Friday, February 3, 2023

Abide in Me

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. (John 15:7-8)


The abiding presence of Jesus Christ must be clear and evident in the life of a saint. We are no longer tossed to and fro by every wind of thought and emotion, but we are planted and grafted into the vine which springs from the heart of God. We are called beyond a casual acquaintance and into the confidence of our Lord, who is willing and able to make us holy, because He is holy. This is the hope every child of God clings to — the Father’s abiding love.


Where Christ abides, there is peace — and we never truly know if we possess that peace within until there is trouble all around us. Our response in those seasons tell us everything about our relationship with the Lord. When we are abiding in Him, we will glorify God through it all by the power of our faith. We will be fruitful and joyful regardless of the circumstance, because of the Spirit who dwells so richly in us. This is how we know we are His, and this is how everyone around us knows. Remember, in His presence is fullness of joy. Abide in His presence and be filled with His joy.


Let’s pray  Father, fill me with Your presence, and abide in my willing heart. I will be obedient to Your every Word, and I will keep my heart pure before You that You might gladly live in me, both now and forever. Amen.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Me and My Words

But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' for whatever is more than these is from the evil one. (Matthew 5:37)


Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. (Colossians 4:6)


Your words should be spoken more and more carefully, for the Lord will judge you by them. Jesus is saying, “If you say it, you must do it . . .” If we do as we say, we are honest. If not, we are liars and hypocrites, and no Spirit-filled saint is either of those things. Be careful, because your speech affirms or betrays you!


Our words possess more power than we think. Therefore, a mature Christian is a careful talker, who displays that maturity by speaking wisely. There are no frivolous conversations for saints, because others may live or die spiritually by the fruit of our lips. 

We have been given the profound privilege of speaking in a manner pleasing to the Lord, and we have been given the opportunity to edify those around us with our words. If we are good stewards of our speech, God empowers us to speak life and peace every place He sends us. Those who speak this way are particularly useful and pleasing to Him, for He can trust us with His Word and with souls. Let the Lord be heard through your voice today and take every opportunity to speak words of life and light.


Let’s Pray – Father, I desire to speak pure and truthful words. I will set a guard at my tongue and choose my words carefully. May my speech reflect a clean heart, and may my tongue edify and encourage others. In Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Do Not Fear

You will keep him in perfect peace,

Whose mind is stayed on You,

Because he trusts in You.

(Isaiah 26:3)


There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)


In the Bible, the term “perfect” always refers to the Lord. It speaks of completeness, wholeness, health, preparedness, and holiness. None of these things can be accomplished in a saint without the Lord, for He is the only One who can do a "perfect" work in us. When we are abiding in a loving relationship with Him, His abiding presence makes fear impossible. His strength fills and comforts us, and our faith grows in the face of all opposition. We can laugh at the taunts of Satan, because the heart filled with love has no space for fear! That is what Isaiah means by “perfect peace.”


Where there is fear, there is an absence of love. Where there is love, there is God, for He is love; and where He is, there can be no fear. The Lord will not share His place in our hearts with the devil, so we either walk with God in the fullness of faith, or we don't walk with Him at all. I am not saying we won't encounter fearful times or situations; what I am saying is the Spirit who dwells in us will defeat that fear every time, and we will walk in the courage and confidence our Savior walked in. That is His will for His children. The psalmist puts it this way, Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. (Psalms 56:3) May we say the same.


Let’s Pray – Dear Lord, thank You for the Holy Spirit who shed Your love abroad in our hearts. We give You free reign and residence, so we might be changed daily into the perfect image of Christ, as He is the perfect image of the Father. We ask these things boldly, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

A Right Spirit

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)


It is easier than we think to get upside down in spiritual things. Once we begin to lead with our emotions, intellect, will, or flesh, we are immediately out-of-sorts, and only the Spirit of God can correct us. He has the truth at His disposal, and He will use that truth to help us realize our error and to repent. When we are wise, He gets our attention with just a whisper — but when we are foolish, He has to bring correction through difficulty and pain. Let us choose to be wise and obedient.


God deeply desires that you come to Him; and when you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you. He, and only He can make you holy and give you the power to live in a way that glorifies Him — that is why you come. So, come and let Him search you and remove anything that does not please Him. Come, and He will cleanse your heart and renew a right spirit within you. Just come! "Come unto Me . . ."  


Let’s pray - O Lord, open our eyes and give us a new heart and spirit. Help us to be easily entreated and quick to come to Jesus. Thank You for your grace and patience. Amen.

Monday, January 30, 2023

A Living Sacrifice

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)


God is not being unreasonable when he asks us to lay our lives down, and there is great value in doing so. You and I become a “living sacrifice” when we are willing to die to ourselves and allow Christ to live out His life in our mortal bodies. What an honor — to gladly give our Lord everything we have and everything we are! The laid-down life is the only life the Lord can raise up. He fills empty vessels, not full ones. He lifts up the humble and resists the proud.  


Truly, Jesus is our Example in all good things, and He is the ultimate living sacrifice. When we've walked with the Lord for some time, we learn we must never consider what it costs us to obey God. We consider what it cost Him, and it cost Him everything — the life of His Son. 

Jesus laid down His life and picked it up again in righteousness and resurrection power. If we will lay our lives down, He will lift us up and fill us with that same righteousness and power. Remember, we must die to ourselves in order to truly live — so, present yourself to Him today. It is the only reasonable thing to do.


Let’s pray – Lord, we surrender our all today. Set us free from the bondage of selfishness, so we can truly be children of God. You gave everything for us, and we are most like our Savior when we give all for You. Amen.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

A New Season

No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. (Luke 5:36-37)

When the Lord does a new thing, it is something that has never been done before — not a refurbished, remodeled, rearranged thing, but a NEW thing — something that has never been done before! We must be careful not to frustrate the originality of the Holy Spirit by holding Him to the past and our limited understanding of the future. He promises to do beyond what we can ask or think, and we can only take hold of that promise by faith. Our faith is the only container we possess large and elastic enough to receive the new thing God is doing. Let go of your history and, by faith, embrace what is ahead!


The old system of things will always resist the new. Remember, one of the greatest battles of the early New Testament Church was the temptation to turn back to Judaism and the Law of Moses — feasts, symbols, the Levitical priesthood, circumcision, dietary restrictions, and the like. Clinging to the old is always the sign of spiritual stagnation and dead religion, and our Lord is the God of the living and not the dead. The Holy Spirit will have none of that in the church, and we must be careful not to grieve Him away by seeking to breathe life into that which He has set aside. The Lord is not sentimental, and He doesn't coddle the old way of doing and seeing things — He puts it away, because it's time and purpose has passed. 

Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit is the New Wine, and we are the new wineskins. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Set aside the old. Step into the new!


Let's Pray - Father, I am prepared by Your Spirit for the new thing. I am willing to be, to do, and to go according to Your sovereign will. Thank You for the courage to let go of the old and embrace the new. In Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Look Toward Heaven

Then He brought him outside and said, "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be." And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.  (Genesis 15:5-6)


God wants to free us from the trap of small thinking. We limit God in our minds whenever we elevate our circumstances instead of increasing our faith. Faith is only increased by the determination to cling to God and His Word, and to let Him have the final say in all things. The name of Jesus must truly become the “name above all names” in my thinking — and my most sincere efforts get lost in the possibilities of His sovereign will, His grace, and His remarkable kindness. “Look toward heaven.”

If you draw near, you will hear God's promises that only He has the power to accomplish. He is not only the Promise-giver, but He is the Promise-keeper. He alone has the ability to make all things work together for good in the lives of His people, and He alone sees the beginning and end. Faith in God is the only basis we have for relationship with Him (Hebrews 11:4), and when we believe Him, He is free to do what could never be done otherwise. So, believe Him -- your faith is your righteousness.


Let's Pray - Dear Lord, may I be found looking to You and looking up, instead of down and around. Give me a razor-sharp and heavenward focus. I want to see what you have for me. Thank You for opening the eyes of my heart. In Jesus alone, Amen.