Happy Easter…


Today is a day of celebration! Today is a day of victory! Today is a day to remember!

Some people think of Easter as a time of seeking and finding, which is true when what you are seeking is something that will transform your life forever! God promises that when we seek Him, we will find Him, when we seek Him with all of our all of your heart! It’s not about looking for bunnies or eggs or anything else, today is about seeking God! Finding the truth of God’s love thru Jesus! Finding that God loves you so much that Jesus took the pain and the suffering that led to the cross and the cross itself, even dying on it so that the price would be paid so that we could be redeemed and reconciled back to God! It’s a gift for us to receive! It’s a gift we have to choose to receive! Have you already asked Jesus into your life and started the journey of building a relationship with Him? If you have and we haven’t met in person, I look forward to meeting you one day as we celebrate in heaven together. If you haven’t made the decision, you haven’t chosen to ask Jesus into your life and to start this relationship that will last for eternity, why not decide today on the day that He rose from the dead, defeating hell, and breaking the chains of sin? Why not ask Him in with your own words and begin the journey of life with God rather than apart from God? Not sure how to start, here is a sample you can use today…

Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.

I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life. AMEN.

–from http://salvationprayer.info/home/salvation/

If you prayed a prayer or the above prayer, angels are celebrating in heaven over your decision, your words, and your actions! If you decided and prayed, I look forward to meeting you one day as we celebrate in heaven together!

May God receive the praise, the honor and the glory in Jesus’ name! Amen!

Today’s devotional shares the incredible truth that…

God loves you. God does not force himself upon you, but he promises to reveal himself to you if you honestly seek him.

–from Day 96: Bible In One Year 2017


Your Most Exciting Find — Day 96: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Proverbs 8:32-36, Luke 11:5-32, Deuteronomy 4:15-49, Deuteronomy 5

1. Seek God’s wisdom daily … Proverbs 8:32-36

32“Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. 33Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it. 34Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. 35For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord. 36But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.” –from Proverbs 8

Why just read when you can learn straight from Jesus? Why just have knowledge when you can have wisdom? Let’s start our relationship with Jesus and walk with Him daily! Let’s pray without ceasing so that in every moment, in every situation, in every conversation, Jesus can speak to us wisdom that we can speak hope, life, love, and truth into the lives of the people God brings into our lives who need to hear from Him and of Him!

So let’s not try to just rush into it! Let’s not think of Jesus like a genie in a bottle but someone we want to start and build an intimate relationship with! Let’s make time! Let’s take time! Let’s build a relationship with Jesus who we will get to spend eternity with!

2. Seek God’s Spirit persistently … Luke 11:5-32

5Then Jesus said to them, Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

Jesus and Beelzebul

14Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. 15But some of them said, “By Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” 16Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.
17Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. 18If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul. 19Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 20But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. 22But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder.
23 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”
27As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”
28He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.

The Sign of Jonah

29As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now something greater than Solomon is here. 32The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here.

–from Luke 11

Don’t miss out on all that God has for you! Don’t be robbed by the lies of the devil! Consider what today’s devotional tells us here in relations to seeking God’s Spirit persistently…

Jesus deals with some of the principal difficulties you may have in receiving from God.

Doubt

People have many doubts in this whole area. They wonder, ‘If I ask will I receive?’ Jesus says simply: ‘I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you’ (v.9).

Jesus must have seen that they were a little sceptical because he repeats it in a different way: ‘Keep on seeking and you will find.’ And again he says a third time: ‘Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.’

He knows human nature so he goes on a fourth time: ‘For everyone who asks receives’ (v.10). They are not convinced so he says it a fifth time: ‘Everyone who keeps on seeking finds.’ Again a sixth time: ‘To everyone who keeps on knocking, the door will be opened.’

Why does he say it six times? Because he knows our tendency to doubt. You may find it very difficult to believe that God would give you anything – let alone something as wonderful as his Holy Spirit and the gifts that come with the Spirit.

Fear

Even if you have cleared the first hurdle of doubt, you may trip up on the next hurdle of fear. The fear is about what you will receive. Will it be something good?

Jesus uses the analogy of a human father. If a child asks for a fish, no father would give them a snake. If a child asks for an egg, no father would give them a scorpion (vv.11–12). It is unthinkable that we would treat our children like that.

Jesus goes on to say that in comparison with God we are evil! If we would not treat our children like that, it is inconceivable that God would treat us like that. God will not let you down. If you ask for the Holy Spirit and all the wonderful gifts he brings, that is exactly what you will receive (v.13).

Inadequacy

Of course, it is important to ask for forgiveness and turn your back on all that you know is wrong. However, even after you have done that, you may have a vague feeling of unworthiness and inadequacy. You may not believe that God would give you anything.

It is sometimes easier to believe that he will give gifts to very advanced Christians, but not to us. But Jesus does not say, ‘How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to all very advanced Christians.’ He says, ‘How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’ (v.13).

The second part of the passage teaches us to make sure we are seeking the right things. Some people were seeking, ‘for a sign from heaven’ (v.16). These same people were attributing the work that Jesus was doing through the Holy Spirit to the devil (v.15).

Jesus points out that the devil does not drive out demons (vv.17–20) as Jesus did. Then he tells them not to seek ‘signs’. The only sign we need is the sign of the resurrection (vv.29–30). This is the sign that Jesus is greater than both Solomon and Jonah (vv.31–32).

Don’t seek the wrong things. Seek God, his kingdom, his righteousness and his Holy Spirit.

–from Day 96: Bible In One Year 2017

3. Seek God’s presence wholeheartedly … Deuteronomy 4:15-5:33

15You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, 16so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, 17or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, 18or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. 19And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. 20But as for you, the Lord took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are.
21The Lord was angry with me because of you, and he solemnly swore that I would not cross the Jordan and enter the good land the Lord your God is giving you as your inheritance. 22I will die in this land; I will not cross the Jordan; but you are about to cross over and take possession of that good land. 23Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. 24For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
25After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, 26I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you. 28There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. 29But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.

The Lord Is God

32Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? 33Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? 34Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?
35You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other. 36From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. 37Because he loved your ancestors and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength, 38to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today.
39Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. 40Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.

Cities of Refuge

41Then Moses set aside three cities east of the Jordan, 42to which anyone who had killed a person could flee if they had unintentionally killed a neighbor without malice aforethought. They could flee into one of these cities and save their life. 43The cities were these: Bezer in the wilderness plateau, for the Reubenites; Ramoth in Gilead, for the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, for the Manassites.

Introduction to the Law

44This is the law Moses set before the Israelites. 45These are the stipulations, decrees and laws Moses gave them when they came out of Egypt 46and were in the valley near Beth Peor east of the Jordan, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon and was defeated by Moses and the Israelites as they came out of Egypt. 47They took possession of his land and the land of Og king of Bashan, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan. 48This land extended from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge to Mount Sirion (that is, Hermon), 49and included all the Arabah east of the Jordan, as far as the Dead Sea, below the slopes of Pisgah.

–from Deuteronomy 4

The Ten Commandments

1Moses summoned all Israel and said:
Hear, Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them. 2The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3It was not with our ancestors that the Lord made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today. 4The Lord spoke to you face to face out of the fire on the mountain. 5(At that time I stood between the Lord and you to declare to you the word of the Lord, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain.) And he said:
6“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
7“You shall have no other gods before me.
8“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 9You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
11“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
12“Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. 15Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
16“Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
17“You shall not murder.
18“You shall not commit adultery.
19“You shall not steal.
20“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
21“You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
22These are the commandments the Lord proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.
23When you heard the voice out of the darkness, while the mountain was ablaze with fire, all the leaders of your tribes and your elders came to me. 24And you said, “The Lord our God has shown us his glory and his majesty, and we have heard his voice from the fire. Today we have seen that a person can live even if God speaks with them. 25But now, why should we die? This great fire will consume us, and we will die if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any longer. 26For what mortal has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived? 27Go near and listen to all that the Lord our God says. Then tell us whatever the Lord our God tells you. We will listen and obey.”
28The Lord heard you when you spoke to me, and the Lord said to me, “I have heard what this people said to you. Everything they said was good. 29Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!
30“Go, tell them to return to their tents. 31But you stay here with me so that I may give you all the commands, decrees and laws you are to teach them to follow in the land I am giving them to possess.”
32So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. 33Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

–from Deuteronomy 5

Today’s devotional speaks to these 2 chapters as follows…

You can have a personal relationship with God. God says to his people, ‘To you it was shown, that you might realise and have personal knowledge that the Lord is God’ (4:35, AMP).

Moses tells the people of God that they will be scattered amongst the nations (v.27). But he said, ‘If from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul’ (v.29).

We see this same emphasis on our relationship with God at the start of the Ten Commandments. We live in a world that thinks the only thing that matters is how we relate to other people. How we relate to others is hugely important and it is the subject of commandments six to ten (5:16–21). However, there is something even more important than how you relate to others. Your relationship with God is the most important aspect of your life.

It is out of this relationship that your love for others should flow. God is not an optional extra in your life. Moses says, ‘The Lord your God is a consuming fire’ (4:24). He loves you. He chose you and wants to bless you with his presence (v.37). He is a ‘merciful God’ (v.31). He has set you free from captivity, as he freed the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery’ (5:6).

It is in this context that he tells you to put your relationship with him above everything else (commandments one to four, vv.6–15). The next priority is your relationships in the family (v.16). Then your relationship with others (commandments six to nine, vv.17–20). Finally, commandment number ten addresses your thought-life (v.21).

Moses tells the people to ‘listen’ to these instructions, ‘learn them’, ‘live them’ (v.1, MSG). If you seek God daily, persistently and wholeheartedly, you will find life in all its fullness, and it will transform the way that you love and serve others.

–from Day 96: Bible In One Year 2017

 

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