Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Devotion: When To Rejoice

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High (Psalm 92:1).  I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvelous works.  I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High (Psalm 9:1-2).  Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.  Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.  Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (Psalm 3:1-3).  It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord.

I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.  My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.  My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt (Psalm 71:22-24).  Praise ye the Lord.  Praise ye the name of the Lord; praise him, O ye servants of the Lord.  Ye that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God, Praise the Lord; for the Lord is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant (Psalm 132:1-3).  Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely (Psalm 147:1).  It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise (Psalm 98:4).  It is good to say thank you to the Lord, to sing praises to the God who is above all gods.  Every morning tell him, “Thank you for your kindness,” and every evening rejoice in all his faithfulness.  Sing his praises, accompanied by music from the harp and lute and lyre.  You have done so much for me, O Lord.  No wonder I am glad!  I sing for joy (Psalm 92 1-15 TLB)!  Hallelujah!  Yes, praise the Lord!  Praise him in his Temple and in the heavens he made with mighty power.  Praise him for his mighty works.  Praise his unequaled greatness.  Praise him with the trumpet and with lute and harp.  Praise him with the drums and dancing.  Praise him with stringed instruments and horns.  Praise him with the cymbals, yes, loud clanging cymbals.  Let everything alive give praises to the Lord!  You praise him!  Hallelujah (Psalm 150:1-6 TLB)!  It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord.

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.  Let your moderation be known unto all men.  The Lord is at hand.  Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:4-7).  It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord.  Amen and Amen.

We again give thanks to God for this avenue that he has given us to share his word through this inspirational message.  We continually pray that God’s grace will be upon you and that these devotionals will be a blessing to you.  If you are blessed by them, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Blessings.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Devotion: Jesus’ Invitation

Our Bible tells us that salvation is in Christ alone.  To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission (forgiveness) of sins (Acts 10:43).  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.  This is the stone which was set at nought of (rejected by) you builders, which is become the head of the corner (chief cornerstone).  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:10-12).  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6).

And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things (those) in heaven, and things (those) in earth, and things (those) under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:8-11).

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed (put to shame).  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:9-13).  In Christ alone is salvation found.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know (John 14:1-4).  Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me (Revelation 3:20 NIV).  Will you accept the invitation?

As always, we give thanks and glory to God for his wisdom and understanding.  We are so blessed to be able to share with you, those things that God has placed in our hearts.  We continue to pray that our commentary and inspirational message will be a blessing to each of you and that you will be the better for having read it.  If you are blessed by what has been provided, please feel free to share so that others may be blessed as well; for as freely as our Father has given this to us, we freely give so that others may share in the love and be blessed.  Thank you all so much for being a part of this ministry.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Friday, February 12, 2016

Devotion: Faith Pleases God

Our God is a “faith God.”  Everything pertaining to God involves “faith” on our part.  There are many definitions for faith, but the one we are drawn to most for the purpose of this commentary says, “faith is trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof.”  For the believer, faith is trusting in, believing in and/or depending upon God and accepting that he exists when there is no physical proof of its existence or of its reality.

Now, before any of you get upon that righteous horse and start responding with all of the things that you have found that proves God’s existence, know this, it is “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3).  Though we can see this physical world, it is only through faith that we believe that “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6).

This is what God wants from us.  God wants us to have faith that he is because without this kind of faith, it is impossible for us to please God.  But here it most important part of this passage for “those who come to God and believe that he is,” God is “a rewarder of them who diligently seek him.”

Gloria Copland is credited with saying, “Faith is the confidence to think, to speak, to act on the words God has already spoken.  Faith always looks forward.  It doesn’t dwell on the past.  It faces the future full of expectancy with faith in God.  You are born again to live a life of bold, fearless and unwavering faith.”

Voltaire, a French writer, philosopher, playwright, said “Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”

Kenneth Copeland describes faith this way, “Faith is not a movement.  Faith is not how God operates and’s how he wants you to live.”

“Faith in God” is having the courage to let God have control.  “Faith in God” is having the courage to put everything in his hands and then trusting that he will do what he has said he would do.  “Faith in God” means that through the hard times, the bad times, or the rough times, you still have faith in him.  “Faith in God” is believing he is working things out for you, even when you don’t feel it.  “Faith in God” changes everything.  God wants you to live by it.  God wants us to believe that he is.  God wants us to depend up on him.  God wants us to have faith in him, because without this kind of faith, it is impossible to please God.  We are to “live by it, by faith and not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7).

So you have to have faith, which is required in order to have a relationship with God.  Faith is necessary for anyone who wants to know God.  Therefore, trust in the Lord with all you heart and in all of your ways submit to God and he will direct you, making your path straight and crowning your efforts with success.  Faith is a choice.  Believing is a choice.  You can choose to believe or you can choose not to believe; that choice is yours.  As for us, we choose to believe and we choose to place our faith in God, “for with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).  Faith pleases God.  Amen.

We always give thanks to God for the ability to share our inspirational message with you.  We constantly pray that you will be blessed as well as informed by them and that you will be the better for having read them.  If you are blessed by them, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Monday, February 8, 2016

Devotion: The Benefit Of Prayer

Prayer is always an interesting subject because of the many aspects of it.  In its most basic form, prayer is nothing more than how we communicate with God and is one of the greatest privileges on earth for the believer.  It is also one of the most misused and most abused things in a believer’s life.  We have become a “microwave society,” where we want what we want immediately.  We do not want to wait for anything or anyone, especially God.  We try to package him up like “a cheap TV dinner” that we can microwave into an instant relationship once the timer goes off.  We are seeking the easy way out of our situations and quick fixes to all our problems.  We continually try to receive these quick fixes, expecting God to hit us with some magical wand, and instantly fix whatever problems we have.  We think that God is “a cosmic bellhop” who will do whatever we want, whenever we want, but that is not how the system works.  Most people believe that just as long as they can somehow pray, everything will be fine.  What they don’t realize is that there is a “right way” to pray and there is a “wrong way” to pray.

“Prayer” is defined as “the act or practice of praying, as to God; an earnest request; entreaty; supplication; a humble and sincere request to God or a god; an utterance to God in praise, thanksgiving, confession, etc.; any set formula for praying, as to God; in some religions, a devotional service consisting chiefly of prayers; any spiritual communion with God; something prayed for or requested, as in petition.”

People pray all the time, for many different reasons, for many different things, using many different methods.  Most of these people are not aware of the different types of prayer that God has made available and that each of these prayers are governed by their own set of spiritual laws or rules.  So, whenever we pray, there are some things that we need to know about prayer.  First of all, in order to enjoy the benefits of prayer, we need to know how to pray.  Then when we pray, we should expect to have our prayers answered.  Contrary to popular beliefs and some teachings, if God did not want to answer all of our prayers, he would not have told us to pray and more importantly, he would not have told us how to pray.  In the above definition, it mentions as part of the definition for prayer, “a set formula for praying.”  To some, this “set formula for praying” notion may sound foreign, but it was one of the disciples, who requested that Christ “teach them to pray, as John taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1).  Jesus would go on to teach the disciples to pray using a prayer now referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer.”  While many believers frequently recite the words to this prayer, believing this to be the actual prayer Jesus intended us to use, the truth of the matter is that this was a sample prayer, giving to the disciples as an example of a suitable prayer model and in no way embodied, all of Christ’s teaching about prayer.  Christ did not intend for this particular prayer to be merely recited with empty meaninglessness or vain repetition, but instead revealed it as the model by which all of our prayers should be modeled after.  Remember, the disciple asked Christ to teach them to pray as John taught his disciples to pray.  Do you think John taught his disciples this exact prayer?

In order to have your prayers answered, you must be aware of the different types of prayer, you must know the right type of prayer to use for your situation, and you must know the procedure for using that prayer.  Because all of the prayers require the same tools, many times the spiritual laws that govern each of them are misused, misconstrued, and misapplied resulting in little to no results.  Because we lack the needed knowledge about prayer and its purpose, more prayers go unanswered than are answered.  Imagine playing a game of football while mixing in the rules for basketball.  Would the final result of the football game be similar to what you would expect had the game been played by its own rules?  Although they are both games, each game has to be played by its own set of rules and not a combination of the two.  Prayers works the same way, we cannot mix the spiritual laws or rules that govern prayer.

If you are not getting the results that you desire than you need to check on the tools you are using.  Either what you believe is wrong or the method you are using is wrong.  It could be a combination of the two.  Unanswered prayers can discourage you, cause you to lose hope, and to give up on God because it seems that he doesn’t care about or never heard your prayers.  The problem does not lie with God but with you.  As the righteousness of God, you have the right to have your prayers answered.  As a child of God, you have the right to the inheritance of the new covenant, a better covenant, built with better promises.  As the righteousness of God and as a child of God, you have the right to come boldly to the throne of God, stand there bravely in the presence of the Almighty and find grace to help you in your times of need (Hebrews 4:16).  There are benefits to prayer, but to fully enjoy them, you need to learn to pray God’s way, by his rules.

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (I John 5:14-15).

We pray that our inspirational message abundantly blesses you as well greatly informs you.  We also pray that you will be the better for having read it.  If blessed by today’s message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings. - KW

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Devotion: Imitate God

Did you know that we are supposed to imitate God?

“Follow God’s example in everything you do just as a much loved child imitates his father.  Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins.  And God was pleased, for Christ’s love for you was like sweet perfume to him” (Ephesians 5:1-3 TLB).

Yes, we are to imitate God.  But in order to imitate someone or to follow their examples, one would have to know all there is to know about the one being imitated or followed.  According to scripture, “God is love.”

“Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know him better.  But if a person isn’t loving and kind, it shows that he doesn’t know God—for God is love” (I John 4:7-8 TLB).

According to scripture, we are to practice loving each other, for love comes from God.  The scripture goes on to say that those who are “loving and kind show that they are the children of God” because they are getting to know him better.  And while this is not clearly stated in the passage, we can conclude that those who are not “loving and kind are not children of God” because it shows that “they do not know God.”  To know God is to know love, for “God is love,” but what kind of love is this referring to?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).

God showed us just how much he loved mankind when he sent his son into the world that through the son, the world might be save.  This is how much love God had for the world.  Jesus brought us the opportunity to have eternal life and to become “the children of God.”  Then who are “the children of God” because it is they who are told to imitate or follow God?

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26-29 NIV).  “Well then, has God failed to fulfill his promises to the Jews?  No!  For these promises are only to those who are truly Jews.  And not everyone born into a Jewish family is truly a Jew!  Just the fact that they come from Abraham doesn’t make them truly Abraham’s children.  For the Scriptures say that the promises apply only to Abraham’s son Isaac and Isaac’s descendants, though Abraham had other children too.  This means that not all of Abraham’s children are children of God, but only those who believe the promise of salvation which he made to Abraham” (Romans 9:6-8 TLB).

It is through faith in Jesus Christ that we become “a child of God.”  As “a child of God,” we are baptized into union with Christ and are clothed with or enveloped by him.  And because we belong to Christ, then we be Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.  This promise is “the promise of salvation,” which God made to Abraham and only those who believe in the promise of salvation are true Jews as well as “children of God.”  It is interesting to note that not everyone born into a Jewish family is truly a Jew, just as not all of Abraham’s children are “children of God.”  It is the same with mankind; not everyone is “a child of God,” however everyone is a creation of God.  Only those who believe in the promise of salvation, which God made to Abraham, are “the true seed” of the promise and “the true children of God.”

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:13-16).

Because we have received the spirit of adoption that we are now “children of God.”  Then let us follow our Father’s example and imitate him by practicing loving one another, God’s way.  Because we are children of the promise and the “true children of God,” then let us show God’s type of love and kindness because we are of God and we truly do know God, for it is the Spirit itself that bears witness with our spirit that we are “the children of God.”

May today’s inspirational message abundantly bless you and greatly inform you.  We pray that you will be the better for having read it.  If blessed by today’s message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW