March 29 – Dedication

“Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house.” II Chronicles 7:1

The prayer of consecration, or dedication, of Solomon’s magnificent temple is recorded in II Chronicles 6.

The act of dedication is “to set apart” something for a specific use.  Solomon knew the great importance God placed on this temple, which was to house the Ark of the Covenant that contained the symbols of God’s promises and the necessary requirements of sanctified (set-apart) living which the Israelites needed to exhibit in order to claim these promises.

In this dedicatory prayer, God appeared, and His glory so filled the temple that the priests could not enter!

NOW, in these days of grace, our BODY is the “temple” wherein God, in the form of His Holy Spirit, wishes to dwell.  Your parents may have “dedicated” you to the Lord when you were a baby, but, when you came of age, you made your own decision to be sanctified wholly unto God.  Let His glory fill YOUR temple! “You are not you own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body.” (See I Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV.)

Pray: “Holy One of Israel, I bow down before You and consecrate myself wholly to You today.  Fill this ‘temple’ with all the attributes of Your glory.  In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

March 28 – Fruit Versus Gifts

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…” Galatians 5:22-23a

“For to one is given…wisdom; to another…knowledge…faith…gifts of healing…working of miracles…prophecy…But all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” I Corinthians 12:8-11

Are you growing the fruit of good Christian character in your life?  Are you earnestly desiring the gifts of the Spirit of God to operate freely in your life? Note the difference between FRUIT and GIFTS.

“Fruit” requires a season of growth.  “Gifts” are given by the Holy Spirit as He wills.  “Fruit” takes time to develop “in [its] season.” (See Psalm 1:3.) “Gifts” on the other hand, are to be exercised in the body of Christ for everyone’s benefit and edification by unction and direction of the Holy Spirit.

Review the nine fruit of the Spirit located in the verse above and purpose to cultivate and fertilize the soil of your heart today, that your life may yield good fruit.  Be desirous of receiving every good and perfect gift that comes from above.  (See James 1:17.)  God wants you healthy and productive in His kingdom.

Pray: “Tender Father, increase my fruit-bearing capabilities.  Help me labor not for the things that will never satisfy, but to sit at Your feet to learn of You.  Let Your gifts operate freely in my life.  I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen”

March 27 – Peaceable Fruit of Righteousness

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Hebrews 12:11

Do you ever feel like the Lord is chastening and disciplining you?  There are times when a father must discipline his children, and, most assuredly, neither the father nor the children enjoys those times.  However, because of the father’s deep love for them, the children understand that the discipline is given for correction and growth in righteousness.

The Bible says in Hebrews 12:6, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth…”  Like every good father, God is in the business of perfecting His creation. Verse 10 assures you that He does not chasten you for His pleasure but for your profit… “that [you] might be partaker[s] of his holiness.

Picture God today as the Master Gardener, constantly pruning your life so that you will be more fruit bearing. Always remember: HE created YOU. HE loves YOU and carefully grooms His creation to perfection. 

The result of His careful pruning is “the peaceable fruit of righteousness.” Isn’t that what you really desire?

Pray: “Master Gardener, mold me into your image today. I yield myself wholly a ‘servant to righteousness unto holiness,’* and I rejoice in the work You have assigned to me. Amen.”

*Romans 6:19c