Devotions Week 36:
All Negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence. ~ Eckhart Tolle
|The Rock of my salvation. Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
|Led by the Spirit of God. The Spirit Himself testifies with our Spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.
|In God’s Timing. But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
|God’s invitation to the thirsty. “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
|Christ is the source of Living water. [Our forefathers] were all baptised into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
||1 Corinthians 10:2-4
|Jesus invited the thirsty to life-giving, living water. Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
|The river of life. Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
In Christ alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song.
This Cornerstone this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace. When fears are stilled, when strivings cease.
My comforter, my all in all. Here in the love of Christ I stand.
Devotions Week 35:
You cannot expect to live a positive life with a negative mind. ~ Joyce Meyers
|Confidence in the Lord vs. doubt in ourselves. Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”
|Despair! When their eyes were not on God. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”
|Fear and lack of faith and trust in God! The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people tread me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of the miraculous signs I have performed among them?”
|Lack of faith and trust in Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” He said, “why did you doubt?”
|The testing of your faith. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
|Unity and maturity in the body of Christ. So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
|God’s way and the purpose of God’s Word. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord… “My word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
||Isaiah 55:8, 11
Lord I come to You, let my heart be changed renewed, flowing from the grace that I found in You. Lord I’ve come to know the weaknesses I see in me will be stripped away by the power of Your love.
Hold me close, let Your love surround me. Bring me near, draw me to Your side and as I wait I’ll rise up like the eagle and I will soar with You, Your Spirit leads me on by the power of Your love.
Lord unveil my eyes let me see You face to face, the knowledge of Your love as You live in me. And Lord renew my mind as Your will unfolds in my life. In living every day by the power of Your Love.
Devotions Week 34:
Whatever situation you are in, God put you there for a reason, for a lesson, and for a purpose.
|Jesus the way to eternal life. …This we proclaim concerning the Word of Life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the father and has appeared to us.
||1 John 1:1-2
|Do not love the world. Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
||1 John 2:15-17
|Greed destroys love for God. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?
||1 John 3:17
|Pray, rejoice and do not be anxious. Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
|Fear vs. love. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them… There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
||1 John 4:16, 18
|Open our eyes lord, to the light of Jesus. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
||2 Corinthians 4:6
|The glory of the new covenant of Jesus beyond the veil. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Let it rain, let it rain. Open the floodgates of Heaven. Let it rain, let it rain.
Healing rain is coming down, it’s coming nearer to this old town.
Rich and poor, weak and strong, it’s bringing mercy, it won’t be long.
Healing rain is coming down.
It’s coming down to the lost and found.
Tears of joy and tears of shame are washed forever in Jesus’ name.
Healing rain, it comes with fire. So let it fall and take us higher.
Healing rain, I’m not afraid to be washed in Heavens rain.
Lift your heads, let us return to the mercy seat where time began.
And in your eyes I see the pain. Come soak this dry heart with healing rain.
And only You, the Son of man can take a leper and let him stand.
So lift your hands, they can be held by someone greater, the Great I AM.
Devotions Week 33:
Every man or woman is born into this world to do something unique and something distinctive; and if he or she does not do it, it will never be done. ~ Benjamin E. May
|Our Bodies, offered as living sacrifices to God. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…
|Christian weapons. The weapons we work with are not the weapons of this world. On the contrary, thy have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
||2 Corinthians 10:4-5
|Leaving all worldly things to follow Jesus. Jesus looked to them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible… everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”
||Matthew 19:26, 29
|Jesus the Way, Truth and Light of the World. “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
|The supremacy of Christ. He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born over all creation… He is before all things and in him all things hold together.
||Colossians 1:15, 17
|Through Christ all things are possible. “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.”
|The Day of the Lord. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the lord will come like a thief…
||2 Peter 3:9-10
Lord I come to you let my heart be changed, renewed
Flowing from the grace that I found in You
And Lord I’ve come to know the weaknesses I see in me
Will be stripped away by the power of Your Love.
Hold me close let your love surround me
Bring me near draw me to your side.
And as I wait I’ll rise up like the eagle
And I will soar with you Your Spirit leads me on
In the power of your love.
Lord unveil my eyes. Let me see You face to face.
The knowledge of your love as you live in me.
Lord renew my mind as Your will unfolds in my life
In living everyday by the power of Your love.
Devotions Week 31:
He is truly wise who looks upon all earthly things as folly that he may gain Christ. ~Thomas a Kempis
|Earthly wisdom. But if you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthy, unspiritual, of the devil.
(read 3:13- 16)
|Pure wisdom from Heaven. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
|The way to godly wisdom. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified… so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom but on God’s power.”
||1 Corinthians 2:2, 5
|Wisdom from the Spirit. We have not received the spirit of the world but the spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
||1 Corinthians 2:12-13
|Ask God for wisdom. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
|Praise the Lord for all He provides. The fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.
|The depth of the wisdom of God. Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His Paths beyond tracing out!
God of Grace and God of Glory, on Thy people pour Your power.
Now fulfil Thy Church’s story, bring her bud to glorious flower,
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour.
Behold, the hosts of evil around us scorn Thy Christ assail His ways.
Fears and doubts too long have bound us; free our hearts to work and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the living of these days.
Cure Thy children’s warring madness; bend our pride to Thy control;
Shame our wanton selfish gladness, rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage. Lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal.
Devotions Week 30:
Sanctification means the impartation of the holy qualities of Jesus Christ to me. It is the gift of His patience, love, holiness, faith, purity and godliness that is exhibited in and through every sanctified soul. ~ Oswald Chambers
|Absolute confidence in Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the passing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ…
|Pressing on towards the goal. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ has taken hold of me.
|The cost of being a disciple by putting Christ first. One day when large groups of people were walking along with him, Jesus turned and told them, “Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters—yes, even one’s own self!—can’t be my disciple.”
|Do not worry. Seek, trust and obey. So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
|Risking all for God’s kingdom. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
|Sanctification from God. May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our lord Jesus Christ.
||1 Thessalonians 5:23
|Jesus our faith and hope. …For you who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
||1 Peter 1:5
Who breaks the power of sin and darkness? Whose love is mighty and so much stronger?
The King of Glory, the King above all kings.
Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder and leaves us breathless in awe and wonder? The King of Glory, the King above all kings.
This is amazing grace, this is unfailing love. That You would take my place, that You would bear my cross.
You laid down Your life that I would be set free. Oh, Jesus, I sing for all that You’ve done for me.
Who brings our chaos back into order? Who makes the orphan a son and daughter?
The King of Glory, the King above all kings.
Who rules the nations with truth and justice? Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance?
The King of Glory, the King above all kings.
Devotions Week 29:
The Christian life is not a way “out,” but a way “through” life. ~Billy Graham
|The early Christian Church. He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they may be with Him and that He might send them out to preach… “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in me and I am in You. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that You have sent me.”
||Mark 3:14 &
(read Mark 3:13-15
& John 17:20-26)
|To receive the Word of God. “For I gave them the words You gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from You, and they believed that You sent me.”
|To preach the message of reconciliation. Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come… We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God.
|The Church is a Spirit-filled community. Be careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
|The Church and spiritual gifts. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
||1 Corinthians 12:4-6
|The Church, one body but many parts. The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many they form one body, so it is with Christ… Now you are the body of Christ, and each one is part of it.
|The Church in the last days. “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
“The Church’s one Foundation” – by S.J. Stone
The Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation by water and the Word.
From heaven He came and sought her to be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died.
Elect from every nation yet one over all the earth,
Her charter of salvation one Lord, one faith, one birth:
One holy name she blesses, partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses with every grace endued.
Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder, her heresies distressed,
Yet saints their watch are keeping, their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song.
Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation of peace forevermore,
Till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest,
And the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.
Yet she on earth has union with God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won.
O happy ones and holy! Lord give us grace that we,
Like them, the meek and lowly, may live eternally.
Devotions Week 28:
When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you are slamming the door in the face of God. ~Charles L Allen
|Hope in the Word of God. Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn Your commands. May they who fear You rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in Your word.
|Hope through the Word by the Spirit of God. For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope… May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
||Romans 15:4, 13
(read 15:1-6, 13)
|Jesus Christ and our hope. For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
||2 Corinthians 1:20
|Hope is linked with trust. We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name.
|Hope is linked with faith. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
|Hope linked with expectation. This letter is from Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I have been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives. This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God—who does not lie—promised them before the world began.
|Hope in the resurrection of the dead. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.
Praise the Lord, ye heavens adore Him; praise Him angels in the height;
Sun and moon rejoice before Him praise Him all ye stars and light.
Praise the Lord for He has spoken, worlds His mighty voice obeyed;
Laws, which never shall be broken, for their guidance he has made.
Praise the lord, for He is glorious; never shall His promise fail:
God has made His saints victorious; sin and death shall not prevail.
Praise the God of our salvation; hosts on high His power proclaim:
Heaven and earth and all creation, laud and magnify His name!
~ Anon. 1796 based on Psalm 148~
Devotions Week 27:
True Success is Obeying God. ~ John C Maxwell
|Do not be afraid of failure, only trust and obey! And He said to me, “Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart all the words I speak to you. Go now to your countrymen in exile and speak to them. Say to them ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says,’ whether they listen or fail to listen.”
|Deliver God’s message even when others refuse to hear. “When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.”
|Doing good to all, but do not be led astray. Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.
|Man judged by his obedience to God’s will. “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit… Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven.”
|Living by the Holy Spirit. “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
|Getting to know our Saviour. We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. The man who says, “I know Him,” but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys His word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.
||1 John 2:3-6
|Chosen to go and bear fruit that will last. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love.”
Come now Holy Spirit and take control
Hold me in Your loving arms and make me whole
Wipe away all doubt and fear and take my pride
Draw me to your love and keep me by your side
Give your life to Jesus let him fill your soul
Let Him take you in his arms and make you whole
As you give your life to him He will set you free
You will live and reign with Him eternally
Devotions Week 26:
During His life, Christ was an example; in His death He was a sacrifice; in His resurrection He was a conqueror; in His ascension a king; in His prayers a high priest. ~ Martin Luther
|The Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Now the Lord God planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there He put the man He had formed. And the Lord made all kinds of trees grow in the ground… In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil… God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
||Genesis 2:8-9, 16-17
|Man banished from the Garden of Eden. And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the Lord banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
|The call of God to Abram. “I will make you a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; all the people on earth will be blessed through you.”
|God’s promise of a New Covenant. This is the Covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
|Death through Adam, life through Christ. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
|He shed His blood on the cross for our sins. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his stripes you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray”, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
||1 Peter 2:24-25
|The call to persevere and to be led by the Holy Spirit. But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
ROCK OF AGES, CLEFT FOR ME,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save me from its guilt and power.
Not the labour of my hands
Can fulfil Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All could never sin erase,
Thou must save, and save by grace.
Nothing in my hands I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress,
Helpless, look to Thee for grace:
Foul, I to the fountain fly,
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.
While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.