Obey

TODAY’S AUTHOR: SM

THEME: OBEY

KEY VERSE:

“But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.””

1 Samuel 15:22-23 NIV

FROM THE VERSE:

The story that surrounds these verses is about Saul, not fully following God’s instructions and therefore being rejected as king, as you can read.

Reading it as a whole, throws up some questions. Saul’s fault doesn’t seem to be very big, he even tries to give a sacrifice to the Lord! But he didn’t get the point.

God doesn’t care about a sacrifice, if it is not given in full obedience to his words and will. The central commandment he gives is to love him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. Saul missed something here. He didn’t fully think above God’s instructions and instead did what he thought was right.

Doing that can be very dangerous, as you can see! He lost his position as King of Israel. Something I learned from this verse is, that no matter what decision is to make, always ask God for guidance and help. He often reveals the right way.

Another is just what Samuel said “obedience is better than sacrifice”.

Before you start your day, pray to God and ask him to show you how to obey him specifically today and to help you whenever there is more than one way. He is the one drawing the map of your life, so trust him always and everywhere.

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You MUST love one another – Jesus

AUTHOR: JIFAN

THEME: you MUST love one another – Jesus

MAIN VERSE: “A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you MUST love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 NIV

MESSAGE: From our main verse Jesus did not say that everyone everywhere in this world would know we are His disciples by our good church doctrines, or by memorising the all Bible, or by attending all Church’s programs, or by our ability to preach and teach the word of God. Jesus is telling you and i that is when we LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Jesus He even emphasized that we MUST love one another. Therefore, we MUST do it through His power. How can we grow in our love for others? First, I would suggest that we cannot become the loving people we desire to be apart from having a loving and strong relationship with God. This love relationship must be cultivated first and foremost. Second, we must love those nearest to us. This means that if we are married, we focus on our spouses. If we have children, we prioritize our children. We can love our neighbors and coworkers. By loving people close to us this will help us be able to better love the world around us. God has called us to LOVE PEOPLE UNCONDITIONALLY to His glory. Jesus said that all people will know we are His disciples by the love that we have for one another. Choose to Love God and people! Let love leads your life. Our love mirrors and reflects his love. Lets reflect God’s love wherever we are and this makes God available to people.

Do you desire to love people with Jesus’ love of action? Is loving people one of your life’s resolutions? Do you have people you have difficulties in loving them? Do you know that God is love and those who don’t love don’t know Him? Do you love people both with words and actions? Do you know that without experiencing God’s love its difficult to love others? Do you know that we MUST love one another? Pray in line with the above questions and what you have discovered from this devotion.

THIS IS YOUR 2016 LIFE GIVING DAILY FOOD:

– From the following seven scriptures read just one every day from January to December 2016. This challenge will help you become more and more Christlike. The more you become Christlike, the more you will be able to impact the world for Christ while enjoying life in Christ full of mercy, grace, peace and love.

  1. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
  2. Galatians 5:22-23
  3. Ephesians 4:26, 32
  4. Colossians 3:12-17
  5. 1 Peter 3:8; 4:8
  6. Luke 7:36-50
  7. Luke 10:30-37

♡THINKABOUTIT♡

[in all your actions act with love: managing/leading people with love, helping/supporting lives and communities/nations with love, justice with love, holiness with love, correcting other’s mistakes with love, encouraging with love, predestination with love, governing people with love, coaching athletes with love, teaching with love, etc]

BE A BLESSING HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE

THEME: BE A BLESSING HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE

VERSE: Gen 12:1-3 The Lord had said to Abram,”Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing…..and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

FROM THE VERSE:

– God is calling Abram and the calling has a command and a promise. Abram is tried, whether he loved his native soil and dearest friends or he could willingly leave all to go along with God. Abram was to leave all his country, his culture and the customs of worshipping idols and follow The Lord into the nation which he would show him. He was to trust entirely on the guidance of God and wherever He might lead him. His departure required an unparalleled act of faith. He was told nothing about the nation to which he must go. Abram is not only to receive a blessing, but to be a blessing or a medium of blessing to the nations.

Pray in line with the verse/s on what you have discovered about being a blessing. Pray that you may love other nations and be a blessing to them. Pray for the church and missionaries to be a BLESSING in every community.

God is making us into a great nation; numerically, influentially and spiritually. This will cost you big time; your security, your rights/status/title, your money, your friendships/relationships, your resources, even your job/livelihood.

God is BLESSING us so that we may bless other nations. The blessing that you have is not yours but others’, so share it.

How can you share the blessing?

1. You can do so by praying for them (nations);

2. By supporting the missionaries financially;

3. By going where they (the nations) are found and living amongst them as a testimony/blessing.

By doing any one of the above, you will be a blessing to the nations.

JESUS Christ is the great blessing of the world; the greatest ever that the world was blessed with. Imitate Jesus! Pala Pala Yesu!

Disciples of Jesus have one mission and this mission is all about to bless not to curse, encourage not to discourage, build not to distroy, mobilize not to demoralize, to love not to hate, valuing all people not to devalue, putting God’s work first not their’s, living in humility not pride, dying to self everyday, and all the time focusing on establishing true worship here, there and everywhere doesn’t exist. Are you a true disciple of Jesus? if yes! the above is your lifestyle which has been centered Love and Obedience! You can live this life through Jesus Christ! Be like Jesus in your seeing, thinking, talking, acting and living. Just give yourself to Jesus He will bless nations through you regardless of your background, age, race, level of education, where you live, financial status, marital status etc. Its all about your OBEDIENCE to His word and voice. Bless someone today to God’s glory. CHOOSE TO BE A BLESSING! BE LIKE JESUS (PALA PALA YESU)

Be One Of Them

THEME: Be One Of Them

KEY VERSES:

1 Corinthians 9:19–22:

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means might save some.

MESSAGE: Chriatian life involves both freedom and discipline. The Paul’s life mission were centered on glorifying God and bringing people to Jesus. Paul is telling us to talk to people on their level to “SPEAK THEIR LANGUAGE.” Walk their walk. Talk their talk while remaining within the laws of God, of course or not being transformed by their world. To become more effective at helping others, Paul looked at things from THEIR PERSPECTIVE. He became “ONE OF THEM” in order for them to understand him. Paul gives us some of the practical important principles we can use as we are bringing people to Jesus and Disciple them: (A) Take time to find common ground with the person/group of people/nation/culture you are targeting to bring to Jesus and Disciple (B) Try by all means to avoid a know it all attitude. People are different and you can not know their world fully. spend quantity and quality time to learn/discover their world in order for you to be effective in sharing Jesus with them. (C) Be intentional to make a person or people group you want to bring to Jesus and Disciple to feel loved and accepted while they are still in their world (D) Pay attention and be sensitive to needs and concerns of people you want to bring to Jesus and Disciple (E) Prayerfully and patiently look for opportunities to bring this person or people of your target to Jesus and make them obedience based Disciple and mobilize them to continue with the disciple making movement. Be willing to give up your rights and comforts for the sake of bringing more people to Jesus and make them obedience based Disciples who will Disciple others in turn. Be one of them

Pray in line with the today’s key verse or revelation/discoveries and more as the Spirit leads. Pray for protection and grace as you are entering the worlds of people with an intentional mission of winning them for Jesus without being changed or transformed by their world. When are you going to start? Start today and now through God’s power and grace all will go well with you to His glory. He will do it through you! Be willing! Be one of them without equally yoked with them.

Give it to God- ALL of it

THEME: Give it to God- ALL of it

VERSE: “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”

1 Peter 5:7 AMP

OBSERVATIONS FROM THE VERSE:

  1. The word WHOLE. Whole means ALL. Not parts or some. ALL of it!
  2. Care is defined as anxieties, worries AND concerns. Once again the theme of ALL of it is repeated here.
  3. “Once AND for all”- I love the AND. The Father wants complete surrender. The Father wants us to trust Him in the fact that we only have to surrender it once, and trust Him in the fact that He will cover it for all eternity.
  4. The Lord cares about you! In fact, it specifically says He cares FOR you AFFECTIONATELY and ABOUT you WATCHFULLY. I love the word choice. He cares for you in intimacy, but He also cares about you in a protective and defensive way. Once again the picture of marriage is presented here. A husband is to love His wife affectionately, but it is also his role to protect her. This is also the Lord’s role for the Church.

Pray in line with the Spirit, casting all your cares at the Father’s feet. Relish in the affection of Lord and allow His love to wash over you.

REPENTANCE — A NEW DIRECTION (Part 2)

THEME: REPENTANCE — A NEW DIRECTION (Part 2)

KEY VERSE: Luke 15:11-24. 11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

MESSAGE: REPENTANCE and FORGIVENESS

The parable of the prodigal son in this book of Luke 15:11–24 is a beautiful picture of true repentance. The wayward son came to his senses, turned his back on his folly, and returned to his father. He made a 180 degree turn, walking away from his former life of sin and rebellion. His father forgave him for his offenses and received him back. In the same way, our Heavenly Father is faithful to forgive us when we turn to Him and repent of our sins. (“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3:19)

Have you ever had a stain on your shirt that you couldn’t wash out? Imagine a stain remover that would not only remove the stain, but would make the shirt just like new again. That’s what happens when we repent and receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. He not only cleans the sin’s stain of guilt and shame from our hearts, He gives us a new heart. (1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”) God’s love is constant and patient and welcoming. He will search for us and give us opportunities to respond but He will not force us to come to Him. Like the father in this story, God waits patiently for us to come to our senses that the life we are living is not pleasing to God although to billions of people may seem pleasing and exciting. Check your life from God’s standards not people’s or world’s. People may cheer at you because of what they may need from you or normaly get from you or your talent/gift/anointing/ability etc so be careful with human support/popularity at times. Let your security be in God the unchangeable God.

Are there sinful areas in your life that are still a struggle? Are you trying to live life your own way, selfishly pushing aside any responsibility or commitment that gets in your way? It often takes great sorrow and tragedy to cause people to look to Jesus the only one who can help them. Are you waiting for sorrow or tragedy for you to repent all those sins you do in secret? God sees everything happen in the dark corners of our lives. lets repent now (1 Samuel 16:7).

Pray according to what you have learned and questions above and make things right before God by His grace. Don’t fear man fear God who sees everything you say and do. BE INVOLVED in extending God’s great love to all people groups. Wherever you are reaches out and finds sinners no matter why or how they got lost and help them to come back to God in repentance and putting their faith in JESUS THE CHRIST.

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Serve Others

THEME: Serve Others

VERSE: 1 Peter 4:10-11 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to SERVE OTHERS, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen

FROM THE VERSE:Every Christian/Disciple is saved, equipped and empowered by God to serve. God is worshipped when we serve others, whether inside or outside the walls of the family/neighborhood/community/church. We are never more like Jesus than when we are serving others. Serving others brings personal fulfillment, encourages people we are serving, and brings glory to God which must be the goal/motive/intention to see God be glorified through our love obediebce based services. Each one of us has special gifts/abilities from God which must be used not to please self but God. All our gifts/abilities/talents/professions/capabilities should be used in serving God through serving others.

I believe and biblically convinced that Every person has abilities/gifts/talents etc. So pray to discover them and pray for strength and wisdom to use them in serving others for God. Pray for your church that members will discover their gifts/abilities/talents and use them to God’s glory. If you discover that you have been using your abilities/gifts/talents etc selfishly please repent to God and start a new life with others in mind. I can not say iam serving God in Germany while not serving Germans, iam serving God in Brazil while not serving Brazillians, iam serving God in Tanzania while not serving people of Tanzania or iam serving God in Thailand while not serving people of Thailand. If you claim to serve God, God will lead you to serve people! Serving God is serving His people. PEOPLE IS GOD’S MISSION. you hate people, you hate God’s mission. love people serve people

Just knowing your gifts/abilities and not using them to serve others does not please God. Gift is power to serve! DONT WAIT TO BE SERVED BY OTHERS, BE WILLING TO SERVE OTHERS AND SERVE FIRST

LOVE THE LORD!

THEME: LOVE THE LORD!

VERSE: Deuteronomy 6:5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

FROM THE VERSE: To the one indivisible Jehovah undivided devotion and love are due. The heart is the nature of man, including his intellectual, emotional, and cognitive futurities; soul is the personality, and the strength is the sum of energies, bodily and mental. The whole man is to be yielded to Him in holy and devout affection. To love God and worship and serve Him is the highest privilege we can have, so when God commands us to love, He is inviting us to that which is the BEST. With sincere love; not in word and tongue only, saying we love him when our hearts are not with him. Love nothing else besides him and we must know him. That this love of God may shed abroad in our hearts!

REFLECTION: Is is possible to command love? Isn’t love a mysterious thing that just appears, a wonderful emotion that’s either there or isn’t there?

Pray inline with the verse that you/your family/church/community/nation/country/workmates/schoolmates may love God with undivided hearts. Pray for nations to be saved.

You will only love other nations if you love God first. It is in love that the fear of The Lord is to be manifested. We are called to love God first and then our neighbors.

Love is personal; is urgent; is demonstrated. The demand “with all the heart” excludes all half heartedness, all division of the heart. The commandment is LOVE out of a pure heart. The child that honors his parents no doubt loves them.

LOVE itself is to be shown by walking in all the ways of the LORD. Christian love simply means we treat others the way God treats us. Love isn’t simply an exotic feeling; love leads to action. We must do our duties to Him from a principle of LOVE.

Out of the Box

THEME: Out of the Box

KEY VERSES: One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

Acts 3:1-6

And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.

Colossians 4:3 NIV

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:13-14 NIV

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

James 2:14-17 NIV

MESSAGE: What if there’s more to your daily life routine than attending classes, going to work, socialising with friends or family, leading or attending a bible study, playing sport, checking social media, or surfing the internet?

Even as Peter and John and the rest of the apostles already had a new life, they never forgot their regular routines as Jews. It was normal for them to pray in the temple at three in the afternoon. But this time, something was different.

On their way there, a man who has been lame for many years asked for money. Peter used this opportunity to showcase the power of God through healing. Then he preached the gospel to the crowd. As the story goes, the man was able to walk. Everyone was in awe. And many believed in Jesus that day.

As disciples of Christ, we need to live life with a mission. As you go to your town, there are people who are just like the lame man, victimized by sin for many years. They’re people who need help, who do not know that they have a purpose and a destiny, who do not know Jesus. If we are sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can readily seize every opportunity to share the good news as we go about any day.

Do you go to your daily life with a mission or do you just go through life one ordinary day after another? Have you taken time to know the needs of the people around you? Who are people in your regular schedule who God might be setting up for a power encounter?

Ask God to help you identify which specific person He wants you to share the gospel with, whether you know them or not. When an opportunity to share the Gospel comes today, seize it! Get out of the box! Seize every opportunity to share the love of God! Be Involved

Trust in, Rely on, and Confident Lean on the Lord

THEME: Trust in, Rely on, and Confident Lean on the Lord

VERSE: “Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.” Psalm 37:3 AMP

FROM THE VERSE: I love how the Amplified Version of the Bible takes “trust in the Lord” to a whole new deeper level. The AMP describes trusting in the Lord as a three-part segment. 1. Trust in 2. Rely on 3. Confidently lean on. For me, it reminds me of the Trinity. Just like the Trinity, trusting in the Lord has three components, and all three must be in practice for it to be genuine.

  1. Relationships are built on trust. We must trust in our Father! For without trust in the one that created us, we cannot have an intimate relationship.
  2. We must rely on Jesus and the power of the cross for our salvation.
  3. We must confidently lean/depend on the Holy Spirit to guide us through each day. For it is the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us and speaks through us.

If all three are not in sync, than our relationship with God is not in sync. The questions remains, how is your relationship with God? If you find that you are struggling with intimacy with the Lord, go back to these three things and see if one of them is out of sync.

Pray in line with the Spirit, surrendering to the Lord your trust. Ask the Lord to help you trust in, rely on, and confidently lean on Him.