GOD loves each of us as much as HE loves King David, The Apostle Paul and All of the Disciples. And HE loves the worst sinner and homeless person as much as HE loves us! Romans 2:11, "For GOD shows no partiality." (HE has NO Favorites). THAT MAKES US SPECIAL SINCE THE BEGINNING OF OUR CREATION! WE MAY NOT BE GOD'S FAVORITE BUT, THERE IS NO ONE GOD FAVORS ABOVE US!
Anniversaries of tragic, and even Faith shaking times in our lives; can become Anniversaries of JOY. A time when no Faith hears the VOICE OF GOD. A time when fear, anger and hopelessness are replaced with LOVE. A time when our TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS become TENDER AFFECTIONS. Philippians 2:1, "If there be therefore any consolation in CHRIST, if any comfort in Love, if any fellowship of the SPIRIT, if any Mercies..." This is a time when we experience the HIGHNESS OF THE SPIRIT; a mind like JESUS; the BOND of LOVE and the TENDERNESS OF JOY. THIS IS SUCH A DAY.
Maybe what we don't like in others, is what we don't like in ourselves. Maybe because we lived such a life of "flagrant" sin, that our Discerning SPIRIT is more "sensitive and aware" of arrogant selfishness. The kind of "arrogant selfishness" that adversely affects the lives of others. Our SPIRIT warns us not to believe them in any situation, for if they can't respect those they can see, how can they respect GOD WHOM they can't see? 2 Timothy 3:2, "For they shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient and disrespectful to parents, unthankful, UNHOLY." ARE WE ARROGANT AND SELFISH BEFORE OTHERS? THEN HOW CAN WE BE HUMBLE AND RESPECTFUL BEFORE GOD?
We hear sermons on the Historical JESUS (when HE lived, died and raised from the dead); we hear about the Incarnated JESUS (WHO reconciled HIMSELF with all mankind). We hear meticulous detail of The Historical JESUS (which the mind can at least attempt to contemplate), but how much do we hear and understand THE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM? Sermons today, do not Preach the REAL POWER of their APPOINTED MESSAGE (THE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP)! Are we "uncomfortable" Hearing this Message and therefore "unwilling" to Preach it because WE DON'T HAVE IT? We don't even want to think about it because it takes us out of our COMFORT ZONE, we don't know how to GET IT, no way do we UNDERSTAND IT, and we DOUBT that we could have a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with SOMEONE who walked the earth 2,000 years ago. We KNOW we are not satisfied with REPEATED Historical FACTS; we KNOW we are not COMPLETE when we see how miraculously we are made and the constant "wonders" of ALL CREATION. We need more; WE NEED HIS PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP. We need HIS interactive relationship of interrelated ONENESS, communal identity, intimacy and dependence. We know we don't have it, we want it, and WE KNOW WE CAN HAVE IT. John 3:3, "...except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of GOD." BORN AGAIN, the living reality of the PERSONAL SPIRIT OF CHRIST coming to dwell in us in a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP. "Ask anything in MY NAME and you will receive it...." HOW? ASK! AND BECAUSE GOD IS GOD, AND YOU ARE YOU, YOU WILL RECEIVE JESUS BY FAITH! HOW....? ASK....!
How do we know when we are drifting away from GOD? Is it when we stop "reading the Bible", or when we "cut back on our daily 'do good' projects", or don't go to Church as often? These may be symptoms, but they are not the problem. It is when a person "STOPS PRAYING" that we "drift", or "run away" from GOD! John 15:7, "But if you stay joined to me and my words..." Matthew 26:41, "Keep alert and pray, otherwise temptation will over power you..." If we never speak to our friends, and never listen to what they have to say to us, our relationship will quickly deteriorate. IT IS THE SAME WAY WITH GOD!
Let today be our day of Pray...Just to be where we are to be....
Today's theologians are doing a great "disservice" to Christianity. It is as though a "preconceived conclusion" has been made and then volumes of articles and dissertations set out to defend their conclusion. Take the definition of Church. First, we are inundated with what "Church is not" (a pure definition confirms what something is, not what it is not). Then we are "pounded" with interpretations of various translations to influence our thinking. Romans 16:5, "Greet the Church that is in their house..." 1 Corinthians 12:13, "For we were all baptized by ONE SPIRIT into one body..." The Church, therefore is people, an assembly of Believers, each Believer being a part of the BODY OF JESUS. When we went to Church today, were we "Spiritually Fulfilled" and did our PASSION FOR CHRIST COMPLETE US? WAS CHURCH A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, OR WAS IT FULL OF DEFINING, REFINING AND THEOLOGICAL JUSTIFICATION? SO, WERE WE IN CHURCH TODAY OR NOT?
See you in CHURCH....
Teaching in the days of JESUS didn't have an auditorium of 300 plus students, with non personal emails for instructions, and we might add; the students were there to learn, not just get a passing score. Mark 1:22, "And they were astonished at HIS teaching, for he taught as one with authority..." Do our present day "teachers" speak with authority; a pure presence of Truth? Do they teach in a way that we are not used to hearing; or is it traditional bureaucracy? Do they teach with gracefulness, gravity and majesty where the evidence and power makes us hungry for more? Are we willing to stay with that teacher until we learn, or are we there some grade, A OR F?
THE SON is shinning,
We have experienced a place where we feel unthreatened and peaceful. A place where our minds do not wander, a place which is the Beginning and End. It is not the same place each time, but a place we are drawn too, a place we willingly go. It is our SANCTUARY. 1 Chronicles 16:27, "Honor and majesty are found in HIS PRESENCE; strength and Joy are found in HIS SANCTUARY." It is not the place that draws us to GOD, IT IS THE PRESENCE. May we experience many SANCUTARIES today, IN HIS PRESENCE.
We have been indoctrinated (to the point it becomes a sin) that EXTRAORDINARY EFFORT produces EXTRAORDINARY HARVEST. We Christians believe we have failed if we don't do something EXTRAORDINARY to change the world. We are told the Disciples, filled with the HOLY SPIRIT, did extraordinary things and had an EXTRAORDINARY HARVEST. Joseph went from being a prisoner to the 2nd most powerful man in the most powerful nation. Rahab, was instrumental in helping the Israelites defeat Jericho. ORDINARY actions, with EXTRAORDINARY FAITH in STRESSFUL AND HOPELESS situations, cause EXTRAORDINARY HARVEST. Hebrews 11:1, "...Faith, makes us certain of realities we do not see." Mark 9:24, "...I believe, help me in my unbelief." You see, GOD takes ORDINARY SEEDS, AND PRODUCES EXTRAORDINARY HARVEST.
Why do we get these Devotionals? Is it because the writer feels he has a stronger connection with GOD and his revelations need to be shared? Is it for recognition, money or just "down right" Pride? Or is it something else? Many years ago (during the worst times) not knowing (or caring) what the next moment would bring, GOD SPOKE..."write what I tell you". HE didn't say why or how, JUST WRITE. Unworthy, "embarrassed", unsure, the words and scriptures came everyday, and THE VOICE was to be obeyed. The words are easy to write, but sometimes it is hard to push the "send" button because of the sinfulness revealed. Perhaps we read these because they expose the truthfulness of our deepest sins, and some way they encourage HOPE AND LOVE. The thing that gives GOD GREAT PLEASURE is BELIEVING HIM and OBEYING HIM. HIS greatest "sadness" must be our not trusting HIM. Exodus 19:5, "...obey MY VOICE and you shall be MY treasured possession among all peoples..." It gives great JOY for us to share each day from an act of OBEDIENCE (when we are so disobedient in everything else). Maybe these Devotionals are nothing more, than TRUE CONFESSIONS.
About the Author and writer
The writer for our daily devotionals wishes to remain anonymous in regard to his work, giving instead Glory to the Author.