Archive for the ‘Devotionals’ Category

Daily Devotion: TAKING OFF THE GRAVE CLOTHES

John 11:44 b NIV 
“…Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

When it comes to the transforming power of God working in someone’s life, God often uses people to bring about divine life-change. The story of Lazarus in John 11 illustrates it was the power of Jesus’ prayer and spoken word that resurrected Lazarus from the dead – but the disciples played a role in this miracle too.

Lazarus was bound hand and foot with grave clothes and his face had been wrapped with a cloth during his time in the tomb. When he arose from his death and came out of the tomb, Jesus called on the disciples to help in the transformation process. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” The disciples needed to help Lazarus. Likewise, we all have a part to play in the lives of those around us.

God has done some incredible things around us during the fast. Could it be that someone around you is still walking around in grave clothes? What do you need to help them let go of?

Who in your world is still walking around in grave clothes? Think about friends and family or those around you who may not know God.  What part has God called you to play in the life change He wants to bring?

 

Source: awake21.org

Daily Devotion: SPOKEN WORD

John 11:43 NIV
“When He had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

The story of Lazarus’ death and resurrection reflects the power of Jesus’ spoken Word. He already knew in His heart the miracle that was about to take place, but His words spoke the miracle into existence.

While prayer is our declaration of our dependence on God, our spoken words can be the manifestation of what’s happening in our hearts. There is power in our spoken words – whether they are used to build up or tear down. It is so important to keep our hearts filled with the truth from God’s Word so that our words will produce good fruit.

As you seek God in prayer ask Him for the words and discernment that may help someone today. Pray that your words would be encouraging, edifying and aligned with the truth of God’s word. Building others up around us with our words allows us to be God’s instrument –a vessel for His good work.

As God continues to fill us through this season of prayer and fasting, He wants to take what is now in our hearts and share it with others.  How can you use the power of your spoken words to speak God’s truth in the lives of others?

 

Source: awake21.org

Daily Devotion: ALIGNMENT WITH HEAVEN

Matthew 6:10 KJV
“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”

We have all heard the phrase, “just like heaven on earth.” When Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, in Matthew 6:9-13, He provided some insight into what “heaven on earth” might look like. In reality, heaven is a place where God’s will reigns supreme. If we want to have a taste of heaven on earth, then our prayer should be like Jesus’: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done…” The purest motivation for our prayers is that God will be glorified and that His will would reign supreme in our lives, just like it does in heaven.

On a more personal level, we can pray that His will be unhindered in our own lives. Rather than imposing His will upon us, God gives us the choice to surrender to it with trust and gladness. As we yield to the Lordship of Christ over every area of our lives, we come into agreement with Him. We experience alignment with heaven and position ourselves to taste a little bit of heaven here on earth. His will then becomes what we desire and the thing we most seek after. We enter into the incredible adventure of participating in God’s plan to move His kingdom forward on the earth. This is where we find the most fulfilling and joyous life, but it all starts with one, personal “yes, Lord” on our part.

What does God’s will “on earth as it is in heaven” look like in your life?  Do the desires of your heart line up with the will of God? As we seek God together, let’s pray as Jesus taught us, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.”

 

Source: awake21.org

Daily Devotion: CULTIVATING SPIRITUAL HUNGER

Mark 1:12-13
“Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. 13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.”

Even Jesus disconnected from the world to fast and pray. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke speak of Jesus in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights. They also describe other times Jesus pulled away from the demands of the crowds, His ministry and even His closest friends to pray.

There are times that we, too, need to pull away from the things of the world and focus on God. “The things of the world” can certainly include more than just food. In fact, in our world, it is more likely to be television, movies, Facebook, Twitter, cell phones and internet that keep us “tuned in” to the world. None of these things are wrong in and of themselves, but they are avenues for a mental and spiritual “crowd” to gather around us and drown out the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit.

Fasting is a means of disconnecting from the distractions of daily life and consciously choosing to bring God into greater focus. Giving up physical nourishment is the first step in engaging that process. If you think about it, though, we nourish our souls as well as our bodies. We do so through reading, talking, socializing, playing and leisure. When we fill our souls up with all those things, we don’t feel a hunger for God.

During this time of fasting, we are sure to feel physical hunger, but let’s be intentional about cultivating spiritual hunger as well. Let’s draw away from the crowds, and lay aside for a season the activities we use to nourish our souls. Instead let’s allow ourselves to enter a state of spiritual hunger – a hunger for righteousness. Jesus said that being spiritually hungry is a blessed state, because we can be sure of being filled with food that truly satisfies our deepest needs. (Matthew 5:6)

During this time, you will find that being still before the Lord will set you in a place of increased strength, peace and hunger for God.  Are you disconnected from the things that nourish your body and soul?  What do you need to deny yourself so that this can be a powerful time in your life?

 

Source: awake21.org

Daily Devotion: PRAYING BOLDLY

I Kings 18:36 KJV 
“And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant…”

The sacrifice referenced above was a declaration that Elijah was a servant of the Most High God. Elijah belonged to God, and he represented God to the people. However, Elijah’s boldness was not a result of who he was; it was the result of knowing God!.

As children of God under the new covenant of Jesus, we don’t have to be timid or fearful when coming to God in prayer. We can approach God boldly. The Amplified Bible puts it like this:

“Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].” Hebrews 4:16 AMP

It’s hard to imagine taking a fearless, confident, bold attitude when coming before God in prayer. Yet this is exactly what we are admonished to do! God has already settled the issue of our access to Him, but we can be assured, our access is not because of our own righteousness. It’s because of what Jesus did on the cross. We can come to the throne in such outrageous boldness because Jesus was outrageously righteous! When we pray, we come to God in the authority of Jesus’ name, and we can be confident that we will find grace, mercy and perfectly-timed help.

Do you approach God with timidity of confidence? Seek God boldly today knowing you are fully forgiven and Jesus has made you righteous. When you approach God in prayer, seek a fresh revelation of who He is in your life.

 

Source: awake21.org

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