Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World

December 1

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” (Rom. 1:16).

The world has made the Gospel of Jesus Christ an offense to all.  It is tolerant to speak of all gods except Jesus Christ.  His Name is jeered, mocked, used for swearing and in some cases people are persecuted or punished for saying the name Jesus in public or even to share His message of salvation.  It is not politically correct to mention the name Jesus or to stand for the principles of the Bible in public. 

A Hindu leader of high rank who was disturbed in his mind about his future state, heard of Christians and desired to gain information about the Lord Jesus Christ.  He visited Great Britain and was provided with introductions to its leading people.  At a great banquet he said to the gentleman sitting next to him, “Can you tell me something about Christ?”  “We do not speak about such subjects at dinner parties,” was the reply.  Later he was invited to a fashionable ball and took the opportunity of asking his partner for information about Jesus Christ.  Again, he was told that a ball was no place for such a subject.  “How strange these Christians in England are!”  said the Hindu, “They seem ashamed to speak about their religion and of Christ, its Founder.” 

Jesus gave us a promise, “If you deny me before men, I will deny you before the Father.”  He is not ashamed of us and by His grace we remain unashamed of the Gospel of His salvation.  Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.

Kingdom Declaration:

I am a Christian saved by the power of Jesus Christ.

Read the Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 40,41; 2 Peter 3.

Live with an eternal perspective

November 30

“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26).

Our life is just an introduction to eternity. The choices that we make in this brief span of our existence on earth will determine our eternal heritage and home.  We are eternal beings who were made to serve the Eternal God.  His plan is to prosper us, but the things that we accumulate on earth have no value in our eternal existence.  In your blessing on Earth, put God first for His eternal blessing in heaven.  Prominence in our success must result in reverence for our Source.

I heard the story of two boys in the Taylor family.  The older said that he must make a name for the family, so he turned to politics, parliament, and fame.  His younger brother gave his life to the service of Christ, so he became a missionary to China.  Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, died, beloved and known in many countries.  The account of the other, his brother, was summed up in the Encyclopedia in these words, ‘the brother of J. Hudson Taylor’. 

Evaluate all that you do from an eternal perspective and it will help you in the daily choices that you make.  Ensure that your life will count for eternity.  “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).

Kingdom Declaration:

I have the power of choice and I choose to rule my world with an eternal perspective with Christ as my King.

Read the Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 37-39; 2 Peter 2.

You are valuable

November 29

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Gal. 5:1).

During the time of slavery people were auctioned off and bought, some for only a penny.  Life was cheap; people were bought, owned, and treated sometimes less than farm animals.  God, however, sees you so valuable that He sent His Son to die for you. 

You are valuable to God:

1. He did not wait for you to be perfect before He died for you, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8).

2. He did not buy you for billions of dollars but with something far more valuable and precious, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:18-19).

3. He bought your freedom to set you free from the inside out, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:360.

4. He did not buy you to be His slave but to be His family forever, “Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.” (John 8:35).

God redeemed you from the tyranny of sin, and from the power of the Evil One to live in His Kingdom as the family of God.

Kingdom Declaration:

I belong to the royal family of God and to the Kingdom of God forever.

Read the Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 35,36; 2 Peter 1


Glory in the Bible

November 28

“Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.  Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” (Ps. 119:36,37).

The books of the Bible were written by over forty different people and yet by only one Author, God. God, by inspiration, used the pen of man to record His mind, His eternal plan, His purpose, and His thoughts towards you. 

I read that the Royal Albert Hall was filled some years ago with people who came in their thousands to render testimony to the value of the Bible. Here is the testimony given by the Emperor Haile Selassie, exiled then from his land, Ethiopia: “From early childhood I was taught to appreciate the Bible, and my love for it increases with the passage of time.  All through life I have found it a cause of unfailing comfort…For myself I glory in the Bible.” 

As you daily read the Bible let its words be to a comfort to your soul, an instruction to your heart, and a motivation for your life.  The Bible contains the Word of Life – it is real, relevant, and alive.  Jesus is called “The Word”, the Word is God. As you daily read the Word, receive the Word, and obey the Word you will become the living word. Yes, your life will become a living Epistle that others will see and know that God is real, relevant, and the only true security in our lives.

Kingdom Declaration:

I embrace God’s Word to become my Word and anchor in my life.

Read the Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 33-34; 1 Peter 5.

God chose you first

November 27

“Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ (Rom. 8:14,15).

The word ‘sonship’ means ‘child by adoption’.  Today you can feel special because you are special to God. You were adopted by your Heavenly Father into His family, paid for by the blood of His son Jesus and with a great inheritance as a child of God. Jesus told us to call His Father our Father.  He told us that when we pray, begin with praise to Father – “Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name.” 

By addressing God as Father, you establish your prayer based on your relationship to Him as His child.  Harold Wildish tells of some youngsters who were teasing an adopted boy at school.  They said to him, “You aren’t the real son of your father.’  He stood it as long as he could, but at last flashed back at them, ‘All I can say is that my father chose me, and your folks couldn’t help accepting you.’” 

God chose you. You did not become a child of God by accident but by your heavenly Father’s choice.  He chose you and you said yes to Him. That makes you very special and so you are.

Kingdom Declaration:

I am chosen, accepted, and loved by my King.

Read the Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 30-32; 1 Peter 4

God forgives us when we ask

November 26

“Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.”  (Ps. 51:6).

David wrote this psalm after the prophet Nathan came to him forcing him to deal with some hidden sins in his life. David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and later murdered her husband to cover up the sin when he found out that she was pregnant. God can forgive adultery, murder, and all kinds of sin but he cannot forgive an unrepentant heart. 

David compounded his failure by trying to cover it; by trying to hide himself from God; and by trying to resist the inner voice of his conscience begging him to repent.  Finally, in His repentance prayer he said, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.” The spirit of truth was prompting David to admit and confess his sins.  Wisdom was crying out to David but he ignored its counsel. 

God in his mercy sent a prophet to confront him.  God wanted to put David out of his misery and soul sorrow.  God is so merciful and loving that He wanted to heal and restored His beloved servant with peace with God (forgiveness), peace from God (mercy), and the peace of God (power for restoration and future prosperity).  David in humility repented and was restored.  Mercy sought him and he accepted it.  Grace ministered to him and he received it.  Remember, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Joh 1:9).

Kingdom Declaration:

I am grateful for God’s daily forgiveness as I pray, listen, and obey.

Read the Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 27-29; 1 Peter 3.

Prayer is conversation with God

November 25

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (Eph. 6:18).

We are told to pray always, with all kinds of prayers, and for all kinds of requests.  This means that prayer is to be a lifestyle. Prayer includes worship, thanksgiving, asking, and ending with thanksgiving.  Prayer is conversation with God and it can be anywhere at any time and at any place. 

Prayer is not complicated but it requires commitment. It takes commitment to spend quality time with your family. It takes commitment to finish what you have started, and it takes commitment to strengthen your relationship with God through prayer. 

We are encouraged to pray about all kinds of requests – anything at anytime and anywhere. God wants to hear from you and He also has some things to say to you if you have time to listen.  God is willing to be your Coach, Teacher, Encourager and Trainer.  We are told to: “Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:17,18).  As you go through the journey remember that help from God is only a prayer away.

Kingdom Declaration:

I pray, listen, and obey as each day I live, work, and rest in the grace of God.

Read the Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 24-26; 1 Peter 2.

Planted to prosper

November 24

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.” (Ps. 92:12,13).

In the Bible we are mentioned more like trees that any other object, animal, even sheep or lambs.  Not only are we mentioned like trees, but we are also encouraged to be a ‘planted tree’ to flourish, prosper, and bear much fruit. A tree that is planted is connected to its source for water and nourishment. 

Jesus spoke to a woman with deep insecurities about ‘living water’ that satisfies all thirst.  As believers we are encouraged to be planted into a church – connected and covered by a Pastor.  In that way we are both connected for teaching; have consistent growth and encouragement; and covered by praying pastors and trained believers for protection. 

“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s 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.” (Eph. 4:11-13). 

God placed gifted leaders in His Church to help believers to learn, flourish and prosper in the house of God. A palm tree is flexible and can withstand storms and hurricanes.  Like a planted palm tree, you will flourish in the house of the Lord. Your roots will go deep and you will be able to withstand the storms of life.  You may sway like a palm tree but you will never be broken or uprooted – you will flourish in the courts of your God.

Kingdom Declaration:

I am planted in the family of God and in His Church to grow and prosper for abundant life.

Read the Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 22-23; 1 Peter 1

The road is not always easy

November 23

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matt. 16:24).

On the night that Jesus was betrayed, He broke bread and had fellowship with His disciples who would later betray or desert Him.  Before being stabbed in His side with a spear on the cross, He was stabbed in the back by a trusted friend.  Before He was kissed by death, He was kissed by Judas, the disciple who betrayed Him.  Before He was scorned on the cross, He was scorned by the teachers of the law.  Before He was denied by the people, He was denied by His disciple, Peter. Before He was forsaken by men, He was forsaken by His trusted friends. The cross was His journey to the fulfillment of His purpose. 

The road is not always easy.  It is sometimes filled with setbacks, mistakes along the way, betrayal and even treachery.  But through it all God’s encouragement to us is:

1) Deny yourself. The journey will sometimes demand sacrifice; putting others first; and stepping back to eventually go forward. 

2) Take up your cross. This suggests that we must endure temporary pain for long term gain. 

3) Follow Jesus. Learn from Jesus how he endured the cross with His eyes on the prize. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb. 12:1-2).

Jesus endured His cross for you so that with His strength you can go through your journey of good, bad, trials, and triumphs with confidence in His saving grace.

Kingdom Declaration:

My journey is not always easy but my determined outcome of Victory makes me secure.

Read the Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 20,21; James 5.

God will keep His Promises to you

November 22

“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.” (Num. 13:30).

When God gives us a promise He would already have taken into consideration all obstacles, battles, schemes, and opposition. God promised His people a land that was filled with giants; a land surrounded by a great wall and a tightly shut gate; a land guarded by an army of soldiers and a strong king. Joshua and Caleb remained in faith knowing that when God gives us a promise, He remains committed and faithful to work with us for its fulfillment.

God’s Names describe His attributes and power to fulfill His promises to you: El Gibbor, Almighty God, who is more powerful than your enemies; El Rohi, the LORD your Shepherd and Protector; El Elyon, the Most High God who is higher than all your mountains; JESUS, the Name that is above all Names and whose Name means “salvation” to all people.

David wrote about EL CHAYIL, “Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts (armies), He is the King of glory.” (Ps. 24:10, NKJV). God goes before you in every battle preparing the way for your victory and salvation. God will keep His promises to you.

Kingdom Declaration:

My God goes before me to level all my mountains and give me victory in all circumstances.

Read the Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 18,19; James 4.