Wednesday, August 26, 2015

All I have is from God

S - 1 Cor 1:26-31 (MSG)
Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”

O -  Paul is writing to this church in Corinth to remind them of who they are in Christ.  We can assume they are much like the local church today,  full of blessing and tension amongst the congregation and even leaders on how we are to be as Christians.   Paul is reminding them all in our humble place as followers of Christ, that we were all falling short of God and in many cases societies qualifications as good, and through God's love and grace we are all redeemed and made new for a purpose.

A -   The application for me is to recognize that I must confess my own arrogance that had grown as a result of position and authority.   I must acknowledge God has given me every promotion and authority that I have had on earth, and I had grown to believe I earned and deserved this through my own hard work.   I had learned that lesson when I first came to know Christ, and I believe I am getting another lesson n what verse 30 says,  that everything I have comes from God, even my right living, and I am not to blow the horn I made, but to blow the trumpet God has given me.  

P  -  Dear Lord thank you for loving and pursuing me.  I so need you in my life each and every day to guide me,  to show me, to heal me.  I pray Lord you would begin to restore my heart and mind and protect me from my own thoughts that are not from you.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Beware of false teachers

S - 2 John 1:7-9.nasb
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

O - John, sounds like he is speaking to believers in a local church he may have planted or shepherded.  In the letter John warns of false teachers and Anti-Christ that can lead believers away from something other than the full reward and promise in Christ.   I can imagine in the early church (and not much different from today) that the Gospel delivered was changing lives, but the parable of the seed proved to true,  that the Gospel could be received, even grow, but could also grow in shallow soul and not reach full maturity and therefore grow deep enough roots in Christ to withstand false teaching and circumstantial trials.  John warns that we have to abide or stay connected to Christ and His teachings.

A -  The application for me is to understand that I must, especially in the season of flagging spirit, yield to false teachers and Anti-Christs.   That I cling to the truth of what I know and what Jesus has taught and commanded me.  I know that in this season I might be or have a tendency to slowly withdraw from the body of Christ, and this stands as  good warning to me to not allow myself to go too far, but to hold steadfast to Jesus, His truths, and His ways.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for you lessons, today, may it saturate, my heart, mind, soul, and spirit.   I pray Lord for protection  of what I have learned,  and received through you.  I pray Lord for a healing of this depression, and a victory over this season.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Gospel of John

S - John 20:30-31 (NASB)
30Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;31but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

O- The book of John was written by the Apostle John with a purpose in mind to show in a convincing way that Jesus Christ, is the son of God, that he came to earth to redeem His people.  That he performed many great acts of proof that He is the messiah, and taught many great things.   John was also one of Jesus' beloved disciples who was within Jesus small inner group even within the twelve.   Jesus called John for a specific purpose, and His Gospel remains one of the most convincing and well known for the simple message of the Gospel.

A -  The application for me is just to rest in the knowledge of my salvation.   I believe in Jesus Christ, and therefore I have eternal life, in name.  I am learning what it means to walk out what this truth means to me.   God has sought me, found me, and redeemed me and my life has forever changed.  I believe He is doing a good work in me to prepare me for His kingdom.  I am also called to share this good news with others, and ensure I am advancing the kingdom.

P-  Dear Lord, I acknowledge you as my Lord and savior.  I pray Lord you restore the passion of my first love.   I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Hurry toward God

S - Jer 17:14-8 NASB
14Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed;
Save me and I will be saved,
For You are my praise.
15Look, they keep saying to me,
"Where is the word of the Lord?
Let it come now!"
16But as for me, I have not hurried away from being a shepherd after You,
Nor have I longed for the woeful day;
You Yourself know that the utterance of my lips
Was in Your presence.
17Do not be a terror to me;
You are my refuge in the day of disaster.
18Let those who persecute me be put to shame, but as for me, let me not be put to shame;
Let them be dismayed, but let me not be dismayed.

O - Jeremiah is continuing to prophesy to the people of Israel, a word of exile and correction for their sins.   It must bring him great heaviness to be the constant bearer of bad news, but here we see him posture toward God amidst the  season, and it is on that may help us do the same in trying times.  

A -  There are three principle take aways from this scripture that I need to apply to my own trying seasons:

1.   Don't run away from God in times of trial -  seek His presence
2.   Speak the truth of what God is saying and doing - don't dwell on what the external signs are showing.
3.   Seek refuge in God's presence -  He is able and willing to be our strong tower when we stay close to Him.

P - Dear heavenly father, thank you for your word, and the courage of your prophet Jeremiah to not hurry away but rather seek your refuge, and speak you truth.  I pray that you fill me with your spirit and your courage to do the same.  I pray that you guide my hands, feets, an lips, and fill me with your spirit.   I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pruning and the winter season

S - John.15.1-2.nasb
"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.

O - The context of this scripture is that Jesus is speaking to the people of Israel, that Jesus came as the true vine connected to God the Father.  In the history of God and His people they have wandered back and forth from Him.  Whether it be Moses and the Israelites lack of faith in the desert, or the Kings that followed David and Solomon in their leading in the ways of the Lord resulting eventually in exile.  God has always been willing to prune dead branches that no longer bear fruit, but has always kept alive the main root of some kind.  He has also always pruned and made fruitful those who abide in Him.   At this time Jesus is speaking to the pruning of the old system of high priest, and sacrificial animals for the sins of God's people, to the more fruitful ultimate high priest who made will make the ultimate sacrifice once and for all.  From their new fruitful branches will be produced.

A -  I am a fruit and a branch.  I have receive my salvation through Christ sacrifice, and His building on the new covenant Church.   I those branches eventually grew and reached me.   Over the past 10 years or so I believe I have desired to be a fruitful branch and at times felt I reached my God given potential.   In the current season I am in a time of pruning, which is painful and at times disheartening,  but I do trust in God's wisdom and ability to make me fruitful once again.

P - Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for this devotion, and my prayer is that you keep my branch alive, that you keep me connected to you Lord, that though it may be a winter season of pruning, I put my hope in you for the spring season to come.  I pray all this in Jesus Christ name, Amen.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

God's correction and direction from within

S  -  Jer 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. Correct me, O Lord , but with justice; Not with Your anger, or You will bring me to nothing.

John 14:22
"If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

O -  Jeremiah's plea to the Lord is on behalf of Israel but also for himself.   The Lord is delivering the message through Jeremiah there are consequences for following idols, and those consequences require a correction.   This correction will be exile for Israel to Babylon.    Jeremiah prays or submits to God please correct me, with justice ad not anger.   In the Gospel of John we see Jesus explaining his oneness with God,  and confirms that by abiding in Jesus, we may have our steps directed by te Lord, because when we accept and love Jesus, that he will make a home in my heart, and the counselor will cause me to remember Word of God and help direct my steps.

A - The application for me is ensure I am open to the Lords correction, because I love and entrust my life to His direction.  I am reminded of the inner strength and wisdom that lives in me because the Holy Spirit dwells in me. 

P -  Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your correction and wisdom you done in my life.  Shape me Lord to be the man, husband,  father, you have called and created me to be

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Walk in the light

S - John :
35So Jesus said to them, "For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. 36While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light."

O -  Jesus is speaking this to the people gathering to him before the passover celebration, and right before he is to be accussed and crucified by the Chief Priest.  He pleads with the people that they should walk in the ways he speaks of because He is the way, the truth, and the life.   The analogy is that He is the light and while right with them they should walk in the light, not just observe it but to walk with the light and follow Jesus.

A -  The application for me is more a call to walk in the light of Christ in my life today.  While darkness may still live in the land that I roam,  I have the light of Christ in my.  I need to simply believe that the light is with me at all times,  I need to locate it and walk in it.  

P -  Dear heavenly Father thank you for today's lesson,may it be sealed to my heart.   I pray Lord you first shine your light on the darkness that is inside of me, and rebuke and rid myself once and for all. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The good shepherd - Jesus

S -  John 10:11-18
11"I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12He 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. 13He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. 17For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father."

O -  I am reminded of who the greatest shepherd of all is,  Christ.  Here Jesus' is describing what a great shepherd does.  He is doing this in light of the people of Israel being the flock, and the Jewish leadership perhaps not being the good shepherd.  He has come to Earth at a time when people are not necessarily being shepherded toward God and reconciliation, and during a time when the shepherds have strayed from God's calling.

A - The application for me is to first and foremost recognize Jesus' as my shepherd, and the greatest shepherd ever to be followed.  At times I have felt the calling to be a good shepherd, and I believe God honors that but truly my role is still as sheep,  I can't replace the good shepherd, I must help others recognize Him and follow him also.  

P -  Dear heavenly Father thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart.  I pray Lord that you remove all hubris in me that I am someones greatest shepherd, that I am just a sheep who wants other sheep to follow Christ.  I pray that you give me the words, heart, and attitude that conveys your love and grace for your people.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Glorify god in your weakness

S - John 9.3-4.nasb
Jesus answered, " It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.

O - Jesus in this season of His ministry is doing many good works and miracles, testifying to His authority and from whom He comes, and whom He represents.   In this case he chooses to heal a man blind from birth,  not necessarily because the man repented and came to Jesus, not because Jesus chose the most deserving among a list of needy individuals, but because that is what the father called him to.

A - The application for me is to recognize I am to seek the Lord the same as Jesus did, to walk and look for what God is doing and join him.   I am not to judge the righteous and the sinners , but give those judgments to the Lord.   Also my hope lies in the fact that my own thorns, or handicaps are not necessarily because of  my sin but to be used to glorify god by allowing others to see what God is able to do in my life.

P-  Dear heavenly father, thank you for today's word, may it be sealed to my heart.   I pray you would redeem and heal my thorns Lord, that I you may be glorified through both my endurance and complete healing.  I pray all this in Jesus name.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Waiting on the Lord

S -  Hab 2:1-3 (NASB)
1I will stand on my guard post
And station myself on the rampart;
And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me,
And how I may reply when I am reproved.
2Then the Lord answered me and said,
"Record the vision
And inscribe it on tablets,
That the one who reads it may run.
3"For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
For it will certainly come, it will not delay

O -   This scripture is  a word from God to encourage and direct Habakkuk during his season of waiting on the Lord.    Hab agreed to faithfully wait on the Lord, and the Lord faithfuly responded with clarity that he would give Hab a vision that he would need to write down so that later when it is read Hab would know when to run.

A -  This word is for me, though my flesh and soul are failing to be encouraged during this season of waiting,  I see I am not alone, Hab experienced it,  I simply need to ask the Lord to give me the vision and then faithfully wait on His appointed time and when that time comes, I run.

P -  Dear heavenly Father, I pray you cast out all thoughts of my that doubt in your future for me

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

S - John 6:39-40.nasb
This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."

O -  Jesus time of ministry he was very direct in those he was discipling who he was , and what his purpose from God was.   We see Him share God's truth and then often do miracles.   These miracles,  were not the main reason he was there.  We see here in verse 39, 40 that God has given Him, those He is to save.   God calls each and everyone of us in His time to know Christ,  and if we behold God and claim Jesus as the Christ, we will never be lost, and Christ will raise us up.

A - The application to is more an acknowledgement that God has a plan for us all.  He had a plan for me to draw me to him over 10 years ago.  Though I may feel I am at times slipping away from my first love, I know in my strength I can't hold on, but He will never let me go.

P - Father God thank you for calling me to your kingdom.  Thank you for sending your son, and than you for never let go of my wandering soul.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Seek God, not the glory of men

S- John.  5:19-44.nasb 
Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. 
How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?

O -  Jesus' testimony of who He truly is in the book of John, should leave no doubt.  I suspect John wrote the Gospel with the full intention of establishing with clarity and confidence that Jesus was the messiah, the Son of God, and scripture,  the coming of John the Baptist declaring the way for his arrival,  the Fathers' words at Jesus' baptism,  Jesus' ministry and miracles all testify to this truth.  Now Jesus in many places is speaking to he Jewish educated leaders who should have knowledge to recognize he was the messiah, but what tripped them up is the they fell into the trap of seeking honor from one another instead of honor from God the Father.

A -  The application and teaching for me today is to recognize that I can and have fallen into the same trap, seeking the approval of men over  the approval of God.   God has been faithful in my  life to show me and allow me to know Him, yet at times I am disappointed by my lack of approval of other people.  This seeking the approval of other men in my life leads me to focus on the wrong things and will never satisfy my soul.  

P -  Lord I repent for the times I was chasing after things that pleased men and not you.  I ask Lord that you give me your eyes to see where you are working and help me to focus on you at work and at home, so I may serve those you are calling me to serve.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

S - isa.66.2.nasb
"For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being," declares the Lord . "But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

O - This is our desire to have God continue to look upon us.   We celebrate the creator,  but can forget to look toward his Word with a humble and contrite spirit.

A - The application for me today is to minute by minute remember that in this season my spirit is being humbled.   I have failed at times to do so, and allow pride and convetousness seperate me from the Word of God.

P - Lord I repent of the times in which I have allowed pride and arrogance to drive me from you and your will.  I lay now humbly and contrite wanting only your presence and word to guide me. In Jesus name, I pray Amen.