Monday, March 19, 2018

The Right Fight

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly place . . . (Ephesians 6:12)

It is very important to understand that Satan and the systems he has established are designed to engender fear, and he maintains his grip on the world through threats and terror. Likewise, the powers-that-be in the world will never hesitate to resort to fearful methods of repression and control whenever their rule is threatened. Entire nations and cultures are ruled by fear –- sometimes veiled and sometimes more overt. The Kingdom of God is the only kingdom ruled by love and grace, and God’s throne is the only throne that allows all who come to Him in truth to come boldly and to be seated with Him in the heavenly places. We do not wrestle against people, but we fight in order to maintain the victory Jesus won for us by His life, death, and resurrection. That is the right fight for every saint. Remember, the battle is the Lord's and the victory is nigh!

Let's Pray - Lord, give us the wisdom to understand the true nature of battles we fight. May we not see men and women as our enemies, but we will engage in our warfare under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Our victory is guaranteed in Christ. Amen.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sprinkled With Blood

Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. (Hebrews 9:21)

It cost Jesus His very life to call you and me into His service. We are those "vessels of the ministry" who He cleansed for His use in His house. It takes a powerful focus and effort to remain steadfast and faithful to this high calling, and we will only do so when we remember that the blood that is sprinkled on us is the Blood of Jesus, shed on Calvary for our sins, our salvation, and our sanctification. Now, we have become vessels of honor for His pleasure and His use only. He gave all for us. We must give all for Him.

Natural life itself is found in the blood, and so it is in the spirit. Jesus says in John 6:56, "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him." We can have nothing to do with Jesus until we believe He is the Christ and receive the new life He won for us by shedding His Blood on the cross. Once we do, new life begins, and we become useful "vessels" in His service. We must be sure to keep to this order and submit ourselves to Him for the sprinkling of His Blood before we go forward in any spiritual work. That is what it means to be a "vessel of honor."

Let’s Pray – Father, the Blood of Jesus is the most precious and effectual substance in the universe. Every saint is saved through His sacrifice and sprinkled with His blood. Please accept our thanks and praise for this indescribable gift. Amen.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Girded With Truth

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth . . . (Ephesians 6:14a)

Jesus is the truth, and He is our response to every lie spoken by the enemy. We are more than conquerors in Him, because His victory on Calvary defeated and destroyed the power of death and darkness. We walk in the light of the truth, and the falsehoods and threats of Satan have no power to terrify us any longer. So, we stand today in the freedom of the truth that is ours in Jesus Christ.

Everything that is true is not necessarily the truth. For instance, no one is good in God's sight, and we are all sinners deserving of judgment and death. Yes, that is true. But the truth is, Jesus died for me while I was still a sinner, taking the punishment I deserved and paying the price for my sin, and now I am the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21)! Jesus is the TRUTH, that is, the overcoming, super-reality in which we live. So, we can boldly come to God as His righteous children and joint heirs with Christ, having been cleansed by His precious Blood and seated with Him in heavenly places. Get into the habit of reminding yourself of these things. This is what it means to be a Christian, and nothing else.

Let’s Pray – What a tremendous blessing we enjoy in being set free from the lies that once entrapped us! We will walk before all men in the blessed assurance that our sins are forgiven and the path before us it lit with truth and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Shielded by Faith

Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one . . . (Ephesians 6:16)

We believe the Word of God, not the lies of the enemy. Satan will attack us relentlessly and try to destroy our faith, but God has graciously chosen us and covered us with His love. He expects us to harken to His voice, draw near, and lay every care at His feet. He desires to find us in worship, in His word, and in the closet of prayer. That is where our faith grows and how we overcome every attack from hell. We are "more than conquerors," because we stand with the One who conquered all. Our faith and hope are built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ and nothing else. We must encourage ourselves in these things daily, take up the shield of faith, and refuse to be overtaken with fear and doubt. Be strong in the power of His might, because our God is great, and our victory is at hand.

Let’s Pray – Lord, we believe You are able to do anything, and You are willing to answer every prayer lifted up to You in faith. We ask for Your great protection, strength, and power, and we will be sure to give You thanks and glory. Amen. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Obedience Through Suffering

. . . though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 
(Hebrews 5:8)

Believing God is the greatest thing any man or woman will ever do; and this cannot be learned in a day, or in a laboratory, or in any field of our choosing. The Lord will place us in impossible and dire straits, He will squeeze and strain us, He will frustrate and offend us until we surrender to Him or forsake Him. The purity of our faith makes all the training and testing worth it. Even Jesus learned obedience through suffering, and so will we.

Obedience is learned, not given; and it is learned over time and through suffering. The Lord uses suffering to press all the self-absorption and worldliness out of us, because He wants to be able to trust us with spiritual things. Even the Lord's disciples found themselves arguing over who would be the greatest, and we are no different or better. Pride is the disposition we all possess, and that disposition must die if we are to go on with the Lord. He will not force us to submit ourselves to times of testing, but we can go no farther with Him until we do.  That is the path our Lord walked, and it is the path we will walk if we want to walk with Him. "Come, follow me . . . "

Let's Pray - Lord, I am willing to learn, even when the lessons are difficult and painful. If Jesus learned obedience through suffering, who am I to complain? I will bless the Lord today, in every circumstance, in joy, or pain. Amen.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Justified By Faith

Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. (Galatians 3:7-8)

The gospel of Jesus Christ was preached to Abraham, in that we are saved by God's grace and by faith in Him. That is the blessing "all nations" receive through Abraham -- we believe like he did, and God calls us righteous, like Abraham. In the same way, you and I are a blessing to "all nations" by our decision to believe God and walk by faith; for men are still saved by grace through faith, and we are witnesses to that truth. Without faith, it is (and always will be) impossible to please God. Believing that He "is" and that He is good is the bedrock of our faith.

There will be times when you are tempted to despair over the state of things, especially things in your world that are hard and painful. Yet, the God who spoke to Abraham still reigns supreme. Men, nations, times, and seasons come and go, but Christ remains. God is keeping His promise to draw people to Himself from every nation, tribe, and tongue; and He is drawing them the same way He drew Abraham -- by grace through faith. So, keep it simple, saints. Take God at His word, and do not let anything disturb your confidence in Jesus. Let us all be counted among those blessed with believing Abraham. Just believe. Believe God.

Let’s Pray – Lord, I stand on the solid rock of my faith in Jesus Christ alone. He is the source of my strength and the joy of my salvation. I am complete in Him, I will give Him the glory He so richly deserves. Amen.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Worry About Nothing

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God . . .  (Philippians 4:6)

Worry is a sign of spiritual laziness. It is the failure to believe God, and the result of leaning to our own understanding. The Lord is sure to test our faith, and our response to those tests will tell us if our faith in Him is strong and vigorous or weak and inadequate. Weak faith is always our fault, and it is born of the refusal to hear, believe, and do the Word of God. Whether the Lord says, "Yes", "No", or "Wait," our response is to be that of a loving child -- we trust Him, we obey Him, and we refuse to worry.

Fear and anxiety are the archenemies of our faith. Therefore, the Lord commands us to be strong and courageous, and He gives each of us the power to obey that command. We are not to be blown to and fro by the winds of circumstance, because we are "more than conquerors" in Christ Jesus. The key is to be found in Him, and He is to be found in us. We must get every fault and fear to His feet in prayer immediately. When we do, those faults and fears that once defeated us become the backdrop of our victorious testimony. One day, you will laugh at the things that used to frighten you. Perhaps that day is today!

Let's Pray - Lord, I am determined to put my fears to death and to live by faith. I believe You hear and respond to every prayer I lift up, so I will pray more and more, and worry less and less. Amen.