kingdom of God

Read: Luke 12-13
Jesus starts out by warning his disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy then he tells them later that the kingdom of heaven is like leaven that the woman hid in three measures of meal till it leavened all of it. We learned the other day that leaven means doctrine. The doctrine of the Pharisees was hypocrisy that would be exposed in the judgment. God doesn’t forget one evil thing the wicked do and doesn’t forget one good thing the righteous do. One day, Jesus will bring judgment and justice. Jesus encouraged us not to worry about what man does to our physical body because that will one day perish, but our spiritual man will live eternally.
The woman that hid the leaven in the measures of meal represents the growth of the kingdom. It is hidden but growing. The doctrine of Jesus will one day permeate the earth. Isaiah 11:9 says it like this: “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Jesus told them to be rich in Him because the treasures of this world are not the eternal treasures. If we seek the kingdom of God, then the other things are just add ons. The true treasure is God himself.
Luke 13 starts with two incidences which Jesus uses to make a point. The first one is some Galileans that offended Pilate so he had them killed and mixed their blood with his sacrifices. This was a very demeaning way to die. The next incident was about 18 men that died when a tower fell on them. The disciples were thinking that the way they died must have been judgments because of their sinful lives, but Jesus disagreed. It was not how a person died that determined their eternity or their life, but if they repented before they died. Everyone was going to die but no one but God knows when. Jesus was trying to get them to see the importance of repenting while they had the time.
Lord, may our doctrine be the true doctrine of your kingdom and may we seek you first.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - Greater Works

Read: Luke 10-11; John 10:22-42
As I was reading today’s scriptures Luke 11:51 caught my attention. Jesus was condemning their generation because they had huge monuments in honor of prophets that their fathers had killed. Jesus told them that from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zacharias, it would be required of their generation. Abel was the son of Adam and Eve who presented God with the perfect sacrifice. He was murdered by his own brother because of envy and jealousy, and because his brother, Cain was evil. Zacharias was the son of Jehoida, the priest. He stood up in a time of apostasy and told the nation to repent. He was also murdered. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice who came to earth in a time of great apostasy in the church and he would be murdered by evil men because of envy and jealousy.
We are living in a day where men are calling good, evil and evil, good. It is hard to comprehend how things can get so twisted and justice can be so unjust, but Jesus explained it when the Jews confronted him and wanted him to say he was the Messiah. He told them that his works should be enough for them to figure it out but they couldn’t because they were not his sheep. The sheep hear the voice of the shepherd and follow him. They wanted to kill him for this statement but he escaped because it was not yet his time to die.
These good works of Jesus are what is missing from the church. This has to happen before Jesus comes back. I think that the church doing signs, wonders and miracles are going to be the last movement of God before Jesus comes back. This will happen in the church and especially outside the church. Miracles are a sign to the unbeliever so they will believe. Jesus said that we will do greater works than him because he goes to his father. John 14:12.
Lord, help us to believe for “greater works”.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Open Our Eyes

Read: John 9:1-41; John 10:1-21
Today’s reading is about Jesus’ healing of the blind man. Of all Jesus miracles up to now, this one seemed to impress them the most. They were still talking about it in our last verse we read. The man had been blind since birth and the disciples asked Jesus if he was blind because of his own sin or his parents. But Jesus explained to him that this man was made blind for this very moment that he would be an object lesson for all to see. :) Jesus then mixed his spit with dirt and put it on the man’s eyes. I would think that this was exactly how God created Adam out of dirt and made him see. Then Jesus told him to go to the pool of Siloam and wash the dirt off his eyes. The pool of Siloam is cut through a rock and is always flowing. It means “sent” and is a beautiful picture of the Holy Spirit that freely flows from our Lord Jesus. There was a legend that Mary washed the swaddling clothes of Jesus in this fountain.
Needless to say, this miracle upset the Pharisees who argued among themselves whether he was legit or not since he did this miracle on the sabbath day. They finally called his parents to confirm the miracle. His parents sent them back to him because of their fear of being kicked out of the synagog if they offended the counsel. I can’t help thinking how they strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel. This seems so far-fetched to us but every time God moves in the church in a different way, we face this kind of opposition. I can remember when the Charismatic movement swept across America and the youth became radical Christians. I was a youth at the time and the organized church didn’t know what to do with us. They shut down our Bible studies and prayer meetings in an effort to control what they didn’t understand. We are on the cusp of another great awakening in our nation. How are we going to accept the change? If we can “see” we will be a part of it. If we cannot “see” because we are steeped in religion, we will oppose it.
Lord, help us to be of those who “see” and are a part of what you are about to do.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - Lord, Send the Rain!

Read: John 7-8
John opens at the feast of tabernacles. This is the feast where Jesus will fulfill it by tabernacling in his people. It is the final harvest. In their day, it was the at the end of the harvest season. They were to rest from their labors and feast with great rejoicing. The people would sleep in booths during the feasts to represent the fact that this was not their home. They would gaze through the boughs of their make-shift roof and see the heavens and remember that that was their home. In the midst of this feast, Jesus stood before the people and dialoged that he was not from here and was going to a place they could not find him. He was revealing to them who he was and where he was from. Of course, they couldn’t receive it or understanding because their ears were full of false doctrine.
On the last day of the feast there is a ceremony they do where they bring water from the pool of Siloam into the city and pour it out. It was a symbol of the rain that was coming that would soften the ground for the plowing of the next season. They would pray for God’s salvation through the Messiah. Jesus stood up and explained that He was this water that all who thirst could come to and be filled. This water of his was living water that would flow out of their belly. This was the Holy Spirit that Jesus was going to send that would soften the hearts of the people so they could receive the seed of the Word of God.
We have just finished this season so we can look forward to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the people to receive the Word of God.
Lord, may we tabernacle with you as you bring the rain of your Holy Spirit down upon our land. May it soften hearts that we can implant the Word of God in their dry ground.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - Offenses and Forgiveness

Read: Matthew 18
Today, Jesus talks about offenses and forgiveness. The only way to not let offenses and unforgiveness set in is to be like a child in your faith. Children can have a fight with their best friend and the next day forget all about what happened the day before. Children don’t have a closet of baggage but their hearts are pure and open.
Peter asked Jesus if seven times was enough to forgive someone. I’m sure he thought that was a good spiritual number that showed how religious he was. He was surprised with the answer Jesus gave. Jesus said, not seven but seventy times seven. I don’t think Jesus was saying once you have forgiven a person 70 times you can stop. He was telling him how to forgive. Seven means “complete” and ten is the number of a test. So he was saying to forgive completely and thoroughly because this is your test. Then Jesus told them the parable of the king and the servant who owed him a great amount of money. When the servant asked him to forgive his debt, the king did. That same man went out and met a man that owed him a small amount of money. He was cruel and demanded his payment. When this man begged forgiveness, he threw him in prison. The king heard about what the man had done and threw him into prison. The king represents God who forgives the debt of those that ask him to. We are totally forgiven our debt of sin. If we don’t forgive everyone then we are like the man who wouldn’t forgive the man the small amount owed him. We don’t get to choose who we forgive - we are to forgive everyone.
Lord, help us to let go of the offenses we hold against people. It is the little foxes that spoil the vine.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - The Main Character is Jesus!

Read: Matthew 17; Mark 9; Luke 9:28-62
“After 6 days”. Why does God give us this clue? Jesus takes his disciples up on a mountain and shows him his glory and gives them a glimpse into the past and into the future. Second Peter 3:8 says, “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.” So, six days stands for 6,000 years. After that we will enter into the seventh millennium where God will show us his glory. According to Jewish calendar we are at 5776.
Why did Jesus meet with Moses and Elijah? I think we have a clue in Luke 16:16, “The law and the prophets were until John; since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presses into it.” Moses gave us the law and Elijah was one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament who prophesied the kingdom coming. I wonder if Jesus wasn’t taking his disciples back in time and showing how he spoke to Moses on the mountain when he gave him the 10 Commandments and Elijah when he spoke to him on the mountain right before he took him. They were both forerunners of Jesus as was John the Baptist who came in the spirit of Isaiah. Jesus said he will send another spirit like Elijah’s before he comes again. God made it clear that the important one was not the one who brought us the law or the prophet but the one they both spoke of….Jesus!
The next thing Jesus does is casts out a spirit of deafness and dumbness. That is what we need to happen to the Church. We need to be delivered of our deaf and dumb spirit and have our hears and mind opened to understand and see the kingdom coming.
Lord, help us to see with Your eyes and hear with Your ears and may we always keep Jesus forefront in all we do because He is the main character.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - The Rock of Christ

Read: Matthew 16: Mark 8; Luke 9:18-27
The Pharisees came to Jesus asking for a sign from heaven. Wasn’t healing, deliverance, miracles enough signs for them? Apparently not. It wearied Jesus so he told them the only sign they were going to get was the sign of Jonas the prophet. They would have studied Jonah extensively and have known that Jonah was sent to a heathen people with one message - “Repent”. Jesus was referring the spiritual leaders to the city of Nineveh and telling them they needed to repent. One thing is for certain: Jesus was not afraid of the Pharisees.
Next, we see the Jesus with his disciples going to the other side of the sea of Galilee. Jesus tells them to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees and they immediately go to condemnation. They think they have done something wrong and forgotten the bread. They are still seeing out of carnal eyes and Jesus is trying to teach them to have spiritual eyes. He was not talking about physical bread but the yeast or wrong doctrine of the Pharisee. He wasn’t saying that bread with yeast was wrong but the yeast had to be right. They ate unleavened bread in their feasts before Jesus came but once he rose from the dead they were to eat bread with yeast in the last four feasts - The feast of pentecost, trumpets, yom kipper and tabernacles. The feasts are in order for a reason. They follow time. The first three feasts all occurred during the week of the feast of unleavened bread. Once Jesus was risen they had the yeast of God that they could eat.
When Jesus asked his disciples who they thought he was, I love Matthews account the best because it says that Peter answered: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus blessed Peter for saying this and told him that he understood that not with his head but with his spirit. Then he told him the most misunderstood line. He said, “upon this rock I will build my church.” Most people believe that because Peter means “rock” that they were saying upon Peter he would build his church. How absurd is that since in the next few verses he is rebuking Peter and calling him Satan. He was talking about the rock of truth that Peter had. Peter understood that Jesus was the son of God and the Messiah. That is the rock that we build our church upon. That is the rock we stand on.
Lord, upon the rock of your teaching, your leaven, we stand!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - Contend For Your Miracle!

Read: Matthew 15; Mark 7
Jesus rebuked the teachers of the law for teaching their laws and completely overlooking the spirit of “the law”. They were upset because Jesus’ disciples had eaten without washing their hands first. They had concentrated on a small man-made tradition and neglected one of the Ten Commandments of honoring their mother and father. When their parents needed their financial assistance they lied and told them they had given all their money to the temple. Jesus exposed their hearts.
Then Jesus explained that it wasn’t what went into a man that defiled him but what came out of his mouth. Sometimes we can’t control what comes into our thoughts or life but we can control the intents of our heart and what we do with these things.
Later, Jesus went to Tyre where he met the woman whose daughter was possessed by a demon. She fell at Jesus feet and begged him to deliver her. He told her that he was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel. What Jesus said sounds mean but he came to do his Father’s will and he knew his assignment. Her response made him go further than his assignment and have mercy on her. It reminds me of when Mary told Jesus to do something about the wine at the wedding and he said it wasn’t time. Both of these women pulled at Jesus’ gift and got what they needed. We can do that too. It is called contending for a breakthrough. It took Daniel’s fasting for 21 days before Michael could break through the demonic wall and come to him. We don’t see the spirit world but it is very much there and sometimes we just need to contend for our answer. This lady got her answer.
Lord, I am contending for some things for my family. Thank you for this word. I will not give up!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - The Bread of Life

Read: John 6
Jesus’ ministry was in the vicinity around the sea of Galilee. My mouth dropped when I looked up the meaning of Galilee. It means “heathen circle”. No wonder that was the area he concentrated on. They needed him the most.
It was the time of Passover which is the picture of salvation. Jesus demonstrated what Passover was suppose to be when he multiplied the bread and gave it to the people. He was the bread that was broken and given out to anyone who wanted him. There were five barley loaves which is the number of grace. Grace is how we receive salvation. They only mentioned having bread left over. The five small barley loaves filled everyone and there were twelve basketful left. The bread also stands for the Word of God. I think this is showing us that even when we understand part of the Word there is still so much more to understand. Revelation multiplies and we will never have it all till the end. Jesus was the manna that came down from heaven just as Jesus came down from heaven to walk the earth.
Jesus realized the men were going to make him king and rid them of their poverty problem because he could multiply food, so he escaped. No telling what they would have done if they had saw how he walked on water and transported his disciples right out of their storm to the other side.
In verse 39 Jesus says that God’s will was to save all that God had given him and raise them up on the last day. He was talking about his Church.
Lord, I pray that revival would come to your Church and that the remnant would come in.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Place of Provision

Read: Matthew 14; Mark 6; Luke 9:1-17
I find it interesting that they would think Jesus was John the Baptist risen from the dead. John must have done something that reminded them of Jesus even though he didn’t do a single miracle. He looked like Jesus because he was anointed to preach just as Jesus was. John was not afraid to tell the truth. He had told Herod that he was sinning by living with Herodias who was Phillip’s wife. He wanted to shut him up so he put him in prison. It was his niece, Herodias’ daughter that danced and asked for the head of John the Baptist. John had been Herod’s closet friend and now that truth would be exposed if he refused to kill John. Peer pressure cost John his head and when Jesus heard the news he had to go off by himself and get God’s assurance. He came back ready to heal the sick and teach. He had ended up in Bethsaida which means “place of provision”. At this place God met their needs. The people received Jesus’ teaching about the kingdom and the sick were healed and the people were fed…more than they needed. God met their spiritual spiritual need first then their physical need then their financial need. I’m not saying that is the order God always does things in but it was the order of what he did this day. I will say that when we are in the place of provision, God meets our needs abundantly like he did theirs.
Lord, thank you for your provision which is more than enough!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - The Power

Read: Matthew 9-10
Today we have Matthew’s account of his own calling to follow Jesus. Jesus made it very simple for his disciples. He told them to follow him and he showed them what to do to be his disciple. They watched him forgive sins, heal the sick, cast out demons, open blind eyes and raise the dead. Then he gave them power and sent them out on their own and told them to do the same. Jesus gave us this same power in Acts 1 and 2. It is the power of the Holy Spirit. And, he has sent us out to do the same thing. We can only do this if we have the power of the Holy Spirit and to get it we only have to ask.
After Jesus had done a great miracle for someone he always asked them not to tell who did it. How different that is from what we do. We see God move in our ministry and we promote ourselves so everyone will come see what “we” can do. Jesus was always trying to stay in the background so he could move easier and not get swept away by pride and fame. The only trouble was that what he had was so extraordinary that the people couldn’t keep quiet. They were his promoters, not himself.
We have seen so many people start out humbly with a gift and once the crowd recognized their talent they exalted them to a status no one could measure up to. I read an interview the other day about Justin Beeber who is now a professing Christian and he said that they tried to make him bad. He says that he has returned to his Christian roots and seems to be sincere. We as his brothers and sisters need to pray for him to be surrounded with people that will disciple him and help him grow in his faith. What a testimony he could be for Jesus. Jesus said, that it was the sick that needed a physician and that is who he targeted.
Lord, help us to go out in the power of the Holy Spirit and do the works that You did.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - Only Believe

Read: Matthew 8:14-34; Mark 4-5
We read about this yesterday in other books but I want to concentrate on what Jesus said to the centurion. This centurion was a captain over 100 men in the Roman army. He was not a Jew. That is why Jesus was so impressed with his faith. This man didn’t need Jesus to come to his house but to just say the word and his daughter would be healed. This is a concept we still have a hard time with. We want the pastor or the speaker or the healer to pray for us before we can be healed when it only takes our faith. This man had that kind of faith that would only take Jesus Word to heal. We have Jesus’ word and it is the Bible. If we can believe what it says the we can have what we say. The key is to pray according to God’s will and believe in our hearts. It is God’s will to heal. Jesus healed all who were oppressed.
Jesus told the centurion that many will come from the east and the west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven…but the children of the kingdom will be cast out. What he was implying was that many would later come to him that were Gentiles and the Jews would be cast out. It doesn’t matter what our heritage is; what matters is our heart and what we believe. The centurion got his healing because he believed.
Lord, help us to believe Your Word.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - The Kingdom of Heaven

Read: Matthew 13; Luke 8
Jesus’ first parable set the stage for his ministry. It was the parable about the seed and the sower. He was preparing his disciples to see beyond the natural. He was the seed and his words were going out to the ears of many but not all would be able to hear the truth. There were two types of people: children of the kingdom and children of the evil one. The children of the kingdom would hear and stay, the children of the evil one would hear and turn away. That was it in a nutshell.
Jesus came to defeat the devil. He was the first person who had walked the earth that had faced the devil head-on and won. When Jesus crossed the lake to deliver the Gaderene the devil tried to keep them from reaching him but Jesus stopped the storm. Once Jesus set the man free the people were afraid of Jesus. This man was carrying the principality that was over the whole region. With that principality gone, he was able to lead the rest of the people to the truth. Jesus was able to return to that region and do many miracles.
Jarius, the synagogue ruler humbled himself before Jesus and begged him to heal his 12 year old daughter. He had no sooner asked Jesus to heal her when a lady who had had an infirmary 12 years. So for the woman had gotten her sickness when the girl was born. There is a connection between the two. Both were healed the exact same day. The kingdom had come.
Lord, may your kingdom come today!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - Let Your Light Shine

Read: Matthew 12:22-50: Luke 11
Today we have Luke’s account of what we read yesterday in Matthew. He gives us two new people that will rise in judgment against their generation: Jonah and the queen of Sheba. Jonah preached repentance to a heathen nation that were steeped in idolatry and they repented and fasted. God heard their prayer and saved them. The queen of Sheba had heard of the glory of Solomon’s kingdom and traveled many miles to see for herself. She left in awe of Solomon’s god.
We have the same responsibility as Solomon and the Jonah. We have to fulfill our destiny and let our light shine in this dark world. Maybe we have been blessed with a position that many people see and want to emulate like Solomon. Then we need to let God’s glory shine through us to attract the foreigner and the heathen. Maybe, like Jonah we have been given a burden for a group of people and we need to go to them and preach the truth. Whether we go to foreign places or stay home, we should always be an attraction of light. The only light we have is Jesus and we are responsible for how much of him we let out.
The Pharisee’s were only interested in appearing righteous to others. Their hearts were proud. However, there were a few of them that hungered for the real thing and they found it in Jesus.
Lord, help us to let our light shine for all to see.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - Keep Believing

Read: Matthew 11
Jesus mentions Chorazin and Bethsaida where Jesus did mighty miracles. He implied that even though he did great acts there, they did not repent. Bethsaida means “house of mercy”. Where more mercy is shown then more is required. They will be judge harsher because they were given greater opportunity to repent and refused. Capernaum was also mentioned as being greatly judged. It was a large prosperous city where Jesus spent much time teaching and doing miracles. John 6 was preached at Capernaum where Jesus told them he was the bread of life and that if they had seen him then they had seen God. This was a little hard for them to swallow. It shouldn’t have been because he did such great works right before them but, they still couldn’t believe. Jesus compared them all to Sodom who he destroyed with fire and who was a picture of end-time judgment. They will be judged worse than Sodom.
This is such a powerful statement to us who have walked with God all our lives. We are responsible for more than the new Christian and it is easy to get hardened to believe God is going to do any more than we have seen with our eyes. The truth is, we are about to see the “greater works” Jesus told his disciples about. What the apostles did after Jesus’ death was a foretaste of what is about to happen. We need to guard our hearts and not get hardened with unbelief. Unbelief was the reason the Israelites couldn’t enter into the promise land and it will keep us from ours if we let it.
Lord, we choose to believe that your are about to tabernacle with your people in a way you have never done in the past. Help us to keep our expectations high.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - The Messenger

Read: Matthew 8:1-13; Luke 7
Jesus said that John the Baptist was more than a prophet - he was a messenger. Every church age in Revelation has a messenger that is the messenger of that age. John the Baptist was the messenger to usher in the new age of the Messiah. He was only on earth long enough to do that and died at a very young age. He had fulfilled his assignment on earth. When John was in prison, he sent his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the Messiah or not. What he was really wanting to know was why he hadn’t come and released him from prison since that is what the prophets had prophesied about the Messiah in Isaiah.
Jesus answered John’s disciples by telling him all the things he was doing then he said, “blessed are those who are not offended in me.” In other words, he was saying, stop wondering why I am not doing what you think I should be doing for you and look at what I am doing. This is a message to us also. It is easy to get upset at what doesn’t happen for us and the prayers that don’t get answered when we think they should and how we think they should instead of remembering all the miraculous things God has done for us in the past. God said that if we sought him first then all the other things would fall into place.
Lord, help us to remember to be thankful and praise you for all the things your are and that you have done.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Seek the Kingdom First

Read: Matthew 5-7
This is the account of what we call the “sermon on the mount”. Jesus begins with the beatitudes and then interprets the ten commandments. Jesus told us that he didn’t come to do away with the law, but to fulfill it. As he went through the sermon he transferred his nature on to us. We are the salt of the earth. We are the light of the world. Our righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees because their motives were out of line. We are not righteous to win the approval of God and man but because our hearts have been made new and our nature is to be righteous. So we don’t have to prove anything to anybody. All heaven is watching and we are free to do what God puts in our hearts to do even when it is not what everyone else thinks we should do.
Jesus taught them how to pray in Matthew 6. He taught us to pray secretly from our hearts. We are to pray God’s kingdom down to earth. We only need today’s supply and God will take care of our future. He taught us the importance of forgiveness, fasting, and laying up treasures in heaven. He summed it up by saying to seek the kingdom first then everything you need will be added to you. If we do that we won’t have time to judge others.
Lord, give us the heart to seek your kingdom first.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Fri.’s Devo -The Right Attitude

Read: Matthew 12:1-21; Mark 3; Luke 6
Jesus purposely plucked ears of corn on the Sabbath to offend the Pharisees or to teach them a lesson if they could hear. He was trying to teach them that if you are a priest to the Lord then the law doesn’t apply to you. It doesn’t condemn you. Jesus was always healing on the Sabbath because the Sabbath stands for the 7th day or the last thousand years. In that time everyone that follows Christ will be healed and righteousness will reign on earth. Jesus was giving us a fore taste of that time. He was also releasing that day for the believer. We should be always walking in the 7th day. Healing, prosperity, life, deliverance is all ours. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath.
After a night in prayer, Jesus went and chose his disciples by what God had showed him the night before. Jesus never did anything he didn’t first see the Father do. He chose Judas who would one day betray him. Jesus gave the beatitudes which are a guideline to the upside down kingdom we are a part of. The poor are the ones that will inherit the kingdom, whatever pain or suffering we go through now will be turned around one day. We are to rejoice when people hate us because of our relationship with Jesus, for our reward in heaven will be great. Next, we have the list of woes. The ones who get their reward on earth by living according to worldly laws will suffer later. Those that are popular with the world will be brought down. We are to love our enemies, bless those who curse us and pray for those who use us. We love them with our actions and our attitudes and the fruit that we bear.
Lord, when you return we pray that you will find fruit in us.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Thur.’s Devo - You Have to “See” to Believe

Read: John 5
Jesus never did anything that the Father didn’t tell him to do. This man lying by the pool with a 38 year old illness was Jesus assignment for the hour. Jesus healed him and of course it was the Sabbath. The man didn’t even know who Jesus was and Jesus didn’t even tell him. Strangely, the man didn’t ask. Jesus specifically told him to take his bed with him knowing he would be in violation to the Jewish law. Everything Jesus did offended the organized religion of the day. He healed on the Sabbath, got the attention of the people, did miracles and spoke with such mystery like he was on the inside and they were on the outside which was so true. Now, he was claiming that God was his Father and claiming rights to eternal life. The Sadducees and the Pharisees were green with envy which leads to murder.
He told the Pharisees and the Sadducees that they didn’t have the Word of God abiding in them. He said this to a group of people that devoted their lives to reading the Torah and obeying it. They had the letter of the law memorized but their hearts were not opened or they would have seen Jesus foretold all through the Torah. Having eyes to see - they were blind. I’m sure they marveled at what Jesus was saying to them. No one had dared to stand up to them because they were so pious but Jesus was nailing them. It is always about the heart.
Lord, soften our hearts that we not think we can see when we are blinded by our own pride. We humble ourselves before you. Help us to see.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - From Grace to Glory

Read: Mark 2
Mark 2 is much like Luke 5 which we read Monday. This is Mark’s viewpoint of the same miracles. Once again we are talking about putting new cloth on an old garment and new wine into old wineskins. Jesus came in with the new covenant which just didn’t fit the old. When Jesus teaches a new concept you have to look at what he is doing because it is always an example of what he is teaching. Everything Jesus both did and taught was new. He forgave sins which was blasphemy to the law. He healed the sick. And he called a tax collector to be his disciple. In the Old covenant a leader had to be someone that was righteous in following the law. Jesus ate with publicans and sinners which was totally unclean and unholy for a holy man to do. He rejected the self-righteous and chose the humble. His disciples didn’t fast on holy days. Jesus explained that it was not the time for fasting but feasting because the bridegroom was on the scene and the disciples recognized him. The religious didn’t. He even worked for food on the Sabbath - a big No No. He was trying to explain to them that the Sabbath was to be a reward of rest for man not a day of restriction and bondage.
Everything about the dispensation of grace opposed the dispensation of the law. Only the hearts that were ready for a change could make the switch. God is making the switch right now from grace to glory. I pray that our hearts can make the switch.
Lord, as we move into the days of tabernacling in your glory, help us to make the switch and not cling to the old.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - The New Wine

Read: John 2-4
John starts out by saying “and the third day”. We get used to seeing this and skip right over it but it is significant or it wouldn’t be there. God does the same thing on the same days. The third day meant the third day of the week. On the third day Jesus rose from the dead and manifested his glory and his disciples believed he was the son of God. On this their day Jesus turned water into wine and it says in verse 11 that miracles began on this day when he manifested his glory and his disciples believed on him. The six clay pots stood for man. Man was created on the sixth day and he is an earthen vessel created by The Potter. When Jesus poured his spirit into man they became filled with his blood and would do greater works than him- the best wine. We are those clay pots that Jesus pours his spirit and his blood into and we are to produce the best wine.
When they were creating the Hoover Dam the engineer needed to find a material that would be able to stand great pressure. God reminded him of these water pots and how they withstood the chemical change of water being turned to wine. He researched and found what they used to make their clay pots back then and used that in the concrete to hold the dam. It has stood the test of time.
Another thought about Jesus’ first miracle is that it is no coincidence that the Bible opens with the union of Adam with Eve, his first recorded miracle is at a wedding and Revelation ends with a marriage. This story is all about Jesus finding a bride. John understood this when he claimed to be the friend of the bridegroom.
Lord, may we be filled with the new wine of your Holy Spirit today.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Mon.’s Devo- Power Over the Devil

Read: Matthew 4: Luke 4-5; John 1:15-51
There is so much to learn in the temptations that Jesus suffered. The first temptation was for Jesus to do something for himself for which Jesus said it was much better to do what God says. The second temptation was to let Satan do something for him. The devil lied through that whole thing because he doesn’t have the power over the kingdoms or the leaders of the earth - God does. Jesus set him straight. The last temptation was to make God move. I think this is our greatest temptation. If Jesus threw himself off the temple then God would have to scramble to catch him. Jesus called this tempting the Lord. James says that God can’t be tempted with evil and would never tempt us either. In other words, it is not God that puts us in a box where we have no other recourse than to choose his way. We tend to blame God for things that we get ourselves in or that we have allowed the devil to deceives us.
After Jesus’ fast and temptation he was filled with the power of the Spirit. He would need it because he was making his way to his home town. He walked into the synagog and read the reading for the day and it was all about him. When he tried to tell them that they couldn’t believe it because they had watched him grow up and couldn’t see him as the Messiah. He explained how a prophet is never accepted in his own town then gave them two examples of non-Jews who God chose to do a miracle for. They were incensed and wanted to throw him off a cliff. Instead he supernaturally walked right through the crowd and went his way. He went to Capernaum which means “village of comfort.” He needed some.
Notice how many times Jesus casts demons and evil spirits out of people. We are going to be doing this more and more. We can stand up to Satan just like Jesus did - fearlessly wielding the Sword of the Spirit.
In Luke 5, Jesus talks about putting a piece of a new garment on an old garment and putting new wine into old bottles. He had just finished eating with the sinners and publicans. When rebuked for eating with them he explained that it is not the well people that need a doctor. The new wine was the salvation, healing, deliverance that Jesus was bringing. He was ushering a new covenant - new wine, new garment. This salvation couldn’t be put on the law but it had to start with a new heart. The person had to be born again and die to the old way of following the law to get to God. The law was not bad in itself but its result was changing. The new covenant was in Jesus and he required a new heart to fill. This new covenant was not going to be easy to swallow especially for those who loved the old. That is always how it is. When God brings new music to the church there are those who still want the old. We have to become new wineskins over and over.
Lord, pour your new wine into the new wineskins of our heart.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - Our Inheritance

Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3
I have so many questions about John the Baptist and Jesus like did they know each other as children since they were cousins. It appears they were both hidden away in remote towns and never saw each other till this moment. They had to have heard about each other from their mothers. John was Jesus’ forerunner. He recognized Jesus right away and recognized his position in the kingdom. He didn’t even want to baptize him. He wanted Jesus to baptize him instead. But John’s destiny was to usher in Jesus and live a short time after that. He was to decrease and Jesus was to increase just as he said.
John and Jesus felt the same way about the Pharisees and the Sadducees. John called them a “brood of vipers” and Jesus called them “white-washed walls”. They were a type of the false prophet written about in Revelation. They stood for the false church that teaches people that there are many ways to God and it all depends on you to get there. For them it was their pious works and rituals. The sprit of the false prophet is alive and well in our world right now. It looks like political correctness, coexistence, new age, and acceptance…of anything. It is the false church. The true church knows that there is only one way to God and that is through the door of the cross of Jesus. They understand that the government of the world is the anti-christ and it will never accept us or our beliefs. God’s kingdom is where Jesus is King and He makes all the decisions.
In Mark, the first thing that Jesus faced when he taught was an unclean spirit. This man was in the church but he had an unclean spirit. Jesus came to cleanse the temple of the wrong spirits and he is still doing that today through us.
In Luke we have another genealogy but this time it is not the kingly line but the priestly line and the one that led back to Adam. We have two genealogies. One is our earthly one and one is our spiritual line. Both of them start with God. Adam was a son of God and a type of Jesus. Jesus was both a king and a priest.
Lord, make us aware of false doctrine and give us the spirit of discernment. Remind us that our inheritance is in you alone.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sat.’s Devo -Jesus and Nazareth

Read: Matthew 2; Luke 2:39-52
In the Bible, a child’s birthday was his day of conception. John’s birthday would have been the feast of Tabernacles and Jesus birthday would have been Passover. He went to Jerusalem at 12 on his birthday and this particular birthday would have been his bar mitzvah - the year he became a man and was to follow in the occupation of his father. That is why he stayed behind in the temple and told them he must be about his father’s business. His father was God, and God’s business was in the temple. Mary and Joseph didn’t understand, so Jesus submitted to them and came home to be a carpenter. Passover was also the day Jesus died which means that Jesus died on his birthday.
Jesus grew up in Nazareth which means “a sprout”. Isaiah 53 says that the Messiah will grow up “a root out of a dry ground”. The Arabic meaning of Nazareth was “a watchtower”. A watchtower is a place where your vision is extended which is a picture of the prophet. I read in one commentary that Nazareth because Nazareth was on a cliff overlooking Lower Galilee it was held in scorn. Apparently, evil things went on in Lower Galilee. It was in Nazareth that Jesus would enter into his ministry (Matt. 13:54) and it was also here that they wanted to throw him off the pinnacle of the temple. (Luke 4:29) I wonder if Jesus thought of Satan’s temptation when they threatened him. Twice they threw him out of town. (Luke 4:16- 29; Matt. 13:54- 58). No wonder Jesus told them he couldn’t do many miracles here because of their unbelief.
Lord, let us not be like the people of Nazareth who refused to believe that God could bring a sprout out of a dry ground.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - The Coming of Christ

Read: Matthew 1; Luke 2:1-38
Matthew One is the genealogy of Joseph, Mary’s husband, showing that Jesus was legally from the lineage of David since Joseph was his legal father. I always think it is interesting that they name two women in the list which is highly unusual and very honoring. Tamar was a rejected woman who had to trick Judah to get her rightful heir and Ruth was a Moabite who married Boaz who was only half Jew. It is a reminder to us of God’s love for those abused and those grafted into the vine.
Luke Two opens with Caesar’s tax. While the kingdom of the world was taking from every person, God was sending the free gift of salvation to everyone. Little did he know his tax was being used by God to get Jesus to Bethlehem to be born. It was surely not convenient for Mary and Joseph but God’s ways are higher and he had said that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem which means “house of bread”. The bread of God was coming from heaven to earth just like the manna did in the wilderness. Only a few people celebrated his arrival: the shepherds and the angels. The name Jesus means “salvation”. Simeon and Anna both recognized him when he saw him and so did the wise men because they had all been looking and expecting him. God moves for those who are expecting him to move. He comes to those looking for him and he will be found by those who seek him with all their hearts.
Lord, may we be always seeking your face, always expecting you to move, and ever looking for your appearance. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - The Birth of Christ in Us

Read: Luke 1; John 1:1-14
We crossed into a new month and into a new dispensation in the Word. Jesus arrives on the scene and everything changes. Christmas is here! There was no magical sheet that came down from heaven or audible voice that told the world they were entering into the New Testament. In fact, most of the world still lives in the Old Testament and its laws, and will be judged by its laws according to Romans 10:5. The verse ahead of that says that “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.” The key is believing.
Luke begins with the story of Zacharias and Elisabeth. Zacharias’ name means “remembered of Jehovah”. Elisabeth means “God of the oath or God of seven.” God remembered his promises and the time was now. Seven means complete so the time of the law had run its course and it was complete. It was time for a new covenant to be ushered in.
Zacharias was the high priest that year and it was the Day of Atonement or the Feast of Tabernacles. He was in the Holy place at the table of incense when he was visited by Gabriel. He was told that he and Elisabeth would have a son named John. He would be the next Elijah and would prepare the hearts of the people to receive the Christ. Because Zacharias lacked the faith to believe it, he was mute till John’s birth.
Six months later, Mary received a visit from Gabriel, (which means to prevail against) and she is told some shocking news also. Though she is engaged, she is going to be pregnant with the Christ, by the Holy Spirit. She had some questions, but she believed and gave God permission to use her.
God asks us the same question he asked Zacharias and Mary, “will you prepare the way for my coming and will you allow me to be birthed in you?” Zaccharias had gotten hardened through the ritual of church and wasn’t looking for God to do anything different. What came out of his mouth was doubt and unbelief. Mary was fresh and alive in her walk with God so what came out of her mouth was scripture that was alive and active.
Lord, may we be like Mary that is awake and looking for you to move. Use us to bring forth your kingdom.