Devotions

God’s Fantastic Favor

“Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” – Psalm 5:12 How do you feel when you hear the word favor? Though it can sometimes be a hard concept for Christians to grasp, the truth is that we are all objects of such great affection that our Heavenly Father calls us His favorite. In fact, in the Bible, the words grace and favor are used interchangeably, and in English, any time you see one, it’s safe to replace it with the other. This means that when we read that we are saved by “grace” through faith, we can also say that we are saved by “favor” through faith. In other words, God had His eye on us, reached down, built a bridge to Himself through Jesus’ blood, and saved us because we are objects of His compassion and safe-keeping. While it can

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Safety and Glory

“ ‘And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’ ” – Zechariah 2:5 After the Lord made the bold declaration that Jerusalem would be a city without walls, He went on to state that He would be a wall of fire around it and a source of glory within it. Since they were rebuilding and in a vulnerable position, living without the protection of a barrier would have put the Israelites at great risk, and it was natural for them to want to construct a physical boundary.  Nevertheless, God Himself promised to be their shelter; the challenge they faced was to believe Him. Would they trust His provision to shield and defend them or would they take matters into their own hands? No doubt, the latter was tempting since the obstacles that laid before them were great.

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Don’t Go It Alone

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5 Today, I would like to point out that life is not a single-player game, my friend. Avoid the mistake of trying to fulfill your Christian walk all by yourself. This is not a good idea for Christians. Every day of your life, begin by spending time with the Lord. You will always find God to carry you through the toughest times and the greatest victories. This is the best way to start every day! Do everything to give this your best effort instead of going it alone. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you!  As long as you have the help of the Holy Spirit, you will be able to start and finish every day in victory. Start

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God Is Able To Restore You

“Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble. The Lord protects and preserves them— they are counted among the blessed in the land— he does not give them over to the desire of their foes. The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.” – Psalms 41:1-3 This is my word of encouragement for you today: God is able to restore you and bring victory in your life. I was sick for three days not too long ago. I was suffering from a horrible fever and my whole body hurt. I couldn’t sleep at all, and I remember thinking, I can’t remember what it feels like to be healthy. I even thought, “Have I always been sick?” It’s a strange feeling, but then you get better and think, wow, I’m glad I got through that!

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Allow for Second Chances

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’ ” – Matthew 18:21,22 Are you aware that we serve a God who gives us second chances? Do you live in a culture that doesn’t allow second chances? Maybe your family culture won’t let you off the hook for anything. It’s possible that your country or ethnic culture does not allow you to fail even once. I have a friend who tells me that in their country, if you fail in your business, that’s it, it’s over for you, and you’re done. I asked, is it really done? Well, people will feel as if it’s done, but it’s really not!  Perhaps your corporate culture doesn’t allow for second chances. Don’t let any of

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A Vision for Lost People

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” – Luke 19:10 Dr. Presley, my wife’s father, who I have grown very close to over the years, had a funny story to tell. He was mowing lawns while raising six children. His aunt and uncle, who worked at a bank, found him this prestigious high-paying job with a lot of upward mobility. “We have this job for you,” they said. “I can’t do it”, he said. What’s the reason? It was because he felt that God was calling him to do something else, to make his house an open house for people from all walks of life. In those days, he was a hippy, and I know many of you are from that generation. So he opened up his house because he wanted everyone to get to know the Lord. His mission was to ensure everyone

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Here’s a Good Why

“After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” – Acts 16:10 I believe it’s important to be led by a good “why.” This includes understanding what the point is of all the hard work and effort you put into it. It encompasses the knowledge that your labor is not in vain as you endure difficulty. Let your vision be your guide, so let it lead you. In your life, you want a good reason why you are doing what you are doing.  The answer to this question is probably one of the most important ones that you will be asked. Take a moment to answer this question today: In what direction am I going, and for what purpose am I going there? When it comes to your calling, there are some

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The Suffering Is Worth the Price

“Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” – Luke 24:26 It is often difficult for us to realize the magnitude Christ suffered on the cross. He didn’t just do it for kicks or to prove anything. It was because Christ loves you that He did it. He would give anything for you to be at peace with Him, go to heaven, and know the Lord. For you, He laid down His life. When He was on the cross, He could see the salvation that would come from the suffering, and His suffering was going to bring the salvation of the whole world. Yes, and amen! The future was drawing and pulling Him; He could see and feel it. A mother suffers when she’s pregnant as her body is in transition for nine months. And then finally, at the end of nine months, she

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The Only Way To Become

“And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.” – Philippians 1:14 Yesterday, I shared with you that, even as we move into the zone of productivity within our God-given assignments, we often find that the dread or fear of suffering is far worse than the suffering itself. Once again, my mind is brought back to Paul’s desire to suffer, a result of his transformed heart. It was clear to him that the only way he could fulfill the goal of becoming like Christ was through suffering like Christ.  Are we able to say that is a reality in all aspects of life? There is only one way to become a real artist, and it is to suffer like an artist to achieve that goal. If you want to become a

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Get into the Zone

“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.” – Proverbs 4:25,26 I’ve been sharing principles and encouraging you to finish well over the last few days. There are circumstances in life where many start, but only a few finish. As we fulfill different callings and assignments from the Lord, we may occasionally wonder “Why don’t we finish in life?” Well, that’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? It’s the dread of work that causes it. There’s a fear of failure, and there’s also the dread of having to repeat specific actions over and over. Yet the irony is that very often when you start an essay, a novel, a project, or a process, you get into the zone at some point.  Getting into the zone is an amazing first step on your

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