2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Did you catch that? He said all who live godly lives are going to suffer persecution. Not just the supersaints, not just the missionaries in hostile lands - but ALL.
If you're going to live for God, you're going to run into persecution somewhere along the line. The devil's going to make sure of it!
Now I'm not saying that to frighten you or to depress you. I'm saying it because I want you to be prepared.
When you're wise to the strategies of the devil, it's harder for him to use them successfully on you to confuse you and get you off track.
2 Corinthians 10:4, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." So stay armed and ready for Satan's attack. Then whenever and however it comes, it won't bring your life to a halt or even slow you down.
That's especially important right now because we're living in the last days. The devil's time is drawing short. He is desperate. He is going to do everything he can to stop the Church. But Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church!
Remember the more we grow to be like Jesus and the more God's glory is revealed through our lives, the bigger threat we are to Satan's kingdom. Jesus said, "Rejoice and be glad at such a time, and exult and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is rich and great and strong and intense and abundant in heaven" (Luke 6:23)
So when persecution comes your way, and you know it will, rejoice and be glad. Take the Jesus cure and begin to leap and jump and praise God! There is no way persecution will hurt you if you do that. I've tried it and it works.
Confession: I cannot help what people think about me. It is more important to be concerned about what God thinks about me. He calls me faithful
Prov. 13:21 Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.
Satan has had us in a poverty mentality so long that it's tough for us to grasp just how intensely God really does desire to prosper us - even though He's demonstrated that desire again and again.
Take Abraham, for example. God made him an extremely wealthy man. Genesis 13:2 says he was rich in cattle, in silver and in gold. Then of course, there was Solomon. The Bible says he surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.
God's servant Job possessed such great wealth that he was called the greatest of all the men of the East. That was before Satan put him through the wringer. Afterward, God blessed him with more than twice what Satan had stolen. The problem is, just the thought of the kind of wealth God gave to those men scares most believers today. They're afraid it would destroy them.
God has said that "the prosperity of fools shall destroy them" (Prov. 1:32). But that doesn't mean you should avoid being prosperous. It means you should avoid being a fool!
God has prospered Tami and I so much, that it is unbelievable, I thank God all the time.
But we have been faithful with our giving. You have to sow the right seeds. We have tried not to be foolish.
I challenge you, this week, to go to Proverbs and find out for yourself what God says about the characteristics of a fool. Let the Holy Spirit search your heart. If you see ways in which you've been a fool, repent and make a firm decision not to be caught in that trap again.
Let the Word of God inspire you to leave foolishness behind and stir within you the faith to reach out and receive what you, as a redeemed child of the living God, have a divine right to - not the curse of poverty, but the blessing of prosperity!
Confession: I will reward me because I am not foolish and I am a giver
1 John 1:3-4,7 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleans us from all sin
If you have fellowship with God, and you're walking in the light as He is in the light, then prayer becomes one of the greatest assets you have inherited in Christ.
We talked about this on Sunday: Prayer is joining forces with God the Father. It is being in fellowship with Him. It is carrying out His will upon the earth.
We are suppose to do His will on earth as it is in heaven, Remember that prayer?
Prayer should never be a problem or a burden to you. It should be a joy! Prayer, "real prayer," won't take anything out of you; it will always put something into you!
Because you are in fellowship with God when you pray. So develop your daily prayer life and see what God will do for you!
Confession: I have fellowshipped with my Father in prayer. And my joy is full! I fellowship with God. I commune with God, I talk with Him, and I listen to Him, that I may carry out His will upon the earth.
Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
God has come to lead us out of ourselves into HIMSELF and to take us from the ordinary into the extraordinary for the human into the divine and make us after the image of His Son.
Joshua 1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
The word Courage means the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc without fear and to be brave.
When we are courageous we may suffer. But being courageous takes bravery.
Courage is one of man’s needs since fear is one on mans enemies.
Courage is a trait of strong character. Moral courage allows men to have the power to stand against all forms of persecution or ridicule and criticism.
Too many Christians are unsuccessful in living a steadfast life for God. The word steadfast means immovable, constant or enduring. They are afraid of being belittled, humiliation or being a laughingstock, and mistreatment. They even hide the fact they are Christians. They keep it quiet and they become secret service Christians.
I refuse to hide my beliefs and I will stand strong for Christ. He hung on the cross for me and the least I can do is to live for HIM.
Don't look and act like the world, come out and be ye separate.
How about you? Have Courage and be all that God has called you to be.
Ephesians 3:19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
Did you know that God wants us to think and dream big. This scripture says God wants to do more for us than you could ask or imagine. Wow! Think about that, meditate on that. So believe God for big things and see if He will do more. I look at what God has done for me and my family I can’t thank Him enough. It causes me to want to praise Him all the day long.
God rewards those who seek after Him. Hebrew 11:6
So peruse God and see if He won’t knock your socks off
Confession: I will seek first the Kingdom of God and He will add everything to my life.
Prov. 3:6-7 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
2 Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of [Satan's] strong holds;
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
Verse four says "weapons," plural. What are some of these weapons?
Verse five lists one of them as casting down imaginations or reasonings. We are told to cast down imaginations or reasonings that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God.
If you want to walk by faith, the Word of God must be superior to natural human knowledge, whether that knowledge is yours, mine, or someone else's.
Remember, Proverbs 3:7 says, "Be not wise in thine own eyes...."
You see, if the Word is to work for you, it must be to you as superior to all human reasonings, because human knowledge sense knowledge is always limited. The mind learns through the physical senses; it's trained that way.
Therefore, no one has perfect human knowledge. But the Word of God is perfect. If you're going to walk by faith, you're going to have to settle on the integrity of the Word of God.
Confession: I cast down everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. Instead of following my own natural human reasoning’s, I follow the Word of God. And I continue to walk on in faith.
Proverbs 4:18 The path of the righteous gets brighter and brighter.
Discover the seeds of greatness God has placed inside of you by reading the Word.
Where you are today is not where you're meant to stay. No matter what you've been through or what you "think" you are capable of doing--God has more for you, and He is ready to take you higher.
Learn how to do your part to stir up your faith, let go of the labels and limitations in your life, and get ready to have a new mindset" You haven't seen your best days yet!
Let’s walk by faith and not by sight. Let’s believe God for the greater things in life. He loves you and has empowered you to do great things.
Confession: I can do all things in Christ. Greater is God that is in me than the devil is in the world.
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.