Saturday, December 28, 2019

December 28

I write these devotionals daily as the Spirit leads. Some may be for you, but some may not. They may lead you to believe that there is a lot for you to do, but there is not. We are to live a life worthy of our calling in Jesus, follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit, turn away from evil, and give praise to God. 

I try to encourage you to tell others about Jesus, but know that the Spirit will lead you if you are to witness to someone about Jesus, he will nudge you if you are safe to share your testimony, and will give you the words that they need to hear. 

I try to encourage you to refrain from sin, but you must know, that if you consistently give into sin without a check in your spirit, you may not be saved at all. For me, if I am about to sin, for example, utter a lie, as insignificant as it may seem, the pressure of the Holy Spirit will come down on me so hard that I would rather live with the consequences of the truth than disappoint the Father. 

I encourage you to read your Bible because it’s the best way to know the truth, and get to know Jesus. 

I try to get you to leave your past behind, because dragging it around, crushes your spirit, and keeps you from living your best life here on earth. 

If anything I write doesn’t strike a cord with you, it’s probably not for you, and you can scroll on by, but if it touches you in any way, it may be a reminder from the Holy Spirit of something you need to work on.

But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. Jude 1:20-21

Friday, December 27, 2019

December 27

At one of our family gatherings, someone gave my two year old grandson a round donut hole that was covered in chocolate. He popped the whole thing in his mouth, and began to run around the house. The chocolate began to drip from his mouth, getting it everywhere. One of his aunts cleaned him up and turn him loose with his mouth still full, so I decided that he probably needed to spit out what was left, and to my surprise, the donut was still whole, but the chocolate was gone! All he did was lick off the sweetness, and spit out the delicious cake.

If you accepted Jesus as your Savior, and experienced the delicious cleansing of your sins, and haven’t begun to live for him, it’s like licking the chocolate off the outside of the donut, and leaving the rest for the trash. The chocolate is not going to fill you up, and keep you satisfied, you need to eat the cake too! Dig into the Word of God, and start living for him, and get to know his character. You can’t just lick the icing off the cake! The Lord is loving, but he is also just, and fair; if you haven’t turned away from your sin, and begun to live for him, are you really saved? Persevere, and contend for your faith!

"Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints." Jude 1:3

December 26

Young children are not very interested in opening presents; it’s the adults who get excited to watch them open them. I watched a few videos of the unveiling of gifts, and when one gift was opened, all they wanted to do was play with that one gift, but because there were more gifts to open, they were encouraged to put the one down to see what else they got. It was a lot of work on the part of the parent to encourage them to keep going. 

Today, I am going to play the part of the parent, and encourage you to keep opening the gifts that God has given you. When you became a Christian, you were imparted gifts as a manifestation of the Holy Spirit to use in bringing others to know Jesus, and to help you draw closer to him. Most people have more than one gift, but like children, we want to play with the one while the others are left unopened. I like to encourage believers to use the online tools that are out there to help make that determination. Once you know, you can become better at using them. Take a gifts survey, and open the presents that you may have left sitting under the tree!

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

December 25

Merry Christmas! Today we celebrate our God becoming a man, and him stepping off of his comfy, cozy throne to join us here on earth. In perfect fashion, we celebrate ourselves as we are lavished with gifts. Don’t feel bad about it, if we only knew how much God loved us, we would understand the thrill he gets seeing us enjoying these moments. What parent doesn’t want to give their children whatever they want? 

The most important gift we’ve ever been given, was the gift of his Son, our Lord, and Savior Jesus, whose birth this is all about. In Luke 2:14, we are reminded that the angels rejoiced at his birth; “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 

We may not fully understand why he had to become a man, and suffer on the cross, or why there needed to be a blood sacrifice, but if there hadn’t been, would he have been remembered today? It’s not likely. God knew he needed his birth and death to be dramatic to keep our attention for thousands of years. So today, go ahead, and enjoy this celebration. Eat, drink, and be merry, because our Savior is worth celebrating!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:2-5

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

December 24

And after three days in the grave, Jesus rose from the dead! He made sure that those who loved him were not left perplexed by his disappearance from the sepulcher, and appeared to many of them as witnesses to his resurrection, before his ascension back into Heaven. Everything that was written about him in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms were fulfilled by him. 

Christmas, the celebration of our Savior lowering himself to become a man so that there would be a pure sacrifice for our sin, was the only way for us to become righteous in the eyes of God. If not for his blood covering our sins, we would all perish into our eternal grave. Because of him, we have a way to live on, but only if we accept that he is who he says he is. We don’t have to accept him as our Savior, he allows us that choice, so in this very short time we have on earth, we must choose wisely. Is this really our choice, or did he choose us? The answer is YES! It’s both! Why do we need to choose him if he has already made the choice for us? I accept this as one of those things our finite minds can’t fully understand, but I do know that he wants us to want him, and we must repent. Don’t take a chance! Follow him today and accept his free gift of salvation!

and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Luke 24:46-47

Monday, December 23, 2019

December 23

Pilate, and Herod, had found no guilt in Jesus, but because they desired to stay friends with the people, gave in to their shouting, and mob mentality. They were at enmity with one another before this, but after this, they became friends. We see the same thing in our government today; the crowds shout “crucify him, crucify him,” and the powers that be, set out to do just that.

Our president is far from being Jesus, but the things happening to him is a perfect example of mob behavior in this day and age. Who incited the people back then? The enemy! He is doing the same thing now; because if it worked for Jesus, surely it would work with a lesser man, and the enemy was right. After the enemy cleaned the White House of any signs of Christianity in the previous administration, the current administration is putting it back, and the devil is vehemently angry, and causing a stir in his compadre. 

The similarities are striking, but rather than saving us from our sin, the president is trying to save our country from the hands of the depraved. I expect after this sham of an impeachment, our president will come back bigger and stronger than ever. The prayers of the true Christians are with him. Never doubt the power of praying believers!

Pilate speaking of Jesus: “and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. I will therefore punish and release him.”” Luke 23:14-16

Sunday, December 22, 2019

December 22

You can never be too sure in this day and age, who is really your friend, or who might have set out to betray you. I hate to be cynical, but if you’ve ever experienced the hurt of betrayal, it creates a stronghold causing you to examine everyone more closely. Pray for Jesus to release you and give you freedom from such as this, but give you the ability to use your experience as a tool of discernment. 

Jesus, who knew the hearts of his disciples, was able to call out the weaknesses of those who were amongst them. During the Passover meal, he warned them of what was coming next, and that he would be betrayed by one of them. Even so, they were still in shock when they witnessed what had happened. 

Be wise in your dealings, and protect yourself with prayer; because even at church, like among the disciples, there are people whose hearts have not been cleansed by Jesus.

But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” Luke 22:21-22