Friday, August 24, 2012

Jesus has overcome the world

Jesus has overcome the world

S - 1 John 5:1-4 (NASB)
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

O - John really does give great testimony to the truth of who Jesus is and who we are in Christ.  It is easy to see in his writings this was his purpose for being an Apostle.  Paul's was to go to the gentiles, Peter's to be the solid rock and foundation of the church in Jerusalem to get it all started. But John I believe lived the longest, and wrote the gospel and his letters to educate and enlighten believers exactly who this Jesus was.   The truths revealed in this passage that Jesus was born of God, and those who put their faith in him can overcome the world, and have an eternal love relationship with God.   Up until Jesus it was not possible to overcome the world and to keep his commandments, however, no through Christ, dwelling in us, we are able to overcome the world, and live a life loving God, and his children, by obeying all he commands us.

A - The revelation for me today is that I have all I need already to overcome the world and love God as a child of God.   At times I think I am still in training and development stage of my walk with God,   that one day I will have been transformed enough into his image that the world will not weigh heavily on me.  The truth is that the perfect love of Christ has already overcome the world, and that I am a child of God, and may walk in the peace of knowing that His strength is sufficient in me.   

P -  Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your word from John, may it be sealed to my heart, that I might walk in faith in your promises, and in the truth that you have overcome the world.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Perfect love casts out all fear

Perfect love casts out all fear

S -  1 John 4:16-21 (NASB)
 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19  We love, because He first loved us. 20  If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

O - The perfection of love in us all precedes from God, and is made possible through Christ.    John does a great job in this letter to explain how we are to come to or strive for God's perfect love in our lives.   He helps us understand that if we abide in God, and not in this world we will be able to walk and be perfected by God's spirit in us.   As he describes though there is a perfect standard to reach for as well, that we are to follow Jesus' two commandments to love God, and to love our fellow man.  Thus we are found short of perfect love when we hate our brothers, and ultimately love all of God's children.   Fear is another great sign of imperfected love, because if we live in the fullness of God's love for us and His promises we will not fear, because the Lord Jesus has taken all the punishment on our behalf and therefore we should have no more fear.

A - The application for me is to walk in this promise of "no more fear" for those who walk in perfect love.  I can see how this could be possible for if I walk in confidence in Jesus finished work in my life, and God's unbreakable love and acceptance of me, then I will not fear the judgement of man.  I will be free to walk, act, and serve with God's perfect love, even if it differs from the worlds expectations, and perhaps falls short of people's expectations.   My fear , should only be that reverent fear of the Lord, and not of man.   

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's great lesson, in what it is to love perfectly, and be loved perfectly.   I pray Lord this transformational message would change me inside and help me to to walk confidently as you are calling me to walk, in your perfect love, and not in fear of man or expectations of the world.  I pray this in Jesus name, Amen. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A future and a hope

A future and a hope
S - Jer 29:11-13 (NASB)
10 “For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans that Ihave for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and ahope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

O - This verse written to the captives in Bablyon was to both correct and give hope.  After hearing false prophets tell them they will be rescued soon,  Jeremiah came back with corrections so the exiles would walk in truth.  God wished good for them while in exile, even telling them to be fruitful grow in numbers while in exile, for he did have a plan to return them to Jerusalem and to direct fellowship with Him.

A - The application for me is for my time here in Monterey this feels like a prophetic word for my family.  Abby has received this word previously and I believe I understand now that despite this season that is not as I had falsely prophesied,  it is a part of God's plan, one for our future.  A plan that is calling us back to putting our faith in Him and not in our own hands.  As a family we must continue to seek God in our lives and learn to walk wholly trusting and dependent on Him.   

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart I pray that you would help me and my family walk in this season in Monterey with a renewed hope in what you are doing in our lives.  Lord give us the strength to wait on your deliverance from this season , and the courage to trust and grow through it.   I pay all this in Jesus name, Amen. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Daily recalibration

S -  Psalm 118:5 -9 (NASB)
From my distress I called upon the Lord;
The Lord answered me and set me in a large place.
The Lord is for me; I will not fear;
What can man do to me?
The Lord is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
Than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
Than to trust in princes.
This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Lorddo save, we beseech You;
Lord, we beseech You, do send prosperity!
26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord;
We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.

1 John 2:15-17,28
15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17  The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
28 Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and notshrink away from Him in shame at His coming.

O - All scripture is consistent with who God is .  Today I found words from the Psalms, and words from John to all be encouraging and exhorting me to live a God centered life.  To place my trust in God and not in man,  to love God's creation but not love the world.   To abide in Christ.

A - The application for me is to soak in God's presence and abide in his truth, as written in his word and revealed daily by his holy spirit.  

P- Lord thank you for you word, your spirit, and your truth.  I pray that these scripture would be real to me, would transform my heart and mind.  Lord help me to abide in you, and experience the peace that comes from following you.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Acknowledge the Lord in all things

Acknowledge the Lord in all things

S - Psalm 105 :1-7 (NASB)

Oh give thanks to the Lordcall upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.
Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face continually.
Remember His wonders which He has done

O - The psalm written to encourage Israel to remember, and recognize who God is in their lives.  He had given them the promised land after years of slavery in Egypt, followed by years of wandering the desert.   Along the way he guided and provided for them.  The guidance is wise for them and us today that when we follow these practices of calling up on him,  praising his,  remembering him,  seeking him ,  that we are glad.

A - The application for me is to be ever ready to live out these principles in my life.   My confession is at time I don't feel like doing them for thoughts of being hypocrytical because my heart is not fully behind it.  I think the Lord is telling that it is backwards to think that, that when we sing praises, and seek his face, the feelings will follow.   So daily I will persue calling on his name in prayer, sing songs of prayers during quiet worship time in the morning,  tell those I know around me all that God has done for me in my life and others that I know of and seek him daily for my strength.  

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's devotion may it be sealed to my heart.   Lord I pray that you would give me strength to follow through with this commitment to live in your ways.  I pray this in Jesus name, Amen. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fear of the Lord, the beginning of freedom from fear

Fear of the Lord, the beginning of freedom from fear

S - Psalm 112:1-9 (NASB)

Praise the Lord!
How blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
Who greatly delights in His commandments.
His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.
Light arises in the darkness for the upright;
He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.
It is well with the man who is gracious and lends;
He will maintain his cause in judgment.
For he will never be shaken;
The righteous will be remembered forever.
He will not fear evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is upheld, he will not fear,
Until he looks with satisfaction on his adversaries.
He has given freely to the poor,
His righteousness endures forever;

O      -     Fear of the Lord , leads to a strong unfearful heart in the world.    The psalmist describes the unique relationship between God and man.  That if we will only stand in awe of the creator and stay disciplined to his design for our lives (i.e. his commandments) we will naturally live our life with compassion and grace free from fear of that which is going on in the world.  

A -  The application for me is seek to walk in the truth of the psalmist declaration.  Fear the Lord and all his commandments in my life.  Stay disciplined to what I know He has commanded me to do for my service of the kingdom and building up of his people and the church as well as an example for my children and the generations that follow in my family.   I need to practice graciousness, compassion and righteousness in my life, to include a generous nature.    

P -  Lord I want to live in the promises of your word, that by genuine love and fear of who you are, that I might walk free from fear in my life, trusting in your ways  and protection all the days of y life.   I pray Lord that the truth in your word would be planted in my heart.  I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Plant my roots in Jesus

Plant my roots in Jesus

S - Jer 17:7-11 (NASB)

“ Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
 “For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.

“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
 “I, the Lordsearch the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds.
 “As a partridge that hatches eggs which it has not laid,
So is he who makes a fortune, but unjustly;
In the midst of his days it will forsake him,
And in the end he will be a fool.”

O - Jeremiah continues to the prophesy to the people of Judah, upon whom the exile is about to come.  Even though he is foretelling their judgement , he also continues to speak the Lord's truth into their lives, and in it is a message of hope for them if they can find themselves in it.   The message is this part is that if you place you trust in the Lord, and leave it rooted there you will be sustained through all seasons.  If however you become proud due to the things you have or have accomplished as if they were your own then in the end you will realize you have been fooling yourself and you will suffer through the seasons that lie ahead.

A - The application for me is to realize I am in no way greater that the people of Judah that Jeremiah prophesied to.  I must root my trust in Jesus who is in me, that all things come from Him because He is the fountain of living water that never runs dry.    If I am tempted to look upon my own accomplishments and see them as something I have created it I will fall into the folly of the past.   I must continually seek to ensure my roots in the Lord are strong and deep. 

P - Lord I confess I at times see my own accomplishments as from me and not from you.  My pride and self deceit have allowed me to take credit for what truly is your rightfully.  I pray Lord for forgiveness for all that I have credited to myself, and not given you praised and glory for what has always been your abundant provision for my life.  Lord before I knew you, you provided, as I gave my life to your son, you provided, as I have followed you, you have provided.    Lord help me to plant my roots firmly in soil near your living water, that I might once again produce fruit during all seasons.  I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Abide in Christ

Abide in Christ
S - Jeremiah 10:23-24 (NASB)

I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself,
Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.
24 Correct me, O Lord, but with justice;
Not with Your anger, or You will bring me to nothing.


John 14:1-6
 “ Do not let your heart be troubled;believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.”  Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

John 15:1-11
“ I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.  You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.  Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neithercan you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and soprove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11  These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

O - Can it be any clear that it is Jesus who came to set things right.   For so many years we, God's children have walked separated from Him.  Being given glimpses of who He is, and at times walking near Him, but all have fallen short prior to Jesus. He is the way and the truth that when we walk with Him we are restored to God.   This yields a life that is fruitful.  Apart from him we can produce nothing of real value, and that is often why our spirit is deflated as we produce fruit of this world but have produced it apart from Jesus.   

A -  The application for me is to correct back to abiding in Christ.   Abide in the word of God, the Holy Spirits's prompting and the limitless love of Jesus.    When I do this I must trust in Him to produce His needed fruit, and die to the influences of the world.  This daily dieing to the world, and seeking to abide in Christ is what I need to keep on track and from wandering from a  path that would take me further from Christ.

 P -  Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your message today into my life.  Thank you for your restorative spirit that you are pouring out into me.   Lord I pray that you would abide in me, and give me the strength and courage to abide in you.  I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Good shepherd

The Good shepherd
S -  John 10:11 (NASB)
11 “ I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14  I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me
 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 

O - Jesus is the the one and only true Good shepherd of God's people.  For many of us we have looked for good shepherds to follow our whole life, and while their are shepherds that are worth following, Jesus is the true good shepherd, and the only on capable of shepherding our lives in a way that gives us eternal life and restoration of relationship with God the Father. 

A -  The application for me today is to rejoice in knowing the truth's of who Jesus is, the good shepherd. He is the only one worthy of following,  and if I stay focused on his voice and his leading He will not leave me, or allow me to be snatched away. I can trust in Him and that He will lead me to good pasture.   

P- Dear heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus, my good shepherd.   Thank you for your eternal hand on my life.  I pray that you would help me to follow your voice and shepherding in my life, and grow in trust in confidence in you and not in me. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Confronting sin

Confronting sin 
S - John 8:10-11 (NASB)
10  Straightening up, Jesus said to her,“Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said,“ I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]

John 9
24 So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “ Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He then answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
39 And Jesus said, “ For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” 40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “ We are not blind too, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “ If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘ We see,’ your sin remains. 

O - Jesus now deep into his ministry period appears to be confronting the people much more directly with the truth of who He is and of course, whom they are.    In John 8, we see the pharisee's bring Him an adulturous women whom so they can test Him.  What they were not expecting was a lesson that all have sinned and fallen short.  Jesus shows them it is not judgement, but repentance that they are all called to.  Now Jesus is not soft on the women's sin, even though he does not condemn her, He tells her to sin no more.    In the case of the blind man who is given sight,  again the Pharisee's are looking through the wrong lens, they are looking for Jesus' fault's and not seeing their own being revealed through His actions.   They have all visibility to God's truth through history and scripture, and should be all means be able to recognize the Christ, but this is how Jesus was revealing to them his message is for those who have not seen, and are blind, and the truth of whom He is and His message will be revealed to those who are not stuck in their own personal truth.  Those that will allow God to open their eyes to His Truth , will be freed from their sins.

A -  The application for me is to recognize that I am a sinner, who tends to wander and falls short.  For many years I did wander that path of sin and justified my own actions and own lifestyle. But when the truth came into my life, and I came to understand who Jesus was, and the freedom I have in repentance, and following Him,  I became freed from the bonds of my sin.   I must continue to walk as a free man,  alive in Christ,  following Him now and no longer my slave master sin.   I must not condemn others of their sin as well, but rather pray for them, and lead them to the truth of who Christ is,  a forgiving savior, willing to take away our blindness to our own sin.   Only  He can set people free from their sin, I can only direct them to Jesus.

P -  Dear heavenly Father thank you for freeing me from my sins.  Lord I confess I continue to fall short of your glory each and every day, and while I still sin now and again,  I am thankful that you in me, is stronger than the sin in me, and that I have overcome all bondage through you.  I pray for continued strength and victory over the bondages that continue to distract me from  your plans in my life, and my living a life that is pleasing to you, for your service and glory.   I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.