Archive for the ‘My Devotionals’ Category

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  2 CORINTHIANS 5:17

What understanding do you have of the salvation of your soul? The work of salvation means that in your real life things are dramatically changed. You no longer look at things in the same way. Your desires are new, and the old things have lost their power to attract you. One of the tests for determining if the work of salvation in your life is genuine is— has God changed the things that really matter to you? If you still yearn for the old things, it is absurd to talk about being born from above— you are deceiving yourself. If you are born again, the Spirit of God makes the change very evident in your real life and thought. And when a crisis comes, you are the most amazed person on earth at the wonderful difference there is in you. There is no possibility of imagining that you did it. It is this complete and amazing change that is the very evidence that you are saved.

What difference has my salvation and sanctification made? For instance, can I stand in the light of 1 Corinthians 13, or do I squirm and evade the issue? True salvation, worked out in me by the Holy Spirit, frees me completely. And as long as I “walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7), God sees nothing to rebuke because His life is working itself into every detailed part of my being, not on the conscious level, but even deeper than my consciousness.

From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition. Please do follow the blessed and worldwide well known devotional My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers here.

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July 8

But the anger of Elihu…burned; against Job his anger burned because he justified himself before God. Job 32:2 (NASV)

Chapter 32 of Job introduces the fifth element in the conversation between Job and his three friends. His name was Elihu, and as a good listener he stood quietly among these old men; verse 4 explains the reason he waited to speak “…because they were years older than he.

There is a saying among the Bakongo people: “a young man can make oldies dance while he plays his African drum.”

In fact, that’s what happens while this young man speaks; he acknowledges that being old is not synonymous of being wise but it is a spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding. His main reason to rebuke Job is his arrogance by trying to justify himself before God. No one is just enough before God for all have sinned and fell short of the glory of God (see Romains 3:23, ESV). As these four old guys listen to the lecture by Elihu, they end up confessing (recognizing, acknowledgment) their sin and being restored by God.

On the one hand, we need to understand our position before God as sinners for we all fall short of God’s glory; without His glory, we can’t relate with Him, we can operate as we supposed to because there’s no connection with our Maker. So Job was wrong by seeing himself as just before the LORD; we are justified by His grace through the New Covenant, i.e., the redemption which is in Christ Jesus (Romains 3:24, NASV). In Christ, we get new identity sinners who were justified and made to live in sanctification (1 Peter 1:15-16) by the power of the Holy Spirit.

While on another hand we need to take Elihu’s approach as a model by playing his role before those who don’t know the LORD, skeptics, etc. We stand for Christ by raising the flag of the Gospel once redeemed, we sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks us about the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15). Yes, we are called to stand for God in this deprived world without shame but with gentleness and reverence just as Elihu did. Jesus promised He would be with us as we confess Him before men, the breath of the Almighty will fill us with wisdom while we rebuke the spirit of darkness and the seed will grow by the power of the Almighty.

 

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Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Job 1:8 (ESV)

I wish I could close this amazing book and summarize it in this single verse. Wow! Isn’t it amazing when you receive a compliment like this? It becomes awesome when you know the source of such a praise, the LORD, yes God said this about a man.

Here’s what we read in verse 3 of the second chapter in ESV: …” Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.”

This made me thinking, what on earth God says about me? To know Him as we ought to know Him as well as made Him known is another thing while to be known by Him is deeper, it makes all the difference in life; I would forget everything and keep this testimony from the LORD about me. Paul simplified this relationship this way: “But if anyone loves God, he is known by God” (1 Corinthians 8:3, ESV). Loving God takes us to obey His commands (John 14:15); we don’t do this as we were forced by a legalism system, rather we understand what life is all about, that we were made by Him and for Him; we seek to please Him because we love Him and He’s the first to love us by sending His begotten Son to take our punishment.

God saw signs of His image in Job. We are told that the man was a servant, this remembers us about the Servant King who came to serve and not to be served; was blameless and an upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil and despite the situation he was living in, he still held fast his integrity before God and humankind. Where did Job take all this? From God. It is God who teaches us to be blameless, servants, upright men, He’s our moral lawgiver; through His love made Himself known, He’s Emmanuel (Matthew 1:23)…He’s with us!

Well, more than being astonished for how deep was the life of this our ancestral God wants us to take his life as a model and obey for there’s no way to love God without keeping His commandments. Loving implies action, being blameless and upright people in the midst of injustice, above all fearing the LORD and turning away from evil in this evil world.

Let’s live the Word of God.

ElP

Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things, And consider the lovingkindness of the LORD. Psalm 107:43 (NASB)

This’s a typical advice that indirectly one might assume that by ignoring it, he/she is a fool. This assumption starts by identifying the Owner of the things being mentioned, the LORD.

When we understand who God is, and what He did or have been doing in our lives it’ foolishness to ignore Him. Only a seeker of truth can get it. Only those who can declare “They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honey-comb.” (Psalm 19:10) know how pleasant it is to maintain a consistent communion with God, and they’re called wise men for taking risk decisions in life despite the opposition from those around, they give up everything to dwell according to God’s Kingdom principles, they go and sell everything they’ve to buy what they found (cf. Matthew 13:44).

So what kind of things is the Psalmist talking about?

All along the Psalm, he describes the relationship between God and His chosen people.  How the later betrayed the former by following not allowed ways and the consequences of such decision. He tells that at a certain point the people cried to the LORD and He heard them (Psalm 107: 28). The writer calls them to always remember who God is and exhorts them to give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the son of men (Psalm 107:29) for this will keep them in touch with their Creator by following His laws which are just.

Only a dumb person can run away from the source of his health or wealth. Living on the dependence of God turns us, wise men; and after all, He’s our Creator, He knows us better than ourselves, so if I want to really know myself, I need to talk to my Inventor.

God has been so good to me, so why not to acknowledge that…only a wise can do that, dumb folks don’t dare to.

He said in answer, And who is he, Lord? Say, so that I may have faith in him.John 9:36

The man was blind and was healed by Jesus, but he didn’t have any intimate relationship with him, he simply didn’t know who Jesus was. contrary to my generation, he had this strong desire to meet and follow him as his Lord, “so that I may have faith in him.”

Going deep with him is what Jesus expects from me, that is, not being pleased with the miracle only yet with the most significant wonder: Jesus himself. To render myself to him, loving him more than what he does for me is what God desires from me. This is, actually, the stage of my death or “the end of me” as Kyle Idleman states it correctly and of the gods inside of me fighting to control my life.desire

To understand the One who performs the miracle is bigger than the miracle. This stage takes me to choose just him, even if what I expect from him doesn’t occur, “but even if He does not [rescue us], let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods.” (Daniel 3:18, AMP).

Dying to self for the sake of Jesus’ lordship makes all the difference to understand (and accept) who he is and act according to his principles, i.e., worship him in Spirit and truth ( John 4:23) just as this man did: “and he gave him worship” [AMP – And he worshiped Him], John 9:38.

As long as I am in the world, I am the light in the world.John 9:4

As long as Jesus leads my life, his light will shine through me. The point is not to have me on evidence but Jesus for his light must shine so that the darkness may be revealed and destroyed. The world suggests different paths on how to live. Paths against God’s principles where people blindingly follow these paths without knowing or ignoring how destructive they are.

To be light in the world depends on how connected with the Lord. The reality is that I’m nothing without him. To witness to those who don’t know him is the work I’m called for. It’s Jesus’ light that makes me see the reality around me, the hidden truth which human’s knowledge can’t perceive. When I render myself to Jesus my blindness fall down and I get knowledge and boldness from the high to answer skeptics, (see John 9:30-33, 1 Peter 3:15,16).

This man (the ex-blind) not being sure who Jesus really was, yet was already testifying about Jesus: “The man who is named Jesus put earth mixed with water on my eyes, and said to me, Go and make yourself clean in Siloam: so I went away and, after washing, am now able to see.” (John 9:11). If you have met Jesus and render your life to him, then you’ve something to tell others and this is called evangelism. If I really met the man of the cross I won’t close my mouth and don’t let his light shines through me for the sake of his glory and those still in darkness. Why should I make it a secret what the King did to me and commanded me to tell others? (cf. Matthew 10:32). Have you ever met Him?

At the end, the one who never submits himself to Jesus is the truly blind, and this’s clearly observable through the Pharisee’s life despite the amount of knowledge they had, John 9:41. Don’t be blind.

Don’t be blind.

When Jesus’ light in me is ON I can see I can testify about what I see

I can see I can testify about what I see

What I see is truth, the truth that sets free can perc

My light is a person

My light is God living in me

My light is Jesus

If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? Psalm 130:3 (NASB)

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Walk in wisdom towards outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:5,6

Questions are there to be answered. People expect an answer when they ask something especially when they hear what some of them call it “nonsense”. As a Christian people such as atheists, or folks professing different beliefs, or even those in my circle, and sometimes myself have always questions. So, these verse make it clear that questions will arise I just have be prepared to give it a thought by trying to answer.

So, what do I need to succeed?

I) Wisdom (from above): God’s wisdom surpass any tactics from Satan or even tricks from outsiders:

Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Matthew 10:16 (ESV)

The devil wants us to fail and betray our Master so, wisdom is extremely important to discern his tactics; wisdom is essential to answer those asking and sometimes trying to rebuke what we believe. Our wisdom comes above all from the LORD…we’re called to act as serpents seeking for wisdom though prayers just as Daniel and his friends in Babylon:

Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hannah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, and told them to seek for mercy from the God of heavens concerning his mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Daniel 2:17,18  (ESV)

Through prayer we show how dependent on God we are and want desire ardently His partnership. We’re called to be as serpents through the study of the Scriptures just as Ezra did:

For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel. Ezra 7:10 (ESV)

More than a simple recitation but deep knowledge of the Scriptures helps to understand and know what I believe and the reason why I believe what  I believe. Just as Ezra knowing the Word of God  without practice has no value at all; this man studied the Law of the LORD to: i) do it (make it practical in his life), and ii) teach it (evangelism, to tell the truth to those who don’t know).

Thus, it’s essential to talk about my beliefs. How?! As doves; II) being innocent is a sign of being humble and not arrogant yet explain the Gospel with confidence, in a simple way, in love and being always gracious even in the middle of an apparently unproductive discussion I’ve to keep in mind how powerful being salt can make a huge difference. I’m there to represent my LORD, yet I’ve to do it with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15 (ESV).

You can love people without approving their decisions.- Jarrid Wilson

Through Christ in me I can love and talk graciously.

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