April 13 – A Holy Calling

“Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” II Timothy 1:9

Isn’t it great to know that you have been called to a “holy calling”? It is the purpose for which you have been created… that is, to be holy and able to have fellowship with God.

In the beginning, man was created “in the image of God.” (Genesis 1:27) God has always taken a personal interest in man. When Adam and Eve sinned, God clothed them and made a way of atonement. Through the death and resurrection of His Son, the Father made a way for all men to be reconciled back to a right relationship with Him.

God is always leading you upward in the path of holiness and righteousness. His desire for you is to be HOLY. . . separate from the sin of the world and set apart for His service.

Peter refers to the promise of God to make you a partaker of His “divine nature”so that you can escape the “corruption that is in the world through lust” (See II Peter 1:4.)

Friend, you have got it made! “If God be for [you], who can be against [you]?”(Romans 8:31b)

PRAY:
“Hallelujah! Thank You, Father,  for calling me into a sanctified lifestyle which is to reflect Your image with You by my side.   I cannot lose.  Amen.”

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April 12 – A Triumphal Entry

“And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.” Matthew 21:8-9

As you remember the events of Jesus’ life that mark Palm Sunday through Resurrection Day, renew your faith in the LIVING CHRIST who lives within you!

All four Gospels give an account of Jesus making His final visit to Jerusalem in what is commonly known as the Triumphal Entry. (See Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19, and John 12.) He rode in on a colt with enthusiastic crowds surrounding Him, carpeting His path with palm branches and clothing amid shouts of praise hailing Him as KING!

Indeed, God’s King had come. . . not of an earthly kingdom but of an eternal one. In Luke 17:20-21, Jesus told the Pharisees, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation. . . for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

There were many on that first Palm Sunday in Jerusalem who did not recognize Jesus as King. Others rejoiced in His coming but quickly turned away when events did not materialize as they had expected. What kind of “triumphal entry” has Christ made in your life? Will you still trust Him in the hard times?

PRAY:
“Lord, today I shout ‘Hosanna’ to the King of kings Let Your kingdom grow in me so that I might serve You faithfully. Amen.”

April 11 – Preparing for the King

“Lift up your heads, 0 ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.” Psalm 24:7

“Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle… The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.” (Psalm 24:8,lOb)

Are you ready for the King’s coming? Is the door of your heart ready to be opened at His knock? Has your lamp been trimmed and filled with oil?

This psalm of David asks the question, “Who shall stand in his holy place?” (Verse 3) What would be your answer? Would it be like David’s. . . someone with clean hands and a pure heart. . . someone who does not lie or swear deceitfully? (Verse 4) Yes! Be one of those people included in this generation who seek to know and see the Lord.

As stated in all of God’s Word, there are consequences for your actions — good or evil. There are blessings or curses. Today, if you will appear before Him with clean hands and a pure heart, with all falsehoods and any deceit cast aside,“[You]shall receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of [your] salvation.” (Verse 5) What a wonderful reward!

THE KING IS COMING! PREPARE TODAY!

PRAY:
“Most holy Lord, I lift up the gates of my heart for Your coming right now. Forgive my trespasses.  Bless me with Your salvation and righteousness, for I ask it in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

April 10 – Forward Motion

“But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil heart. They went backward and not forward.” Jeremiah 7:24 (NIV)

Bill Wilson, a youthful, dedicated minister to thousands of children in the heart of New York City, often has been asked: “How long can you keep on doing what you do?” His answer: “I just go on. If you stand still or turn back, you die.” What DOES it take to “just go on” in life?

Read about four lepers at the point of despair, in II Kings 7:3-9 (NIV), who learned the value of FORWARD MOTION. Their progress to divine intervention illustrates five points:

1) MOTION – “Why stay here until we die?” they declared. Get into motion. . . do something. God cannot steer a parked car!

2) DIRECTION – Allow God to give you direction. Be led forward by His Word and by your spiritual eyes.

3) URGENCY – The lepers said, “Let’s go at once “Without a sense of urgency, apathy and procrastination sets in. Do it NOW!

4) CAMARADERIE – The lepers stayed together. Do not try to go it alone! Proverbs 17:1 7b says, “. . . a brother is born for adversity,” meaning that adversity makes brotherhood even more necessary.

5) DIVINE INTERVENTION – The lepers got their miracle. So can YOU! Anticipate it! Proclaim it!

PRAY:
“O thou Great Deliverer, I am hanging on and going on with expectations of Your intervention in my life. Amen.”

April 9 – DEVELOPING YOUR GIFT

“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” I Peter 4:10

There are three hindrances to discovering and developing your particular gift from God. . . ignorance, sin, and the fear of man. Ask the Father to help you overcome  those hindrances, because your gift is NOT a part-time hobby. He wants you to be a good steward of His special grace at all times and in all seasons.

I Samuel 4:3-11 records the Israelites’ attempt to “fetch the ark” of the covenant, which represented God’s presence, to help them in battle with the Philistines. They rejoiced over the ark as a symbol of victory, even to the point where the enemy was afraid. However, God’s presence was not with them that day because their hearts were not right, and they were sorely defeated.

The gift of salvation and ministry gifts of the Spirit will only operate through a pure heart. Learn to WALK in the Spirit. Learn to LIVE in the Spirit. Learn to be LED by the Spirit. God’s presence in you should be as alive at home, at work, and at play as it is in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings.

Allow your gift to stick out all over, and your life will be a living testimony to everyone in your path.

PRAY: “Father, Provider of all gifts, help me to live what I have learned and received from You. Let my life be a testimony of Your love and a willing vessel through which You can work. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

April 8 – Divine Revelations

April 8 – Divine Revelations
“And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” Luke 19:41-42

Jesus wept over Jerusalem because she had missed her full potential by missing her day of divine revelation. God has a divine plan and destiny for YOU, also. He has given you special GIFTS to help you reach that potential.

How do you discover your gifts? Through divine VISITATION. “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people.” (Luke 1:68) His visitation gets you past feelings of insecurity and helps you to see your gifts through His eyes of faith.

How do you receive a visitation? Through OBEDIENCE. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)

How do you exercise obedience? Through MINISTRY. . . first, to the Lord; second, to the body of Christ; third, to the world. “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament. .. .” (II Corinthians 3:6a) Receiving divine encounters from God begins simply by doing the will of the Father. . . ministering to others from a genuine heart of love.

PRAY:
“Father, thank You for Your gifts and visitations. I will do my part by obeying You and ministering to others’ needs Help me to reach my divine potential. Amen.”

April 7 – Seeking the Lost

“Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die.  But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways to that a banished person may not remain estranged from him.” II Samuel 14:14 (NIV)

When Jesus passed through Jericho one day, He looked up in a tree and spotted a short man who climbed there to get a better look at this Stranger of Galilee who performed all kinds of miracles.  Imagine his surprise when Jesus ordered him to come down, saying, “I must stay at your house today.” (John 19:5, NIV)

Zacchaeus was the chief tax collector (sinner) and very wealthy.  So imagine his further surprise when Jesus later said.   “Today salvation has come to this house…For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Verses 9-10)

No one expected this scenario, but God does the unexpected.  He also has the practice of meeting people at the point of their greatest need.  Zacchaeus desperately needed a friend,  as well as salvation; and the very PRESENCE of Jesus made him want to do good.  Without any urging whatsoever, Zacchaeus began to give from a grateful heart and to make restitution.

Jesus changes people from the inside out and delights in removing all the facades.  Let Him visit you today!

Pray:
“Wonderful Father, I love the way You devise ways to keep me by Your side.  Your surprises are ‘baffling to the wise,’  please let me experience more of them as one song says it.  I ask it in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”