Archive for Spiritual Warfare

“Are You Allowing Uncertainty To Crush Your Heart And Rob You?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

uncertainty

Are You Allowing Uncertainty To Crush Your Heart And Rob You?”

On different occasions doubt, uncertainty, skepticism, indecision, insecurity or instability has arisen in the hearts and minds of God’s people to trouble or perplex them regarding God’s power and His promises during  difficult times.

But, nothing should be allowed to give us such a lack of assurance or separate us from the love, grace and the promises of Our Living Savior & Lord, Jesus Christ.  No, not even death itself.

To help us be reminded of this, let’s reconsider the story in Matthew 14: 22-36 of Peter walking upon the water.  After struggling and exhausting themselves to keep their boat afloat on the sea during a turbulent storm, Jesus goes to their rescue by the means of walking on the water.  But when they see Him coming, they’re even more afraid believing him to be a ghost.

So Jesus calls out to them, identifying Himself and tells them not to fear.  Peter responses, “If it is you then permit me to come to you.”  Jesus said, “Come” and Peter began to walk on the water towards Christ.

Then Matthew 14: 30-31 says, “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”  Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” He said, “Why did you doubt?”

In this familiar story Peter, being upheld by the power of Christ, walked upon the water not for any personal gain but to go to Jesus. As long as his full focus remained on Jesus, he was wonderfully borne up.  But when Peter saw and felt the strong hard wind blowing against him and the violent waves of the sea increasing to rise, his eyes became distracted and his attention diverted away from Jesus, who initially was empowering him to walk on top of those opposing conditions.

Even in our worst or most severe stormy days, HE IS OUR VERY PRESENT HELP.  Our dependence should be on Christ.  For He’s far greater and more superior than any hard time, negative situation , painful condition or demonic activity that you could ever encounter or experience. 

To show the greatness of His love, mercy, power and grace, various adversities will arise in our lives to often tempt, discourage, oppose, defeat and even try to destroy us but special promises and grace have been given to all, whose eyes remain focused on Christ.

It was through FAITH in Jesus that Peter was being supernaturally and divinely upheld, but when that faith wavered, the laws of gravitation were re-activated during his supernatural walk and then he began to quickly sink.  The violent winds and raging sea may have distracted his attention away, but it was the reduction of his faith that caused him to quickly sink and endanger his life.

After saving his life, The Lord rebuked Peter for his weakness of faith in allowing doubt to prevail to rob him of blessing.  For there is no good reason why Christ’s believers today should be of a doubtful mind when we’ve been given so great a salvation with so many assurances.

According to the Word of God, we should always expect our Lord’s divine intervention into our lives and affairs through faith.  We should trust that His almighty outstretched arms will rescue and deliver us in every situation. 

Satan will speak to your heart and minds in an attempt to distract, divert, discourage and depress your mind and crush your spirit as you face the circumstances in your life.  But don’t allow doubt and unbelief to rob you of the blessings and victory God wants you to experience through Christ.

Know that the cure for doubt and unbelief in all situations is to keep your mind  and heart renewed in The Word and Promises of God.  Learn God’s Word, renew it in your heart, recite it daily, meditate on it day and night, never let it depart from you and your life will be descriptive of Psalm 1: 3, which says “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“Do You Really Believe In The Power Behind The Cross Of Jesus?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

cross 

Do You Really Believe In The Power Behind The Cross Of Jesus?”

On July 1, 1824, Charles Finney, an ordained Presbyterian minister, appeared in a number of churches and other buildings to lead revivals over the next few decades throughout New York and Pennsylvania.

Preaching three times on Sundays and three more times during the week throughout the “red light district”areas in these states, great revivals broke out as Finney taught that the atoning blood of Jesus Christ was all that was needed to open up the way for God to pardon people of their sin and only by repentance and the acceptance of Christ in one’s soul could one be saved from damnation and Hell’s fires and be assured of a place in Heaven.

A great decrease of the criminal activity in these areas was solely attributed to his gospel preaching and leading of thousands of sinners to Christ.

On one particular occasion, as Finney was about to enter the church he was to preach at, a man approached him and asked if he could privately speak with him after the service.  Finney said yes, and after entering the building, a deacon pulled him quickly to the side and said, “Do you know who that man is?”  Finney said no.  The deacon said, “Don’t have anything to do with him.  It’s rumored that he’s the one responsible for all the gambling, drugs, prostitution, and murders in this city.  He’s a really bad man!  Don’t have anything to do with him!”

Finney said that he had given his word to meet him after the service and must keep his word to see what he wanted, and he entered the church.

After the service, that man was waiting for Finney on the doorsteps of the building.  Finney greeted him and the man said, “I would like to speak privately with you.  Can you come to my office?”  Finney said yes and began following him.

They walked a couple of blocks and then suddenly turned down a dark alley before coming to a door that led downwards into a small room in the cellar.  In the room were just an old desk and one chair. 

As the man sat down, looking up at Finney he said, “Do you know who I am?” And Finney responded, “Yes.”   Then the man slowly reached into his desk drawer and pulled out a gun and laid it on top of the desk and said, “I’d like to ask you a question.”

He proceeded, “It has been said that I’m the one responsible for all the gambling, drugs, prostitution, and crime in this city.  Can God forgive a man for having done all of these things?”  Finney replied, “First John 1:9 it says, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 

The man just nodded and then said, “There are several families that have been ruined because I’ve had their husbands or fathers murdered.  Can God forgive a man for having done all of these things?”  Finney again responded, “First John 1:9 it says, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Again, the man just slightly nodded his head.

Then the man said, “I’m married and have a little daughter that I rarely see because I’ve been with several other women.  Can God forgive a man for all of this?”  Once again Finney declared, “In First John 1:9 it says, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 

Finally, the man just looking up from his desk at Finney in the dimly lit room said, “You can now go.”  And without another spoken word from either, Finney departed.

After sunrise the next morning, the man went home.  Upon hearing the front door unlock, the man’s wife quickly told her daughter that “Your daddy’s home but whatever you do, stay out of his way.”  The man entered his home.  Upon smelling the scent of the breakfast, he entered into the kitchen where they were nervously standing.  He walked over to his little daughter and picked her up and held her for the first time in his arms and kissed her cheek and told her how much he loved her.  Then he proceeded to embrace his wife, and after kissing her, he asked her forgiveness for all that he’d ever done to her and announced that their lives would never be the same again because of Christ.

You don’t get to Heaven by being “good” or go to Hell for being “bad.”  The Bible says we’re ALL born in sin or all bad, and we’ve ALL fallen short of the Glory of God and in need of a savior.  God therefore saves those who believe in His Son, that He died on the cross for them and washed their sins away.  Then God not only forgives our sin, but also purifies our heart. 

The Eternal Son put on flesh and blood and died to wash us from our sins in his own atoning blood that we may have a new relationship and intimate fellowship with Christ and be destined for Heaven.

God Himself has provided the sufficient and effectual Sacrifice for sin that is needed throughout all the generations of mankind, without which a person is lost forever.

 

“Is The Way You’re Going God’s Way?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

tug 

Is The Way You’re Going God’s Way?”

Do you ever remember playing a game called, “Tug of War?”  It’s a strenuous contest between two sides, in which participants holding opposite ends of a rope try to pull each other across a dividing line into their area or zone.

In their struggle for supremacy, the physical strength, mental will-power and firm resistance of every player is fully engaged, as both teams on opposite sides utilize all their energies and efforts, digging their heels into the ground and screaming their lungs out in the process, just to win.  But, just like in this physical entertaining game, many are tugging, withstanding and struggling spiritually against The Lord for direction and full control over their lives and circumstances.

Are you opposing, resisting or quenching The Lord in your life?  Are you procrastinating by putting off those things that God’s calling you to do?  Are you doing whatever you want to do, without the consideration of others around you and despite the dictates from God?

Are you walking in the strength of your mind, exerting your own way, even if it comes to things within your church or religious community?  Are you tugging against The Holy Spirit of God?

In Matthew 9:9 NASB we are given one amazing verse which says, “As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him.”

Christ is always calling for an immediate surrender to the will and work of God.  Where there was an invisible void in Matthew’s heart,  the power of Christ’s Words and the tugging of The Holy Spirit now overwhelmed him, summoned for a reaction and he fully surrendered. 

Never again would he allow his occupation, his infamous ways or his deceptive financial profits detain him after Christ called him.  

Without telling him what work he was going to do, Matthew immediately arose.  Without consulting with flesh and blood, he stood up and followed Jesus.  He left the place where he collected the taxes which were levied by the Roman Officials against the Jews and never again looked back or returned to that place.

God’s calling you to surrender everything that’s evil, every weight that would hinder your complete commitment, fellowship or service and arise to follow Him.  He’s calling you to walk in agreement with Him and be led by His Holy Spirit. 

So, without any further delay, are you ready to surrender and willing to do things God’s Way?

“Are You Too Quick On The Trigger Or Being Led By The Lord?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

 

gunslinger 1 

 

Are You Too Quick On The Trigger Or Being Led By The Lord?”

 

A woman had just finished shopping and returned to the car.  When she arrived she found four men inside the car.  So, immediately she dropped her shopping bags, drew a handgun from her purse and screamed, “I have a gun and I know how to use it!  Get out of the car or I’ll shoot!”    

The men didn’t wait for a second command, they quickly got out and ran like crazy.  The woman, somewhat shaken, then loaded her shopping bags and then got into the car.  But no matter how she tried, she just couldn’t get her key into the ignition.  Then it finally dawned on her, that her car was parked five spaces away!

Immediately, she loaded her groceries into her own car and then drove straight to the police station to turn herself in.  The desk sergeant to whom she told the story nearly fell out of his chair laughing.  Then he pointed to the other end of the room, where those four men were there reporting a carjacking by an old woman with thick glasses, curly white hair, less than five feet tall and carrying a large handgun.

She had mistakenly thought the car was hers, but it really belonged to someone else.  And fortunately for her, since no one was injured or killed, no charges were filed.

Mistakes, we’ve all made them, hopefully not as foolish or extreme as this one.  But whether you realize it or not, you are still a work in progress, for many have learned in life that “haste always makes waste.”  So, don’t be too quick to pass judgment or over anxious to make decisions.

Proverbs 19:2 NASB says,It is not good for a person to be without knowledge, and he who hurries his footsteps errs.”

Too many people are in too big of a rush today and many have suffered greatly because of their lack of knowledge, wisdom or patience under certain situations or in crucial areas.  Then, because they’re “too fired up” or too emotional, they end up making mistakes they’ll regret forever.

Instead of having a quiet spirit or keeping a cool head, many have spoken insulting words they’ve later regretted or done things they’ve wish they hadn’t.  Our hospitals and even graveyards are filled with those who acted too fast without clearly or reasonably thinking things through.

When your emotions are running high, its becomes too easy for confusion, fear, panic or rage to set in or run its course, affecting your common sense judgment which always results in errors, mistakes, embarrassment, sin and even death.

Many times you would do well at taking a second look as you reconsider the matter.  Take time to think, as you also take a deep breath and remember who you are in Christ, and who Christ is in you. 

Learning and remembering to be in control will always have a more positive, spiritual and effective result with a better outcome.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“Are You Allowing Fear To Hold You Hostage?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

afraid 

Are You Allowing Fear To Hold You Hostage?”

The Black Panthers, a radical militant group of the 1960’s and 70’s, began to threaten the City of New York.  They declared that they would start blowing up all the bridges through the city unless their demands were met.  The authorities responded by imposing curfews, conducting roadblocks and massive manhunts, scouring the city for them without any initial success. 

The leaders of the FBI appealed to a very prominent Black Pastor, Dr. E.V. Hills in Watts, California, to speak to the black community throughout the country to help stop the threats of this siege.  When Dr. Hill met with J. Edgar Hoover, he asked, “How many are involved in that radical movement?”   Hoover replied, “There are 89 militants involved.”  Dr. Hill responded, “89 people are holding two million people hostage in New York City?  How is that possible?”

Fear had brought the city into being held captive, not the 89 militants.  They were being held hostage in their minds, and fear was producing unlimited possibilities of mischief and destruction in their thoughts. 

When fear holds you hostage, it will appear to be more powerful, soul-shaking and life threatening than your ability to try to rationally deal with it or spiritually overcome it.

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.”

God has not given us the spirit of fear, but the spirit of love, power, and courage to face any difficulty and overcome all danger.   Through The Holy Spirit, we will be strengthened and enabled to confront and go through all opposition with a sound mind which is guarded by the peace of God which defies all understanding.   

Being fearful is a matter of choice.  You may not be able to choose what will happen to you in life, but you clearly can choose the attitude you’ll take in responding to things that happen.  You will either choose to be fearful or stand in faith, believing God for His assistance.

The Apostle Paul exhorted Timothy to hold fast, to stand strong upon, and to trust the Holy Scriptures.  In doing so, you too will come to realize the unspeakable value of The Word of God and experience the divine and gracious intervention of Christ in your midst.   

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear or a cowardly spirit, to be afraid of sinful wicked men or evil demonic forces.  We must not be distracted or detoured from living our lives, doing God’s will, preaching the Gospel, speaking out against false teachers, reproving people for their evil deeds, and touching the world with the love of Christ.

Fear is a tormenting spirit that bombards your mind, creates mental anguish, and wants you to surrender control over to others.  It causes people to become frightened, stressed-out, and even paranoid.  But God wants you to stand strong against this spirit, resist Satan’s temptations, to endure hardness as a good soldier, and be victorious over “the spirit of quit.”

Through Christ, you’ve been given the power to stand up under all the various trials and be triumphant under persecutions.  Though your faith might be tried with fire, we are kept by the power of God through the shed blood of our Lord and should know that the love of Christ Jesus will enable the weak to be strong and stand up in a world that’s fallen down.

Christ has given us His Holy Spirit with many precious promises in His Word.  Without Him, we can do nothing, but with and in Him, there’s nothing that we cannot do.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

 

“Don’t You Know That What You’re Dealing With Is Not Natural?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

chains broken 

Don’t You Know That What You’re Dealing With Is Not Natural?”

Biblical history has certainly revealed that God has a lengthy history of watching over His people and that GOD’S PRESENCE AMONG HIS PEOPLE HAS ALWAYS BEEN UNDERESTIMATED BY OUR ENEMIES.

On various occasions, demonic activity, Satanic entrapment, evil plans of destruction and ungodly plots have been spoiled or defeated as God’s people have stood in faith, looking to Him for victory over adversity.

Whatever you’re circumstances, God Is Able To Break Every Demonic Chain that will try to hold you captive and destroy you.

In 2 Kings Chapter 6, we learn that war had broken out between King Benhadad  of Syria and King Jehoram of Israel.  Many of planned surprised ambush tactics or sneak guerrilla warfare strategic maneuvers by the Syrian King were revealed, uncovered and brought to naught because the King of Israel received advanced knowledge, anticipated and then spoiled their secret attacks.

Realizing that the Israelites were aware of his every move and overwhelmed by the disappointing frequency of his failed secret plans, the King of Syria immediately called all of his chiefs of staff into an urgent meeting.   For he suspected treason, and believing that he had an informer within his ranks, he wanted the traitor exposed.  But he was wrong.

2 Kings 6:11-12 NLT says, “The king of Aram (Syria) became very upset over this. He called his officers together and demanded, “Which of you is the traitor? Who has been informing the king of Israel of my plans?”  “It’s not us, my lord the king,” one of the officers replied. “Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel even the words you speak in the privacy of your bedroom!”

The words uttered and his plans of attack that were made in his private chambers under the cloak of darkness, were being revealed to the Prophet Elisha by God. Then Elisha would provide the king of Israel with the revealed information and Israel’s victory was made secure.

Faith in God doesn’t make things easy, BUT IT ALWAYS MAKES ALL THINGS POSSIBLE!   And God’s presence and grace always makes the difference.  Seek His face and you’ll also see the mighty hand of God moving in your midst.

It proved to be a costly mistake for the Pharaoh of Egypt when he made the fatal decision to chase the Israelites into the Red Sea, but God was supernaturally directing Moses.  It proved to be a costly mistake when The Pharisees persecuted The Apostles in an attempt to stop them from preaching the resurrection of Jesus Christ, as God poured out great grace upon them, the Word of God spread more rapidly around the world.   

No matter what situation you facing, if you draw close to The Lord, The Holy Spirit will begin to reveal wisdom and direction to you that could not be known without Him.  And whatever enemies you’re dealing with, will once again be surprised, spoiled and overtaken because of God’s grace and awesome presence.

So never allow yourself to be depressed or overcome by difficulties.  Remember that you have unlimited resources in The Word of God and The Holy Spirit through Christ Jesus.  Even though all Satanic attacks are orchestrated from hell, our strength and victory comes through the cross of Christ which was orchestrated from the throne room of God.  

Therefore, realize that the greater the difficulties, the greater God’s grace will be in your midst as you trust in Christ.

“Have You Ever Had A Negative Experience While Trying To Share Christ?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

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Have You Ever Had A Negative Experience While Trying To Share Christ?”


One day while going door to door to share Christ, a woman answered her front door who was very interested in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  But, within moments she kept telling me to whisper because she didn’t want her husband to know that she was listening to a preacher.  So as I continued sharing, she constantly kept looking back over her shoulder in fear.  So, I finally inquired as to what was the matter.

 

She told me that her husband hates preachers, the Bible and God and even threatens Christians throughout the city and again she motioned for me to whisper to her.  As her face filled with fear and stress, I told her that Christ loved her and died to set her free.  The more I shared, she cried and began to reach out for Jesus Christ.  But, suddenly I began to hear this loud animal like growling in the background.  Then she screamed “please run” and quickly motioned me away from the door.   The sound grew louder, then as I backed up a few steps, her husband came bursting through the door like a manic to get me. 

 

I quickly thought about The Apostle Paul and how he went from city to city preaching the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Some of the cities received his message but others threw him out and one even stoned him.  What compelled him to later return to those cities, even the more hostile ones?    It’s the love of Christ Jesus which is shed in our hearts that compels us to go onward and take the good news to the world, even despite the dangers of persecution.

 

Romans 10: 13-14 NIV says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?  And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

 

Rejection, slander, criticism, mockery, unkind words and ungodly gestures are just a few of experiences that no one likes having as you’re trying to share the good news of Christ to people.  Although you’re concerned about their eternal life, because they’re dead in their sins, they think that you’re trying to shove your religion down their throats and may even attempt to say or do ungodly things to scare or stop you.

Having preached on the streets, door to door witnessing, park rallies and through a variety of other methods, while I’ve encountered numerous negative experiences, none can compare with the overwhelming joy when you lead a sinner to Jesus Christ or encourage a person, whose faith has been shipwrecked, to return back to the church and begin studying the Bible again.

Are you aware that all Heaven rejoices when a sinner comes to Christ?  Heaven isn’t moved by the NBA Finals, the World Series, the Stanley Cup or even the Academy Awards.   No, all Heaven rejoices when a sinner opens his or her heart to Christ and a multitude of sins have been repented of and forgiven by God.

The reason for negative reactions to our witness is that people are bound in the sins in which they actually believe that they love or are held prisoner too and they don’t want to be told or reminded of God’s eternal judgment that’s to come.  They want to walk in their own will and have things their way, so they do all that they can, as they’re influenced or led by Satan to try to withstand the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Continuing with my experience, repulsed by my message, the husband came bursting through the front door after pushing his wife to the side, growling like a wild animal in an attempt to scare me.  He suddenly got right up into my face and angrily told me what he thought of God, the Bible, preachers and especially me.

I looked him straight in the eyes and told him about the love of Jesus and the blood that was shed on Calvary’s Cross just for him.  (I had earlier thought that if I’m going down, I’m going down lifting up my Lord and Savior).

He ceased the growling and told me that he was a Muslim and rejected the foolishness that Jesus was God.  Again, I kept sharing Christ as his frightened wife kept watching from the door. 

He finally shook my hand but said that he didn’t want anything to do with Jesus, asked me to leave his premises, not to come back and walked away into the house.  I stood out on his walkway and prayed for a few moments then left.

That next Sunday, the wife came to church with her teenage son and they both gave their lives to Jesus Christ.  She told me that she knew her husband would be upset about it but she needed Jesus. 

Again, although some people will be repulsed by us and our message, we must continue to share our hope with gentleness and grace and believe that Christ will change hardened hearts and set people free from their sins.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“What Do You Do When Things Don’t Go According To Plan?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills
anguish

“What Do You Do When Things Don’t Go According To Plan?”

How do you handle disappointments in your life? What do you do when discouraging events occur and try to distract you away from where you want to go or keep you from doing what you want to do?

While we often can’t choose what happens to us in life, we can choose “The Attitude” that we’ll take towards the things that will happen.

You and I can see this kind of sorrowful attitude in Luke’s account of the two disciples whom The Resurrected Jesus encountered on the road to Emmaus. Unable to recognize their risen Lord, these two disciples expressed their broken heartedness and great disappointment with this “sudden stranger” regarding their shock and misery of how their hopes were all dashed when their Messiah was taken and crucified.

In Luke 24:18-21 NIV says, “One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.”

While this appearance of Christ to the two disciples going to Emmaus, happened the same day that he rose from the dead, they didn’t know that Christ was alive even though He was walking right with them because they were distracted by their disappointment, blinded by their sorrow and walking in unbelief. And when you become so disappointed in life, sometimes it’s too hard for you to even recognize Jesus in your very midst.

Their minds were so confused and distracted that it appears as if the more they talked about it, the more perplexed and disappointed they became.

There are those that become so overwhelmed with disappointment, hurt, misery and grief, that they begin to live as if Jesus never came out of that tomb.

Marriage troubles, family division, job layoffs, unexpected illness, unforeseen tragedy, financial hardships…. These are things that should lead or drive us closer to Christ and not further away. CHRIST IS THE ANSWER, not the problem! He’s our solution through the wilderness, not the author of our pains. In the worst of times, when it seems that all hope is gone, there’s still God’s Grace that you can count on.

Suddenly Christ began to preach The Word unto them, starting with Moses and the Old Testament Prophets. Then the Word began to burn in their hearts and open their eyes after they sat down to eat bread with the one they initially believed to be a stranger. Suddenly, they realized it was Jesus Christ!

There is a “blood stained scarlet thread” that runs throughout the entire Old Testament that ends at the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But, all of His Promises are all still in effect even today.

My friends, when life delivers you a staggering blow, to the Word and Spirit of God you MUST go! Run to The Word, do not walk. RUN!!! For it’s there and only there that you’ll find God’s Grace and The Holy Spirit of God ready to receive, comfort, enable, deliver and guide you.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“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?

 

“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.