The Evidence of Jesus in Us

SCRIPTURE

Studied: John 3

OBSERVATION

John 3:30 ~ Jesus must become more important, while I become less important.

APPLICATION

John had just compared the importance of allowing Jesus to shine in all that is accomplished through us, to that of a wedding where the groom must be the shining star and not the best man. I believe that if we ever hope to see family, friends and loved ones accept Jesus as Lord, then we must be careful to allow Jesus to shine very brightly through us. In fact, I would like Jesus to shine so brightly through me that everyone will see Jesus and think only of Him because of my actions or words, and this is because I want to see them do God’s will for their lives and not my selfish desire.

PRAYER

Father I pray that Jesus will shine so brightly in all that I say or do that it will be evident to the lost person that it is You getting their attention. I am Your servant, so please use me to accomplish Your work in the areas in which I find myself, but in the cases that really need it, may it be very evident that it is You at work. I acknowledge this morning that I am nothing without You, and I can do nothing without Your wisdom, power and knowledge, so please speak to Your children through myself and other Christians today that want to see Your work accomplished. May this be a day that we can celebrate Your work in the lives of those close to us.

Born Again?

SCRIPTURE

Studied: John 3

OBSERVATION

John 3:3-7 ~ Jesus replied, “I tell you for certain that you must be born from above before you can see God’s kingdom!” Nicodemus asked, “How can a grown man ever be born a second time?” Jesus answered: I tell you for certain that before you can get into God’s kingdom, you must be born not only by water, but by the Spirit. Humans give life to their children. Yet only God’s Spirit can change you into a child of God. Don’t be surprised when I say that you must be born from above.

APPLICATION

We often hear the terminology “You must be born again” or “You must accept Jesus as Lord” in order to enter into heaven one day. To those that are unfamiliar with the Word of God, it must be difficult to understand this terminology, and it must sound to you like it did to Nicodemus in these verses. However, Jesus explained that just as in our natural birth we are born from the womb through water into a new birth – a true transformation, the second birth is from a natural sinful life through the Spirit of God that will give us a brand new birth in Christ, another transformation. It is as easy as A, B, C to do this. Be ready by ADMITting that you are a sinner in need of a Savior (Jesus). BELIEVE that Jesus is Lord and that only He can save you and give you access into heaven. Then CONFESS your sin to Jesus and ask His forgiveness. It’s as simple as that, Admit, Believe and Confess. Do this and you will be saved, friend! Go then and tell your friends about the change/transformation that has occurred in your life!

PRAYER

Father I thank You for saving me, and for forgiving me of my sin, and giving me life eternal. Please speak to anyone reading this today and convince them of any decisions that they need to make. Please tender the hearts of my family and loved ones that still need to surrender their lives to You. May this be a day of decision for them. May they go to bed tonight with the assurance of knowing that they have made the most important decision of their life and that it is a positive decision towards knowing You as their personal Savior. As this is read, decisions will be made. One decision will be to accept Jesus as Lord or the alternative is to continue a life without Christ that could be into eternal damnation (Hell) before the sun sets tonight. I love my family and friends too much to know that any of them will make the latter decision, so please soften their hearts even now dear Jesus.

It’s You I Live For

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Psalm 62

OBSERVATION

Psalm 62:8-9 ~ Trust God, my friends, and always tell him each one of your concerns. God is our place of safety. We humans are only a breath; none of us are truly great. All of us together weigh less than a puff of air.

APPLICATION

We often say, well I am so disappointed because a good friend of ours let us down. In these verses David reminds us that all humans put together weigh less than a puff of air, for it is God that we should tell all of our concerns and it is in Him that we should depend for our safety. We are so dependent on what others think of us. If only we would be so careful to place that much emphasis on what God KNOWS about us, and if only we would act in ways that would please God as much as we try to please others.

PRAYER

  1. Father, “It’s You I live for“. Please help me to live my life in a way that is pleasing in Your sight, and that follows Your commands. Please help me to daily dig deep into Your Word so that I may stay in tuned with all that You would have me to do.

A Mighty Rock In Whom I Am Secure

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Psalm 62

OBSERVATION

Psalm 62:1-2 ~ Only God can save me, and I calmly wait for him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe and the fortress where I am secure.

APPLICATION

What a Mighty God We Serve“, “You Never Let Go – Whom Then Shall I Fear” are two songs that come readily to my mind as I read these verses, for the God that I serve is the only One that can save me, He is the only One that I consider as a ‘Mighty Rock’ on whom I can stand/depend or trust with the challenges that may come my way, for He is a fortress where I can be safe and secure. Savor these three songs that are hyperlinked as you meditate on this devotion and reflect on the awesome God that we know, love, serve and plan to spend eternity with!

PRAYER

Lord may I always be ready to thank You and praise You each and every day for being my strength and my guide and my rock on whom I can rest. “I love You Lord, and I Lift my voice, to worship You oh my Lord“.

The People God is Pleased With

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Isaiah 66

OBSERVATION

Isaiah 66:1-2 ~ This is what the Lord says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. So do you think you can build a house for me? Do I need a place to rest? My hand made all things. All things are here because I made them,” says the Lord. “These are the people I am pleased with: those who are not proud or stubborn and who fear my word.

APPLICATION

The first part of these verses really caught my attention, because I feel like we are so busy having church, doing things for the church, keeping up the buildings and grounds, and doing, doing, doing, until we often leave out the time that is necessary to study God’s Word and draw close to Him in our personal relationship. While I love the verse in James that speak of faith without works, I believe that God reminded me through His prophet Isaiah in these verses that there is nothing more important than my personal relationship with Him and living my life in a manner that pleases Him. To put this in perspective, I believe that we should surrender our lives to Christ and allow Him to be Lord of our lives. We should then stay in God’s Word so that we may get to know Him better and seek after what it takes to please Him every day. God is the only one that did it right, for He lived a perfect life, therefore we should seek to model our lives after Him. As we come to know Him better, we will automatically be of service to and help others, like He did when He was here in human form. But I believe that we must be extra careful to not let our desire to help others overshadow our constant need for growing more like Jesus every day. His Word is filled with ‘nuggets’ that will show us our human weaknesses and teach us His ways.

PRAYER

Teach me Your ways oh God, so that I may live in harmony with Your will for my life. I pray that while here on this earth You will give me strength and wisdom to live my life in a manner pleasing to You. From Your Word this morning, I realize that I need to be certain that I am humble and therefore not proud or stubborn, and that I will live in the fear of God and in the knowledge and subsequent obedience to Your Word. You are my God, please help me to live like Your son.

My New Home

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Isaiah 65

OBSERVATION

Isaiah 65:17-25 ~ “Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth, and no one will even think about the old ones anymore. Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation! And look! I will create Jerusalem as a place of happiness. Her people will be a source of joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and delight in my people. And the sound of weeping and crying will be heard in it no more. “No longer will babies die when only a few days old. No longer will adults die before they have lived a full life. No longer will people be considered old at one hundred! Only the cursed will die that young! In those days people will live in the houses they build and eat the fruit of their own vineyards. Unlike the past, invaders will not take their houses and confiscate their vineyards. For my people will live as long as trees, and my chosen ones will have time to enjoy their hard-won gains. They will not work in vain, and their children will not be doomed to misfortune. For they are people blessed by the Lord, and their children, too, will be blessed. I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! The wolf and the lamb will feed together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. But the snakes will eat dust. In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain. I, the Lord, have spoken!”

APPLICATION

Normally I wouldn’t use such a large chunk of scripture at one time, but this was so good until it was really too difficult choosing just a short piece of it. Anytime I read about, or think about or reflect on my new home in glory with my Savior, it gives me a super charge! This is so exciting! Here on this old earth I thank God for all that He blesses me with each day, for I truly feel blessed in so many ways. But there is sin here, and where there is sin the old Devil has freedom to rant and rave and use his warriors to interfere with the joy that I would otherwise have in enjoying the peace and comfort of all that God gives to me. In the new heaven that He has gone to prepare for me there will be no interfering by anyone, especially old Satan, for he will be banned from there, praise be to God! Another scripture says that we should think on these things, instead of all the evil around us. This is a wonderful thought that can compare to nothing on this old earth. What A Day That Will Be, When my Jesus I shall see, When I look upon His face……

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, thank You for preparing a home where, one day, I will be with You for evermore! What A Day That Will Be! While here on this old earth, may I be found worthy to share Your Word and the joy that You bring into my life each day. You have done so much for me and have done so much to prepare even my future that I want to serve You in any way that I can while here in this earth. I pray that You will guide me and lead me each day in the path that You would have me follow so that Your work may be accomplished. Oh I want to see Him, Look upon His face!

God, and God Alone!

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Isaiah 65

OBSERVATION

Isaiah 65:16 ~ I am God! I can be trusted. Your past troubles are gone; I no longer think of them. When you pray for someone to receive a blessing, or when you make a promise, you must do it in my name. I alone am the God who can be trusted.

APPLICATION

Several things in this short verse that just ‘rang my bell’ this morning:

  • Not only is He God, but that He can be trusted! I don’t remember ever doubting this, but to hear God say it is such an overwhelming reminder that we can place our trust in the living God and leave it there, knowing that He can be trusted to deal with our issues no matter how great or small, no matter whether it’s a ‘yes’ response or ‘no’, or ‘not now’. So often we get so hung up on our desired answer being the only answer we want to hear. But let’s also remember that if we place our faith and trust in God for the ‘right’ answer, then we have to accept the answer He provides. Remember, He can be trusted!
  • “Your past troubles are gone; I no longer think of them!” Then why should we carry around the weight of our past troubles? Why should we let them spoil our joy today? A good old song reads, “

God Deals with ‘The Great Pretenders’

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Isaiah 65

OBSERVATION

Isaiah 65:1-7 ~ The Lord says, “I made myself known to people who were not looking for me. I was found by those who were not asking me for help. I said, ‘Here I am. Here I am,’ to a nation that was not praying to me. All day long I stood ready to accept people who turned against me, but the way they continue to live is not good; they do anything they want to do. Right in front of me they continue to do things that make me angry. They offer sacrifices to their gods in their gardens, and they burn incense on altars of brick. They sit among the graves and spend their nights waiting to get messages from the dead. They eat the meat of pigs, and their pots are full of soup made from meat that is wrong to eat. But they tell others, ‘Stay away, and don’t come near me. I am too holy for you.’ These people are like smoke in my nose. Like a fire that burns all the time, they continue to make me angry. “Look, it is written here before me. I will not be quiet; instead, I will repay you in full. I will punish you for what you have done. I will punish you for your sins and your ancestors’ sins,” says the Lord….

APPLICATION

Shame on us if we think that we can fool God! Let’s be reminded that He sees all things, hears all things and knows all things. We may fool a brother, or a sister, but we can’t fool God. In fact we are reminded here that it makes Him sick when He sees us trying to impress Him or trying to pretend to be something we’re not. He knows our inmost intentions and although we may feel like we have pulled something off on our neighbor, or our friends, or our family, or perhaps our church, or even pulled something off on God, I am here today to repeat God’s Word in saying that we can’t fool God. In fact, all we are doing is making God sick and fed up with our littleness and self pride. God is in charge of everything that happens everyday to all of us. No need to go anywhere else for direction, guidance or answers to life’s challenges (simple or complicated in our eyes). He knows every hair on our head. He knows when the sparrow is hungry. He is saying to us ‘Here I am, Here I am’. He wants to hear from His children. He would love nothing better than to take us by the hand and lift us up and lead us on a holy path of righteousness.

PRAYER

Father, please forgive me of my littleness, selfishness and self pride. Please continually remind me that there is only One Way to a successful, happy, holy life, and that is through taking Your hand daily and allowing You to control my thoughts, actions and words. It’s You O Lord that I seek to serve, please help me to stay focused on You then, so that I may not be distracted with all the sinful, worldly things that will take me off Your perfect path. May I not be a stumbling block to anyone, but instead be so filled with Your Spirit that others will see Jesus in all that I say or do, and consequently be led to a need to know You in a personal way.

Live for Jesus – Everyday

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 2 Peter 1

OBSERVATION

2 Peter 1:10-11 ~ My friends, you must do all you can to show that God has really chosen and selected you. If you keep on doing this, you won’t stumble and fall. Then our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will give you a glorious welcome into his kingdom that will last forever.

APPLICATION

Growing up I remember always thinking about and always acting in a way that would make my parents proud of me. Because of that I believe that I stayed away from a lot of dangers that they had warned me about and stayed focused on the good and proven things that they had led me towards. I believe that this is similar to what is being taught here by James. I am convinced that God has called me to be His son and follow Him, so I should always act that way. In living the life (walking the walk and talking the talk), I will build strength and character in Jesus Christ and therefore will not be as apt to stumble or fall. When I live like this every day and show my sincerest effort to be like Jesus in every way, then there will be a glorious welcome into heaven that will last forever!! Praise be to God, the light at the end of the rainbow will be so bright with the face of my Master, that I will go on throughout eternity praising and worshipping Him! What a glorious day that will be!!

PRAYER

Father I pray for endurance, because I know that in living the type of life talked about here, Satan will be on a rampage trying to trip me up. Praise God though, because I know that He that is in me is greater than any other and He will see me through to the day I will be called out to live with You in glory. This temporal world will bring challenges every day, please help me to keep my mind and determination fixed on You with the ultimate goal of seeing You face to face and living forever at Your feet without the temptations and sin of this old world.

Lord, I want to be Just Like You

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 2 Peter 1

OBSERVATION

2 Peter 1:5-9 ~
Because you have these blessings, do your best to add these things to your lives: to your faith, add goodness; and to your goodness, add knowledge; and to your knowledge, add self-control; and to your self-control, add patience; and to your patience, add service for God; and to your service for God, add kindness for your brothers and sisters in Christ; and to this kindness, add love. If all these things are in you and are growing, they will help you to be useful and productive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But anyone who does not have these things cannot see clearly. He is blind and has forgotten that he was made clean from his past sins.

APPLICATION

In the earlier part of this chapter Peter addresses the blessings that are ours as children of the King. Now he is telling us to not settle for this, but proactively seek ways to enhance our Faith, Goodness, Knowledge, Self-Control, Patience, Kindness and Love. In fact he goes on to say that if these things are evident in our lives, and that we are growing in the wisdom and nature of our Lord, then we will be useful and productive for our Lord. A Christian without these things cannot see the truths of God clearly, and could easily forget the miracle of new birth in Jesus. Like a marriage, the day we walk the isle is not the end of the story, it is the beginning of a new wonderful life. In Christianity, it is the beginning of a lifetime learning of the character of God and striving to be more like Him every day. The characteristics mentioned are those that represent God, and He would have us work towards these being very prominent in our lives so that others will see Jesus in us and through our actions.

PRAYER

I just thank You for Your Word today. It is so powerful, timely and applicable to us regardless of the age in which we live. I pray that I may strive to grow in each of these areas so that I may become more in line with Your character every day. I pray that any success in these areas will serve to lift up Your name and be a witness of the true and living God. “