If Anyone Desires – Matthew 19:16-30

Jesus was not issuing a universal command when He told this man to sell everything he had and give it to the poor. However, He was establishing an unalterable principle. His statement exposed the man’s weakness. His wealth was more important to him than God. Sometimes in our lives we place thing at a greater importance than we do others. If we are not careful, these things or people could become more important to us than following God. See even though he claimed to have kept other commandments, he violated the first and greatest commandment (Ex. 20:3; Mt. 22:36-40). Willingly following God means willingly accepting His directions and instructions for your life. What is preventing or hindering you from being fully committed to Christ?

PRAYER – Jesus, in this situation I have nothing to offer of my own ingenuity or strength; I need your wisdom and power as badly as I need the air that I breathe.  As I move forward may I do so in desperate dependence on You every second.  I joyfully and unreservedly confess that I am inadequate to answer Your call, in fact, I can do absolutely nothing without You.  I’m not able to handle this situation on my own and any good that results must come solely through You.  I simply ask You right now to flow through me, Lord Jesus, and cause me to stay out of Your way. In Your name, Amen

Life Can Be Like A Puzzle – Romans 8:38

You’ve purchased a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. The challenge is going to be enormous and time consuming, but you’ll have fun putting all the pieces together. As you get started, do you know which part of your new purchase is the most important? No, not the first piece. Not a corner or edge piece. The most important part is the box top, the picture of the completed puzzle. Without it, you don’t know how to fit everything together.

Life can be much like a puzzle. We find ourselves in various situations that confuse. Things don’t fit together. Nothing seems to make sense. Living like this can lead to discouragement and depression. When you look at the overall picture found in the Bible, life starts to make sense. Paul told the church in Rome that every piece of life fits together for God’s glory for those who seek His purposes. In every triumph and every trial, God wants to be praised. He wants to demonstrate His power, presence, and wisdom in every experience you have.

PRAYER – I hereby surrender everything that I am, and have, and ever will be. I take my hands off of my life and release every relationship to You: every habit, every goal, my health, my wealth, and everything that means anything. I surrender it ALL to You. By faith I take my place at the Cross, believing that when the Lord Jesus was crucified, according to Your Word, I was crucified with Him; when He was buried, I was buried; when He was raised from the dead, I was raised with Him. I deny myself the right to rule and reign in my own life and I take up the Cross believing that You are in my and I in You. I thank You for saving me from my sins and myself. From this moment on I am trusting You to live Your life in me and through me, instead of me, to do what I can’t do, quit what I can’t quit, start what I can’t start, and–most of all–to be what I can’t be. I am trusting you to renew my mind and heal damaged emotions in Your time. I thank You now by faith for accepting me in the Lord Jesus, for giving me Your grace, Your freedom, Your joy, Your victory and Your righteousness as my inheritance. Even if I don’t feel anything, I know that Your Word is true; I am counting on Your Spirit to do what Your Word says– to set me free from myself, that Your resurrection life may be lived out through me, and that You may receive all the glory. I thank You and praise You for victory right now in Jesus’ name, Amen.

God Always Doesn’t Move How We Expect – John 17:1-26

The prophet Jeremiah told us God would fulfill His promise of a Savior. The people could look forward to someone who would save them from captivity. What did they expect as an answer to their prayers? They thought the Messiah would be a powerful leader, capable of subduing an empire and ushering in God’s reign. But instead of answering the promise as they anticipated, God did the opposite. He sent a servant who would die on the cross for their sins in His Son. God often does that. He answers our prayers in unexpected ways. We ask for healing, but God chooses to give us strength for each day. We ask for relief from our trials, but God helps us endure and grow stronger. We ask God to deal with our adversaries; instead, He transforms our attitudes. God is always faithful to His promises—He just doesn’t do things the way we expect. When you don’t see answers to prayer that you are anticipating, take a look to see if God is blessing in unexpected ways.

PRAYER – My Father and my God, help me gain a healthy and balanced view of Your person, so that while I enjoy the familiarity of You, I am exceedingly conscious also of Your holiness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Surrendered To The Cross – Philippians 4:8-13

So in love with me was He, Jesus died on the Cross to save my soul in order that I might be His bride forever. Why He would love me in that way, I don’t have the foggiest idea. But He does. And He proved it on the Cross. Therefore, if He loved me that much, I can be confident that He’ll put me in the place financially, relationally, geographically that will make me into the man He sees I can be. I am so concerned about my present comfort. God, however, is concerned about my eternal state. I pant after ministry or material things, fame or satisfaction. God, however, says, “I want you to be full and happy and useful and blessed for the future. Therefore, I will allow you to go through difficulties and challenges not because I’m being mean, but because I’m doing a deep work in you that you will never regret for all eternity.”

So, too, God is saying, “Yes, you’re going to take some hits. Yes, there will be some hurts, some setbacks, some disappointments. But, there’s ten zillion dollars, so to speak, around the bend. And I have allowed you to be in the situation you’re in because it’s preparing you for what’s to come. Will you trust Me? Will you not murmur about your condition? Will you not be always looking for some better situation? Will you learn to be content where you are right now?” Wise is the man or woman who says, “Lord, plant me where You see that I am designed to be. Be it on an island in Honduras, or a city in Oregon, place me in the spot wherein I can most glorify You presently, and that will prepare me for eternity. Teach me to be content, Lord.” And He will. He truly will.

PRAYER – O God, help me to see that You have given me all that I will ever need in Christ. Help me to see He is my all in all. I submit to You today, plant me where You see that I am to be. In Jesus name, Amen.

Fellowship With God = Fellowship With Others – 1 John 1:5-7

God created us for Koinonia, the fullest possible fellowship with Him and with others. You cannot be in Koinonia with God and not walk in godly fellowship with one another. Are you experiencing Koinonia with God and with the church? You can, but it’s not automatic. God has requirements for our fellowship and it’s walking with and in Christ. We cannot say, “I’m close to the Lord and I’m miserable. I’m walking with Jesus; I’m at the table; I’m in the Word—and am I ever depressed.” We’re kidding ourselves if we say we have fellowship with Jesus but walk around in darkness. One of the ways we know we have fellowship with the Lord is that we have fellowship with other people. That is, if we’re truly in the light, our hearts will be full of joy.

PRAYER – Lord, You have pursued a love relationship with me and invited me to join in Your work. You spoke to me through Your Word and I faced the crisis of belief. I am making the needed adjustments so I can join in Your work. Now I am obeying You and experiencing You. I love you. Amen.