Chosen And Predestined

Romans 8:29 (WEB)
For whom he foreknew, he also predestined
to be conformed to the image of his Son,
that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Promise: I have chosen you to be like My Son so you could be part of My family.

In today’s promise from Romans 8:29, we read in the Amplified Bible the following… For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren. (AMP)

What an amazing promise! God knew us and loved us and destined us to be part of His amazing family before the creation of the world! It was because of His incredible love, that He determined to mold us into the image of His beloved Son so that we could be part of His wonderful family.

Jesus is the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. He is the ultimate big brother to each one of us and His Father has become our Father (John 20:17) because of the finished work of the cross. Hallelujah for such a salvation! We are being conformed day by day into the likeness of our Elder Brother and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The more that we understand that the Christian life is all about family, the more we will experience the family love that is ours with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We are not orphans, but joint heirs with Jesus! (Romans 8:17)

My prayer today is that each and every one of us would know that God chose us before the foundation of the world to become part of His everlasting family. May the reality of this promise transform how we see ourselves, our brothers and sisters, and our Elder Brother Jesus!

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I Believe

Psalm 119:89 (WEB)
Yahweh, your word is settled in heaven forever.

Promise : My eternal Word is anchored in the heavens.

The NIV Bible translates today’s Bible verse this way… Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. (NIV) The English Standard Version translates it… Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. (ESV) Whatever translation you prefer, the message is the same. God’s Word is firmly fixed and settled in heaven forever.

God is not a man that He should lie. His Word is His bond and it is anchored in heaven itself. Whenever circumstances come in direct opposition to God’s Word, agree with God and believe His Word. Whenever your emotions shout out something about yourself other than what God says about you, agree with God and believe His Word.

He is the same yesterday, today and forever and His Word is a constant that we can rely in our daily life. May faith rise up in our hearts today so that we will simply take God at His Word and cry out “I believe!”.

All Things Work For Our Best

Romans 8:28 (WEB)
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God,
to those who are called according to his purpose.

Promise : I will cause all things to ultimately work for your good (best).

This Bible verse has brought comfort to a countless number of people throughout the years. It is very reassuring to know that no matter what happens in our life, our God and Father is able to cause all things to work together for our good.

Of course this does not mean that everything that happens in our life is good, because we know that is simply not the case. We live in a fallen world where bad things happen to good people. Nevertheless, our God is able to redeem even the most difficult of situations and somehow, some way, He promises to ultimately work all things for our good.

We might not see the ‘good’ that He has in store for us immediately, but be assured that from God’s eternal perspective, His heart is for your best interest in the long run. May this promise of our Papa’s plan for a bright future encourage you in the midst of any hardships that you are facing today.

Divine Protection

Psalm 91:7 (WEB)
A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand;
but it will not come near you.

Promise: Thousands may fall around you, but you will not be harmed.

Psalm 91 is a powerful declaration of the safety and shelter that you and I can live in knowing that we are living under the constant care of Almighty God. In today’s promise, the psalmist tells us that we can live in a state of safety in even the most stressful of circumstances.

Can you imagine living in such a place of security and protection that you could feel safe from harm though thousands were falling around you? I personally struggle at the thought of what it would feel like to be surrounded by such distress but yet feel completely protected. However, the psalmist tells us that those who live under the shadow of the Almighty can expect such safety.

While this illustration might be a little extreme for daily life as we know it, try to imagine how this might apply to your every day life situation. Maybe you work in the middle of a busy office filled with loads of anxiety and stress-filled people?

Though others are not coping around you, could you see yourself as being completely and absolutely insulated from the fear and anxiety that others are experiencing simply because you have made God your dwelling place? My prayer for each one of us today is that the answer is …YES!

Though the world around us may be coming unglued at the seams, may it not come close to us because we have the safety and security of being absolutely convinced that we are loved and protected by the One who created the heavens and the earth.

 

In God We Trust

Hebrews 13:5 (WEB)
Be free from the love of money, content with such things as you have,
for he has said, “I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you.”

Promise: I will never abandon you.

In today’s Bible verse, the writer of Hebrews encourages us to be content with our lives because our God and Father has promised to never leave us or forsake us. In the knowledge of our Papa’s closeness, we can take a deep breath and simply rest in His nearness. We don’t have to be anxious about anything. We don’t have to covet anything, because we have all that we need in the arms of our Heavenly Father.

If we are not convinced that everything we need can be found in the intimacy and fellowship found in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we will seek other things in order to be satisfied. However, if we truly believe in our heart that God will never leave us or forsake us, we will know that we have indeed found the pearl of great price.

No matter where you go, God goes with you. If you have received the free gift of Jesus’ life, then you are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, whether you feel His presence or not. God will NOT abandon you! He is closer to you than you possibly could imagine.

My prayer for each one of us is that we would be convinced more of this promise today than ever before! He will never leave you or forsake you…never!

 

Prayer of Surrender

 

Loving Father,

I surrender to you today with all my heart and soul. Please come into my heart in a deeper way. I say, “Yes” to you today. I open all the secret places of my heart to you and say, “Come on in.” Jesus, you are the Lord of my whole life. I believe in you and receive you as my Lord and Savior. I hold nothing back.

Holy Spirit, bring me to a deeper conversion to the person of Jesus Christ. I surrender all to you: my time, my treasures, my talents, my health, my family, my resources, my work, relationships, time management, successes and failures. I release it and let it go.

I surrender my understanding of how things ‘ought’ to be, my choices and my will. I surrender to you the promises I have kept and the promises I have failed to keep. I surrender my weaknesses and strengths to you. I surrender my emotions, my fears, my insecurities, my sexuality. I especially surrender ______ (Here mention other areas of surrender as the Holy Spirit reveals them to you.)

Lord, I surrender my whole life to you, the past, the present, and the future. In sickness and in health, in life and in death, I belong to you. (Remain in the Lord in a spirit of silence through your thoughts, a heart song, or simply staying in His presence and listening for His voice.)

The Lenten Season of 2018

Grace and peace to you from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! I pray that the One who has done great things in the past will do great things in the coming days for you! He is a wonder-worker! He is able!

We both know that God is everywhere all the time, otherwise God isn’t God. Yet as much as God is everywhere, there are ways and places in which He manifests His power that are particular.

Though God is indeed everywhere, His (what I call) “Heaven-Splitting Force” doesn’t occur everywhere at all times does it? No, there are specific and particular places where God manifests His glory, both in Scripture and in your life!

We are currently in the Lenten Season, that 40-day period prior to Resurrection Sunday when the church, since the first century, has set herself apart to seek the face of God, humble herself and prepare for the celebration of Resurrection. Despite what you probably have heard about it, Lent is a season marked by God moving in power.

Some of you may have heard negative things about Lent; however, those who “demonize” it actually are quite ignorant of church history. Usually these people just quote John Calvin from 500 years ago and his strong reaction to the pope in his day.  God was moving long before John Calvin showed up on the scene; and some of the greatest doctors of the church long before Calvin’s arrival deeply honored the Lenten Season and set themselves to seek the face of God.

Rest assured, Lent isn’t just a Roman Catholic observation. Most Protestant denominations worldwide observe the Lenten Season, and this includes Pentecostals and charismatics!

During the Lenten Season, many passages of Scripture are read that you and I love because they speak about God moving in power, about God moving in Heaven-Splitting Force.

For example, favorite Lenten passages include:

The Baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:9-13). In this passage, we read about what happened at the Jordan River, when the heavens were ripped, or “split” open (Mark’s Gospel uses that term) and the Spirit of God descended on Jesus, driving him into the wilderness to be tested and tempted for 40 days (which is what Lent focuses on).

The Crossing of the Jordan by Elijah and Elisha (2 Kings 2: 1-14). This Lenten text is about when the Jordan was split “here and there” and the two prophets walked across it on dry ground. The heavens were then ripped (“split”) open by chariots of fire and Elijah and Elisha were separated. Then Elisha returned to the Jordan with the mantle and split the river open again to return into the Promised Land with power from on high!

What if you are personally truly coming into a change of seasons? What if, in this Lenten Season, God wants to do something in particular for you that carries with it the kind of Heaven-Splitting Force that occurred when:

Elijah parted the waters of the Jordan for he and Elisha to pass over on dry ground before the mantle passed from the prophet to the protégé?
Elijah and Elisha were walking and talking and chariots of fire separated the two of them so that Elijah ascended by whirlwind into Heaven?

Elisha picked up the fallen mantle of Elijah and went back to the Jordan River and the same Heaven-Splitting Force that caused Elijah to part those waters operated in the same way in Elisha’s life?

I am persuaded that a new era is dawning that hasn’t fully come yet. I have been saying this for a while now, and though it is an in-between time, if we will continue carrying our own cross, experiencing the crucified life, allowing God to bury those things that are part of our former season, and lay aside every weight, leaning into the promise of resurrection, we will see Heaven-Splitting Force in our lives.