January 31 - Expect.
"…Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.”
“Dear friends, let us expect that God is going to use us. Let us have courage, and go forward, looking to God to do great things.” D.L. Moody
God will meet you at your expectation.
If the blind men had said, “No, we don’t believe you are able to open our eyes”, would Jesus had healed them? Not could Jesus have healed them, because we know He can do anything He sees fit to do. But would he?
The Bible tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please him”. We must believe that He is Who He said He is. We must believe that He is a Rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11 is filled with people who believed that God could help them in their situation. They sought His power, and He not only met them at their expectation, but He exceeded it. He is the same God today, and He can do the same thing with us and for us.
If we go through life asking God to do something, and then not believe that He can or will, we have greatly failed. God not only wants us to ask Him, He wants us to believe that it will happen.
Do you need something today? Ask Him. Then believe that He will move in your situation according to His will for your life.
Do you have a desire to be used of God? Make yourself available. Then believe He will use you.
Exodus 10-11 | Matthew 10 | Proverbs 31
January 30 - The Fear of the Lord
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
The phrase “the fear of the LORD” appears 30 times in the Scriptures, and 14 times in the Book of Proverbs alone. It’s no wonder that the fear of the Lord is the foundation for wisdom.
Let’s look at how we can practically apply the fear of the Lord to our lives:
To Find Knowledge – Proverbs 2:4-5
“If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.”
When we seek wisdom, we not only begin to understand what it means to fear the Lord; but we also begin to find the knowledge of God. Don’t you want to know more about Him today?
To Hate Sin – Proverbs 8:13
“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”
When we begin to fear the Lord properly, we will develop a hatred for sin. We can then begin to separate ourselves from sin, and draw nigh to our Saviour.
To Have Confidence – Proverbs 14:26
“In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.”
Do you find yourself lacking confidence? Fearing the Lord will allow you to remember that within ourselves we are nothing, and can do nothing; but we can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us!
These are just a few of the simple Truths that we can use in our daily lives through the fear of the Lord. Study out the rest of them, you’re sure to find something else to help you live for Him.
Fear the Lord today, and every day.
Exodus 8-9 | Matthew 9 | Proverbs 30
January 29 - Stand In Awe.
"Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.”
As we are rooted in Him, we will begin to stand in awe of our Creator, the One Who has made us His children.
At first glance, this verse seems to refer to being speechless at the One that died for us, and spending time with Him in the stillness of our lives.
While all of that is true, this is one of the many verses that prove the importance of receiving the Word with all readiness of mind, and searching the Scriptures daily as Luke said in The Acts of the Apostles.
The phrase “Stand in awe” comes from the Hebrew word, ragaz, which means to tremble, quake, rage, to be disquieted or excited.
Matthew Henry said that one good remedy against sin is to stand in awe. A holy reverence and fear of the glory and majesty of God Himself, wrapped in a holy dread of the wrath of God will help us to keep ourselves from sin.
We read in Proverbs that “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge”, and “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” When we begin to apply the fear of the Lord daily, we begin to give God His rightful place in our lives.
Be still, and stand in awe of Him today.
Exodus 7 | Matthew 8 | Proverbs 29
January 28 - Rooted In Him
"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”
Having a desire for the Truth, and learning to grow in the Word is essential for our walk with the Lord. After salvation, that’s where it starts.
In order to continue to grow, we must develop our roots.
A plant whose roots are not formed properly will wither away.
Jesus Himself warns of this in the parable of the sower in Matthew 13, Mark 4, & Luke 8. There were those that received the Word with joy, and then when affliction came they vanished.
May we strive to be the seeds that fall on the good ground; receiving the Word, and bringing forth fruit.
Rooted. The only way to be “Rooted…in him” is to be rooted in His Word. Make an effort to grow daily in the Word.
Built Up. What builds us up? His Word. “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up…” Acts 20:32
Stablished. How can our faith be established? “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
When we are rooted...
We can grow.
We can bear fruit.
We can be thankful.
Jeremiah described being rooted when he preached from Psalm 1 & 2:
“Blessed in the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
The Lord has planted us right where we are.
Focus on being rooted in Him today.
Exodus 5-6 | Matthew 7 | Proverbs 28
January 27 - Growth.
I Peter 2:2
"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”
When speaking of her grandchild, I heard a grandma say one time, “He hasn’t changed, except for growing.”
Oh that God could say that about us! That we haven’t gotten off His path, that we haven’t sat back and refused to be used. That we haven’t slid back on our seeking to be more like Him. What if we just grew in the knowledge of our Saviour...
I venture to say not many Christians, if any, today could honestly say that they have only grown in the Lord, and not hurt our walk with Him at some point along the way.
Our verse today explains that our desire to grow through the Word should be that of a newborn baby who constantly needs fed milk. The baby desires it. The baby craves it. The baby cries out demanding it. If only we have that same desire about our Bible. The very Words of Almighty God, and most of the time it sits on the shelf or table.
Let’s not let the dust settle on our Bible.
“A Bible falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” Charles Spurgeon
Remember this children’s song?
Read your Bible, pray every day, pray every day, pray every day…
Read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow! Grow! GROW!
Exodus 3-4 | Matthew 6 | Proverbs 27
"God did tempt Abraham” – v.1
“Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest” – v. 2
“go yonder and worship” – v. 5
If you’ve never studied the Bible with the law of first mention in mind, you have missed out on some nuggets of the subtle added importance of the Truth. This refers to the first time something is mentioned or referred to within the Scripture. Obviously this happens a lot in Genesis, but especially in Genesis 22 within the account of God commanding Abraham to take Isaac atop one of the mountains of Moriah and offer him as a burnt offering.
Temptation (Trial) – “God did tempt Abraham”
Abraham knew exactly what it meant to offer a burnt offering. I imagine he didn’t sleep a wink that night due to the agonizing pictures of Isaac that must have went through his mind. He could have ignored the command, much like we ignore God’s commands each day of our lives. He could have slayed someone else’s son, but he didn’t. Abraham rose up early in the morning after the first God given trial, and he obeyed.
Love - “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest”
This first mention of love declares Isaac as the only son of Abraham’s who God recognized. This is a great type of the love that God the Father has for His Son, Jesus Christ. The Father’s love for His Son. Where would we be today if not for the love of the Father for the Son?
Worship - “go yonder and worship”
It’s interesting that though Abraham knew what the Lord required, he described the process as worship. He was willing to accept the trial, and worship God through the pain. Worship is a word that has been tainted in today’s churches. Here, it is none other than Abraham and Isaac bowing themselves in reverence to a thrice holy God. In Abraham’s mind, Isaac was already sacrificed, and he must have believed that God would give him back his son, one way or another. Issac was spared once God saw the great faith that Abraham had in Him, regardless of the cost of the trial.
As the song refers to, I dare to say that most of us have an Isaac in our way of our walk with the Lord. Search your heart today, and find the Isaac. Lay it down, and watch God transform your life as only He can.
“Lay Your Isaac Down” – Billy Fields
Abraham prayed for the day
God would give him a son
Blessed Isaac was his name
The greatest gift he’d ever known
Then came the day, who would have dreamed
God would say, “Give him to me
On this mountain you must prove,
That it’s you and Isaac, or it’s me and you”
When I lay my Isaac down
With a broken heart but my Father’s proud
On this altar where he lays
Just to fine that it wasn’t him, God wanted me
Most of us, I’d dare to say
We have an Isaac standing in God’s way
On this altar God will prove
That it’s not your Isaac that God wants,
But He wants you
Exodus 1-2 | Matthew 5 | Proverbs 26
January 25 - Delight In Him
"Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”
Our theme verse. Many people tend to take verse 4 out of context and adapt it to fit what they want to believe it says… usually it is something like this, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you what you want.” Some of them may have an agenda, and some may just not know any better. Perhaps haven’t been taught or taken the initiative to study it out for themselves.
When approached in the correct context, these verses can transform your Christian life.
When we delight ourselves in the Lord, we begin to seek Him and give Him His rightful place at the center of every aspect of our lives. God then promises to begin to give us the desires that fit into His perfect will for us. He won’t give us what we want, but He will help us want what He wants for us, and what is ultimately best.
Delight: a high degree of pleasure; or satisfaction of mind;
In order to “Delight thyself also in the LORD”, we must take a high degree of pleasure in the Word of the Lord and the ways of the Lord. Then to take it a step further, have a satisfaction of the mind that only comes from putting our faith and trust in Him, the One Who knows what is best. When we do that, He will begin to give us the desires that fit His will for our lives.
Years ago, my Pastor dissected verse 4 this way:
A Definite Act. A Daily Attitude. A Divine Accomplishment.
Until we delight ourselves in Him, we will never find His direction. Once we know His will, we still have to commit ourselves to Him in order for Him to make it happen. It is only when we submit to His will that we will ever begin to see His true purpose for the life that He has given us.
Delight in Him today, and everyday.
Genesis 49-50 | Matthew 4 | Proverbs 25
January 24 - Stand In The Gap
"And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”
This prophetical passage is very applicative to the world we live in today. The Lord is still seeking for His people to make up the hedge and stand in the gap to make a difference in the midst of all the turmoil around us.
I’m not sure which part is more convicting… the plea to stand in the gap for the cause of Christ, or the thought that there is going to come a day when there won’t be anyone willing to do so.
In chapter three of 2 Timothy, Paul talks about the apostasy that will be upon the earth in the last days. He mentions how “men will be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” The last four words of verse 5 tell us what we should do when those around us are worthy of those descriptions… “from such turn away.”
God wants us to love the sinner while hating the sin.
He is calling for someone to stand in the gap for the land in which we live.
Jesus Christ Himself referred to such an apostasy in Luke 18 asking, “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” after He told the parable about the unjust judge.
The adjectives Paul used to describe the apostasy sound very familiar to the society that we live in. I believe such an apostasy has already begun here in America, and it is even creeping into our churches.
Is there anyone willing to stand in the gap today?
Someone who is willing to lose their life so that He may save it.
Someone who will make a difference for His glory.
May we all consider what we can do to stand in the gap as a witness for Him for the furtherance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Genesis 47-48 | Matthew 3 | Proverbs 24
January 23 - Partakers
I Peter 4:12-13
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may by glad also with exceeding joy.”
How would you define the word Christian?
A common definition is “a follower of Christ”. Which is true, but lets break down the word itself: Christ-ian. The “ian” is a suffix with the same meaning and properties as the prior word. So, in our case, a Christian is someone with the same properties as Christ. Someone who is like Him. In order to be like Him, we have to partake in His sufferings, which He suffered for us.
Not only can we see His glory revealed in us through our sufferings, but we can also find joy, exceeding joy, amidst the pain. The fiery trial that is trying you right now isn’t just some strange thing that has happened to you. Though it’s hard to see it now, it has been Heaven sent, for your good. Peter goes on to say that though we should be reproached for the name of Christ, we should be happy! Why? Because the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon us through the trial, and we can give Him glory in it. See verse 14.
What a testimony for those around us to witness His power!
Genesis 45-46 | Matthew 2 | Proverbs 23
January 22 - No Comparison.
"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Have you wondered if the suffering will ever end? Wondering if your situation will ever change? The Apostle Paul wondered the same thing, and even prayed repeatedly for God to remove his pain and suffering. Paul is relatable in the fact that his thorn of the flesh remained. His pain never fully went away. But instead of quitting he pressed on while relying on Christ’s grace and strength to get him through. Read 2 Corinthians 12 for the full context of Paul releasing the hold that his thorn had on him.
All of us have some type of thorn that can slow us down in our service and walk with the Lord if we allow it to do so. It may be physical, emotional, spiritual, or unexplainable; but God knows all about it. He not only knows how it continues to affect you, but He has also allowed it for His purpose.
Be encouraged by our verse today that the sufferings of this present time are temporary. When comparing the sufferings to the glory that is to come of them, there is no comparison. The part that encourages me the most is that He will reveal them IN us. Since in us dwelleth no good thing, that can only mean that for the glory to be revealed in us and through us it has to be all about Him! His power will be magnified through our pain, and like Paul we can claim:
“My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
Genesis 43-44 | Matthew 1 | Proverbs 22
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