Spiritual Living – Adventure

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“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:12-13

I have heard people say that they would not be a Christian, because that would be so boring. I have been walking with the Lord for nearly forty years and it has been the greatest adventure that I have ever been on. If you do not feel that being a Christian is a great adventure, you have a problem. You are not living in the spirit. If you are living a boring Christian life, powerless and fruitless and wondering why in the world you don’t have peace; you are not walking in the spirit by faith. The scripture today is a promise from God that if we ask anything in Jesus name He will answer us so that God can be glorified. The Christian life, properly understood, is not complex nor difficult. The Christian life is really very simple. It is so simple that we stumble over the very simplicity of it, and yet it is so difficult that no one can live it. “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14) Just why is it so difficult and yet so simple. The reason is the Christian life is a supernatural life and we cannot live it unless we live it in the spirit. I told the Lord when I returned to the ministry that I could not serve Him because I failed at everything I tried. God’s words to me were yes you failed. You failed because you tried to do it yourself without me. The only way that this Christian life is an adventure is to put your faith in God and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you.

Today’s Bible Reading: John 14:1-21

Spiritual Living – Fully Alive

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“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11

We live in a world that is trying to take away our joy; a world that is in trouble. This was never God’s plan. God’s plan for our lives is to live fully alive. To have the joy and the peace that comes only by trusting in Jesus. What does it mean to be fully alive and living in the spirit.

“Fully alive human beings are alive in their external and internal senses. They see a beautiful world. They hear its music and poetry. They smell the fragrance of each new day and taste the deliciousness of each moment. Of course their senses are also insulted by ugliness and offended by odors. To be fully alive means to be open to the whole human experience. It is a struggle to climb a mountain, but the view from the top is magnificent. Fully alive individuals have activated imaginations and cultivated senses of humor. They are alive in their emotions. They are able to experience the full gamut and galaxy of human feelings—wonder, awe, tenderness, compassion, both agony and ecstasy.

Fully alive people are also alive in their minds. Fully alive people are always thoughtful and reflective. They are capable of asking the right questions of life and flexible enough to let life question them. They love much. They truly love and respect themselves. This allows them to love others without judging. They are glad to be alive and glad of whom they are.” (John Powell)

They enjoy life and they are open to God and His world, but they are also open to pain. They have many questions and some answers.  They are open to success and failure. In failure they are open to what they learned in the experience. The fully alive person is in the process of allowing God heal their wounded spirit.

Today’s Bible Reading: Habakkuk 3:17-19

Spiritual Living – Wasted an Hour

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“He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.” Psalm 23:2

I wasted an hour one morning beside a mountain stream, I seized a cloud from the sky above and fashioned myself a dream, in the hush of the early twilight, far from the haunts of men, I wasted a summer evening, and fashioned my dream again. Wasted: Perhaps. Folks says so who never have walked with God, when lanes are purple with lilacs or yellow with golden rod. But I have found strength for my labors in that one short evening hour, I found peace and power. My dreaming has left me a treasure, a hope that is strong and true, from wasted hours I have built my life and found life anew.”  (Author unknown) I have had this poem for years and I don’t even know where I found it. God brings me back to this poem quite often. I love wasting an hour beside a peaceful stream. God wants us to stop and smell the roses. We are too busy. We are too busy to live. We are too busy to live in the spirit.

“Now if Joshua had succeeded in giving them this rest, God would not have spoken about another day of rest still to come.  So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.” (Hebrews 4:9-11) There is a rest for us in God. With this rest comes peace. How do we find this rest in God? We find it by complete trust in God. We find it by wasting an hour with God and learning to live in the spirit.

Spiritual Living – Resting in God

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“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” Matthew 13:45-46

Spiritual Living means resting in God. Resting in God is being a part of the Kingdom of God. It is finding the pearl of great value. It is finding this pearl and giving it all to God. I believe that David Wilkerson said it best about what it meant to him to have that pearl of great value. Finding the pearl is finding all that we need. “No more trying to find purpose in ministry. No more looking for fulfillment in people. No more keeping with the crowd or proving something. No more needing to build something for God or be a success or feel useful. No more searching for ways to please people. No more trying to think or reason your way out of difficulties.

I have found what I’m looking for. My treasure, my pearl, is Jesus Christ. And all that the owner asked of me is, David, let me adopt you, I love you, and I have already signed the papers with my Son’s blood. You are now a joint heir with Him in all I possess.

I am still in the process of selling everything I have. I’m still giving the Father my time, thoughts, will, and plans. Yet I know I’m exchanging it all for treasure.

I’m trading it in to buy living water, the bread of life, the milk and honey of joy and peace. And I’m doing it all without money. The cost to me is my love, my trust, my faith in His word.

What a bargain. I give up my filthy rags of self-reliance and good works. I lay aside my worn-out shoe of striving. I leave behind my sleepless nights on the streets of doubt and fear. And in return I get adopted by a King.” (David Wilkerson)

Resting in God is giving it all to God, no matter what is happening in your life. Have you found your pearl of great value?

Today’s Bible Reading: Matthew 13:44-52

Spiritual Living – The Holy Spirit

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“Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:4-5

I grew up in the church. My parents were very involved in the church that I grew up in and there were some great people in that church.  But in all my years in that church, I had never heard of the Holy Spirit. I was out of the church for many years and the church that God called me to be a part of when I got saved was a church that believed in the Holy Spirit and preached a message of being filled with the Holy Spirit. I started attending Bible College shortly after I was saved and all these professors talked about was this strange thing of being filled with the Holy Spirit. I believed that I was filled with the Holy Spirit, but I just did not understand anything about it. I spent many a night praying that God would show me what this experience meant in my life. As always, God is faithful. He has shown me many things about being filled with the Holy Spirit and I could not live a single moment without the help of the Holy Spirit in my life.

Just a few facts about what being filled with the Holy Spirit:  It is the will of God for every born again Christian to live in the spirit and allow the Holy Spirit to control your life. Without the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to live and work as God desires. Our being part of the world hinders the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Without the Holy Spirit we lack the power of God in our lives. Without the Holy Spirit we will not have the peace of God in our hearts.

Today’s Bible raeding: Acts 2:1-47

Victorious Living – Spiritual Oppression

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“Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.” Luke 9:1

Are you having a bad day? Does it seem that you cannot think? Do you feel that you cannot do the things that you have been doing with ease? It may be just a bad day, but it could be oppression from Satan. A few weeks ago we started a new prayer group. I knew that when we started to pray, Satan would attack us. The first way that he attacks us is by oppression. To be victorious we need to know the signs.  

Some signs of oppression are:

Powerlessness: If you feel that you have no power to work or do anything. If you feel that your energy is gone.

Inner turmoil: Emotional turmoil or depression can be a sign of an attack from Satan. If you are normally optimistic or hopeful and for some reason you feel that things are hopeless, you may be under attack. If for some reason, you just can’t shake that feeling of fear, Satan is attacking you.

Doubt: You doubt that you are saved. You doubt that you are a child of God. Satan tells you that you are no good and have never been any good. Satan tells you that you can do nothing for God.

Evil: You feel that there is an evil presence around you.

This is only a short list of the things that Satan can oppress you with. Satan wants you to believe you do not have the power to defeat him. This is one of Satan’s many lies. If you are a child of God, you have the power over Satan and all his demons. All you have to do is pray and rebuke Satan and his demons in the name of Jesus. God wants us to live life and to live life more abundantly. If we allow Satan to oppress us, we cannot live victorious. Give God total control of your life and use His powers to defeat Satan. You do need to realize that everything that happens to you is not from Satan. You need to pray and ask God to give you discernment about your problems.

Victorious Living

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“For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.  And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” 1 John 5:4-5

I pray and seek God’s direction about everything that I write. If what I write is not from God, there is no reason to write and sent out my devotions. At times I feel a direction in my writing and then I write one and God speaks to me and telling me that I missed His direction. I try to always be open to His correction in my life. “I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected.” (Habakkuk 2:1) I want this to be my scripture always. I write all of this because God has changed my direction. I believe that if we are going to change our nation for God we need to live a life of victory over the world. The only way to do that is by living in the spirit. What does it mean to live in the spirit? In the next few weeks we are going to explore what it means to live in the spirit.

Victorious living, do we really live a victorious life as children of God? We should because we have everything we need in Jesus Christ to live a victorious life. Most of us walk through our Christian life defeated. The problem is that we try to reason out everything in the physical. We want to see everything with our physical eyes, not with our spiritual eyes. If we are going to have victory over the world we must learn to live in the spirit.

Today’s Bible Reading: John 4:21-24

America’s Last Call – Nehemiah Cared

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“Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem.” Nehemiah 1:2

He had just found out that his home nation was in trouble. This was a place that he loved and cared about so what did he do first? He prayed. He prayed because he cared. He did not just sit down and say, “This is not my problem. I am not living there and it is long way from where I now live.” “I will search with lanterns in Jerusalem’s darkest corners to punish those who sit complacent in their sins. They think the Lord will do nothing to them, either good or bad.” (Zephaniah 1:12) Nehemiah was not complacent. Complacent means: contented with oneself or one’s situation to a degree that prevents self-criticism, further progress, or appropriate response to signals of danger or risk. This is the problem with our nation; we are complacent; we don’t want to get involved. We want to live in our own world and not see what is happening in our nation. Nehemiah cared enough to ask. He cared about traditions of the past and the needs of the present. He cared about the future. He cared about his heritage, his ancestral city, and he cared about the glory of God. Some people don’t want to know what’s going on, because information might bring obligation. “What you don’t know can’t hurt you.” This is true to a point, but what we don’t know can hurt us. When we truly care about people, we want the facts, no matter how painful they may be. Closing our eyes and ears to the truth could be the first step toward tragedy for us and others. Do you care about our nation?

Today’s Bible Reading: Zephaniah 1:12-18

America’s Last Call – Endurance

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“And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:10-13

This sounds like the days that we are living in. Jesus goes on to tell us, “The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!) (Matthew 24:15) We see this happening in our churches today. We see things in our churches that should not be in the church. They should not be in God’s house. Even with everything that is happening, we see Jesus telling us what we need to do, endure. We must continue to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel. We must continue following God’s lead. At times it will be more than we can handle, but with God’s help we can endure.

Several years ago I wrote a series of devotions on Nehemiah, it spoke to me then and God is leading me to write about Nehemiah. There are so many lessons we can learn from this great book. Many of these lessons apply to the day we live in and what we need to do to change our nation. God is calling us to be determined. Nehemiah was determined. God’s work is never easy and in the last days it is getting more and more difficult. The Enemy is hurling his ammunition at us as never before and he is setting his subtle traps where we least expect them. Nehemiah is about building a wall. This wall was a physical wall around Jerusalem. The wall I want us to look at is a spiritual wall; a spiritual wall around ourselves, our family, our community and our nation. Unless we build this wall, we are in trouble. Satan will win and with Jesus on our side we have the victory.

“I have one great political idea…the best expression of it is found in the Bible. It is in substance,”Righteousness exalteth a nation; sin is a reproach of any people.” (Fredrick Douglas Oct. 14, 1852)

Today’s Bible Reading: Matthew 24:1-31

America’s Last Call – Reality

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“They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.” Nehemiah 1:3

This scripture tells us that Judah was in great trouble. The walls have been torn down and the gates have been destroyed. America’s walls have been torn down and we are in great trouble. The walls are not physical walls, but spiritual walls. If we don’t have God’s spiritual walls protecting us, we are in more trouble than Judah was. We must work at rebuilding these walls in our nation. The first thing we need to do is face reality. Satan is the master of illusion. He wants us to think that there is no problem or that there is nothing that we can do about these problems. These are both lies. The only way that these walls can be repaired is by the power of God. We as followers of Jesus Christ have that power. We have that power by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:12-15) God gave this authority to all believers. All we have to do is believe and have faith. We have the power through our prayers. Just like Nehemiah rebuilt the walls around Judah, we can rebuild our spiritual walls and bring our nation back to God. In our study of Nehemiah, we will see how he rebuilt the walls and it will give us a plan on how we can rebuild our walls.

Today’s Bible Reading: Nehemiah 1:1-10