Devotional: ‘Denying Ourselves’  

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Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:23-26)

Perhaps few words Jesus ever said had a greater impact upon His disciples than these. For them, a cross was not a piece of jewelry, but rather a place of torturous death. It was bad enough for Him to speak of His own cross, now He was referring to theirs. What could Jesus possibly have meant when He spoke of them bearing a cross?

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Devotional: ‘The Secret to Having Our Prayers Answered’

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What is the secret to having our prayers answered? Is it the words we use or the intensity in which we pray? What will cause God to hear and to answer our prayers? Consider what Jesus said –

“… when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6 NLT)

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Devotional: ‘Change My Heart Oh God’

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Many years ago, there was a worship song that we loved to sing. The title of it is, ‘Change My Heart Oh God.’ Here are a few of the lyrics –

Change my heart oh God
Make it ever true
Change my heart oh God
May I be like You

Why is it so important that we have a changed heart? Consider this teaching from Jesus –  Read the rest of this entry

Devotional: ‘Sowing and Reaping’

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Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you. (Hosea 10:12)

The book of Hosea was written to the Jews during a time of rebellion. God had repeatedly warned them to turn from their sin, yet they refused to listen. One commentary describes the times as – ‘the last few swirls as the kingdom of Israel goes down the drain.’ Yet, as the Open Study Bible describes this situation – ’The book of Hosea represents God’s last gracious effort to plug the drain.’

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Devotional: ‘And They Sang a New Song’

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Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.” 11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” 13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” 14 Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.

Worship in heaven will be beyond anything we have ever experienced here on earth. In heaven we will be able to look upon the face of our Savior and see His unmatched glory combined with His pure love. In heaven, we will be free of the sinfulness of our flesh that so often distracts us and holds us back. In heaven, we will be surrounded by countless numbers of fellow believers and angels who will join us in our praise of God. As the old song says, ‘What a day, glorious day that will be.’

I have read that in the book of Revelation alone, there are 14 songs of worship. Many of these songs focus upon three primary truths:

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Devotional: ‘Letting God be God’

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Job 10:1 “My soul loathes my life; I will give free course to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. 2 I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me; show me why You contend with me.’”

If you are familiar with the story of Job, then you know that he was someone who was severely attacked by Satan. The Bible tells us that in a matter of days, Job lost his wealth, his health, and his family. In addition to these afflictions, he was also accused by his friends of having sin in his life and his wife encouraged him to turn against God. Job was hit from all sides: physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.

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Devotional: ‘Created for God’s Glory’

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One of the reasons many of us fail to accomplish all that we could accomplish is because we don’t believe that our life has meaning or purpose. For some reason we think that we simply exist and that who we are or what we do doesn’t matter. But consider this inspiring verse of Scripture –

Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.”

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Devotional: ‘Leaving Our Past with Jesus’

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Sometimes past failures can keep us from experiencing future successes. Consider this story found in the gospel of Luke.

Luke 7:36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.

The woman in this story had lived a very immoral life. Scripture calls her a sinner which implies that perhaps she was a prostitute. Yet, Jesus still loved her. As a matter of fact, He used her past failures as a means to bring Himself glory. Consider the rest of the story.

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Devotional: ‘Overcoming Our Fear of Failure’

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Matthew 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground and hid his lord’s money.

Jesus told a story about a landowner who delegated the management of his estate to his servants. Scripture says that he assigned each servant “according to his own ability.” Then, trusting them to take proper care of his possessions, the owner left on a long journey. But then one day he returned and called for each servant to give an account of how they had performed their duties.

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Devotional: ‘Childlike Faith’

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Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 16 And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them. NKJV

Down through the years, I have had many people ask me what will it be like in heaven? Their concern is not so much about the streets of gold as their relationships. Will we recognize each other? Will mom still be mom and dad still be dad? I personally believe that we will recognize each other, but I’m not sure that we will still maintain the same kind of relationships we had here on earth. Instead of being parents and children, we will all be brothers and sisters in Christ and God will be our Father.

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