Monthly Archives: November 2016

The road is not always easy

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 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. Hebrews 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.

There is power in the Name of Jesus

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him, and honor him.  With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”  Psalm 91:14-16

There is power in the Name of Jesus.  God has promised protection every time you call on His Name.  I heard the story of a man driving over a hundred kilometers an hour on a four-lane highway.  He suddenly skidded on ice; his car went out of control and spun around in the midst of ongoing traffic.  In fear and panic he instinctively called out “Jesus!”  Suddenly it was as if a protective wall was placed around his car and not only his life was spared, but no one else was harmed. There is power in the name of Jesus.

When you acknowledge and call upon His Name He promises protection from evil; preservation in times of trouble; deliverance from traps; and peace in the midst of your storms. You do not have to wait for a panic situation, however, to call on His Name. You can call on His Name to give Him praise, honor, and glory anytime to live in an atmosphere of His Glory. “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.” Psalm 91:14.

Kingdom Declaration:

My joy, my strength, my peace is in the Name of Jesus.

Read the Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 11-13; James 1.

His grace is sufficient for you

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9,10.

Paul was an unusual man.  Whatever he believed in he was willing to work hard for and to suffer for.  As a Jewish zealot he tried to destroy Christianity in its infancy and as a converted Christian he died with a passion telling the whole world of his encounter with the Messiah, Jesus Christ, his Savior and Lord.  He became a ‘Servant of Christ,’ which was his favorite description of himself.  He was a very powerful man.

He traveled on many missionary journeys; appeared before Kings and Leaders of nations; founded hundreds of churches throughout Asia and yet he never tried to hide his own weaknesses.  He wrote about his weaknesses in letters to friends and churches in an effort to exalt Christ his Strengthener and daily Savior.

As a man of great miracles, he was denied one of his own requests, “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” 2 Corinthians 12:7.  God, in His Sovereignty, allowed a negative in Paul’s life to keep him in humble dependence on God and also merciful to others with imperfections.

Your test can become your own testimony that through your weaknesses and trials, God remains forever faithful in Sovereign control so that you are secure in knowing that all things will work for your good and for the glory of God.

Kingdom Declaration:

God’s grace is sufficient to keep me strong, focused, and living in victory

Read the Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 8-10; Hebrews 13.

The Kindness of God

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  Philippians 2:3,4.

Kindness is the opposite of selfishness.  Selfishness is always self-seeking with an agenda of self-satisfaction, self-promotion, and self-exaltation.  John MacBeath describes the kindness of God.  He said, “The measurement of God’s kindness is heavens high and worlds wide; that is its measurement in terms of space.  In terms of charity, He heals our sicknesses and crowns us with loving-kindness; in terms of life He renews our youth like the eagles; in terms of sympathy He is better than the best of fathers to His children.  Language sinks exhausted in its attempt to express at all adequately the kindness of our God.”

The kindness of God seeks expression and can do so only through willing human vessels.  Today show kindness to someone on behalf of God and be aware of His attempts to show kindness to you through others.  Thank Him as your Source even as He uses you to be His deliverer.  His kindness towards you is immeasurable and His love in you is unending.

Kingdom Declaration:

I delight in the kindness of God to me even as I show kindness to others for Him.

Read the Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 5-7; Hebrews 12.

The Lord is Peace

“Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord is Peace.  To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.”  Judges 6:24.

Our world is crying out for Peace.  Families are being destroyed by strife, betrayal, and violence.  Mental and emotional breakdowns are becoming more and more prevalent.  Children are crying out for a peaceful home.  Teachers are crying out for a peaceful and safe school.  Nations are crying out for peaceful communities without the risk of terrorism.

To obtain peace we have to look to a Person, the One whose Name is ‘Peace’. Jesus Christ is called the ‘Prince of Peace’.

His gift of salvation includes peace in three areas:

  1. I) Peace with When you believe in Jesus Christ as Son of God and as your personal Savior, He restores you into relationship with God as your Father. You have peace with God and the forgiveness of sins, failures and mistakes.

2) Peace of God. This peace is described as a peace beyond understanding because it is not dependent on circumstances or situations, but on the inward relationship with God that cannot be affected by outside forces.

3) Peace with others. People have dysfunctions and it is not always possible to have peace with everyone. The Bible warns us of this: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18. Rule your heart, rule your world, and preserve your peace as you interact with others.

If you are seeking peace you can find Him today.  Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace and Savior of the world including you. Peace to you.

Kingdom Declaration:

Jesus Christ is my Prince of Peace.  Today I will keep my Peace.

Read the Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 3,4; Hebrews 11:20-40.

The I Am Who I Am

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ then what shall I tell them?”   God said to Moses, “I am who I am.  This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”  Exodus 3:13,14.

God could not describe Himself in human terms to Moses.  He is so great and can do so much that it is not humanly possible to comprehend and describe all His attributes and potential in one phrase.   When God told Moses that He is “I Am who I Am,” He was saying, “I Am what you need every time; I Am the Eternal One all the time, and I Am all-powerful any time.”

It means that God is unchanging in nature; unlimited in power and now through Moses would fulfill his promise to Abraham to possess land and develop Israel as a mighty nation under God’s Sovereign control. The I Am who I Am would be to Moses the I Am your LORD, Strength, and Deliverer; I Am your Salvation; I Am your Father God; I Am LORD who fights for you.

By the power of the Great I Am, Moses defeated the powerful armies of Egypt, the Israelite slaves were set free, their wealth was restored, and their families were preserved.  God is still the I Am who I Am.  Whatever you need, He is The Great I Am to supply all your needs according to His riches in Glory. Pray. Ask. Believe. Receive.

Kingdom Declaration:

The I AM that I AM is with me today and always.

Read the Bible in One Year:  Ezekiel 1,2; Hebrews 11:1-19.

Great faith in Jesus Christ

“But say the word, and my servant will be healed. When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”  Luke 7:9.

We read the story of a centurion and Jesus: When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” 7 Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”  8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” Matthew 8:5-8. Then the Centurion returned to his house and found the servant well.”

This centurion, a man with great authority and power in the army, had a combination of humility and great faith in the power of Jesus Christ.  In humility he went to Jesus to ask for the healing of his servant. Faith in God acknowledges our inability in the natural so that His ability in the supernatural will take over. This man was humble enough to know when he needed the all-powerful God to intervene for him.

Jesus described his faith as ‘great’ faith.  One of the Hebrew words for ‘great’ is CHAYIL, and describes faith that is powerful, undaunted, victorious, and immovable in God where all things are possible. Have faith in God and you, too, will shift into the realm where all things are possible, achievable, and attainable.

Kingdom Declaration:

Jesus Christ is able to do whatever I can ask, think, or imagine.  Nothing is impossible with God.

Read the Bible in One Year: Lamentations 3-5; Hebrews 10:19-39.

Heavenly Father is watching over you

“The eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love.”

Psalm 33:18.

Your Heavenly Father is watching over you.  I heard of a story of a little boy whose best friend lived a few blocks away and was having his birthday party. Unfortunately, on the night of the birthday party there was a fierce snow storm that made travelling by car impossible.  The little boy, however, would not stop pleading with his dad to let him walk to his friend’s home.  He didn’t want any help; he was a big boy now and could walk alone.  After much discussion and hesitation, the father agreed to make his son walk in the blizzard by himself.

Overjoyed, the boy got dressed and plunged out into the storm. The blizzard made the short journey very difficult as his legs would sink into the snow and the wind became fierce.  But, he finally made it and as he reached up to ring the doorbell, he turn to look back behind him and out of the corner of his eye he saw the form of a receding figure. It was his father who had followed him all the way just to make sure that he arrived safely at his destination.

Your Heavenly Father is watching over you.  You might be a big boy or girl now, but Heavenly Daddy has promised to “never leave nor forsake you”.

Kingdom Declaration:

I am loved by my Heavenly Father and His loving eyes are always watching over me.

Read the Bible in One Year: Lamentations 1-2; Hebrews 10:1-19.

God promises us His peace

“Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you!  As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’” John 20:21.

God promises us His peace – a peace that is beyond understanding; a peace that holds you in times of trouble; a peace that keeps your mind when trouble tries to overwhelm; a peace that preserves and protects you when you are vulnerable; and a peace that keeps you in the midst of a storm until it passes over.

With God’s peace within us, we also become His agents of peace in a world that is filled with insecurities and fear.  We become His voice that will share the good news of His love and forgiveness; His vessel of power that will set people free from their sins, failures and mistakes.  What a privilege to be a vessel of God’s hope, love, joy, and peace.

Some of the most popular advice that people seeks from professional counsellors are about relationship turmoil; fear and worry about health, money, and family.  People are looking for peace but can’t seem to find it.  Peace is no longer common in hearts, families, and nations.  But there is an answer – Jesus is called the Prince of Peace and His peace is available to all who need it and ask for it.  Believe and receive His Peace that is greater than all your fears

Kingdom Declaration:

The peace of God in me is greater than all my fears.

Read the Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 46,47; Hebrews 6.

Re-fired versus being Retired

“Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.” Exodus 7:7.

It is never too late to receive new strength for new possibilities as long as you are willing.  With age comes wisdom and experience that makes matured people very valuable to advance kingdoms, take new territories, and create lasting legacy.  Age is not the determining factor for new assignments, but rather a strong mind, faith, and a willingness to keep serving.

Admiral Joe Fowler was a retired Admiral from the United States Navy who went from retired to ‘re-fired’.  As a naval architect he designed two of America’s largest aircraft carriers.  In 1949 Walt Disney, in designing his theme park in California asked Fowler to come out of retirement to design the paddle steamer, Mark Twain.  After its completion he stayed on as General Manager of the park for its first 10 year and assisted with the construction of Walt Disney World.

Live, dream, create, rest, and serve God until you retire from earth to be re-fired in heaven for an eternal and glorious legacy.

Kingdom Declaration:

I am strong, powerful, and with God’s CHAYIL Glory to live a full life with lasting legacy.

Read the Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 50; Hebrews 8.