August 16 – Love Not Worldly Passions

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” I John 2:15

What is John talking about here? What in the “world” is so undesirable and ungodly? (Verse 16)

1)  LUST OF THE FLESH. Galatians 5:19 defines this sin as the evil acts of our sinful nature, such as sexual immorality, idolatry, hatred, jealousy, selfish ambition, envy, and drunkenness. Your FLESH is naturally “bent” against God and must be brought under subjection by the power of the Holy Spirit.

2)  LUST OF THE EYES. Pornography is a nine-billion-dollar industry in America today. Your EYES are the window to your heart and are powerful tools with which to follow Jesus or reject Him. David promised the Lord he would set no vile thing before his eyes. (See Psalm 101:3a and 119:37a, NIV.)

3)  PRIDE OF LIFE. The insatiable hunger for power, position, riches, and beauty is an abomination to God. The evil bent of man to worship his own creation instead of God, the Creator…that is PRIDE…the sin for which Lucifer was kicked out of heaven. Humble yourself before your Maker today.

PRAY: “Loving Father, You have said the world and all of its lusts will pass away, but those who do Your will, will live forever.* I worship and serve You alone. Keep me from all lust and in Your will today. Amen.”

* I John 2:17 (paraphrased)

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August 15 – Making Christ Relevant to Others

“For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” Colossians 2:9-10

When Christ meets your needs, He fills you with His Spirit… you become COMPLETE in Him. It is from that “FULNESS” that you can minister to others.
II Corinthians 3:6 says, you are an “able minister of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit,” ministering to others through an OVERFLOW of the Spirit. Your ministry should be in WORD and DEED, making Christ relevant through helping others in tangible ways as well as spiritual.

Jesus was more interested in PEOPLE than He was in religious tradition. He broke the religious law if it hindered Him from helping others. For instance, He healed on the Sabbath (“Take up your bed and walk”); He touched the leper (Talmud law required keeping a distance of 100 paces); He talked to the Samaritan woman at the well (rejecting racial prejudices); and He mingled with sinners and drunkards.

As a Christian, you must have the same attentive eye to the needs of others. They may not relate to a Christ they cannot see, but they will relate to the Christ in YOU when you attend to their needs. Your life of caring makes Christ relevant to others!

PRAY: “Yes, Father, I am complete in You today, and I desire that wholeness for everyone. Where I can meet a need, bring that someone across my path. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

August 14 – Is Christ Relevant to You?

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you…?”  II Corinthians 13:5

Christ becomes more relevant at the point of your NEED. That is because He is a GIVER. When you are lost, He is your Saviour; when sick, your Healer; when lonely, your Friend; when in poverty, your Provider; when hungry, your food; when naked, your clothing. Try to see Christ in every GOOD thing.

This Christ that is IN you (Colossians 1:27) is a divine being and a human being. He has CHARACTER and ABILITY. His holy character is described in the fruit of “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” (Galatians 5:22-23). His ability is summed up well in II Peter 1:3: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”

The Apostle Paul travailed as a woman in childbirth for the Galatians “until Christ be formed in (them).” (4:19) He knew that Christ’s power FORMED IN them would make their testimony relevant and their calling and election sure.

PRAY: “Abba Father, I realize my body is the temple of Your Holy Spirit,* and I turn it over to You now so that Christ can be FORMED IN me and live through me. Amen.”

* I Corinthians 6:19 (paraphrased)

August 13 – Heart, Mouth, Eyes, Feet

“Keep thy heart with all diligence…perverse lips put far from thee…let thine eyelids look straight before thee…ponder the path of thy feet…” Proverbs 4:23-26

The HEART is the central life-support system for the physical body. Spiritually, your “heart” is central to your desire to please God and is the part of you that chooses between good and evil. God said He would write His law IN your HEART (Jeremiah 31:33). With the HEART you believe in God (Romans 10:10).

“… out of the abundance of the HEART the MOUTH speaketh… For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matthew 12:34b,37) Natural words are the doorway to spiritual blessings or curses. “With the MOUTH confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:10)

If your MOUTH reflects what is in the HEART, your EYES put it there! “The light of the body is the EYE…Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.” (Luke 11:34a-35) Eve was tempted because the tree was “pleasant to the EYES.” (Genesis 3:6) What kind of TV programs are pleasing YOUR EYES?

Finally, have “your FEET shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6:15) Simply ask yourself: Where would Jesus walk?

PRAY: “0 Lord, Your Word is a light on my path, and I commit my way to You.* With all of my physical and spiritual being, I worship You. Amen.”                                                   

*Psalms 119:105 and 37:5 (paraphrased)

August 12 – A Prayer of Victory

(Read out loud.)

I will sing to You, Lord, for You are highly exalted.
The horse and its rider You have hurled into the sea.
You are my strength and my song;
You have become my salvation.
You are my God, and I will praise You,

You, Lord, are a warrior; the Lord is Your name.
Pharaoh’s chariots and his army
You have hurled into the sea.
The best of Pharaoh’s officers are drowned in the Red Sea.
They sank to the depths like a stone.

Your right hand, 0 Lord, shattered the enemy.
In the greatness of Your majesty
You threw down those who opposed You.
The enemy boasted, I will overtake them,
But You blew with Your breath, and the sea covered them.

Who among the gods is like You, 0 Lord? Who is like You—
Majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?
In Your unfailing love and in Your strength
You will lead the people You have redeemed.
You will guide them to Your holy dwelling.

The nations will hear and tremble;
Terror and dread will fall upon them.
By the power of Your arm
They will be as still as a stone–
Until Your people pass by, 0 Lord.

You will bring them in and plant them
On the mountain of Your inheritance –

The place, 0 Lord, You made for Your dwelling,
The sanctuary, 0 Lord, Your hands established.
The Lord will reign forever and ever.

(Excerpted from Exodus 15,  NIV)

August 11 – Responsibilities of Authority

“Know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And…esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.”   I Thessalonians 5:12-13a

To grow in leadership, you must understand authority.  Luke 7:6 tells about the Roman centurion who was IN authority, while Luke 7:8 says that same centurion was UNDER authority.

The responsibilities of spiritual persons IN authority are listed in Hebrews 13:17…they “watch for your souls, as they that must give account”…and in I Peter 5:2-3 they “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples of the flock”…and I Timothy 5:20 says they must rebuke sin before everyone and bring correction to God’s people.

The responsibilities of spiritual persons UNDER authority also are listed in Hebrews 13:17…”obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves”…and in I Timothy 2:2a…pray and give thanks “For kings, and for all that are in authority…”

The only time when you are not required to obey authority is when that authority requires an act that is contrary to Scripture or physically endangers your life.

PRAY: “Father, give me the grace to be a willing servant to those in authority over me and help me to lead with godly, loving authority all those under my charge.  Amen.”

August 10 – Spiritual/Civil Authority

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”  Romans 13:1

To disobey those in authority over you is to remove yourself from God’s protective covering. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians of the Roman Empire (an ungodly dictatorship in his time) and boldly emphasized the importance of an attitude of submission, compassion, and humility toward the government.

There are four areas of authority:

1)  CIVIL. National, state, and local governments have enacted laws for the welfare of its citizens.
2)  FAMILY. The husband is the head of the home; the wife is under him; then the children come under the parents.
3)  SOCIAL. You are under your employer’s authority; your baby-sitter is under your authority. Authority in the workplace is given to match job responsibilities.
4)  CHURCH. There are pastors with deacons and elders over congregations and sheep accountable to shepherds, each with different ministry and motivational gifts distributed by the Spirit.

God establishes authority to bring:

a) CONNECTION – unity, order, and fellowship.
b) PROTECTION – covering and security.
c)  CORRECTION – accountability and discipline.

PRAY: “Omniscient Father, You know this world system and my life need order to maintain proper balance. Thank You for Your perfect plan. Amen.”