Total Dependence on God

April 27

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”  Mark 1:35

Jesus lived His life in total dependence on His Father and the Holy Spirit who guided and empowered Him for miracles and strength to complete His mission on earth. “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”

He kept His mission every before Him and the people.  As a boy of twelve, Jesus said to his mother: “I must be about My Father’s business.”  Luke 2:49. He said to His disciples, “I must work the works of Him who sent me.” John 9:4. “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to finish His work.” John 4:34. He lived to pleased His Heavenly Father.

His times were in His Father’s hands. He prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.” John 17:1. He was preparing Himself for the darkest hour of His life – the cross.  As a man, He struggled with the thought of bearing the sins of the world when He was without sin; with the pain of being forsaken as he slumped helplessly on the cross. He prayed for fresh glory for the inevitable.  He would go through it alone and He would be alone among the people.

 

Jesus depended on His Father through all the seasons of His life.  He drew glory from His Father and Power from the Holy Spirit. If Jesus needed constant direction, strength, power, and glory in all the seasons of His life, then so do we.  If Jesus needed daily empowerment for all His duties, then so do we.  David says, “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalm 5:3. Let us look to God every day in prayer for guidance and strength in every way.

 

Kingdom Declaration:

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.”  Psalm 28:7.

Read the Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 1-2; Luke 19:28-48

 


Under God’s Authority

April 26

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.  Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”  1 Samuel 15:23.

King Saul had one of the greatest opportunities of a lifetime.  He was the first King of Israel.  He was not from a royal family yet he was a farmer who became a King.  God anointed him and placed a crown upon his head, positioned him on a royal throne, and gave him fine chariots and royal robes.  He had a golden scepter, a kingly armor, and mighty weapons.  He was a great warrior and loved by his people.  The power and wealth of the world was his but he lacked the greatest gift of all – a pure heart before God.

He was a man of authority who was not under God’s authority. Others obeyed him, but he disobeyed God. He was a Lord on Earth without a Lord in heaven.  He was ruling a nation without the power to rule his own soul, emotions, impulses, and actions.  This great king on Earth needed to humble himself before the greater King of kings in heaven.

Pride eventually invaded his heart and found its resting place.  With pride in his heart, he activated a kingdom principle: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”  Proverb 16:18. King Saul was eventually rejected by God as the King of Israel and eventually destroyed himself. Humility is the key to God’s glory and the power that keeps us in God’s continued favor. God will never reject you as you keep your heart humble and always ready for His mercy and saving grace.

 

Kingdom Declaration:

I submit to God’s authority even as He has given me His authority to serve Him.

Read the Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 23-24; Luke 19:1-27


Security in God

April 25

“Is not my house right with God?  Has he not made with me an everlasting covenant arranged and secured in every part?  Will he not bring to fruition my salvation and grant me my every desire?”  2 Samuel 23:5.

David was confident that if he kept his own life in order, God would remain the Controller, Protector, and Provider in His life.  God was His confidence.  God would provide open doors when He needed to go forward; protection when he faced lions and liars; promotion in due season; peace in life’s storms; help when he reached his own limitations; and salvation when he needed rescue and protection.

His confidence rested on the fact that God’s principles were unchangeable and as he managed his life with God as his priority, and remained dependent on Him as his Source, God will be with Him and give Him the desires of his heart.  This is the recipe for a successful life in God.

Here are some declarations of confidence from David: “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident; I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”  Psalm 27:3,13.

 

Kingdom Declaration:

The Lord is my Light, Salvation, and Stronghold. I am committed to walk uprightly before Him.

Read the Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 21-22; Luke 18:24-43


Your Life Matters

April 24

“And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”  Esther 4:14.

The most important thought you can hold today is, “My life matters!”  Esther had lived a lie for several years.  She married the King of Persia under false pretense and no one in the Palace knew that she was a Jew.  Through a diabolic plot of Haman, one of the royal officials, a decree went out from the kingdom that could mean the destruction of the Jewish people, including Esther.

The threat of extinction for her people drove Esther to a sense of destiny and purpose.  She realized that within her lies the power to save her people.  God had invested in her His favor and glory to become the Queen of Persia.  Now it was now the time for her serve God with what He gave her.  From humble beginnings as orphan, Esther was now the greatly loved and respected Queen of Persia.  It was time for her to remember from where she came and to help those who were left behind.  She would do her best and God to do the rest.

Esther decided to help the Jews in spite of the risks. She would go to the king and make an appeal on behalf of them “And if I perish, I perish.”  Esther 4:16. Her life mattered and the life of the Jews also mattered. She put her faith in God, prayed, and obeyed.  She became a savior of her people.

How do you change your world?  By one decision, one word, and one action at a time.  How does the world become a better place?  By one good deed, one act of mercy, and one act of love at a time.  Your life matters to God and someone else needs you. God loves all people.  You are born for a purpose and for such a time as this.  Your life matters.

 

Kingdom Declaration:

I am born with purpose, I have value, and my life matters.

Read the Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 19-20; Luke 18:1-23

 


The Voice of God’s Word

April 23

“But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”  And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored.”  Numbers 13:31,32.

Guard yourself against negative reports and negative people.  A negative report undermined the word and promise of God. God His people to go forward and possess their land but someone told them: “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” Numbers 13:31. Sometimes we must choose whose report will we believe.

Without battles, there are no victories; without competitors, there is no prize; without challenges, there is no conquest. The Israelites allowed the negative reports of negative spies, and the slander against their leader Moses to be stronger than the voice of God. They were only eleven days of travel away from their promised possession but controlled and paralysed by fear they remained in a wilderness for forty years.

The Bible warns us against defilement of our hearts: “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hebrews 12:15. Bitterness and fear can spread like cancer to destroy hearts, families, and nations.

Choose that the loudest voice that will remain in your heart always is the voice of God’s word.  Here are God’s promises to you: you will overcome; there is no fear in love; you will outlive slander and outrun your enemies; no weapon formed against you shall prosper; Christ in you is your hope of glory; you are more than a conqueror through Him who loves you; you are destined for God’s glory.  You win.

 

Kingdom Declaration:

The Lord is my Shepherd and I will not listen to the voice of fear, condemnation and evil.

Read the Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 16-18; Luke 17:20-37

 


Do Not Be Afraid to Ask

April 22

“There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us, and our children, with all our possessions.  I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.”  So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.”  Ezra 8:21-23.

Sometimes when we read about the great people in the Bible we forget that they too were human.  Here we see a prophet and priest too ashamed to ask for human help.  I encourage you today that whenever you feel awkward about your circumstances remember that God is waiting to help you when you ask.  There is nothing too great or small to ask God for. God is not ashamed of you.

When Jesus was on the cross, the disciples left Him in shame. They had boasted in the power of their King and now He was hanging on a cross.  But circumstances are not final until God says so.  The cross was the place of shame but the empty tomb became the place of victory. God will make you triumph in His Name.

Ezra, in his shame did not forget to pray.  By faith, he asked God for a safe journey for his team and his family and he got it.  He asked for protection for his possessions and he got it.  He asked for the favor and blessings of God and he got it.  In midst of a shameful circumstance, pray.  God is never ashamed and He is not ashamed of you.  He is ready to answer you when you pray.

 

Kingdom Declaration:

God’s mercies are new every morning.  When I ask, I will receive what I believe for.

Read the Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 14-15; Luke 17:1-19


God’s Perfect Love

April 21

“Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39.

You were created in love by God.  His love is always with you, for you, powerful to save, preserve, and keep you.

The awesome love of God:

1)   Has the power to save you

The motivation for God to send His one and only Son, Jesus, to die and save you was His awesome powerful love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. God’s awesome love took all your shame, blame, and failures.  Jesus powerfully saved you on the cross as the Lamb of God that was slain for the sins of the world.  He powerfully cancelled every spoken or written allegations against you and declared you “free indeed”.

2)   Preserves you

It protects you as a shield, defends you before accusers, hides you in His secret place, and protects you from condemnation. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1. Guard your mind from condemning thoughts.  God’s perfect loves is with you forever to preserve in the righteousness of God.

3)   Defends you.

God’s perfect loves will attack and drive out fear from becoming a stronghold in your mind. “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 4:18. The words ‘perfect love’ means a love that is unlimited and forever coming from the Source of love. God’s perfect love protected Moses in the palace of Pharaoh; Joseph in prison; David from an assassin; and the baby Jesus from evil King Herod.

God’s awesome perfect love will save you, preserve you, defend and protect you for your purpose now and eternity. God’s perfect love is a weapon of mass salvation for the world.  You are loved forever.

 

Kingdom Declaration:

I am safe in the awesome perfect love of Jesus Christ my Savior and LORD.

Read the Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 12-13; Luke 16

 

 


Wonderful Savior

April 20

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Titus 3:4,5 .

An angry tigress was trapped in an illegal wild boar trap in the jungles of Africa.  She desperately struggled to free herself but could not.  She was a very desperate and dangerous animal.  The Game Warden had to carefully approach her even though his plan was to rescue and not to harm her.  He used his ‘mercy gun’ and shot five barbiturate capsules that put her into a coma that lasted for four days.  The team then opened the trap and pulled out the sleeping animal that woke up four days later, freed to run off into the jungle.

She could not save herself she needed a savior to help to set her free and so do we.  We cannot free ourselves from the trap of sin that makes us imperfect, and from a decaying world with its unavoidable trials and temptation.  However, God had a mercy plan: Jesus, the Son of God became the Son of Man to die for our sins so that we can be free.

Jesus is our gift of mercy.  “When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy” Titus 3:4,5. His love reached into our hearts and made us whole.  What a wonderful Savior, is Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Kingdom Declaration:

Jesus is my wonderful Savior and Lord.

Read the Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 9-11; Luke 15:11-32


A Miraculous Catch

April 19

“When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”  Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.  But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Luke 5:4,5.

One day Jesus was preaching to a crowd by the lake.  As the crowd grew larger and crowding Him in, Jesus looked towards the lake, saw two boats tied to the shore, and fishermen washing their nets.  He got into Simon’s boat and asked him to move the boat a little from the shore.  With the boat as His platform and water between Him and the people, He continued His teaching.

When you serve God, God will serve you.  Jesus knew they had fished all night without a catch, disappointed, and experiencing a difficult business season.  Jesus gave Simon instructions for a miraculous catch. Simon needed to do a new thing for new results.  Jesus said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”  Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.  But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”  Luke 5:4,5.

Simon obeyed Jesus and was overwhelmed by the greatest catch of His life.  We learn from this that obedience to God always bring the best results.  Later Jesus chose Simon Peter and his brother to become His disciples, “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”  At once they left their nets and followed him.”  Matthew 4:19-20.  With faith and obedience, they changed their world with the powerful gospel of Jesus Christ. When you serve God, God will serve you.

 

Kingdom Declaration:

With God, all things are possible for me and through me.

Read the Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 6-8; Luke 15:1-10


The Purpose of Waiting

April 18

“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.  Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”  Habakkuk 2:3.

Waiting is not always easy. God’s timing is not always ours. “Any time now, Lord,” could be the cry of your heart, but consider if a fetus cries, ‘I’m tired of the darkness’; or if a caterpillar cries, ‘I’m tired of this cocoon’ and with impatience get out of the safety of their development.  It would cause premature delivery, permanent disability, and even death.

God makes us wait:

1) To examine our motives.  Waiting makes us die to ourselves to confirm purpose and motives.

2) To perfect our dreams for the fullness of time.

3) To build patience in us.  Patience is a character that builds with time and maturity.

4) To make us passionate about our desires.

5) To build intimacy with God.  Waiting makes us pray and seek God for answers.

6) To create dependency on God.  Waiting makes us depend on God in humility and faith.

God sees the big picture.  If you are in His care, your time must be in His hands.  He is never too late; He is always on time.  “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”  Psalm 27:14. God will be on time.

 

Kingdom Declaration:

My soul waits on the LORD with great expectation until He fulfills His purpose in my life.

Read the Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 3-5; Luke 14-25-35