Saturday, December 29, 2012

Appropriate Reverence of God

Appropriate Reverence of God
S - Rev 11 :15-16 (NASB)
The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” 16 And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God.

O - The twenty four elders, who have been granted thrones before God fell on their face and worshiped God.  This is a testimony to the Glory of God, that these 24 exceptional men chosen to sit before God in heaven, at the moment of God's eternal reign on earth worship God in the most humblest of manners.   

A - As for me I have thought at times I may have been too casual at times during my devotional and worship times.  I have enjoyed the relaxing peace of prayer and studying God's word as a refuge and rejuvenation time.  But I know also recognize the importance of reverence of who God is.  While I rejoice in my close relationship with him through his son , in now means are we equals and he deserves all honor, glory and praise. 

 P - Dear heavenly Father , I do repent and apologize if my worship of you has at all been disrespectful or not fully acknowledging who you are.  I thank you for the tender , caring relationship you have offered me and I pray your Holy Spirit will guide me to steward this relationship well.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Abiding in Christ, the key to fruitfullness

Abiding in Christ, the key to fruitfulness
S - John 15:
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 neither can 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 so prove to be My disciples. 

O- It is this natural process of the vine and vinedresser that Jesus helps us understand our relationship with him and God the father.  He starts off describing branches that don't bear fruit and those that do bear fruit.  One is taken away and another pruned back to allow more growth and fruit bearing.   The key to being fruitful is to abide in Christ otherwise they will dry up.  

A -  This applies to me in this season as I evaluate whether I am drying up or being pruned for future fruit bearing.  I am reminded that I must abide in Christ, keeps his word in me and stay connected and focused on His spirit in me.  I must assess and evaluate the fruit I bear to ensure I am being fruitful in the Lord both as a sign of correction and a sign on connection to Christ.   In this season the fruit I am investing in is in my kids, my wife, the families in my small group.   There are fruitful opportunities at work in the students under my care, and fruitful opportunities with my family. 

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's devotion may it be sealed to my heart, changing and shaping me as you see necessary for my future fruitfulness.  I pray Lord that you allow me to stay connected to you, and tha tyougive me courage in this season of pruning.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Following Christ example

S- John 12
25 He who loves his [h]life loses it, and he who hates his [i]life in this world will keep it to life eternal. 26 If anyone [j]serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone [k]serves Me, the Father will honor him.

O - this is the life of a Christian that Christ is describing to us. One in which we give up our right to choose our life's direction and purpose and choose to follow Christ instead. Jesus set the example for us during his time on earth. Often time his ministry action times came after times of prayer and seeking god or even simple ministering where he would see God was at work.

A - the application for me is more of a conviction in this season to ensure I am seeking The Lord in prayer and discerning where he is at work in and around my life.

P - dear Lord help me today to understand your will and your working in and around my life. I pray this in Jesus name, amen

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Following the Father in all I do

Following the Father in all I do

 S - John 8:28-30 (NASB)
28 So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I amHe, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.29 And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” 30 As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him.

O - Jesus here is continuing to testify to who he is to the people and the Pharisee's.  He has used many approaches in his teachings and he continues to gather  believers along the way, while those who do not believe continue to not see who he truly is.   In this particular statement He gives testimony to us his followers an example of how we are to live and lead others to a relationship with God.  He says he does nothing on his own initiative but simple does the things His Father, God, taught him.  He also testifies that he is not separated from the Father, and that the things he is doing is pleasing to God.

A - The application for me is to understand that my life is to be modeled after Christ.   I am to speak the things God has taught me.  The truth in love, through his word and his spirit I have been taught and transformed.  I still have things in me that are not from God and I must be careful and discerning to not teach or press those things forward.    I am to stay close to God so that I am not alone in what I am doing.  When I head out on my own I do so at the risk of being separated from God's will and not under his covering. Not that God isn't with me,  I can just at times be out of his will for me life because I am not seeking him or hearing him.  

P -  Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart.  I pray Lord that you would help me to teach the things you have taught me,  that I would listen and stay close to you as I walk out this life.  Lord lead me in this season of seeking what it is you would have me focus my heart, mind,and energy on.  I pray all this in Jesus name,Amen.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Move forward in faith and patience

Move forward in faith and patience

S -  Hebrews  6:1-12 (NIV)
Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death,[a] and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites,[b] the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.

4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen[c] away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

O - Paul continues here in Hebrews to give words of truth and words of encouragement to believers about their faith in Christ, and salvation they have received.  He cautions them about leaning backwards on old foundations in the Hebrew faith, but rather move forward in their walk with Christ, not to become stagnant or backsliding. Paul's has that gift to both correct and encourage those he speaks to, not to tear down and discourage.  During this early time in the church you can imagine the trials along the way as they learn to lead an live in Christ's church.   These early corrections where so neccessary so that things won't follow the same pattern with God's people as it had in the past, and is true even to today.   Often times God's people would come to repentance after correction, only to find themselves years or generations later farther from God and his ways.  The path with Christ is different because we now have a high priest who once and for all reconcilled our sins, and forever intercedes for us.  The tension lies in that though our salvation is assurred through Christ, we are not called to sit idly by and but participate in what God is doing while waiting on the full promises and prophesies of God, but are called to be moving forward to the promises.

A - The application for me is to see that I must continue to always look forward in my faith, pressing toward a growing maturity.   I must not rest on foundations of my past, but continue to grow in understanding and maturity in the ways of Christ.   My walk with Christ started off as a sprint, as I eagerly sought to run toward Christ and these new ways of living.   In this stage of my walk with Christ, I see it more as a marathon, one in which I must realize  I need to stay encouraged and keep moving forward, to stop moving forward would only cause me to cramp up, or even worse decide never again to start running.   So this word for me is an encouragement and exhortation to, through faith and patience, continue to move forward in growing in knowledge and experience of who Christ is.  I must stay committed to growing through prayer, study of His word, and practicing my faith daily with those He places before me.

P - Dear heavnely Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart, so that I may continue to walk forward in your truth.   I pray Lord for encouragement and guidance from the Holy spirit to reveal new truths and revive a fresh spirit in me.  I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jesus, my savior

Jesus, my savior
S - Hebrews 2:14-18 (NASB)
14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. 16 For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. 17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

O - Jesus is not only our perfect savior, sent by God, above the angels, but he is our friend.  He understands our human experiences and struggles, which is why he passionately served us through his suffering and death on the cross.  He has freed us from the power of the devil, and from all fear.   He gives us help to navigate this world, and comes to our aid and intercession with God the Father.   

A -  Just dissecting God's word, written by Paul helps me reflect on who Jesus is in my life.   I am thankful for having had Jesus change my life and being my advocate in this life.  I must remember to lean on him , daily in my seeking to follow God's will for my life.  I need to seek Jesus in my daily circumstances as well as for help from the slippery slope the world is pulling me down.  

P - Dear heavenly Father thank you for today's lesson in you Word.  Thank you for sending Jesus for me, and Jesus thank you for your daily walk and lifting me up.  I need you now more than ever Lord to lift and guide me through this season.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Renewing a spirit of confidence in me

Renewing a spirit of confidence in me
S - 2 Tim 1:5-7 (NASB)

 For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

O -  Paul's encouragement to Timothy here in this letter was likely holy spirit led as I can imagine after years of traveling with and serving under Paul, Timothy now being left alone with some other congregations, may have been facing doubtful moments in his own ministry.  Paul encourages him with words and prayer and a heart inspired reminder of the power of God within him.   

A -  The application for me is to see in this time of flagging confidence in my path,  I am to remember the faith God has imparted to me and the gifts and calling that he has led me to.  

P -  Lord I ask that you renew anew my confidence in you and increase my spirit through the power of your great love.   I pray Lord that you lead me through and out of this season, to a new season where I might act with great peace and confidence and be more effective in helping you.   I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

MY new life in Christ

MY new life in Christ

S -  Romans 5
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 8:
37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

O - My observation is that Romans is a timely and timeless word for me today.  Though Paul is speaking to the Roman believers so that they might understand this unique thing that has happened, salvation through a man, just as condemnation came through a man (Adam).   The law fulfilled  though now free from the implications of the law (our sinfulness).    By faith and not by our own works, we are now on a journey with Christ in us, one of continued character growth along the way, but one that will never go back to the bounds of sin in our life.  For God knows we have further to grow, but never again will it be our flesh but His spirit in us that guides and directs the growth.  Never again are we to be separated from His spirit.

A - The application for me today is the pure and powerful recognition that circumstances in my life will change, but Christ is eternally with me and I am his.  So much of my life was thought and planned from the flesh, and now that I am a new creation , growing in Christ, I continue to shed some of the expectations of my flesh and grown toward the external plans of Christ in my life.  Not that my life is extra ordinary, just that my life is no longer my own, and is as it originally was designed to be, in the loving hands of God.  I am encouraged by Paul's words, and the Holy Spirit that in this season, despite my feelings and circumstances I am not being separated from God.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart.  I pray that you continue to sustain this growth and strengthening through you word, and reflection on what your spirit is doing in me.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.