Category Archives: SHORT DEVOTIONALS

Realize That You Are In Danger

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Realize That You Are In Danger

As the prodigal son was in the pig pen (the lowest point in his life) he realized that he had sinned against God and against his father.

Luke 15:17 NKJV
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!’ ”

The prodigal son had to go through a lot of bad things and hard times before he would admit that he had sinned and that he was in danger.

The woman with the alabaster box knew that she was a sinful woman. She knew the law and the penalty of breaking the law. She had probably been standing among the crowd as Jesus spoke before. In His presence she truly realized that she was in danger spiritually. The Holy Spirit began to convict her of her sin and within (unseen to the eye) her heart began to change. She might have even had thoughts along the same line as Isaiah when He encountered the holy presence of God.

 

Isaiah 6:5 NKJV
“So I said:
‘Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips;
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The Lord of hosts.’ ”

Esther was made aware of the fact that the Jews lives were in danger. A plot had been made to kill them. It was a plot that, had it been effective, would have separated her from the king.

 

Esther 4:7-8 NKJV
“And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries to destroy the Jews. He also gave him a copy of the written decree for the destruction, which was given at Shushan, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her, and that he might command her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people.”

Every person born is in danger of separation from the King (God) because of sin, Every person has sinned, and every person has an enemy that would love to see them thrown in the lake of fire (away from God’s presence.) The first step to salvation is admitting that you have sinned. Once we take that first step, God is there like the prodigal son’s father with arms outstretched for you.

1 John 1:8-9 NKJV
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and top cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
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Romans 3:23 NKJV
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
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Romans 6:23 NKJV
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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Know Who Can Save You

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Know Who Can Save You

The prodigal son knew who could save him. He knew that his father was in a position to help him.

Luke 15:18-19 NKJV
“I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me one of your hired servants.’ ”

The woman with the alabaster box knew who could save her. She had heard Jesus speak before and she knew the message of salvation and hope that He brought. She knew His repetition and that He welcomed everyone into the kingdom of God. Who knows, maybe she had even heard about the woman ‘caught’ in adultery or the woman at the well.
Esther knew who could save her and her people. She knew that the king held the power to save them.

Esther 4:16 NKJV
“Go gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My
maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”

We must know who can save us. Jesus is the only way we can be saved. It is only through His blood that our sins are washed away.

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.”

Romans 10:9 NKJV
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Acts 16:31 NKJV
“So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Go To The Person That Can Save You

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Go To The Person That Can Save You

The prodigal son arose from his present lifestyle and went to His father.

Luke 15:20-22 NKJV
“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven
and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.”

The sinful woman went to Jesus. The Holy Spirit had already began a transformation in her heart. Quiet possibly alone, at home, the woman experienced convection and true repentance. She had already had a heart change before she went to the house to anoint Jesus’ feet. Because of her new heart she wanted to let Jesus know how much she loved Him and what He meant to her (worship).
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Esther went directly to the king to tell him about the plot to destroy the Jewish people. She did not send a message to him by someone else, she went personally to the king. Esther knew that her life would be put in danger by going to the king personally. At first Esther was not willing to do what she knew that she had to do. She did not want to go to the king. Then Esther realized that if she did not go to the king that she would be separated from his presence forever by death.

Esther 4:13 NKJV
“And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: ‘Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’ ”

Many times we are like Esther – when the Holy Spirit tries to draw us to the king (God) for salvation, we think of excuses not to go. We are afraid of loosing our own life. But the truth is, if we don’t go to the king (God) for salvation we will be separated from His presence forever.

At Jesus’ death the veil in the temple was torn into (from the top to the bottom) by God.

Matthew 27:50-51 NKJV
“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split.”

Today you are to go directly to God (in prayer) to receive salvation, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. There is no man, church or religion that has the power (or authority) to save you. You can’t send word by someone else that you want salvation. Salvation is a personal thing. You must go directly to the King (God) yourself.

Hebrews 10:19-20 NKJV
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus”

1 John 1:9 NKJV
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Guarding And Renewing Your Mind

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Guarding And Renewing Your Mind

One sure way to guard yourself against Satan and his temptations is to renew your mind. Renew can be described as replacing something. We must replace our carnal mind with the mind of Christ. Renewing our mind is not something that automatically happens to us. We renew our minds by meditating on God’s truth and by letting the Holy Spirit guide and shape our thoughts and behaviors. It is a choice that we make. We will either work with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to transform our minds, or we will not.

Ephesians 4:17-24 NKJV
“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. As we spend time in His presence, He will bring to light to every lie that the enemy has tried to place in your mind. There are times that a person’s mind has become so insensitive to moral darkness, that only the Holy Spirit can show them the truth. Everyone’s mind is being molded – either by the world’s values or by God’s values. A believer mind must be transformed by renewing it. True spiritual transformation starts in the mind and heart. If a person’s mind is devoted to (centered around) the world and its concerns, it will produce a life that is tossed about by the culture.

Ephesians 4:14-16 NKJV
“that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ”

Having your mind devoted to God’s truth will keep you from being tossed around by every wind of doctrine. A mind that has been renewed will be able to resist the temptations of Satan and the culture.

Romans 12:1-2 NKJV
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 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.”

Part of guarding our minds is by being careful of what we allow into them.

Psalm 101:3 NKJV
“I will set nothing wicked before my eyes…”

The following verses in a children’s song have a lot of truth to them…
“O be careful little eyes what you see”
“O be careful little ears what you hear”
“O be careful little feet where you go”

Jesus Took Our Sins

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Jesus Took Our Sins

Matthew 27:45-54 NKJV
“Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!”
Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink.
The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.”
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,
and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;
and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

At the crucifixion, Jesus took upon himself the sins of the world. He did not become sin, He became our sin offering. For the first time, Jesus, a sinless man, felt what it was like to feel the weight and judgment of sin. The judgment for sin is separation from God – separation from the glory of God, the manifest presence of God.

Romans 3:23 NKJV
“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…”

Jesus took upon Himself the sins of mankind when He was on the cross.

1 Corinthians 15:3 NKJV
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures”

Colossians 1:19-22 NKJV
“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,
and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”

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.”

Isaiah 53:4-6 NKJV
“Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
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.
All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

1 Peter 2:24 NKJV
“who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed”

There was a darkness lasting three hours during Jesus’ crucifixion. During the three hours of darkness Jesus was separated from God the Father. We serve a holy God that cannot look upon sin. On the cross, as Jesus took upon Himself our sins, God could not look upon Him, His own beloved Son.

 

Matthew 27:45 NKJV
“Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.”

Mark 15:33 NKJV
“Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.”

Repent

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Repent

After we admit to our sins, faults, failures, and weaknesses we must ask God to forgive us and repent. Repent means to turn around, doing an about-face or to change your mind. When you ask God to forgive you, You must turn from that sin. True repentance ( a changed heart) will cause you to desire to honor God in every aspect of your life. You don’t “not sin” because it’s wrong, but because of your great love for God and for your desire to honor Him.
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As believers we must evaluate our lives (our actions, our words our deeds, our attitudes, our thoughts…) and allow the Lord to search us to see if there is anything evil or wicked in us.
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1 Peter 4:17 NKJV
“For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?’
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Sin blocks revival, and sin effects your relationship and intimacy with God. Is there sin in your life, your family or you church? Are you in right standing with God? Are you obeying God‘s Word or living in disobedience? Are you intimate with God or merely religious? Can God describe you as a person after His own heart? When you sin you are quick to repent or do you just brush if off like it doesn’t really matter?
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Believers must live a lifestyle of repentance – when they sin, and they will, they must truly repent. We must get to the point that we are more concerned about maintaining an intimate relationship with God than we are about rights and wrongs.
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Repentance will keep the presence of God upon us and our lives. In the church, as a whole, there are times that God moves in a mighty fashion and His sweet presence (His glory) fills the place. In order for His glory to stay upon us, our lives, and our church we must take His glory home with us! However, God will not share His glory with the world (soulish things or people). When God visits your church (a visitation of His glory), and goes home with you He expects you to do something – He expects you to change. He expects you to go through your house with the Holy Spirit and ask, “Holy Spirit, does this grieve You?” Listen closely for His answer. When He says “Yes,” repent and get ride of it. Don’t keep it around.
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Acts 19:18-20 NKJV
“And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.”
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These people showed true repentance and sincerity by burning (getting rid of) their sinful items. What was happening on the inside of them carried over to the outside. When others saw a real change in the ones that had repented the kingdom of God grew. Many cry out, “Lord, send the fire,” but thy really do not mean it. If they did they would do in the natural what they are asking God to do in the spiritual. Every church in America could use an old fashioned spiritual burning.
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Prior to the Passover, the Jewish people would go through their house and search it over from top to bottom for leaven. In the Bible leaven represents sin. If leaven was found, it would be removed. As Christians we need to go through our houses on a regular basis and remove the sin. If we don’t the presence of the Lord will not stay in our homes. The church will be no different than our homes. When God tells you (through His Word or His Spirit) to get rid of something, get rid of it. The item needs to be destroyed. Don’t keep it around, even boxed up somewhere. If you do, you will eventually pick it up again. And, please do not give it to one of your worldly friends or co-workers.

Power From Above

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Power From Above

Ephesians 5:17-18 NKJV
“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit”

The early church was a group of believers empowered by the Holy Spirit that spread the Good News. They waited in the upper room until they receive the promised gift from the Father. Only after they received the gift, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, did they go out into their world with the gospel.

Acts 1:8 NKJV
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, they began to fulfill the great commission – they were controlled and energized by the Holy Spirit. Each of the first believers had experienced a life changing encounter with God. They did not leave their encounter the same way, they were changed. Too many times today people will come to the altar and experience an encounter with man then leave the altar unchanged.

Throughout the church today the question is often asked, “Why don’t we see the church of Acts today?” The answer is simple, we haven’t tarried in the upper room for the endowment of power. The same gift is offered to believers today, however fewer and fewer believers are asking for and receiving that gift, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And even less are truly walking in the Spirit.

All across the world there is a vast amount of people that have had an encounter with man (good song, good sermon, good program, etc…), but not a life changing encounter with God. Man, and the things of man, can not transform man. Only God can change and transform man. Each one of us must come into the presence of God. Only in God’s presence are we changed.

People can not be a witness for Christ if they have never really experienced an encounter with Him. In a court of law, a person can not testify with hear say – everything that a person bears witness of must have been personally seen or experienced by the person giving the testimony. The same is true in the spiritual realm – you can not testify to what you have not personally seen or experienced.
If we want to be an Acts church, we too, must be endowed with power. The only power that can transform us or our world comes from the Holy Spirit.

Dear Father,
By the power of the Holy Spirit, may we not be unwise, but understand what Your will is. Cause us to desire to be filled, and refilled, with Your Spirit. Cause us not to get in a hurry or become distracted, but may we tarry in the upper room until we receive the gift that You promised. Then may we go out into our world energized and empowered by the Holy Spirit, as we fulfill the great commission. Cause everything we say and do be controlled by the Holy Spirit. May each and every person that claims the name of a believer to experience a life changing encounter with Jesus and Your precious Holy Spirit. Don’t allow them to leave their encounter the same way, cause each one to be changed.
Fill each believer with a desire for more of You and for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And cause each believer to make the choice to walk in the Spirit. May our lives be a living testimony to those around us.
In Jesus’ name, Amen