Archive for August 2013

Daily Devotional – “Are You In It To Win It?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

Running to win 

 

Are You In It To Win It?”

 

Problems don’t change who you are, they reveal what’s inside of you. So regardless if you find yourself in the severe winter storm or blistering summer heat of life, you must adopt the mentality of an athlete and continue to persevere onward your journey.

 

Hebrews 12:1 NIV says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

 

While observing the ancient Grecian games, which exercises or events consisted of running, wrestling, hand to hand combat and fighting, The Apostle Paul presented the allusion of the athletes in these games to believers on their Christian Journey.

 

In view of these events, the athletes had to take an oath that they had been in ten months of disciplined training and wouldn’t violate any of the regulations. Then they lived enduring rigorous exercise while experiencing painful exertion through cold and heat. Then they followed a strict diet of refraining from wine and certain foods, and lived a life of self-denial, so that nothing could be left undone and prevent the winning of the crown.

 

Then once the events began, great multitude of spectators usually occupied the circular seats in the amphitheater, from which they could easily observe all of the athletic events and cheer on their champions. In like manner, he revealed that the “stadium or our race” is our world and that we should be encouraged by the example of the multitudes who have run the same race before us, who are possibly now looking down on us from heaven, observing our conduct and seeing our conflicts and are cheering us on to victory.

 

But then The Apostle places the Christian race in contrast to the games; in those events only one can only receive the prize, though all participated. But in the Christian race, all that run will receive the prize.  So we are to run with purpose, not aimlessly, with such perseverance in the heavenly course to please God and get to heaven just like others did to obtain their earthly prize.

 

Now in order to diligently run, you are further instructed to put aside any type of weight or encumbrances that would slow you down or keep you from finishing or winning the race.

 

There’s always the present danger of yielding to fleshly desires, pampering the body, fulfilling its lusts or satisfying its appetites, dangers of pride, vanity, worldliness, or in having an ungovernable temper, a corrupt imagination, an insensible heart, or an unholy relationship. Or whatever else it could be, we are advised and encouraged to lay it aside or cast it down.

 

So you are to remove anything which can obstruct your progress and keep these dangers from impeding, overburdening, preventing, controlling or weighting you down so that you may win the divine prize.

 

 THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

Daily Devotional – “How Dependent On God Are You?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

dependant on God 2

How Dependent On God Are You?”

To give more revelation to His words, and to help the believer understand the relationship of Christ to His believers, Christ presented the thought of what the vine is to the branches.

In John 15: 5 NIV Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

The connection, association or union between the vine and the branch is “A LIVING ONE.” It is the union between the human soul and our divine Lord and Savior. He is the True Vine and we are His branches.

The branch is born and develops it’s life from the vine’s sap that flows into and energizes the branch that it may produce fruit or blossom. The life of the branch is solely based upon it’s attachment to the true and living vine. For if it lives, then the branches will also live. But without the vine, the branches are unable to stand.

The Lord used this parable not just to teach us but to invite us and to encourage us to “Live In Him.” So intimate is this connection between the vine and the branch that without the vine, the branch is nothing.

The life of God through Jesus Christ is through the “Living Sap” of The Holy Spirit. It’s through Him that we live, move and have our being. It’s through Him that we are given the power to live the Christian life, bring forth fruit and have the anointing to render a service for the Lord. We are totally dependent on Him, “For without Him, we can do nothing!”

Just like the roots of the tree are unseen, our life is hid in Christ Jesus. The roots cause the tree to grow and then sends sap through it, ultimately giving it’s life and strength to the branches.

All that the vine then possesses belongs to the branches.Jesus, in His prayer before God, said in John 17:22, “The glory which You gave Me, I have given them.”

Then the branch outwardly demonstrates the excellence of the vine by the fruit that it yields. The branch only has one reason to exist or one purpose for living: to produce and to blossom.

God, who is “The Husbandman or The Vine-dresser” is so watchful over His Vineyard that His Church can’t help but flourish and prosper even in this dark and evil world. The forces of darkness have tried and failed in every attempt to wreck, stop and destroy The Church of Jesus Christ, all without success because The Church is built on the solid foundation with Christ as it’s corner stone.

Jesus Christ is the True Vine, who will continue to ever nourish us, supply us, restore us and empower us to bring forth fruit abundantly.

As a branch of Jesus, are you resting in Him, waiting for Him, serving Him and living so that He may demonstrate and reveal the riches of His glory and grace before a dying world?

Daily Devotional – “Are You Counting On God?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

counting on God

“Are You Counting On God?”

If God Is The Maker Of Heaven And Earth, Is There Anything In Your Mind That He Cannot Do? Then are you aware that The Creator and Lord of All Wants To Move Mightily In Your Life And That He Can Do All Things?

The safety of the godly rests only in our confidence in God that “He Is Our Source.” Therefore, we should not only look to God but should learn to EXPECT GOD to move in our affairs by His Grace through Christ Jesus.

Trusting The Lord is not an exhaustive work of labor that a person has to struggle to keep doing. Trusting is His redeeming act of love and our consenting act of faith to let Christ live in us, through us and with us.

Psalm 121: 2-3 NIV says “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip– He who watches over you will not slumber”

Just like David hazarded his life through his wilderness experiences and placed his confidence in God to keep Him, we are exposed to many unseen dangers from the forces of darkness but can look to our Lord to keep us and bring us through to victory over all our enemies.

When troubles come and even appear dangerous, believers should comfort themselves in the promises of The Lord. We must cast all our cares upon Him and surrender ourselves up under His Mighty Hand for our protection and victory.

No weapon formed against you will prosper for The Lord Himself shall preserve your soul. We’ve been assured of His promise, “I’ll Never Leave Thee or Forsake Thee.”

For He’s faithfully watching over us, He never grows weary and He does not sleep. He’s always with His people, strengthening, comforting, encouraging, protecting, guiding, refreshing and saving. Though it may seem as if you’re cast down, He will not let you be destroyed.

Therefore, maintain an broken fellowship with Christ and He will enable you to stand and stand firm.

Daily Devotional – “Did You Know That Little Is Much When God Is In It?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

thank you God 2 

Did You Know That Little Is Much When God Is In It?”

 

Have you ever felt as if your contribution was too small to make the difference or your participation might be viewed as too insignificant? During these days of massive fundraising campaigns and expensive marketing project blitz, it’s wonderful to know what The Lord can still do through one humble person who’s heart is open to Christ Jesus.

God’s amazing and incomprehensible grace can be seen when the meager substance of a little’s boys lunch was placed in the hands of The Lord.  For a miracle and great multiplication of the food came as a result of first giving thanks to God for what was being offered before Him.

Mark 6:41-42 NIV says, “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.  They all ate and were satisfied.” 

While this biblical story can be read in all 4 of the gospels, we must pay close attention to the wonderful example given to us from this account.

Jesus offered what was placed in His hands to be blessed by God.  He sought God’s Divine Supernatural and Miraculous Intervention after giving thanks, acknowledging God as being Supreme.

His primary focus was not in seeking God to bless the food, but in blessing God and giving thanks for what had been supplied and placed in His hand.

What a wonderful example that’s before us!    

Being thankful for what God has truly provided is a clear revelation of what’s in the heart of a person.  Are you grateful for what God has done in your life?  When was the last time you expressed being thankful unto Him?

That which was offered by a “handful” was blessed, touched and resulted in a greater “quantity” by God.  It is God that multiplies whatever the seed that is being sown and it’s God that produces the increase.

There’s no offering that’s considered too small or no work viewed insignificant when it’s by faith and motivated from the heart.

So whatever you have as an offering, a service or work to be rendered, realize that it will be blessed by The Lord’s creative divine power as you’re concerned about the welfare of other men’s souls around you.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!