TONIGHT I PRAY that you will not let anything or anyone come between you and the Lord and His Holy Word. I pray that each one of you will realize how fortunate we are to have a completed Bible to get us through these last days! So many people are being deceived by false prophets preaching a gospel other than that of the Lord Jesus Christ! I pray that all of you will test everything to the BIBLE. It is a supernatural book unlike any other and if you pray the Lord will reveal the truth to you. He will show you the right path to take. I PRAY WE RECEIVE HIS POWER AS WE STAND ON HIS WORD!!! Listen for HIS voice and you will hear it in your deepest being. We are blessed and loved to be able to hear from Him so directly. We must respond to Him with a heart of thanksgiving. Building our house on HIS firm rock, where life’s storms can never can never shake our faith or our walk in Him. That He will fill us with His strength, faith and knowledge to make it even until the end. In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I love you all!!!! God bless you!!! Maranatha!!!♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/55XL65
And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.” John 12:44-50
Jesus again explained again that He was just bringing a message from God. And it was a message that brought light and life. He wasn’t coming into the world to change it, He was coming to save the world. The Old Testament is summed up in one sentence: God promised to destroy death. The New Testament tells us how He did it. “I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.” The world is already judged. “Whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”
When we share the truths of God with people, as we tell them what God says, we can have the same confidence in our message. “And I know that His command is everlasting life.” We are the messengers of that which brings life. That life brings joy unspeakable and full of His glory!!! Have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
If you think about it, we belong to the greatest company in the world: the church. We have a product and our product works; it’s called the gospel. We have offices worldwide. We have pretty great benefits in this company: forgiveness for the past, purpose for the present, and hope for the future. We also have a retirement package that beats every other company’s: heavenly rewards and the promise that our Savior will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).
I like to call it a family business. And for the business to run well:
We need God’s people. In 1 Corinthians 12:7, Paul wrote this: “The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.” We need the gifts that each of us has, and we need all of us working together in concert. The Bible says, “God sets the solitary in families” (Psalm 68:6), and His cure for isolation and loneliness is the family called the church. God designed us to need each other. “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26).
We need God’s principles. When we gather together, we gather around the Bible. We are what I call a textual community. We believe the Bible to be the Word of God, and that is where we find God’s principles. Paul called the church of the living God “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). As we live, we need to hear the sure, steadfast “thus saith the Lord.” It’s food to our souls.
We need God’s purpose. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul wrote, “I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.” The implication is, “This is what you used to be like; you had no purpose. Now you do.”
There are a lot of causes you can join, but if you want a cause to live for, live for the salvation cause. When Jesus’ parents found Him in the temple answering questions, Jesus said, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49). If we could wake up every day and say, “I’m going to be about my Father’s business because this is what God has called me to do,” that’s a wonderful, wonderful way to live!
We need God’s presence. One of the reasons we gather is because we remember what Jesus said: “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). We experience God’s presence in a very unique way.
If we make church about us (“I’m here because it’s all about something I need”), then we have missed the purpose and the focus. However, if we make the focus about Him, learning about Him that we might glorify Him, there’s a payback: satisfaction happens. Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
There are no unnecessary members in the body of Christ. God has you here for a purpose. When you engage with other believers with God’s plan and purpose in mind, there’s no greater way to live. There’s no greater company—or family—to be part of!
Thank you Pastor Skip for this great devotional!!! This really blessed me!!! I can’t tell you how many young people tell me that they don’t believe they have a job to do in the Body of Christ. I believe that as Christians we are all called to be missionaries. Whether it is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ next door or on the other side of the world.
We each have a place in our Father’s business and the best way to serve the Lord is to get involved. Serve where the Lord leads you. In an area where you have a passion. It might be in small groups, music, teaching, feeding the poor or moving across the world to be a missionary. Get on your knees and ask the Lord where He would like you to serve. I hope you all have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Shaped by Suffering
That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. —2 Corinthians 12:10
On a recent visit to North Carolina, I drove through a town named Mocksville. I should have been born there. Prior to becoming a Christian, I always loved to mock other people. So when I became a follower of Jesus, I was shocked to discover that I was the one being mocked. People were laughing at me because of my faith in Christ.
This is what happened to Paul, but in a far more intense way. Right after his conversion, he started preaching the gospel in Damascus. But he was so powerful and persuasive that the religious leaders wanted him dead.
The Christians found out and devised a plan to help Paul escape. They put him into a basket and lowered it over the city wall at night. Think of the irony! Just a short time before, he was Saul of Tarsus, the notorious persecutor of Christians. But then the hunter became the hunted. He was getting a taste of his own medicine.
His name change from Saul to Paul offers insight into the real transformation that took place. The first king of Israel was named Saul. In contrast, Paul means “little.” It would be like deliberately changing your name from Spike to Squirt. Obviously, God had changed Paul into a man of humility.’
Sometimes we want God to take certain things out of our lives that cause us pain. We pray again and again for those things to be removed. But do we ever stop to think that God is using those things in our lives to transform us and make us more like Him?
I really like this devotional today from Pastor Greg. It is so true that many people love to mock Christians to cut them down to size and it can be scary for believers to get out there and share the good news of Jesus Christ. What we have to remember is that we can give all of the fear to Jesus. For it is when we are weak that He is strong. The Bible doesn’t say that He might be strong or that He may possibly be strong, it declares that HE will be strong and we can trust in that Word as we walk daily in Christ Jesus!!! I hope that you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Whose Fault Is It?
As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:1-3
Jesus encountered this man who was born blind, and His disciples asked Him whose sin had caused the blindness. Jesus responded,
“Neither this man or his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”
Sometimes God allows us to experience difficulty, hardship and suffering in order that He might accomplish His work in our lives. In this chapter I was so moved by what Jesus did here when He spit in the mud and made the paste and placed it on this guy’s eyes. So many people look at this and get grossed out by the spit but when you think about it I don’t think it is gross at all. It is Jesus placing His DNA on that dust to make a miraculous mud that would allow a blind man from birth to see.
When Jesus comes into the picture everything changes, as it did in my own life and I can tell you that I will never be the same!!! I will never forget that day when the doctors told me that I had small cell lung cancer. It was like the bottom of my life fell out. It was devastating!!! The wonderful thing about having lung cancer was that it brought me much closer to Jesus Christ. I will never forget the scripture that the Lord gave to me the day I came home from the hospital.
But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” John 11:4
This has become my life verse and has changed my life forever. I am now four years lung cancer free and I thank Jesus for every day that I have!!! I realize that even though we live in a fallen world and are going to face adversities in this life, but as Christians’ we never have to face them alone. We have a mighty Lord that knows what is on the road ahead of us. No matter how dark or foggy it becomes, we only have to hold tightly to His hand and He will lead us into the light of His great love!!! Just put all of your trust in Him!!! I hope that you have a Simply Heavenly day and may God bless you!!!
Part of the Family
As we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. —Romans 12:4–5
Sometimes people treat churches like restaurants — with a consumer mentality. I want to go to this restaurant. Oh, we went there two weeks ago. Let’s go to this other one… . But the church is not a restaurant. The church is a family, and you need to be a part of the family.
You also need to engage. Maybe one of the reasons some people feel as though they aren’t getting enough out of church is because they attend intermittently and don’t commit themselves. But if they would settle in and become a part of what God is doing, it would change for them.
If you have been attending a church for more than a couple of years, then you ought to be involved in a ministry of some kind. You may not be called to preach, but there are lots of other things to do. There is something for everyone. The Bible tells us, “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them” (Romans 12:5-6).
It’s fine to come and be served in the church. But there has to come a point when you start growing up and decide to start serving. And then you will find that everything changes for you.
So let’s stop thinking of the church as them and start thinking of the church as us. Be a part of the family. Take the gifts that God has given you, develop them, and use them for His glory. I suggest that church would completely change for us if we stop coming as spectators and instead join the team. This devotional from Pastor Greg got me even more inspired to share the good news of Jesus Christ! We all have a job to do within the Body of Christ, we only have to be open to the Holy Spirit to hear His voice and be obedient to His call. Have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
TONIGHT I Pray that we are willing and obedient to do the things your Word, so that we will see Your promises come to pass! I pray that as we abide in Your Word that we will begin to bear the fruit of Your Spirit. I pray that as we grow in prayer and through Your Word that You will reveal the knowledge and the realities of Your Word that You have shown us and that belong to Your children forever; that they may DO the Word! I pray your families are a blessing to you and that you draw closer to each other in these last days. I pray that the Lord will protect your loved ones from evil and every snare of the enemy to destroy their destiny that his evil power will be broken through the blood of Jesus! I speak unity and come against any division or confusion over your household! Your FAMILY IS BLESSED in Jesus’ name! Amen and Amen…. I Love You All!!! God bless you!!! http://dlvr.it/51VNDn
A Change of Direction
We must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in our bodies. —2 Corinthians 5:10
One morning as Alfred Nobel was reading the newspaper, he was shocked to find his name listed in the obituary column. It was a mistake, but nonetheless, there it was. He was stunned to see that he was primarily remembered as the man who invented dynamite. At that time in history, dynamite was used in great effect for warfare. It distressed Nobel to think that all he would be known for was inventing dynamite, something that was used to take the lives of others.
As a result of reading this mistaken obituary, Nobel decided to change the course of his life. He committed himself to world peace and established what we know today as the Nobel Peace Prize. When the name Alfred Nobel is mentioned today, dynamite is rarely the first thing that comes to mind. Rather, we think of the prize that bears his name. It’s all because Alfred Nobel decided to change the course his life was taking.
Another man, living centuries before, also changed the negative course his life was taking. His name was Paul, formerly known as Saul of Tarsus. Known as a relentless persecutor of the early church, he was determined to stop the spread of Christianity. But after a dramatic conversion on the Damascus Road, Paul devoted the rest of his life to preaching the gospel and building the church. Today we remember him as a missionary, church planter, and author of thirteen New Testament epistles.
If you were to somehow attend your own funeral and hang around during the time when people came to the microphone, what do you think they would say? For what would you be remembered? It isn’t too late to change your direction.
I really enjoy Greg Laurie’s teaching because he speaks to our heart. It is not too late to make that change in your own life. You can choose yourself how you want to be remembered later and then make the change! For my life I choose to walk with Jesus. I hope that you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Through the StormThat day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” —Mark 4:35
In the gospel of Mark, we find an interesting story in which Jesus invited the disciples, some of whom were seasoned fishermen, to join Him on a little boat trip across the Sea of Galilee. But on the way over, they encountered a sudden, violent storm.
Now the question would arise, did Jesus know that a storm was coming? The answer is yes. In fact, you might even say that it was a part of His curriculum that day. It was all part of teaching the disciples to believe what they claimed to believe.
We don’t want to make light of what these disciples were experiencing, because I’m sure this was a very harsh storm and a terrifying experience. Several on board had seen many storms on the Sea of Galilee, so it had to have been a most unusual storm for the disciples to be so gripped by fear. According to Mark’s gospel, the waves were breaking over the boat and filling it with water. The disciples were very afraid, but they didn’t have to be.
Before they left, Jesus had made a significant statement they apparently had forgotten about: “Let us go over to the other side.” And when God says, “Let us go over to the other side,” it means you will get to the other side. He didn’t say it would be smooth sailing. He didn’t say it would be an easy trip. But He did say, “Let us go over to the other side.”
Often we are gripped by fear and cease to think logically when we forget God’s Word to us. That is exactly what happened to the disciples. But Jesus was on board with them, and He was there to see them through.
I really enjoyed this devotional today! Pastor Greg makes everything so easy to understand and I am so happy I have Jesus so I never have to fear anything because He is in my boat. I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day. God bless you!!!
God with Skin On
The Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.—John 1:14
This is an excellent devotion from Greg Laurie. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did. I heard the story of a little boy who was frightened one night during a big thunderstorm. Terrified, he called out from his room, “Daddy, I’m scared!”
His father, not wanting to get out of bed, called back, “Don’t worry, Son. God loves you and will take care of you.”
There was a moment of silence. The little boy said, “I know God loves me, but right now, I need somebody with skin on.”
Sometimes our great and awesome God seems almost untouchable. That is where Jesus comes in. He was God with skin on, walking among us and showing us what God is like. I think C. S. Lewis put it well: “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.”
God became a man so that you might become God’s child. You aren’t born as a child of God; the Bible says that you need to be born again (see John 3:3). There must come a moment in your life in which you turn from your sins and invite Jesus Christ to come into your life to be your Savior and Lord.
Have you done that yet? Would you like to know with certainty that if you died today, you would go to heaven? You can. He walked among us for a short time on this earth. But you can walk with Him forever. The choice is yours. Do you need a God with skin on today?
God created us in His own image so we can know Him personally and have a joy-filled life. He did not make us as robots to automatically love and obey Him, but gave us a will and a freedom of choice. Since the beginning of time, we have chosen to disobey God and go our own willful way. We still make this choice today. This results in separation from God and ends in misery. The Bible says that disobeying God results in being separated from Him. Our attempts can never unite us with God. Through the ages, people have tried many ways to bridge this gap and reach God – without success. I believe that each one of us has a little puzzle piece in each of our bodies that only the love of God can fill. We try to fill it with all kinds of things like sex, boyfriends, children, drugs, alcohol, education, clubbing, partying and everything else that you can think of. The thing is nothing fits right in there. Only God can quench the longing of your soul.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” 4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second into their mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. John 3:3-6
If you want a new life in Christ Jesus, ask Him into your heart today. Simply pray this: Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that You took the pain and the sins of world on the cross to give me new life. I ask You to come into my heart and to give me Your peace and joy. I confess that I am a sinner that I have gone my own way and have done wrong. Please forgive me for my sins. I receive You now as my Lord and Savior. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Help me to follow You and to serve You all the days of my life. Thank you so much for loving me, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. If you prayed that prayer you are a new creature in Christ Jesus! You are Born Again! God Bless you!!!
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.—Matthew 6:33
A man was out driving in the country during a heavy rainstorm when he came across an old farmer who was surveying the ruins of his barn. He pulled over and asked the farmer what happened.
“Roof fell in,” the farmer replied. “What happened with it? Why did it fall in?” asked the stranger.
“It leaked so long, it just finally rotted through,” the farmer said. “Why in the world didn’t you fix it before it rotted through?”
“Well, sir,” said the farmer, “I just got around to it. When the weather was good, there wasn’t a need for it. And when it rained, it was just too wet to work on.”
Isn’t it amazing that when you want to do something you somehow manage to find the time, no matter how busy you are? But when someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do, suddenly there is just no room in the schedule.
This can happen when it comes to the Christian life as well. If we are serving God only when it’s convenient, then we are settling for second best. If we make time for the things of God only when something better doesn’t come along first, then we are missing out on what God wants to do in our lives.
How much better it is to make time for the things of God — to put the things of God above everything else. How much better it is to get your priorities right. Instead of making excuses, make time for the Lord. It is not only the simple way to live, but it is also the best way.
This devotion from Pastor Greg should speak to everyone’s heart today. That if we want to have an abundant walk with Jesus we need to make the time for Him because we want to not because we have to. When you want to spend time with someone you are willing to put more effort into your relationship so it is a much richer one. Have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
“I just can’t believe that Jesus Christ could be the only way to God.”
Ever heard that? I hear it a lot. It is true that sixty-seven percent of the world’s population, over four billion people, do not subscribe to what we believe. They look at us and say, “So what’s up with you guys? Why are you so arrogant? What makes you think you have a corner on the market of truth?”
And so, what unbelieving people love to do is draw the analogy of the God of the mountaintop. “See, it’s like this,” they say. “God is on top of a steep mountain. He’s up there and down below are all the people in the world. They take various paths to get to God, but all lead to the same place. So, on one side of the mountain you might have somebody curving up a windy path, and the other side is a more direct route. And everybody down below is so hung up on their path, not knowing that all paths lead them to the same place.”
What’s wrong with that analogy? Well, it’s convenient for unbelievers to use it, but none of the founders of the religion they’re talking about would ever agree with it. Let’s just take the three monotheistic religions. For instance, if you were to go to Mohammad and say, “I believe that all paths lead to God. Do you agree?” what do you think he’d say? “Absolutely not!” He taught his followers to fight against anyone who believes that. And if you asked Moses that question, he’d say, “I set before you this day, life and death; therefore, choose life” (see Deuteronomy 30:19). If you were to go to Jesus and say, “Jesus, I think all paths lead to God,” would Jesus agree with that? He said, “I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Me” (see John 14:6).
What I want you to see is that the founders of these religious systems all fundamentally disagree with each other, and the systems themselves contradict each other. So they can’t all be right at the same time. They can’t all lead to the same place.
So the mountaintop analogy isn’t a good one. Let me give you another one: a maze. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a maze, or seen pictures of them. They’re quite fascinating. They have them in some of the old, huge mansions on the East Coast or in Europe. There are these huge hedges with little paths cut out in them, and these different paths all lead in different directions. You might have one that dead-ends. You might have two paths that parallel each other for a long time. One eventually dead-ends, one keeps going. You might have one path that goes almost into the very center of the maze before it stops. But there is in the maze only one correct, right path.
Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Why so few? Is it because there is not enough room in heaven? “I’m sorry, we’re all booked up; so many people; can’t fit them all in.”
No, the reason that few find it is because the path is too narrow for most. They want the “God on a mountaintop,” the God who smiles on everyone, the God at the end of whatever path you take.
Jesus said, “For if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). Yes, it’s narrow to believe in the way, the truth, and the life, but it’s the one right path.
This was such a powerful devotion this morning from Skip Heitzig that I simply had to share it with you. I would like to add this, Do all religions lead to God? Actually they do. All but one leads to His judgment. Only one—Christianity—leads to His forgiveness and eternal life. No matter what religion one embraces, everyone will meet God after death (Hebrews 9:27). All religions lead to God, but only one religion will result in God’s acceptance, because only through His salvation through faith in Jesus Christ can anyone approach Him with confidence.
The decision to embrace the truth about God is important for a simple reason: eternity is an awfully long time to be wrong. This is why right thinking about God is so critical. I hope that you all have a Simply Heavenly day!!!! God bless you!!!
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