Luke 3:20, "....he shut up John in prison.
" MT. 4:12; MK. 1:14, 17-18; LK. 3:19-20; JN. 4:1-3
John spent 30 years preparing for a six month ministry, followed by one and a half years in prison before he was beheaded. Many people would not consider his life very successful, yet Jesus said John was the greatest man who was ever born (Mt. 11:11).
John's greatness didn't lie in his own success, but in the success of another. John stirred up the hearts of an entire nation in expectancy of their Messiah. The ministry of Jesus owed much of its success to the work of John. John had prepared a people to meet their God (Mal. 3:1).
In our celebrity conscious society, few people want to be the backup singer or the announcer who introduces the main speaker. We have adopted a mentality that unless we are in the limelight we have failed. That's not the way the Lord looks at things.
When the Lord passes out rewards in heaven, we may be shocked to see how He evaluates greatness. Many people who did not receive recognition while on earth will shine like the stars in eternity. The Lord will judge our works on what sort they were and not what size they were (I Cor. 3:13).
by Andrew Wommack
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"And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." John 1:16.
The Christian life is not like an insurance policy that only pays off when we die and go to heaven. Every believer has now received the grace of God and the fullness of God. We are now complete in Him (Col. 2:9-10).
Colossians 2:9 (KJV)
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
When we receive Jesus as our Lord, we are instantly changed in our spirits (2 Cor. 5:17).
2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Many Christians aren't aware of the change that takes place in their spirit. They continue to live within their physical and emotional realms and are oblivious to the new, born-again part of them that has received the fullness of God.
You can't see or feel your spirit. You just have to believe what the Word of God tells you because God's Word is spirit and life (Jn. 6:63).
John 6:63 (KJV)
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Your spiritual salvation is complete. Nothing can be added to it. In your spirit, you are right now as you will be throughout all eternity (1 Jn. 4:17). PRAISE THE LORD!
1 John 4:17 (KJV)
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
To the degree that we will renew our minds to these truths and believe them, we will experience this fullness in this life, for as a man "thinketh in his heart, so [is] he" (Pro. 23:7).
Pray the prayer of Eph. 1:15-23 and let the Holy Spirit reveal "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27).
Ephesians 1:15-23 (KJV)
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Chew on this for a while, and we'll see ya tomorrow. "Enjoy Your Coffee"
First, simply because of who you are:
"He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight… I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness… You [God] created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful… " (Ephesians 1:4; Jeremiah 31:3; Psalm 139:13, 14)
Second, because of what you cost:
"He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed… The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all… Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God… " (Isaiah 53:5, 6; 1 Peter 3:18a)
Third, because of what you can become:
"The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation… If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundation… " (Isaiah 60:22a; 58:10-12)
Why not take a moment, right now. Go over to the mirror and look at that unique individual whom God has beautifully crafted. Wow! Created in His image! Try to imagine the billions of DNA that have singly been arranged in accordance with His perfect plan. Because He delighted in creating you just as you are, there is no one quite like you in all the universe.
And He knew from eternity past that the Savior would go to the cross for you.
In His infinite wisdom, He has set forth a marvelous blueprint for your life that perfectly coincides with His eternal purposes, plan, and glory. No one else can, or should do what He ordains for you.
Why don't you pause for a moment now and thank Him.
Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals.
"And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it." Mark 11:14
Notice that this verse says that Jesus "answered" this fig tree. The tree had not spoken to Him verbally but it communicated that it had figs by the leaves on it. It is a fact that a fig tree should have figs by the time the leaves are evident. A fig tree actually produces green figs before the leaves appear and if no figs are produced by that time, then the tree will not have any figs that year. This fig tree was professing something that it didn't have even though it was still too early for figs.
Not only plants, but other things can communicate with us too. Circumstances can tell you that you have failed. Your body can tell you that your prayer didn't work - the Lord didn't heal you, etc. You need to follow Jesus' example and answer these things with a positive statement of your faith.
What good could it do to talk to a tree or an inanimate object? God created the heavens, the earth, and everything that is in the earth, by His words (Heb. 11:3). The whole creation was made by and responds to words. Our words, when spoken in faith, release either life or death (Prov. 18:21). They also affect people, things, and circumstances. We can release the power that is in faith by our words.
Speaking God's Word in faith brings the Holy Spirit into action. In Luke 4, when Jesus was tempted of the devil for forty days, it was the Word of God that Jesus used to defeat the enemy at His temptation. We must take advantage of God's Word by placing it in our hearts so that the Holy Spirit may bring it forth at the appropriate time to accomplish a complete and total victory.
Speak to that mountain in your life. "Enjoy Your Coffee" by Andrew Wommack
"But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able." Matthew 20:22
The Greek word for baptize is "baptizo." This word was used by Plato (fourth century B.C.) to describe a man being "overwhelmed" by philosophical arguments; or it means sponges being "dipped" in fluid; and by Strabo (first century B.C.) to describe people who could not swim as being "submerged" under water. Josephus in the first century A.D. used the word to describe the city of Jerusalem as being "overwhelmed" or "plunged" into destruction by the Romans; and Plutarch (also first century A.D.) used this word to refer to a person being "immersed" in the sea. In the Septuagint (the Greek version of the O.T.), "baptizo" is used to describe Naaman dipping himself in the Jordan River (2 Ki. 5:14). From classical Greek right down to New Testament Greek, the same basic meaning has been retained: "To immerse, submerge, dip or plunge." Jesus is stating that the disciples will indeed be plunged into the same sufferings that He will experience.
There are many forms of persecution. Having your life threatened because of your faith in Jesus is one way you can be persecuted. History shows that the church has always flourished under persecution with increased numbers and zeal. During intense, life-threatening persecution, people's priorities get straightened out and the Lord assumes His rightful place. This always works for our good, regardless of what our outward circumstances might be. It helps to recognize that it is not you that they are persecuting, but rather Christ in you. You are actually partaking in His sufferings and will share in His rewards. With this in mind, we can actually shout and leap for joy in times of persecution. "Enjoy Your Coffee" by Andrew Wommack
"Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me." Mark 10:21
Notice that the scripture makes special mention of Jesus loving this rich young ruler. This is stated after this young man said he had kept all of God's commands, which was not the truth. Jesus was showing him that he had broken the very first commandment that states, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3), and also the tenth commandment that says, "Thou shalt not covet..." (Ex. 20:17). Jesus' tough answer of "sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor" was not intended to hurt this young man. It was said from a heart of love and intended for his own good. This man's money had become his god and it had to be dethroned before Jesus could become Lord.
The one thing this young man lacked was faith in Jesus as his Savior. This young ruler was trusting in his goodness and not in the salvation that Jesus offered as a gift. Millions of people are making the same mistake today. They trust in themselves instead of God.
Jesus only came to save sinners. Unless an individual acknowledges that he is a sinner, he cannot be saved. Because the whole world is guilty before God, He has provided one way of salvation for everyone. In the same way that everyone is guilty, everyone also has been justified freely by God's grace.
That does not mean everyone is saved. Everyone has had the sacrificial offering of Jesus made for their sins by grace but grace alone doesn't save.
We have to put faith in what God has provided for us by grace. Although the price has been paid for the sins of the whole world, only those who receive it by faith will benefit from the salvation that Jesus offers. "Enjoy Your Coffee" by Andrew Wommack
"The cedars of Lebanon which He hath planted." Psalm 104:16
Lebanon's cedars are emblematic of the Christian, in that they owe their planting entirely to the Lord. This is quite true of every child of God. He is not man-planted, nor self-planted, but God-planted. The mysterious hand of the divine Spirit dropped the living seed into a heart which He had Himself prepared for its reception. Every true heir of heaven owns the great Husbandman as his planter. Moreover, the cedars of Lebanon are not dependent upon man for their watering; they stand on the lofty rock, unmoistened by human irrigation; and yet our heavenly Father supplieth them. Thus it is with the Christian who has learned to live by faith. He is independent of man, even in temporal things; for his continued maintenance he looks to the Lord his God, and to Him alone. The dew of heaven is his portion, and the God of heaven is his fountain. Again, the cedars of Lebanon are not protected by any mortal power. They owe nothing to man for their preservation from stormy wind and tempest. They are God's trees, kept and preserved by Him, and by Him alone. It is precisely the same with the Christian. He is not a hot-house plant, sheltered from temptation; he stands in the most exposed position; he has no shelter, no protection, except this, that the broad wings of the eternal God always cover the cedars which He Himself has planted. Like cedars, believers are full of sap having vitality enough to be ever green, even amid winter's snows. Lastly, the flourishing and majestic condition of the cedar is to the praise of God only. The Lord, even the Lord alone hath been everything unto the cedars, and, therefore David very sweetly puts it in one of the psalms, "Praise ye the Lord, fruitful trees and all cedars." In the believer there is nothing that can magnify man; he is planted, nourished, and protected by the Lord's own hand, and to Him let all the glory be ascribed.
Morning and Evening.
"Enjoy Your Coffee"
"And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;" Luke 16:22
This story clearly teaches that there is life after death. It shows that there is no "soul sleep" where our souls are awaiting the resurrection of our bodies, but we go into a conscious eternity immediately. It also shows that there are only two destinations possible after death. We either go to a place of torment for the wicked or a place of blessing for the righteous. There is no "limbo" or "purgatory" and there is no second chance, illustrating the finality of our eternal destiny once we die.
Abraham's bosom is a symbolic term designating a place of comfort for the righteous dead. It was located in the heart of the earth, in the same region as hell, where the ungodly dead go. The rich man's body was in the grave and yet this scripture speaks of him lifting up his eyes and seeing Lazarus in Abraham's bosom. Our soul mirrors our physical shape so closely that it is recognizable. It is probable that one's soulish body is an exact duplicate of their physical body.
Part of this man's torment was from the flames. However, he was also tormented by the thought of his loved ones' lives on earth and their eternal destiny. Surely his helplessness to warn them would make his misery worse.
Also, the fact that he could see Lazarus and Abraham in a place of total blessing and comfort would keep him from ever adjusting to his situation.
In the light of Jesus' words, we can see that hell will be much more than just a place of physical torment. Those who are consigned to that place will also be tormented with the thoughts of what could have been if they had trusted Jesus. The greatest witness that anyone could ever receive is the witness from God's Word. The gospel is the "power of God unto salvation".
Share the Word today. "Enjoy Your Coffee" by Andrew Wommack
"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do: he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." John 8:44
All of us were born in sin and were therefore "by nature" the children of the devil. That's the reason we sinned. Our sins don't corrupt our nature, but our corrupt nature makes us sin. That's why we must be "born again" and become new creatures (or a new creation) in Christ.
The scriptures teach that everyone was born with a sin nature or old man. For the Christian, the old man is dead. We do not have a nature that is driving us to sin. If that it is the case, then why do we seem so bound to sin even after we experience the new birth? The reason is that our old man left behind what Romans 6:6 calls a body. Just as a person's spirit and soul leave behind a physical body at death, so our old man left behind habits and strongholds in our thoughts and emotions. The reason a Christian tends to sin is because of an unrenewed mind, not because of a sin nature.
Our old man ruled our thinking before we were born again. He taught us such things as selfishness, hatred, and fear and he placed within us the desire for sin. The old man is now gone, but these negative parts of his body remain. Until renewed, our minds continue to lead us on the course that our old man charted.
To experience the resurrection life of Jesus, we have to know that our old man is dead. Then, through the renewing of our minds, we destroy the body that the old man left behind. The end result is that we will not serve sin any longer. "Enjoy Your Coffee" by Andrew Wommack
"Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things." John 8:28
This is the second of three times that Jesus spoke of Himself being "lifted up" (1st - Jn. 3:14; 3rd - Jn. 12:32-33). As the scripture explains in John 12:33, this was a reference to crucifixion as the means of His death. The lifting up is speaking of being lifted up from the earth and suspended on a cross in crucifixion. The Jews understood that Jesus was speaking of death.
The crucifixion didn't just happen. It was planned by God. Does this mean that God bears all responsibility and those who were actually instrumental in the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus are not guilty? Not at all. Jesus came to the earth to die in our place and thereby purchase redemption for us. That was His plan but He didn't force anyone to fulfill it. His ministry and message placed Him in direct opposition with the devil and his followers. Their hatred for Jesus caused them of their own free will to crucify Jesus.
God, in all His wisdom, simply knew what man would do and He determined to use their rejection of His Son to accomplish His will. He never controls our will to accomplish His.
If a person truly understands the message of the cross, then he understands grace. Jesus didn't just make a token sacrifice for us. He paid it all. There's no sacrifice that we can make that will add to or replace the sacrifice of Christ. He did it all, and we can thank Him forever! "Enjoy Your Coffee"
by Andrew Wommack
Michael Stanley, 55