Confidence and Comfort

January 25

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Ps. 23:4.

Sheep in rugged country can face danger from treacherous pathways in the hills and valleys, violent rivers in flood, extreme weather conditions, poisonous plants, diseased insects, thieves, and predators.  Yet in confidence of the Shepherd’s presence and his ability to protect, defend, and care for them, the sheep fears no evil. 

With Jesus as your Great Shepherd King, you can be confident that in every dark trial, vicious attack, slanderous intentions, painful disappointment, startling bad news, He will keep you safe and secure.  His light is more powerful than all darkness.  His power is greater than all powers.  His knowledge is beyond all others, as He alone knows your future.  Your future is in His hands because you committed your life to Him.  He is never surprised about what you will face, even tomorrow.  He is in your tomorrows before you get there.  God is with you, always. 

The shepherd’s rod is a weapon against evil.  Jesus taught us to pray: “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.”  Matt. 6:13.  As your Shepherd, the LORD is there to protect and preserve you from temptation and evil with His rod that is also His sword.  With His staff, He will lift you out of danger every time you slip or become insecure. You are glorified because your Shepherd is not only with you, He is in you, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the One who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4. When you carry His greatness in you, you are greater than all that you can face.

Kingdom Declaration:

The great and mighty God is the ONE who lives in me. Nothing is impossible with God.

Read the Bible in One Year: Exodus 12-13; Matthew 16

Restoration and Guidance

January 24

“He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”  Ps. 23:3.

As shepherd and king of Israel, David was often involved in military battles and surrounded by enemy camps.  A soldier at war can get wounded, tired, discouraged and in need of restoration and healing.  David experienced great trials and painful experiences with family, work, relationships and even with personal failures.  Life sometimes throws us circumstances that can cause us sorrow, exhaustion, worry, or failure.  However, the LORD, our Shepherd, restores our soul and then leads us on a straight path.

The path of righteousness means a straight path.  God will protect us from going in circles around our destiny or in paths that run parallel to our blessing.  In His path of righteousness there is light, “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”  Prov. 4:18.  With His light, you will not walk in darkness. The path of righteousness is level and smooth, “The path of the righteous is level; O upright one, you make the way of the righteous smooth.”  Is. 26:7.

When the LORD is your Shepherd, He will preserve you for your destiny, provide what you need, and guide you into the straight and safe path for yours and His Name sake. “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Ps. 91:11.

Kingdom Declaration:

Jesus is the Shepherd of my soul.  I am safe and secure in His care, guidance and protection.

Read the Bible in One Year: Exodus 9-11; Matthew 15:21-39

God makes us lie in green pastures

January 23

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.”  Ps. 23:2.

God’s promise is that His Glory will rise in you to flow through you. The good news is that what God wants you to do, He will “make” you, enable you, bless you, and glorify you to do it. God said to Abraham, “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” Gen. 12:2. “Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.” Ex. 7:1. To His disciples Jesus said, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matt. 4:19.

God will make, position, and cause you to manifest His CHAYIL Glory in your life.  As you learn to trust in God as your Shepherd King, He will lead you into green pastures of opportunities, favor, sponsorship, support, and strategic relationships to help you fulfill your destiny. He will make you and lead you into your path of prosperity.

When a sheep lies down it is usually a sign of contentedness, security and peace.  David wrote, “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”  God was David’s Strength when he was weak, His Provision when he was in need, His Comfort when he was alone, and his hope in the midst of despair.  He wrote, “You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.”  Ps. 18:35.

David experienced the manifested CHAYIL Glory of God in His life.  He survived living in a cave; he won many battles in many areas; he conquered kingdoms and grew in wealth and great influence. He wrote in his psalm of thanksgiving, “Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.  In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to ALL.” 1 Chron. 29:12.  All those who trust in the LORD Jesus Christ as their Shepherd are heirs to the glory of David. The Bible calls him a witness to the peoples. (Is. 55:4).

Kingdom Declaration:

The LORD my Shepherd will enlarge my territory and make me fulfill my God-designed destiny.

Read the Bible in One Year: Exodus 7-8; Matthew 15:1-20

The LORD is my Shepherd

January 22

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.”  Ps. 23:1.

For the next few days, we will mediate on this powerful Psalm that was written by David who was a shepherd, a son of shepherd and who later was referred to as the Shepherd King of Israel.  David had revelations of God that no one else had.  Most of his Psalms and writings were prophetic and related to God in ways that were eventually revealed and confirmed through Jesus Christ.

David declared, “The LORD is my light.” Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world.” (John 8:12).

David declared, “The LORD is my life.” Jesus said, “I am the way, truth, and life.” (John 14:6).

David declared, “The LORD is my salvation.” Jesus is our Salvation (Acts 4:12).

David declared, “The LORD is my shepherd.” Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd.” (John 10:11).

David declared, “The LORD is the God of Truth.” Jesus declared, “I am the Truth.” (John 14:6).

Your declaration will create your manifestation of God’s glory in you, for you, and through you. With the LORD as your Shepherd, your protection and provision are guaranteed.  Jesus is not just a shepherd.  He is the Good Shepherd who laid down His life on the cross for His sheep; He died so that you will live (John 11:25); He became poor so that you can be rich (2 Cor. 8:9); He became sin so that you can become righteous (Rom. 5:19).  Jesus Christ is your Great Shepherd.

With the LORD as your Great Shepherd put your faith in Him and confidently make your declaration like David: “The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.”

Kingdom Declaration:

The LORD is my Shepherd, Provider, Protector, and King.

Read the Bible in One Year: Exodus 4-6; Matthew 14:22-36

Manifested CHAYIL Glory

January 21

“Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men.” Daniel 2:48.

Daniel and three other Hebrew youths were great examples of men who experienced the manifested CHAYIL Glory of God in their lives.  They prayed and held fast to the principles of God in the hostile environment of Babylon and God exalted them in the eyes of their enemies. CHAYIL Glory is the manifested power and glory of the LORD Jesus Christ in and through His servants.  The CHAYIL Pillars describe our intent to grow like Jesus in His values and character.

The Seven CHAYIL Pillars are:

1) Worship.  They worshipped only the God of Abraham openly in spite peer pressure and death threats. “Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” Daniel 6:10.

2) Wisdom. They sought God’s wisdom and dealt wisely with the rulers of Babylon for their preservation and promotion. “In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole Kingdom.” Daniel 1:20.  

3) Power. They were strong emotionally and spiritually to resist peer pressure. “But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – who pay no attention to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:12.

4) Honor.  They sowed and reaped the honor of God.  “Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him.” Daniel 2:46.

5) Favor.  They grew in favor with God and men.  “Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel.” Daniel 1:9. 

6) Wealth. They were blessed with great careers and wealth. “Then at Belshazzar’s command, Daniel was clothed in purple, a gold chain was placed around his neck…” Daniel 5:29.

7) Influence. They gained great influence in Babylon in spite of great religious and cultural pressures that could have affected their careers, “Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court.” Daniel 2:49. God gained glory through His servants Daniel and the Hebrew boys, and the kings of Babylon concluded that Daniel’s God was the God above all gods.

Kingdom Declaration:

I am positioned for the manifested CHAYIL Glory of the LORD Jesus Christ to flow in and through me.

Read the Bible in One Year: Exodus 1-3; Matthew 14:1-21

You can be secure

January 20

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Is. 41:10.

Here are seven tips for security in an insecure world:

1) Do not fear.  Fear is evidence that you are exalting something or someone above the power of God.  Fear is deception.  It promises protection that is actually prevention from possibilities.  Without guts, there is no glory.

2) God is with you.  God is the LORD Almighty and King of Glory who is always with you to protect and provide for you always.

3) Do not be dismayed.  To be dismayed means to be overwhelmed and worried.  Pray, have faith, hold on to courage, and believe God as greater than your trials.

4) I AM is your God.  God reminds you of who He is and what He can do.  He is the Great I AM as He revealed to Moses and proved it by destroying Pharaoh and the mighty armies of Egypt. Nothing is impossible with God. Nothing and no one is greater.

5) God will strengthen you.  When your strength fails, God becomes your strength.  David named God his Strength:  “O my Strength, I watch for you; you, O God, are my fortress.”  Ps. 59:9.

6) God will help you.  The LORD with you is your Helper.  You don’t have to be alone in all that you do and in all that you face.

7) God will uphold you with His righteous right hand.  There are times when God carries you as a child carried by a loving parent.  There are times when as an adult you need to be carried by your Heavenly Father and loving Daddy. Today be confident in God’s awesome power that He is with you, for you and in you.

Kingdom Declaration:

The LORD is my Great I AM, my Helper, Shield, and Strength. I am secure forever.

Read the Bible in One Year: Genesis 49-50; Matthew 13:31-58

Powerful Truth

January 19

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Rom. 12:2.

The term ‘Secular Humanism’ is a secular philosophy that exalts human reason, ethics, and justice as the key to human fulfillment and morality.  God and religion play no part in the humanist mindset that denies that there is absolute truth.  Truth to the humanist is what each person decides and chooses to believe.  Unfortunately, with no room for a Holy, Perfect, Pure and Powerful God, mankind with imperfection creates and changes truth at times to serve an evil or selfish nature. 

Without faith in God, mankind is left with the weak foundation of faith that is only in one’s self and in humanity.  This leads to recurrent disappointments and sorrow. To counteract this, secular humanists are continually adapting the search for new truth, life, eternity, and hope.  The Bible encourages us to allow our minds to be transformed by a ‘Higher Power’ – God, Creator, and His Word. 

God’s ways are superior to the ways of men.  God’s Word is consistent and unchanging as He is.  It is absolute truth.  God is The Absolute Truth.  Jesus Christ says of Himself: “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  John 14:6.  As we anchor our minds to God’s truth as found in the Bible, we preserve ourselves from the yo-yo beliefs of man’s imaginations and feelings.  God’s promise to us: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:31,32.

Kingdom Declaration:

God’s Truth has set me free to live in His Light that leads to eternal blessings.

Read the Bible in One Year: Genesis 46-48; Matthew 13:1-30

Do not be afraid

January 18

“But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. ‘Go, stand in the temple courts,’ he said, ‘and tell the people the full message of this new life.'” Acts 5:19-20. 

The message of the new life is the message of salvation that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. The word ‘salvation’ includes forgiveness of sins, restoration, healing, help, safety, victory, peace, prosperity, and freedom.  Jesus Christ is the Author of our salvation.  His death, cross, resurrection and empowerment of His Disciples began an era of salvation to ALL mankind. God loves all people.

When He was born, wise men sought Him and found Him and worshipped Him.  Wise men are still seeking to find Jesus Christ, The Savior of the world.  His gift of salvation is freely offered to all people.  Jesus said, “I did not come to judge the world, but to save it.”  John 12:48. The Bible encourages us to: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” Acts 16:31. This is the message of new life. 

Today, pray and ask Jesus Christ to forgive you of all your mistakes and failures and by faith receive His love, mercy and forgiveness for a new life in Christ.  Your new life in Christ begins with a rebirth of your spirit in relationship with God, renewal of your soul by the wisdom of God and refreshing of your heart with the peace of God.

Kingdom Declaration:

Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

Read the Bible in One Year: Genesis 43-45; Matthew 12:24-50

The Gift of Time

January 17

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecc. 3:1. 

John Erskine, the author of The Private Life of Helen of Troy, said that he learnt his most valuable lesson from his piano teacher at the age of 14.  He had assumed a habit of practicing for one hour or more each day.  She coached him that the best practice that will be consistent throughout his life was to practice in minutes wherever and whenever he finds five or ten minutes – before school, after school, in between chores and a few after lunches.  He was told: “Spread the practice throughout the day and music will become a part of your life.”  By following these instructions Erskine wrote nearly all of his greatest writings on streetcars while commuting between his home and university.  He had learnt the art of ‘redeeming the time’. 

Time is a gift that runs out and waits on no one.  When you rule time, you will make the most out of life.  God has given you all the time that you need to fulfill your purpose on Earth. You are the youngest today than you will ever be.  You have the maximum time now on earth that you will ever have.  Don’t waste your allotted time.  Make the most of it.  Rule it. Guard it. Respect it. Use it. Time will then become your servant and partner in the fulfillment of your greatest dream.

Kingdom Declaration:

My time is in my LORD’s hands.  In His time He makes all things beautiful and wonderful.

Read the Bible in One Year: Genesis 41-42; Matthew 12:1-23

Recipe for a Miracle

January 16

“The royal official said to Jesus, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”  Jesus replied, “You may go. Your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed.”  John 4:49-50.

This royal official, a prominent man, had a need that money could not buy, and prominence that could not help him.  He needed a miracle from God and he knew how to receive a miracle for his son and family.

To receive a miracle from God:

1) Be humble.  Regardless of what you own, and who you are, make sure you have Jesus Christ in your heart as your Savior. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. You can’t give life or preserve life.  Your life is in His hands.

2) Ask.  He found out that not only is God able to do the impossible, but He is willing to do the impossible when asked.  God is merciful.  God is love. Miracles are God’s manifested glory.  

3) Believe.  This royal official believed in Jesus, believed in His word, and received a miracle for his son.  The result:  “While he was still on the way (home), his servants met him with the news that his boy was living.  When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour.”  Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.”  So he and his entire household believed.”  John 4:51-53. If you believe, you, too, will receive.

4) Obey.  “Jesus replied, “You may go.  Your son will live.”  The man took Jesus at his word and departed.”  John 4:50. This man understood the power and authority of Jesus Christ.

The royal official was a man of prominence and power.  His greatest attribute, however, was his humility and wisdom to honor and seek God, and to recognize his need for the power and great glory of the LORD Jesus Christ.  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Heb. 13:8. He is still able and willing to answer you when you pray for a miracle.

Kingdom Declaration:

For with God all things are possible.  I believe and shall receive God’s manifested glory in my life.

Read the Bible in One Year: Genesis 39-40; Matthew 11