Category Archives: Daily Bread

Eliminate And Remain – Remove The Leaven And Keep Your Eyes On Heaven

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Eliminate And Remain – Remove The Leaven And Keep Your Eyes On Heaven

Each year, as the end of the year draws to an end, our thoughts generally go to two things. Thoughts of the past year and thoughts of the coming new year. It is very common to hear people, during this time, make New Year’s resolutions. Some resolutions are made by some people who never really intend to carry them out. Then there are those who make resolutions that are determined in their hearts to fulfill them. However, a vast majority of these people will never see their resolution fulfilled. Over time they loose sight of their goal and forget about the resolution they made. As they allow the cares of life to dominate their time, thoughts, and energy their resolutions are crowded out.

God, the creator of the entire universe, is a God of new beginnings. Salvation through Jesus Christ in a sense can be compared to a New Year’s resolution. There are those who pray the prayer of repentance who never intend to change or forsake their old way of life. Then there are those who pray the prayer of repentance that are determined in their hearts to change and forsake their old ways. However, some of these people will slip back to their old ways and their old lifestyles. Over time they loose sight of their relationship with God and forget the commitment they made to Him. As they allow the cares of life to dominate their time, thoughts, and energy they loose out with God.

Believers, those who have accepted Jesus and their Savior and Lord, must be careful not to allow the cares of life to cause them to loose sight of their goal. There are several definitions of the word goal that could apply to our spiritual life and walk.

The first one is target, somebody or something that is the focus or object of the behavior or actions of others. As a believer who is your focus and how do that focus effect your behavior or actions?

The second one is aim, something that someone wants to achieve. As a believer what do you want to achieve?

The third one is the end of a race. Every person has an end to their race, or life. As a believer what does the end of the race have in store for you?

In order for believers to grow in their relationship with God, fulfill the commitment they made at salvation, and to reach their goal they must do two very important things. They must remove the leaven and keep their eyes on heaven.

Throughout the Bible leaven is a symbol of sin or any evil influence that, if allowed to remain, can corrupt the individual or a body of believers. There are several references in the Bible to beware of leaven.

Matthew 16:5-12
‘Now when His disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have taken no bread.”
But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?—but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Luke 12:1-3 NKJV
“In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.
Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.”

Believers must take heed and guard against sin, corruption and evil influences. Sin has a tremendous impact, effect, power and influence on our lives and those around us. It must be purged from their lives. The believer cannot afford to tolerate sin in their lives. All sins, even small one, are dangerous because they grow and spread. Sin contaminates everything it comes in contact with. If we do not remove or get rid of sin and evil influences they will eventually cause us to miss the mark.

1 Corinthians 5:6-13 NKJV
“Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”

Galatians 5:7-9 NKJV
“You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Many people start off on their Christian journey with every intention of completing it however, they fail to keep a check on sin. Left unrestrained sin will cause believers to fall away from God and turn back.

1 Corinthians 9:24 NKJV
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”

May each believer be resolved that they will remove the leaven from their lives so that they may gain the prize that is set before them.

Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

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Dear Father,
You are the Creator of the entire universe and I thank-you that You are a God of new beginnings.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me not to slip back to my old ways or lifestyle. Over time may I not loose sight of my relationship with You and forget the commitment I made to You. Don’t allow the cares of life to dominate my time, thoughts, and energy. May I never loose sight of my eternal goal. I desire for You to be the focus of my life. Through the Holy Spirit’s help and direction may I remove the leaven from my life and keep my eyes on heaven. Help me to take heed and guard against sin, corruption and evil influences.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

The Beatitudes

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The Beatitudes

A beatitude is a pronouncement of some blessing that we will receive when we follow Jesus’ example and allow God to shape our thoughts, words, and actions. It should bring joy to us when we know that God is pleased with us.

The world would have us to believe that we are blessed if we are happy and have a lot of things. But God says that we are blessed if we relinquish our pride, have a mindset characterized by meekness, and look to Him for spiritual significance. True blessings come from being like Jesus – gentle and humble.

Matthew 5:1-12 NKJV

“And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.
Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

God will bless those who are poor in spirit.

When a person is poor they are lacking or in need. When we realize that we are poor in spirit and that we are dependent on God, His mighty power is available to us, and we find favor with Him! God desires that we realize that we are dependant upon Him

Matthew 5:3 NKJV

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

God will bless those who mourn.

When we mourn we feel or express sorrow or grief.

Isaiah 57:15 NKJV

“For thus says the High and Lofty One

Who inhabits eternity,

Whose name is Holy:

‘I dwell in the high and holy place,

With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,

To receive the spirit of the humble.

And to receive the heart of the contrite ones’ ”

Contrite means that we are broken in spirit by a sense of guilt. It also means showing deep regret and sorrow. When we are truly sorry that we have sinned against a holy God, God will receive us, comfort us, and forgive us. When we receive salvation the Holy Spirit (the comforter) comes to live in us. He will be our companion and help us in times of trials and troubles.

Matthew 5:4 NKJV

“Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.”

God will bless those who are meek.

When a person is meek they are not easily angered, are patient and are yielding. We must not get being meek mixed up with being weak. They are two totally different things. When we see ourselves the way that God sees us it will cause us to be meek. We will no longer focus on ourselves, instead we will focus on God and others. God will bless us when we put Him first.

Psalm 37:11 NKJV

“But the meek shall inherit the earth,

And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”

Matthew 5:5 NKJV

“Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.”

God will bless those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.

Righteousness means always thinking and acting in a way that is just, right, and good. When we have a very strong desire (need) to live in such a way that pleases God and brings glory to Him we will be filled. When we are filled with God and the things of God there will not be room for anything else. When we hunger and thirst for righteousness we will want more of God. This desire will cause us to spend more time in prayer, reading the Bible and in worship.

2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

1 John 2:29 NKJV

“If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.”

When we receive Jesus as our Savior we receive His righteousness, and with it comes the power to live right (to think and act in a way that is just, right, and good).

Matthew 5:6 NKJV

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.”

God will bless those who are merciful.

Mercy means not to punish someone when they deserve it. The dictionary describes mercy as more kindness than justice requires; kindness beyond what can be claimed or expected; kindly treatment; pity; something to be thankful for. Merciful means having, showing, or feeling mercy; full of compassion. When we forgive others and show them kindness when they don’t deserve it we are being merciful. God has been merciful to us by giving His Son, Jesus, to take our punishment for our sin. Because of the great mercy that was shown to us we must also be merciful to others, even when they disappoint us or hurt us.

2 Samuel 22:26 NKJV
“With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful;

With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless.”

A person that is merciful will also reach out to help others in need. When we show mercy to others we will be blessed with God and others being merciful to us.

Matthew 5:7 NKJV

“Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.”

God will bless those who are pure in heart.

Pure means not mixed with anything else, genuine, perfectible clean, spotless, without defects, correct, with no evil, without sin, or, chaste (virtuous, decent, or modest). God wants us to be pure in heart. We cannot be pure in heart if we try to mix the things of God (and our relationship with Him) with evil or sinful things of the world. When we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord we become the temple of God. God will not share His house with evil, therefore we must be pure in heart. It is more important to be clean on the inside (pure heart) than it is to be clean on the outside.

Matthew 23:25-26 NKJV

“Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisees, first cleanse the inside of the cup and the dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.”

People can only see us our outside, but God see us on the inside. Being clean inside where God sees and being clean outside where people see are both important to God. He wants us to take good care of ourselves, but being clean on the inside where only God sees is most important to Him. No matter how good we try to be on the outside, without God’s forgiveness we are still dirty and impure on the inside.

1 John 1:9-10 NKJV

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

The first thing we need to do to become pure at heart is to realize and admit that we are not. After we realize that we need to be pure at heart, all we have to do is ask God to forgive us ) and cleanse us.

Psalm 51:10 NKJV

“Create in me a clean heart, O God,

And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

The Bible tells us that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”. God will give a pure heart if we ask Him to.

Matthew 5:8 NKJV

“Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.”

God will bless those who are peacemakers.

A peacemaker is a person who makes peace. The dictionary describes peace as freedom from strife of any kind; condition of quiet, calm, order, and security. Peace is also described as an agreement between contending parties.

John 14:27 NKJV

“Peace, I leave with you, My peace I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

We have peace with God because of Jesus’ sacrifice. When we accept Jesus as our Savior we receive a special type of peace that only God can give and we become a child of God. We will put on a spirit of calmness and tranquility because Jesus’ peace removes dread and fear from our heart. As a child of God we can tell others how they can receive the same peace that we have. When we tell others that they can have peace with God through His Son, Jesus, we are being a peacemaker.

Psalm 34:14 NKJV

“Depart from evil and do good;

Seek peace and pursue it.”

Hebrews 12:14 NKJV

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”

Not only does God desire for us to live at peace with Him, He desires for us to live at peace with others. When a person is at peace with God and other people it will bring blessings.

Matthew 5:9 NKJV

“Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God”

God will bless those who are persecuted falsely because of Him.

Persecuted means to suffer repeatedly because of what you believe or because of your principles. There are people all over the world that are caused to suffer repeatedly, harmed, oppressed, annoyed and harassed for righteousness sake. When people oppress a child of God because of the stand that they take for God, He will bless them.

1 Peter 2:21 NKJV

“For to this you were called because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example , that you should follow His steps.”

When we begin to feel like we are persecuted for righteousness sake we must remember that it (the persecution) will not last forever. We must also remember to follow Jesus’ example of handling persecution.

Romans 8:18 NKJV

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present times are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

The persecution and troubles that we face here on earth are nothing compared to our time in eternity with God.

Matthew 5:10-12 NKJV

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

 

To Him Who Overcomes- Overcoming Brings Rewards

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To Him Who Overcomes- Overcoming Brings Rewards

 

 

 

To the person that overcomes God will give them special gifts and blessings. They can eat from the tree of life, they shall not be hurt by the second death, they will be given manna to eat and a white stone, they shall have power over the nations and be given the morning star, they shall have white garments and their name confessed before God, they will become a pillar in the temple of God , and they will sit on the throne with Jesus.

 

  1.  Eat From The Tree Of Life

 

Revelation 2: 7 NKJV    

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”

 

2. Not Hurt By The Second Death

 

Revelation 2: 11 NKJV    

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”

 

3. Manna And A White Stone

 

Revelation 2: 17 NKJV    

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”

 4. Power Over The Nations And The Morning Star

 

Revelation 2:26-29 NKJV    

“And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations “

‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;

They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’-

as I also have received from My Father, and I will give him the morning star.

‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ ”

 5. White Garments And Name Confessed Before God

 

Revelation 3:5-6 NKJV    

“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess His name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

 

6. Become A Pillar In The Temple Of God

Revelation 3:12-13 NKJV    

“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

 

Pillars are people of faith, power, strength and stability.

 

7.  Sit On Throne With Jesus

 

Revelation 3:21-22 NKJV    

“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Aliens On Earth

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daily bread - CopyJohn 15:19 NKJV

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

 

 

 

Christians are not of this world – they are aliens to this earth. Christians are not citizens of this world, their allegiance is owed to God, not the country in which they live, they belong to a different group (they are a peculiar people), and they are not in agreement with the world’s standards or morals.

I. As a Christian we are not citizens of this world.

Philippians 3:20 NKJV

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ ”

Our time on earth is only temporary. One day every person, regardless of if they are saved or not will go to the place they are a citizen of. Some will go to heaven and some will go to hell. It all depends on where their true citizenship is.

Ephesians 2:19 NKJV

“ Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God ”

Christians are not of this world although they are in the world. A Christian’s true citizenship is in heaven as a member of God’s family. Since a Christian’s is not a citizen of the world, the world has no legal rights over them.

II. As a Christian our allegiance is owed to God, not the country in which we live.

When we accept the gift of salvation and make Jesus the Lord of our lives, we make a vow of allegiance to God. Although the vow is not always spoken aloud we still make it and it is still legally binding.

When we become a citizen of heaven we owe our loyalty to God, and we have obligations to Him and His government that He has placed over us. We are required to be faithful to Him and to His causes.

Allegiance – the loyalty owed by a citizen to his country; obligation of a subject to his ruler or government; faithfulness to a person, cause, etc.; loyalty; fidelity.

Loyal – true and faithful to love, promise, duty, or other obligations ; faithful to one’s king, government, or country.

Obligation – duty under the law; promise; binding legal agreement; bond; contract.

I Kings 8:61 NKJV

“Let your heart therefore be loyal to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day.”

Loyal is being true and faithful to love, to a promise, to a duty, or other obligation. It is also being faithful to those in authority over you. Citizens of heaven cannot be loyal to both God and the world. The world and God have opposing values, morals, and standards.

Matthew 6:24 NKJV

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Ruth is a good example of loyalty. Ruth was determined to remain loyal to Naomi no matter what. God blessed Ruth for her loyalty. Ruth found favor in the sight of man because of her love and sense of duty toward Naomi. Later, God provided a new husband (Boaz) for Ruth.

Another example of loyalty was Elisha. He would not abandon Elijah. Elisha made a promise that he would not leave Elijah’s side. Elisha was determined to keep his promise no matter what might happen. Elisha received a double potion of the anointing that was upon Elijah as a direct result of his loyalty to Elijah. Elisha was at Elijah’s side when God took Elijah to heaven.

If we remain faithful and loyal to God, we too will be rewarded.

III. As a Christian we belong to a different group (we are a peculiar people).

Christians are God’s own special people.

Peculiar – out of the ordinary; unusual; belonging to one person or thing and not to another; special; distinctive.

1 Peter 2:9 NKJV

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

IV. As a Christian we are not in agreement with the world’s standards or morals.

There is a difference between a Christian’s standards and morals than that of the world. A Christian must have good character and conduct and be virtuous. Not only will a Christian understand the difference between right and wrong, they will strive to do right even if it costs them something.

People with good moral conduct have a good influence on others. They behave as Christ in matters of right and wrong.

Moral – good in character or conduct; virtuous; capable of understanding right and wrong.

2 Corinthians 1:12

“Now, this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have not done so according to worldly wisdom but according to God’s grace”

Dear Father,

Knowing that I am not a citizen of this world, I do eagerly wait for Jesus, my Savior. I thank-you that I am a citizen of heaven and a member of God’s family. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to be loyal to You and fulfill my obligations. Let me be faithful to You and to Your causes. May I have good character and conduct in everything I do and say and let it be a good influence on others.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Wild About God

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daily bread - CopyWhen we are WILD about God our lives will show it. Our words will be Wholesome, we will be people of Integrity, and we will be Loyal and Devoted to God.

I. Wholesome

The word wholesome suggests a person of morals. Moral means good in character or conduct; virtuous; capable of understanding right and wrong.

When we are wild about God it will show in our conduct. Our conduct should be holy. Our lives and everything about us should be totally dedicated to God. We are to separate ourselves from the sin of this world.

1 Peter 1:15-16 NKJV

“but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’ ”

Abigail is an example of a wholesome person. Her character and conduct were above reproach.

1 Samuel 25:3 NKJV

“The name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. And she was a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance; but the man was harsh and evil in his doings. He was of the house of Caleb.”

Nabal was a very rich man. He had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. His home and business were in a wilderness area. He was a target for thieves and bandits because of the location and because of his great wealth.

At the time of sheep shearing, David sent word to Nabal asking for a reward for the services that he had been given. David and his men had protected the flocks of Nabal as well as his possessions. Nabal would have plenty of money on hand from the sale of the wool to pay David and his men. David had left the amount of the reward due up to Nabal to decide since no certain price had been set.

When David’s men went to Nabal to ask for what they were due, Nabal acted like he didn’t know David and spoke of him in a mocking tone. Nabal even suggested that David was a runaway servant.

The behavior (conduct) of Nabal and his response to David’s men was very foolish and defiantly the wrong thing to do. One of Nabel’s workers went to Abigail and told her everything that had happened. Both, what David and his men had done for them and the way that her husband had treated David’s men. The servants were very angry at Nabal because his actions put their life in danger.

Abigail knew that her husband was wrong and that she would have to take matters into her own hands. She immediately knew that she need to try to make things right with David. She gathered up a lot of goods to give to David in hopes that he would accept it as compensation for what he and his men had done for Nabal. Abigail sent the provisions to David right away by some of their servants. After the servants had left with the things to give to David, Abigail followed after them.

When Abigail saw David she got off her donkey and fell on her face before him. Humbly Abigail began to plead for mercy and forgiveness for Nabal. Abigail understood that the right thing to do was to show David respect and honor. Her words to David showed him that she was a wholesome woman, full of truthfulness, and virtue and morals.

David called Abigail’s speech blessed because through it God had kept him from avenging himself with bloodshed. After receiving the provisions from Abigail, David told her to go in peace to her home because he had heeded her words and had respect for her.

When Abigail returned home Nabal was very drunk so she did not say anything to him about what she had done. The next morning, after Nabal had sobered up, Abigail told him about giving the provisions to David. When Abigail told him about all that had happened Nabal heart became as stone, and after ten days Nabal died. His death was the result of God’s judgment upon him.

II. Integrity

Daniel 6:1-4  NKJV

“It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him.”

Integrity is being honest and just in all that you think, feel, and do. It also means sincerity; uprightness; wholeness; completeness; soundness.

When we are wild about God it will show in our integrity. Our integrity will be consistent in godly character no matter where they are, or who is around or not around. We will be honest and just in all that we think, feel, and do.

Proverbs 28:6 NKJV

“Better is the poor who walks in his integrity

Than one perverse in his ways though he be rich.”

Daniel is a example of a person with integrity. No matter where he was or who he was around, he was always the same. He always showed godly character and remained faithful to God.

As a teenager Daniel was taken to the ungodly kingdom of Babylon to become a slave. The king of Babylon wanted young men without physical defect, that were handsome, intelligent, educated, and quick to understand as his servants. Daniel met these qualifications so he was chosen to become one of the king’s servants.

Daniel 1:3,4 NKJV

“Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good -looking, gifted and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and who they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.”

Although Daniel was surrounded by ungodly people he made a decision to follow God and to remain faithful to God. God blessed Daniel for doing what was right by giving him knowledge, wisdom, and the ability to interpret dreams and visions. After a while Daniel was appointed as one of the governors in Babylon by king Nebuchadnezzar. The very night that Daniel was made a governor king Nebuchadnezzar was killed and Darius took his place as king. Daniel found favor in the new king’s sight because of his integrity, his attitude, and his ability to do his job well.

This made the other governors very angry and jealous. Together they sought a way to get rid of Daniel. All the other governors showered the king with lots of praise and adoration and worship. Then they talked the king into making a royal decree that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except the king, shall be cast into the den of lions. The proposed decree pleased the king so he signed it.

Daniel obeyed all the laws of the land, however the other governors knew that if the law of the land went against the law of the God that Daniel served he would obey his God. They also knew that Daniel prayed to his God on a regular basis, which would go against the new decree that the king had signed.

When Daniel heard about the decree that the other governors had talked the king into signing he went to his house. There he went to his upper room where he prayed and gave God thanks three times a day. Daniel opened his window toward Jerusalem, like always, and knelt down on his knees and prayed to God.

The men that had plotted against Daniel were watching from outside. They knew that Daniel would continue to pray to God and they wanted to catch him in the act so that they could tell the king. Directly upon seeing Daniel pray they reported it and the king. The king was greatly troubled because he did not want to have Daniel thrown into the lion’s den. He like Daniel, but because it was a royal decree, and could not be changed, he had to order Daniel thrown into the den of lines.

Daniel was brought to the lion’s den and before being thrown into it the king told Daniel that the God that he served would deliver him from the lions. After they threw Daniel in the den a large rock was placed over the top to seal it.

From the den the king went to his palace and spent the night alone, fasting and not sleeping. Early the next morning the king hurried to the den. Upon arriving at the den the king called out to Daniel. Daniel answered the king and told him that God had shut the mouths of the lions.

The king was very happy and he ordered Daniel to be brought up out of the pit. Then the king commanded that the men who had accused Daniel to be brought and thrown into the lion’s den and thrown in, along with their wives and their children.

Daniel’s life was a powerful witness to everyone around him. His integrity lead to the king recognizing that the God that Daniel served was the one true living God.

Daniel 6:26-27 NKJV

“I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.

For He is the living God,

And steadfast forever;

His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed,

And His dominion shall endure to the end.

He delivers and rescues,

And He works signs and wonders

In heaven and on earth,

Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”

III. Loyal

Loyal is being true and faithful to love, to a promise, to a duty, or other obligation. It is also being faithful to those in authority over you. When we are wild about God it will show in our loyalty. We are to be true and faithful to God. In our Christian walk, faithfulness is staying true to God in our thoughts, words, and actions.

When there was a famine in the land, Elimelech took his wife, Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, to live in another country, where they would have food to eat. After a period of time Elimelech died and his two sons married Moabite women. The women’s names were Orpah and Ruth. After about ten years the two sons died. This left all three of the women widows.

One day, Naomi heard that the famine in Bethlehem was over. She decided to return to her homeland where she could be around relatives and friends. Naomi and her two daughter-in-laws, Orpah and Ruth, pack up and left for Bethlehem. While traveling Naomi stopped and told her daughter-in-laws to go back to their parent’s homes so that they might be able to find another husband and be happy again.

Naomi kissed both of them good-by but they told her that they would return with her to Bethlehem. Naomi told them that it made her very sad to leave them, but that there was no reason for them to go with her. She wanted them to be happy with their own families.

Orpah and Ruth began to cry. Orpah kissed Naomi good-by and she left. Ruth continued to cry and to cling to Naomi. She did not want to leave.

Ruth 1:16-17 NKJV

“But Ruth said:

‘Entreat me not to leave you,

Or to turn back from following after you;

For wherever you go, I will go;

And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;

Your people shall be my people,

And your God, my God.

Where you die, I will die,

And there will I be buried.

The Lord do so to me, and more also,

If anything but death parts you and me.’ ”

When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined in her heart to stay with her she stopped asking her to leave.

Ruth is a good example of loyalty. Ruth was determined to remain loyal to Naomi no matter what. God blessed Ruth for her loyalty. Ruth found favor in the sight of man because of her love and sense of duty toward Naomi. Later, God provided a new husband (Boaz) for Ruth.

Ruth 2:10-12 NKJV

“So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, ‘Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?’ And Boaz answered and said to her, ‘It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.’’

If we demonstrate our love for God by remaining loyal to Him we too will be rewarded. A crown is promised to all who are faithful. Just as Ruth firmly declared her choice to follow Naomi, we must firmly declare our choice to follow God.

James 1:12 NKJV

“Blessed is the man who endures temptations; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

IV. Devoted

Devotion means deep, steady affection; loyalty; faithfulness; the act of being devoted or devout.

Devote means set apart for some person or purpose; give up. It emphasizes giving up seriously to a single purpose, shutting out everything else.

When we are wild about God it will show in our devotion to Him. Devotion to God involves all aspects of our life, wherever we are and whatever we’re doing- in public or in private. God desires for us to be single-minded. If we are double-minded we will be unstable, even in our devotion to God.

James 1:8 NKJV

“He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

Anything can take our attention away from God, both good and bad things. Good activities, including church programs, schedules, and campaigns, as well as bad circumstances, such as worry, fear, sickness and tragedy, can distract us from God. Anything that we allow to crowd out our time with God separates us from intimacy with Him.

How we spend our time gives us a good idea of what things are the most important to us.

Matthew 6:19-21

“Lay not up for yourself treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

These verses tell us not to store up treasure on earth, but to store up treasure in heaven. It tells us that where our treasures are there our hearts will be also.

We must not let ourselves become distracted by things or people in our love and devotion to God.

Anna is an example of a person that was devoted to God and to ministering to Him. She was an elderly prophetess, maybe around 106 years old. She lived in Jerusalem. Anna was married for seven years when her husband died.

The Bible tells us that Anna stayed in the temple day and night worshipping God. She spent all her time praying and fasting. She spent her time ministering to God.

Luke 2:36-37 NKJV

“Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”

Anna was in the temple when Joseph and Mary brought baby Jesus to present to the Lord. When she saw Jesus, she immediately gave thanks to God. She physically saw what God had already shown her in the spirit.

The dictionary tells us that devotion means having a strong attachment or attraction to a person or cause. To be devoted is to be dedicated, to be completely applied to some activity, purpose, or person. To have devotion to someone or something means you won’t allow anything to distract you from doing what needs to be done.

Anna was devoted to worshiping God. She had a strong affection for God, and completely dedicated her whole life to ministering to Him through prayer and worship. She didn’t let anything distract her from her purpose. Her purpose was worshiping God and she knew it. Fulfilling her purpose brought great joy and blessings to her. God showed Anna His secret, who the Redeemer was, because of her intimate relationship with Him.

Luke 2:38 NKJV

“And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”

First and most importantly we should be devoted to God. Nothing should ever distract us. We should be devoted to knowing Him, obeying Him. and to living a life that is pleasing to Him. We should not be lukewarm concerning our devotion to God and to the things of God. To “know” someone describes an intimate relationship that includes our emotions, enthusiasm, eagerness, zeal, passion, love, desires, unity, agreement, and harmony.

Jeremiah 24:7 NKJV

“Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.”

We must talk to God, learn about Him, and listen to Him. We must allow Him to pour His love into us and change us. When you love someone, you want to spend time with that person. Jesus loves us and wants to spend time with us. We are His bride. He enjoys our company! Jesus wants us to feel the same about Him. He wants us to love Him so much that we want to spend time with Him.

God demands obedience. We must be devoted to obeying God. Sincerity and obedience are prerequisites for worship that pleases God. He desires that everyone have an intimate relationship with Him, but you cannot if there is disobedience or sin in your life. To truly know God intimately you

must first make sure that there isn’t any unconfused sin standing between the two of you.

Psalm 51:10 NKJV

“Create in me a clean heart, O God,

And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

You cannot be devoted to obeying God unless you allow Him to take your heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 11:19-21 NKJV

“’Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh,

that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.

But as for those whose hearts follow the desire for their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord God.”

Each one of us should be devoted to living a life that is pleasing to God. A life that reflects Jesus Christ. When we spend time with God, He can change us. He makes us more like Him. When we draw close to Him, He comes into our lives, our thoughts and our hearts. The more time we spend in God’s presence, the more we will reflect Jesus. We should not be halfhearted in our love and devotion to God.

Revelation 3:16 NKJV

“So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

God desires to shower us with His incredible love and to reveal Himself to us. God wants us to delight in Him, to be devoted to Him, and to desire to be in His presence.

Psalm 27:4 NKJV

“One thing I have desired of the Lord,

That will I seek:

That I may dwell in the house of the Lord

All the days of my life,

To behold the beauty of the Lord,

And to inquire in His temple.”

Like Anna, during our times of intimacy with God, He will whisper secrets, mysteries and revelations into our ear. When we draw close to God, we begin to experience peace and joy that we can’t find anywhere else. When we fill ourselves up with God’s purpose, to worship Him, our souls will find a special delight.

Dear Father,

Help my life to show that I am truly “W.I.L.D.” about You. May my words be wholesome, let me be a person of integrity, and cause me to be loyal and devoted to You.

By the power of the Holy Spirit may my conduct be holy and my character and conduct be above reproach, even when I am surrounded by ungodly people.

Let my life be a powerful witness to everyone around me. May my integrity cause others to recognize that You are the one True God.

In my Christian walk may I show loyalty and faithfulness to You in my thoughts, words, and actions.

May my devotion to You show in all aspects of my life, wherever I am and whatever I’m doing- in public or in private.

Don’t allow me to become distracted by things or people in my love and devotion to You. Holy Spirit, cause me to be devoted to knowing God, obeying Him. and to living a life that is pleasing to Him. Don’t allow me to become lukewarm concerning my devotion to God and to the things of God.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

The Light Within Me

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The Light Within Me

In Philippians 2:12-18, Paul exhorts the believers to continue to obey God and to totally submit to Him. He encourage the Christians to become pure and without fault in the midst of a “crooked and depraved generation” so that they would be able to “shine like stars”, to stand out and be able to share the Good News.

The Bible challenges us to live godly lives, even when we are going through suffering, trials, temptations, tests, or persecution. Circumstances must never effect or alter godly principles, morals, or convections.

Philippians 2:14-15

“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”

We are to “shine as lights” to two different groups of people, the lost and the saved.

Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

I. Light To The Lost

Light is a brightness that enables us to see. Light brings understanding or shows the way.

Matthew 5:14 NKJV

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”

Without light we have no way of seeing in the dark. Without the light of Jesus Christ the world has no way of “seeing” in this dark (sinful) world. We are to be the light of the world.

Philippians 2:14-15 NKJV

“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”

The light within us (the light of Christ) should penetrate the spiritual darkness around us. We do not have any light of our own. We are the reflective light of Jesus Christ. As we behold the glory of the Lord, we reflect it. We are the light of the world as long as we reflect Jesus Christ. We must make sure that nothing comes between us and the light of Jesus Christ.

 

II. Light To The Saved

Not only are we to be a light to the lost in a dark world, we are to be a light to those in the “house” also. In other words, we are to be a light to our fellow Christians.

Matthew 5:15 NKJV

“Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”

Light indicates deliverance from darkness. Each Christian has been delivered from spiritual darkness. Because of their deliverance from darkness each one has a testimony and they should be ready to give it. We should never hide what God has done for us.

Other Christians are encouraged by our testimonies. The Bible tells us that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Just because a person is a Christian it does not mean that they will not struggle with things. What God has delivered you from can help someone else that is faced with the same thing. Your deliverance can be light to someone else.

 

III. Inheritance and Responsibilities

Colossians 1:12 NKJV

“…giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.”

With every inheritance comes responsibilities. Christians have a responsibility to be a light everywhere they go and in everything they do.

Matthew 5:16 NKJV

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Everything we do and say should point people to God. When people look at us they should not see us, instead they should see Jesus shinning through us. There are people watching each and everyone of us. May what they see be the “light” that they need to created a hunger for God and the things of God. As the heavenly bodies shine forth in brightness against the blackness of the night, so the lives of true Christians lighten the moral darkness of the world.

Dear Father,

I desire to obey You and to totally submit to You. Holy Spirit, help me to become pure and without fault in the midst of the crooked and depraved generation that I live in. Let me shine like the stars, let me stand out and be able to share the Good News with everyone I come in contact with. May the light of Christ within me penetrate the spiritual darkness. I don’t want anything to come between me and Jesus Christ. May I also be a light to other fellow Christians. I know that with an inheritance comes responsibilities. Let everything I do and say should point people to You, O Lord. When people look at me may they should not see me, instead may they see Jesus shinning through me. Cause what others see in me create a hunger for You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Spiritual Report Card

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daily bread - CopyI Corinthians 11:31 NKJV

“For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.”

For many in school, the thought of their report fills their minds with dread and anxiety. If you were allowed to fill out your own report card, what grades would it have had on it? Would you have graded honestly? Would you have judged yourself honestly? In school the teacher would grade us so that we would know where we stood according to what was expected of us. The grading (judging) helped us to improve, so that we would not fail at the end of the year.

If we grade (judge) ourselves in spiritual things God won’t have to at the end of our lives. By honestly judging ourselves we can improve so that we won’t be destroyed (condemned) at the end of this world.

I Corinthians 11:32 NKJV

“But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”

At the end of the school year we either passed or failed. There were only two destinations for the next year. You were either accepted in the next grade or not. When we die we will either be accepted in to heaven or cast away into hell. We will either be blessed with spending eternity in the presence of God or be cursed with the torment of spending an eternity in the lake of fire, away from the presence of God.

In school our teacher told us one of two things. We either passed or failed. There were no “gray” areas. At the end of our life we will hear Jesus say one of two things. Either we are blessed or we are cursed. There will be no “gray” areas.

Matthew 25:34 NKJV

“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

Matthew 25:41 NKJV

“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels”

In school we had behavior that was acceptable and behavior that was unacceptable. In the world that we live in there is a lot of behavior that is acceptable in the eyes of man, but not to God. God expects us to behave according to His standards, not the world’s standards. We have been specifically instructed not to behave like the world.

Romans 12:2 NKJV

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

In school it was important to study the books that the teacher gave you. By studying the books you learned more. You also understood what the teacher expected out of you. By studying the Bible you will learn more and you will understand what God expects out of you. As you do the things that God expects out of you, you will begin to behave like Jesus and not like the world.

School was made up of several grades where you prepared for your future here in this life. We must also take steps to prepare for our eternity. Each one of us must be ready for our next life at all times.

Matthew 24:36-44 NKJV

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.
Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

We do not know when we will die or when Jesus will return. We must not allow ourselves to get busy with the things of the world.

Mark 4:18-19 NKJV

“Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word,
and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”

In school our teachers examined us by giving us tests. We go through tests here on earth that will examine what is inside of us. God will allow tests to come into our lives. As we pass the tests that God allows, it will produce the fruit of the spirit in our lives. Our teachers in school expected us to grow in knowledge. God expects you to grow also.

The Bible tells us that Jesus grew in knowledge and wisdom. If you are a Christian, God expects you to grow spiritually and produce fruit.

Matthew 3:10 NKJV

“And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Your regular attendance at school had an effect on the progress you made. It even had an effect on wither you passed or failed. You were expected to be at school so that you could learn. God expects you to regularly gather with other believers, where ever that may be.

Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Our attendance at school had an effect on us, and our gathering with other believers will have an effect on us.

We must prepare ourselves for eternity in our next life. There are four steps to prepare ourselves for eternity in the presence of God.

 

The first step  – Admit that we personally have sinned against a holy God.

1 John 1:8 NKJV

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

The second step – Believe in Jesus and everything about Him. We must believe that He is the only way to God.

John 3:16 NKJV

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

The third step –  Confess our sins to God and ask Him to forgive us of our sins.

1 John 1:9 NKJV

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The fourth step-Turn away from our sins.

When we repent we recognize the wrong in what we have done and are sorry about it. The regret that we feel about our sin should lead us to change our ways or habits. We must cease to do what our sinful nature wants and do what God desires.

Isaiah 1:16 NKJV

“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil”

When we are forgiven we must not turn back to our sins. The commitment that we make to Jesus when we accept Him as Lord of our life is serious. We must not allow the world to draw us away from God, making us unfit for His kingdom.

Luke 9:62 NKJV

“But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Once we have escaped the bondage of sin through salvation we must not allow ourselves to become entangled in sin again.

2 Peter 2:20-22 NKJV

“For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.  But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

If God were to give you a spiritual report card, how would you score?

How would you judge yourself spiritually?

Dear Father,

Help me to judge myself so that You won’t have to. By the power of the Holy Spirit help me to know where I need to improve. Help me to behave according to Your standards, not the world’s standards. As I study Your Word let me understand what You expect out of me, and cause me to behave like Jesus and not like the world. Thank-you for the opportunities that I have to gather with other believers – help me to never take this for granted.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Be Zealous

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Jesus desires to have spiritual intimacy with us. He desires to know us and for us to know Him.

Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ”

We must have intimacy with the Lord if we desire to have the glory of the Lord in our lives and in our church, and if we desire to be in the presence of the Lord after this life. The glory of the Lord, the manifest presence of God, is not obtained by the wisdom of the world. It only comes through intimacy with the Lord.

Jesus is standing at the door longing for them to get up out of their sleepiness, and complacency and let Him come in an have an intimate relationship with them.

Song of Solomon 5:2 NKJV

“I sleep, but my heart is awake; It is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, ‘Open for me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one; for my head is covered with dew. My locks with the drops of the night.”

Revelation3:18-20 NKJV

“I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

The church of Laodicea was a rich city, but they has a serious problem. They did not have a source of clean drinking water. Their water came from springs that were fed from hot springs that were filled with impurities. The water they piped in tasted bad, was lukewarm, and would make them sick.

In addition to their water problem the church of Laodicea was complacent and they relied on themselves. In their eyes they felt like they had everything that they needed and they were satisfied. However, in the eyes of God they were spiritually poor, naked, and blind. Service to God was out of duty not from an intimate relationship with Him. Their service out of duty, instead of from a heart of love made God sick, just as the lukewarm water filled with impurities made the people sick.

Despite being lukewarm, they were still loved by God. The church was rebuked in order for them to see themselves as they really were in hopes that they would change. God instructed them to be zealous and to repent, and to open the door for Him to come into their lives. He desired spiritual intimacy with them, but it was them that had to open the door. God was not going to force them to have an intimate relationship with Him. It was them that had to open the door for God.

The same is still true today. God desires an intimate relationship we us individually and as a church, but He is not going to force that relationship on us. It is us that must open the door so that He can come in and dine with us and us with Him.

Song of Solomon 5:6 NKJV

“I opened for my beloved, but my beloved had turned away and was gone. My heart leaped up when he spoke. I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave no answer.”

The city of Laodicea eventually died out because they never could overcome the problem concerning their water – they never could get rid of the impurities.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to us. By the time the woman in the Song of Solomon got around to opening the door her lover was gone. May God help us not to be like her. May we not be so indifferent and complacent so long that by they time we open the door it is too late.

Revelation 3:21-22 NKJV

“ ‘To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on MY throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ ”

Once again the Lord is calling the church to be zealous and to repent, and to open the door for Him to come into our lives and church. As a church and as individuals may we get rid of the impurities in our lives, and may we have the same zeal for God and His house that Jesus did.

Jesus is standing at the door and knocking. Will we hear? Will we open the door?

Dear Father,

I thank-you that You first loved me. By the power of the Holy Spirit, increase my hunger for You and Your presence. I desire a greater intimacy with You. Cause me not to be complacent or satisfied with my relationship with You. May I be zealous for You and increase my hunger for a deeper relationship with You. Help me to be quick to repent when convicted by the Holy Spirit – let there be nothing standing between You and I. Remove all impurities from my life, along with those things that will hinder my relationship with You. May I do Your will – Let everything that I do be out of love for You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

I Am

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daily bread - Copy    I Am

     Jesus celebrated the Feast of Dedication. Many years (approximately 1000) after the rededication of the temple Jesus went to the temple to celebrate the Feast of Dedication.

John 10:22-30  NKJV    “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, ‘How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I  know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.’ ”

      As Jesus entered the temple He looked at the oil in the lamp. The oil used in it was a golden color. In the Bible gold represents deity. The oil was the first “pressing” of the olives. It was clean and pure, Just as Jesus was pressed, clean, and pure. What was Jesus thinking about as He looked at the menorah? Was He thinking about who He was?  In several places in the Bible Jesus describes Himself as, “I am…”.

I. The Alpha And The Omega

Revelation 22:13  NKJV     “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

      Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, the A and the Z. Jesus was saying that He is the beginning and the end, God the Son, who has always existed. He was present before the world began, and He will still be present after it is gone. He created all things: the galaxies, the world, and everything in it.

Revelation 21:6-8  NKJV     “And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.’ ”

      Jesus will never leave us. He will be with us forever. He should be the One we put first in our lives.

II. The Way, The Truth, And The Life

Jesus provided the way to God the Father through His death and resurrection.

John 14:6  NKJV     “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

      Way means method or means; road; path. Jesus is the means, the path, or the road to God.

Hebrews 10:19-20  NKJV     “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is His flesh”

      Truth is all that is real and will not change. All truth comes from God. Jesus is Truth, that which is true.

John 1:17  NKJV     “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

      Jesus is the one and only way to the Father. He is the source for all knowledge about God. He offers to spiritually dead people the very life of God.

III. The Resurrection And The Life

John 11:25  NKJV     “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.’ ”

      Jesus is the resurrection for those who believe and are physically dead. Because He is the Creator, Jesus has power over life and death. He showed His power over death when He rose from the grave. When Jesus was resurrected, was brought back to life, He defeated death. He is the only One with the power to give new life to those who are dead.

Ephesians 2:1  NKJV     “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”

      The Bible tells us that we are born “dead” in our sins. When we receive Jesus as Savior, He gives us new life spiritually. He makes us a “new creation”.

2 Corinthians 5:17  NKJV     “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

     When our body dies, the real us, if we have made Jesus our Lord and Savior, will go to be with Him. Jesus is the Lord of all life and possesses the power to raise the dead. Death is not the final word, for all who are in Christ will live forever with Him.

IV. The Bread Of Life

Bread is our most basic food. We use the word “bread” to speak of the basic food that keeps our bodies alive.  It is a source of great nutrition and a means of keeping alive. Jesus is the Bread of Life. He is the bread which supplies life. He provides satisfaction forever for our spiritual hunger.

John 6:35  NKJV     “And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’ ”

      Manna (bread) satisfied the physical needs of people for a short time, but Jesus, the Bread of Life, satisfies our spiritual need forever. As bread sustains physical life, so Christ offers and sustains spiritual life. The nourishment and satisfaction He offers are permanent.

John 6:47-51  NKJV     “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever, and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

      As our bodies feel hunger for food, so our souls feel hunger for forgiveness and peace. Only Jesus can satisfy the hunger in our souls. Just as bread will not do us any good unless we take it into our bodies, Jesus will not save us until we receive Him as our Savior from sin. Once we do, Jesus will continue to “feed” us spiritually through His Word.

V. The Door

John 10:7  NKJV     “Then Jesus said to them again, ’Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.”     

      A door is any means by which to go in or out; a way to get somewhere; access. In the natural, a door gives you access to a room. Jesus is our door, our access, to intimacy with God. He is our way, the only way, to receive eternal life.

John 10:9  NKJV     “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

      When Jesus lived on earth, shepherds guided their flocks into stone enclosures each night to protect them. These structures had no doors. The shepherd would sit or lie in the opening to prevent predators from attacking. The sheep were safe as long as the shepherd was at the gate. Jesus is the only One who can grant us entrance into the kingdom of heaven. Once we are in His kingdom, we can rest safely, knowing that Jesus is our protector.

VI. The Good Shepherd

John 10:11-16  NKJV     “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father, and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”

      A shepherd is someone who takes care of and protects. Jesus is truly our shepherd. He is our guide, He directs our path, and He protects us and cares for us.  A shepherd puts the best interest of the sheep above his own. He protects his sheep even at his own expense. Jesus laid down His physical life so that we can have eternal life. Unlike hirelings who might run away and leave the flock unprotected, Jesus is committed to caring for and keeping watch over His people.

VII. The Vine

Jesus is the source of life and strength for Christians. Everything that we need is found in Him.

John 15:1  NKJV     “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.”

      The vine is the main stem of a plant. It alone gives life and nourishment to the branches. Jesus is the vine and Christians are the branches. Unless a branch is growing in the vine, it cannot live or produce fruit. When we abide in Christ our lives will bear “fruit.” Without Jesus we will not bear “fruit” that will last throughout eternity. Abide means to submit to, to stay, remain or to remain true to. When we abide in Jesus we submit to Him and we remain true to Him.

John 15:4-5  NKJV    “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”

      Apart from Jesus, we do not have eternal life. Nor can we accomplish anything for Him. Without Jesus, we can do nothing. Just as dead branches and limbs are cast out, so shall those who reject Jesus as their True Vine. By attaching ourselves to Christ, we enable His life to flow in and through us. Then we cannot help but bear fruit that will honor the Father.

VIII. The Light Of The World

John 8:12 NKJV     “Then Jesus spoke to them again saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’ ”

      Darkness is often used as a symbol of evil, sin, and ignorance. Jesus says He is the Light of the World. He is not one of many lights; He is the only “light” that can make our spiritual darkness disappear. He is like the sun which shines on everyone in the whole world. To a world stumbling about in the darkness of sin, Jesus Christ offers Himself as a constant guide. To come into the “light”, we must admit the darkness of our sin and receive Jesus as Savior.

Matthew 5:14  NKJV     “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”

      Believers are also called the “light of the world”. But we are lights in a different way. As the moon reflects the light of the sun, so we are to reflect the light of Jesus.

A Gift To The Church

Standard

daily bread - CopyA Gift To The Church 

     Throughout the Bible communion goes by many different names: drink and grain offering, breaking of the bread, Lord’s supper, first love/first works. Jesus instituted communion (the Lord’s Supper), as we know it today, after His final Passover meal was eaten. After the meal was eaten, Jesus broke the bread and gave it to them, saying ‘This is My body which is given for you.’ Then He picked up the third cup of wine (the cup of redemption) and said to them, ‘This is the new covenant in My blood which is shed for you.’

I. Communion Throughout The Bible

1. Exodus – refers to communion as the Passover meal

(Benefits: restoration, healing, favor, revelation, strength, salvation, protection, provision, and deliverance)

     During communion we enter into a close spiritual relationship with God. Today we receive the same benefits through communion that the Hebrews received through the Passover lamb. When we receive the communion elements (bread and juice) we remember Jesus. The Hebrews ate the body of the lamb and applied the blood of the lamb to their dwelling place. Through the Passover meal they received restoration, healing, favor, revelation, strength, salvation, protection, provision, and deliverance.

Exodus 12:29-35  NKJV     “And it came to pass at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead. Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, ‘Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the Lord as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also. And the Egyptians urged the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste. For they said, ‘We shall all be dead.’ So the people took their dough before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders. Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing.”

     The Israelites left Egypt with treasures because the Lord had given them favor with the Egyptians.

Exodus 12:36  NKJV     “And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.”

     Like the Israelites, we can obtain favor with our ‘enemy’ through taking communion.

2. I Samuel – refers to communion as showbread

(Benefit: Strength)

     While hiding out from Saul David and his small group of men ran out of food (provisions). David arranged to meet them somewhere and he went to find some food. He went to Nob ( a community of priests) and asked Ahimelech for food.

I Samuel 21:3-5  NKJV     “ ‘Now therefore, what have you on hand? Give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or whatever can be found.’ And the priest answered David and said, ‘There is no common bread on hand; but there is holy bread, if the young men have kept themselves from women.’ The David answered the priest, and said to him, ‘Truly, women have been kept from us about three days since I came out. And the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in effect common, even though it was consecrated in the vessel this day.’ ”

    The priest gave David the shewbread. It became their “bread of strength.”

I Samuel 21:6  NKJV     “So the priest gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the showbread which had been taken from before the Lord, in order to put hot bread in its place on the day when it was taken away.”  It was not lawful for anyone other than the priest to eat the shewbread but the priest realized that it was important to keep the spirit of the law.”

Matthew 12:3-4  NKJV     “But He said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those with him: how they entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?”

      If you are like David’s men (you are fighting a battle and seem to be growing weaker)  you need to receive communion.

Psalm 105:37  NKJV     “He brought them out with silver and gold,

And there was none feeble among His tribes.”

     When the Hebrews left Egypt there was not one feeble, sick, lame or weak person among them.    This was because of what they had done the night before. They had received “communion” the night before. They had eaten the Passover lamb and applied it’s blood to their house.  Communion gives spiritual strength for your battles with the enemy.

3. Joel -refers to communion as a drink and grain offering

(Benefit: corporate anointing )

     When communion (meat and drink offering) is cut off from the people you will find the people (and church) are barren spiritually. When communion is cut off, the manifest presence of God (glory of the Lord) and the anointing is cut off. Churches where the meat and drink offering (communion) have been cut off are barren. The field is wasted, the land mourns, the corn is wasted, the new wine is dried up (no fresh moves of the Holy Spirit), the oil languishes (no anointing of God), and the harvest of the field is perished (you can not have a harvest where there is not the presence of God.)

Joel 1:9-13  NKJV     “The grain offering and the drink offering

Have been cut off from the house of the Lord; The priests mourn, who minister to the Lord. The field is wasted,

The land mourns; For the grain is ruined,

The new wine is dried up,

The oil fails. Be ashamed, you farmers,

Wail, you vinedressers,

For the wheat and the barley; Because the harvest of the field has perished.

The vine has dried up,

And the fig tree has withered; The pomegranate tree,

The palm tree also; And the apple tree- all the trees of the field are withered;

Surely joy has withered away from the sons of men. Gird yourself and lament, you priests;

Wail, you who minister before the alter; Come, lie all night in sackcloth,

You who minister to my God; For the grain offering and the drink offering

Are withheld from the house of your God.”

4. Luke – refers to communion as the elements on the table of showbread

(Benefit: intimacy and healing )

     On the table of shewbread sat wine, bread and frankincense. The frankincense would be sprinkled on the golden altar (altar of incense.) This represented prayer, praise and worship. The priest would come into the holy place and take some frankincense (incense) and sprinkle it on the altar. Then he would go back to the table of shewbread and eat some of the bread and drink some of the wine. He was receiving communion. He would then burn some more incense on the golden altar.

As Zacharias was burning incense before God and receiving communion (bread and wine), he was having an intimate relationship with God. It was during this time that God sent an angel to tell him that his wife would have a baby. God had heard their prayer. God was going to provide healing, victory, and restoration. He meet Zacharias’ need during communion. God can and will do the same thing today.

Luke 1:23-25  NKJV     “So it was, soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, ‘Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”

5. Luke – refers to communion as the breaking of the bread

(Benefit: revelation )

     After Jesus’ resurrection Jesus appeared to two men on the road to Emmaus. He walked with them all day long but they did not know Him. They had talked with Him, but they had not been intimate with Him.

Luke 24:13-29  NKJV     “Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. And He said to them, ‘What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?’ Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, ‘Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?’ And He said to them, ‘What things?’ So they said to Him, ‘The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see. Then He said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?’ And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He   would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, ‘Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.’ And He went in to stay with them.”

     The men had a conversation with Jesus, but they do not know Him. Their eyes had not been opened to who Jesus truly was until the breaking of the bread.

Luke 24:30-35  NKJV     “Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, ‘Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?’ So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, ‘The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!’ And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of the bread.”

6. Acts – refers to communion as the breaking of the bread

(Benefit: anointing on the church, power, fresh moves of the Holy Spirit, and a harvest of souls)

      The early church reaped the benefits of corporate communion. There was an anointing upon the church, fresh moves of the Holy Spirit, and a harvest of souls. Their primary purpose for gathering was to participate in the Lord’s Supper together.

Acts 2:42  NKJV     “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

Acts 20:7  NKJV     “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.”

7. Revelation – refers to communion as first love / first works

(Benefit: power / more of the Holy Spirit)

     The body of Christ needs to draw closer to God through communion more than they ever have before. As time draws to a close we need the power that is available to us corporately through communion.

Revelation 2:4-5  NKJV     “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place- unless you repent.”

II. What Communion Will Do

Communion will:

* draw us into a deeper relationship with Jesus

*give us a deeper revelation of Jesus

*open our spiritual eyes

*strengthen our eternal life- it will cause us to walk closer to the Lord

     During communion your health can be put back together, your family can be put back together, your finances can be put back together, your relationship with God can be put back together. In Psalms 103:2 we are instructed to not forget the benefits of the Lord.

Psalm 103:2  NKJV

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And forget not all His benefits”

     In the Old Testament the communion (meat and drink offering / bread and wine) was for the priest. At Calvary we became a priest. We are to remember the Lord. As we meditate on who Jesus is, what He has done (provided) for us, and what He is going to do for us (take His bride home).

If you are sick, God desires to make you whole, you need communion.

If you are weak, God desires to give you strength, you need communion

If you are fighting a battle, God desires to give you victory, you need communion.

If you need grace, mercy and power, God desires to give it to you, you need communion.

If you desire a deeper intimacy with God, you need communion.

III. What Is An Unworthy Manner?

I Corinthians 11:27  NKJV     “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.”

     Paul wrote to the church (to believers) at Corinth about the manner in which they took communion. He warned them (the believers) not to take communion in an unworthy manner.

I Corinthians 11:17-22  NKJV    “Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.”

     The church at Corinth was drinking the communion wine to get drunk and they were eating the bread for food. Akso, pride and disunity were present. Paul instructed them to examine (judge) the manner in which they took communion. Where they taking it (as a church / corporately) to remember Jesus or were they taking it to get full and drunk? Where they taking it for show, or were they sincere in their love for Hiim?

I Corinthians 11:31-34  NKJV   “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are condemned with the world. Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for another. But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.”

IV. The Bread – The Body of Christ

The bread represents the body of Jesus Christ. In Isaiah 53:5 the Bible tells us that it is by Jesus’ stripes we were healed.

Isaiah 53:5 NKJV     “But He was wounded for our transgressions,

He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

And by His stripes we are healed.”

Dear Jesus, I remember You and the sacrifice You made for me. I remember that Your body was broken and beaten for me. It is by Your stripes that I have healing, restoration, and wholeness. In  my mind, body, soul and spirit. Thank You that You paid the price. In Your precious name, Amen.

V. The Juice – Blood of Christ

The juice represents the blood of Jesus Christ. It’s His blood  that cleanses us, that gives us life, that took our place, that redeems us, that washes us whiter than snow. Through taking the juice we can receive protection, salvation (spiritual restoration) and life. We also make a commitment during this time. Each time we take the juice in communion it is a reminder (sign, memorial or symbol) that we have protection through the blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ).

Throughout the Bible when a commitment (promise or vow) was made it was sealed by drinking wine. When a Jewish man found a woman that he wanted for his bride he would go to her father and make an offer. The man would tell the father what he would give in exchange for allowing his daughter to marry him (dowry).  After the father agreed to accept the offer, he poured a glass of wine and then called his daughter into the room. The father would then tell his daughter that an offer had been made for her hand in marriage, and he would tell her the offer. If the daughter accepted (agreed to) the offer she would pick up the glass and take a drink of the wine. By drinking the wine she was making a commitment to prepare to be the man’s bride. She had a responsibility to be ready when the man (groom) returned to get her. Each time we drink the juice in communion we are committing to prepare ourselves to be the bride of Christ. We must take very serious our responsibilities and commitments.

Dear Jesus, I remember You. I remember how Your blood was shed for me. I remember how You hung on the cross for me. I remember how You died and rose again for me, so that I could be redeemed. Help me to prepare to be Your bride. In Your precious name, Amen.

V. Give Jesus Thanks

May the Lord be lifted up and exalted the next time you receive the communion elements.

I Corinthians 11:26  NKJV     “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”

John 12:32  NKJV     “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”

Dear Jesus, I remember You. I remember how Your body was broken. I remember how Your blood was shed. I remember how You died for me so I could be made whole. So I could be forgiven and cleansed of all unrighteousness. I lay hold of Your covenant. I lay hold of Your promise. I receive Your healing power. I receive the victory of communion. As I honor You, as I worship You in this intimate time of communion with You. In Your precious name, Amen.