Devotions will be posted Monday through Friday. Friday's devotions will stay up till monday morning. Thank you and God Bless You..
Isaiah 25:1 NASB
Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.
Not-Yet Answered Prayers
The Gospel of John tells a story about a man from Capernaum who approached Jesus in Cana. “Come heal my son?” the man asked. And Jesus said the boy would be healed, and the man set out for Capernaum. Do you find yourself somewhere between Cana and Capernaum? Like the official, you begged Jesus for help, and like the official, you didn’t receive the answer in the way you wanted. This is the issue of not-yet-answered prayer or the not-answered-in-the-way-I-asked prayer. How should we react?
I’m sorry that the job did not materialize or the cancer chose to metastasize. Life has its share of dark, dank moments. Read the Bible from the table of contents in the front to the maps in the back, and you will not find any promise of a pain-free life on this side of heaven. But you will find this assurance: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV). You are never alone.
The Eighth Commandment of Marriage: Be a Person of Integrity
Exodus 20:15 gives us the eighth commandment for marriage,
You shall not steal.
You may be wondering how stealing applies to marriage. Simple. Not to steal is to be a person of integrity.
If you are always cheating or cutting corners, it will be hard for your spouse to respect you. Your uprightness should make your marriage partner feel proud. Your spouse and your family ought to testify of your integrity. This is really one of the things at the heart of a good marriage.
If you are married to somebody, and you know they cheat their customers, it is just hard to respect that person. You cannot respect someone who does not have integrity.
This is a big issue that many people fly right by. But it is vital to a healthy and vibrant marriage because it is hard to fully give yourself to someone who does not have integrity.
If you find that your spouse is holding back, if you feel like he or she does not respect you, take a look inside and see if you are compromising with your integrity. Do you cheat on your taxes? Do you tell that "little white lie" to protect yourself or gain an advantage?
Do you represent yourself one way, when in fact in your heart you believe something totally different? Are you like the man Solomon speaks of in Proverbs 23:7?
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. "Eat and drink!" he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
If this is an issue in your life, take it to God today. He will help you become the person of integrity He desires you to be. And when you do, you will find your spouse will come to respect you, and your marriage will be strengthened!
The Lord bestows favor and honor.
God is wonderfully generous by nature; to give is His delight. His gifts are immeasurably precious and are given as freely as the light of the sun. He gives grace to His own because He wills it, to His redeemed because of His covenant, to the called because of His promise, to believers because they seek it, to sinners because they need it. He gives grace abundantly, seasonably, constantly, readily, sovereignly; the value of the blessings is doubled by the manner in which it is given.
Grace in all its forms He freely supplies to His people: Comforting, preserving, sanctifying, directing, instructing, assisting grace He generously and constantly pours into their souls, and He will always do so, whatever may happen. Sickness may come, but the Lord will give grace; poverty may descend on us, but grace will definitely be supplied; death must come, but grace will light a candle in the darkest hour. Reader, how blessed it is as years roll on, and the leaves again begin to fall, to enjoy this unfading promise, “The LORD bestows favor and honor.”
The little conjunction “and” in this verse is a diamond rivet binding the present with the future: Favor and honor always go together. God has married them, and no one can separate them. The Lord will never deny a soul honor to whom He has freely granted favor; indeed, honor is nothing more than favor in its Sunday best, favor in full bloom, favor like autumn fruit, mellow and perfected. How soon we may have honor none can tell! It may be that before this month of October has run out we will see the Holy City; but if the interval is longer or shorter, we shall be honored before long. The honor of heaven, the honor of eternity, the honor of Jesus, the honor of the Father—the Lord will certainly give all this to His chosen. What a wonderful promise from a faithful God!
Two golden links of one celestial chain:
Who owns favor shall surely honor gain.
Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.
Paul did chores for his neighbor, Mrs. Bower, each Tuesday after school. He had done chores for her for three years, and no one had said much about it, but for some reason this year was different. All the kids at school had started making fun of him. He couldn't understand why other kids would laugh at him for trying to help someone else. It made him feel ashamed for no good reason. He'd almost gotten into a fight with one boy. Why couldn't people just leave him alone? It wasn't their business anyway.
There is always someone who will find fault with us, no matter what we do. Some people just aren't happy unless they criticize. In times when we feel the most persecution, God waits for us with open arms. He understands well what it is like to be mistreated for no good reason. He went to the cross in just that way. When times get rough, turn to the one who understands best. God will comfort you and give you the strength you need to persevere.
Prayer: It is hard enough when people find fault with me for what I do wrong, let alone when I am trying to do what is right. Make their insults bounce off me like water off the duck's back. Strengthen me in Your will and way. Amen.
The Father Of Lies
He [the devil] was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies
Alyce was one of the most pathetic-looking young women I have ever met. She was so skinny that she literally had no more body fat to lose. She had lost her job three days earlier, and her vacant eyes conveyed that she had lost all hope for her life. She was a very talented girl and a committed Christian in many ways, but she was also a Darvon junkie who had even been arrested once for illegal possession of prescription drugs.
"I want you to tell me who you think you are," I said to Alyce.
"I'm just a no-good failure," she whimpered.
"You're not a failure," I responded. "You're a child of God." She continued to pour out the negative self-talk and evidences of demonic deception she had been living under, and I continued to counter her negativism with the good news of her identity in Christ. The more we talked, the more aware I became of Christ's presence ministering to Alyce. We tested the spirit that was harassing her, and she knew firsthand that she had been deceived. Astonished, she said, "Do you mean to tell me that my whole problem has been deception, that I have been listening to a pack of lies?" Today she's free.
The prevailing theme of the New Testament is the position we enjoy in Christ through our faith in Him. That's the good news: Christ in you and you in Christ. If there is a prevailing negative theme in the New Testament which capsulizes the opposition we face in Satan, I believe it is deception. There are at least three avenues through which Satan will attempt to dissuade you from God's truth and deceive you into believing his lies: self-deception, false prophets/teachers, and deceiving spirits. We are vulnerable to Satan's deception in these areas if we fail to clothe ourselves daily with the spiritual armor of the belt of truth.
Prayer: Lord, I put on the belt of the truth of Your Word today and stand against the deception of Satan.
By Greg Laurie
BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” - 2 Corinthians 9:7
There is perhaps no clearer evidence of spiritual maturity than financial generosity. Martin Luther said, “There are three conversions necessary: the conversion of the heart, the mind, and the purse.”
This is often the last area we turn over to God. We want to retain complete control. We’re uncomfortable when the topic is even brought up. It may be that our discomfort is an indication that this area is not in its proper order in our lives as Christians.
The Bible addresses the subject quite frequently. It is worth noting that money is such an important topic in the Bible that it is the main subject of nearly half the parables Jesus told. In addition, one in every seven verses in the New Testament deals with the topic.
To give you an idea of how this compares with other themes, the Bible offers about 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 regarding faith, and 2,000 verses about money. God wants this area to be in balance in our lives.
Most churches are supported financially by a relatively small percentage of people who have discovered the joy of giving. I would even venture to say that as a result, these people have also discovered the secret of contentment.
Let's pray now for a spirit of generosity and a heart of contentment:
Heavenly Father, do not let us covet worldly things. Instead, help us to build up treasures in heaven where nothing can wear them away. In Your Name we pray, Amen.
Scorn for the Scornful, Grace for the Humble
Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble. (Proverbs 3:34)
The Scriptures emphasize the Lord's commitment to pour out grace upon those who walk in humility, while opposing the path of those who walk in pride. "But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble'…Be clothed with humility, for 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble'… Though the LORD is on high, Yet He regards the lowly; But the proud He knows from afar" (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5; and Psalm 138:6). In our present verse we have another pointed example. "Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble."
It is an absolute certainty that the Lord will scorn the scornful. "Surely He scorns the scornful." The scornful person shows arrogant disregard for the Lord and His righteous ways. He is a mocker of godliness and a boaster in wickedness. The Lord will assuredly scorn such people. He will treat them with a holy disdain. He will reject their path with holy contempt.
For so many of us who have a heart for the Lord, walking scornfully before the Lord is not a likely attitude. However, somewhat related attitudes may become a part of our walk (even inadvertently). Pride and haughtiness are two of the most common, and most deadly. "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18). These companion evils could both be summarized as self-exaltation. Such an approach to life always results in devastating downfalls. These attitudes and their consequences are most fully illustrated by the history of the devil himself. Before he became the ultimate rebel against God, he was a magnificent, privileged angelic being. "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God …You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you" (Ezekiel 28:14-15). This iniquity that developed was self-exaltation. "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!…For you have said in your heart:…I will be like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:12-14). This haughty exalting of self brought a disastrous fall, which will end up forever in hell itself.
May we choose daily to walk with God's humble saints, refusing to join the ranks of the proud, with their self-advancing schemes. "Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud" (Proverbs 16:19).
Lord God Most High, I repent of the times that I have exalted myself in word or deed or attitude. I renounce the prideful path of self-advancing humanity. I want to identify with Your humble saints, looking to You to shape and use our lives through Your abounding grace, Amen.
Made Free Church & Discipleship Ministries
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