1 Corinthians 16:13-14 TLB “Keep your eyes open for spiritual danger; stand true to the Lord; act like men; be strong; and whatever you do, do it with kindness and love.”
P’s of Men Who Have Not Raised the Bar on Manhood
• Passive – allows wife to do everything; Adam was passive.
• Persuaded – easily persuaded by the enemy and others; God has little persuasive power of them.
• Protector – protects your family against the enemy; you spot evil and stop evil.
• Provider – provide guidance, direction, and wisdom.
• Tuff and tender at the same time.
• Stand true to God.
• If you never make a stand to protect and provide it will lead to rebellion.
If you’re a man, which area do you need to work on the most? Passive, Persuaded, Protector or Provider? If you’re a woman, which area are you trying to be the man instead of the woman? Are
you trying to be the Protector & Provider? Did you experience a conviction, challenge or a commitment you need to make from this devotion?
9:1-2 NKJV “Then He (Jesus) called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”
We are to be a witness for Christ everywhere we go. The devil wants us to keep Christ quiet to prevent the Gospel from going forward. God wants to keep us talking!
Our FOCUS determines our direction.
If we focus on how big our God is, our focus will go from:
• Jealousy to Jesus.
• Crisis to Christ.
• Our mess to our Messiah.
• Stress to Blessed.
Don’t allow our lack to get us off track! If Jesus calls us and sends us He will equip us! When we keep our focus—we will not only come to church, we will “Be the Church.”
Anticipation + Participation = Expectations Met
Matthew 14:17-20 NKJV “And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish. “He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So, they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained.
Where do you need to change your focus? Do you have a mess where you need God to turn it into a miracle? Did you experience a conviction, challenge or a commitment you need to make from this devotion?
Matthew 28:18-20 KJV “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Finding our purpose decreases stress and increases the power and presence of God.
Find God’s purpose by doing life God’s way and experience God’s presence and power. Put aside our own selfish desires. Don’t just go to church, Be the Church.
Ephesians 6:12 NIV “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers ofthe darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
The only real power Satan has over us is believing His lies.
The real enemy in our life is a spiritual battle.
Acts 1:8 NKJV “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
God’s purpose for our life is to have Godly confidence and unbelievable courage. When we have that it will become contagious.
Where do you need God’s power in your life today? Why does God give us this power? Did you experience a conviction, challenge or a commitment you need to make from this devotion?
Luke 7:36-38 “Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town
learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.”
When people see you, what Jesus do they see?
• Be an imitators of Jesus.
• Follow His example.
• Walk continuously in love.
• Value one another.
• Practice empathy and compassion.
Our relationship with God is the foundation that every other relationship is built on. Relationship with Jesus starts with brokenness and desperation and ends with forgiveness. No matter what someone has done, Christ welcomes them. At this time we take the person Jesus to those who are hurting, broken and lost who need a SAVIOR.
Who do you know that is hurting that might need Jesus? Did you experience a conviction, challenge or a commitment you need to make from this devotion?
2 Kings 4:1-7 TLB
Now the wife of the son of one of the men who tell what will happen in the future cried out to Elisha, “Your servant, my husband, is dead. You know that your servant honored the Lord with fear. But the man to whom he owed money has come to take my two children to make them serve him.” Elisha said to her, “What can I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your woman servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go around and get jars from all your neighbors. Get empty jars, many of them. Then go in and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour the oil into all these jars, and set aside each one that is full.” So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They took the jars to her, and she poured. When the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another jar.” And he said to her, “There is not one jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing. She came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go and sell the oil and pay what you owe. You and your sons can live on the rest.”
Everybody experiences crisis, but not everybody knows the steps to being calm during the crisis.
Crisis + Choices = Calmness or Chaos
Crisis is a concealed camouflaged miracle waiting for us to obey God. The greatest problem with crisis is we look to human solutions for spiritual problems. Explore biblical principles to apply to the problem.
What we are doing before the crisis comes matters; serving and loving the Lord before the crisis will determine the outcome. Many times, it takes a crisis to prepare our hearts to hear from God.
Steps to Overcoming the Crisis
• Fix our eyes on the Rock—cry out to God.
• Quickly choose to humble ourselves to the mighty hand of God.
• Believe God is bigger than our crisis.
What crisis have you faced this year? How can you better handle the next crisis you face? Did you experience a conviction, challenge or a commitment you need to make from this devotion?
Lamentations 3:21-23 NKJV
This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
Mercy is the manifestation of God actively on behalf of His people freeing us from slavery, guilt, and punishment. Divine mercy of God is the unchangeable character of God—by which He does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness brings discouragement.
God’s Word never lies and there is hope in the Lord. The devil will remind you of what you’ve done and condemnation will drive you from God. However, God wants to give us a fresh start every day. God’s mercies will always outlast our sins. Without God’s mercies, we will miss out on His miracles and our life will be miserable.
Psalm 51:1 NKJV To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your loving kindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.
Sin brings guilt, MERCY brings freedom from that guilt!
Do you have areas of guilt that you need freedom in? Would you ask God to forgive you and show you mercy in ________________ area of my life? Did you experience a conviction, challenge or a commitment you need to make from this devotion?
John 5:5-6 TLB “One of the men lying there had been sick for thirtyeight years. When Jesus saw him, and knew how long he had been ill, He asked him, “Would you like to be well?”
Conforming to what we believe we can’t do, instead of believing what God says about us limits the power of God in our life. When we believe what God says about us, we live in His blessings instead of the burdens we brought on ourselves. Limited expectation on ourselves and God limits God instead of releasing Him in our lives.
God can radically change and cure, not simply comfort, us when we surrender to Him. Transformation takes place in participation.
Would you like God to heal _____________ in your life? Are you limiting what God wants to do in your life? Did you experience a conviction, challenge, or a commitment you need to make from this devotion?
Our purpose will greatly determine our priorities in life
Matthew 4:19 NKJV “Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”.
Matthew 14:27-32 NKJV “But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid. “And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So, He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
Lessons to Learn from the Storms of Life
Storms will come. Jesus is always with you. Focusing only on having our needs met is nothing more than camouflage by the enemy for us to live in the chaos. Acknowledging our weakness in the storm is the first step to true strength.
Our Purpose in Life
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
• Love God
• Spread His Word (must be in and under the Word)
• Further His Kingdom.
When we don’t know our purpose, we are fearful and unfaithful.
Do you feel you know God’s purpose for your life? Do you feel you are a follower of Christ? Did you experience a conviction, challenge, or a commitment you need to make from this devotion?
Genesis 13:8-9 NKJV “So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.”
The hardest people to show mercy to is those closest to you. The most mature person is the first one to acknowledge and take action when there is a problem. Lot was looking at earthly opportunity instead of obedience. How you deal with disagreements with those closest to you will determine the relationship you have with them.
The first sign of immaturity is when you think you are smarter than God. Problems we encounter sometimes are nothing more than a process God allows to teach us to handle His promises. Prosperity without process equals pride.
What person did God bring to your mind that you might need to show mercy to? Is there someone close to you that you need to forgive or ask forgiveness? Did you experience a conviction, challenge or a commitment you need to make from this devotion?
Steps to Enjoy God’s Mercy
1. Keep recalling/reminding yourself what mercy is. Mercy is undeserved forgiveness and unearned kindness. Mercy is being pardoned from the punishment we deserve.
2. Practice receiving and giving mercy or we will be miserable.
Jesus did not come to condone sin or condemn the sinner—He came to change the sinner! Satan uses condemnation to drive us away from God. Mercy brings us back to God.
Benefits of God:
2. Mercies of God – Practice the mercies of God.
4. Abundant Life
5. God’s Mercies will always outweigh your sin.
KJV “and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Have you been allowing Satan to make you feel condemned? Where do you need to give and receive God’s mercy? Did you experience a conviction, challenge or a commitment you need to make from this devotion?