Tag Archives: devotional

Jesus Is Your Shepherd – Protector

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep… My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. – John 10:14-15, 27-28

There are times when we just need a protector. It seems that on every turn there are enemies waiting to devour us. At times it even seems that our friends have forsaken us. At those times we must realize that Jesus is our shepherd protector.

Most of this tenth chapter of John is about Jesus as our shepherd. He starts off by talking about the sheep pen and that those who come into the sheep pen must come through the shepherd. All who come by any other way are thieves and have come to rob, kill and destroy (verse 10), but he contrasts himself with the thief by declaring, “I have come that they may have life; and have it to the full.”

Do not forget there is a destroyer who seeks to prevent you and I from the abundant life God offers through faith in Christ. Our Shepherd realizes the danger and will protect us as long as we stay in the sheep pen.

He fights our battles, destroys the destroyer and keeps us secure in his protectorate. He is the shepherd who protects the sheep, even to the giving of his own life.

He speaks and His sheep hear him – do you hear him?

Prayer: Lord, call me I’ll listen. I desire to be in your sheep pen under your protection. Thank you for the security of your loving guidance. Amen

 

Message:  There is a destroyer who seeks to prevent you and I from the abundant life God offers through faith in Christ. Our Shepherd realizes the danger and will protect us as long as we stay in the sheep pen.

Affirmation:  I have heard the voice of the Good Shepherd and have chosen to follow Him. He will protect me and give me life that is abundant.

Reflection:  This devotion speaks of staying in the sheep pen. Give some thought to how a person stays in the pen. Is staying in the sheep pen a passive maneuver or is it an aggressive action?

If you like this devotion you will be interested in the entire devotional titled, “Promises”. To get your free copy go to www.dailygodwalk.org

Kingdom Secrets Release Abundance

The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.

– Matthew 13:11-12

Secrets. We all have them. The purpose of a secret is to keep those who should not know something from knowing it. Jesus was telling his disciples that he had chosen them to know the secrets of the kingdom.

Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables so that only those who were spiritually alert would hear the message. Then he explained the parables to those who were to understand the secrets.

Understanding the secrets of the kingdom will release God’s favor. If we can hear the message of the kingdom, and understand the purposes of the “secrets” that he is revealing, then we will be able to walk in the fullness of his intended abundance.

Knowing and understanding the principles of the kingdom unlocks the door to God’s favor; diligence and obedience open the door to abundance. God is not only calling us to understand and believe but he is calling us to diligent obedience to the principles so that he can release his best to us.

Over the next few days we are going to explore some of the kingdom principles that Jesus called, “Secrets of the kingdom.”

Prayer: Lord, I tend to use the understanding of men to accomplish the work of the kingdom. Grant me the ability to understand the message of the kingdom and the wisdom to live by those principles. In Jesus name, amen.

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The Veil Was Torn When It Was Finished

Paul Smith
Paul Smith

Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. – John 19:30

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. – Mark 15:37-38

With these last words of Jesus, “It is finished,” an era which began with Adam and Eve had finally come to an end. When man sinned in the garden he was separated from God and a wall of separation was erected.

God placed an angel with a flaming sword at the entrance to the garden to keep man from going back into the garden and partaking of the tree of life. Man was separated from God and from eternal life.

This separation was further emphasized when God had Moses make a veil which would separate the common people from the presence of the Lord. God did make an exception and that was the high priest was allowed beyond the veil to effect atonement for the sins of the people but the average person was not allowed there.

The altar in the temple represented the fatal price of sin and the veil represented the separation between God and man caused by sin. For millennia man had suffered the altar and the veil with no remedy in sight.

Then Jesus came preaching that the kingdom of God was with them, but they still had the altar and the veil. The sacrifice of animals could atone for their sin, but the veil kept them separated from the glory of God

Then it was finished. The final sacrifice for sin had been made – there was no more need for sacrifice. The veil was ripped and man was finally given access to the glory of God. With the sin issue resolved by the death of Christ there was no more need for the veil.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for the work of Calvary and the torn veil. Your grace has made the provision for my redemption.

Principle: The final sacrifice for sin had been made – there was no more need for sacrifice. The veil was ripped and man was finally given access to the glory of God. With the sin issue resolved by the death of Christ there was no more need for the veil.

Affirmation:Thank God for the torn veil. Now I have access directly to God and His Glory because of what Christ did for all who would follow him.

 Reflection:  Since man was put out of the Garden of Eden he was separated from the life God originally intended for him. Even the temple separated man from God. But the death of Jesus, the Lamb of God, being sacrificed on the cross, tore down the wall of partition between God and man.

What do you think?

Has this post given you any new insights? Have you received any inspiration or encouragement  from it? Please let us know.

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Jesus Finishes His Prayer

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them. – John 17:24-26

It had been quite and evening. Jesus had performed the task of a servant  by washing the feet of the disciples. They had prepared to eat the meal and Jesus gave them the alarming news that one of them would betray him. He spoke of the blood, his blood, of the new covenant and his body that would be broken.

Finally he gave his last instructions before he would go to the cross. It was simply this: Do not fear because I will return to comfort you. I will not just be with you but I will be in you. You must love one another as I have loved you and great peace will be upon you.

Then he prayed to his Father. The entire 17th chapter of John is given to his prayer and we would all do well to read it occasionally so we don’t forget his heart and his purposes for us. His desire was that we would be united in his love.

He says he has revealed the father to his followers (v6) and he prayed that they would get the message. Perhaps looking into the future he prayed that his followers would dwell in unity (v11). All of this could only happen if those who followed would continue in his love.

He concludes this prayer by sharing his desire that his love, the Father’s love, which dwelt in him, would dwell in all believers, just as he would dwell in all believers.

His cry was that we would be one in love and purpose as he was one with the Father. Isn’t it time for that to happen?

Prayer: Lord, help us to united as one in your love. Amen.

Principle: He concludes this prayer by sharing his desire that his love, the Father’s love, which dwelt in him, would dwell in all believers, just as he would dwell in all believers. His cry was that we would be one in love and purpose as he was one with the Father.

Affirmation:I desire to be one with others who follow Christ. Not necessarily one in doctrine but one in purpose. May I be driven by the love of the Father to be in unity with the entire body of Christ.

 Reflection: I have found it very easy to separate myself from those who are not just like me, but that is my weakness. How about you; do you find yourself pulling away from other Christ followers who are of another denomination, or who embrace some doctrines you don’t agree with? How well do you fulfill the desire of Jesus that his entire body be in unity?

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Father, Make Us One

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.     – John 17:20-21

Is it possible that as Jesus was talking to the Father about those who would believe in him that he saw the future? Do you think that may have been the motivation for his prayer, “That all of them may be one?” If in fact he was looking into the future he saw a daunting task before him.

He had already seen his followers jockeying for position in the kingdom while he was ministering with them. He tried to teach them that the way of the kingdom was to serve one another rather than to rule over one another.

Somehow I don’t think the fragmented body of Christ we see today is what Jesus had in mind when he went to the cross. He may have had that in mind when he prophesied that brother would turn against brother.

It is significant that one of the burdens he was carrying to the cross was the knowledge that those who would claim faith in him would be as fragmented as we are today.

Here is a challenge I am throwing out today: Help the father bring unity to the body of Christ by consciously reaching out to a believer outside of the group you normally fellowship. You have neighbors, friends or co-workers who are believers but they are affiliated with a different group than you; invite them into your circle of fellowship and inquire about their circle of fellowship.

It is said that the most segregated hour of the week is at church on Sunday Morning. That is not just true about race but the church is segregated, or divided, by doctrine, denomination, and socio-economic status. The only way the body of Christ will be united is for you and I to take the initiative and reach across those lines of segregation and invite our brothers and sisters into our hearts. Pray about it.

Prayer: Lord, help me to seek unity in your body. Amen.

Principle: The only way the body of Christ will be united is for you and I to take the initiative and reach across those lines which divide us and invite our brothers and sisters into our hearts.

Affirmation:When I look at another follower of Christ I don’t see denomination, ethnicity, doctrine, or socio-economic differences. I simply see another brother or sister in Christ.

 Reflection:  What did Jesus have in mind when he prayed that his followers would be one? Was he talking about the way the church is today or did he have something else in mind? In what ways is the body of Christ not as one today?

You can have a full month of the Daily God Walk. You don’t have to wait for the next post. If you like what you read on this blog then you are welcome to a copy of the DGW for the whole month. To get your no cost and no obligation copy just CLICK HERE

A New Counselor – Comforter

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  – John 14:16-18

The Disciples are slowly beginning to understand. They are beginning to realize that Jesus is going to be taken from them. They will no longer have him with them with his words of strength and comfort and they were beginning to feel that.

That is why Jesus begins John 14 with, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” Now he is explaining why they shouldn’t be troubled. He said “yes, I am going away, but you will not be left alone. The Father is sending you another to comfort you, to guide you and to give you strength.”

He used an interesting Greek word to describe the one who would come to them. It is parakletos. This word literally means called to one’s side, or to one’s aid. It was used in court referring to legal counsel. It is also used to denote one who is offering aid, assistance or counsel.

Jesus seemed to be saying that I have been with you as comforter, or counselor, but now I am going. However, you will not be left without comfort. He was not referring to another who would walk with them, but he was referring to the one who now walked with them but who would then live in them.

He was relating an entirely new relationship. Jesus was with them, but the one who would come, though in a different form, would be the same as the one who dwelt with them, except now he would be in them.

When Jesus said, “I will not leave you without comfort but I will come to you he was revealing that physically he was gone, but his Spirit would come to them. He would be in them.

 Prayer:  Thank you Lord for returning to live in me. Grant me the wisdom to accept the wisdom of the counselor. Amen.

Principle: Jesus was with them, but the one who would come, though in a different form, would be the same as the one who dwelt with them, except now he would be in them.

Affirmation:The comforter/counselor has come and I am comforted by his presence. I also turn to him for guidance and He is my comforter.

 Reflection: Jesus is teaching an interesting concept. He had been their comforter, their confidant. Now he was leaving them, but he wouldn’t stay away he would return, not to be with them but to be in them. Now we do not need to go to another for Christ himself abides in us.

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Following Jesus Gives Us the Light of Life

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12

Jesus and the New Testament writers contrast light and dark in many passages. The concept is that light is good and darkness is evil. In one passage Jesus said, “Men love the dark because their deeds are evil” (John 3:19). Walking with Jesus is walking in the light – walking in the world without Jesus is walking in the dark.

What makes one way of life dark and another way of life light? Light is truth and darkness is deception. When we walk in the truth we walk in the light and are not deceived by the darkness. When we are not walking in truth we may try to convince ourselves we are in the light but the effect of our walk is that we are in darkness.

The deception of darkness is that it keeps promising what it can’t deliver. It promises peace and prosperity at the expense of truth and integrity. It promises friends and pleasure but delivers loneliness and pain. Darkness is the perception that we don’t need God and that we can achieve all that we desire all by ourselves.

Jesus was telling the world that the message he preached was true and that the way of life he promoted would not only lead to being right with God but it would also lead to peace and prosperity.

If this is true, then why are there still so many people trying to do it on their own? It is the deception of darkness. In John 1:5 it is written, “The light shines in darkness but the darkness has not understood it.” The spirit of darkness tells us the way of light is too hard for us and besides that we can achieve all that we desire on our own.

The truth is that man can achieve great things on his own. No other creature on earth has the creative capacity of man, but the ultimate truth is that all of those things will not answer man’s need for the peace that only God can give. Only walking in the light will give you lasting peace and contentment.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the light of Christ in my life. Help me to always choose the light of truth over the darkness of deception. Amen.

Principle: Jesus was telling the world that the message he preached was true and that the way of life he promoted would not only lead to being right with God but it would also lead to peace and prosperity.

Affirmation: Everything outside of God and faith in Christ is darkness. I am a follower of Christ therefore I walk in the light and not in the darkness.

 Reflection: Give some thought to the idea that the darkness promises what it can’t deliver. How has that affected your life before you became a Christ follower? How fulfilled were you when walking in darkness as compared to how fulfilled you are now as a Christ follower?

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Cast Stones Freely – If You Are Without Sin!

If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. – John 8:7 Jesus had again gone to the temple to teach. The people were gathered around him to hear him when the Pharisees brought a woman before him that they had caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” The Pharisees were hoping Jesus would answer the question so they would have something with which to accuse him. Perhaps they thought he would just tell them to let her go, or at least give her a lesser sentence, after all stoning is rather harsh. But Jesus didn’t even answer their question. Jesus knew their heart and he knew that their righteousness was only a front and that they were indeed sinners just like the others who had gathered that day. Instead of answering them he just bent down and wrote something on the ground. No one knows what he wrote but some speculate that he simply began to list the sins that those accusers were themselves guilty of. His only answer was, “If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Somewhere between what Jesus said and what he wrote on the ground he got through to these men who were quick to accuse this helpless woman and one by one they began to walk away. There are two things that stick out to me in this story. One is the question of where was the man who was participating in the adultery. The other is that Jesus never condoned the woman’s sin, he simply forgave her and told her to quit sinning. There is a very important lesson on grace and mercy here. Before we ever feel that it is our place to become judge and jury of others we must be sure that we ourselves are not lawbreakers. If Jesus doesn’t condemn repentant sinners, then neither should we. Prayer: Lord, I am grateful you didn’t judge me but took upon yourself my judgment that I might live. Amen.   Principle: Before we ever feel that it is our place to become judge and jury of others we must be sure that we ourselves are not lawbreakers. If Jesus doesn’t condemn repentant sinners, then neither should we. Affirmation: I am learning to judge myself before I ever think about judging others. I am not without sin so I don’t carry stones.  Reflection: What do you think Jesus wrote in the sand? He could have asked, “Where is the man?” Or he might have just been listing sins he knew the others were guilty of. What do you think? Then give some thought to how you feel about others who are doing some of the same things you do.

Prayer and Fasting Needed for Great Power

After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer [and fasting],        – Mark 9:28-29

Peter, James and John were just returning with Jesus from the Mount of Transfiguration. As they approached the other disciples they saw a crowd around them and they were arguing with the teachers of the law. When the people saw Jesus they gathered around him.

A man in the crowd called out to Jesus asking him to heal his son of demon possession. In asking Jesus to heal his son he said, “I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” Jesus delivered the boy of the demons then went indoors with his disciples.

Once alone with Jesus the disciples asked why they could not drive out the demons. Jesus told them that the power needed to cast out demons required a life committed to prayer and consecration. We have learned that without prayer and consecration there is very little power to minister effectively in the kingdom of God.

What caught my attention about this passage is that while Jesus, with Peter, James and John, were on the mountain having a spiritual revelation these other disciples were down in the valley disputing with religious leaders. Isn’t that so much like us today? We enjoy discussing the fine points of our doctrine more than we enjoy spending time in prayer seeking the face of God.

The message of this passage seems to be that we are to be vigilant in our pursuit of the kingdom. We must not become sidetracked by those who would argue the finer points of the law while the spiritual work of the kingdom goes undone.

There is a great work to be done in the kingdom and we must commit ourselves to always being prepared to deal with the evil which is around us. That means we must set aside specific times of prayer and consecration so that we are synchronized with what the Spirit of the Lord is trying to accomplish.

Prayer: Lord, help me to realize the need to have a consistent prayer life so that I will always be prepared to do kingdom work. In Jesus name. Amen.

Get the most you can out of the Daily God Walk. Below is the main point of the devotion followed by an affirmation of the main point and some food for thought for personal meditation and for use as discussion starters in small groups 

Principle: We must set aside specific times of prayer and consecration so that we are synchronized with what the Spirit of the Lord is trying to accomplish.

Affirmation:I seek to be in synch with what the Spirit of the Lord is trying to accomplish today and I am committed to living consecrated and prepared to serve in whatever way he leads.

 Reflection: Are you committed being saved or are you committed to serving in the kingdom? Some ask, “What is the difference?” Give it some thought and see if you can figure it out.

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Take Courage! Do Not Be Afraid

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” – Matthew 14:25-27

 You can almost see the look on the faces of the disciples as they saw the figure of a man walking toward them on the water. With the wind and the waves he probably seemed to hover over the water like one might imagine a ghost would do. It was enough to create a good deal of fear in them.

Most of us have been in a situation where what we saw was not in fact what was there to be seen and our imagination conjured up all kinds of things. Unfamiliar dark rooms are good for giving us some fearful imaginations.

On this night the wind was blowing, perhaps it was also cloudy, and the spray breaking off the wind driven waves made for bad visibility to start with, then they saw this image coming toward them. Was it just their imagination? Was it a ghost?

Then Jesus speaks, “Take courage! It is I.” How often in times of peril have we heard Jesus speak to our inner person, “Don’t be afraid, I am with you. It’s going to be alright.”

I was in a place like that some time ago. The doctor was doing an investigative procedure on my heart because he was convinced that I needed some serious work done. The earlier doctor’s report was causing me to have a few fearful days, but through it all I knew that Jesus was with me and it was going to be alright.

After the procedure the Doctor’s report changed dramatically. He wouldn’t have to take the more drastic measures he originally thought and my condition was much improved.

In my storm Jesus came walking on the water and said, “Take courage – it is I; don’t be afraid.”

Are you struggling? Listen; he is saying, “Do not be afraid, it is I”

Prayer:  Lord, sometimes I see things that scare me and I need grace to trust you in those scary situations. In Jesus name, amen.

Principle: During troublesome, when we are seeing things as man sees them and not as God sees, and fear is gripping our hearts, the Lord speaks peace to us saying, “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.”

 Affirmation: I have been through many storms and in each one I sense the presence of the Lord going with me. I will continue to trust him even in the roughest storm because I know he is there.

 Reflection: How do you handle the storm? Do you draw back in fear? Make a desperate plea for help? Or do you continue on your journey with the confidence that the Lord is there watching and caring for you?

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