Archive for September 2013

Daily Devotional – “Have You Really Asked The Lord To Help You?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

prayer 21

Have You Really Asked The Lord To Help You?”

Are you aware that prayer doesn’t make things easy, but it always makes things change?

There are many different Scriptures throughout the Bible that encourage believers that are experiencing a variety of stressful circumstances and painful situations to PRAY.

While prayer is one of the most talked about subjects in Christian circles, it’s the least performed or often conducted with the wrong motives.  God declares in  James 4: 2-3 NIV that “You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

But, with correct motivation, Jesus gave us one of the greatest promises for obtaining whatever we need as He was concluding His Sermon On The Mount.  In Matthew 7:7 Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

Here, our Lord not only encourages us to pray but promises that God will respond to our petitions.  While prayer is the process through which we are to obtain things from God, this verse has special significance because believers are given the three different methods of how we are to obtain things that we need from God, which are through “Asking, Seeking and Knocking.”

Ask implies a simple request or petition, in humility but with confidence, where believers ask for things that are consistent with His promise to give, that which will be best for you and that which will bring Him glory and praise.

Seek denotes application.  It means to earnestly pursue after and to be diligent in your search.  This does not mean that “every now and then” you haphazardly look for when you are seeking.  No, it denotes a “passionate and on-going” quest at all costs.  If you want to see the hand of God moving in your life then seek His face, for those that diligently seek Him shall find Him.  (Read Hebrews 11:6)

Knock shows endurance, persistence or perseverance despite any hindrances, obstacles, opposition or barriers of any kind.

While this verse indeed is a wonderful promise from our Lord, it is not to be considered as a “blank check” type of doctrine regarding prayer.  The point here in this passage of scripture is not that God will randomly give us anything that we foolishly, lustfully, selfishly or sinfully want but that we are to be diligent to ask in faith without doubting and to make full use of the means by which He grants blessings.

Therefore, we are encouraged to always ask God for His help through prayer and not faint.   Remember that prayer doesn’t make things easy, but it always makes things change.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“When The Thief Comes, Will He Find You Armed & Dangerous?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

 

 armed and dangerous 2

  

When The Thief Comes, Will He Find You Armed & Dangerous?”

 

In these days of terrorist, senseless, cowardly, demonic, and organized antichrist attacks from evil and soul-less individuals or groups, you must become prepared for the battle.  But first realize that your security and strength will not come in the form of new gun control laws or legislation, but in the power of God.

  

Jesus has alerted us that a sinister killer is on the prowl behind the scenes and is going for the jugular vein to deliver knockout blows from which he doesn’t want you to ever recover from.  And usually this battlefield location first is an unprecedented attack starting in the mind.

  

In John 10:10, Jesus said that “The thief (the devil) comes to steal, kill, and to destroy, but I AM come that you might have Life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

 

Now, while the devil’s diabolical devices or schemes are not new today, his ungodly strategy is to choke out the 3 abiding essentials in the life of every believer, which are Faith, Hope, and Love.  And you need all 3 of these to survive and press on through the storms of life towards victory in Christ.

 

First, Satan attacks Faith by attempting to make you skeptical.  Then he attacks hope by working to make you cynical.  Finally, he attacks love by trying to make you critical.  Satan’s most used tools for attacking our minds are: Delays, Distractions, and Discouragements.  So whenever you’re being bombarded and overwhelmed by any of these diabolical devices, you can find comfort and strength by standing on God’s Living Word, in the power of His Holy Spirit, and through creating an atmosphere of glorious praise.

 

Despite sickness, financial hard times, abusiveness, family division, or any other type of spiritual warfare, when Satan begins to move in for the kill, don’t be too quick to wave a white flag of surrender because God is still a very present help in the times of struggle and need.

 

As a believer you must realize that you are the most vulnerable or susceptible whenever you are discouraged.  So, do you know who your antidote is?  

 

Jesus Christ!  You must get back into His presence and learn how to encourage yourself in The Lord.  Begin to shore up your faith in God’s Word and then allow The Holy Spirit to uncap new reservoirs within you.

 

Then, according to Ephesians Chapter 6, put on the whole armor of God and rise up to start living again. Step out in the authority of Jesus Christ and work to restrain or prevent evil from claiming supremacy over your life.  Show proof that His love and grace still abides today and that you will not take down or be overcome, but will continue to stand in Christ Jesus.

 

Romans 12:21 says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”   We must not allow ourselves to become vanquished, subdued, or defeated by the actions of any evil, unbalanced, drug-addicted, confused, or rebellious person.

As we continue to stand against all evil activity and opposition in our society and world, we must not step down to the level of any ungodly circumstance, abandon our principles of faith or Christian values, nullify our prayers or forget about God’s future judgment and His Eternal Plan.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

Daily Devotional – “Do You Realize How Much You, As A Believer, Mean To Our Heavenly Father?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

blessings of God

Do You Realize How Much You, As A Believer, Mean To Our Heavenly Father?”

Throughout Christianity, “GRACE has been defined as “God’s free, unmerited and undeserved favor,” which is expressed in the salvation of sinners,  the imparting of spiritual gifts and the conferring of blessings upon the life of a believer.

Because GOD IS LOVE, He bestows MERCY which demonstrates GRACE.  He grants to us what we don’t deserve and then removes from us the consequences which we truly do.  An excellent picture of this can be found in 2 Samuel chapter 9 which illustrates what believers mean to God and what He does for us.

2nd Samuel 9: 6-8 NIV Says, “When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor. David said, “Mephibosheth!” “At your service,” he replied.  “Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”  Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”

Earlier, David had entered into a covenant with Jonathan that he would show unfailing kindness to him, or to his family if he were killed in battle, when he became king.  The word “kindness,” which is used several times in this chapter reveals “GRACE” or unmerited favor.

After David defeated his enemies and established his kingdom, his soul remembered Jonathan.  So he inquired if Jonathan had a son.  Mephibosheth was only five years old at the time of his father’s death and suffered a permanent injury as his nurse tried to hide him while attempting to protect him from any danger or attack. (Read 2 Samuel 4:4)

David was in exile during Jonathan’s death and had never seen his son, so after being informed about him and his seclusion, he sent for him to be brought immediately to the palace.

Mephibosheth probably expected execution, which usually happened to the members of a dethroned dynasty, where the successor put to death every male relative of his predecessor. 

So when he arrived, he was in fear as he appeared before King David.  But David then promised to treat Mephibosheth with kindness for the sake of his father Jonathan.  It was immediately shown by restoring lands that had been confiscated from his family and in being told that he would have a special place of honor at the king’s table for the rest of his life, just as if he were David’s very own son.

David’s conduct was totally gracious and generous and for such a person, he could do no more.  Jonathan was David’s sworn friend, therefore he demonstrated grace to his son, Mephibosheth.

Sensing unworthiness to receive such favor, Mephibosheth fell on his face, did reverence to David as King and referred to himself as “a dead dog.”  But David called him “the son of Jonathan” and expressed great affection towards him.

What David did for Mephibosheth was wonderful, but it’s just an example of what God does for every child of His.  While we don’t deserve and  can’t earn His Grace, for Jesus’ sake, God’s Divine and Amazing Grace is extended to all those that turn to Christ.

While David did not personally know Mephibosheth, he did what he did for him for the sake of Jonathan, whom he loved.  So whenever David looked at Mephibosheth, he did not see a cripple, He saw Jonathan, talked about Jonathan and extended grace.  This revealed how much Jonathan meant to David.  

Do You Realize How Much You As A Believer Really Mean To Our Heavenly Father?  When God sees us, HE SEES CHRIST IN US.  God doesn’t see us as “no-account” crippled sinners.  In Hebrews 10:17 God said, “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

David was never able to make Mephibosheth walk, but none of David’s other guests would ever complain or talk about him as he ate at the king’s table.  They learned to respect, love and give honor for Jonathan’s sake.

As believers in Christ Jesus, we are the beloved of our Heavenly Father.  Our Father always sees us through the eyes of our Lord, Jesus Christ. As we too sit at His table, we’ve been blessed with all spiritual blessings. 

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

 

 

Daily Devotional – “Where Is The Lord When You Need Him Most?”

Today’s Daily Devotional with Pastor Andrew Bills

seeking God  

 

Where Is The Lord When You Need Him Most?”

 

Stress, heartaches, mental anguish and emotional torment can wreck havoc in your life and leave you shipwrecked, IF YOU LET IT!

But, God has not brought you this far to leave you!  Walking by faith, as we deal with certain painful challenges during dark hours not only seems unpleasant, but excruciating at times.

In every biblical story or encounter, God has always stepped into “impossible situations or dire circumstances” and by His presence, word, grace or power, made the difference in the lives of His people. Throughout our lengthy history, God has always demonstrated and proven His Faithfulness to man many, many times, so what makes you now think that He won’t be there for you?

 

In Exodus 23:20 NIV, God told Moses, “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.”

 

Not only was the name of Jehovah in this angel, but this was none other than the “pre-incarnate” Christ who went before them in the pillar of a cloud by day and fire by night to guide, keep and bring them to the special place prepared by Him. He promised to preserve them through the wilderness, to give them victory over all the enemies that should set upon them and to bring them into the land of Canaan, which he had appointed or promised them.

 

Just like God promised Moses that He would always guide and direct his journey to the promised land, so God has also promised to be involved in guiding and delivering you throughout your bad or rough encounters, whether they come from the wilderness of this earth or are the direct insults from the gates of hell.  Christ has promised to bring us to a place which God has especially designed for those that love and trust him.

 

So, know this important thing: The Holy Spirit of God is completely observant of all the situations you’re facing and is now invisibly conducting, leading, attending to, and orchestrating in your life and all of your affairs.  He’s also protecting all of God’s children, no matter how dark it might be appearing to you at this very moment.

 

Stand fast on His Word, know that His Almighty Eye is always upon you throughout every hour, know that He still hears and answers prayer, and finally know that when you seek His face, He will always reveal His mighty hand in your very midst

 

The greatest source of power is God’s Word, but you must connect into Him to be energized and turned on….. So, don’t breakdown, BREAKTHRU AND BREAKOUT IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST

 

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

 

Daily Devotional – “If You Knew That Jesus Was Coming Back This Friday, What Would You Do?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

return of Christ

If You Knew That Jesus Was Coming Back This Friday, What Would You Do?”

If we exactly knew that the imminent return of The Lord Jesus Christ was going to take place on this Friday evening at 6pm, what would you do between now and then? 

Would you rush to be with your family and friends?  Would you make amends to those you had hurt and forgive those that had wronged you? 

Would you be upset because you thought you’d have plenty of more time as you as cried over all the things you didn’t get the chance to do before He comes?

Would you spend your time analyzing the validity of the information and begin to deny the possibility that the world that you love would not come to an end?

Would you quit your job and spend all your savings and live on one big splurge?  Would your frantically run around, panic struck, sad, miserable and broken-hearted?

Would you try to cram all your lustful fantasies and sinful affairs into one last party experience? 

Or would you try to reach out to large amounts of people to get the gospel message to before it’s too late?

While His return is clearly mentioned over 300 times throughout The New Testament, in the 24th Chapter of Matthew, Jesus in speaking about His second coming said, as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of Man returns. 

All the indications that were given were to let us know that His return would be sudden, astonishing and unexpected by so many.   For sinners shall see Him who they have pierced and laughed about, but their mocking shall turn into mourning, despair and endless horror.

Matthew 24:36-39 NIV says, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;  and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”

In the days of Noah, the masses didn’t believe until the first few drops of rain fell on their heads but by then it was too late.  Those who fled to The Ark, found the entrance closed because God had shut the door, securing the lives of all those that were in The Ark.

Though they had years of prior warning as Noah preached to them, they showed no regard for the pronouncement of God’s judgment and what was coming upon them.  They were only pre-occupied with the affairs of this world and spent the rest of their hours fulfilling the business of their sinful and lustful fantasies.

While we have never been closer to Christ’s return than we are right now, we must continue to stand in faith, occupy until He comes, live a life that pleases Him and remain diligent and watchful.

“Whether He Immediately Returns, Or You’re Privately Taken Away From This World, Are You Ready To Meet The Lord?”

 

 

Daily Devotional – “Where Do I Go From Here?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

trusting God 3

Where Do I Go From Here?”

Sometimes as you go through life, you may have to begin a brand new chapter in your journal by starting all over again. 

Initially you may also be filled with questions, anxieties or uncertainties after being overwhelmed by the things that have happened around you.  But, then you’ll have to learn how to proceed from that place of unhappiness or devastation.

This may occur after experiencing the death of a loved one, after a divorce, a job layoff, the foreclosure of a cherished home full of precious memories, after being faced with a long ranged road of recovery from an unforeseen sickness, an abusive situation or an addiction of chemical dependency.  It may even come after a heart-wrenching decision to depart from a church you’ve been in for years and not being clear as to where you’re going next.

While God doesn’t promise to immediately unravel or resolve every one of our problems, He does instruct, encourage and expect us to place our full confidence in Him, for He says in His Word that The Just Shall Live By Faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4) 

The Prophet Habakkuk became perplexed, and began to wonder, complain and ask God questions regarding the things that were happening during his day.  Just like many today, he wanted to know:  “Why are the wicked prospering?    Why is God allowing such horrific and sinful crimes to go on?   Why does it seem as if God is silent during these evil times?  And why is God destroying the less evil nation of Judah by permitting a much more wicked nation, like Babylon, to conquer them?” 

Finally, in the very midst of all the confusion and difficulties, Habakkuk went up to the watchtower to get alone with God.  There, after praying, he learned to listen to God and hear His answers.  It was there that God revealed to him His ultimate plan for His people.

When a nation turns it’s face from God, it’s rebellion or sin will be judged.  So God revealed to the prophet that He was going to use Babylon to afflict Judah but Babylon’s turn would then come and be blotted out.  But God, in His infinite wisdom and love, would remember His people and give to those that repented and sought His face, a more glorious future.

The inspiration, insight and revelation that Habakkuk received from The Lord was so great, that he began to shout a special song of praise and place his total trust in God, despite what was yet occurring around him. (Read Habakkuk 3:17-19)

He realized that “today” is just a small part of God’s eternal plan and that “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His Purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

You too must come to realize that in the midst of every tribulation and in the darkness of every storm filled with misery, it’s through faith in Christ and standing firm on God’s promises that we will find ourselves being sustained, comforted and strengthened by His Holy Spirit.  So, know that whatever you’re going through today, THIS TOO SHALL PASS!!!

Whenever you’re tossed, perplexed and being overwhelmed by the circumstances around you, remember God’s precious promises to you that are in His Word.   For our hope is anchored in Christ. 

Observe, adhere to and obey the answers given in His Word, which are anointed and made alive through The Holy Spirit of God.  Then will you hear what Christ has to say to you in every situation.

Habakkuk learned and prophesied that those who wait to hear His Voice will not be disappointed.  Though the answer may seem as if it’s being deferred, it will come and be made abundantly clear as  you wait on The Lord.

Just like a shipwrecked survivor will cling to a life preserver, we too must hold fast to God’s Living Promises for He alone is Our Salvation, Security, Protector and Deliverer.  Neither Christ nor His Word is confined, limited or powerless to hard times, adverse circumstances, negative situations, painful conditions or the demonic activity that surrounds us.

Then at the very end of our road, we shall find our  great eternal reward through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

 

Daily Devotional – “Do You Believe That Jesus Is Able To Do It For You?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

believing God 2 

Do You Believe That Jesus Is Able To Do It For You?”

Are the biblical stories of Jesus Christ and the promises of God just cute fairy tales to read or the true actions and words of The Living Savior?

Are they the words of a lunatic, faker or deceiver?  Or are they the promises from the lips of a loving and living Savior?   Is the Cross real or is the Resurrection just another religious myth?

These are important issues to resolve in your heart because if you don’t believe that God is able to save, deliver, heal or meet your need, then truthfully, you are wasting your time and shouldn’t proceed any further.

But with over 7,000 recorded promises throughout The Bible, there’s a special word of inspiration or revelation for you regarding salvation, deliverance, healing, provision, forgiveness, guidance, grace and assurance of eternal life. 

But the main question or issue at stake is:  Do You Believe That Jesus Is Able To Do It for You?”

In Matthew 9:27-30 NIV we read the amazing account which says, As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied.  Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; and their sight was restored.

The Lord had just performed another miraculous healing in the home of Jairus.  After He departed with his disciples, immediately two blind men followed Him crying out aloud “Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.”  After crying out aloud publicly to Him, they still remained blind as Jesus entered into another house.   

But just like our faith can often be tried, as we’re also instructed to always pray and not faint when the answer doesn’t immediately come, they persisted in following Christ into the house, seeking Him.   Whether they were directed or assisted by others or they cautiously and slowly proceeded on their own, they pressed forward to find Christ.

They showed a determination to persevere because they believed without any doubt or hesitation in their minds that Jesus Christ was able.  They had heard some of the wonderful stories about His Power and the marvelous testimonies about many miraculous healings.  So they were driven by their faith to believe and pursue Christ.

Upon entering the house, Jesus asked them one simple question, “Do you believe that I’m able to heal you?”  They replied, “Yes Lord.”   Then Jesus touched their eyes and they were miraculously healed and left seeing.

It’s clearly evident that Christ required an open profession of faith in Him just prior to them receiving their blessing, but there was not an expression of doubt anywhere in this true story.  THEY BELIEVED! 

Don’t allow doubt or unbelief to rob or defeat you.  HAVE FAITH IN GOD!   Faith and love are of The Lord but fear, doubt and unbelief are of the devil.

The Bible presents more than enough evidence for you to trust God, believe in The Lord Jesus Christ and to rely on The Holy Spirit to meet your needs.  Therefore, discover what Christ says about your situation.

Instead of being discouraged by what you naturally see, isn’t it time for you to be moved by what God has said in His Word?

 

Daily Devotional – “Are You Allowing Christ To Have His Way In Your Life?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

potter and the clay 2 

Are You Allowing Christ To Have His Way In Your Life?”

It’s totally unbiblical and impractical to think that after receiving Christ in your life you’ll live happily ever after down here on earth. 

After conversion, your life should be about learning, growing and maturing, especially as you experience falling down, getting back up, forgiving others, walking in His Spirit, piercing through the darkness and overcoming different obstacles and hurts.

But from day to day, you’ll discover that God’s at work in your life shaping you into the image of His Son, Christ Jesus our Lord.

During the days of The Prophet Jeremiah, Judah was a nation which had forgotten God.  Chaos spread throughout the land, corruption was in the government, morality declined to an all time low, evil had infected the peopleand they had rejected God.

 

So, in Jeremiah 18: 2-6 God said to the prophet, “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.”  So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel.  But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.  Then the word of the LORD came to me He said, “Can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand.”

 

God uses many different things, some of which are visual aids, to mold, shape, instruct and teach His people.  So God sent him to the potter’s house and told him there he would hear His words and direct him on what he should say to the people.

While Jeremiah observed the potter working, God brought two great truths to his mind.  First, that God has the authority and power to form and fashion people, nations and kingdoms as He pleases.  He may choose to mold or even dispose of the clay as He sees fit or form it into another vessel than would better serve His purpose. 

Second, that there is no power in the clay to resist or hinder him.  It’s absurd for us to believe that the clay can quarrel against the potter and make demands on what it should be made into.  Can we as the clay complain to the potter that we don’t like what He’s making us into?  Does the clay have the rights to withstand His mighty force?  Does the clay have the right to demand what it wants to be made into?  Can the clay complain because of how it’s being formed and what it’s being made into?

The true expressions of the clay should be:  “Have thine own way Lord, have thine own way. For thou art the potter, I am the clay.  Mold me and make me, after thy will, while I am waiting, yielding and still.”

When we are in the Potter’s hands, feeling the correction of His once bloodied and nail pierced hands, know that you can trust him.   For our Potter has suffered with us and knows how we feel, but is determined to make us into a vessel fit for the master’s use.

For the inner workings of The Holy Spirit in our lives will become visibly and tangibly seen through our faith, prayer being answered and our obedience which are the outward demonstration from our inner spiritual state.

Such is the way of our lives.  When pressure comes into our lives, often it’s the hand of the great potter just turning us in the right direction.  When repentance and a yielding to His will is achieved, the pressure is relieved and the clay is formed into it’s beautiful image.  But when something in the clay resist or a lump is discovered, the great potter will begin to crush it and begin to reshape it into the vessel He desires.

As clay in the hands of the great potter, don’t spoil the work by murmuring, grumbling, complaining, resisting or feeling resentful and becoming bitter.  Realize and accept the fact that God is taking you from imperfection to something greater that He has in mind that’s in store for you.

Receive what you don’t comprehend, surrender to His will, submit to what you don’t understand, believe over what may appear to be impossible, yield to the moving of His Holy Spirit, walk in faith even if you can’t see what He’s doing , be faithful unto God and watch Him mightily move in your life and affairs.

 

Daily Devotional – “What Kind Of Messiah Are You Looking For?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

risen messiah 

What Kind Of Messiah Are You Looking For?”

Are you experiencing a heart-wrenching situation and your emotions have you feeling as if you’re dealing with a resuscitated, weak, emaciated, skinny Jesus, streaming blood, in need of assistance from the tomb instead of a resurrected, powerful, almighty and ascended Lord?

So many today are not walking as if their lives exemplify the power of the risen Christ, or that they’ve been delivered from sin, filled with His Spirit, walking in the favor of God or living a victorious Christian life by standing on His Word.

So, what kind of messiah are you looking for?  What kind of messiah do your represent or reveal?  What kind of messiah are you trusting in?

Is your religious experience just a matter of accepting some intellectual devised rules, organized traditions and social values as you gather with other like-minded friends on Sunday mornings?  Or do you really believe that He has risen and is alive forever more? 

In John chapter 20, after the crucifixion of Jesus, early on that Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene came to anoint the body of Jesus with spices but found that the stone had been rolled away from in front of the tomb.

As she pondered what had happened, even after seeing and hearing from two angels and seeing Jesus, her heart was filled with dismay.

John 20:15 NIV says, “Jesus asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?  Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

To console her weeping, he tenderly asked her those two questions, which were the first words of the risen Jesus, for Mark tells us, “He appeared first of all to Mary of Magdala.”

But overwhelmed with grief, preoccupied with sorrow, confused by her perception, weeping the loss of His missing body and her face filled with a river of tears, she thought him to be the gardener, the caretaker of the grounds perhaps who had been with Joseph of Arimathaea when His body was laid and sealed in that tomb.

Filled with terrified grief, she had no notion of the Resurrection.  She was utterly overcome with one bitter and cruel thought.  That the sacred body, of which she had come to anoint, was gone or had be stolen.

But her passionate burst revealed her ongoing love for her savior, for her mind was still fixed on the fact that His body had be stolen.  So she pleads for an act of kindness to be demonstrated and tells him that she will move His body away.

You cannot help but be touched by her love at this point.  When Jesus was crucified, he was in the prime of His life at 33 years of age, a strong figure of a man.  Upon His burial perhaps several additional pounds of spices had been added to the weight of His body.  Yet Mary, as small and frail as she was, thinks nothing less than carrying him away with her if he will show her where the body has been moved.

Then, just like in the story of Joseph in Genesis 45:1, our risen savior Jesus Christ could no longer restrain Himself and made Himself known to her.

Christ always reveals Himself to those that earnestly seek Him.  Are you aware that the hardest spots in your life can also become the place of new revelation or a new beginning for you.

The key towards overcoming fear, conquering obstacles and moving beyond your wounded past is in coming to know and maintaining intimate fellowship the Risen Messiah, Christ Jesus.  Then you’ll realize and experience His presence, love and awesome power through His Word and Holy Spirit in your life and circumstances.

Daily Devotional – “Are You Giving God Your Everything Or Giving Him Just Your Leftovers?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

giving God everyhing

Are You Giving God Your Everything Or Giving Him Just Your Leftovers?”

Are you one of the ones that shows up late and wants to leave early but you expect God’s best blessings in your life?  Are you one of the ones that can find time for doing everything else but makes excuses about not having enough time to study the scriptures? 

While obedience is the key to you experiencing the miraculous divine power of God, many are content with just being “lip-professors or outward imitators.”  But their reward is in just being seen of men, for God who knows the hardness of their hearts, will declare that He never knew them.  Men can make excuses and give false appearances but Christ knows the heart of every man and the truth shall always be revealed. 

Galatians 6:7 NASB says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”

The Apostle Paul’s speech is a figure taken from agriculture.  A man who sows wheat shall reap wheat like itself.  So in regards to our works, he who sows righteously shall be rewarded, he who sows liberally shall receive liberally.  But he who is a sinner or a deceiver shall reap according to his deeds.

Now there are four additional important points that must be considered here:  First you will always reap what you sow.  Secondly, despite the element of time, you will always reap after the seed has been sown or planted.  Thirdly, your reaping or harvest will always be greater than what you’ve sown.  

Finally, God who knows your heart can’t ever be deceived and will not be mocked.  For God knows your true character and the motivation behind your actions.

Now this verse is NOT limited to the giving of money only, as some suppose.  No, it’s to be applied to every area of our lives. 

No zeal no matter how strong, no prayers no matter how long, and no confession no matter how loud can ever fool God.

Those who live a carnal, sensual, selfish or sinful life will only receive the fruit of misery and ruin, but to those who walk and live under the guidance of The Holy Spirit shall live a life of faith in Christ, abound in God’s grace and shall reap the life of The Spirit.

Then in Galatians 6:9, The Apostle Paul said, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Perseverance in well-doing is what God expects from our hearts. Here is an exhortation to all to do good wherever we find ourselves.  Performing good deeds is the outward results of the inner new life through Christ Jesus.

Don’t give up, become exhausted or disheartened.  Be renewed by God’s Word and the power of God’s Holy Spirit.   And make His Will the business of your life.