Devotional

 

(dih-voh-shuh-nl)
adjective
1.  Relating to, characgterized by, or conducive to devotion
noun

2.  A short religious service or prayer
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like music during your reading, just click on the video above, or click on the link to our Broadcast Page and start music there and come back here to read.  (the music will keep playing.

 

 

Increasingly,

people are feeling

isolated and alone. 

Uncertain of their

future and unsure

of what to do.

 

June 18, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is

The Kingdom of Heaven 

The Kingdom of God

 

                                                                                                    Where is this Kingdom?

                                                            Will we see or live in the Kingdom?    If so, How do I get there?  

                                                                When will this happen?    What does it mean? 

                                                                                                      What does it mean

                                                                                           to me?

 

 

 

 

There should be a lot of questions about the Kingdom of Heaven or the Kingdom of God, shouldn't there be?  After all, many people say they plan on living eternity in Heaven...or at least they hope to go to Heaven.  How about you?  What do you say?  And, what do you really know about The Kingdom of Heaven?  Most of us probably know very little about The Kingdom of Heaven or the Kingdom of God.

 

To start, just WHERE is this Kingdom, anyway?

 

“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!

for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." Luke 17:21 

(KJV)

 

“Nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’

For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst." Luke 17:21

(NASV)

 

20 ¶  Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed;

21  nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst."

22  And He said to the disciples, "The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it.

23  "They will say to you, ‘Look there! Look here!’ Do not go away, and do not run after them.

24  "For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day.

 

MIDST - 1787 ἐντός entos en-tos’

 

from 1722; ; prep

 

AV-within 2; 2

 

1) within, inside

1a) within you i.e. in the midst of you = inside you

1b) within you i.e. your soul

 

So, if the Kingdom of God / Kingdom of Heaven is WITHIN YOU, what does that say? What is that mean? What is the potential? How do we ... ?

 

MIKE YOUNG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need some REALLY Good News?

 

 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  

"My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples."  John 15, continued...

 

Well, it may be POSSIBLE.  The idea is certainly PROVOCATIVE.  The results would be POWERFUL!

 


Is posting John 15:7 - 8 without any "disclaimers" PROVOCATIVE(pro·voke  prəˈvōk/  A verb; to stimulate or give rise to a reaction or emotion, typically a strong one in someone.  Stimulate or incite (someone) to do or feel something, especially by arousing a strong emotion in them, deliberatley.)
 

Do you think John 15:7 is even POSSIBLE - as it is written, without disclaimers?

Can God trust you or me with such POWER?


I say YES to all three questions. 

An unequivocal YES!

 

(I suggest re-reading yesterdays comments before reading on.  Especially the part about "The Word is God".)
 

We finished yesterday saying that I GUARANTEE THAT THESE VERSES (John 15:1-8) ARE TRUE AND WILL DO WHAT THEY SAY THEY WILL DO, in and through the life of a Believer. 

Of course they must be understood in the right context and then planted in our heart and mind for them to take root and grow and become manifest in your and my life.

 


I also want to point out that it is no light matter and no easy task to

"... abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you". John 15:7

 

 

John 15:1-8 states a magnificent and powerful Truth and then goes on to tell us what it takes to REALIZE this Truth in and through our own lives.  These verses tell us how to literally EXPERIENCE GOD in His Majesty and His Power for His Glory, here and now! 

Awesome thought, isn't it?  It will be an even more awesome experience!

First we must acknowlege that these verses, and the entire Word of God, requires we exercise our 'childlike faith' in order to embark on such a Journey.   We cannot begin such a Journey with pre-concieved notions about God that require human reasoning.   Our understanding must come from God through His Holy Spirit. 

 

Also, we can hold nothing back in terms of pride in our own understanding, reliance on our educational achievments, personal bias, doubts, unbelief, angst, past hurts, angers and the like. 

We must start this walk toward God free from all such things.  We must start EMPTY HANDED.  (You'll just have to work this part out while reading these verses, which explain the "HOW TO")

 

And secondly, we need to get the context of these verses right.  We must have the 'Right understanding', that is the Right Seed of the Word of God which will be planted in our minds and hearts. 

So, let's start by praying for God's wisdom and understanding of each Word in these versesand carefully reading:

Verse 1 - The Word "TRUE" in verse 1 (alethinos) carries with it the idea of making reparations for, purification and atonement. 

This would almost seem odd, unless we understand that God's Word is preparing our minds to 'release our past and our present view of God and ourself, in a sense, we must 'be born again' in our understanding of what is standing in our way of fully experiencing God and doing and experiencing The Works that He did and even great works.

 

Verse 1 - The Word "VINE" (ampelos) comes from the base of two Words. 

 

  • The first word has the meaning "Both of one and the other" and

  • the second refers to "a ground plot or threshing floor, i.e. a place in the field made hard after the harvest by a roller, where grain was threshed out"

 


So we can see, in this most difficult and awesome pursuit of God,

 

 

  • in order to fully abide in Him, and

  • to have His Words fully abide in us, and

  • to have the privelege of asking "whatever you wish", and

  • to have it done for you, 

 

We will have to go through a time or process of being tried and cleansed on a "Threshing-floor" for "Purification" in order to find "Atonement" which is the reconcilliation - or being AT ONE - with God through Jesus Christ.


These Words tell us we cannot "have the one without the other". 

 


So , in just the first few Words of

John 15

we find a powerful instruction

and

a strong warning: 

 

 

  • It's going to be a tough Journey. 

  • It will be "For Real". 

  • If you endure, you will be changed forever - irrevocably - into something GREAT for God's use. 

  • You will never, ever, be the same again, and

  • "You will ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  God the Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciple."
     

If you want, we will continue tomorrow.  Please join me.  I need some company on this trip!


Your Friend in The Race

 

Mike Young

 

_________________________________________________________________

Devotional II.


5 "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
6 "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
8 "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

 

I have read this and heard it preached and taught for many years that it refers to 'fruitless' Christians being pruned so they will become more fruit-full. Also I've heard it is about our inability to do anything unless we are connected to Him. Then it gets is a little muddled when the commentaries and modern preachers come to the part about 'anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away ... and cast them into the fire..."

 

Then the commentaries and preachers really have to scramble when it comes to "..ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." It's usually at this point that "good exegesis" goes out the window and opinions and some pretty poor "eisegesis" kicks in! (look it up)

 

Preachers are quick to point out that the Bible is the Word of God and It gives practical advice for living.

 

But, John 1:1 make the very plain and startling statement that, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
 

John 1 tells us that the Word (logos of God) was God. It follows that The Word still is God. It is also Eternal, It is The Truth, It is Prophetic, It is Creative, It is Powerful, It is Discerning and...well...when...
 

"...you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."


Now, THAT IS GOOD NEWS! So, how do we get from where we ARE to where this Word says we should be?


I GUARANTEE YOU THAT THESE VERSES ARE TRUE AND WILL DO WHAT THEY SAY THEY WILL DO. And they can be UNDERSTOOD when read in the right context.


And you can go there and experience this awesome Power of God in your life almost immediately.

 

(More on this tomorrow)

Your Friend in The Race

 

Mike Young

 

_______________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

Devotional III.

 

 

(This devotional is taken largely from Jim Cymbala's book, "Breakthrough Prayer")

 

 

Did ever think about "God's willingness to draw near to those of us who ask for His help?

 

Isn't this is pretty much an overlooked fact of spiritual life that we desperately need to recover?

 

God performs acts of power in response to prayer that He would not otherwise do. If this is not true, then the Bible is filled with countless inaccuracies and fairy tales.

 

As we follow God's plan for our lives, trouble and danger may well confront us and this is why Jesus prayed:

 

John 17:11 ¶ "I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. (v12) "While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.

 

And, consider Paul's prayer in 2 Thessalonians 3:2 "...that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith."

 

Please, friends. Let's put our differences aside and pray for one another, daily. We are living in a dangerous time that requires we have friends who will stand by our side in the day of trouble.

 

Your Friend in The Race

 

Mike Young

 

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Devotional IV.

 

(This devotional is taken largely from Jim Cymbala's book, "Breakthrough Prayer")
 

I've been thinking, again...

 

What are we supposed to do in the middle of all this uncertainty and trouble?

 

"The world, in our day, is increasing in troubles of every kind.  Prospective wars and terrorist attacks, the danger of nuclear and biological weapons, new and spreading disease, economic woes and the challenge of rearing children in a hostile and immoral environment are problems we face daily.

 

Surveys show that these difficulties are taking a heavy emotional toll on people.  What is a Christian to do in the middle of all this uncertainty and trouble?


The best place to go is to the promises of God:


"There fore let everyone who is Godly pray while You may be found;
surely when the mighty waters rise,
they will not reach Him.
You are my hiding place;
You will protect me from trouble. (Psalm 32:6-7)"

 

The truth is that we live among free moral agents who often choose evil, resulting in inescapable trouble for others. 
 

James 5:13 says, "Is any one of you in trouble?  He should pray".

 

The Lord of the Universe waits to be invited into the fray.

"What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to Him?  (Deuteronomy 4:7)

 

So, lets not wait for trouble to be upon us, let's be about the business of being and staying ready.

Please.  Let's pray for one another continually.

 

REMAINING IN HIS GRIP - YOUR BROTHER IN CHRIST

MIKE YOUNG

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

Devotional V.


(This devotional is taken largely from Jim Cymbala's book, "Breakthrough Prayer")

 

"Personal emissaries of satan war against our souls.  Although we must daily fight these invisible powers, God has provided us with special armor - the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, and so on.  In addition to battle gear, the apostle Paul gives vital instructions that remind us of Solomon's ancient prayer.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)

"Notice the sweeping nature of this admonition:  "on all occasions...with all kinds of prayers and requests...always keep on praying."  This need for constant prayer is probably the most overlooked aspect of spiritual warfare.  Just as God promised to fight with Israel's armies against its enemies and His, so he promises to uphold our cause as we daily seek His Strength.

"No matter what satanic devices or how many demonic forces are arrayed against us, nothing can match the awesome power of God, who responds to our call for help in the day of battle.

 

"The next time you or I are in the midst of spiritual crisis, let's consider what Jesus did on the night he was arrested.

Then Jesus went with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray" Matthew 26:36)"

 

"If, Jesus, the Son of God, had to pray in order to find strength, what does that mean for us?  (Think of how different our past might have been if in every circumstance and trial we had always kept praying, just as Jesus did)."

We are hearing about wars and rumors of wars daily, in terms of personal difficulties, godless influences creating confusion and harm to America, nations warring against one another and the evils of Islamic terrorism. 

It is tempting to be frightened.  But, let's remember that these wars and this evil did not start spontaneously.  They are the result of, the manifestation of man's evil heart and man's evil imagination.  These wars started from within the hearts and minds of men who have been influenced by
"...the rulers, the powers, the world forces of darkness, the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12) .

When we  "...hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end." Matthew 6:6

You see, We have a defense and a remedy.  God is our Defense and our Shield.  Although It is true that "lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. "But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved."  Matthew 6:12-13

Lets be about the business of being and staying ready.

So, please.  Let's pray for one another continually and let's endure IN HIM TO THE END.

 

REMAINING IN HIS GRIP - YOUR BROTHER IN CHRIST

MIKE YOUNG