On Wings Of Eagles

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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Conversation between best friends


Luke 11:5-8 (ESV)
5 And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, 6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.


Have you seen or heard conversations between best friends? Do they converse in a formal manner or do they use fancy words? Absolutely not! In fact, it seems like both have common interests and passions. God calls us His friends. Find out the heart of God and make it your burden and you will cultivate your friendship with Him.
If we’re friends with God, will we be spared from troubled times? Midnight hour - temptations, storms and discomfort will come. Never lose hope. Run to Jesus because He has life’s answers for you.

What do we learn from Jesus’ parable? Just as the friend in the story kept knocking, we shouldn’t give up but keep praying. Friends don’t give up on each other, do they? Persevere in the assurance of relationship.

Was the friend borrowing for himself? No, he was pleading for another friend. When was the last time you knocked the Gates of Heaven on someone else’s behalf? Have a Spirit to help others, to pray for others, only then can you develop a culture of mutual interest with God.

Dear Lord, thank You for being our friend whom we can approach any day or anytime. We are privileged to have a friend like You who gave up everything for us. We need more of your grace and power to be the hands and feet of You. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Jesus' prayer life


Luke 11:1 (ESV)
Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”

There are differences in the ways we pray because all of us are raised differently. Thus, our upbringing shapes our prayer style. For example, some religions focus on posture while others concentrate on chants. When we accept Jesus in our lives, we bring with us our old perceptions and mannerisms of speaking to God. We can’t say that any one style is the right way. What would then be the ‘ideal way’ to pray to God? Let’s follow the teachings of Jesus. Let’s neutralize our backgrounds and in its place develop a culture of prayer life based on the Holy Bible.

Luke 11:1 – Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

What can we learn from Jesus’ prayer life?

1. Jesus had a ‘certain’ place and time for prayer – that’s value and discipline for prayer.
2. Jesus started praying and He finished praying which means Jesus prayed with some sense of order and dignity.
3. Notice that Jesus’ disciples came to Him after He ‘ceased’ praying. Why? Because they knew that they could disturb Jesus while He multiplied bread, when He was tired and resting, or when He slept during the storm to wake Him to calm a storm. But the disciples knew that they couldn’t disturb Jesus when He was praying.

Dear Lord, thank You for showing us the right way to pray. We want our prayer life to be taught individually by You because our life cannot be compared with another and because You have a plan for our life. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Blessing


Luke 24:50-51 (ESV)
50 And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.

What was this blessing that Jesus gave to these disciples as He ascended to heaven? Whatever He said, it caused the disciples to stop and worship Him. Then they returned to Jerusalem with great joy—not just joy, but great joy! How could these disciples, who had been through so much with Him, leave that place full of joy, even after Jesus had vanished to heaven?

The answer is simple: Jesus had all authority, and now it was going to be bestowed on them. In a short time they would engage the most powerful force in the universe—Spirit-empowered prayer. How could they not be filled with unspeakable joy?

Those in the teaching profession recognize that there are many ingredients that make an effective teacher. Nonetheless, no matter how many teaching theories or strategies emerge, the greatest and most effective method that teachers identify is example, example, and example. Jesus’s life was the supreme example of prayer. He began His ministry in prayer at His baptism. He prayed about all things. Now, Jesus was ending His time on the earth in prayer as He ascended to the Father.


Because we have many different gifts and unique parts to play in Christ’s church, we will leave a variety of legacies. However, there is clearly one great legacy open to all of us. I believe it is one to which we all should aspire. Let this be our prayer, Lord: “May the legacy of our lives be answered prayer, as was Yours.”

Dear Lord, we thank You that we can come to You in prayer. Thanks that we are each given unique gifts to use in Your ministry. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Forsaken But Praying


Mark 15:34 (ESV)

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”


“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Have you ever felt forsaken by the Lord? Abandoned? It is a lonely feeling to find yourself in the middle of a crisis or situation you can’t explain or do anything about. Can you trust Him with all the challenging events of life and live in faith? Even in the midst of suffering and pain? We must come to the conclusion and understanding that the Lord uses all things to accomplish His purposes in our lives. The Lord even uses evil things that come from the evil one (Proverbs 16:4).

Jesus claimed God as His Father, yet He lamented that the Father was withdrawing His love and care for Him. The Father abandoned Christ while Christ bore our sins on the cross. It was the greatest price that could be paid for our sin, Christ’s suffering. Though forsaken, Christ remained faithful to His mission—redemption for those who would choose salvation through Him.

There will be times in life when you feel abandoned. The burden may seem more than is humanly possible to bear. We want to ask why these events happen, but why? isn’t the right question. The right question is, will you worship and follow God even if He does not meet your expectations? Will you follow Him even when you feel forsaken? Will you still pray?

Dear Lord, when we feel forsaken and abandoned help us to know that You are always there. Help us to never stop praying. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Persevering Prayer


Matthew 26:36 (ESV)
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.”

How much time in prayer is sufficient? Fifteen minutes? Thirty minutes? An hour? Jesus was distressed and troubled, and He needed the disciples to watch with Him in prayer. He had modeled prayer, and now it was time for them to support Him in prayer. But they couldn’t even pray one hour. Is prayer this tough for you?

When we pray in the flesh, we are like couch potatoes trying to run a marathon—we are winded and simply do not have what it takes to finish. When we pray, we must pray in the Spirit. It is the Spirit who provides the strength and the energy to pray. The Spirit, pneuma in the Greek, is more properly termed “breath” or “wind” (Acts 2:2). Just like the couch potato trying to run, our flesh has no strength and no breath, but the powerful wind of the Holy Spirit fills us and gives us the strength and breath we need to pray. By praying in the Spirit, we can finish the marathon of life without running out of breath. We can persevere (Ephesians 6:18). We can develop the discipline of prayer. We can “run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

One of the lessons about prayer our Lord repeatedly taught is we must persevere. This may be the greatest stumbling block to the prayer life of most Christians. Answers to prayers don’t come as quickly as we anticipate.

Let’s be completely honest with ourselves here—patience is not exactly something we practice a great deal in our nanosecond-response-time culture. My definition of lust is “I want it, and I want it now!” If there is a sure prescription for failure in prayer, it is the attitude of “I want my answer, and I want it now.” Our love of ease, impatience, and spiritual laziness don’t contribute to persevering prayer.

But why doesn’t God just go ahead and answer our prayers? That’s a great question. God has an end game with us—an eternal, essential purpose. That purpose is oneness with Him and being conformed into His image. Above all things, including answering our prayers, He wants to draw us deeply into Him. Persisting in unanswered prayer is the training ground for increased faith. It’s the place where God extends grace to us, and it is the perfect soil for character building. Unanswered prayer leaves us vulnerable before the Lord, the ideal place for surrender.

Dear Lord, help us to draw deeply into You. Help our trust be completely in You so that we can grow to be the people You would have us to be. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Engaging the Enemy in Spiritual Warfare


2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (ESV)
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

We need to learn this lesson—we experience the Lord three ways: through our personal experience, through the Word and prayer, and through our fellowship with others in our community. In all three of these realms Satan is at war to destroy God’s essential purpose: unity.

Satan lies to us about our personal relationship with Christ. He constantly attacks the credibility of God’s Word and diverts our attention away from prayer. Satan does this because he knows it is through the Word and prayer that we mature as Christians and become equipped to battle against him. And the enemy schemes to create division in our fellowship with other believers because he understands that division will discredit the love of Christ. Disunity in the body of Christ will cause people to doubt if Jesus really is who He said He is, the Son of God. Much of Jesus’s prayer in John 17 addresses His plea to the Father for the unity of believers with them (the Father and Son) and with one another (vv. 11, 21-23).

The Word of God reveals that there is a furious spiritual battle taking place right now in the heavens and the unseen realms (Ephesians 6:12). Most of us are unaware of this war. And if we are aware, there is an additional rebutting that takes place with many Christians when it comes to spiritual warfare. The thought of battling demons, evil spirits, or Satan himself is overwhelming and frightening.

The truth is that we are to war against Satan. God has called us to use the weapons of our warfare to defeat the enemy and crush him underfoot (Romans 8:37-39; 16:20; 1 John 2:13-14). Everyday people such as you and me are called to put on the armor of light and cast aside the works of darkness (Romans 13:12). We are called to bring God’s kingdom of heaven to earth (Matthew 6:10).

Through prayer and the Word of God we are able to discern the strongholds of the enemy and tear down his defenses (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). The powers of darkness will be broken in our lives and the lives of others as we learn to war in the spirit. We will be God’s warriors, fully equipped to see the forces of evil destroyed and His kingdom and unity established in our midst.

Dear Lord, we pray for strength so that was can stand against the enemy. We thank You for Your word that shows us how to stand firm. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Praying Like a Little Child

Matthew 19:13-15 (ESV)
13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And he laid his hands on them and went away.

There is no second-guessing about what we must be like to enter the kingdom of heaven. There is no test to pass to see if we have reached the right score on the righteousness scale. There is no spiritual timepiece to measure the minimum requirement for prayer and Bible study. There is only one required standard to enter the kingdom of heaven: childlike faith in Christ as Savior.

Little children are harmless and inoffensive. They are meek, free from malice, and without pride. Little children do not have ambitious ideas or desires for superiority. Where do you go to school? How much money does your parent make? These are questions that wouldn’t cross a child’s mind.


The question you must ask yourself is: Do I really trust my heavenly Father the way a little child trusts? Your prayers will reveal your belief system when it comes to trust in the Father. You see, I really do believe my heavenly Father is loving and faithful and has my best interests at heart. I believe He hears my prayers (John 14:13). I believe God the Father looks at me as one of His little children. He calls me up close to Him and says, “Tell Me what is on your heart, son.” He says, “Get quiet and listen to what I say to you.” So simple, so conversational, so unprofessional, so real. That’s the way He teaches us to pray. He desires the honest simplicity of praying like a little child, not praying to be heard by others or attempting to impress God. Can you imagine trying to impress God with your prayers? What a waste of time.

In coming to our Lord in prayer with the spirit of childlikeness, we will realize the Fatherhood of God in our lives.

Dear Lord, we pray that we would have a child like faith. We pray that we would trust You fully like a child trust his parents. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

The Miraculous in the Mundane


Luke 9:28-29 (ESV)
28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white.

Too often we believe that we must answer the call to a particular service or put forth some heroic act to elicit the miraculous. I believe what the transfiguration of Christ reveals to us is that as we pray and seek God, we are changed and the miracles of God will slip into our ordinary life (2 Corinthians 3:18).

What qualifies as miraculous in our everyday mundane lives? It is one thing for us to encounter a great injustice and stay true to God as others see our godly character.

But what about praying for a coworker’s salvation? What about the wife who works and takes care of a home and prays for the ability to keep it all together? Are answers to prayer in these situations any less than miraculous? No, they are not.

Flashes of lightning, visions, dreams, revelations, and what we typically view as miraculous aren’t daily occurrences for most of us. I believe the Lord does want us to have huge answers to prayer every day and see miracles. That is what I am contending for in my prayer life. Truthfully I am not there. But I am a holding on, and I am putting into proper perspective the miraculous events in my daily life that aren’t lightning bolts from heaven.

When we go to work every day, we are plunged into toil and worldly things. The everyday sameness or lack of spirituality at work could cause us to miss what the Lord is doing. The same is true for those who care for children and the home or an elderly parent. But there is a great breakthrough that the Holy Spirit has planned for us. He wants us to experience His miraculous power in the dailiness of life. Prayer is the key to this experience. We can indeed live in an attitude of prayer the entire day, in every conversation and through every task we undertake. And it is through this that the mundane is truly transformed into the miraculous.

But the transformation of prayer can go much deeper. As we face the world every day, we face temptations, and this is where we need the Lord to purify us. Prayer is the vehicle that frees us from the bondage of flesh. Prayer is our road to transformation. “As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning” (Luke 9:29, NIV).

Dear Lord, help us to be faithful as we pray. We ask that that prayer will be our road to transformation. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Be Still. Be Quiet.


Matthew 14:23 (ESV)
And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.

Silence is a stranger to most of us. To discover silence, we have to be like Jesus and go off to find a place where we can turn off the cell phone and the TV, a place with no bustling businesses or chattering people to deal with. The Lord calls us to this silence as much as He calls us to be with one another. What should our times of silence and being alone before the Lord consist of? This is where the prayer life of Jesus is such a profound example for us. Jesus shows us that these times of intimacy must first center on being quiet and listening.

We cannot put God in a box and make our relationship with Him a formula. But if we are going to follow the example of Jesus, we must get alone with God and silence ourselves. The silence that He invites us into is a silence of listening, a respectful stillness before our God. This kind of silence brings great joy, clarity, and purity to our lives.

Finding stillness may be one of the greatest challenges in our relationships with Christ and our prayer lives. There are two great hindrances we face every day in our search for stillness: our busy lifestyles and the constant noise of our culture. Are you busy? Where are you on the Facebook addiction scale? Enough said.

As simple as it may seem, we find stillness by making a choice, deciding to sit down away from all the clamor of our life and technology. God bestowed on us free will; it is not an illusion. We are not victims of our culture. We have control over the way we respond to everything that comes our way.

The science of neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to reorganize itself by developing new neural connections) makes it very clear that when we make a decision, we change the matter in our brain. It is the scientific confirmation of God’s Word: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23: 7). Every time we steal away with the Lord in quiet retreat, we transform and renew our minds and conform to the communication pathways of the kingdom (Romans 12: 1-2). And it is in the stillness that our zeal for the Lord and His ways is given the chance to grow.

Dear Lord, help us to be still. Help us to transform and renew our minds. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Pray This Way


Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)
9 Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.

Of all the things the disciples could have asked of Him, they asked to be taught how to pray. As you read Jesus’s words of how to pray, ask the Holy Spirit for fresh revelation, for how you can practically respond to His instruction.

Worship is the beginning and end of prayer. “Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name, for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6: 9, 13, MEV) Jesus taught the disciples and us that in prayer we are to pay homage to the reality that this is His kingdom. God has control over everything, and He can and will answer our prayers. There is nothing impossible with God (Luke 1:37).

“Your kingdom come; Your will be done” (Matthew 6:10). He desires His kingdom to come. It is His will, His purpose. He has set before us a vision of a renewed community and people in unity. Jesus’s prayer reminds us that extending God’s kingdom is included in our decision to follow Him.

“Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11) Can we live in this kind of simplicity and trust, like a little child? Can we be grateful for the food, how little or much, set before us today? This is one place we repeatedly allow our peace and contentment to be stolen. We compare our provision to others.

“Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matt 6:12). To be forgiven, you must forgive. You must live in forgiveness daily toward everyone: your spouse, friends, enemies, children, and most of all yourself. There is great freedom in forgiveness; it is the key to the kingdom—confessing our sins, seeking forgiveness, and forgiving others.

Christ instructs us to pray a very honest prayer, “Lead us not into temptation” (Matthew 6:13). As shocking as the thought may be, the Lord tests us (Psalm 139:23-24; Jeremiah 17:10; 1 Peter 1:6-9). The Lord desires to produce pure gold out of our lives. Also, far too many of us are not in a position to face the temptations of sin and attacks of the enemy when they come. For our protection the Lord is able to chain up the roaring lion that seeks to tempt and destroy us (2 Peter 2:9).

Do you count yourself among those who need Christ to teach them to pray? I do. So let us come together and learn from the master teacher on prayer. Let’s pray for God’s purposes, provision, pardon, and protection.

Dear Lord, we ask that You would show us how to pray. Help us to study Your word and learn the lessons that You show us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Secret Place


Mark 1:35-37 (ESV)
35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.”

Where do you pray? Is where you pray really that important? Evidentially it is; Jesus specifically mentioned where we should and shouldn’t pray.

Where not to pray: in a location chosen so others can see you (Matthew 6:5).

Where to pray: in private in your room (Matthew 6:6).

While Jesus was in Capernaum, Mark indicated that Simon and his companions went to look for Jesus. When they found Him, they exclaimed, “Everyone is searching for You” (Mark 1:37, MEV). Jesus often went away in seclusion to pray, and everyone was trying to find Him. Obviously He didn’t stay close, and He wasn’t easy to find.

We see this pattern of the Lord’s early-morning prayer beginning at the start of His ministry. He repeatedly departed to a solitary place, either in the hills, out of town, or in a remote garden. Here He showed us the power of prayer in a secret place.

Here’s the deal. If you don’t have a familiar place, a quiet place away from others, you probably don’t have a habit of praying often. It is the great secret to prayer—you must pray in secret.

We live in turbulent and violent times. Uncertainty seems to loom around every corner. Raising children, working, challenges in relationships, and our quest for unity in our Christian fellowship are all under assault from the world. Yet the Lord has made provision for us in this tempest. God’s Word provides a way for us. He entreats us to enter the refuge where His watchfulness leads us to a place of safety.

The marvelous truth about the secret place is that it is not so secret. And we all are eligible for entrance. It requires but two things from us to enter: time and a love for Jesus. Put these two together, and we are given an opportunity to gain understanding into the nature of God.

Dear Lord, help us to find a secret place to pray.  Help us to make it a priority to come to You in prayer. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

He Began All Things With Prayer


Luke 3:21-22 (ESV)
21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

It didn’t matter if the issue at hand was profound or an everyday incident, Jesus began all things with prayer. While Jesus was being baptized, He prayed (Luke 3:21-22). Before setting out to preach and cast out demons throughout Galilee, He rose a great while before sunrise to pray (Mark 1:35-39). When the people rolled the stone away from Lazarus’s tomb, Jesus prayed for all to hear before raising him from the dead (John11: 4-44). And as He sat at a table for dinner with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, He simply prayed (Luke 24:30-31). Jesus’s example leads us to pray before taking that new job, before a proposal of marriage, and on the way to work every morning.

Beginning all things in prayer is a foundational discipline of the Christian life. The times of praying in stillness and solitude are when God reaches into our minds, emotions, and wills—the deepest places of our souls. In the quietness of prayer we free ourselves from the constant distractions of the world and the nagging whispers of our past, dysfunctions, and sins. Beginning all things in prayer during the day and having close and continual fellowship in prayer with God will leave its mark on us. As we follow our Lord by beginning everything in prayer, we position ourselves to receive the glorious benefits that flow from this way of living. First and foremost, prayer is our path to intimacy with God. There is no other way to deeply know God apart from the stillness of prayer (Psalm 46:10).

One of the sweetest and most powerful benefits of beginning all things in prayer is that our “spiritual ears” will be trained to recognize His voice. We learn to quiet our thoughts, our educational training, and our persuasions. We become deaf to anything except His voice and will. By following Christ’s example and beginning all things in prayer, we are able to discern His voice above the cacophony of the world and the murmurs of the enemy. Learning to recognize His voice is fundamental preparation for hearing the Lord through the Word.

Beginning all things with prayer leads to right hearing. Right hearing produces right speaking. This is how we learn to speak words of life to people, to speak the language of the kingdom, and to call people to their destiny in Christ.

Dear Lord, we thank You that we can come to You in prayer. Help us to always start with prayer and then take the time to listen to Your voice. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Grace and Compassion


Psalm 112:4 (ESV)
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
    he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.

The righteous man in Psalm 112 is described as someone who is gracious and full of compassion. These two powerful qualities are also attributes of Jesus Christ.

God’s grace cannot be earned and is bountiful in supply. It is a free gift. Some people can’t accept that grace is enough — they want to do something more to earn it themselves. But Romans 5:20-21 tells us:

“...sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.”

You may have made some big mistakes in your life, but God’s grace is greater than your sin. There is nothing more you need to do, other than make the decision to surrender your life to Jesus, ask for His forgiveness and accept His unmerited favor and blessing in your life.

Compassion is another powerful characteristic of God. Every time Jesus was moved with compassion, something powerful happened. “And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them...” (Matthew 14:14)

When facing a tough situation, human nature is easily drawn to sympathy, but the reality is that sympathy is not always what is needed. Sympathy identifies with the problem or hurt, but it is not focused on the solution, helping you move forward.

Compassion, along with God’s grace, is a powerful force that activates His answers for your life.

You may have fallen at times, but God’s grace is stronger than your weaknesses. Don’t confuse sympathy for compassion in the people you surround yourself with. Be encouraged and seek God’s answers for every area of your life. This is how you grow in living the blessed life.

Dear Lord, we thank You today for Your compassion. We pray that we would be instruments of Your compassion to those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Protection


Isaiah 54:17 (ESV)

No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,
    and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord
    and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.


Respect will protect you against unexpected attacks from your adversaries. For centuries, one of Satan’s strategies has been to destroy the credibility of Christians and undermine the reputation of the Church.

Losing your credibility can render you ineffective because you can also lose the authority, blessing and position of influence you may have gained. Having integrity, righteousness and respect are a great protection against the weapons of your enemy, the devil. The promise in the Word of God is:

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord” (Isaiah 54:17).

Weapons may be formed against you, but they certainly won’t be successful, unless you make yourself an easy target. The Bible clearly instructs us: “nor give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27).

Giving him no opportunity, no advantage and no permission to move in your life is how you thwart his attempts to rob you of the blessing of God.

To be a skillful tennis player, you have to cut off the angles, making it difficult for your opponent to get a shot past you. This is how you can counter the strategies of the devil — cut off the angles and don’t be ignorant of his devices. Satan will never play fair. If there are issues in your life that give him room to move, deal with them. If you don’t, you are giving him opportunity to use them against you. You can close the door on him and protect your marriage, emotions, health and finances by living according to God’s principles.

The key to protecting yourself from the enemy is living by the principles of God — in relationship with God and empowered by the grace of God. What areas of your life might give opening to the enemy? Bring those things before the Lord in prayer, make changes today and protect every area of your life by operating in accordance to God’s Word.

Dear Lord, we pray that we would live by Your principles so that we cut off the areas that the devil can attack us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Generosity


Psalm 112:9 (ESV)
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
    his righteousness endures forever;
    his horn is exalted in honor.

God’s nature is to give, and everything He does comes from a generous spirit. In the same way, we should desire to be truly generous and allow our lives to be a flow of blessing to others. Generosity isn’t about how much you have, nor is it proven in a single act — the true spirit of generosity is a lifestyle.

• A way of seeing
“He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor” (Proverbs 22:9).
A generous eye will see beyond itself and quickly spot opportunities to bless others. Instead of being someone who sits back and makes harsh judgments about others, a generous spirit will be open to believe the best.

• A way of thinking
“But a generous man devises generous things...” (Isaiah 32:8)
When generosity is a way of thinking, one will always be devising plans to bless others. God saw the need of the world, and He devised a generous strategy. It is called the Gospel, which means “good news.”

• A way of living
“...and by generosity he shall stand” (Isaiah 32:8).
When generosity is a way of living, it becomes our stance. It is not a labor, a single action or a grudging obligation — it is a way of life. The promise of God is that one who has a “generous eye” is someone who will be blessed themselves.

God’s Kingdom refers to everything within His realm, both in Heaven and on earth. To have a Kingdom spirit means you have a vision that is bigger than you — you will always be devising generous strategies or plans to bless others.

Generosity is not merely an action but a way of seeing, thinking and living. What’s more, it’s what God wants for you. This next week look for opportunities to bless others, devise generous strategies and reach out to those around you in the name of Jesus!

Dear Lord, we pray that we would find ways to share Your kingdom with those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Vision


Psalm 112:9 (ESV)
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
    his righteousness endures forever;
    his horn is exalted in honor.

One of the things I love about this man in Psalm 112 is that he clearly lives a life that goes well beyond himself. When it says, “he has dispersed abroad,” it speaks of one whose life has a far-reaching and wide-ranging impact on others.

There are those who never seem to move forward in life because their vision is small. Instead of continuing to grow and expand their life, they prefer to be a big fish in a small pond. In doing so, they limit their own potential. The Bible says: “Where there is no vision, the people perish...” (Proverbs 29:18)

Having a dream or specific goal will add direction and purpose to your life. Jesus knew He was born for the cause of God’s Kingdom and understood that His connection to the world revolved around that cause. You and I are also born for the cause, which involves living a life with influence that goes well beyond ourselves.

It is easy to get caught up in the stress and pressure of everyday life, working to pay the bills and to put food on your table. But with a big-hearted spirit, you will begin to think about dispersing abroad in terms of what you can do for others, and putting food on many other tables.

It is impossible to have a vision that is bigger than God’s plans for your life. His plans are HUGE. As God blesses your life, keep expanding and looking beyond yourself to bless others and build His Kingdom.

What’s your dream? What’s your vision?  It’s impossible for you to have a dream or vision too big for God. He wants to bring those dreams to life and build His Kingdom through you!

Dear Lord, we thank You for the things You have given to us. We pray that our vision would be to use those things to help others. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Abundance


Psalm 112:3 (ESV)
Wealth and riches are in his house,
    and his righteousness endures forever.

Another promise of God is that wealth and riches will be in your house. I know there are those who would be more comfortable if the verse said wealth and riches will be in his heart rather than in his house. They are the ones who wrestle with the fact that abundance is the promise of God for their lives.

A friend of mine once had a conversation with a pastor who criticized this kind of thinking and yet shared how desperate their church was for a youth pastor, but lacked the necessary funds to hire one. You see, without money, it’s hard (as a ministry, a business, a family) to fulfill the Kingdom endeavors that are in your heart.

Some Christians struggle with the idea of being blessed because they presume that wealth and greed are the same thing, but they are not. Our Heavenly Father, like any loving parent, does not mind if His children are financially blessed. But bear in mind that wealth and riches are just one aspect of an abundant life — it goes further than material goods. John wrote: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2).

A truly prosperous person desires the fullness of God in every area of their life and understands that God wants to bless them so they can bless others. As Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

God wants you to prosper in every area of your life, both physically and spiritually. He rejoices in blessing you because out of the abundance of His life flowing through you, you can bless others!

Dear Lord, we pray that we would be prosperous in everything we do so that we may be able to help those that You bring into our life. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Blessing


Genesis 12:2 (ESV)
And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.

“Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who fears (reveres and worships) the Lord” is the way the Amplified Bible (AMPC) translates the first verse of Psalm 112.

Throughout the Bible, God consistently promises to bless His people, but His blessing also depends on our choices. He puts two clear choices before people: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

The book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament contains a list of blessings and a list of curses which were directly linked to whether one chose to obey or disobey the commandments of the Lord. You can read these in Deuteronomy 28:1-14, but understand that to choose life with God is to choose a blessed life. God’s will is always to bless you, but if you think His blessing is entirely for you, you are missing the point.

The blessing of God in your life should go well beyond your own existence. God told Abraham that He would bless him, but the purpose of blessing him went far beyond his own life. This is what God said:

“I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2).

The purpose of God’s blessing is to enable you to be a great channel of blessing to others. If you have nothing, there is nothing you can do for anyone else; if you have a little, you can only help a little; but if you have plenty, there is a whole lot you can do. When you are blessed, you have a mighty foundation from which to impact others. You are blessed to be a blessing.

Dear Lord, we pray that we would take the blessing You gave us and be a blessing to those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Praise The Lord


Psalm 112:1 (ESV)
Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
    who greatly delights in his commandments!

Praise the Lord! Within those three words is the powerful beginning and foundation of a blessed life. It starts with knowing who God is and praising Him.

Praise is always a starting point.  It means thankfulness — that is why we give thanks before a meal and start church with songs of praise.  Jesus began to thank God before Lazarus was raised from the dead, and Moses praised God before He parted the Red Sea. Human nature likes to wait until after an answer is received, but blessing begins with praise.

The Word of God tells us to “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4). Yet praising the Lord is not limited to singing a few songs once a week in a church service. Worship is a lifestyle that embraces the entire spectrum of life.

You can praise God at any hour of the day, seven days a week — in the car, the shower or the middle of night. It isn’t about singing a particular hymn or reciting a prayer — it’s about a relationship with your Heavenly Father who loves and cares for you.

People have different ideas of what God is like, and they communicate with Him according to their perception. Those who think He is rigid and austere keep their distance. Others, who see Him as formal and stiff, usually approach Him in the same way. Yet those who know Him as Father and Friend enjoy the blessing of a close, intimate relationship with Him — where you can call on Him anytime. No matter what situation you may be in, you are never alone.

Circumstances can begin to turn around when you start praising God. Not only does praise put Him in focus, but it also causes you to see things from a whole new perspective.

Praising God is more than a ritual or one-time event. It’s a lifestyle of worship — it enables you to place your focus on God, and it changes your perspective of the circumstances around you. So go forth today in your God-given calling with this declaration as your foundation:

“Praise the Lord!”

Dear Lord, we praise You! Thank You for all that You do for us.  Help us to live our life with Praising You as our foundation.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day 2019


John 15:12-14 (ESV)
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.

Memorial Day is a day that is set aside to remember, and honor, our brave soldiers who have given their lives to protect our land and keep us free.  It began as a day to honor our Civil War dead, but after World War I, it was expanded to include our war dead from all the wars in which America was involved. 

Our country has fought in 12 major wars.  In every one of these cases, we have asked the young people of our nation to be willing to give their lives in the name of freedom (for us and others in foreign lands.)    The sacrifices these young men and women have made can never be totally comprehended nor can they be repaid by us.

Just stop and think about a little of what these wonderful young people have given up for us.  At the very least, they have given years of their life, time away from their families, to serve their country which they love. They have given us any chance of setting down “roots”, having to move from base to base once every 3 to 4 years.   Many will be physically disabled the rest of their life, having the use of one or more of their limbs taken from them.   Scores have been mentally disabled resulting in them being unable to handle day to day living.   And thousands upon thousands have given the ultimate sacrifice, their life, so that we can continue to enjoy our lives living safely in a land of freedom.

We can never begin to understand what they went through, and are continuing to go through, all because they love their nation and the freedoms, we take for granted every day.  We can never begin to repay them and their families for the sacrifices they have made for us.  It seems as if saying “Thank You” just isn’t enough.

On this Memorial Day weekend, let us remember the brave soldiers who have so unselfishly given of themselves for us.   Let’s not only appreciate their actions but then take steps to help these veterans and their families whenever and wherever we can.

But also this weekend, let us remember the Lord Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us so that we might be saved from the eternal punishment for our sins.  And then out of appreciation for His works, let us give ourselves for others, obeying the perfect law of Christ…

Dear Lord, we are so grateful for those who gave everything so that we could have the freedoms we have.   Thank You for giving Your life so that we could have eternal life. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Believing God's Goodness


Philippians 1:6 (ESV)
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

I'm learning that I will never be able to trust God if I don't believe that He is good! I will never believe that He is good if I don't ultimately believe that He is always motivated by love. I will only trust God to the degree that I know and perceive Him.

Recently the Lord has begun to open my heart and give me the grace to fully trust Him. At first, believing that I am truly "free in Christ" felt reckless and irresponsible! However, I'm finding a freedom that I've never known, and it's come through arriving at the end of myself and confessing to the Holy Spirit, "I can't do this! I am incapable of fixing myself! I cannot raise myself upright! Jesus, YOU have to do it." I feel like the pressure is off, and I'm just learning to BE and to REST!

Dear Lord, thank You for working in us to make us complete. Help us to trust You completely. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Freedom in Christ


Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

For years, I've been in a season of tremendous stretching!  I received a word of wisdom from a friend of mine. He said, "Ron, the word is TRUST." I've discovered that I've lived with a vicious cycle in my life of wanting to trust and trying to force myself to trust out of sheer willpower, but then ultimately sliding back into the trap of fear, ultimately feeling defeated and hopeless.

I am really working on learning about God's grace! Learning about His grace is changing my life. Understanding that He is love and that I'm not separated from Him has changed me! I'm experiencing a freedom that I've never known. I feel like I'm relearning the good news of the Gospel, which is the fact that Jesus has already entered into our realm of existence and is eager to participate in our journey of healing and wholeness. He's already come into the middle of our storms and messes and says, "I'll walk with you if you let me."

I want to encourage you today; instead of exhausting yourself on the treadmill of performance, try crawling up into the lap of Jesus, and let go!

Dear Lord, give us a revelation in our heart today that knows You are good!  When we get weary and worried help us to rest in Your peace. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.