Bring them to Jesus

September 7th, 2007  Email Email  Print Print  

For me, the focus of today’s devotion is to be consistent in bringing people to Jesus and He will make my efforts fruitful.

Mark 2:5 (NIV)
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

The primary emphasis of the reading – and clearly the passage – is on faith.  I’ll admit that I’m a little gun shy when it comes to focusing too much on faith.  When you read my testminoy (coming soon) you see that I have some experience with people who do that.  However, I also realize that the importance of faith should not be underesitmated.  How would that man have made it to the feet of Jesus if the 4 men had not been willing to carry him, to dig through the roof, and to lower him down?

3 things pointed out to keep in mind:

  1. Any time you pick up the weight of another person you’ll find it’s a heavy load!
    The main point for me here is to make the commitment and stick with it.
  2. Raise the roof if you have to!
    Once you’ve committed to carrying someone else to the Lord, do whatever it takes to get them all the way there.
  3. Use your faith; it’s what moves God!
    God will honor your faith on the other person’s behalf.

Defeating the enemy (3)

September 6th, 2007  Email Email  Print Print  

Focus:  You’ll never win if you fight in your own strength.

1 Samuel 17:47 (NIV)
All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.

Big words from a relatively small man (David) before a very large man (Goliath) and his army.  But he wasn’t planning on defeating them in his own strength.

How often have we tried to solve our problems on our own without so much as an acknowledgement of God, much less a heart-felt prayer?  The things of this world often prove to be a mighty distraction from trusting the Lord.  One thing that I have experienced that has made it difficult for me to trust in the Lord for everything is when the giant happens to be people in leadership in the church.  Some of my biggest hurts have come in that form.  But I have also found that the only way I was able to get through it and move past it was to trust in the Lord and let Him fight the battle.

The devotional reading ends with this statement:

Three things Satan can’t withstand are: God’s Word, Christ’s Blood, and the Name of Jesus.  When you use them you’ll bring him down every time – just like David toppled Goliath!

In the end, it comes down to relationship with Jesus.  If we have it, we can trust it.  If we don’t, we’re doomed.

Defeating the enemy (2)

September 5th, 2007  Email Email  Print Print  

Today’s devotion is somewhat of a continuation from yesterday.  This one focuses on being prepared.

1 Samuel 17:40 (NIV)
Then he took  his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

In the previous devotion I talked about how David was prepared to face the giant because of the time he had spent with the Lord.  The devotional for today drew an analogy between the 5 stones and 5 things we need to defeat the enemy:

  1. The stone of past successes.
    I liked the statement made for this point:  Write your defeats in sand, but carve your victories in stone by keeping track of God’s faithfulness and the “marvelous works…He has done” (ICh 16:12 NKJV).  In other words, don’t dwell on your defeats.
  2. The stone of prayer.
    Prayer is our principle means of communication with God.  Without it we have no power, we have nothing but ourselves to lean on.
  3. The stone of priority.
    The author states that God’s priority is His reputation, meaning that he is true to His word and that those who mock or belittle Him must be proven false.  How else can that be done if we do not depend on him to give Him “the opportunity to showcase His grace and power?”
  4. The stone of passion.
    More good advice here – rehearsing your hurts won’t heal them and cataloging your problems won’t solve them.  Bottom line: action is required, not in our own strength but knowing that the battle is the Lord’s (I Sam. 17:47).
  5. The stone of perseverance.
    The victory doesn’t always come right away.  It may take more than a day, a month, or even a year.  We must persevere if we are to defeat the enemy.

Defeating the enemy (1)

September 5th, 2007  Email Email  Print Print  

It’s easy to think about God being all-powerful and being able to help me conqueror anything I might ever come up against.  That’s something that has been a central part of my belief system since I accepted the Lord over 27 years ago.  Jesus is Lord over all.  His is the king of kings, lord of lords.  He conquered death, hell and the grave.

What I’ve noticed, however, is that over the years, through the ministries I’ve been involved in and raising our kids, it is sometimes very easy to take my eyes off Him and put them on the things around me.  Sometimes those things seem like giants that can’t be conquered … are giants that I will have to live with for the rest of my life.

The devotion for today (well, yesterday actually) is a good reminder that God cares about His people and is ready to fight for them, but they must be ready to face their giants and not run from them.  The verse for this devotion is 1 Samuel 17:48 which reads, “As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.”  What great advice.  Of course, it is foolishness to do that if you are unprepared, but David had been prepared by years of communion with the Lord.

Sounds like good advice to me.

“Leave it alone!” and “Keep climbing!”

September 4th, 2007  Email Email  Print Print  

I’m catching up in the devotional – I’m two days behind.  This is also my first time to blog about my devotions.  I’m still working out the whole structure of my blogs, so we’ll see how this goes.

Today I read two days’ worth of devotions.  The first one, called Leave it alone! centered on Uzzah, the man who reached out to steady the ark when the oxen stumbled and then was struck dead by God “because of his irreverent act.” (2 Sam. 6:7)  The point of the devotional writing was that sometimes we don’t let God do what we’ve asked him to do and we take matters into our own hands.  Sometimes it so easy to look at whats going on around us instead of trusting in God that he will bring to pass what He promised.

The second reading was called Keep climbing!  On Sunday, Pastor Joe (Fuiten) spoke about being content in our faith, and something about that didn’t quite set well with me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.  My problem was that I wasn’t making the proper distinction between contentment and satisfaction.  I’ve always felt that I need to be moving in a direction – which direction isn’t always that important.  One of my favorite sayings is, “God can’t steer a parked car.”  In other words, if we’re moving in a particular direction but it happens to be the wrong direction, God can always steer us in a new direction if we’re listening to His heart.  How does this apply?  Contentment means that I am grateful for what I have or for the situation I am in.  That doesn’t mean I can’t or shouldn’t be trying to improve – myself, my situation, whatever.  This devotional reading confirmed for me that God wants us to keep moving.

Welcome!

September 3rd, 2007  Email Email  Print Print  

This is my personal blog where I will write focus on my faith and things of a personal nature.  I also have a technical blog, which is currently hosted on Windows Live spaces.  The reason I’m splitting it is that I want the freedom to discuss things that people who might be interested in my technical writings would typically not want to wade through.  This will give me more freedom to dive into more personal topics.

On this blog, I will write about things that occur to me during my devotions.  I’ll be going through a devotion pamphlet provided by my church (Cedar Park Assembly in Bothell, WA) called, The Word For You Today.  I will also write about Bible studies I am going through.  I am starting up a Bible study called, Jeremiah: Demanding Love by Stephen D. Eyre published by IVP Connect (InterVarsity Press).  On occasion I will also write about things that I learn through personal triumphs and struggles.

Thanks for reading, and God bless you.
David

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