July 15 – Characteristics of True Revival

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” Acts 2:17  (NIV)

People need a REVIVAL! They regularly need their spirits revived and energized with the Spirit of God. Acts 3:19 calls these “times of refreshing . . . from the presence of the Lord.” True revival comes when people get serious with God.  John Wesley once said, “Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I will shake the world!” THERE IS POWER IN TRUE REVIVAL! Consider what must happen before a revival:

1) There must be a deep HUNGER FOR GOD like when you were first saved. (See Psalm 63:1-2.)

2) There must be a FRESH VISION of Christ. (See Ephesians 1:17.)

3) There must be a deep CONVICTION OF SIN. (See Isaiah 6:5.)

4) There must be a NEW COMMITMENT to the cause of Christ. (See Isaiah 6:8.)

5) There must be a LOVE for lost humanity and a shedding of selfishness. (See II Corinthians 5:20.)

6) There must be a restoration of JOY and PRAISE. (See II Chronicles 15:14, 15.)

7) There must be a new level of FAITH. (See Romans 4:20, 21.)

PRAY:  “Father, give me a hunger for REVIVAL! In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

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July 14 – The Arm of Flesh

“Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles.” II Chronicles 32:7-8a

I Samuel 21, 22 and 23 describes how David lied to the priest, then became secretive, then asked for physical food instead of spiritual food, then asked for a weapon. The weapon was wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod, the priest’s linen garment, signifying his erroneous thinking that “flesh,” or the sword, could protect him more than spiritual clothing. All of this happened because he was running from King Saul and from GOD’S PLAN.

When you start running from God, it becomes a downward spiral. Buying lottery tickets just opens the door for more gambling or false hoping. Taking a couple alcoholic drinks can lead to more and open the door to sin. When you stop seeking after God, you will start falling away from God. Simply put: you are either SEEKING or SINKING.

“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” (Jeremiah 17:5)

In II Samuel 6:14, David put on the ephod, quit running, was restored, and began to praise the Lord. Is your trust today…in the arm of flesh or in God?

PRAY: “Father, I put my trust in Your divine plan today. I quit running and am seeking to know You more. Amen.”

July 13 – Abide in the Vine

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” John 15:4

Another word for “abide” is “reside.” When you reside with someone, an intimacy develops. Intimacy with God produces fruitfulness, which in turn brings joy. Every time you sit down and spend time in your Bible, you are building intimacy with God. Every time you set apart time in prayer, you are developing your intimacy with God. When you go to church and hear the Word of God preached, you are becoming more intimate with God.

These acts of “abiding,” or “residing,” with God will bear the fruit of righteousness. They will cause you to make “right” decisions…godly decisions. Continuous “abiding” causes you to become a DOER of God’s will.

James 1:25 puts it this way: “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein [abiding], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

Keep putting a high value on your time spent with God. Joy will result. Blessings will result. You can never “out-give” God. “He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him….” (Hebrews 11:6b)

PRAY: “Heavenly Father, I long to live in Your presence. Abide with me, walk with me, live in me. I recognize my need to know You better. I purpose to spend more time with You.  Amen.”

July 12 – The Lord’s Supper

“For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”  I Corinthians 11:26 (NIV)

The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is significant. Severe warnings were given (and still are) to any would- be participants who have not had their hearts circumcised and made clean by the Holy Spirit. Here is what Jesus’ death means to mankind:

1)  It was VILE because of sin. Jesus took upon Himself all the sins and sickness of mankind… the Father had to turn away.

2)  It was VIOLENT because of judgment. Sin is not pretty. It carries a violent price tag.

3)  It was VOLUNTARY because of grace and love. Jesus GAVE His life; “…for the joy [of redemption] that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…” (Hebrews 12:2)

4)  It was VICARIOUS because of substitution. He bore YOUR sins on the cross and became a sin sacrifice so that you could “live unto righteousness.” (I Peter 2:24)

5)  It was VICTORIOUS because death was overcome. “But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” (Acts 2:24)

Realize the truths in these five “V’s” and partake of the Lord’s Supper worthily.

PRAY: “Father, each time I think of the cross that Your Son endured, I am reminded of Your love for me. Amen.”

July 11 – A Prayer for Safety

For the godly who trust in the Lord

“I lift up my eyes to the hills–
where does my help come from?

My help comes from You, Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

You will not let my foot slip–
You who watches over me will not slumber;

Indeed, You who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

You, LORD, watch over me—
You are my shade at my right hand.

The sun will not harm me by day,
nor the moon by night.

You, LORD, will keep me from all harm–
You will watch over my life;

You, LORD, will watch over my coming and going both now and forevermore. Amen.”

Psalm 121

July 10 – Seven Things the Lord Hates

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him.” Proverbs 6:16 (NIV)

Examine your heart today in these seven areas that are an abomination to the Lord:

1)  “Haughty eyes” (Verse 17). This “thing” speaks of a proud look. James 4:6 says, “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”

2)  “A lying tongue” (Verse 17). Lying is sin… it is darkness. God exposes sin with His glorious light. “For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.” (Luke 12:2)

3)  “Hands that shed innocent blood” (Verse 17). God takes up the cause of the oppressed and hates any form of human prejudice.

4)  “A heart that devises wicked schemes” (Verse 18). “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” Wicked imaginations come from a heart not submitted to God.

5)  “Feet that are quick to rush into evil” (Verse 18). Sin can become a habit. I Timothy 4:2 speaks of an end-times apostasy where people’s consciences are “seared with a hot iron” (a hard, calloused heart).

6)  “A false witness who pours out lies” (Verse 19). Your LIFE can be a false witness if you are not living up to your Christian testimony. People are watching.

7)  “A man who stirs up dissension among brothers” (Verse 19). God is a God of unity and harmony. He calls you to be a peacemaker. James 3:18 says, “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace…”

PRAY: “Please lead me in the path of Your righteousness, Holy Father. Amen.”

July 9 – Buy the Truth

“Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.” Proverbs 23:23(NIV)

Solomon exhorts you in this proverb to seek after the truth and wisdom of God… to do whatever it takes to legitimately acquire it, then to freely exercise it for the benefit of others. He VALUED the wisdom of God above all of earth’s riches and honor.

Remember, in I Kings 3:9, when God came to Solomon in a dream and offered to give him anything he would ask, Solomon requested God’s wisdom and the ability to handle truth to rightly lead the people of Israel? God was pleased with Solomon’s request, and Solomon became the wisest man in recorded history.

“BUY the truth,” the Scripture says. Anything of real value is going to cost you. It is often said, “You get what you pay for.” Just because God’s Word is free, do not ever think it is CHEAP! It will cost you…in TIME, in COMMITMENT, and in FINANCES.

People spend lots of money on vitamins and exercise programs to care for their physical bodies, but what about their spirit man? In Matthew 13:46, Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God as a “pearl of great price,” and that a merchant was willing to sell all that he had to acquire it. What are you giving up to follow Christ? What is it costing you? Is your relationship with God your most valued possession?

PRAY:  “Lord, I ask for Your wisdom, Your understanding, and the knowledge of Your truth. You are my treasure and that which I diligently seek after! Amen.”