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Moment in the Word

Moment in the Word

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BIBLE MEDITATION: “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things....”  2 Timothy 1:11-12 (KJV)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: What triggers demonic attacks against you, your dream, your vision, your calling, your business, your family, your church, or your ministry? What makes the devil so upset that he rises up to resist you and your efforts? If God chose you, why are you experiencing so many hassles and difficulties along the way to your goal of fulfilling all He has called you to do? 

In Second Timothy 1:11 and 12, Paul gives us incredible insight into what triggers a demonic attack. He says, "Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things...." In this verse, Paul writes about his specific calling in the Body of Christ. He affirms to us that he is called and appointed to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. Then notice that he immediately follows by saying, "For the which cause I also suffer these things..." (2 Timothy 1:12).

The word "suffer" is the Greek word pascho, and first and foremost it means to suffer as a result of outside forces or outside circumstances. It could include physical suffering due to persecution; mental suffering due to outside pressures; financial suffering due to monetary hardships; or any inconvenience that stems from something outside of oneself or outside of one's control. Thus, the word pascho would depict any suffering or inconvenience due to forces beyond oneself. 

When Paul wrote this verse, he used a tense in the Greek that lets us know he was experiencing these inconveniences at the very moment he was writing this epistle. At that time, Paul was in Rome, sitting in a prison cell, awaiting his own execution, and being accused of crimes that he had not committed. Because Satan couldn't find a way to personally destroy Paul, the enemy was manipulating outside forces against Paul and his ministry. The apostle's situation had been created by outside pressures that had nothing to do with himself but that the devil had orchestrated to use against him. 
Satan was terrified of Paul's calling! The reason Paul was recurrently attacked is that the devil was fearful of the enormous progress Paul would make if he didn't face opposition. Paul let us know that his anointing, his calling, and his potential were the factors that triggered these demonic attacks. It's almost as though Paul was saying, "Do you want to know why I've suffered so many crazy things during the course of my ministry? Because I am appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles."

You see, Satan was scared stiff of what would happen if Paul operated 100 percent in his call. How much would he be able to accomplish if he had no resistance? If Paul was able to do the incredible things he did for God's Kingdom in the face of such opposition, what kind of Gospel advancements would he make if there was no opposition? This thought was so chilling to the devil that he threw every possible obstacle in Paul's path to slow him down, to discredit him, to destroy his friendships, and, if possible, to even kill him. Satan hated the call on Paul's life. 

The reason Paul was never defeated by these attacks is that he had made a decision. He decided he would not stop or give up until he had apprehended that for which Christ Jesus had apprehended him (Philippians 3:12). Likewise, the only way you'll be able to resist the devil's attacks and successfully achieve all God has called you to do is by determining never to stop until you have accomplished your divine assignment. Jesus taught that those who "endure to the end" are the ones who will receive the prize (Matthew 24:13).

If you want to overcome all the attacks the devil tries to wage against you through outside forces, you will have to be determined to outlast every attack! Determination is a key factor in finishing one's race of faith.

ACTION POINT: The most common reason people don't make it all the way to the end is that they weren't totally committed to completing the task assigned to them. Maybe they tried it or gave it a shot, but their commitment wasn't strong enough, and that's why they didn't make it. 
There are many things Satan can do to try to elbow us out of the race, but the only one who can decide to quit is you or me. Satan can't make us quit. That choice lies in our hands alone.

Moment in the Word

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BIBLE MEDITATION:

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:

The Book of Ephesians describes the behavior that ought to characterize Christians as they relate to one another. Our actions ought to be permeated with kindness. Kindness is love expressed in practical ways; it is putting the needs of others before our own. It is intentionally considering ways to meet other people’s needs. Being tenderhearted means that we are keenly sensitive to the feelings of others. When a fellow Christian experiences sorrow, we grieve also (1 Cor. 12:26). When another believer is joyful, we, too, rejoice. Being tenderhearted means showing compassion toward those around us. We show forgiveness because we, too, fall short of God’s ideal. Knowing that God has graciously saved us from destruction motivates us to forgive others when they offend us. Often we are less patient with our fellow Christians than we are with nonbelievers. We expect more of Christians, and we feel betrayed when they fail us. When this happens, we need to look closely at the cross and remember the forgiveness we received there. We must set aside the self-centered attitude that leads to impatience and criticism of others.

Jesus did not say that the world will know Him by our miracles, by our grand testimonies, or by our vast Bible knowledge. The world will know Him by the love that Christians show to one another (John 13:35).

ACTION POINT:

Are you constantly in conflict with others? Ask God to give you kindness, a tender heart, and a forgiving spirit. As you allow the Spirit to build these qualities into you, your life will be a blessing to others around you.

Moment in the Word

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BIBLE MEDITATION: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11 (KJV)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: What if God gave us all of our blessings in advance, would we be happy? Think about it; would it be a blessing or a curse?

Would your life be better if you received your entire year’s paycheck on the first day of the year? If you received all of your Social Security checks, tax refunds, rents due, allowances, retirement funds, dividends, capital gains, loans repaid and even the $200 for passing “go,” would you be happier?

If you received five or six get out of trouble cards, a get out of jail free, card and two of three healing cards, along with a few bonus cards that contained 12 generic blessings that you could use at any time, would that make you happy?

What if after receiving your advanced blessing you also received instruction that you should live the Christian life of worship, praise and service as you normally do, but with the full knowledge that you have already received everything you are going to get? Would there be some Sunday’s you would miss worship? Would there be some nights that you neglect to pray? Would your bible study slip? Would you serve as diligently? Most of us would be seriously challenged if we received all of our blessings at once, especially if we received them in advance. God knows our weaknesses and our strengths, that’s probably the reason that he doesn’t give us everything we ask for at the same time; many of us would mismanage it so badly that we would become beggars in an instant. When Israel traveled in the wilderness God supplied them with bread and meat, one day at a time. With the exception of the Sabbath, in which allowed them to gather enough for two days, God provided what they needed one day at a time. They did not have warehouses for manna or stockpiled inventories of meat and bread ready to move from the desert warehouse; God issued it to them as they had need, one day at a time.

Today, God does the same for us. Knowing our weaknesses, he rations our blessings to us according to our ability to manage, one day at a time. He blesses us daily because we would use up our healing blessings on every small scratch. We’d spend our finance blessings on every new sale item. We would squander our emergency blessings on situations that we could easily handle ourselves. God sends us new blessings every day; just enough for that day. Lamentations 3:23 says, “They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

ACTION POINT: Praise God from whom all blessings flow that He supplies our daily bread. Our daily bread takes in the entire scope of essentials necessary for our survival and nurture. It is our food, clothing, shelter. It is our health, and state of mind. Our daily bread is our uninhibited opportunity to grow and mature.

Most importantly our daily bread is the daily presence of the spirit of God in our lives. Jesus reminded the Jews that the Israelites had manna in the wilderness but he is the bread from heaven that refreshes every believer.

When Jesus broke the bread and blessed the cup he reminded them that they symbolized the new covenant agreed, that every day he would be our bread and the power of his blood would forgive our sins.

John 6:51 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

As our daily bread, he would be a lawyer for us in our courtroom!

As our daily bread, he would be a doctor for us in our sick room!

As our daily bread, he would be the enabling presence that would put food on our table! No wonder the song writer declared, "Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more!"

Moment In The Word

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BIBLE MEDITATION: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”Romans 8:14 (NKJV)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: When your journey of faith begins, you may not have all the answers you would like to have before you take your first steps of faith. For instance, when my family moved from Augusta, GA to Southern California in 1992, we sincerely thought it would be a three year military assignment. But when we took the first step and arrived on the west coast, God gave us the next step. When we obeyed that step, He then gave us the next, and the next, and the next. That’s the way it is for all of us when we walk with the Lord. As wonderful as it would be to see the whole picture before we get started, He usually leads us one step at a time after we get started. This has certainly been true in my life. God had given me a vision for my life, but His instructions for moving toward that goal came one step at a time.

Romans 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” _The word “led” is the Greek word ago, which described the act of leading about an animal, such as a cow or a goat, at the end of a rope. The owner would wrap a rope around the animal’s neck and then “tug” and “pull” until the animal started to follow him. When the animal decided to cooperate and follow that gentle tug, it could then be gently “led” to where its owner wanted it to go. ACTION

POINT: Today I want to encourage you to pay careful attention to the “tugging” and “pulling” of the Holy Spirit in your heart. He is a Gentleman and does not force you to obey Him. He prompts you, tugs on your heart, and pulls on your spirit to get your attention. Sometimes His “tugs” may be so gentle that you almost miss them. But if you’ll develop your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, He will gently “lead” you exactly where He wants you to go with your life. Also, don’t demand that the Holy Spirit tell you the whole story first! Trust Him! Remember that Jesus called Him the “Spirit of Truth” (John 16:13) to help you understand that the Holy Spirit and His leading can be trusted! He is the “Spirit of Truth,” so if He is leading you to do something, you can know He has a good reason for it. He sees and knows what you cannot see. If you will follow Him, the Holy Spirit will take you exactly where you need to go and help you reach your maximum potential in life.

As my wife and I reflect on all that has happened throughout our years of ministry, I realize that our testimony is one of being “led” by the Holy Spirit. We give Him all the glory for leading us. We weren’t smart enough to accomplish everything that has been done, but the Leader we were following knew exactly how to lead us. Because we were following Him one step at a time, He led us to a high place of victory in so many areas. And we’re not the only ones who have been led. Our congregations have also been led by the Spirit in their giving and praying. Because they have had a heart to cooperate with God, we have seen Him do the impossible again and again and again. As you look at your own life today, I urge you to make the decision to let the Spirit be your Leader in every area of your life. Let Him take you by the heart and give you a little “tug” and “pull” in the right direction. Then say, “Lord, I sense that You are tugging on my heart, and I’m ready to let You lead me where You want me to go.”

You may not see the full picture from the onset of your journey. Certainly my wife and I could never have conceived how God would mightily use us in Southern California when we were first getting started. But part of the excitement is letting God be in control! Watching where He leads and seeing what He does through you will later give you cause for great rejoicing. You’ll be so thankful that you allowed Him to be the undisputed Leader in your life!

Moment in the Word

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BIBLE MEDITATION: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14 (NKJV)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: When your journey of faith begins, you may not have all the answers you would like to have before you take your first steps of faith. For instance, when my family moved from Augusta, GA to Southern California in 1992, we sincerely thought it would be a three year military assignment. But when we took the first step and arrived on the west coast, God gave us the next step. When we obeyed that step, He then gave us the next, and the next, and the next.

That's the way it is for all of us when we walk with the Lord. As wonderful as it would be to see the whole picture before we get started, He usually leads us one step at a time after we get started. This has certainly been true in my life. God had given me a vision for my life, but His instructions for moving toward that goal came one step at a time.

Romans 8:14 says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." The word "led" is the Greek word ago, which described the act of leading about an animal, such as a cow or a goat, at the end of a rope. The owner would wrap a rope around the animal's neck and then "tug" and "pull" until the animal started to follow him. When the animal decided to cooperate and follow that gentle tug, it could then be gently "led" to where its owner wanted it to go.

ACTION POINT: Today I want to encourage you to pay careful attention to the "tugging" and "pulling" of the Holy Spirit in your heart. He is a Gentleman and does not force you to obey Him. He prompts you, tugs on your heart, and pulls on your spirit to get your attention. Sometimes His "tugs" may be so gentle that you almost miss them. But if you'll develop your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, He will gently "lead" you exactly where He wants you to go with your life.

Also, don't demand that the Holy Spirit tell you the whole story first! Trust Him! Remember that Jesus called Him the "Spirit of Truth" (John 16:13) to help you understand that the Holy Spirit and His leading can be trusted! He is the "Spirit of Truth," so if He is leading you to do something, you can know He has a good reason for it. He sees and knows what you cannot see. If you will follow Him, the Holy Spirit will take you exactly where you need to go and help you reach your maximum potential in life.

As my wife and I reflect on all that has happened throughout our years of ministry, I realize that our testimony is one of being "led" by the Holy Spirit. We give Him all the glory for leading us. We weren't smart enough to accomplish everything that has been done, but the Leader we were following knew exactly how to lead us. Because we were following Him one step at a time, He led us to a high place of victory in so many areas. And we're not the only ones who have been led. Our congregations have also been led by the Spirit in their giving and praying. Because they have had a heart to cooperate with God, we have seen Him do the impossible again and again and again.

As you look at your own life today, I urge you to make the decision to let the Spirit be your Leader in every area of your life. Let Him take you by the heart and give you a little "tug" and "pull" in the right direction. Then say, "Lord, I sense that You are tugging on my heart, and I'm ready to let You lead me where You want me to go."

You may not see the full picture from the onset of your journey. Certainly my wife and I could never have conceived how God would mightily use us in Southern California when we were first getting started. But part of the excitement is letting God be in control! Watching where He leads and seeing what He does through you will later give you cause for great rejoicing. You'll be so thankful that you allowed Him to be the undisputed Leader in your life!

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