Prayer

His Plan for the World

“He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” – Ephesians 1:9,10 Did you know God’s plan for the world is: “On earth as it is in Heaven,” and that He chose you to be a part of it? If you grew up Christian, you’ve probably prayed that well-known prayer a million times. Matthew 6:10 states: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” When you think of Heaven, do you think of sick, angry, or mean people not belonging? Of course not. Eternal life is not just living forever; it’s the quality of God’s life here and now. It’s the life where God is moving for you, even if

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The Price to Get In

“…strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. ‘We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,’ they said.” – Acts 14:22 Today I was reflecting on how much I love going to the gym. It has lots of amenities to help you stay in shape and keep your body healthy. My gym also has hard-core battling ropes and chain equipment, which can be challenging and uncomfortable at times, but yields great results. I was thinking about the similarities between this and our walk as Christians — when we are called to get out of our comfort zone, but in the end, it’s worth it.  There’s another spiritual lesson here I want to share. I’m always curious how my gym can afford to operate a huge facility when not many people go. A fellow gym patron shared some wisdom: “Bobby, many people pay

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It Didn’t Exist

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9 Today I want to share a story that illustrates God’s forgiveness. I was visiting with a very good friend of mine and his daughter, who live out of state. I don’t mean to freak anyone out here, but he told me a story about demon possession. Back in the 1980s, he was having a worship gathering at his home, and in attendance was a man who claimed to be a demoniac — a demon-possessed person. In the middle of this worship service, this man began to manifest this demonic spirit to the point where he was writhing, screaming, and foaming at the mouth. It took four grown men to hold him down, in an effort to pray for him.  Just before they prayed, my

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God Chooses the Unlikely

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” – 1 Corinthians 1:27 We talked about sheep in wolf’s clothing yesterday, and how not everyone who achieves great things in God’s Kingdom looks the way we expect them to. Today, I want to build on that idea by reminding you that you don’t have to be perfect or healed in order for Jesus to use you. I truly want you to grasp and comprehend the power of this crucial reality! Many people who are born again and become active in a church realize how “messed up” they are very fast. While this isn’t always a negative thing, and Jesus does want us to mature and become more like Him, it’s important to realize that God loves, accepts, and even uses us in our flaws;

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Setting Goals

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” – Proverbs 16:3 I told you yesterday about how reading the Bible, along with prayer and meditation on a Bible passage, is a part of my morning routine. Today, I’m going to tell you about how I spend the first few minutes of every morning: writing down my goals. This practice, though not generally considered part of a devotional time, may be the most significant stage in the process, believe it or not. What I’ve discovered is that writing down your goals allows you to perceive Jesus as a helper rather than as someone who is uninterested in bringing you where you want to go. When you realize that God loves you and wants to help you live a successful and full life, writing down your goals becomes a spiritual activity that grows out of prayer and Bible

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Praying in the Morning

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” – 1 Chronicles 16:11 Yesterday, we discussed how having a routine may be very valuable as we strive to become rooted and grounded individuals who thrive in turmoil. I’m hoping that by sharing the five steps of my “morning meditation,” you’ll be inspired to create your own, since I feel it will help you grow in the Lord and empower you to be a more powerful influence in the world. In our last devotional, I mentioned how meditation is the first stage in my morning ritual, and how it easily leads to the second component, prayer. Reflecting on a passage of Scripture and lifting up the Name of Jesus in worship generates a lovely Spiritual atmosphere that makes it simple to just begin talking to Him. Now, I don’t have a set prayer formula, but I do pray for

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Planning for the Storm

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” – Matthew 7:24-27 We discussed yesterday how the ability to thrive in turmoil is an indication that we are living in the fullness of God’s Kingdom. Today, we’ll look at how Jesus teaches us a similar lesson in the parable of the wise man who built his

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Radical Respect

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12:10 Daryl Davis is a person I’d like to tell you about. Daryl endured many injustices as a child growing up in the south, including being the only black boy in a white Boy Scout troop and being thrown items (mainly horrible insults). Daryl went on to be a pianist and a member of a rhythm and blues band when he grew older. However, a friend asked him to fill in for him in his country band one day, so he went to a completely other location and sang a bunch of country tunes. After the show, a man came him and complemented him, saying he’d never seen a black man play like Jerry Lee Lewis. “Well, where do you think he learned to play?” Daryl joked back. Following that, the two began up a long

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Fighting in Prayer

“In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, ‘Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.’” – Samuel 1:10,11 Yesterday we saw that God calls Himself Yahweh Tsebaoth, or the “Lord of Armies,” over 250 times in the Bible. Interestingly, one of the most famous usages of this particular name was by a woman named Hannah. Now Hannah’s husband’s name was Elkanah, and he was married to her and also to a woman named Peninnah. Peninnah was fertile and she gave birth to many children, but Hannah was unable to conceive. Even though Elkanah loved and favored her, she was

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Inspirational Leadership

“The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.” – 2 Chronicles 20:4 When Jehoshaphat heard that three enemy nations were coming against Judah, he didn’t strive and struggle to come up with a plan — He simply looked to the Lord. In fact, he asked the people to pray with him, and their response to his summons was overwhelming. After they heard the voice of their leader, citizens began pouring into Jerusalem from every town in the region, and when they gathered at the temple in fasting and worship, their solidarity was met with divine intervention. Though we’ll talk more about how God showed up in their midst tomorrow, first, I think it’s important to examine the manner in which the crowd responded to their king’s request. Though he had recently lost an important battle,

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