Category Archives: Devotional

Jesus did it, so should we

No one condemned sin more than Jesus did, but at the same time no one showed more compassion towards the sinner than Jesus did, so much of what Jesus did he did not because he was the Son of God, but he did to show how much could be accomplished by a human being that had faith in God and was obedient to his will.

So if Jesus could love the sinner and hate the sin, as someone who was human like you or I, that must mean that its possible for us to do the same, there is a greater power and strength that lies beyond our own that we must tap into. There is a secret source of provision and guidance that we must learn to depend on.

 It once again goes back to a line from my favorite song that says “let what we do in here fill the streets out there” its all well and good to sing praises to God and enjoy the company and hospitality of one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. And we should absolutely develop a deep understanding of God’s word, I mean that is our source of truth, its vital to knowing God and his will. It is the absolute highest source of authority we have on earth, what is says supersedes any pastor, evangelist, pope, priest, missionary, guest speaker etc…. God breathed and inspired by the Holy Spirit. But we have to take ALL of that and we have to bring it to the world, those who are used by our greatest enemy are also those who most desperately need to see and experience that love and truth lived out that we almost take for granted. There will be plenty of time for preaching sermons, hosting banquets or concerts or special mens events or womens retreats ….but thats all stuff designed for US as believers, there is still much work to be done out there in the world. And I’m just talking about breaking through all the garbage from the world, I haven’t even mentioned anything about all those who are hurting and still lost because of the wrongs done to them by those who claimed to bear the same banner of Christ that we carry.

We have to show them with our actions that we are not the same, that we honestly believe our message enough to live it out….I know its not easy, its probably not too convenient either but I’m not really convinced that it’s supposed to be. I’m not saying we have to go all Joel Osteen on folks or be a modern day Mr Rogers,  we need to be real, we need to be authentic…people need to see proof that in our good days and bad days, our ups AND downs Christ is bringing us through, that our faith in Him is giving us a strength to carry on and to stay true to who we say we are at a time when the world, without the power of God in their lives, would simply give up.

And the great thing about the fact that Jesus did this during his time on earth, he did it all as a human that knows full well how difficult it is and he will gladly give us what we need to make it!!

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Daily Devotion with Greg Laurie “When the Honeymoon is Over”

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2011

When the Honeymoon Is Over

Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

—Revelation 2:4

 

 

Sometimes as believers, we can look back and say, There was a time in my walk with Christ where my love was much stronger than it is today. That affection is gone. That passion is gone. The communication is broken down. And in effect, the honeymoon is over.

 

This was the situation with the church in Ephesus. Jesus told them, “I know your works. . . . Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Revelation 2:1, 4). They were an active, busy, engaged church, but they were lacking in love. The apostle Paul, and possibly the apostle John, had pastored this church. When Revelation was written, this church was in its second generation. Therefore, many of these people had been raised in a Christian home. They were born to believing parents and had been taught the Word of God from their youth.

 

Jesus even said, “You have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary” (verse 3). “Labored” could be translated, “labored to the point of exhaustion.” These were hardworking people. They were discerning. They were faithful. But they were guilty of a sin that the average person could not detect: they had left their first love.

 

They had not lost their first love; they left it. If you lose something, you don’t know where it is. But you can leave something. You can walk away from it. That is what Jesus was talking about. He was telling these believers they no longer loved Him as they first did.

 

They were so busy maintaining their separation, they were neglecting their adoration. They were substituting perspiration for inspiration. It is a big deal to lose your first love. Why? Because it can lead to worse things down the road.


Daily Devotional with Greg Laurie 08/13/2010

A Zealous Love

They have ears but cannot hear, and noses but cannot smell. They have hands but cannot feel, and feet but cannot walk, and throats but cannot make a sound. And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them.
— Psalm 115:6–7

We tend to equate jealousy with pettiness and selfishness. We see it as a vice, not a virtue. But when God was giving Moses the Ten Commandments and said He was a jealous God, this is not the type of jealousy He was speaking of. If we were to substitute the term “zealous” for “jealous,” it would help in our understanding of it.

God is zealous in His love for you, and He wants you to be zealous in your love for Him. God loves you and wants an exclusive relationship with you. For example, doesn’t a wife want her husband to be faithful to her? Doesn’t a husband want his wife to be loyal to him? Doesn’t a parent look out for his or her children and care about their welfare? Of course.

This is essentially what God was saying when He told Moses, “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods” (Exodus 20:5). In other words, “I want your complete love. I don’t want you to bow down before other gods.”

When the Israelites worshipped the golden calf while Moses was on Mt. Sinai, they rationalized their behavior by saying it was “a festival to the Lord” (Exodus 32:5). Call it what you like, but it was blatant idolatry. And a person who really knows God, who has experienced a new birth, and is living in fellowship with Him should not need an image or representation to be able to pray. Something is not right when believers feel they need that.

This is a problem because it gives us a false concept of what God is really like. And if the image is false, then the thought of God is false—and ultimately it will produce a character that is false.


Daily Devotion with Greg Laurie 08/09/2010

Worth the Effort

When I am interviewed by reporters about Harvest Crusades, the question I am asked more than any other is, “Why do you do this? Why do you put all of this effort into these events?”

It is a lot of work to do these events. We do them out of our ministry through Harvest Ministries and Harvest Christian Fellowship, the church where I pastor. Some take more than a year to set up, with preparation work and training classes. They require a lot of effort.

So why do it? Because I am a man under orders. I have a Commander-in-Chief called Jesus. He has commanded me to go into all the world and preach the gospel.

As I have often said, it is not the Great Suggestion; it is the Great Commission. And I am not the only one who is called to do this. You are called to do this as well.

It isn’t really an option for me to say, “I won’t share my faith. I won’t preach the gospel. I won’t tell others about Jesus.” For me not to do this, for me not to make an effort to reach others with the gospel can be sin, because there are sins of commission and sins of omission.

The sin of commission is doing what you should not do, while the sin of omission is not doing what you ought to do. The Bible tells us, “To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17 NKJV).

Let’s say that somehow I had discovered the cure for cancer. Would it be wrong for me to keep that secret to myself and never tell anyone? Of course it would.

How much more wrong would it be to keep it a secret if we have the cure, if you will, for eternal damnation?

We have the solution to humanity’s problems. We have the way for people to know God. If we only apply that in our own lives and keep it to ourselves and never tell others, then certainly that is falling short of what God would want.

Yet most Christians do not engage in evangelism. I read a survey that said that 95 percent of Christians have never led another person to Christ. I don’t know what percentage you fall into, and I don’t want to lay a guilt trip on you. In fact, it may be that you have been involved in more people coming to the Lord than you realize.

Every prayer that you have prayed for a lost person, every time you have given out a gospel tract, every time you have just been a good witness where you live or work, you have been, in effect, sowing a seed and engaging in the work of evangelism.

Evangelism is not only telling people about Christ—though evangelism includes that—it is also getting out there and letting your light shine.

You may sow a seed that another may water. Then again, you may water a seed that someone else has sown. Or, you may reap where others have both sown and watered. As the apostle Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6 NKJV). You play a part.

When we were in Hawaii a number of years ago for a Harvest Crusades event, one of our volunteers was out on the streets with his little boy, handing out invitations to the event. When his son spotted a very burly biker with tattoos up and down his arms, he said, “Dad, I am going to go give him an invitation.”

His father told him no, but the boy insisted. Before he could stop his son, he was tugging on the biker’s arm. The biker looked down, and the boy gave him the flyer. Then the biker crumpled it up.

The father and son quickly made their exit, but the encounter went better than they realized. That night when the gospel invitation was given, the first man on the field was that biker. He came because a little boy gave him a flyer.

The seed you sow today could turn into a tremendous harvest later. Remember, the Word of God will not return void, but it will prosper in the place where He sends it (see Isaiah 55:11). You may think your attempt to share the gospel went nowhere, but you never know.

So keep sharing your faith. And be patient.

Think you can’t be effective at evangelism? You just might be surprised.


Daily Devotion with Greg Laurie 08/6/2010

People Reaching People

“So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.”
— Romans 10:17

It is worth noting that no person in the New Testament came to faith apart from the agency of a human being. Have you ever stopped and thought about that? We can find example after example.

There was the Ethiopian (see Acts 8:26-39). There are many ways that God could have reached this man from a distant country. He could have sent an angel to meet him. Instead, the Lord sent an angel to Philip and told him to go. So Philip went and proclaimed the gospel to that man, and he believed.

Then there was the Philippian jailer (see Acts 16:27–34). God could have reached him in many ways. Instead, He allowed Paul and Silas to be incarcerated and to ultimately proclaim the gospel, bringing that man and his family to faith.

We can think of Cornelius, a man who was searching for God (see Acts 10). An angel spoke to him and told him he needed to meet a man named Simon Peter. The angel explained where to find him. The angel could have given him the gospel. But God chose to use Simon Peter.

What about Saul? While it is true that he was converted through an encounter with Christ on the Damascus Road, his conversion was sandwiched between experiences with two people who influenced him. First, it was the witness of Stephen that softened Saul’s heart and made it receptive to the seed of the Word when he was confronted by Jesus Christ. Afterward, God sent Ananias to follow up on Saul and pray for him to receive the power of the Holy Spirit.

So you see, God used people. And He wants to use you.


Daily Devotional with Dr. Mark T. Grant 05/1/2010

Proverbs 2:1-13 ” My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasure; then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair-every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse. From those who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness.”

“Thot”: It’s not just the words, but also the deeds of wicked men that wisdom will protect you from. Jesus said that we were to be as “wise” as serpants and as harmless as doves. A snake will avoid trouble when he can and will attack when conditions are right. Wisdom reaches us when to speak and when to keep silent. More often than not, it is more important to know when to be quiet!!


Daily Devotion with Greg Laurie 04/30/2010

Building and Defending

The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon.
— Nehemiah 4:16–17

When God called Nehemiah, the cupbearer of King Artaxerxes, to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, Nehemiah was living in the lap of luxury. He was in a position of power and prestige.

But Nehemiah was stirred in his heart, because he knew that while he lived in comfort, his fellow Jews were basically living in ruin. The once-high walls of Jerusalem lay in rubble, burned-out and charred. God told Nehemiah to use his position of influence for Him. Nehemiah prayed and then went to the king and asked for permission to rebuild the walls. Permission was granted, and Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem and went about the task of getting the people to rebuild the wall.

At first, they weren’t all that interested, but eventually Nehemiah rallied the troops. Everyone began to work together. And as soon as the Israelites began to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, there was opposition.

It is a reminder to us that whenever God’s people say, “Let’s rise up and build,” the devil and his cohorts are going to say, “Let’s rise up and oppose.” One of the greatest challenges when we go into a community to hold a Harvest Crusade is not booking the venue or printing the materials or doing the other things that are so visible. The hardest thing is getting the churches to wake up to the need of getting the gospel out in their own community.

That is what Nehemiah had to do, and that is what we need to do. On one hand, we are to be building ourselves up in the faith. And on the other hand, we are to be contending for the faith. We build and defend, and it all goes together.