February 20 – Repairing The Breaches

“Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.”  Proverbs 25:28 (NIV)

How are your walls coming? Have you done some repairing recently? As you grow in righteousness, you can see that the walls that guard your heart (temple) are being strengthened. Remember: People may not see your conduct IN the temple, but your “walls” are most visible.

Keep repairing the breaches in your walls. You do that by “diligently” seeking God and allowing Him to make needed changes in your heart. As Nehemiah experienced with the walls of Jerusalem, rebuilding is actually more difficult than building the first time. That is simply because there is so much “rubble” in the way. (See Nehemiah 4:10, NIV.)

As you continue to “diligently” seek God and are willing to change and grow, then you can proclaim the blessing of God from Isaiah 60:18: “Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.”

God is making something beautiful of your life. Be patient…He is not finished yet!

PRAY: “Father, I agree with the songwriter who said, ‘All I had to offer You was brokenness and strife, but You made something beautiful out of my life.’ I am thankful, Jesus, that You finished the work on the cross to rid me of ‘rubble,’ and that You are not finished with me yet. Amen.”

February 19 – Earthen Vessels

“And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.”  Judges 7:16

God instructed Gideon to fight the Midianite army of 135,000 men with a meager 300 men, each armed with a most unusual weapon…a lamp inside a pitcher.

These lamps were torches which would smolder in the clay jar, or pitcher, and burst into flame when taken out and waved. Instruction was given to smash the clay jars at the given time so that the torches would be revealed, shedding light on the enemy in a nighttime surprise attack.

The clay jar with a smoldering torch inside is a picture of your life, which also must be smashed, crushed, and broken in order to reveal the true light of Christ inside.

II Corinthians 4:7 says: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”  The treasure of His presence and power inside your earthen body will be revealed only when you become broken and humble before God.

Brokenness is REPENTANCE…Repentance brings LIGHT…Light brings VICTORY.

PRAY: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, 0 God, thou wilt not despise”* I humble myself before You today. Amen.”

*Psalm 51:17

February 18 – Three Weapons of War

“And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand…” Judges 7:7a

Judges 7 records the story of Gideon’s victory over the enemy with only three hundred men. Take another look at the weapons of war that God used for the victory:

1) An empty jar…the vessel had to be broken.

2) A smoldering torch…ignited to flame when the vessel was broken.

3) A trumpet…a ram’s horn, sounded in praise.

God still promises to give you victory over the enemies of your life with these three weapons:

1) A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP…represented by a broken, submitted heart toward God.

2) THE HOLY SPIRIT…represented by a spirit on fire for God and His righteousness.

3) PRAISE AND WORSHIP…your voice singing out loudly, as a trumpet sounds, bringing glory and honor to God.

Let God win those battles of life. Look to Him for the VICTORY. Use the right weapons. Here they are again:

1) Walk in A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP with God.

2) Be filled with THE HOLY SPIRIT.

3) Lift your voice in PRAISE AND WORSHIP.

PRAY: “Father, Gideon’s deliverance was wonderful! I thank You that these words are meant for me even today. Let’s go forward into battle! In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”

February 17 – Strength in Weakness

“Fear thou not for l am with thee: be not dismayed for am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10

  1. Have you ever felt like you could not reach your goals?
  2. The truth is: You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength, wisdom, and knowledge to complete tasks. (See Philippians 4:13.)
  3. Have you ever been nervous or afraid to do something new and different from your “normal” course?
  4. Fear reminds you that you need faith. Have confidence that God will go ahead of you to clear the path. (See Isaiah 43:19.)
  5. What about the obstacles that stand in the way?
  6. Obstacles are stepping stones. God wants you to speak to the mountain in your way and say, “Be thou removed!” (Matthew 21:21)

Paul boasted about his weakness, knowing in that weak condition he was the most powerful! “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (II Corinthians 12:9) When you rely on your own strength, you are limited; but if you have faith in what God can do, there are no limits!

PRAY: “God, ‘…how awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you’.* Give me Your strength today.  In Jesus’ Name. amen.”

*Psalm 66:3 (NIV)

February 16 – Step By Step

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” Psalm 37:23

Have you ever said: “I wish God would just straighten everything out!”?

When God led the children of Israel out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and into the Promised Land, His sovereign hand was doing battle for His people to bring every needed provision and victory.

Yet, in Exodus 23:30 (NIV), God’s strategy for Israel AND for you can be understood more fully:  “Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.”  God intends for you to increase. He intends for you to overcome and be victorious. Be patient…it is a process.

As a child learns to walk…step by step, through a series of falls, thereby building strong legs, a confident spirit, and knowledge about walking…so spiritually, “little by little,” God will see you through those trying circumstances. All the while He is building a stronger character in you and developing a closer relationship.

Keep trusting Him!

PRAY: “Heavenly Father, an old gospel song comes to my mind: ‘All The Way My Savior Leads Me,’ as I think on Your Word for today. Trusting You step by step really IS the only way to live in this world. Lead me on, Jesus. Amen.”

February 15 – A Heart For Giving

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12

As we “do unto others,” God will “do unto us.” It is God’s law of exchange. Give what you have and the Lord will give you MORE…more love, more encouragement, more faith, and, yes, more finances.

God is interested in every aspect of YOUR life, but He moves on YOUR behalf when you move on His agenda and operate under His law. Learn to give because it is another form of worship to God, not just because there is a need somewhere.

Proverbs 11:25 states: “The liberal [generous] soul shall be made fat [prosperous]: and he that watereth [gives] shall be watered [given] also himself.”

Jesus had much to say about stewardship. In the parable of the unjust steward, the inference is that those who are not faithful with the handling of their money cannot be trusted with spiritual gifts, either. (See Luke 16: 1-12.)

Develop a reputation for GIVING…whether it is bread for the poor, a home for the homeless, prayer for the sick, or simply love and compassion for the hurting. It is the heart of God!

PRAY: “Giver of all gifts, thank You for the gift of money to supply my temporal needs and to share with others. I worship You with tithes and offerings. Help me to gain a deeper meaning of giving. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

February 14 – Love

“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

This most familiar and most powerful Scripture in the Bible speaks of God’s love for mankind when He gave His only Son. Love is GIVING!

In a world so characterized by taking, Jesus’ disciples are recognized by their LOVE, not by their RELIGION.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (I John 3:16, NIV) Love is GIVING!

James 1:27 says: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Love is GIVING!

Love must be demonstrated. You can TELL me all day how much you love me, but until you DO something to SHOW me…they are just words. James 2:18b says: “…I will shew thee my faith by my works.” Love is GIVING!

This Valentine’s Day, why not practice “pure religion” and “provoke one another to love and good works.” (See Hebrews 10:24.)

PRAY: “God of love, fill me to overflowing today with divine love, that kind of love that reaches out to others less fortunate in life with the Gospel of hope which will help them at the point of their need. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”