Praying the Names of God – April 30

From Praying the Names of Jesus Week Twenty, Day Four

The Name
David was Israel’s greatest king, a man whom the Bible describes as having the very heart of God. So it may not be surprising that the New Testament both begins and ends with references to Jesus as the Son or Offspring of David. He is the One who fulfilled the promise of a coming King so beloved by God that his throne will endure forever. Like David, Jesus was born in Bethlehem (the city of David). And like David, who established his kingdom by overcoming Israel’s enemies and uniting God’s people, Jesus would establish his kingdom by defeating the principalities and powers, making a way for us to become part of it as we confess our faith in him. When you pray to Jesus as the Son of David, you are praying to the long-awaited King, human by virtue of his descent from David and divine by virtue of being God’s only Son.

Key Scripture
The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end. Luke 1:32-33

***

Thursday
Praying the Name

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 2 Timothy 2:8-10

Reflect On: 2 Timothy 2:8-10.

Praise God: For opening your eyes and ears to his mercy.

Offer Thanks: Because Christ wants to spread his kingdom through you.

Confess: Any reluctance to share your faith with others.

Ask God: To give you opportunities to tell others about how Christ has loved you.

Successful publishers understand how crucial it is to distinguish between “needs” and “felt needs.” If a commercial publisher were to form its list simply by asking what people need to read rather than what people want to read, it wouldn’t stay in business for long. Perhaps that’s why Christian publishers rarely introduce new books on the topic of missions and evangelism. They know that most readers don’t feel the need for such books even though it might be good if they did. And when I say most readers, I am including myself. In fact I confess to having a slight aversion to the word “evangelism” because it reminds me of something I should be doing but would rather not. But why do I find evangelism so difficult?

Jeffrey John, Dean of St. Alban’s Cathedral in England, helped me answer that question when he wrote:

Before we can hear the Word of God, we need God himself to open our ears to do so. Our natural state is not one of readiness to hear his message; rather, it is the opposite. . . . The Prophets were in anguish over the people’s spiritual deafness. Jesus wept for Jerusalem. . . . It is still the case that a Christian priest or minister, or any Christian who attempts to share the gospel, is likely to hit the same barrier and share something of the same agony, the agony of God desperately trying to get through to his estranged children.

However we understand the doctrine of the Fall, a large part of its meaning is that we are born spiritually autistic — instinctively self-centred and self-enclosed. In our natural state it is hard for God to break through to us, and for us to break through to him.

No wonder I find it difficult to share my faith! Only grace can forge an opening for the gospel, leaving people free to resist that grace if they choose. But while I, like most people, dislike encountering resistance, I realize that my aversion to evangelism goes far deeper. My biggest problem is not that I hate conflict but that I lack love. Because if I loved people more, I would share more of God’s anguish for the lost. Without love’s propelling force, I have neither the energy nor the courage to share my faith, despite the fact that I, like all believers, am called to spread the good news of the kingdom.

I want God to change my heart, to help me break out of my own self-centeredness so that I can experience two things — more anguish and more love for his estranged children. Pray with me today to the One who is called the “Son of David,” remembering that God described David as “a man after my own heart.” Ask Jesus to give you his heart for those who are still far from him. Think especially of the men, women, and children in your own circle of influence. Ask God to break through their blindness and their deafness so that they can begin to perceive his goodness and his love.

For more from Ann Spangler, please visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. And be sure to check out Ann’s newest books on AnnSpangler.com.


Meet your spiritual ancestors as they really were: Less Than Perfect: Broken Men and Women of the Bible and What We Can Learn from Them.

Somebody Loves You – April 30, 2020

THURSDAY April 30, 2020

The Called of Christ

Through Him [Jesus] we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ.
Romans 1:5-6

Paul opened his letter by speaking about God’s anger against sin. Who is God is angry with? In Psalm 7:11, we read: God is angry with the wicked every day. God hates sin, and He will not compromise with anyone in sin. God will judge and condemn sin, and eventually people will end up in hell because of a three-letter word––sin.

In the first chapter, Paul was actually opening as if he was a part of a trial where God is the Judge and sinful human beings are being accused. They are to be judged by the Judge, to be found guilty or not guilty. As we read, it is as if we, too, are in the presence of the court. In the first seven verses, Paul was also like a court recorder, the one who writes down everything that was said, all the testimonies that are given.

Paul, as the author of the book of Romans, provides for us the introductory material. He gives to us his credentials. He is a teacher and a professor, and, as such, he was to be taken seriously. People would listen to him because he had qualifications and he spoke with authority.

We can also observe the heart of Paul as he related to us certain facts about himself. He was a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called of God to be an apostle, a missionary who was set apart to preach the Gospel. He was called of God, just as we are called of God.

Christians are the called of Christ. We cannot live a life of comfort and ease. It is important to read and study the entire Bible, especially to grasp what Paul was teaching. Then we can preach the Gospel. That is everyone’s duty! To proclaim it and share it with someone else.

When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer~

For more from Raul Ries, please visit SomebodyLovesYou.com!

All Day Long – One Year Devotions for Men

Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. – Psalm 25:5

Some people are morning people. They awake refreshed, renewed, and ready to meet the day, but by evening, the enthusiasm and energy begin to wear down. Others take a little longer to get going, but when the rest of their family and friends are ready to call it a day, they are hitting their stride, eager for more. But both kinds of people have to make it through the day—and do it well. The middle of the day can be the hardest time for both.

Among the early risers are those who have developed the discipline of a quiet time of devotional reading, meditation, and prayer before they face the challenges of the day. There is much to commend this approach—but not if you already have difficulty getting out of bed in time for work! The evening people can just as easily reserve time during the lunch hour or before they retire for the night to engage in specific spiritual exercises.

George Herbert, the sixteenth-century Anglican pastor and poet, gave some of the best advice. He wrote,

Sum up at night what thou hast done by day.
And in the morning what thou hast to do,
Dress and undress thy soul.21

The idea of dressing and undressing the soul, just as we dress and undress the body, has special appeal because it points to the fact that the whole day needs to be lived in the light and power of our relationship with the Lord. This requires both preparation and evaluation. The day will present many and varied challenges and opportunities for which we need to be prepared and about which we need to be concerned.

Perhaps David said it best—”All day long I put my hope in you” (Ps. 25:5). He stated no preference for morning devotion or evening reflection, but his commitment to daily communion with the Lord and concentration on him probably required both.

Spiritual preparation and evaluation should make spiritual concentration easier during the day. Spiritual concentration is a matter of putting our trust in the Lord “all day long.” Should it be objected that the busy surgeon can’t be thinking of the Lord when he is taking out a tumor or that a truck driver can’t be praying when he’s driving a huge eighteen-wheeler down the freeway at sixty-five miles per hour, the objection would, of course, stand. However, it is possible to have an awareness of the Lord, and an inner sense of reliance on him, while doing these tasks.

If all men, including truck drivers and surgeons, start their day with a conscious waiting on the Lord, and they bear in mind that they will talk with the Lord about it at day’s end, they will be aware of living before the Lord “all day long.” Should crisis hit, their instincts will turn them promptly to the Lord. And at the end of the day, when the patient is sewn up or the truck is parked, they’ll hear the Lord saying, ”Well done.”

For Further Study: Psalm 25

Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for MenCopyright ©2000 by Stuart Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

For more from Stuart Briscoe, please visit TellingtheTruth.org.

Coronavirus and Christ YouVersion Devotional

The Sweetness of His Reign Why should we receive the news of God’s sovereignty over the coronavirus, and over our lives, as a sweet teaching? The secret is knowing that the same sovereignty that could stop the coronavirus, yet doesn’t, is the very sovereignty that sustains the soul in it.  In other words, if we try to rescue God from his sovereignty over suffering, we sacrifice his sovereignty to turn all things for good.  Good News: God Reigns The very sovereignty that rules in sickness is the sovereignty that sustains in loss. The very sovereignty that takes life is the sovereignty that conquered death and brings believers home to heaven and Christ. It is not sweet to think that Satan, sickness, sabotage, fate, or chance has the last say in my life. That is not good news.  That God reigns is good news. Why? Because God is holy and righteous and good. And he is infinitely wise. Nothing surprises him, confuses him, or baffles him. His infinite power rests in the hands of infinite holiness and righteousness and goodness—and wisdom. And all of that stands in the service of those who trust his Son, Jesus Christ. What God did in sending Jesus to die for sinners has everything to do with the coronavirus.  ‘All Things’ for Us Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” God’s willingness to send his Son to be crucified in our place is his declaration and validation that he will use all his sovereignty to “give us all things.” It is guaranteed by the blood of his Son.  And what are these “all things”? They are the things we need to do his will, glorify his name, and make it safely into his joyful presence.  Three verses later, Paul explains how it works in real life—in the coronavirus pandemic. What does it look like when God’s infinite, blood-certified commitment to give us “all things” meets the coronavirus? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Rom. 8:35–37)  Don’t miss these painful and amazing words: “We are being killed all the day long.” That means that the “all things” God will give to us, because he did not spare his Son, includes bringing us safely through death. Or, as he says in Romans 8:38–39, “I am sure that neither death nor life . . . will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

Your Enemy Will Pursue You

 

Your enemy will pursue you

Your Now Word

Renny and Marina McLean

Exodus 15:9 “The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.” I love the visual of this, your enemy has a short window to realize that you just had a major victory over them. The lust or insatiable appetite for revenge has masked their ability to act in a rationale way. They make a declaration we will pursue, overtake and destroy. In the midst of your momentary fear make a conscious decision to remember who is your defender and who is able to lift your head in dignity with a steadfast hope.

Only the Lord our God can take out your enemy so that everyone who hears the story of your victory will fear the God you serve. Today make a mental list of all the things that have overwhelmed you and kept you in fear of moving forward. Then make another mental list of what victory would look like if you have total victory of everything that is oppressing you.

My friend what a praise and worship you would bring before the Lord. I am so grateful that God is my refuge and my strength. Be encouraged as you do the list of what overcoming with evidence looks like.

 

To find out more information about this ministry please visit rmministries.com

Watch Renny and Marina McLean on LightSource.com.

God Knows … When My Life is a Struggle, Part 1 – Adventures in Sacred History – The Week of April 27

God Knows … When My Life is a Struggle – Part 1

One young woman wrote a note to herself and put it where she could see it every day: “Smile. Remember, everyone is fighting a difficult battle.” Little things – even a friend’s smile – can help us face life’s battles. How is your battle going? Need help? Is it difficult to choose between good and bad? There is someone who understands your situation perfectly: Jesus.

Jesus grew up in Nazareth. This was known as an evil city. Jesus lived in a simple home and lived a life of low resources. When he was old enough, he worked in his father’s carpentry. The Bible says that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, winning the favor of God and men. His mother taught him from the scrolls of the Old Testament prophets.

Jesus did not live a simple and easy life. Satan tried everything he could think of to make him sin. His half brothers annoyed him. People whispered lies about Him and His unusual birth. His little friends called him a coward when he didn’t want to join them in doing evil. They were impatient with his lofty ideals and regarded him as ‘closed-minded.’

How Jesus Won

How did Jesus remain calm, kind, patient, and pure in everything?

1. Keeping his hands busy, helping around the house, and doing what he knew was right.
(the idle mind invites temptation)
2. Keeping your body as healthy as possible.
3. Accepting the discipline of responsibility – learning to confront and overcome problems
4. Soaking your mind with the word of God.
5. Enjoying and studying the beauty of nature.
6. Knowing more about God through prayer.
7. Being constantly on guard to preserve its purity.
8. Singing psalms and heavenly songs, songs of worship and gratitude.
9. Thinking of others – being kind to the old man in the market, with the woman whose brother died, with the children playing, with the neighbor’s dog, even with the family donkey.
10. Answering every temptation with the Word of God.

If Jesus had answered Satan with an impatient word or look or if he had done something wrong, the plan of our return to the perfection of Eden would have failed.

The pure life of Jesus shows us that we too can overcome life’s battles. The kind of life we ​​live does not depend on where we live, how much money we earn or how many things are in our favor. With God’s help, we can make the right decisions in ANY situation.

Your Favorite Story
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