Wednesday, June 30, 2010


"A... Samaritan... came where he was. And when he saw him, he had
compassion." - Luke 10:33 NKJV

Are you too busy to care about the needs of others? Are you so
preoccupied being good instead of doing good, that you're missing
opportunities right under your nose? Remember, nobody was busier than
Jesus, yet He always responded to those in need.
In Luke 10, Jesus tells of a Jewish traveller who was mugged by a gang
and left to die on the road. First a Levite and then a priest passed
by.They were religious leaders; surely they'd have compassion on this
wounded man. But no, they both had important appointments to keep and
didn't stop. Then a Samaritan came along. Of all people, he'd the most
reason to look the other way, because the Jews and the Samaritans were
long-standing enemies. But the Bible says, "He... came where he was.
And when he saw him, he had compassion." Compassion will rearrange your
priorities! The Good Samaritan decided that where he was going wasn't
as important as where he was at that particular moment.
What would you have done that day? Do you think you'd have acted like
this Samaritan? How about when God tries to interrupt your inflexible,
tightly organised, written-in-concrete schedule and asks you to take
time for someone who's hurting? Are you willing to shelve your personal
agenda and do what He wants? If you're too busy to reach out to those
who are hurting, you're just too busy! Today ask God to help you begin
thinking and acting like Christ, and don't miss another opportunity to

Monday, June 28, 2010


"Everyone will be salted with fire." - Mark 9:49

Jesus used parables to communicate principles of the Kingdom of God. He
said each believer's life should have the same impact on his or her
world as salt has on food. Salt gives food flavor and brings out the
best, while at the same time it serves as a preservative.
What allows a Christian to become salty? Fire. God knows that each
believer needs a degree of testing by fire in order for Christ's
fragrance to be manifested. We cannot become salty without this deeper
work of the Holy Spirit's fire in our lives. Fire purifies all that is
not of Christ. It takes away all the impurities that prevent His nature
from being revealed in us.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have
had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that
your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by
fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor
when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Peter 1:6-7).
Are you a salty Christian? If not, pray a prayer that the immature are
unwilling to pray. Pray that God makes you a salty Christian. It will
result in praise and glory at the throne of God.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


"When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came upon him in power,
and he burned with anger." - 1 Samuel 11:6

There are occasions in which God justifies righteous anger. It is a type
of anger that does not lead to sin, but fulfills God's purposes.
Saul had just been crowned as the new king of Israel. His first battle
was upon him, and he had to bring a new nation together to fight the
Ammonites. The Spirit of God fell on Saul and resulted in righteous
anger against God's enemies. God led him to send an unusual
"direct-mail" package to all the regions where the people lived. He cut
up pieces of oxen and sent the pieces throughout Israel with a
warning-"Join the army or your oxen will be as these!"
Sometimes God uses strong measures to accomplish His purposes. In this
case, fear and intimidation were used to motivate the army of God to be
as one. God must have felt this is what was needed to drive this army to
become a unified force.
God knows the only way to achieve success is if the army is one. A house
divided cannot stand. What will it take to unify your company, your
church, and your family to be one? Unless you are one, you cannot win
the battles you will face. Ask God to make you and those you walk with
to be one in mission and one in spirit.

Monday, June 21, 2010


"One day the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and I know about
Paul, but who are you?"- Acts 19:15

Are you a threat to the kingdom of darkness? If satan and his demons
had a board meeting and your name came before the board, what would they
say? Would they say that you are one of their most feared enemies and
they needed to keep many demons harassing and opposing you? Or would
they say, "Gentlemen, this person poses no threat to our activities.
Leave him alone. He needs no help from us." There are millions of
church-going believers sitting in pews Sunday after Sunday who pose
little threat to the kingdom of darkness.
If we truly believe that we war against rulers and principalities that
cannot be seen, then we must realize that their mandate is to hinder
any believer who is seeking to walk in the fullness of God. However,
"greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 Jn.
4:4b KJV).
If you are seeking to fully follow the Lord, you can expect harassment
from the enemy. God permits temptation because it drives us deeper into
the soil of God. These times reveal God's power to keep us and walk us
through the temptations. Our message becomes fruitful when it is born
out of obedience and suffering for His name. Do not consider it strange
if you find yourself fighting major battles the more obedient you
become to the Master. God desires each of us to become a feared enemy of hell
in order to affect satan's domain. When you begin to feel harassed,
chances are you are beginning to affect the kingdom of darkness, and
satan doesn't like this. So, how many demons do you think are assigned
to you?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


"But when they cried out to the Lord, He raised up for them a deliverer,
Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, who saved them." - Judges 3:9

Have you ever heard of a man named Othniel? Probably not. He was
Caleb's nephew. When the people of Israel went into the Promised Land, they
were victorious through the courageous efforts of Joshua and Caleb. As this
generation grew older, a new generation began to emerge. Israel again
fell into sin by worshiping idols. The anger of the Lord burned against
Israel, and He allowed them once more to be enslaved by their enemies.
However, the people again cried out to the Lord and God heard them.
Whenever God's people cry out to the Lord, He hears them. When they are
truly repentant, He responds. He responds by rising up those whom He
has prepared for such a time. Every soldier looks forward to the day he can
use the training he has received. God had been preparing a nephew for
such a time as this. He had the same Spirit as his uncle, Caleb.
The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, so that he became Israel's judge
and went to war. The Lord gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into the
hands of Othniel, who overpowered him. So the land had peace for forty
years, until Othniel son of Kenaz died (Judges 3:10-11).
Has God been preparing you for a time when you will be called upon to
deliver God's people? Millions of men and women are enslaved to the god
of mammon and idolatry in the workplace. Has He placed you there to be
a deliverer? Pray that you will have the same Spirit as Joshua, Caleb,
and Othniel.

Monday, June 14, 2010


"So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision, I had no strength
left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless." - Daniel 10:8

Daniel received a vision that troubled him greatly. He wanted
understanding of this vision. He set himself out to understand the
vision by fasting for three weeks. Three days after his three weeks of
fasting, a messenger of God appeared to Daniel. The messenger explained
that Heaven had heard his prayer from the first day, but the angel was
temporarily prevented from coming by the prince of Persia, a demon
angel, who sought to thwart God's messenger from coming to Daniel.
There are times in our lives when we must set ourselves to seeking God
with all our hearts. It is in these times that we hear from Heaven in
ways we may never have experienced before. Daniel's perseverance in
prayer was rewarded with a personal encounter with Heaven. However, in
order to receive from God, Daniel had to be left alone, have his
strength removed, and be placed in a helpless condition. When we have
no ability in our own strength to move Heaven or the events around us, we
are in position to hear from Heaven. It is the acknowledgment of our
humanity and our frailness that places us in a position to have a
personal encounter with the living God.
Do you need a personal encounter with God today? Do you need God to
intervene on your behalf? Seek Him with all your heart. Demonstrate to
Him you are serious. Get alone and acknowledge your helpless condition
before Him. He will reward you with His presence.

Friday, June 11, 2010


And Daniel alone saw the vision [of the post-incarnate
Christ]: for the men that were with me saw not the
vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they
fled to hide themselves. (Daniel 10:7)

Although others were with him, "Daniel alone" saw the
vision. It is evident from many recorded incidents that
only the Holy Spirit can identify Christ for men, and
that is what he did for Daniel. The Lord Jesus said, "He
shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and
shall shew it unto you." (John 16:14)
The apostle Paul had a similar experience on the road to
Damascus: And the men which journeyed with him stood
speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul
arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he
saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought
him into Damascus. (Acts 9:7, 8)
Paul was blinded-he had seen the glorified Christ.
Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision,
and there remained no strength in me; for my comeliness
was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no
strength. (Daniel 10:8)
Daniel was left alone. That is the marvelous, wonderful
experience of the man of God, and many have shared
eagerly and joyfully a like experience. Abraham left Ur,
and finally his kindred, and he was alone with God.
Moses was sent to the backside of the desert of Midian,
and at the burning bush he was alone with God.
Elijah was disciplined by the Brook Cherith, and God was
with him.
Jeremiah walked a lonely path, but God was with him.
John the Baptist was in the desert alone, but God was
Paul had two years of solitary confinement on that same
desert-that was God's opportunity to train him.
The apostle John was exiled on the lonely isle of
Patmos. But God was with him. There are so many people
who want to get together to have a great prayer meeting
or other great gatherings. Friend, have you ever tried
being alone? That is where God will meet with you. Take
the Word of God and go off alone with Him. It will do
you a lot of good.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


"For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your
ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike
your foot against a stone." - Psalm 91:11-12

For years Sergis ran his small retail business from his store in a local
shopping center. Every week a visitor would drop by to collect a
percentage of his sales. The visitor wasn't his landlord; the mafia had
taken control of business in his small country.
Through the ministry of a workplace Christian, Sergis came to faith in
Christ, and God began a deep work in his life. One day Sergis decided he
could no longer give God's money to the mafia.
A few days later his "friends" paid him a visit. They kidnapped him,
blindfolded him, and placed him in a jail cell located in the middle of
a mafia-controlled house. During the night Sergis sat in the jail cell
discouraged. Two locked doors with guards separated Sergis from his
freedom. Suddenly, in the middle of the night Sergis awoke to a voice:
"Sergis, get up. Follow me." Sergis awakened to a real, in the flesh,
angel of God sent to deliver him. The angel opened the doors while the
guards remained asleep. Sergis and the angel walked quietly past the
guards to freedom. Sergis immediately went to his Christian brothers to
share the miracle that had just taken place.
This true story is living proof that we serve a God who still does
miracles on behalf of His servants. Ask God for the miracle you need

Monday, June 7, 2010


Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is
that to you? You must follow Me." John 21:22

For several weeks I awoke with heaviness over me. It seemed it did not
matter how much I prayed or how much I read the Scriptures. Finally, one
night I was reading a book by Os Guinness that described the
conversation between Jesus and Peter. God had just commissioned Peter in
the famous "Peter, do you love Me" passage of Scripture. This was after
Jesus' resurrection. Jesus was calling Peter to feed His sheep, and He
informed Peter of the death he would encounter for following Him. But
Peter had a question. He wondered what was going to happen to John.
Would John have the same trials, the same responsibility, as Peter?
Jesus quickly retorted to Peter, "What is that to you?"
That night I realized I was guilty of envy. I had several friends who
were now "making it" in business. I began to compare where I was in
life. It brought me into a state of depression. Once I realized this, I
asked the Lord to forgive me. I knew in my head I was to have only one
audience-the audience of One. That knowledge needed to get to my heart.
I also knew I was experiencing spiritual warfare in the area of
The next morning I awoke, and as I normally do, I checked my e-mail to
see what the devotional was for that day that is sent to other workplace
believers. Although I write the devotional myself, I read it because I
get letters from readers regarding the devotionals. To my shock, the
devotional was on this same passage of Scripture. It talked about the
sin of envy. I was amused by God's sense of humor, as He convicted me
with my own devotional message. But that was not the end of it.
That day I went to lunch with a friend. After lunch I got into my car. I
turned on the radio and Os Guinness, the author of the same book I was
reading the night before, was being interviewed. They were talking about
the discourse between Jesus and Peter and the sin of envy! I was
floored! "Okay, God, I get the message!" The Holy Spirit has an uncanny
ability to communicate to us. The Lord wanted me to know that I am not
to worry about someone else. God has called us to a unique life that may
look totally different from anyone else's life. Once we begin to compare
ourselves to others, we begin to live for others and ourselves. There is
only one audience we should be living for-the audience of One. Ask the
Lord today if you are living solely for His pleasure.

Friday, June 4, 2010


We all have to admit that worry is a common temptation in life-for many
it is a favorite pastime. America, the most affluent society in the
world is also the most worry-filled society in the world-that is, if
spending on security, mental illnesses, and intoxicants are any
indication. Americans worry, and worry is a sin. It is neither
insignificant, nor inconsequential. And for the Christian, it is
absolutely contrary to faith Christ.
Jesus categorically prohibited worry in a familiar portion of the
Sermon on the Mount-Matthew 6:25-34. Three times in that short passage He
commanded, "Do not worry!", and the way He said it shows the
comprehensiveness of His charge. In verse 25 He acknowledges worry as a
common practice and says, "Stop worrying;" in verses 31 and 34 He uses
the same word, but in a way that means "Don't even start worrying." To
continue worrying about anything, or to start worrying in the first
place, is to violate the Lord's command.
If you worry, what kind of faith do you manifest? "Little faith,"
according to Jesus (Matt. 6:30). Now if you are a child of God, by
definition you have a Heavenly Father. To act like you don't-nervously
asking, "What shall I eat? What shall I drink? With what shall I clothe
myself?"-is to act like an unbeliever in God's eyes (vv. 31-32).
Think about it this way: Christians who worry believe God can redeem
them, break the shackles of Satan, take them from hell to heaven, put
them into His kingdom, and give them eternal life, but just don't think
He can get them through the next couple of days. That is pretty
ridiculous, isn't it? That we can believe God for the greater gift and
then stumble and not believe Him for the lesser one reveals an
embarrassing lack of faith.
The Worrier Strikes Out at God Someone might say, "Why make a big deal out of worry? It's just a trivial sin." No, it is not. I suspect a majority of mental illnesses
and some physical illnesses are directly related to worry. Many cases
of drunkenness and drug addiction are symptomatic of worry. And because of
worry, many make foolish life decisions, incurring painful
Worry is devastating.
But more important than what worry does to you is what you are
communicating about God. When you worry you are saying in effect, "God,
I just don't think I can trust You." Worry strikes a blow at the person
and character of God.
The Worrier Disbelieves Scripture
It breaks my heart to hear some Christians claim to believe in the
inerrancy of Scripture, and then live as perpetual worriers. If you do
that, you are saying one thing out of one side of your mouth, and
another thing out of the other. It is incongruous to say how much you
believe the Bible and then worry about God fulfilling what He says in
The Worrier Is Mastered by Circumstances
When you worry, you are choosing to be mastered by your circumstances
instead of by the truth of God. The vicissitudes and trials of life
pale in comparison to the greatness of salvation. Jesus wants you to realize
it doesn't make sense to believe God can save you from eternal hell,
but not help you in the practical matters of life. The Apostle Paul
reflects a similar desire in Ephesians 1:18-19: "I pray that the eyes of your
heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His
calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the
saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who
believe." When you catch yourself worrying, go back to Scripture and
let God open your eyes again.
The Worrier Distrusts God
When you worry, you are not trusting your Heavenly Father. That means
you don't know Him well enough. Take heart-there's an effective remedy:
Study the Word of God to find out who He really is and how He has
supplied the needs of His people in the past. That will build
confidence for the future. Stay fresh in the Word every day so that God is in your
mind. Otherwise Satan is apt to move into the vacuum and tempt you to
worry about something.
Let God's track record in Scripture and in your own life assure you
that worry is needless because of God's bounty, senseless because of God's
promise, useless because of its impotence to do anything productive,
and faithless because it is characteristic of unbelievers.
Worry Is Unwise Because of Our Future
Jesus said, "Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow
will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matt. 6:34).
He was saying, "Don't worry about the future. Even though it will have
its share of problems, they have a way of working themselves out at the
time. Just deal with them as they come, for there's no way to solve
them in advance."
Providing for tomorrow is good, but worrying about tomorrow is sin
because God is the God of tomorrow just like He is the God of today.
Lamentations 3:23 tells us His mercies "are new every morning." He
feeds us like He fed the Children of Israel-with just enough manna for the
Worrying paralyzes you, making you too upset to accomplish anything
productive. It will seek to do that to you by taking you mentally into
tomorrow until you find something to worry about. Refuse to go along
for the ride. The Lord says you have enough to deal with today. Apply
today's resources to today's needs or you will lose today's joy.
God gives you the glorious gift of life today; live in the light and
full joy of that day, using the resources God supplies. Don't push
yourself into the future and forfeit the day's joy over an anticipated
tomorrow that may never happen. Today is all you really have, for God
permits none of us to live in tomorrow until it turns into today.
Understand this: God gives you strength one day at a time. He gives you
what you need when you need it and doesn't encumber you with excess
baggage. Perhaps your worst fear is how you'd handle a loved one's
death. Let me assure you as a pastor who has kept watch over many
Christians finding themselves in that situation, this is the attitude I
most often encounter: "It is so wonderful how God has sustained me! I
naturally miss my beloved, but I feel such incredible strength and
confidence and a gladness in my heart that my loved one is with the
Lord." God gives us His grace in the hour we need it.
If we worry about the future now, we double our pain without having the
grace to deal with it.
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever" (Heb.
13:8). That means He will be doing the same thing tomorrow that He was
doing yesterday. If you have any question about the future, look at the
past. Did He sustain you then? Don't worry-He will sustain you in the
future as well.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


"With the tip of the staff that was in his hand, the angel of the Lord
touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire flared from the rock,
consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lord disappeared."
Judges 6:21

How does God call people into His service? There is a clear pattern in
the way God calls men and women into service for Him. Almost every major
leader has been called while he or she was in the midst of performing
his or her everyday vocation. Peter was a fisherman; Matthew, a tax
collector; Luke, a physician; Paul, a tentmaker; Moses, a shepherd;
Jesus, a carpenter; and so on.
When God called Gideon to free the people of Israel from the oppression
of the Amalekites, he did so while Gideon was threshing wheat in a
winepress. Like Moses, Gideon argued with God, saying his family was
nothing special, so how could he be used of God to save Israel? Gideon
acknowledged God by preparing an offering to Him. The angel did an
interesting thing with Gideon's offering; he took the tip of his staff
and touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire flared from the
rock, consuming the meat and the bread. As with Moses, God chose to do a
miracle with a staff, the instrument that symbolized Gideon's work life.
Why would God do this? It is because God wants us to know that the tools
He has given each of us are the tools He wants to use to demonstrate His
power. However, in order for that to happen, we must yield our tools to
Him for miracles to be manifested through them.
Have you yielded your tools to the Lord? God wants you to have an
overriding ministry objective to your work life. He doesn't want you to
leave your work; He wants to work through your work. Allow Him to do
that today.