December 7 – Jeopardy At The Jordan

“Then the Lord said to him, ‘This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, “I will give it to your descendants.” I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.’” Deuteronomy 34:4 (NIV)

Moses was not able to cross over into the Promised Land; he was only able to SEE it. After forty years of wandering in the wilderness, he was not able to POSSESS the land of promise.

The Jordan River marked the dividing line between the wilderness and Promised Land. Spiritually, the Jordan can represent whatever obstacle or adversity stands between your problems (wilderness) and answers to your problems (God’s promise).

The danger is that many people are satisfied merely to SEE into the land of promise, having become comfortable in the wilderness. Here God leads with a cloud by day and fire by night, provides daily manna and shoes that do not wear out.

However, it is Father God’s desire for you to POSSESS your inheritance and do battle for the Promised Land. Immature selfishness is what keeps you in the wilderness. A fighting spirit for God will take you across the Jordan and into your land of victory.

PRAY: “Father God, I renounce the devil’s design to keep me in the wilderness.  I want to cross over the Jordan and do battle for growth in righteousness. Give me Your warring Spirit, Lord.  In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

December 6 – Possess Your Promise

“Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the Lord your God giveth you to possess it.” Joshua 1:11

God has given you the PROMISED LAND as an inheritance. It is legally yours…paid for with a price, the precious blood of Jesus. That land of promise represents the kingdom of God’s love, joy, peace, and goodness.  It is yours…God wants you to have it…but it must be taken POSSESSION OF.  “…[you] must through much TRIBULATION enter into the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22)  “…and the violent take it by FORCE.” (Matthew 11:12) “…and every man PRESSETH into it.” (Luke 16:16)

Your salvation is immediate, but growth in God and His promises requires you to SUBDUE the “land” of your old nature for freedom from all sin, demonic oppression, and sickness. This battle takes aggressive obedience to God to win and is the process required to live a successful Christian life.

There is no VICTORY without battle. There is JOY for every victory. Overcome your enemies today, take POSSESSION of every promise of God!

PRAY: “Father, stay by my side as I fight the battle to possess the land of spiritual blessing that You have for me. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

December 5 – Let Peace Begin With Me

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:18

There is one word found throughout the Christmas story…in prophecies, at Jesus’ birth, and throughout His ministry…in which everyone is interested. It is so important that God put it in the Bible some four hundred times. What is it? PEACE!

“PEACE” comes from a root word which means “to bind together.” When people are in conflict with one another, there is separation. After they reconcile, they come together in peace and  enjoy a sense of oneness. In Mark 9:50b, Jesus told His disciples to “have peace one with another.” When He appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, His greeting was, “Peace be unto you.” (John 20:19)

In a national survey, it was discovered that loneliness is the Number One need. There is no way to experience peace when you feel lonely, hopeless, purposeless, and empty. Only God can fill the void caused by these desperate needs. He can be your closest partner and friend. Your relationship with God can bring you a peace that passes all human understanding. With that kind of peace, no circumstance can alter your inner sense of quietness. God will sustain your spirit. Let PEACE begin with your decision to team up with God and His plan and purpose for your life.

PRAY: “Loving Father, You are the only one who can bring lasting PEACE to my soul. I desire to be in unity with Your plan for me today. Amen.”

December 4 – Offend Not The Little Ones

“But whosoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6

Psychologists today say that everyone has a five-year-old inside and that you should nurture that five-year-old no matter what your age. Perhaps this is why: Children have some pure and positive attributes that seem to decline with age…things like trust, hope, happiness, and honesty. They always seem to believe the best. They demonstrate faith, unconditional love, and humility.

Jesus admonished his disciples, in Matthew 18:3-4, that “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Your strongest and most valuable character traits may be hidden behind a wall of hurt and inhibition. Tear down the walls and become vulnerable and free like a child.

Jesus issues a strong warning about not offending “one of these little ones,” perhaps speaking of new or immature believers. Watch closely how you interact with them lest they become hurt or discouraged in their Christian walk and perhaps fall by the wayside.

PRAY: “Gracious Lord, allow my words and actions to be seasoned with Your love and mercy.  Increase my sensitivity to the feelings of others so that I might minister in wisdom. Amen.”

December 3 – A Holy Embrace

“Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.” Genesis 48:10

In Bible times and countries, a kiss and an embrace were often a sign of reverence and subjection to a superior (I Samuel 10:1) or brotherly love and affection (I Samuel 20:41).

Jacob was near the close of his life and wanted to bless his grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh, so he first kissed and hugged them. In this warm picture of family affection, you are reminded of the value of meaningful touch between parents, grandparents, and children.

The world has perverted these expressions of love through sin and misuse, but it was not so in the beginning. God intended you to be a person of blessing with the ability to impart blessings through touch. Jesus took the little children up in His arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

The Apostle Paul continually ended his letters to the churches with the command, “Greet one another with an holy kiss.” (I Corinthians 16:20, Romans 16:16, I Thessalonians 5:26) Obviously, much wisdom and prudence must be exercised in applying the Word to everyday experience.

PRAY: “Father, thank You for the warm embraces of Your Holy Spirit’s presence in my life. Guide me in my efforts to be more affectionate toward my family in a godly way. Amen.”

December 2 – ‘Tis The Season

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” Isaiah 9:6

Amidst all the shopping, baking, and decorating that accompanies the Christmas holiday, remember that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” It is the season that His birth is celebrated, and we have an opportunity each year to promote the “Christ” in Christmas.

The decorative lights are a reminder that “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (I John 1:5b) God’s presence is often depicted as light that illumines and reveals the darkness of sin in the world.

Purpose to let His light shine through you this month onto those who are without hope, to those who are depressed or suicidal, to anyone who is without a family or a friend.  Statistics show that more people are emotionally distraught during this very joyous time than any other if they are alone or in crisis. Why not make a special effort to look for someone in need this Christmas and invite him to your home? You may also think of giving a gift to one in need.

Remember that Jesus said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)

PRAY: “Heavenly Father, I know You are concerned for the lonely and hurting people in the earth, and I share Your concern. Show me today where I can touch others with Your love. Amen.”

December 1 – Preparedness

“And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.” Luke 12:47

The First Sunday of Advent (usually falling on the last Sunday in November) hails the beginning of the Christian Church calendar. “Advent” means “preparation for the celebration of Christmas” and lasts four weeks. It carries with it reminders of the birth of Christ, His coming into individual lives, and His soon second coming. This time of preparation is to be exciting, interesting, valued, and shared.

Some churches or families incorporate an Advent wreath to help them prepare for the Christ Child’s coming. The circle represents eternity; the evergreen symbolizes life even in winter; and the large white candle in the center, from which the other four are lit, represents Jesus as the Light of the world. The color of Advent is purple. It denotes sorrow for sin and loyalty to the King of kings. So the first purple candle is lit the first week, signifying the prophetic words concerning Christ’s birth.

As we enter the last month of the year, join in this spirit of preparation. “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.” (I Thessalonians 4:3a) Prepare your heart to worship the Christ of Christmas in a deeper, more devoted way than ever before.

PRAY: “Father of holiness, prepare my heart to seek You and to know You in a more personal way. I want to be found ready when Christ returns.  In Jesus’ Name, amen.”