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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How Can I Say Thanks

468 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from: 2Sa 7:20,21, “Now what more can David say to You? For You, Lord GOD, know Your servant. 21 "For Your word's sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all these great things, to make Your servant know them.” Ever feel like David? He has gone to the temple to spend some time in prayer, giving thanks to God, and he has this sudden realization that his words just aren't enough. In fact, he almost seems to be saying, “why do I bother to pray Lord? You know my words even before I can express them! David expressed this same sentiment in Ps 139:1-4, “O LORD, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.” So why pray? Why keep on praying? The answer in part is found in v21, "For Your word's sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all these great things, to make Your servant know them.” We pray to strengthen our faith in the veracity of God's Word, and to have more and more of God's heart revealed to us. We pray, because it is part of God's personal revelation to us. (Remember, prayer is a TWO-way conversation! As I read this prayer of David's, where he seems to be searching for words of thanksgiving, I am reminded of the classic hymn, “To God Be the Glory.” It goes like this: How can I say thanks for all the things you have done for me. Things so undeserved, yet You gave, to prove your love for me. The voices of a million angels, cannot express my gratitude. All that I am or ever hope to be I owe it all to Thee. To God be the glory. To God be the glory. To God be the glory. For the things He has done. With His blood, He has saved me. With His power, He has raised me. To God be the glory, for the things HE has done. Father, how can I say thanks? Even the words of thanksgiving that well up in me are a gift from You! Give me the words and give me the actions today and everyday that say “thank You” for all You've done for me.

Monday, September 22, 2014

God's Standard Procedure

467 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from: 2Sa 7:19 "And yet this was a small thing in Your sight, O Lord GOD; and You have also spoken of Your servant's house for a great while to come. Is this the manner of man, O Lord GOD? This small thing in the sight of God goes back to 2Sa 7:8b and entails the entire Davidic covenant. "'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel.” God took this lowly shepherd boy and made him ruler over a great nation and then promised David that a King would come from his seed that would rule forever! This whole scenario seems like a fairy tale to David. Too good to be true, and yet he acknowledges that it is no big deal for a Mighty and Sovereign God. Then he asks a rhetorical question, “Is this the manner of man, O Lord God?” The obvious answer is no! Sinful man doesn't think or work that way, but this mode of operation of rewarding the humble is standard procedure in God's economy. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble! It is as Jesus said to His disciples in Mt 20:25-27, “ But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 "And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave-- And He reiterated that thought in Lu 14:8-11, “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; 9 "and he who invited you and him come and say to you, 'Give place to this man,' and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 "But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, 'Friend, go up higher.' Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. 11 "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Father, pride is ever seeking to raise it's ugly head in our lives. Help us to learn true humility and give us a servant heart.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Who Am I

466 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from: 2Sa 7:18 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD; and he said: "Who am I, O Lord GOD? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?” Then David went in (probably into the tabernacle) and sat before the Lord. What a great example for all of us! He had just received some very good news from Nathan the prophet, then went to be alone with the Lord. In his quiet time with the Lord he asks a question that is seeping with thankful reality. “Who am I, that you have brought me this far?” Have you ever done that? Have you ever gone to your prayer closet, or sat all alone in a church, or beside a lake at daybreak or sunset, and just asked God, “Who am I that You have brought me this far?” Have you ever just sat before Jesus and counted your blessings? Maybe this would be a great question to ponder when we gather around the thanksgiving table. “Who am I Lord, that you would bring the Good News to my ears, and by Your grace, cause me to grasp it, and believe it? Who am I that You would rescue me from the road to hell, and set me on the path of righteousness? Who am I that ____________, and each and every one of us could spend a great deal of time filling in that blank. Material blessings, familial blessings, spiritual blessings and more! Even in our sufferings, the Holy Spirit speaking through the Apostle Paul reminds us of that God-given privilege. “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, (Phil 1:29) I know that sometimes we don't feel so special, but we are, and it is at those times that we need to turn to God's Word for a dose of “Who am I reality. Ps 8:3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? 5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.” In this life, we are vapors, a molecule in the midst of a spritz, and yet God still cares for us! O Father, who am I? Let that thought never be far from me as I live out the days You have ordained for me.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Believe In the Light

465 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from: 2Sa 7:16,17 "And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever."' 17 According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David. (2 Sam 7:16,17) The prophecy or Davidic Covenant concludes with the promise to David that not only his house, (his family) but also his kingdom would one day be set up forever! This promise was recalled and brought to Jesus' attention by an inquisitive crowd in Joh 12:32-36, "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." 33 This He said, signifying by what death He would die. 34 The people answered Him, "We have heard from the law (this Davidic promise) that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this Son of Man?" 35 Then Jesus said to them, "A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. 36 "While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." The people could not comprehend the idea that the Messiah would have to die. How could a forever kingdom include the death of the king? This is a fair question, but Jesus doesn't answer it directly. Rather, in response to their question of “who is this Son of Man?” He replies that the Son of Man is “the light.” He then tells them to believe in the light, and they will have light. They will have understanding. It's called faith, and by the grace of God, (the influence of God) it's a leap we all have to make. Christ will not always be placed before us, but when Christ crucified for our sins is preached to our ears, we can either believe it or reject it. If you are reading this on the internet, or hearing it on the radio, the very light that Jesus is talking about is being placed before you. God's word says that all (that means you and I) have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and that the wages of sin is death. Jesus paid that wage when He died on the cross and as many as believe that truth, He gives the right to be called children of God. (Children of light.) Step out of the darkness, come to the light, believe the message of the cross and be saved!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Simple Eternal Life Giving Confession

464 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from: 2Sa 7:14,15, “I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15 "But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. (2 Sam 7:14,15) Nathan continues to speak God's promises to David, and this particular promise is restated in the latter portion of Heb 1:5, “For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? And again: "I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son"? This passage is included in the Book of Hebrews because the Holy Spirit wants us to understand that Jesus is the Son of God! And as the Son of God, is one in essence with the Father. He is the incarnate Savior and King! Yet this Son of God would come in the flesh through the seed of David and Solomon. So Nathan is speaking of Solomon and his seed and to alleviate any fears that David may have about his posterity blowing it like Saul did and breaking this string of anointed succession. God promises to never withdraw His mercy from this lineage, and indeed we can trace the lineage of the Christ from David all the way to Joseph! (See Luke 3:23-38, and Mt 1:1-17) Oh yes, David and his lineage committed great iniquity and their sins brought them the pain that iniquity always brings with it. (Just read the stories!) But the great chastisement for their iniquity was poured out on God's Innocent Son, Jesus Christ, on Calvary. It was here that God chastened with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men, the iniquity of David, Solomon, Rehoboam, you, and I. But even in chastising His perfect Son for the sins of the world, God's mercy did not depart from Him and on the third day He rose again from the dead, and God said, “I accept my Son's sacrifice and will extend the same mercy to all who receive Him as Lord and Savior! This Davidic promise is summed up for us in Ro 10:9 “ if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” A simple eternal life giving confession that can only be wrought by the gift of faith. May God grant it to you today!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

You Are Royalty! Live Like It!

463 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from: 2Sa 7:11b-13, “Also the LORD tells you that He will make you a house. 12 "When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. ( 2 Sam 7:11b-13) The word “house” here is used in the same way we use it today to describe the royal family of England. It is known as the royal house of Windsor and Queen Elizabeth is it's reigning head. The difference is the Royal House of Windsor is temporary. One day it will fade away into oblivion, but not so for the “house of David.” God promised David here that His House, His Royal family, will live and reign forever! The monarch that would come from David's seed will sit on the throne and live and reign forever. That monarch of course is Jesus Christ, who is the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. We read about it in Re 19:16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. One thing most people miss in this passage is that God is talking about you and I . WE are the kings, that He is King of. WE are the lords, that He is Lord of. You might look at it as England has its “House of lords,” so does the kingdom of God, and as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are that “house of lords!” We are seated with Christ in the heavenlies as it says in Eph 2:6 says, “and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” We ARE that ROYAL priesthood spoken of in 1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; You and I are royalty! Oh that we would learn to live the part! The crassness of sin does not belong in the royal family, but rather the dignity of royal behavior as laid out in Scripture. Thankfully when our behavior is less than royal, we can come to our king, confess our sins, receive forgiveness, and get back to the business of living in the royal light! Father, help us to live as your princes and princesses.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Only One Who Can Deliver

462 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from: 2Sa 7:11a "since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. (2 Sam 7:11a) God raised up judges to deliver His people from oppression of enemies. You can read about these judges in the Book of Judges. Jg 2:16 says, “Nevertheless, the LORD raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered them.” And it was God who gave David victory over his enemies and this season of rest that he and his subjects were enjoying. Likewise He has raised up Jesus to deliver us from being plundered by our enemies, (the devil, our flesh, and the world.) and it is Jesus who grants us rest from these plunderers and grants us assurance that all is well with us and God. His role as Deliverer and “rest giver” was very evident in His dealings with the Gadarene demoniac. Remember the story. This man was tormented by the enemies of God ( So many demons resided in him, that his name was “Legion, for we are many!” Jesus cast out those demons, delivering this man from his oppressors and upon being delivered we are told that the man was found, sitting by Jesus, fully clothed, and in his right mind.” A picture of perfect peace and tranquility. So this verse from 2 Samuel is a picture of what God will do for you and me through Jesus! What then is it that the devil seeks to plunder? First and foremost our very soul which is spared by faith. He seeks to work disbelief in us just as he did in the Garden. “Did God really say?” But in shipwrecking our faith, he also plucks the fruits of faith from our lives. Things like, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Gal 5:22,23) Do you lack love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and even saving faith in your life? Then call on the only one who can stop the plunderers in their tracks. Call on Jesus. Father, I pray for those who have been bound by the plunderer, set them free through faith in the only One who can deliver...Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!