Saturday, December 11, 2010

Reviving Your Quiet Times

But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

As a child of God, your quiet time is a very important aspect of your Christian life. Quiet time involves spending time with the word of God, studying it and learning from it everyday. It is a selected period of time in the day you consciously dedicate to spending time with God in prayer, studying His word and learning more about Him. Without daily regular quiet time, your spiritual life can be malnourished. Having a quiet time helps to prevent complacency and build your relationship with your loving Father.  

The scripture for today tells us that Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer. It implies that He often sought moments and places where He could be alone with His Father. This shows that it was something important to Him as a Son of God.

Take some time today to evaluate your quiet time. Does your quiet time need reviving? You can revive your quiet time by starting with prayer (worship and praise, asking for forgiveness of sins and guidance as you spend time in His word). You can enrich your quiet time with a passage of scripture. Read the scripture, go over it maybe twice or thrice, and ask yourself questions concerning what you have learnt from the passage as well as how you can apply what you have read. Conclude your quiet time with prayer.

Your quiet time could simply be 15 minutes in a day, but it will do so much for your spiritual and physical well being. If you need to revive your quiet time, ask God to help you today.

Prayer: My Loving Father, I thank You for the lessons I learn from Jesus Christ. I am sorry for times I have taken spending time with You for granted. I pray for Your help to be disciplined with my quiet time. Show me areas of my life that may affect my quiet time and relationship with You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Called and equipped

 Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations:
Before I was born the LORD called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.
He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver.
...He says: "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” 
[Isaiah 49:1-2, 6 NIV]

No matter who we are, no matter what we believe we do or do not have, God's word still stand true for all His children today. Even before we were born He had equipped us for the task ahead. He made our mouth like a sharpened sword, to be precise in it every use. He hid us in the shadow of His hands, protecting us in all our ways, He made us into a polished arrow, sharp enough to hit the right target, and concealed us in His quiver so that we are available to be drawn out for use at our appointed time.
The same God who has prepared us tells us to look beyond what our eyes can see to boundaries beyond our imagination, because where we are seeing is small compared to the plans He has in mind for us (v.6).
This is what the LORD says:“In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’(Isaiah 49:8-9a).

We are called to be a light to a dying world, we are called to be the salt of the earth. A pot of soup does not require a whole jar of salt but just enough to give it taste, that means it is not the quantity that matters but the potency, so it is with us as Christians. It is not about whether we sit in any position of leadership in the church or about whether we have lived as christian for many years, its not about if we give the highest amount in tithes and offerings or about how many people know who we are when our name is mentioned, its about how connected we are to the source of our strength.

The one who called us equipped us even before our lives began, His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us, that is all that we need to function in His vineyard. We have not been called to receive the blessings for ourselves, but we have been called to spread forth that which we have received to the world around us.

Prayer: Father, I surrender the totality of my life to be used by You, as I step out into this day use me just as You will, not by my own strength but by Your spirit. I choose to serve You because that is the reason for which I live, strengthen me and show me how, each and everyday as I come to You. Amen

One-Year Daily Bible Reading Plan - Dec. 10 2010 - Psalms 77-78 (OT), Matthew 24 (NT)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Satisfying The King

By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. [John 15:8, NKJV]

King David and his men were surrounded at some point during battle, and at such a time David wished he could get water from the well at the gate of Bethlehem. The men did everything to satisfy this desire of their king not minding the risk to their lives, nor questioning the kings odd desire at such a time.

Today, the King of Kings has desires and deep needs He wants satisfied and those who are able to satisfy these needs are His followers and Children, His own. In John 15:16, God reveals His deep need, His desire. ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain…’

God’s deepest need is for souls to be won to His kingdom. Not wanting any to perish, He desires that all should come to the knowledge of Him. Is there a soldier of Christ in you to bring to pass the desire of the king? Are we available to run with the need of the King to satisfy Him? It is for this purpose He chose us to Himself, that we would bear fruits for Him, to win souls to Him.

By the good fruits we bear, the father is glorified. When we manifest results in our lives that are in agreement with the word of God, we are bearing good fruit. Jesus says if any man be in me, and my words in him, the same shall bring forth good fruit (John 15:5). The good fruits we bear in our lives bring glory to God and satisfies the King.

Prayer: Ask the Lord to uproot everything that does not bear good fruit in your life today. Everything that doesn’t glorify God does not satisfy Him, so should be removed. Ask God that by the power of His word, good fruit will spring forth from your life and you will win souls to the kingdom of God.

One-Year Daily Bible Reading Plan - Dec. 09 2010 - Psalms 75-76 (OT), Matthew 23 (NT)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Watching Over One Another

And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities...

There are days when we get so caught up in what is happening around us that we do not realize there are people beside us who are passing through difficult times. The verse of scripture for today is a reminder to watch over one another. It is a reminder to diligently and attentively consider each other's trials, difficulties, and weaknesses; feel for each other, and excite each other to an increase of love to God and man; and as proof of it, to be fruitful in good works.

You never know who needs an encouraging word from you. You never know whose life will be changed by having you listen for five minutes. You never know whose life will be saved when you ask "how are you today?" You never know who would have backslid if not for you.

Hebrews 10:25 further says "...not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together as believers...but encouraging one another..." Now more than ever we need to meet together with people of like faith. All of us need to be encouraged because each of us will encounter obstacles on our pathway. We need to share our good times with others so that they may be encouraged, and we need to share our bad times with others so that they may encourage us.

As you start today, ask God to help you be a blessing to someone's life.

Prayer: My Loving Father, thank You for this day You have given me. I need not be anxious about anything because as I cast my cares upon You, I know You are able to take care of my needs. I pray, Father, that today and always, You will help me to be more sensitive to people around me. Help me see someone whose life I could make a difference in. Give me wisdom in approaching and dealing with those I come across today. May my light shine before someone today that You may be glorified. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Amplify Your Sound

Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth;
   burst into song, you mountains! 
For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones. 

The winning side in any sports game is the easiest side to identify, their shout goes before them because winners are never silent. As children of God we are on the winning side irrespective of what may come our way. We have a heritage of victory made certain on the cross of calvary. The devil knows this and so he tries to silence us, he tries to steal our song and fill our lives with the weight of negativity. 

We owe it to ourselves and to God to choose the sounds that surround us. Do we choose the sound of defeat or do we choose the sound of the true heirs of the Kingdom of heaven (the sound of praise)? Whatever choice we make, we become the product of that choice.

The passage today called for the Isrealites to rejoice, to rejoice is not a silent smile or a gentle laugh, the shout of the victorious is a boisterous sound that springs forth from the depth of the belly. Shout out loud for He has given us the city. Lift up a loud shout of victory for we have overcome by the blood of the lamb and by the word of our testimony. We do not have to see the score board before we lift up our voices because we already know what the scores would be, we win and the devil loses. It has been so since the foundation of time and nothing whatsoever would change it.

So lift up your voice and amplify the sounds of praise from deep within you, because the shout is always loudest on the winning side.

Prayer: My Loving Father, I bless You because I bear the title of a winner, I would lift up my voice in a loud shout and would not stay silent. The devil cannot steal my song, so I will sing and would rejoice in You because You are the God of my salvation. I would not be weighed down but would continually be strengthened in Your joy. Be magnified in my praise today O Lord, Amen.

One-Year Daily Bible Reading Plan - Dec. 07 2010 - Psalms 71-72 (OT), Matthew 21 (NT)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Seeds That Grow Within

Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever

[1 Peter 1:23, NKJV]

Seeds in general have a long storage life. They can be preserved in barns for years and stay in the same condition; not reproducing themselves. However, these seeds immediately change form, germinate and reproduce other seeds soon as they touch a fertile ground, the earth. The earth presents a conducive environment in which seeds planted receive their nutrients and grow to bear fruit. Man was created from the dust of the ground and the human being also presents a conducive environment for seeds to grow.

Every person has seeds planted in them (knowingly or not), which germinate, grow and bear fruit to produce the outcome of the person’s life. On a daily basis, seeds are being planted in us, sometimes beyond our control. These seeds may be good or bad, but they are constantly being planted depending on our level of interaction with them. So that every outcome of a person’s life is the fruit of a seed planted within the person at some point.

1 Peter 1:23 lets us know that of all seeds which can grow within a person, only the Word of God is incorruptible and will not defile the person. The Word of God when sown in us grows to produce results that glorify the name of the God. The seed of God’s word gives us life to the full and in abundance according to John 10:10, but in order for the Word of God to bring forth fruit, contrary seeds need to be uprooted and removed from within us. Jesus described to us in the parable of the sower (Matt 13:7), that the seed which fell among thorns were choked by them. Ask God to cleanse the ground of your life of every contrary seed, so His Word will find space to grow and bear fruit.

As you consciously take in the Word of God, it begins to form your thoughts and control your thinking. Your way of thinking in turn, produces your emotions, and your emotions give rise to the decisions you make. These decisions whose roots are in the Word of God will guide your life in wisdom to give you peace, prosperity and progress.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I receive the cleansing of the blood of Jesus to wash away my sins and liberate me from every contrary seed to your word. Father, I receive the incorruptible seed of your word that my life will only produce outcomes that sing your praise and give me peace. Guide me into your truth always I pray dear Lord in Jesus’ name.

One-Year Daily Bible Reading Plan - Dec. 06 2010 - Psalms 69-70 (OT), Matthew 20 (NT)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Knowing The Thoughts Of God

For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

As we walk with God, we will find out that more often than not, we need to know His thoughts. The thoughts of God reveals much of who He is. For instance, knowing that the thoughts of God for you are thoughts of peace and not of evil, and thoughts to give you an expected end, you can know and be reassured that indeed He loves you. Again, as a child of God, every choice and every decision you will make needs to be in line with the will of God. How then can you know God's thoughts about your choices, your situation and what decisions you need to make?

Today's scripture tells us that no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We are blessed to have direct access to the Spirit of God for the Holy Spirit dwells in us [1 Corinthians 3:16]. It is the Holy Spirit who helps us in our times of weakness and in prayer [Romans 8:26]. Our direction comes from the Holy Spirit [Romans 8:14]. Only the Holy Spirit knows the thoughts of God, and we can know the thoughts of God by consulting the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.

Maybe the Holy Spirit has been a dormant resident in your heart. Your relationship with the Holy Spirit can grow more and more each day. When you need to read and study the word, ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and revelation. When you need to pray (especially intercessory prayers), ask the Holy Spirit to teach you what to say. As you desire to manifest the fruit of the Spirit, ask the Holy Spirit to show you areas in your life for improvement. When you need to make your decisions, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the thoughts of God.

As you start your day with God, make the Holy Spirit your companion and best friend. He will reveal to you the thoughts of God and help you get to know your Loving Father better.

Prayer: My Loving Father, thank You for the Holy Spirit whom You sent in the name of Jesus. I accept His role as my Teacher and my Comforter. Indeed it is a privilege that He lives in me. I realize, Father, that He knows Your thoughts. I pray Father, for a conscious and continuous understanding of the presence and role of the Holy Spirit in my life. I pray that as I desire to know more of You, I will remember that I have Your Spirit, who knows Your thoughts, living big in me. In Jesus Name, Amen.