For the month of October I'd like you to carefully ponder, meditate on, and utter these words of Jesus, written in red below. Make it a personal confession by adding "I will" to Jesus' statements. For instance, "I will bless those who curse me and pray for those who despitefully use me...," etc.
Take a few minutes to do that right now, and when you're done, you may have some new revelation about yourself and about our Lord. Write down those things and drop me a line--I'd like to hear what the Holy Spirit is revealing to you.
I can tell you that I find this passage hard to read and even harder to do. But if Jesus said we can do it, we must. But, oh my! My flesh doesn't agree, and when my mind gets involved, I don't want to do what this says to do! Who does?
So today, as you soak in these words and the revelation you get from Holy Spirit, pay attention to your attitude toward other people. Do something incredible for someone who has treated you harshly or unfairly. Don't worry about what the person's response might be; just do it anyway and see what God does. If you obey these instructions, even though it's hard, it will be like planting seeds of blessing. Just see if what you sow comes back to you. It will! God will see to it.
Are you up for the challenge? Let's do what the Word says to do! --PL
Luke 6:28-36 (KJV): Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
John 15:5 "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."
Abiding in Jesus isn't something that comes automatically to any believer. It's a lifestyle that involves discipline and effort. We have to choose to give ourselves to our union with Him--to give Him first place, where our attention is concerned.
If we want to grow spiritually, if we want to walk in power and in fellowship with the Lord, we'll have to spend the time it takes to know Him. That's not something we can do for a while and then forget about either. We must continue in it every day. For the moment we stop moving closer to Jesus, we always start drifting away.
You see, here in this natural world you're surrounded by ungodliness. You live in a body that is totally natural. Unless you purposely counter that with daily prayer and time in the Word, your body and your mind will simply give in to the pressures around you and go the way of the world.
Right now, make a decision to give yourself to the things of God. Focus your attention on the Lord. Surround yourself with His Word. Listen to preaching and teaching tapes while you're getting dressed, driving to work, preparing dinner, working on your car, exercising, cleaning house and when you go to bed. Listen to the Word of God anytime, anywhere!
Confession: I walk with Him and I talk with Him and I read the Daily Bread and make my confession every day.
I Corinthians 13: 4-8 "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
Do you know how the world is going to know that God loves them? Through you.
God has to use His sons and daughters to express who is is and how Much He loves them. We are His Body. We are His heart, His hands, His feet.
Romans 5:17 "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ."
Rom. 10:10 "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness."
Most people think righteousness is a state of spiritual development which you grow into by right living. The Bible teaches right living, true. But right living, itself, will never make you righteous.
If it did, you wouldn't need Jesus!
Righteousness means rightness, or right standing with God. Righteousness is a gift. A gift is something you receive now--whole and complete. A fruit, on the other hand, is a state of spiritual development, something which grows and develops. Thank God, we can grow spiritually; but we cannot grow in righteousness. In fact, you won't be any more righteous when you get to Heaven than you are right now.
How did you get to be righteous? You were born that way! Righteousness comes through the New Birth. With your heart you believed unto righteousness. When you were born again, you received the life and nature of God the Father. God's nature makes you righteous!
Confession: I have righteousness. It was given to me. I believed unto righteousness, and I received it at my New Birth. I have right standing with God. I am righteous.
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Did you know that there is no "thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" without you?
You are that open door on earth for God to be seen on earth. He needs you to act like Christ!
Hug someone, shake someone's hand, feed someone, open the door for someone. Do two or three acts of kindness to and for someone today.
Ephesians 2:10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
We believers didn't make ourselves who and what we are - God did. So be careful about passing judgment on God's creation.
Christians who think they are being humble, sometimes say, "I'm so unworthy." But God didn't make any unworthy new creations. I'm not unworthy, and you're not unworthy either. To say that you are unworthy is not humility; it is ignorance of the Word of God, and it gives place to the devil to dominate you.
We are God's workmanship! When you belittle yourself, you are actually complaining about what God has done. You're belittling His workmanship.
"Created in Christ Jesus," our scripture says. Quit looking at yourself from the natural standpoint. Look at yourself "in Jesus." You'll look much better. You see, God the Father doesn't see you like anyone else sees you. He sees you in Christ!
Confession: I am God's workmanship. He made me a new creation. He created me in Christ Jesus. I see myself as God sees me. I see myself in Christ.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."
We are commanded to pray for our country and our leaders. But having prayed, God expects us to act.
The elections in the United States are vital to the future of this nation. Our country is in the midst of a spiritual outpouring, and it's vitally important that the right people be elected. We must see to it.
Don't wait until the next election is upon us before you start seeking God for whom to vote. Begin to pray now so that the news media and other voices from every corner cannot influence you and cannot draw you in a direction away from the Spirit of God. Pray so that you won't be influenced by natural reactions and natural responses to cleverly-designed commercials and ideas.
Start praying now about the next round of elections. Whether they are small, local elections or major national elections, make them a part of every prayer you pray. Then thank the Spirit of God for His wisdom concerning for whom to vote. Thank Him for giving you His wisdom about what to say and when to say it to others. Thank Him for giving you wisdom to declare the Name of Jesus and declare that this shall be a God-indwelt, God-ordained, God-overseen administration.
So register. Pray. Vote. Then stand up and be counted by the power of the living God.
Go into the world and preach the gospel. That is the great commission to all believers. I can not stress enough the power to witness and bring people to Christ.
The time is getting short until the return of the Lord. We don't know how much time we have left down here on earth. Let's make it a point to go and get people saved.
Wherever you go, "witness" the good news. Not the bad news, but the good news. We don't want anyone to go the hell because we were to shy or to busy to "witness."
"Witness" to everyone. Challenge yourself to win someone to the Lord every week. Seek and save that which is lost. Be the light; bear fruit. Be Christ to someone. Amen.
Romans 8:24-25 "For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."
According to Romans, hope is actually looking at something that you can't see. How do you do that? You do it by looking at the promises of God in the Word until with your inner eyes—the eyes of your spirit - a picture is formed.
I finally had to admit that as long as my inner image of myself was not what I wanted it to be, my outer self was going to match it. Remember, it's faith that changes things, and without the inner image of hope, faith cannot work.
I was thin when I was growing up, so I started to work out and see myself as big and strong.
I worked hard and trained hard and I started to get bigger and bigger and stronger and stronger.
It works the same way in the spirit. You have to read and read and pray and spend time with the Holy Spirit and you will start to see yourself big and strong in faith.
This is not something you can do overnight. It takes time. Especially if the inner image you're changing has been there for years. How you look on the outside may reflect how you look on the inside. But you can do it. Go to the Word of God today and begin to change the images inside you. Change them from images of despair to images of hope. Get a blueprint in your heart and your faith will build on it!
1 Cor. 6:19-20 "Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.
This is a good way to minister to the sick. I like to do it like this, pray first: "Father, this woman or man is Your child. She or he belongs to You. It's not right for the devil to dominate her. You laid her sickness and disease on Jesus, for it is written, '…Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses'" (Matt. 8:17).
Then say, "Satan, this man or woman's body is a temple of the Holy Ghost. It belongs to God, and you have no right to trespass on God's property. Remove yourself from God's property!"
Then talk to the person: "Satan has oppressed your body with sickness, but God has made provision for your deliverance. Your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost, and you are commanded to glorify God in your body. Can God be glorified in your body by the devil dominating it? No. Therefore, stand against this sickness with me. We demand that Satan stop trespassing on God's property!"
Confession: I will honor God and bring glory to Him in my body.
The Daily Bread
A devotional to equip, exhort, motivate and feed your spirit.
Pastor Larry Smoot is Senior Pastor of Church on the Rock in Stafford County, Virginia.