April 20 – Giants in the Land

    “But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” Mark 10:30

It was what God called an evil report of GIANTS that kept Israel out of the land of promise (Numbers 13). It is still GIANTS that keep Christians from receiving the promises of God in their lives.

SPIRITUAL GIANTS are big, obvious problems. If you RUN FROM them or learn to TOLERATE them, therein lies the problem. You will never CHANGE what you RUN FROM or TOLERATE!

It has always been God’s plan for His people to challenge and overcome the GIANTS. God’s land of promise must be cleared of GIANTS. Along with the hundredfold blessings mentioned in Mark 10:30, note the word “persecutions”! This life is not heaven . . . just the land of promise. . . and there are GIANTS that must be overcome.

GIANTS of lingering illness, habit, secret sin, fear, doubt, insecurity, disappointment, discouragement, bitterness, stress, financial pressure.. . ALL OF THESE MUST GO! Believe for it. . . face up to it . . do not tolerate it. Attack and overcome the GIANTS in your land with the good report of the Word of God! IT WORKS!

PRAY:
“Father, I refuse to run from or tolerate the attacks of the enemy any longer. Let faith and hope in Your promises spring forth in my life to defeat my GIANTS.  I pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen.”

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April 19 – Resurrection Power

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” I Peter 1:3 (NIV)

Resurrection only comes through death, and the Spirit of God grows as the flesh is brought under subjection. “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might he destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” (Romans 6:6-7)

Since the death and resurrection of Jesus nearly 2000 years ago, mankind has been able to experience that same RESURRECTION POWER of the risen Christ. HOW? Through a “born-again” experience, when Jesus puts within you His Spirit. “Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.(Romans 6:8)

Your mortal body now is alive. . . alive to the reason that God put you on earth. You are alive to give praise, honor, and glory to Him. You are alive to the needs of others around you. You become a better citizen in the community.

Continue to recognize that Jesus’ RESURRECTION POWER is in your life today and be thankful. Demonstrate the power of the resurrected Christ in WORD and DEED.

PRAY:
“Omnipotent Father, help me grasp the full magnitude of what it means to experience Your RESURRECTION POWER. Let my life be a testimony of You. Amen.”

April 18 – A Risen Savior

“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:11

“I serve a risen Savior!” More than words of an old, familiar resurrection hymn, this statement forms the foundation of a living faith in God today. The Savior lives! That is the JOY of the season.

How do you know He lives? Because you can see the life-changing effects of His Holy Spirit alive on the earth today… IN PEOPLE!

People who have accepted the Holy Spirit of Christ into their repentant hearts have been changed from selfish, sinful people into loving, caring people who are ALIVE with joy, good health, peace, and the promise of eternity.

The power of the resurrected Christ is available to ALL who will call upon the Name of Jesus, ask Him into their hearts, and confess Him as Lord. “That if thou shalt  confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt he saved.” (Romans 10:9)

Is the Spirit of the RISEN Savior alive in you today?

PRAY: 
God of mercy, love, and grace, thank You for the cross where You buried my sin forever in the blood of Your Son who died and arose to give me new life. Amen.”

April 16 – Watch and Pray

“Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping, ‘Simon,’ he said to Peter, ‘are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”  Mark 14:37-38 (NIV)

PRAYER keeps your spiritual man awake and alert. Many Christians fall into temptation and sin simply because they are asleep spiritually, through an obvious lack of prayer.

PRAYER is communication with God. Communication builds relationship, and there is just no short cut if you desire to get close to God. It takes time. It takes communication.

PRAYER opens the door to the supernatural in your life. Everything you desire of God is available through petition in prayer.

God says: “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3)

Jesus says: “. . . Ask, and it shall he given you: seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall he opened unto you” (Luke 11:9)

In short, PRAYER IS WORTH IT! Make prayer a vital part of your day. . . and start today!

PRAY:
“Father in heaven, renew and refresh my mind so that it will be uncluttered and clear to communicate with You. I delight in hearing Your voice and I desire to understand more of Your ways. Amen.”

April 15 – Teach Me To Pray

“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1

Evidently the disciples were impressed when they heard Jesus praying. The close, sweet communion He had with His Father became obvious to them as they watched, and the miraculous power He gained through that contact was awesome.

Praying to the Father consists of six specific areas:

1) PRAYER begins with PRAISE.

2) PRAYER continues with THANKSGIVING.

3) PRAYER involves CONFESSION.

4) PRAYER delights in INTERCESSION.

5) PRAYER invites PETITION.

6) PRAYER ends with LISTENING.

Learn well. Do not miss out on the blessing of prayer! It is through prayer that actual communion with your Creator IS possible.

PRAY:
‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.* To You be the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forevermore, I pray. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

*Luke 11:2-4

April 14 – Praise it Away

“Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.” Psalm 149:1

Praise in song is a powerful tool. David, the psalmist, must have mastered the ministry of music well, because even King Saul’s troubled soul was comforted and refreshed by the skillful hands of David upon the harp. (See I Samuel 16:23.)

Many Scriptures have been put to music and are like medicine in times of trouble. Here are some that are sung at Christian Retreat:

FOR FEAR (Psalm 27:1): “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?.. .”

FOR DEPRESSION, HEAVINESS (Isaiah 61:3): “He gives me beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…

FOR SICKNESS (Romans 8:11): “If that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwell in you… it shall quicken your mortal body. . . .”

Praise away your problems today with Scripture in song!

FOR JOY (Psalm 96:1): “Sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth.. .”

PRAY:
“Maker of music in my soul, I will open my mouth to sing praises to Your Name today in all circumstances. As You heal my sicknesses and resolve my problems, I will dance in jubilant triumph. Amen.”