The Seal

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Devotion: Ephesians 1:13-14

Almost every product we buy; has a seal that promises to yield satisfaction; guaranteeing it will fulfill the purpose for which it was created.

This past Sunday; we celebrated the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.  After rolling a very heavy stone in front of Jesus’ grave; we read how the Roman soldiers placed a seal on the tomb. Guards were stationed in front of the tomb guaranteeing no one could get out or in.   Praise God that sealed tomb could not hold our Jesus.

While studying Revelation 20; I was reminded of the demise of our arch enemy, Satan. He will be bound for one thousand years and cast into the bottomless pit, shut up and a seal will be set on him. He will not be able to come out of his pit.   He will no longer be able to deceive the nations; until the thousand years are finished.  After these things he will be released for a little while.

This seal will hold him in the bottomless pit for a thousand years. For a thousand years, the devil can no longer steal, kill or destroy God’s people.  He cannot come out of the pit where God places him. He can no longer torture the people God created for fellowship with Himself.

Those who trust in Christ; are sealed by God’s Holy Spirit of promise, for our day of redemption.  He is the guarantee, that we are His purchased possession.  Oh dear reader; can you comprehend the height and depth and breadth of His great love for you?  As  you have been kept by the seal of Holy Spirit of promise; You will be delivered into the kingdom of your Lord and of His Christ.

Prayer in Motion:

Thank You Jesus, for Your seal of guarantee. My life on earth is abundant and free, because of your shed blood and the Holy Spirit with whom You have left me.  When I die, I get to come to heaven and live with You forever and ever.  Amen

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Faith or Belief?

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Devotion: Romans 5:2-5

“I believe it’s going to rain.”  “I believe my team will win.”  “I believe I’ll get a good doctor’s report.” “I have faith in this platform, that it will hold me up.” “I have faith my neighbor will watch over my house while I’m away.”  “I have faith my job will be there for me tomorrow.”

Is there any real difference in faith and belief?

Belief is an opinion or a conviction.  We are convicted to the core of our being that something is true.   Faith according to Hebrews 11:1; is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  So can we “hope” something into being?  Many name it and claim it preachers seem to think so.  If that were true, no one would ever die.  No accidents would ever happen.  Cancer would never take anyone’s life.

It is by faith we have a relationship with Jesus.  We believe in God but even the demons believe in God.  They do not have a relationship with Him.

Will your beliefs hold you in the calm of the worst storms?  There are many scriptures about faith and belief in both the Old and New Testament.

Our faith is built on the solid rock that is Jesus.  That Rock never moves.  Our beliefs can waver; depending upon our circumstances, but our faith represents our God confidence. You choose to act in accordance with truth; despite the fact that you can’t see what the outcome will be.  The act of faith is what becomes a shield of protection to our enemy’s attacks.

Dr. Tony Evans made a very powerful statement: “Faith is acting like it is so, even when it is not so, so that it might be so, simply because God said so.”  God said it.  Your faith and beliefs must be based upon His Word.

Do your beliefs rest upon your circumstances or are they grounded in your faith?  They must be grounded in your faith; other wise they will be like a roller coaster ride, up one day and down the next.

Faith and belief must go hand in hand.  One affects the other.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, I believe in You by faith.  Although i have not seen You; I believe You exist.  I believe You died for me and rose again.  I’ve trusted in You as my Lord and Savior.

 

Mystery

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Devotion: 1 Corinthians 15:51

In Washington’s Arlington cemetery, there are numerous graves marked “unknown soldier”. No one but God, knows the name behind the men who lie there.  How many sons, grandsons, brothers or uncles remain unidentified?  All that is known to their family members, is they died fighting in a battle or war.  The name on the grave site remains a mystery.

Did you know there is a name for God that is reserved for eternity?  It is known only to Him.  To us, it will be a mystery until we get to heaven.  There will be a day in heaven; when we will receive the revelation of this Name. I discovered in my Bible Study Fellowship Revelation notes,  When believers get to heaven, “We will know God in infinitely greater proportions than we can now know Him in our finite nature.”  Unknown during our earthly journey; we will know this Name, when we get to heaven.

Many things about God are a mystery.  The gospel is a mystery to those who are perishing.  We receive Jesus by faith.  Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.”  We can know the One True God, whom we have not seen.  We can hear His voice through His Word.

2 Peter 3:9 tells us, “It is not His will for any man to perish without Him.”  He draws people to Himself by the power of His Holy Spirit.  He will use your witness of the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ; to bring people to salvation.  That is a mystery. Many have not yet believed in this gospel mystery.

It takes child like faith to believe.  Oh dear reader, have you accepted Jesus Christ into your heart?  If not, I pray today will be the day of your salvation.  Please do not delay.

Confess that you are a sinner.  Repent of your sins. Psalm 103:12 states;  “He will remove them from you as far as the east is from the west and remember them no more.”  FORGIVEN …Truly forgiven.  Invite Jesus to come into your heart and you will be blessed with the gift of abundant life on earth as well as eternal life in heaven when you die.  God loves you with an everlasting love. He has great plans for your life and longs for you to live eternally with Him.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, thank you for revealing the mystery of the gospel. The Name above all names, Jesus, brings salvation to the lost; as well as joy and peace to those who are saved. Your mysterious Name will be revealed to us in heaven.  Precious Lord,  thank you for this most precious gift of eternal life.  I love You Jesus.  Amen

Two Kingdom’s Collide

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Devotion:  Revelation 11:15-18

Can you imagine hearing the Hallelujah chorus; straight out of heaven?  It will sound like nothing our earthly ears have ever heard.  It will be greater than Handel’s Messiah! Finally, the time for judgement and rewards has arrived.  “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.” These words will cause the twenty four elders who sit before God on their thrones; to fall flat on their faces in worship.

He who holds the whole world in His hands, who supremely reigns forever and ever will judge the living and the dead.  God will reward HIs servants, the prophets and the saints; all those who fear His great name.  He will destroy all those who have persecuted His people and destroyed the earth.  A day of reckoning is coming for those who have not feared and revered the Lord Jesus.

Wrongs will be made right.  Those who were persecuted; will see the kingdom of their Lord and of His Christ.  The blood they spilled; will be justified by God Himself.  God said, “Blessed are the persecuted; for they shall see the kingdom of God.” Hallelujah! Many who died horrific deaths will be justified.  They will finally see the blessing of standing up for their Jesus.

As earth and heaven’s kingdom collide; all will see God’s kingdom come; His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The Lord’s prayer will finally be fulfilled.  The two kingdoms shall be as one; when a new heaven and a new earth are in unity.

Read Revelation 19:1-8, “the elders, living creatures and great multitude worship God.  They begin to praise Him for HIs righteous triumph in judgment and His reign, and they rejoice in the wedding of the Lamb.”

Prayer in Motion:

Lord , You will reign forever and ever.  Your kingdom is coming. Your will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven.  My Lord and my God; I love You!  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

 

He Arose

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Devotion: Mark 16:1-6,9-14

Can you imagine?  Mary Magdalene, Christ’s mother Mary and Salome came to anoint the dead body of Jesus.  Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

As women will do, they talked about how in the world they would get that sealed stone rolled away from the tomb?  It was locked in place and tied down.  It would take a number of very strong men to move that stone.

The three were aghast; at what their eyes beheld.  Stone rolled away.  The body of their Jesus was GONE.  A young man clothed in a long white robe, sat on the right side of where Jesus had lain.  They were mortified.  Where could He be?  The young man said to them, “Do not be alarmed.  You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  He is risen.  He is not here.  See the place where they laid Him.”

He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, the one out of whom He had cast seven demons.  She went to tell the disciples as they mourned and wept.  According to verse 11; They did not believe. A second time He appeared to two of them; as they walked. They went to tell the rest; however, they did not believe them either.

Later, He appeared to the eleven disciples. Jesus rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him, after He had risen.  Hummmm.  I wonder why they wouldn’t believe one another?  Isn’t that strange?  I would not doubt the words of my close friends.

Do you suppose it was the grueling torture and slow death they had witnessed?  No one had ever come back from the dead before.  Why did they forget the words of the One who had always told them the truth? He was risen just as He said.  Had they not seen Him perform miracles?  Is anything too hard for the Lord?

Sweet old hymn comes to mind.

“Low in the grave He lay.  Jesus my Savior.  Waiting the coming day.  Jesus my Lord.  Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph ore His foes.  He arose a victor from the dark domain and He lives forever with His saints to reign.  He arose.  He arose.  Hallelujah!  Christ arose. “

Prayer in Motion:

Hallelujah, I serve a Risen Savior.  You are not dead.  You are the One and Only, true and Living God.  I worship You in Spirit and in truth.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

Breathed His Last

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Devotion: Mark 15:37-39

Last words.  “My God; My God, why have You forsaken Me?” “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  “It is finished!” No more suffering.  No more mocking.  Earthly struggle ended. The temple veil ripped right down the middle; in the middle of the day. The earth shook and all was dark for three hours. Total darkness. Not a ray of light anywhere.  Light of the world GONE. But not forever.

Mourners mourning. Sobbing over the loss of Jesus.  How could this be?  God Incarnate dead? Body begged for; by a kingdom seeker named Joseph.  Body wrapped.  Carried to fresh rock hewn grave.  What?  The Rock placed inside of a rock?

Stone rolled in front of rock grave.  Tomb sealed.  No way could anyone get out or in.  Guards stationed. Would all this security matter?

The One who had breathed life into man in the beginning.  Is it possible; breath had gone out of God?  The One who was and is and is to come.   The One who now lives in us.  No breath in “The Great I Am.”

Holy from the foundation of the earth.  Holy in life!  Holy in death. Holy in resurrection! We can’t be holy because in us is no good thing.  He is pure holiness.  Because God is holy; He can only look at us through the shed blood of His perfect, sinless Son.

His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. His kingdom is here. He lives inside of His bride.

On the third day, He arose.  Our Jesus inhaled earth’s air.  Death no longer had a hold on Him.  First born of the dead!  He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose.

Prayer in Motion:

Breath of heaven; I bless Your Holy Name.  You are with me Lord; both now and forever more.  You laid down Your life; that I might be set free.  You rescue the perishing and care for the dying. Through Your horrific persecution and death; I have abundant and eternal life.  I will never get over Your great love for one so undeserving.  I love You Lord.  In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

Crucify Him

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Devotion:  Luke 23:13-24

The mocking and contempt continued. Vehemently continued. Jesus answered nothing. Herod placed a gorgeous robe on His back and returned Him to Pilate.  These two rulers who had been at odds with each other, became friends on this day of Jesus’ ill treatment.

After having examined our Lord, Pilate said he found no fault in Him and neither did Herod.  Christ had done nothing deserving of death. Wanting to release Jesus; three times Pilate sought immunity from the crowd. Louder and louder they shouted, “Crucify Him; Crucify Him.”  Rather than releasing Jesus; the crowd asked that a murderer named Barabbas be released.

Our Jesus, hanging between two criminals; said in verse 34, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Guiltless, sinless Son of God; asking His Father, to forgive those who were putting Him to death.

The mocking continued from the mouths of the people and the rulers.  They jeered, in verse 35“He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”  The soldiers mocked Him in verse 36“If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”  One of the criminals who was hanging beside of Christ, blasphemed Him saying in verse 39; “If You are the Christ, save yourself and us.”

To the very end of His life; Christ took on the words, the punishment due to us.  The criminal on the other side of Christ, asked the blasphemer in verses 40-41, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds, but this Man has done nothing wrong.”

On the cross, this sinner asked his Savior to remember him when He came into His kingdom.(vs. 42)  Jesus assured him that he would be in Paradise with Him. (vs. 43)

Prayer in Motion:

Oh Lord God, forgive me for all my sins.  They are ever before me. In me is no good thing, except Your Holy Spirit.  Thank You for saving a wretch like me.  I once was lost but now I am found. Thank You for dying in my place.  In Your Name I pray.  Amen