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Day 18 – All authority…

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Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Matthew 28:18 NIV

Before Jesus was crucified, He taught from the Hebrew Scriptures with authority. He healed with authority. He did miracles with authority. After His resurrection, Jesus appears to His disciples in Galilee and He says to them I have ALL authority; it has been given to me.

Imagine Jesus was saying,  “I have overcome mockery, whippings, piercings, crucifixion, death. The tomb could not hold my body. I have conquered death! ALL authority is mine!”

Wouldn’t you like to align yourself to someone like that? Nothing is in His way. Everything He wants to do, He can do. He has ALL authority in heaven and on earth. He can calm the storm, silence the seas, make the mute speak, the deaf hear, the dead come to life. He can save the lost, deliver the captive, heal the sick, bring hope to the hopeless and bring joy to the sorrowful.

All authority – jurisdiction, privilege, capacity, freedom, influence, force, and right, besides authority and power, now belongs to Jesus!

If anyone can, Jesus can! He has ALL authority!

Jesus was given All authority because he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross! God exalted him to the highest place! Gave Him ALL authority! Philippians 2:8-11

Are you powerless over your circumstances? Are you facing challenges that have gotten the better of you? Are you willing to humble yourself? Are you being obedient?

Take your cue from Jesus and “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;  rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Philippians 2:5-7

Humility and obedience is the key to authority in the Kingdom of God.

Pray  Luke 10:19 1 Peter 1: 14 2 Corinthians 10:5

Our Father, who loves us and sent your Son to provide a means of reconciliation with you, thank you! Thank you for His victory on the cross, His victory over death, has given us all authority to overcome all the power of the enemy.

Holy Spirit empower me to be obedient and to not conform to the evil desires of my past life or of this world.

I demolish all arguments and every pretension that sets itself against you o God! I bring every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ.

I humble myself before you, o Lord, King of kings, Lord of lords! I want to walk in your authority to honor and please you.

I want to be close to you, The Great I am! (click on this link for today’s song for you to worship in song)

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Day 17 -Some doubted…

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When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Matthew 28:17 NIV

After Jesus’ resurrection, His disciples went to the mountain in Galilee to meet up with Him. This was the first time they would see Him since He was crucified. They had heard from the women who had gone to the tomb that He had risen. The women also told them that Jesus had met up with them. Jesus had instructed the women to tell the disciples to go to the mountain. He would see them there.

The disciples went to the mountain. And lo and behold, Jesus met them there. Their response was a mixed one. They worshipped Him and “some doubted”.

Imagine this. The disciples worshipped Him. “Some doubted. It doesn’t say some worshipped and some doubted. No, it says the disciples worshipped him; “but some doubted“.

Have you ever prayed to God doubtful that He would answer you or that He would even hear you?  Have you ever confessed your faith in God even when you’ve doubted? Do you worship (live according to His Word, give Him honor, praise Him) in the midst of your doubt?

David, the Psalmist, was riddled with doubts about God being there for him. He called out to God, “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?” Psalm 13

Peter doubted Jesus when He told Him that he would deny Him three times. Peter denied Jesus. Matthew 26 It was Peter that the Holy Spirit used to stand up and address the crowd to testify about who Jesus was. Acts 2:14-38

To have faith does not mean that we will not have doubt. And even when we are faithless, He is still faithful. 2 Timothy 2:13

Pray Mark 9:24 Hebrews 11:1 Ephesians 3:16-17

Lord, I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief! I want to have confidence in what I hope for and believe even when I do not see.  Help me to walk by faith and not by sight. I do not want to look at my circumstances and question You, O God. I want to look to You and question my circumstances.

I pray that out of Your glorious riches You may strengthen me with power through Your Spirit in my inner being, so that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith. And I pray to be rooted and established in love.

Help my Unbelief!

 

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Day 16 -To the mountain…

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“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.” Matthew 28:16 NIV

An angel of the Lord told the women at the tomb of Jesus that Jesus was risen and to go and tell the others. On the way to tell the others, Jesus met up with them and told them to “Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (Matthew 28:10 NIV)

The women relayed the message to the disciples and they went to Galilee.  Whether out of faith or out of curiosity, the disciples went “to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.”

Perhaps they thought about the times they went “to the mountain” with Jesus and figured that even if He wasn’t there, they could reminisce about it.  Perhaps the women’s instructions reminded them of their patriarchs and ancestral fathers, Abraham and Moses, who would go to the mountain to encounter God.

Regardless of the reason,they went “to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.”

It was “to the mountain” that Jesus took His disciples to share with them His take on the Ten Commandments – How to love God and love others. There they witnessed His authority in teaching the Law. Matthew 5, 6, 7. It was “to the mountain” that the multitudes followed and the disciples witnessed His compassion and His miracles. Matthew 15:29-39.

It was “to the mountain” that Jesus led His disciples. There He was transfigured and revealed Himself to them as the Son of God. Matthew 17.

Going “to the mountain” was familiar to them. Going “to the mountain” represented a place of revelation, intimacy and power.

Where do you go “to the mountain”? Where is that place, space or time, where God revealed Himself to you? Where you received instruction from Him? Where His compassion, His intimacy and power were made real to you?

Pray Psalm 15 

Lord, I want to dwell in the sacredness of Your Presence, live on your holy mountain -consistently submerged in Your love, compassion, righteousness, holiness.

Help me to walk blameless, to do what is right, to speak the truth from my heart. Keep my tongue from slandering. Keep me from doing wrong against others. Let me not sit by idly as others do wrong, but help me to honor, respect, follow those who honor You.

Empower me through Your Holy Spirit to do what is right even when I don’t feel like it.

I want to go “to the mountain”.

I Want to Meet You There!

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Day 15 – Widely circulated…

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“So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.” Matthew 28:15 NIV

The religious leaders at the time of Jesus’ resurrection paid off the guards that had been guarding Jesus’ tomb. They gave the guards money to lie about what had happened to Jesus’ body. Rather than say that Jesus is risen as Jesus had said He would, the guards were to say that the disciples had stolen the body. The guards took the money and shared what they were told to share and that “story has been widely circulated”. 

It’s interesting that although that “story has been widely circulated”, the truth of Jesus’ resurrection has prevailed. It didn’t matter how elaborate the deception of the religious leaders was, the truth prevailed. It didn’t matter how enthusiastically perhaps the paid guards shared the untrue story, the truth prevailed.

Just because something is repeated over and over again or it is “widely circulated”, it doesn’t make it the truth. Truth will prevail.

What stories are”widely circulated” today that some people have taken as the truth? What have you “widely circulated” because it is profitable for you?  How often have you “widely circulated”  the story of Jesus life, death and resurrection?  How often have you “widely circulated”  your story of redemption?

Let it be “widely circulated” that you are seriously passionate about your faith. Let it be “widely circulated” that you are a committed follower of Jesus, willing to share your story of redemption at all times, to everyone. Let it be “widely circulated” that you can not be bought or silenced.

Pray 2 Timothy 2:15 Acts 4:8-12

Heavenly Father, I want to do my best to present myself as a competent witness before others; a witness approved by You. One who does not need to be ashamed. I want to be able to handle the word of truth correctly.

Fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may always give an account of the things I have done in the name of your Son Jesus. Fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may widely circulate that Jesus was crucified but You raised Him from the dead. Fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may declare to all that salvation is only found through Jesus and there is no other through whom we can be saved.

Let everything I do be to declare the truth of Your love, Lord! No compromise. No sellign out.

I give myself away to You!

 

 

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Day 14 -Satisfy him…

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“If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” Matthew 28:14 NIV

The soldiers who were guarding the tomb of Jesus were instructed by the religious leaders to lie. They were to say that while they were sleeping, the disciples of Jesus came and stole the body. The religious leaders then promised the soldiers that if the governor heard about it, they would “satisfy him” and keep them out of trouble.

Don’t worry, guys, you do as we tell you to do and we’ll take care of you. We will take care of the governor, we will “satisfy him“.

The soldiers were afraid because of the earthquake, because of the angel, because they couldn’t hold Jesus’ body in a tomb. They were afraid of the consequences. They went and told the religious leaders what had happened and their response was to mislead them. It didn’t matter to the soldiers, as long as when the governor found out what had happened, the religious leaders would “satisfy him”.

What are you willing to do to look good to the person to whom you are accountable? What are you willing to do to “satisfy him” or her? Are you willing to lie?  Twist the truth?

Have you been willing to let others tell a lie on your behalf or detract from the truth to keep you out of trouble? Have you been willing to keep the truth to yourself hoping no one will know your sin or your shame? What have you said or done to keep yourself out of trouble?

God loves you, knows you, sees all things, “satisfy him”!

Pray Psalm 139 1 John 1:9 1 John 2:4

God Almighty,  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 

Forgive me, Lord, because when I sin I think I can hide from you. When I fail, I try to cover it with pretensions and false stories. My shame prevents me from moving forward. I confess to You because You are faithful and just and You will forgive my sins and cleanse me of all wrongdoing.

Lord, I want to be obedient to your Word and testify of the Truth. I want to satisfy only You!

Hide Me in Your Light

 

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Day 13 -While you were asleep…

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“…telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’” Matthew 28:13 NIV

The soldiers guarding the tomb of Jesus witnessed the empty tomb. They ran to report it to the religious leaders of the time. The religious leaders devised a plan to detract from the good news of the gospel, Jesus is Risen! They told the soldiers to say that while they were sleeping Jesus’ disciples stole his body.

Well, sleeping while on guard duty is dereliction of duty. So why would they admit to it? They weren’t thinking clearly. And if they were sleeping, how would they know what happened? So they made up a story.

While you are asleep, you are not on duty. While you are asleep you are unaware of what is happening. You miss out.

Once you were asleep, more than asleep, you were dead in your sins but now you are risen with Christ. Colossians 2:13

When you were asleep you were not able to fulfill God’s purpose for your life, you were unaware of God’s happenings.

Are you fully awake now? Are you fully aware of your role as a disciple? Are you fully aware of God’s happenings around you?

“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” Ephesians 5:14

It is time to stop making up stories. Learn the truth and the truth will free you. John 8:32  It’s time to shine with God’s light and bring others out of darkness. Matthew 5:16  It’s time to become fully aware of what God is doing and be a part of it.

Pray Romans 13:11-12 1 Thessalonians 5:5-11

Heavenly Father, I pray that You will  help me understand the times. I want to awaken from my slumber, my apathy, my indifference. Your salvation is available through your Son Jesus and I want to let others know because there will be a time when it will be too late.

While I was asleep in my sins, I was unable to see Your salvation. Your grace awoke me and now I know that You are there for me. I don’t want to live any more in darkness or commit anymore deeds that do not honor You.

Help me, Holy Spirit, to be awake and sober, to put on faith and love and to share the hope of salvation. I do not want to tell stories that soothe the soul; I want to tell the story that saves the spirit – salvation through Jesus.

Help me, Holy Spirit to speak of when Death was Arrested!

 

 

 

 

Day 12 – Devise a plan…

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When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’” Matthew 28:12-13 NIV

The soldiers who had been guarding the tomb of Jesus, had been the first to witness the empty tomb. They went to the religious leaders to tell them everything that had happened instead of to their Roman superiors. The religious leaders “devised a plan” to twist the information they received. They “devised a plan” to serve their purposes.

Imagine if the soldiers had gone to their Roman superiors with their experience instead of going to the religious leaders that denied that Jesus was the Messiah. It may have triggered a curiosity among the Romans about Jesus that would have surpassed the religious leaders bias.

The soldiers went to the religious leaders who “devised a plan” to use the information they received to promote their own agenda.

What do you do with what God has shown you or said? How do you use the information you receive about what is happening or has happened among the followers of Jesus? About His church? Do you devise a plan, consciously or subconsciously, to use what God has shown you or spoken to you to promote your own agenda? To further your personal goals? Do you devise a plan, consciously or subconsciously, to use the information others share with you about the church to divert attention to what you believe should be happening or should have happened?

Submit all things to the Lord! Let every report that you hear be used to point to Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Let all the information that you receive be used to devise a plan to make Jesus famous, to bring salvation to the lost, deliverance to the bound and good news to the heartbroken and the poor.

Devise a plan that will prepare you to seek God for wisdom, discernment, guidance and nobility so that when you receive any and all information, you give it to the Lord in prayer. Seek the Holy Spirit, who is with you always, to direct you in what you are going to say, how you are going to behave or what you will do whenever you receive a report about the Church.

Pray Isaiah 32:8 Proverbs 24:3-4 Proverbs 19:21 Philippians 4:8

Lord, as I stand before you in prayer, I ask that you forgive me for the many times that I have received information about your church and I have devised a plan to use it for my purposes and not yours. Forgive me for not devising a plan that includes reading your Word, seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, living a Christlike life that will prepare my heart to make noble plans that will bring glory to you.

I want your wisdom to build up your house, and your understanding to establish it. I want every room of your house, every congregation in my region to be filled with Your treasures. 

Regardless of my plans or others, Your purposes, O Lord, will prevail!

Finally, Lord, I ask that my mind be kept on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, help me to think on these things and these things alone.

God, I look to You!

 

 

 

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Day 11 -On the way…

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“While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened.” Matthew 28:11 NIV.

The women went looking for Jesus at the tomb and instead found an angel of the Lord who told them that Jesus wasn’t there. Then the angel told them to go on their way and tell the others. On their way to tell the others, Jesus met them.  The women responded with worship. He encouraged them, “Do not be afraid,   go and tell the others.”

The women went “on their way” following Jesus’ instructions. “While the women were on their way”, the guards, who had been guarding the tomb, went ahead to give a report to the chief priests – the religious leaders of the time.

It is interesting that the guards at the tomb were Roman soldiers and instead of reporting to their superiors in the Roman army they went to the religious leaders. Why?  Well, it was the religious leaders who had petitioned the Roman Governor Pilate to place guards at the temple and to seal the tomb.

Interesting that the guards at the tomb were really the first witnesses of  Jesus’ resurrection. They reported everything that had happened to the chief priests: the earthquake, the angel, the empty tomb.

Has it ever occurred to you that while you are on your way to witness others are also doing the same for different reasons? Has it ever occurred to you that not everyone who shares the good news of Jesus’ resurrection does it with the right motivation or for the right reasons?

The women were “on their way” to give news of what had happened –the earthquake, the angel, the empty tomb, Jesus meeting them – to the disciples who would perhaps receive the news as hope. The guards were “on their way”  to give the news of what had happened to the chief priests who would definitely receive the news as despairing.  The women were filled of joy and the guards were filled with fear.

On the way to do God’s bidding, are you joyful or fearful? On the way to give an account of what Jesus has done in your life, are you doing it for you or to honor Jesus?

Pray Proverbs 14:25 Acts 4:20

Heavenly Father, on the way to do your will may I do it to honor you. On the way to share the good news of your love for us so great that You sent your Son to die for us, may I do it to draw attention to You and not to me.

Holy Spirit, guide me to all truth, I want to be a truthful witness that saves lives.

Let it be, O God, that I cannot help speaking about what You have done for me.

I could Sing of Your Love Forever!

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Day 10 – Go and tell…

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“Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” Matthew 28:10 NIV

The women had gone to the tomb looking for Jesus and had instead found an angel of the Lord. He told them to “Go and tell” the others that Jesus was not at the tomb, He had risen and He was going to meet up with them.

On their way to do as instructed, Jesus met up with them. He affirmed them and they responded with worship.

And Jesus repeated the instructions, “Go and tell“.

The women when they saw Jesus, they fell at His feet, hugged His feet and worshipped. You would think that Jesus would have lingered there allowing them to express their love to Him. And yet, He loved on them by reassuring them to not be afraid and reiterating the instructions they had received, “Go and tell”.

Have you ever been met with a ‘suddenly’ of Jesus and have become undone in His Presence ?  When was the last time you just wanted to linger there, in His presence? When was the last time you’ve wanted to express your love to Him by just lying there on your knees, on your face? Or face lifted up, lost in His presence?

And He says, “Go and tell”.

There will be a time when we will be face to face with our Creator, in the presence of Our Lord, totally immersed in the Holy Spirit! There will be a time when we will bow before Him and worship Him eternally in song and praises.  Revelation 5:13

Today, our worship to Him is to do His will!

“Go and tell”.

Will you streamline your schedule, align your finances, strengthen your relationships, to “Go and tell”?

Pray  Acts 13:47  Isaiah 6: 8

Heavenly Father, I worship you! I lay my life before you! You are worthy to receive honor and praise! I want to worship you through song and dance! I want to clasp my arms around your feet and worship.

I thank you because you love me and you also love the world. And you have made me a light to the lost that I may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.

Lord, help me to answer the call. I want to answer the call. Send me, Lord. Holy Spirit use me to bring the good news of the Kingdom to those around me.

Give me the courage and desire to obey you and go and tell!

People need the Lord!

 

 

 

 

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Day 9 – Suddenly…

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“Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.” Matthew 28:9 NIV

The women had left hurriedly from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, running to tell the others what the angel had told them. The tomb was empty. Jesus is alive!

Suddenly–quickly and unexpectedly–without warning, Jesus met them. On their way to do what the angel instructed them to do, Jesus met them. On their way to tell others that Jesus was not in the tomb, Jesus met them. On their way to share with the disciples that Jesus is risen, Jesus met them. Suddenly –quickly and unexpectedly–without warning.

Webster Dictionary defines ‘suddenly’ as ‘happening unexpectedly; changing angle all at once; marked by abruptness; brought about in a short time.’

If you haven’t started out to do what God has asked you to do, get on your way. There is about to be a ‘suddenly’ of the Lord.

Get ready. Be obedient. Be expectant. Mark 13:33  Be vigilant. Be prayerful. Be about the Lord’s business.

There will be a suddenly of the Lord, an unexpected intervention of the Lord, a new thing, a new season. He will meet up with you as you obey. He will meet up with you as go on your way and share.

A “suddenly” of the Lord  is a moment when God surprisingly breaks into time and space with an intervention of the Kingdom. This suddenly will bring you such awe that your only response will be to fall on your knees and worship God.

Pray Revelation 2:7 Acts 12:7 2 Samuel 22:50 

Heavenly Father, give me ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to me. Give me a hunger for your Word. Give me a passion for prayer. Give me a love for the lost.

Lord, I will obey your Word! Lord, I will spend time in dialogue with you! Lord, I will share your love with the unloved, the lost, the least! And I will speak of your love for them!

Father, I expect you to intervene suddenly in my life, my family, my congregation, my community, my city, my state and my nation!  I will be vigilant.

I praise you God for you are worthy of all praise. I give you honor for you are worthy of all honor. I worship you everywhere!

Show me your glory, Lord!