Spiritual Conflicts

SUGGESTED READING: ROMANS 7:14 -17

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “….. With the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin”
-Romans 7:25

Lunacy, in the natural world, means that a person has alternating personalities. The most popular literary presentation of this type of behavior is Robert Louis Stevenson’s study “Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde.”

One of the greatest tragedies with regard to spiritual matters is this very thing. When the Holy Spirit first convicts a person’s conscience, and uncovers a personality that fights against the light of God, the consequence is spiritual conflict. It is this tragedy of tragedies to which Paul is alluding in Romans 7.

The ultimate outcome of this spiritual tragedy is either our sinking back into the old unity of the personality of sin, or being lifted up to a new unity of the personality of holiness. Man is what his “will” makes him, and sin’s seat of operation is in the human will. A person’s attitude toward God depends on the simplicity of a personal choice

Prayer Thought: “Father, unless You empower me to live victoriously, I will miserably fail You” Amen.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from DEVOTIONS FOR A DEEPER LIFE BY OSWALD CHAMBERS.

‘ “DEVOTIONS FOR A DEEPER LIFE”. 

SUGGESTED READING: EPHESIANS 1:15 -23

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” – Ephesians 1:18

Saintliness is not built on admiration for Jesus Christ. It is not simply a reflected glory due to one’s nearness to our Blessed Lord. It is not refined sensitivity or a subtle religious genius. The stately beauty of a saint is not a reformed edition of carnality.

A saint is the work of our Master Workman, the Lord Jesus Christ. The saint i one who – on this good mother earth, amid the sordid and sacred days of time – has the glory of the Lord.

Saintliness is the product of Calvary and Pentecost where our Lord Jesus Christ dug our souls

From central gloom
And heated hot with burning fears,
And dipped in baths of hissing tears,
And battered by the shades of doom
To shape and use.

The saint is one who loves the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength and loves his neighbor as himself (Mark 12:30-31). Saints tread this earth with human feet while creation “groaneth and travaileth in pain,” waiting for full redemption (Romans 8:22).

If this life is so glorious now, what will it be when our Lord returns?

Prayer Thought: “Many times, Lord, I sense my need of more of You, so that I may better understand how to be a true saint of God.” Amen.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from DEVOTIONS FOR A DEEPER LIFE BY OSWALD CHAMBERS.

“DEVOTIONS FOR A DEEPER LIFE”

SUGGESTED READING:

2 CORINTHIANS 4:14 -18
SCRIPTURE TEXT: “For our light affliction, which is but a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” – 2 Corinthians 4:17

The dominant trait of a true saint is a personal, passionate, and overwhelming devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ. Experiences of inward ecstasy are secondary. A saint wants to know Him.

In spite of disastrous circumstances, a saint yearns to know more of the providence of God. The apostle Paul was imprisoned, shipwrecked, starved, and stoned, yet we hear him speaking about “our light affliction, which is but for moment…….” (2 Corinthians 4: 17). He unhesitantly says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation. or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us form the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”  (Romans 8: 35, 38-39)

It is not reward that a saint looks for ; it is to hear our Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”

Prayer Thought: “Father, with Your help, I will be faithful to You” Amen.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from DEVOTIONS FOR A DEEPER LIFE BY OSWALD CHAMBERS.

 “DEVOTIONS FOR A DEEPER LIFE”. 

SUGGESTED READING: 1

THESSALONIANS 3:7 -13
SCRIPTURE TEXT: “To the end He may stablish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints” – Thessalonians 3:13

A true saint has received Christ Jesus our Lord. A saint’s conduct does not spring from adherence to external rules, but is the spontaneous outcome of an inward life of holiness and love. A true saint is free from condemnation (Rom 8:1), fully forgiven of sins (1 Cor 6:11, Eph 1:7), justified by God (Rom 3:24), sanctified wholly (Heb 13:12; 1 Thess 5:23; 1 Cor 1:30), a child of God (John 1:12; John 4:1-3), and possessor of all things (1 Cor 3:21-23).

Saintliness is not a divine anticipation; it can be a fact NOW. Oh, for more holy boldness to claim what is ours through the atonement of Jesus Christ our Lord!

Thou know He died not for Himself,
nor for Himself arose;
Millions of souls were in His heart, and
thee for one He chose.

Upon the palms of His pierced hands,
engraven was thy name
He for thy cleansing had prepared
His water and His flame.

Make sure thou with Him art risen: and now
with Him thou must go forth.
And  He will lend thy sick soul health
thy strivings might and worth.

Prayer Thought: “I am not worthy to be called a saint, Lord; but help me to be one in all my attitudes and actions.” Amen.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from DEVOTIONS FOR A DEEPER LIFE BY OSWALD CHAMBERS.


DEVOTIONS FOR A DEEPER LIFE

SUGGESTED READING: ROMANS 5:6-21

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “But God commandeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” – Romans 5:8

When a person is convicted of sin, he cries out, “Against Thee, and Thee only, have I sinned!” From the biblical point of view, sin is ignoring God’s claims and maintaining one’s right to oneself. Sin is sometimes esteemed among human beings, but it is an abomination in the sight of God.

Sin is not an abstraction; it is a terrible personal reality. Any person who has heard that Jesus Christ saves from sin, and continues in sin, is a damned soul already.

“The wages of sin is death.” But God postponed the penalty of death by allowing His only begotten Son to become the great victim for the whole world. “for God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)

My sins, my sins, my Saviour,
Oh, sad on Thee they fall,
Seen through Thy tender patience,
I tenfold feel them all.

I know they are forgiven,
But, oh, their pain to me
Is all the grief and anguish
They laid, my Lord, on Thee

Prayer Thought: “I accept responsibility for my sins. O God, I need Your forgiveness.” Amen.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from DEVOTIONS FOR A DEEPER LIFE BY OSWALD CHAMBERS.

THREE WAYS GOD TESTS YOU THROUGH YOUR FINANCES

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Trust in your money and down you go! Trust in God and flourish as a tree!” ”
– Proverbs 11:28 (TLB)

MESSAGE
God uses money to test you. He doesn’t just automatically give his blessings to anybody. He tests you first to see if you’re responsible. Before God gives you spiritual power, he gives you material possessions. If you’re not managing money well, then why in the world should he give you the stuff that really matters?

God’s favorite tool to test you is your finances, and he’s looking for three specific things.

Money shows what you love most. You’re going to give your most time and money to whatever you love most—and your calendar and bank statement will prove it. Jesus says, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth . . . Store your treasures in heaven . . . Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” (Matthew 6:19-21 NLT). Wherever you want your heart to be, put your money there, and you’ll get interested in it.

Money shows what you trust most. It shows what you have faith in. Are you trusting in money or God for security? Are you trusting in money or God for your happiness? Proverbs 11:28 says, “Trust in your money and down you go! Trust in God and flourish as a tree!” (TLB).

Money shows if God can trust you. Unmanaged finances are a symptom of an unmanaged life. God is looking to see how well you manage material things before he gives you spiritual blessing. The Bible says, “If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” (Luke 16:11-12 NIV).

There is a direct connection between maturity and money. There’s a direct connection between spiritual power and how you handle possessions. There is a direct connection between God’s blessing in your life and what you do with your bucks.
Don’t miss the connection. How you handle money determines how much God can bless your life.

Talk About It

What does your bank statement reveal that you love most?

Have you been asking God for more blessing in your life? How might your finances be affecting how much God is willing to entrust to you?

What are the “true riches” mentioned in Luke 16 that God entrusts to responsible stewards of his gifts?

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from DAILY HOPE BY PASTOR RICK.

PLEASE, FORGIVE ME: LET’S CONFESS TO ONE ANOTHER

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “First go and be reconciled with your brother; then come and offer your gift.”
– Matthew 5:24

At a church potluck awhile ago, older parishioners were asked to share childhood memories to help us younger parents strengthen our families. An elderly Greek lady, Helen, told us that every Saturday evening her family had prayed special prayers ending the week and starting the new one. Most importantly, they asked forgiveness of each other and their Father. “Only then did I feel ready to go to church the next day,” Helen said.

Their Saturday ritual seemed only an interesting old custom until a few weeks later, when our family attended the Liturgy at a Romanian Orthodox monastery in southern Michigan. During the Liturgy, the clergy embrace and ask forgiveness of each other, then bow to the congregation, asking the people to forgive them. When they had finished doing this, the woman in front of me turned to the lady next to her and whispered, “Forgive me, Mom.” Her mom asked her for forgiveness in turn, and they hugged each other. Then, before receiving Holy Communion, I noticed each nun go to the abbess, bow and ask forgiveness, then turn and bow to all the other nuns.

Looking at my husband Alex across the heads of our children, I mouthed the words, “Forgive me.” “I do. Forgive me, too,” he whispered.

We reached behind the kids and gave each other’s hand a squeeze. Now, before our family receives Communion each Sunday, we ask each other’s forgiveness. Sometimes we think of specifics, such as “Forgive me for losing my temper and shouting at you,” or “Forgive me for not doing what you asked right away.” At other times, nothing definite comes to mind, but we ask pardon for any ways we’ve wronged or failed each other, knowingly or unknowingly, and seal our reconciliation with a big hug. Cleansed of the past week’s failures or irritations, we are renewed to start fresh another week, “fighting the good fight of the faith.”

Prayer Thought: “Father, before I worship You today, help me be at peace with everyone”. Amen

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from DEVOTIONALS DAILY.

NEED HELP? GOD IS WAITING FOR YOU TO ASK

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” – Matthew 7:7 (NIV)

MESSAGE

God never closes his storehouse until you close your mouth and stop asking.

God wants to help you, but if you don’t ever ask, that’s a problem. The last time you needed a car, did you ask God for it, or did you just go out and buy it? Before you decided on the best way to do something, did you ask God for wisdom? When you needed help in a relationship, did you pray about it first?
Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” -Matthew 7:7 (NIV).

When you need God’s help, remember to ASK: ask, seek, knock. God spells it out in this verse three ways so that you will get the message. Maybe you never see miracles in your life because you never ask for them. If you want to see God work in your life more, start asking!

One of God’s principles for your finances is that before you pay for it, pray for it. Stop and ask God. Give God a chance to give it to you before you go out and charge it. If you depend more on your credit card than on Jesus Christ, then you’re not going to get God’s blessing on your finances. He wants you to pray about it before you pay for it so that you will have his wisdom and make a decision that pleases him.
God wants you to ask for things in prayer because he’s a loving Father. Like any father who loves to give his kids good things, God loves to bestow gifts on his children. He’s just waiting for you to ask.
“You have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy” -John 16:24 (NCV).

God wants you to ask so he can give. He wants to give so you can receive. He wants you to receive so you’ll be full of joy. He wants you to be full of joy because it’s a great advertisement for Jesus Christ. Joyful Christians show the world that following Jesus and doing what he commands brings joy, not dread.

Stop worrying about your finances. Start praying about them! When you do, you’ll have a lot less worry and a lot more joy.

Talk About It

What is the biggest thing that you need help with right now? Have you prayed about it?

What people in your life will pray with you about something that you would otherwise worry about? What difference do their prayers make in your life?

How can you still be full of joy when God doesn’t answer your prayers the way you want or expect him to?

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from DAILY HOPE BY PASTOR RICK.

“DEVOTIONS FOR A DEEPER LIFE”

SUGGESTED READING: ACTS 17:22-31

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “God… commandeth all men everywhere to repent” – Acts 17:30b

True repentance is keenly painful, but very beneficial in its results. Some people easily forget their period of repentance; others never do. I am referring to the period when a person fully feels what one has been. I do not believe the Spirit of God allows Christians to lose all memory of the horrible pit and miry clay of sins out of which God has delivered them. The apostle Paul never forgot what he was; and that memory reminded him that he became what he “now is” by the marvelous grace of God.

Repentance does not mean that you will never commit those sins again. It means that you have, by God’s grace, reached a place where you do positively the other things. The only truly repentant person, in the fullest analysis, is the person who allows God to deal with what was wrong – sin.

Set your heart and mind toward God and let the Holy light of Jesus Christ search through every crook and cranny. The result will be a marvelous readjustment of your whole life.

PRAYER THOUGHT: “Search me, Lord. Enable me to forsake all sin and live for you”. Amen.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from DEVOTIONS FOR DEEPER LIFE BY OSWALD CHAMBERS.

“DEVOTIONS FOR A DEEPER LIFE”

SUGGESTED READING: HEBREWS 2

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be merciful and faithful high priest in thins pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people”- Hebrews 2:17

The greatest work in the world is the work of Christ’s reconciliation of mankind with God. Sin put each one of us at enmity with God and God at enmity with us.

We have too often forgotten God’s hatred for sin. The consequence is that our sense of salvation becomes merely sentiment; we presume that God,being love, will forgive any sinner at any time. But if we teach that people are saved by “simply looking to Jesus”, we are quite mistaken – unless we understand what the Bible mean by looking to Jesus. If we declare that “there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved,” all well and good; but if by that we mean looking to Jesus as a representative of God, if we are “lost in wonder, love, and praise” as we meditate upon that fact, and if we accept that sense of wonder as a sign of our salvation – then we are deceived.

Beware of any teaching that says “loving Jesus” means that your soul is saved. This simply is not true, either in Scripture or in the common experience of life. There are scores of men and women who love Jesus, but who loathe the doctrine of forgiveness of sins by shed blood of Jesus.

PRAYER THOUGHT: “Gracious Lord, the love You expressed toward us through Your death and resurrection gives me hope. I praise You for it”. Amen.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from DEVOTIONS FOR DEEPER LIFE BY OSWALD CHAMBERS.