September 19 – The Gospel Must Be Preached

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14

The Gospel is good news. News must be proclaimed; it must be preached. In Mark 16:15, Jesus commanded His disciples to go into all the world and PREACH the gospel. WHY? So that people would call on the Name of the Lord and be saved. Your silent witness, your Christian life-style is not enough! Soul-winning requires you to DO something…to SAY something.

When you “hear the groaning of the prisoner” (Psalm 102:20a), your first priority should be that of a soul-winner. Remember the good shepherd who left the fold to find one lost sheep? And the good woman who searched the house continually until she found the lost coin? “Church folks” must get out of their “holy huddles,” stop polishing the coins in their hands, and start reaching out to the lost!

Jesus said, “…that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7) You are a soul-winner FIRST, then a pastor, teacher, prophet, or musician. If every Christian would win one lost person each year, the whole world would know Jesus in just thirty-two years!

PRAY: “Lord of the harvest, send workers out to Your fields today. Help me to be one of those who help set the captives free, heal the brokenhearted, and give sight to the blind. In Jesus’ precious Name, amen.”

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September 18 – Give Freely

“One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” Proverbs 11:24 (NIV)

Henry Ward Beecher once said, “In this world, it’s not what you take up but what you give up that makes you rich.” In essence, he was paraphrasing King Solomon.

Solomon expressed still a deeper meaning to giving when he said, “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:25, NIV) Perhaps you have discovered this principle for yourself. There is a revitalizing in your own spirit when you give freely to others in their times of need.

In Luke 18:24-25, Jesus expressed His concern for the young ruler who came to Him asking what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. The rich ruler had kept all the commandments of God from his youth, but he was unwilling to share his wealth. Jesus realized his heart was really with his riches rather than having trust in God alone, so He asked the man to give them up. The ruler very sorrowfully walked away from Jesus.

Do not walk away from the Giver of all riches today. GIVE FREELY whatever it is Jesus asks you to give. You will be refreshed, and you will inherit eternal life!

PRAY:  “Lord of the Universe, I have no riches of my own. All of my earthly goods are gifts from You. Help me to be the best steward of them I can be. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

September 17 – A Treasured Possession

“A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. ‘They will be mine,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘in the day when I make up my treasured possession.’” Malachi 3:16b-17a, NIV

What is your most treasured possession? Where do you keep it? Do you handle it with care?

God says He is waiting for just the right time to bring out His scroll and reveal the difference between the righteous and the wicked. Presently, the rain falls “on the just and the unjust,” and the sun rises “on the evil and on the good.”  (Matthew 5:45) Some people complain about that. “What did we gain by carrying out [God’s] requirements…we call the arrogant blessed…the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.” (Malachi 3:14-15, NIV)

Watch what you say! Do not blame God if things do not change when YOU expect them to. Even a seed needs to be nurtured before it can bear fruit. There IS a day coming when the great separation will take place, as God has promised. Those who continue to serve Him will be part of His “treasured possession.”

What a wonderful day that will be for those who are saved. Imagine what it will be like being God’s “treasured possession” for all eternity!

PRAY:  “Eternal Father, what a computer You must have! I want to be one of Your treasures. Keep me in a right standing with You so that my name will be on that printout. I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

September 16 – An Awesome God

“Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. For he Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.”  Deuteronomy 10:16-17 (NIV)

Moses over and over again tried to convey to his people how mighty and AWESOME their God was. He urged them to repent and reverence Him. It seems they continually tried to bargain their way through the wilderness and, consequently, suffered many afflictions.

King David constantly proclaimed the mighty and awesome deeds his God performed and said, “In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him.” (Psalm 89:7, NIV)  His son, Solomon, confirmed this understanding of God and flatly stated, in Ecclesiastes 5:7b (NIV): “Therefore stand in awe of God.”

Isaiah continued the proclamation of God’s awesomeness in Chapter 64:3-5a (NIV): “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways.”

Your God is an AWESOME God. Honor Him today.

PRAY: “Mighty God, I praise You for the AWESOME works You have performed on my behalf. You have changed me…spirit, soul, and body…and continue to be my guiding Light and Source of strength. Amen.”

September 15 – Joint-Heir with Christ

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…”  Romans 8:16-17a

Have you ever seen a retiree’s car’s bumper sticker that reads: “We’re spending our children’s inheritance”? It usually is affixed to a van or motor home trailering a large boat or some other adult toy. The sight brings a smile to your face, but Proverbs 13:22a says: “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children.” It seems good for a parent to leave some “nest egg” of financial inheritance to his children; but more important to you, as a Christian, is your heavenly inheritance from Father God.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him”? (I Corinthians 2:9)

Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you…I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  (John 14:2-3) Not only do you have an inheritance in heaven, but, as a joint-heir with Christ, you have the Spirit of the Son at work within you HERE and NOW…His love, joy, and peace.

PRAY: “Most generous Father, I do not deserve to be a joint-heir with Christ and hold title to Your abundance. Thank You for making me ONE with You and Your Son.* Amen.”

*John 17:21 (paraphrased)

September 14 – The Crown of Righteousness

“Now, there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” II Timothy 4:8 (NIV)

How could the Apostle Paul claim that he had the CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS waiting for him? Here is why…because he had “fought the good fight…finished the race…kept the faith.” (Verse 7). Sometimes life seems like a FIGHT — a fight to DO the right thing…SAY the right thing…BE the right kind of Christian. God is pleased by your efforts. He rewards YOUR efforts at righteousness with HIS crown (gift) of righteousness.

The Lord Jesus alone is YOUR righteousness, “For [God] hath made him to be sin for [you], who knew no sin; that [you] might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (II Corinthians 5:21)

Are you fighting the good fight and keeping the faith so that you can finish the race that is set before you and be judged accordingly? Are you “longing” for Christ’s appearing today? Do you desire “the crown of righteousness” that only He can place upon your head? KEEP FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH!

PRAY: “Righteous, Holy Father, Your Son Jesus admonished His disciples to ‘Have faith in God.’* Send Your Spirit to help me keep fighting this good fight of faith today. I truly desire Your gift of righteousness. Amen.”

*Mark 11:22b

September 13 – Grandparent’s Day

Someone has designated the second Sunday in September as a day to honor grandparents… perhaps it was a greeting card company (smile). Anyway, it is a great idea, because grandparents are very special. In the eyes of their grandchildren, especially, they are:

G— generous
R— reassuring
A— amiable
N— nice
D— dependable

P — patient
A — admired
R — respectable
E — earnest
N — neat
T — thoughtful
S — sincere

When Paul wrote an encouraging letter to young Timothy, he said: “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois…”  (II Timothy 1:5a, NIV)

Where do you fit into this picture today? Are you the kind of grandparent described in the acrostic above, or are you the grandchild who honors your grandparents and desires to emulate their sincere faith?  Say a prayer for your grandparents or grandchildren today.