Archive for April 2014

“Has Your Soul Lost Sight Of Jesus?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

looking 

Has Your Soul Lost Sight Of Jesus?”

Has your soul lost sight of Jesus Christ?  Have you taken Him for granted?  Is He with you?  Have you become so busy or gotten so comfortable in living your life that you’ve just assumed that He’s with you when He’s not?  Have you lost the intimate fellowship of His Holy Spirit?   Supposing or thinking that He’s with you is really NOT sufficient enough.

In Luke 2: 42-46 NIV we read, “When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom.  After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.  Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.  When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.  After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.”

When Jesus was twelve years old, His parents took Him up to the Passover festival, according to the custom in The Law.  When the seven days of the feast of unleavened bread ended, Mary and Joseph left Jerusalem returning home while believing that Jesus was with them.

They had no inclination that Jesus had remained behind to hear and ask questions about the teaching of the doctors in the Scriptures, The Law and the traditions of the elders and priests.  Due to the large traveling crowds, they simply believed he was with other members of their traveling friends or family members within that large group.

After a full day’s journey, they finally noticed that Jesus was missing and frantically began to search for him throughout the crowd.

As tragic as it might seem, Mary and Joseph had traveled away from worshiping in the temple and from a great spiritual Passover feast, totally unaware that they were lacking the presence of Jesus.

Some have said that Jesus stands outside the doors of many churches, pleading to that congregation to let Him come in.  But, it’s even worse when, after worshiping and celebrating in a church service, to act as if you’ve left Him locked inside after you’ve gone home and are going about your daily business. Attempting to shut Him out of your daily lives simply reveals that your Sunday morning celebration experience is just emotional and Not “Christ Lived.”

Mary and Joseph had Jesus with them in the temple but they lost Him once they departed for home.  Mary was not only close to Jesus, she was His Mother, but she lost Him.  Not only did she lose Him, she didn’t even recognize that He was gone or not in her midst.  No matter how close you have been to Jesus, you must be very careful not to leave Him, take him for granted or move away from His presence.

Upon realizing their inexcusable carelessness and negligence, with a sense of great loss, they began to earnestly search for Him.  As their diligence increased, Mary and Joseph finally realized that they had lived three days without Him.

When they finally found Him, they found Him where they’d left Him, in the temple.  At first they blamed Him, but it’s never The Lord’s fault when you go off without Jesus.

He doesn’t just want to be with you in your church services, Jesus wants to be your life as you go into your home, school, place of business and everywhere else you may go.

He has promised to “Never leave you or forsake you.”  Will you speak these same words to Him?

 

“Are You Really Trusting In The Lord?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

pilotes d'avion

 

Are You Really Trusting In The Lord?”

 

A story was reported about a group of passengers on an airplane that suddenly entered an area of severe turbulence. The passengers were terrified, some screamed while others were visibly shaken.

Then one of the badly shaken passengers noticed a little girl, sitting very contently as she continued playing with her toys and looking at her books. She clearly showed no sign of fear. When asked why she wasn’t afraid during the terrible turbulence she simply replied, Because my daddy is the pilot and he’s in full control.”

Trusting The Lord always depends upon your personal relationship with Him.  If a trustworthy family member tells you that they will pick you up at the airport at 9pm, you know that they will be there because you trust them because of your personal relationship with them.

If a total stranger approaches you in the market and says if you loan him a $100 and he will pay you back on next week, because you lack relationship, you can’t put your trust in them.

In Isaiah 41:10 NIV God Says, “Fear not, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, and I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

While this promise from our Lord was initially addressed to the exiled Jews during their long and painful captivity in Babylon, it’s also addressed to His people today who are going through any adverse, negative and painful circumstances or conditions.

God made it clear before, and Is once again making it very plain, Fear Not, For I AM With Thee.” HE IS the sole reason that we shouldn’t ever be fearful. Romans 8:31 says, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” What higher consolation can you ever desire or have than the assurance of Him being our Heavenly Father and a protector, counselor, and guide to us during times of great confusion and difficulty.

There is no higher honor in life than to enter into His family and be permitted to call the Creator and The Most High God Father“, and have the Lord of the universe as our Eternal Friend.

“Be not dismayed” means that whenever a state of alarm or danger comes, those that trust and look to Him can be calm because of our peace within and our faith in His Words.

We are then given the reason why we shouldn’t be afraid, For I AM Your God.” Our Heavenly Father has declared that “I am able to preserve, strengthen, keep and bless you.” The God of Heaven is our God and is our source and power, and that power has been pledged for the protection of all that come to Him.

Furthermore God said, “I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.” Our Heavenly Father has also declared that, “I will enable you to bear all your trials with my faithful right hand.” We can rely on Our Lord and the power of His Might.

There is no greater security than believing and knowing that you’re safe in the hands of The Almighty and Living God.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“Have Things Gotten Worse As You’re Waiting On The Lord?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

shock 

Have Things Gotten Worse As You’re Waiting On The Lord?”

Does it seem as if your circumstances have escalated as you’re waiting on God? Often, because of our impatience and demanding immediate answers, people don’t recognize that The Lord is attempting to elevate your faith to another or more mature level as you’re waiting on God.

Many are continuing only to focus on their gloomy situation instead of giving Christ their undivided attention, turning things over to God, standing on His Word and then listening to the voice of The Holy Spirit. 

Sometimes things will even appear to get worse as you stand in faith but don’t let the opposite of what you’re believing The Lord for distract you away from faith in His Word.

It is possible that The Lord is trying to enlarge your testimony as you learn to prevail and pierce through the darkness surrounding you.  So, whatever the passing time period, realize it’s not a time to give up, break down or pass out.   IT’S YOUR HOUR TO BELIEVE HIM!

In Mark 5:21-43 we read the amazing account of two miraculous healings of Jesus while moving among the people.  A synagogue leader named Jairus came and  fell at the feet of Jesus, pleading for Him to come and heal his little daughter who was at the point of death.

As Jesus proceeded with Jairus and His disciples, another event occurred which caused an untimely and unfortunate delay on their journey.  While The Lord was being thronged by the masses of surrounding people, verses 25-34 informs us of the reason for the delay.

Another woman, who had been sick for 12 long years, pressed her frail body through the crowd and touched the hem of His clothes.  For she believed in her heart that if she could just touch the hem of His garment then she would be healed.  Jesus then stopped and made an inquiry, the disciples questioned Jesus, the woman slowly came forward and The Lord had a conversation with the woman of faith. 

While all of this was exciting and indeed miraculous, in the mind of Jairus, it presented further delays towards them proceeding to his home to cure his daughter.

So often, we just like Jairus, believe that “time is of the essence.”  It’s our belief that time is crucial and any delays, interruptions, hesitations or lingering on The Lord’s behalf will worsen our changes, circumstances or conditions.

Then Mark 5: 35-36 says, “While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?” But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.”

Now the thing that Jairus feared most now happened.  He received the fatal message of death of his child.  Jairus must have agonized as he entertained the notion that had not The Lord lingered, the life of his dying little daughter could have been spared.  But with her death now being a past event, all hope was abandoned as those from his home tenderly asked him, “Why trouble the Master any further?”

While they knew that Jesus had triumphed over demonic or unclean spirits and that, as a prophet sent by God, he had the power to heal incurable diseases while there remained life, they now believed that everything was hopeless since death had claimed the little girl’s life.

One of our greatest enemies of faith is “Human Reasoning.”  We are a people led by our senses, moved by our feelings and make decisions based upon our emotions.

It’s not that The Lord doesn’t want us to use our minds or have good common sense, it’s just that the mind is “the battlefield” which is constantly under the attack of Satan, the world and even our own flesh.

Christ wants us to “Have Faith and Believe Him” regardless of any adverse, negative or painful circumstances that we are encountering.

Jesus went on Jairus’ home, then despite the unbelief and scorn from others, He miraculously raised his little girl from death and presented her back to her parents.

Therefore, stand in faith, be encouraged, wait on The Lord with great expectation and He will graciously intervene in your life and affairs.

 

“Did You Know That God Is Your Only Way Through Your Situation?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

wreaking ball 

Did You Know That God Is Your Only Way Through Your Situation?”

Are you trusting God for your healing, breakthrough or victory?  The Cross and The Resurrection of Christ are our assurances that God has given us the victory over all of our enemies in every conflict that we face, in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.

Today, many people are now facing some of the most horrific situations that they’ve ever encountered in their lives.   Lives are being destroyed by drug addiction or chemical dependency.  Abusiveness is crushing homes and crippling lives, and time won’t permit me here to list all of the other demonic activities or satanic entrapments that are wreaking havoc throughout our cities today.

As the powers of darkness are opposing you, wishful thinking or mere hoping will not resolve your dilemma or cure your situation.  And trying to handle matters on your very own really hasn’t worked for you either.  Only the power and authority of God’s Word, through faith in Jesus Christ will.

One has only to pick up the Bible and start reading from the beginning to discover God’s Eternal Existence, His Supremacy, His Authority and His Power.

Well, Don’t You Know That You Completely Surprise The Devil When You Rise Up In His Face In Faith, In The Name Of Jesus Christ, And Stand On God’s Word?

The powers of darkness never really expect you to do that.  Satan though you were defeated!  NO!!!  More so, he thought you even thought that you were defeated and finished.

We too must learn what David discovered, that God Almighty is The Lord Of The Breakthrough.”

In 2nd Samuel chapter 5, once again we read of the enemy forces attacking David and the nation of Israel.  But, we also read about God’s supernatural divine intervention in their midst.

2nd Samuel 5:20 NLT says,So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “The LORD did it!” David exclaimed. “He burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So he named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”).

As a soldier who placed his confidence in God, David asked for a plan of attack from God, who was his real commander-in-chief.  God so mightily moved, David declared it was like water bursting through an opposing dam which quickly brought destruction to everything that was in its way.

By acting in perfect obedience, David succeeded where King Saul had failed and totally defeated the Philistines.  Obedience to God’s instructions or Word was David’s key to experiencing the miraculous intervention of God.

Obedience is also THE KEY TO YOUR BREAKTHROUGH.  You must make a conscious decision to spend time with God in daily fellowship and studying His Word.  Then you’ll be able to take over your situation and see the mighty hand of God move in your very midst.

While salvation is free, it didn’t come cheap!  It cost God the very best He had to offer, HIS SON!   Now, Christ is able to bring salvation, deliverance and grace right into your midst, but are you really ready to give Him your undivided attention?  How bad do you really need and want Him to move in your life and circumstances?

Romans 8:31 NIV then says,What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

If The Holy Spirit of God is engaged to bring us through, which of our enemies can withstand His awesome Word and mighty outstretched hand?   NONE CAN!!!

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

 

“How to tell if you’re moved more by what you physically see or if you’re moved by Christ and The Power of God?”

The Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

eye 

How to tell if you’re moved more by what you physically see or if you’re moved by Christ and The Power of God?”

A Sunday School Teacher walked her class out of the church building into the yard and suddenly pointed directly to the sun.  Then she said, “While the sun is about 108 times larger than the earth, you can block out your view of the sun with any small object in your hand by simply holding it up between you and your view of the sun.”

Just like in that illustration, you too will lose your perspective when you stare at the problem directly in front of your eyes and begin to lose sight of the greatness and glory of God.

Suddenly, you’ve just allowed your problem to blind you and convince you that it’s bigger and greater than The Lord.  Then fear will begin to creep in and rise up and you’ll begin to lose perspective.

Such was the case in the book of Numbers chapter 13.  Moses sent 12 men to search out and spy in the land of Canaan, then to return back with a report of what they saw.  At the end of 40 days, they returned bringing evidence of good fruit, but 10 of the spies brought forth a negative report and stirred up all of Israel with words of fear and unbelief.  Only Joshua and Caleb stood alongside of Moses by faith.

Numbers 13: 30-33  NIV says, “Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, ‘We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.’  But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.’  And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored.  They said, ‘The land we explored devours those living in it.  All the people we saw there are of great size.  We saw the giants, the descendants of Anak, which were from the giants, we seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.’”

Because of Israel’s unbelief in The God who had divinely and mightily brought great deliverance and performed miracles in their lives, they ended up spending 40 years in that terrible wilderness, which originally would have only taken them 11 days to complete that journey if they would have continued in faith.

Now, what are the spiritual similarities or Christian lessons that we can learn from this particular experience?

If I could sum it all up in one singular sentence: “The Lord wants our lives to be governed by obedience in faith to His Word and to rely on the power of His Holy Spirit.”  We too must remember that unbelief offends and angers God.  So, don’t doubt in your heart and allow unbelief to shut you out from God’s greatest blessings.

Unbelief reduces, limits, or restricts your options only to what you physically see or intellectually sense.  Faith in God refuses to be held captive to all of those boundaries, barriers, and hindrances and always sees an open door or “a way out of no way” through Christ Jesus.

So, are you moved more by what you physically see or are you moved by Christ and The Power of God?   Can you see through or beyond your immediate difficult circumstances or are you being held prisoner by doubt and unbelief?

Placing your confidence in the Almighty, Invisible, Awesome, and Supernatural Resurrected and Living Christ will continue to renew and reinforce your faith in all the areas in front of you. 

So, don’t tell God how big your mountain in front of your eyes is.  Start telling your mountains how big your God is!  As you stand on His Word and allow Him to reign in your life and orchestrate in your affairs, you too will realize that “There’s nothing too hard for God to do.”

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“Can You Name A Time That I Ever Failed To Answer Your Prayers?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

prayer to make it 

Can You Name A Time That I Ever Failed To Answer Your Prayers?”

While lying on the floor crying out to God, with tears streaming down my face, these were the distinguishing words that I clearly heard The Holy Spirit speak to me as I was going one of the most heart-wrenching periods in my life years ago. 

While the words seemed audible and brought hope, it also left me briefly baffled until I began to reflect back and began to count His many blessings.  The more I recalled, the more I sensed His awesome presence with me because I had truly stood before some great mountains before, but only His Grace could have brought me through. 

Then I remembered reading in 2 Chronicles 20: 1-30 of the dramatic story King Jehoshaphat and the nation of Judah being invaded by an army made up of different nations, numbering a greater multitude with a better military and weapons.   

After the king heard the report, he gathered all his citizens and together they sought the face of God and prayed, recalling many of the past blessings from the mighty hand of God.  Then in the midst of their prayer, God spoke through a prophet giving them instructions not to fight, but only to behold the deliverance to be wrought by the Lord.

So, as King Jehoshaphat took his people and marched out to the mountains that were surrounding the battlefield, 2 Chronicles 20:22 NIV says,As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.”

As Judah began to sing and to praise The Lord, suddenly, in the camp below which was composed of the different nations, the Lord began to move and jealousies and animosities began to spring up, which led to widespread dissension and fierce feuds.   Each tribe then rose up and drew the sword against each another, mutually destroying each other.  The spoils which were left were so great that it took the people of Judah 3 days to carry away all the goods that were there.

This all came as a result of them realizing that the battle was not theirs, but the Lord’s, and their remembering just how gracious He had been to them.

Well, what about your life or your family?  Has He ever touched, strengthened, or wonderfully healed before?   Have you ever previously experienced a financial hardship that seemed impossible until God’s grace opened up a door for you?  Has He ever made a way out of no way for you before?

Then you too should realize that He hasn’t brought you this far to leave you.  So, lift up your voice in praise and allow joy to pierce through the surrounding darkness.  Realize that Our Heavenly Father that loves us is far greater than anything that we could ever encounter or experience. Remember that the key towards experiencing the miraculous is only through obedience to His Word, in praising His Wonderful name and being led by His Holy Spirit.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!