Thriving In the Combat Zone – Part 3
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
The attack from Satan. We either trivialize or exaggerate Satan’s power and each spells trouble! The first makes you feel vulnerable; the second creates in you an unfounded fear. Understanding Satan’s ways—and your weapons—equips you to handle his attacks and resist him. How can you do that? 1) By understanding that God effectively destroyed Satan’s power through Christ’s victory at the cross.‘ He stripped the rulers and authorities of their power and made a public spectacle of them as He celebrated His victory in Christ’ (Colossians 2:15). Satan’s attempt to destroy Jesus backfired in a glorious defeat that allows you to celebrate your victory in Christ! 2) By understanding that ‘…God’s Spirit, Who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world.’ No power is greater than the Spirit of God Who lives within you. If you abide in Christ, Satan can’t control or conquer you. Why? Because he would have to overcome Jesus to do it! 3) By understanding that, you can defeat Satan because Jesus has‘ …given you authority over all the power of the enemy…’ (Luke 10:19). The criminal must submit to the police officer because the officer is vested with and backed up by the full authority of the government. So when you draw on the authority God has given you in Christ, Satan has no choice; he must observe the limits you enforce against him. He can do nothing to you without your co-operation, and you don’t have to give it. And Satan hopes you never discover that!
Heavenly Father, help me always to remember that You have already defeated Satan and he cannot do anything to me unless I allow him. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post Thriving In the Combat Zone – Part 3 – November 30, 2015 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...
Thriving In the Combat Zone – Part 2
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Romans 13:14
The attack from the flesh. Your most vulnerable point is your ‘flesh’, which drives you to do your own thing. Its motto is ‘It’s all about me!’ From start to finish it ‘looks out for number one’, always wanting to be ‘first in line’. That’s the genetic make-up of our flesh. And it can’t be saved, sanctified, or spiritualized because ‘That which is born of the flesh is flesh…’ (John 3:6) and nothing else. ‘The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should’ (Galatians 5:17). So how do you control your ‘flesh’? 1) Make a choice. ‘…Choose today whom you will serve…’ (Joshua 24:15). During the American Civil War thousands of Yankee and Confederate soldiers were killed by ‘friendly fire’. Why? Because they lacked uniforms that identified the side to which they belonged. Be clear about which side you’re on, and let those around you know it. 2) Cut the supply lines to the flesh. In war time, generals devote a lot of attention to blowing up bridges, highways and railways to deprive the enemy of the vital supplies they need to win. Your flesh can’t control you if you cut off its supply line. ‘…Don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires’ (Romans 13:14). 3) Maintain regular communication with base command. Even well-trained soldiers with the finest equipment and best officers can’t win when they’re cut off from base command. So stay in touch: ‘Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion…’ (Ephesians 6:18).
Heavenly Father, help me cut off the supply line that gratifies the sinful desires of my flesh so I can desire You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post Thriving In the Combat Zone – Part 2 – November 29, 2015 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...
Thriving In the Combat Zone – Part 1
Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:3
Salvation enlists you into the service of Jesus, the King of Kings. His battles become your battles, and His strategies your strategies. There are no exemptions; you’re ‘in for the long haul’. Satan has declared war on you, and it’s ‘conquer or be conquered’. He will attack you on three fronts. Let’s look at each: Firstly the attack from the world. Do you ever feel like you don’t ‘fit in’? You’re not supposed to! ‘…Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God’ (James 4:4). The line has been drawn; there’s no peaceful coexistence in this war. What is ‘worldliness’? It’s not being in the world, but being like it. It’s not mixing with the world, but blending in with its self-centered values, its ‘relative’ morality and its attitudes toward God, His cause, His Word, and His people. The world’s hunger for power, popularity and self-promotion contradicts the principles of Scripture. ‘…Genuine religion in the sight of God [is]…refusing to let the world corrupt you’ (James 1:27). Jesus told us to avoid becoming swept up in the world’s obsession with material things, or its fear of not having enough to meet our needs (Matthew 6:25-34). You are called to be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ (Matthew 5:13-14). You are to be the influencer, not the influenced. When the world can’t tell you apart from them, your light has gone out and your salt has lost its flavor.
Heavenly Father, help me be in the world as You were in the world – but not be part of the world but be a light to those in it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post Thriving In the Combat Zone – Part 1 – November 28, 2015 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...
The wealth of the wise is their crown, but the folly of fools yields folly. Proverbs 14:24
The Bible says, ‘The wise accumulate wisdom.’ So keep learning. Knowledge in most major fields is exploding, and if you don’t stay up to date you’ll be left behind. Repeating the same lessons over and over means you’re not learning enough. Study those who’ve succeeded where you want to succeed, in order to know what to do and what not to do. U.S. Admiral Hyman Rickover said, ‘Learn from the mistakes of others; you’ll never live long enough to make them all yourself.’ So: 1) Respect those with experience and expertise greater than your own. Instead of shrinking away from them, reach for them. The Bible says, ‘God has given each of you some special abilities…use them to help each other…’ (1 Peter 4:10). We all struggle in certain areas; be careful lest your insecurity be misinterpreted as arrogance. 2) Become a good listener. Don’t try to impress people by seeking to be their intellectual equal. If you find yourself in a discussion that intimidates you, ask questions, talk only about what you know, listen attentively, and the next time you meet you’ll be that much further ahead. 3) The more you prepare yourself, the more opportunities you’ll get. Don’t go to a lesson unless you’ve done your homework. When God starts taking you higher, prepare your speech, your wardrobe, and your mind. Consult a trusted friend who understands where you are, and where you need to go. If you can’t find one, read up until you grasp the basics. ‘A king rejoices in servants who know what they are doing…’ (Proverbs 14:35).The more prepared you are, the more God will open doors of opportunity for you.
Heavenly Father, help me learn what I do not know so that I can be better at serving You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen
It’s All About Attitude
He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not wholeheartedly. 2 Chronicles 25:2
King Amaziah did all the right things, but he wasn’t ‘whole-hearted’ about it. You can do the right thing and still not be blessed. Why? Because you did it with the wrong attitude. Take, for example, the subject of giving. The apostle Paul writes: ‘I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving. God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything; more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it, “He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out.” This most generous God, who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals, is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into fully-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing…great praise to God’ (2 Corinthians 9:6-11 TM). Note two things: 1) Your level of giving determines the level at which you receive. Do not simply think of this in terms of materials things but more important things that are lasting! 2) Your attitude in giving determines your abundance in receiving.So when you ‘make up your…mind what you will give’, consider God’s goodness to you, decide what you should give, and do it with a heart of joy. It’s all about attitude! It’s all about gratitude! It’s about THANKSGIVING!
Heavenly Father there is so much that I am thankful for that You have provided. Help me be a blessing now to others – in Your Name! Amen