Devotional: ‘The Power of Prayer and Praise!’

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(A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.) Psalm 63:1 O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. NKJV

David had been forced to flee into the wilderness. During such times we can sometimes be tempted to despair, yet David earnestly sought God for the strength he needed. 1 Samuel 30:6 says that David knew how to “strengthen himself in the Lord his God.” How did David find the strength he needed to endure his time in the wilderness? Consider these two important elements:

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Devotional: ‘Step by Step You’ll Lead Me’

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One of my favorite worship songs is an old song written by singer/songwriter Rich Mullins.

Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You 

I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step, You’ll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

Rich Mullins

Consider how Rich Mullin’s song goes along with Scripture –

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Devotional: ‘Earnestly Seeking God’    

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Psalm 63:1 O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. NKJV

Some Bible versions say, “early will I seek You.” Other versions say, “earnestly will I seek You.” Perhaps ‘earnestly’ is the better translation. As I consider this, a verse of Scripture from the New Testament comes to my mind. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV) God rewards those who ‘diligently seek Him.” The words ‘diligently’ and ‘earnestly’ express the same thought. God is first and foremost in our life. Why is it important that God hold the primary place for us?

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Devotional: ‘Longing for God’

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(A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.) Psalm 63:1 O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. NKJV

Scripture teaches us that David had more than one experience in the wilderness. Early in his life, he spent time in the wilderness when King Saul was hunting for his life. Later in his life, he spent time in the wilderness again when his son Absalom rebelled against him and tried to take the throne. Though David’s wilderness experiences were painful for him, they were also profitable. It was while in the wilderness that all the superficial things of this life were stripped away and the one thing that mattered the most to him was his relationship with God. Notice how David expressed his need for God: “my soul thirsts for You” “my flesh longs for You…” If you have ever been in the wilderness, then you know how important it is to feel God’s presence. Even though others may try to comfort you, what you need most is to be close to God to know that He is close to you. Consider the three ways David longed for God:

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Devotional: ‘In the Wilderness’

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(A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.) Psalm 63:1 O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. NKJV

Like many of the psalms, this particular portion of Scripture comes with an introduction. (A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.) It has been said that many of God’s choicest servants spent time in the wilderness. Moses did and so did David. John the Baptist spent time in the wilderness and so did the Apostle Paul and even our Savior. Many of you have also had wilderness experiences. Sickness can be like a wilderness and so can the death of a loved one. Those who lose their jobs sometimes feel like they are in the wilderness and so do couples who struggle in their marriages or parents who have trouble with their kids. Why does God allow His children to be in the wilderness?

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Devotional: ‘Cast the Beam Out of Thine Eye’    

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Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.” NKJV

If ever there was a verse of Scripture that everyone knew, it is this one. As soon as something is called sin, there is someone there to remind us that we are not supposed to judge. But what did Jesus mean when He told us to not judge? Was He saying that we should never use godly wisdom in making our decisions regarding what we will approve and accept, or did He mean something else? Jesus was not saying “Don’t use discernment.” What He was saying was, “Don’t condemn others with the desire to destroy them.” How can we overcome the temptation to overly critical of others? Consider His words and the two important truths we must remember.

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Devotional: ‘Judge Not’      

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Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” NKJV 

Perhaps no passage of Scripture has caused more confusion than – “Thou shalt not judge.” This is one verse in the Bible that everyone knows. What did Jesus mean when He told us to not judge others? Was He telling us to welcome everyone with open arms regardless of how they choose to live? Was He saying that sin doesn’t matter? Or did Jesus mean something much different?

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Devotional: ‘Negative Hearts’      

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 Luke 9:54 “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village. NKJV

The Bible says that Jesus ‘rebuked them’ for what they had just said. “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” Though Jesus wasn’t pleased with the Samaritans’ rejection, He reminded His disciples that it was not His desire to destroy the Samaritans. In another passage, Jesus said, “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10 NKJV) Though God hates our sin, He still loves our soul.

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Devotional: ‘Negative Speech’  

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The brothers, James and John, became great men of God. James was a leader in the early church and was one of the first believers to give their life for the cause of Christ. John wrote a gospel that bears his name, as well as three epistles, and the magnificent book of Revelation. Great things came from these two men once their personalities were tamed and brought under Jesus’ control. How does God bring a strong spirit under His control?

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