September 30 – Destined to Win

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” I Peter 1:3-5

Jessy Dixon came to Christian Retreat every year on Palm Sunday to sing and share his testimony.  He’s a dear friend and well-known for his song, “Destined to Win.” Jessy knows his destiny and exhorts everyone to have a “spirit of expectancy” in God. His very demeanor exudes this winning attitude.

You too are “destined” to win if you have entered into that new life in Christ. You have an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. You cannot lose!

Jesus told his disciples to “rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20b) God is FOR you. He is cheering for you. He sees you as a WINNER, because He sees you for what you are BECOMING and He has already written the final chapter.

You can be confident of this very thing: “…he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

PRAY:  “Father of winners, You have my destiny in Your hands. Thank You for the eternal inheritance You have promised. I will be faithful to follow Your instructions. Amen.”

September 29 – I Have a Destiny

“In love, God predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Ephesians 1:5-6 (NIV)

“I have a destiny I know I shall fulfill,
I have a destiny in that city on a hill,
I have a destiny, and it’s not an empty wish,
For I know I was born for such a time as this.”

Singing this chorus brings a wonderful confidence into a believer’s life, and you can have confidence. You have a spiritual Father and an eternal inheritance. It is written in the Book and is yours to receive.  Knowledge of your divine destiny will motivate you to become the very best child you possibly can be. You discover your destiny through seeking God; and remember that “…he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

That knowledge also makes you want to share what you know with people around you. The more you understand what YOU were created for, the better you can help others.  Think about Father God’s desires for you. Think about the special strengths and abilities He has given you. Begin to function in your divine destiny.

PRAY:  “Gracious and loving heavenly Father, thank You for adopting me. I feel so loved. Help me to fulfill my destiny in Your plan. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”

September 28 – Rosh Hashanah

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites: “On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present an offering made to the Lord by fire.”’” Leviticus 23:23-25 (NIV)

Under the Old Covenant, God ordained seven special feasts for the Israelites to commemorate every year of their lives. Rosh Hashanah is the fifth such feast and is the Jewish New Year celebration. It is generally known as the Feast of Trumpets, because the “shofar,” or ram’s horn, is blown as a call for repentance.

It is a solemn festival when the Jews pray for forgiveness and long life. It begins ten days of penitence that ends on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Some Jews take part in a ceremony where they symbolically cast away their sins in a river.

Under the New Covenant that Jesus Christ ushered in, these feasts take on additional meaning. He fulfilled all but the seventh feast when He came to earth the first time. Still, He requires your repentance and prayer before your name is inscribed in the Book of Life.

The traditional Jewish greeting on this day is: “May you be inscribed for a happy year.” Why not greet someone this way today?

PRAY: “Father of mercy and grace, thank You for providing a Way of reconciliation to You under both the Old and the New Covenants. I walk in humble repentance toward You today. Amen.”

September 27 – Songs in the Night

“Men cry out under a load of oppression; they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful. But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night, who teaches more to us than to the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the air?’” Job 35:9-11 (NIV)

Job’s friend gave a sad commentary in these verses. Why is it men neglect or sometimes refuse to call out to their Creator for help when they are oppressed? Do you know that Satan wants you to believe that it is just your “lot in life” to suffer? Well, he is WRONG!

Notice that this passage says that God gives “songs in the night.” Satan’s domain has always been equated with works of “darkness.” That is why burdens seem so much heavier in the middle of the night than they do in the bright light of day.

However, God has promised, in Malachi 4:2-3 that “unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings…and ye shall tread down the wicked….”  Therein lies your relief and authority. By His Spirit, Jesus will bring a song of healing in the night hours or in the spiritual dark hours of your life. His Light will shine forth, showing you the way out. Embrace this promise today!

PRAY:  “Where can I go but to You, Lord, when the darkness seems overwhelming. Thank You for the Light of Jesus shining in the night, giving me a song of hope and rest. Glory to Your holy Name! Amen.”

September 26 – Sing a New Song

“Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.” Isaiah 42:10

Isaiah is issuing a command in this verse — a command that you sing a NEW SONG to the Lord from your heart…a song of rejoicing and thanksgiving for God’s delivering power in your life.

David expressed his joy in song. “[The Lord] hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God….”  This song came after a great deliverance: “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” David saw his life as a testimony to others. “Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” (See Psalm 40:1-3.)

Nothing can compare with the JOY God puts in the soul of a man He sets free from the bondage of sin. “Miry clay” represents your body which was formed from the dust of the earth. When your feet are placed upon the “Rock,” Christ Jesus, and the Holy Spirit directs your “goings” to and fro, “A NEW SONG” springs forth from your spirit, making your life a melody others love to hear.

Think on His goodness, and sing your song to the Lord today!

PRAY:  “Father of all music, thank You for putting ‘a new song’ in my heart. Give me the words and the melody, and I ask You to add another verse each day. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”

September 25 – Elements of Prayer

“And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.” Revelation 5:8

Prayer is vital to the life of a Christian. You are called to the “ministry” of prayer. Effectual prayer requires:

1)  TIME – “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12) There is no substitute for TIME spent in prayer. There is no “short cut” to God.

2)  CONTINUITY – The Bible exhorts you to “pray always” and “pray without ceasing.” (Ephesians 6:18; I Thessalonians 5:17) Make your talks with God conversational, not repetitious. Next time you pray, pick up where you left off the last time you talked to God.

3)  PERSISTENCE – “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” (Luke 18:1)

4)  FERVENCY – “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16b)

5)  SACRIFICE – “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” (Mark 1:35) Early morning prayer or fasting might represent sacrifice.

PRAY:  “God of mercy and truth, I am sorry we have not spent more hours together. I want to know You and grow in my ministry of prayer. Help me, Lord Jesus. Amen.”

September 24 – Closure – The Goal of the Gospel

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne…” Revelations 7:9a

God has a plan and intends to fulfill that plan. He is a God of CLOSURE, or COMPLETION. Consider His goals for you in these five areas:

1)  Individually – It’s PERFECTION.  God intends for you to GROW toward perfection. Remember, God did not save you because you were already holy; He saved you to MAKE you holy. (See Matthew 5:48.)

2)  Corporately – It’s UNITY.  Christ is returning for a Church that is holy and in UNITY.  He refers to His Church as a BODY with unique, individual parts that are all working together in harmony. (See Ephesians 4:16.)

3)  Toward One Another – It’s LOVE.  When the Pharisees asked Jesus, “Which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus answered, “LOVE … love for God and for your neighbor.” (See Matthew 22:37-40.)

4)  Toward God – It’s OBEDIENCE.  “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…“ (I Samuel 15:22b)

5)  Toward the Lost – It’s to OCCUPY.  Seize, hold, follow up, and close in on the “Great Commission.”

PRAY: “Heavenly Father, people from ALL nations will stand before Your throne. Help me to gain a clearer picture of the goal line that I might function well on Your team. I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”