May 26, Day 41: The Sufficiency of Christ

 

5/26 - The Sufficiency of Christ

“And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.”

Throughout the Bible, we discover men and women who were challenged by the Lord to accomplish things they felt inadequate to do. Moses complained that he could not speak with Pharaoh because he was “slow to speak.” Gideon refused to see how he could deliver Israel from the Midianites. He claimed “my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” The list goes on and on.

When God determines to do a certain thing in the earth, he chooses a vessel to work through. Often, he chooses someone who isn’t or doesn’t feel qualified. Once that person submits to God’s will, then He equips them and anoints them to fulfill the call. Many are called but few are chosen.

Humility says, “Apart from Christ I can do nothing.” Faith says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” God doesn’t expect for you to do anything in your own strength. He simply wants a partner that He can work with to bring about His plans and purposes in the earth.

Eph. 6:10 exhorts us to “be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.” Through our union with Him, His strength is manifested when we trust and obey. Miracles never happen until someone steps out in faith. Peter would have never walked on water if he hadn’t stepped out of the boat.

Maybe the Lord is calling you to serve Him in some capacity you’re not comfortable with. Like Paul, you may be praying that this will depart from you. Listen carefully as the Lord says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

As we petition the Lord for a spiritual awakening, He may need you to be a prayer warrior, a leader of men or one who finances the work. Whatever He asks, remember the reward is greater than the cost.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, as a member of the body of Christ, I realize that I have a supply to give. Show me, Holy Spirit, what you would have me do. I’m ready to get off the bench and participate in the work of the ministry. In the name of Jesus, amen!

 

 

May 25, Day 40: Directing the Power

 

5/25 -Directing the Power

“The earnest heartfelt, continued prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available, dynamic in its working.” (James 5:16)

If you’re like the average Christian, you believe that “with God nothing shall be impossible.” We all know that the power of God is the greatest force known to man. His power can stop the mouths of lions, quench the violence of fire and raise the dead. Jesus said, “All things are possible to him that believes.”

Imagine if you could direct that power into a certain situation or individual’s life. According to the Bible, prayer harnesses the power of God and sends it to a desired target.

God’s word is alive and powerful. The Gospel is the power of God to all who believe. The Psalmist wrote, “He sent His Word and it healed them.” Like a seed that has power within to produce fruit, the Word of God has the inherent ability to bring forth of itself. God declared in Isa. 55:11 that His word shall not return to Him void, without producing any effect.

In prayer, we take God’s Word and put Him in remembrance of what He has said. The Jewish Christians were well learned in the Old Testament scriptures. They knew of God’s promises to deliver and protect His people. Therefore, when Peter was imprisoned and sentenced to death, “prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” Their prayers caused great power to be released in Peter’s behalf. An angel, sent by the Lord, rescued him the night before he was to be executed! The power of God destroyed the shackles that had him bound and caused the iron gate of the prison to open of its own accord.

Just as a train must have rails to carry it from place to place, the power of God depends upon prayer to prepare the way for it to move from heaven to earth. God’s will being done on earth, as it is in heaven, awaits our prayers.

Prayer - Lord God, open my eyes to the awesome responsibility I have to pray. What a privilege it is to share in your work in the earth. What a joy it is to fellowship with you, Lord. I purpose to pray daily for those lost and hurting in order to see your power destroy every yoke. In the name of Jesus, amen!

 

May 24, Day 39: Battling in Prayer

 

5/24 - Battling in Prayer

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in the heavenlies.”  Eph. 6:11-12

As Paul wrote the words above, he pictured the Roman soldiers in their battle gear. The following verses compare their physical armor to our spiritual weapons. For instance, the helmet of salvation is compared to the helmet the soldier wore to protect his head from stones, clubs, etc. The believers helmet is not literal, but spiritual. With it, he protects his mind from the lies and accusations of the devil.

Whether, you realize it or not, we are in a battle. Every believer is under the control of Satan and he works viciously to influence followers of Christ. Even though Jesus defeated the devil, he still seeks whom he may devour. The only way he can defeat a Christian is through deception, permission or disobedience. That’s why the Lord commands us to resist and give no place to the devil.

The only piece of prayer armor that is used on offense is the “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” God’s word is full of His promises. With those promises in our heart and in our mouths, we fight our battles in the prayer closet. We declare “it is written” as we stand in faith on what God has declared.

Daniel, the prophet, was once engaged in a fierce battle in the heavenlies. Had he not known God’s promise, he would not have had a foundation on which to stand. Through studying God’s word, he discovered a promise for himself and his people. As he read Jeremiah 25:11, he realized that the seventy years of Israel’s captivity had expired. Seventy years had passed since they were carried away to Babylon. Yet, Israel remained in bondage. Daniel began to fast and pray for their release and restoration. After three weeks of laboring in prayer, he prevailed.

The angel, Gabriel, appeared after battling the demon prince of Persia for 21 days. As Daniel prayed on earth, Gabriel and Michael fought in the heavens.  Daniel was informed that his prayer was heard the first day. Soon, the newly crowned King, Cyrus, released the Jews to return to Jerusalem.

Prayer - Father, thank you for the blood of Jesus that allows my entrance into your presence. As I enter the place of prayer, thank you for rewarding me openly what is accomplished in secret. I lay hold to your promises and by them I fight the good fight of faith. I praise you for the weapons of our warfare, which are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds. In the name of Jesus, amen!

 

May 23, Day 38: The Ministry of Prayer

5/23 - The Ministry of Prayer

“Wherefore He (Jesus) is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them.” (Heb. 7:25)

Have you ever wondered, “What can I do to serve the Lord and work in His Kingdom?” As you know, everyone isn’t called to be a minister, standing in a pulpit. But what you may not know is that every believer in Christ is called to the ministry of prayer, bowing upon his knees. Truly, the greatest work that any Christian can engage in is laboring in prayer. Col. 4:12 tells of a man named Epaphras, who was a “servant of Christ.” He was “always laboring fervently . . . in prayer.” That’s the ministry of prayer.

The Old Testament High Priest would enter into the presence of God to offer a sacrifice for sin. He did this not only for himself, but also for the people. This is the work of an intercessor. Representing others, he stood in the gap for them. Seeking mercy from God, he held back judgment and secured blessings for others.

Today, we have a better covenant. With this new covenant came also a change in the Priesthood. Having obtained eternal redemption for us, Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father as “the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.” Jesus requested Peter, James and John to watch and pray with Him the night before His crucifixion. Similarly, He’s calling upon us to be “partakers of the heavenly calling” today. Yes, the Lord Jesus needs our help. He is the head, we are the body. Every body part has a function.

Paul was the Apostle to the gentiles. With all the revelation he had from the Lord, he still needed help. To the church in Rome, he requested that they would “strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.” From prison, he sent a letter to the church in Philippi saying, “I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” The Colossian church was asked, “Pray for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ.”

Do you hear his call? That gentle pull tugging on your heart is the Spirit’s cry, urging you to take your place in prayer.

Prayer - O Father, my Lord. Praise and honor I bring to you. With a grateful heart, I offer myself into your service. I present my body unto you as a living sacrifice. I enlist in the school of prayer. Holy Spirit, teach me as I enter this holy ministry, in the name of Jesus, amen!

May 22, Day 37: Fill My Cup, Lord

5/22 - Fill My Cup, Lord

“In the last days, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spoke He of the Spirit.” (John 7:37-39)

Have you ever been so thirsty that your mouth and throat felt like a barren desert? Doctors say that dying of thirst is one of the most horrible, painful deaths of all. The first signs of physical thirst is obvious. There is a dryness that can only be satisfied with water. Neglecting the early signs can only lead to more serious problems later.

The same is true of spiritual thirst. It begins when one begins to feel dry inside. This spiritual thirst left unattended soon causes a person to feel as if God is no longer with them. Discouragement and apathy cause many to fall away from the Lord. Little by little, they die a spiritual death.

Thank God there is hope! The thirsty soul can come to the fountain of living water and drink. Drinking implies an action that must be taken. Faith alone saves but faith never works alone. Faith is an act. We must come to Jesus and drink.

Of course, everyone understands the physical function of drinking water. No one can do it for you. Each of us must take responsibility to quench our thirst.

Upon meeting a certain woman at a well in Samaria, Jesus offered her “living water.” Once she was willing to accept His gift, Jesus first dealt with her sin. Then He began to talk about worshipping God. The physical act of praise and worship is literally drinking of the Spirit. One definition of drink is to “take in, be lost in or fascinated by.” I encourage you to take the time today “to taste and see that the Lord is good.” Get out your Bible, play worship songs and fellowship with the Lord. Drink until your cup runs over!

Prayer - Wonderful Lord, I’m so thankful for eternal life. It’s like a spring of water, bubbling up inside of me. You are the source of that well. Help me, Lord, to live in such a way to never hinder that flow. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name! In the mighty name of Jesus, amen!

May 21, Day 36: Watch the Children

5/21 - Watch the Children

“I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground, I will pour out of My Spirit on your children and My blessing upon your offspring.” (Isa. 44:3)

Years ago, I went on a missionary trip to Peru. After preaching on live radio and in the Bible school during the day, I preached each night to large crowds that packed the building. What amazed me the most was the great percentage of youth in attendance. With lifted hands and hungry  hearts, their faces glowed as they worshipped the Lord. O, What a glorious time we had as the Lord came down to satisfy those thirsty souls.

Let no one think that the youth and the children are incapable of knowing the Lord! Like arrows in the hands of a skilled archer, they only need to be pointed in the right direction. Like young David, who watched his father’s sheep, many boys and girls secretly long to find God’s will for their lives. While others simply saw a shepherd, God saw a King in the making. Never allow what you see on the outside to deter you from realizing the potential on the inside.

David said, “O God, you have taught me from my youth, and hitherto I have declared your wondrous works.” (Ps. 71:17) He learned to trust God while he was young. The lessons he learned during those early years carried him successfully through life.

If you have children, teach them to love the Lord and serve Him through both teaching and example. The greatest gift you can give your children is the knowledge of the Lord.

Satan knows that the best way to overthrow a nation is through the children. That’s why he worked so hard to remove the Bible and prayer from our schools. Communist propaganda was used by Hitler, Lenin and Stalin to infiltrate the minds of adolescents. Even today, university professors often challenge the beliefs of professing Christians.

A mental knowledge alone is not enough. Even the demons believe and tremble! Let us pray that the Lord will pour out His Spirit upon our sons and daughters, that each one will have a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer:  O Lord, we come boldly to your throne of grace. We bring our children before you. Open their eyes that they may truly know you. Make yourself known to them, Lord. Convict them of sin, righteousness and judgment. We plead the Blood of Jesus for their salvation. Send the rain, in the name of Jesus!

May 20, Day 35: The All Seeing God

5/20/17 - The All Seeing God

“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight, but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”

Obviously, there is nothing hidden from God. Yet, often, people are not conscious of God as they go about their daily lives. Imagine if everyone who professes to be a believer in Christ became constantly aware of His presence. Why is it that we’re usually more sensitive to His Spirit in “church” than other times. Is it not because people have a tendency to compartmentalize their lives? One life when they think God is near and another when He’s supposedly far away.

A Psalm of David reads, “Where could I go from Your Spirit? Or where could I flee from Your Presence? If I ascend into heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there.” David knew the Lord was with him at all times. Even as a youth watching his father’s sheep, he sensed the anointing upon him as he single handedly killed a lion and a bear. Later, he acknowledged God was with him as he found and defeated Goliath.

For some reason, men are deceived into thinking that God doesn’t see if they sin away from church and the minister. Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, assumed he could hide his love of money from the Lord. Ananias and Sapphira unknowingly lied to the Holy Spirit, and willfully lied to Peter concerning the amount given to the church. Each of these paid a terrible price simply because they did not know that our Lord is the same God from far off as He is nearby.

Prayer:  Lord God Almighty, how great you are! You’ve examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. May I always be conscious of Your presence, in the name of Jesus! Amen!

May 19, Day 34: Revival Begins at Home

5/19 Revival Begins at Home

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve, . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Because of a misunderstanding of the sovereignty of God, most people believe that God moves when and where He wants to, regardless of what man does. This false notion has hindered the power of God from bringing healing, deliverance, even revival, to untold numbers of people.

Sovereignty means “supreme authority or power.” True, God is all-powerful and His authority is the highest of all. However, He has delegated His authority to man and His power is activated by our faith.

The reason God chose Abraham to re-start His original plan was because “he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He has spoken of him.” (Gen. 18:19)

God’s blessings are not automatic. Healing or revival doesn’t come just because we need or want it. There are conditions to the blessings. Unbelief kept the first generation of Hebrews to leave Egypt from entering the promised land. Unbelief stopped the miracle working power of God when Jesus went to Nazareth.

The Lord gave instructions throughout His word to all generations, that His people are to command their children to keep the way of the Lord. Command means to constitute or set in order. God “appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children. That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born, who should arise and declare them to their children.” (Ps. 78:5-6) Get the point? No wonder Solomon wrote, “The rod and correction give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.”

Suppose each family operated like a little church. A place where authority is recognized and honored, where love, submission and obedience is commonplace and Jesus is Lord of all.

Prayer:  Father God, I acknowledge your authority over my life and the authority delegated to me. I confess that it’s my responsibility to carry out my part in my family. Help me, Lord, to lead my household in your ways. Forgive me where I’ve failed. Give me wisdom and grace to be an example. In the name of Jesus, amen!

May 18, Day 33: Revival Glory

5/18 Revival Glory

“The people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spoke, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did, for unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed, and many suffering with palsy or were crippled were healed. And there was great joy in that city.” Acts 8:6-8

In the church where I first met Jesus Christ as my Savior, we sang a song entitled, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. Part of the lyrics were, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

Revival awakens us to the presence of God. As we encounter the greatness of His glory and grace, the world with its pleasures and material possessions loses its hold upon our hearts. “Having nothing, yet possessing all things.” The closer we get to God, the more distasteful things, once tolerated, become. Job, a man considered the most righteous of his generation, stated: I had heard about you before, but now I have seen you, and I loathe myself and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42:5-6)

The first thing that happens in revival is God purifies his people. Next, He places His love and compassion in their hearts for those who are lost in sin. They radiate with the presence and power of the one who possesses their being.

Revival starts with us but soon it flows out into the world. Alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, and those bound by every vice are saved and set free.

The records of the past revivals reveal that bars, jails, courts and even theaters, were closed for lack of customers and criminals. Eternity prevailed upon everyone’s thoughts. In the Belgian Congo, children had visions of the rapture. In Indonesia, church buildings appeared to be on fire, yet not burned. In China, believers prayed for God’s protection as a mob rushed their building to kill them. Suddenly, they ran away in fear. It was later revealed that “the building was surrounded by flaming warriors with raised swords.”

Prayer - My Lord, my eyes are on you. You alone can satisfy the longing of my soul. The closer I come to you, the more I’m aware that flesh cannot glory in Your presence. Sanctify us, Lord. Make us clean vessels and flow through us to this lost and dying world. In the name of Jesus, amen!

May 17, Day 32: Divine Visitation

5/17 - Divine Visitation

“As He approached, He saw the city, and He wept over it, exclaiming, would that you had known personally, even at least in this your day, the things that make for peace, for freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin and which upon your peace, your security, safety, prosperity and happiness depends! But now they are hidden from your eyes . . . because you knew not the time of your visitation.”  Luke 19:41-44

Often, people wonder why their lives are filled with so much stress and trouble, completely unaware of personal responsibility for them. Just as there are things that make for peace, there are also things that create serious problems. The Lord is aware of these things and desires to help us by divine visitations.

Think of a visitation from the Lord as an inspector from the Health Department to a restaurant. He’s there to complete an investigation, insuring the well-being of the patrons to that establishment. Problems found to be harmful can warrant anything from fines to the closing of the doors.

The Lord cares for His people. Jesus raised a man from the dead and gave him back to his mother. The people cried out, “A great prophet has appeared among us! And God has visited His people in order to help and care for and provide for them.”

Once Jesus went to Jericho and encountered Zaccheus, a rich tax collector. Being a short man, he climbed a tree for a better view of Jesus, as He passed by. Upon seeing him, Jesus said “Zaccheus, come down, for I must stay at your house today.” Without Jesus exposing anything, Zaccheus declared, “ Lord, half of my goods I now give by way of restoration to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone out of anything, I now restore, four times as much.” That’s a divine visitation!

Today, let us invite the Lord to visit and inspect our homes and lives. Let’s be honest and sincere in asking Him to reveal things hidden that we may repent and restore if needed.

Prayer - Precious Father, I so much want to live a life pleasing to you. Come Lord, visit with me. As I abide in your Holy Presence, touch every part of my life. Help me to work out my salvation with fear and trembling that I might not offend you or dishonor the Name of Christ, in the name of Jesus, Amen!