Urgency in the Lord’s Business

Daily Devotional: Day 157

“And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:42, NKJV).

Peter and John had been arrested and brought before the Jewish Sanhedrin. Following the wise counsel of Gamaliel, a prominent member of the council, the Apostles were released. But they were commanded not to speak in the name of Jesus again (cf. Acts 5:34-40). Two verses later, in Acts 5:42, the Bible says, “daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” Look carefully at the Bible’s choice of words. It says the Apostles did not cease teaching and preaching. They maintained a daily, incessant routine of speaking about Christ. The key word and phrase are “daily” and “they did not cease.” 

The Bible is pointing us to the necessity of maintaining a sense of urgency when it comes to teaching and preaching about Christ. Observing the Apostles, you notice that there was a sense of urgency about their attitude. The fact is, they understood the signs of the times. They knew that knowledge of salvation is an offensive weapon in the kingdom of God. Our spiritual warfare entails an urgent call to strengthen believers, bring light to those walking in darkness and rescue the perishing. This is a daily call which requires a daily response.

Even satan knows that the stakes are high, and there isn’t a day he goes to rest. Revelation 12:12 comes to mind: “Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” (ESV, emphasis added).

Each new day counts. We, therefore, don’t have the luxury of resting on our oars or being on the defensive. The only way for us to rest is to do the Master’s business daily. And, the only way to win is to be on the offensivearmed with the Word of God. Each day is an opportunity to make Christ known in our homes, in our relationships, on the streets and at the workplace. We can do this, because the Holy Spirit is with us. 

Grace and peace from our Lord Jesus Christ be with you today. Amen.

For further study: Matthew 28:16-20

You Can Make the devil Flee from You

Daily Devotional: Day 148

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7, KJV). 

Live your life with one purpose in mind: to please God in all things. This is important for many reasons. But let’s focus on just one today.

You can easily make the devil flee from you. It’s not complicated. You don’t need to be a guru or have any special religious titles. You don’t have to recite some special prayers or have some special anointing over your life. All you have to do is to be obedient to the Lord. Once you do that, you don’t have to worry about the devil.  That is the beauty of God’s Word. It is simple.

The truth is, satan is scared of people who live in obedience to the Lord. Therefore, your ability to spot and overcome the wiles of the devil depends on your submission to God. In other words, your power to resist satan flows from your submission to God. If, however, you resist the Holy Spirit, it would be impossible to resist the devil, because resistance to God weakens your ability to withstand the devil.

 But you can resist the devil easily and make him flee from you. 

 When you resist satan, it means you oppose everything he stands for, including deeds of darkness. As you do this, you’ll inevitably become a threat to the devil, and he will have no choice but to run from you. If you submit to God, the devil is no match for you. Remember this: Those who are faithful to the Lord pose the biggest threat to the kingdom of satan. God wants you to have complete victory over the devil. Start submitting to God today and notice the flow of divine power in your life.

The peace of the Lord be upon you today! Amen.

For further study: 1 Peter 5:5-11

Make the devil Flee from You

Daily Devotional: Day 130

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7, KJV).

Your blessing as a Christian consists in submitting to God. This means to subordinate your will to God’s will – as Jesus did. You recall what Jesus said in John 6:38: “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (emphasis added). If you wish to be like Jesus, submit your will to God’s. Let God do with you whatever He pleases. Live your life with one purpose in mind: to please God in all things. This is important for many reasons. But let’s focus on just one today.

Your ability to spot and overcome the wiles of the devil depends on your submission to God. In other words, your power to resist satan flows from your submission to God. If you resist God – through disobedience – it would be impossible to resist the devil, because those who live in disobedience are vulnerable and can easily be exploited by the adversary.

 But you can resist the devil easily.

To resist the devil means to fiercely oppose everything he represents and to have nothing to do with deeds of darkness. As you do this, you’ll become a threat to the devil, and he will have no choice but to flee from you. If you submit to God, the devil is no match for you. Remember this: Those who – through obedience – are faithful to the Lord pose the biggest threat to satan. God wants you to have victory over the devil. Start today by submitting to God.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be upon you today! Amen.

Take time to pray to the Father about today’s message.

For further study: 1 Peter 5:5-11

Power Over Temptation

Daily Devotional: Day 63

 “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13; NKJV).

God has given you power over every temptation. Being faithful and good, he doesn’t tempt anyone (See James 1:13).  It’s unwise to go looking for temptation, because that’s contrary to the will of God. However, we’ll deal with temptation at some point even if we didn’t ask for it. Every temptation gives us the opportunity to choose God’s will over our own will; to defeat sin and prove our faithfulness. Each time we overcome temptation, we grow stronger. Today’s Scripture tells us that temptation shouldn’t feel strange; it’s common to all people. Then it adds that God is faithful and  will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability. These are comforting words, for every normal Christian hates to be tempted. 

This truth is so important, because when we face temptation, it can feel like there’s no way out or we’re going to be crushed. But the Word of God calms our fears by assuring us that no temptation is beyond our ability. Additionally, the Bible says that with every temptation, God provides a means of escape. This means that you don’t have to fall for temptation. God has given you victory for every temptation you will ever face. No matter what comes your way, ask God to show you the means to escape; for it is not the will of God that you be defeated by temptation. As the Bible says in Romans 12:21, do not be overcome by evil; rather, conquer evil with good. Stay close to the Father’s heart. And he will show you the path of life.

Prayer:

Father, you are faithful and your love endures forever. Thank you for giving me victory over every temptation. Deliver me from every attack of the Enemy. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For further study: Luke 4:1-13

Worship the Lord Alone

Daily Devotional: Day 43

“And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine” (Luke 4:6-7, KJV)

Satan’s goal hasn’t changed; he wants to be worshiped. He’s determined to usurp the throne of God and get people to worship him, in place of the one true God. And he can get people to worship him directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously. Today’s scripture recalls Jesus’ victory over the Devil’s temptations during his forty-day fast. In this instance, the Devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in a moment. Then, observe what happens next. He promises to give Jesus all the power and glory of the world, on one condition: If Jesus would worship him. The Greek word for worship used here is proskuneo. It means, among other things, to fall prostrate, to bow or kneel in reverence. Jesus, of course, rejected Satan’s suggestion.

However, the Enemy’s statement reveals much about his intentions. He controls the glory and power of the world. The words “glory” and “power” used in this context refer, not to the physical universe or creation, but the systems of the world: the materialistic and consumerist culture, the exaltation of self, the insatiable craving for attention and fame, greed, corrupt financial systems, the unholy glamor of the entertainment industry, ungodly systems of education, systems of injustice and oppression, anti-Christ ideologies, false religions, and evil political powers who together dominate and influence world affairs. Through the glory and power of these systems, Satan rules the world in unrighteousness.

The Devil gets many people to compromise their conscience as well as their moral and religious values for the sake of worldly power and the approval of people. Jesus knew this trap and avoided it. Even today, some “Christians” have fallen for the charm of worldly power and glory. But the truth is, when you choose worldly power and glamor over the truth of God’s Word, you become a worshiper of power and glory. And the moment you worship power and glory, you inevitably become a worshiper of the Devil. This is what Satan wanted Jesus to do.

Recall, moreover, what happened in the Garden of Eden. Satan enticed Eve with a supposed power to make her and Adam like God. Given the choice between power and God, Eve chose power. Adam, too, when presented with the choice between Eve and God’s truth, chose his wife, i.e. he chose to obey his wife rather than obey the commandment of God his Maker. To overcome this and other temptations of the flesh, we must follow Jesus’ counsel, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Pray:

Dear Father, you’re all I want. In Christ, you have given me your own glorious life and power. In the Name of Jesus, I worship you alone and I refuse to bow to anything that is not you. Amen.

For further study: Daniel 3:1-30