Some of my Favorite Devos
from Called to Conquer by Bishop Eddie Long
Sunday, September 4
You Are Blessed to Be a Blessing
Today’s Scripture Reading: Luke 4:18–19
Key Verse: : Luke 4:18
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed.
When Jesus said that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him to preach the gospel, the first group He mentioned was the poor. There is only one kind of news the poor want to hear, and that is good news about their finances. Begin by praying this prayer with me:
You have to concede that Jesus understood that; it was the first thing He brought up. You may say, “But Jesus also said that we would always have the poor among us.”
Do you know why we will always have the poor among us? It is because we will always have people who refuse to acknowledge or honor the principles of God. For the same reason, there will always be people who will not tithe. They will not understand and walk in God’s kingdom ways.
I hope none of these descriptions fits you, because God has blessed you to be a blessing to others. It is part of your calling in the kingdom of God. For this reason, listening to and learning God’s principles on finance are vital. Remember: it is the first thing Jesus addressed in His adult ministry. Make it the first thing you address after you finish your devotions today.
Father, I acknowledge that Your Spirit is upon me today. Because I have received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, You have passed His commission on to me and my brothers and sisters in the church. I will honor Your law of sowing and reaping through my tithes, offerings, and liberal giving to others. Your Word is true: I have been blessed to be a blessing, and I will obey in Jesus’ name, amen.
Roughed Up To Grow Up
Do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction. —Proverbs 3:11
Bible In One Year: 1 Chronicles 17-19
The need for "bad weather" to stimulate growth can be seen in nature. Scientists say that the seeds of some desert bushes must be damaged by a storm before they will germinate. They are covered with hard shells that keep out water. This allows them to lie dormant on the sand for several seasons until conditions are right for growth.
When heavy rains finally come, the little seeds are carried away in a flash flood. They are banged against sand, gravel, and rocks as they rush down the slopes. Eventually they settle in a depression where the soil has become damp to a depth of several feet. Only then do they begin to grow, for moisture is absorbed through the nicks and scratches they picked up on their downhill plunge.
Similarly, difficulties may be needed to wake up a sleeping saint. This may hurt for a while, but if we yield to the Lord we will find that life’s bruises can mark the beginning of spiritual advances. We may prefer to remain "seeds," but He wants us to become "fruitful trees." —Mart De Haan
Should Thy mercy send me sorrow, toil, and woe,
Or should pain attend me on my path below,
Grant that I may never fail Thy hand to see,
Grant that I may ever cast my care on Thee. —Montgomery
There are no gains without pains.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
Knowing God Through Proverbs
Saturday, August 27
from Called to Conquer by Bishop Eddie L. Long
Have You Completed Your Reeducation?
Today’s Scripture Reading: Genesis 12:1–3
Key Verse: : Genesis 12:1
The Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.”
God always removes a man (or woman) from his original place of education and separates him from his support system and comfort ones before He qualifies him for leadership. It is the only way He can educate him according to the kingdom of God. If you look in the Bible, you will see this same pattern every time.
Consider Abram. God told him, “Get out of your country, / From your family / And from your father’s house, / To a land that I will show you.” The Lord was actually saying, “I am getting ready to reeducate you—not Uncle Bud and Aunt Sally—according to the standards of the kingdom. I have to separate you and educate you in the ways of the kingdom. Then, once you are revolutionized, you can turn and revolutionize them. Abram, you cannot set anyone else free if you have not been set free.”
We have too many preachers in the pulpit who have not undergone revolution in their thinking about the kingdom of God. I foresee some rapid and radical reeducation going on in the near future.
Holy Father, I want to go all the way. Transplant, transform, and transfuse me with Your Holy Spirit. Change me to the image of Your Son, Jesus, so I can glorify You and build Your kingdom.
In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes. —Psalm 119:71
Bible In One Year: Jeremiah 47-49
Finally I experienced the odd relief of hitting rock bottom, where I made an unexpected discovery: The rock on which I had been thrown was none other than Christ Himself. Cast on Him alone, I was in a position to rebuild the rest of my life, this time as a God-dependent person rather than the self-dependent person I had been. My rock-bottom experience became a turning point and one of the most vital spiritual developments of my life.
Most people feel anything but spiritual when they hit bottom. Their misery is often reinforced by Christians who take a very shortsighted view of what the sufferer is going through, and why. But our heavenly Father is well-pleased with what He intends to bring out of such a painful process.
A person who knows the secret of the God-dependent life can say, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes" (Psalm 119:71). —Joanie Yoder
Lift up your eyes, discouraged one,
The Lord your help will be;
New strength will come from Him who said,
"For rest, come unto Me." —Anon.
When a Christian hits rock bottom, he finds that Christ is a firm foundation.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
When Hope Is Lost
Why Love Begets Hate
[Jesus said], "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you." —John 15:18
Bible In One Year: Jeremiah 43-46
Christians are to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13), love their neighbors as themselves (Galatians 5:14), live a life of love (Ephesians 5:2), and love with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18).
So, if Jesus and His followers are all about love, why do some people love to hate us? Why are there, according to one estimate, 200 million persecuted believers in the world today?
Jesus told us why. He said to His disciples, "Everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed" (John 3:20). Jesus is the Light. When He walked this earth, people hated Him because He exposed the darkness of their sin. We are now His light in this world (Matthew 5:14); therefore, the world will also hate us (John 15:19).
Our task is to be channels of God’s love and light, even if we are hated in return. —Dave Branon
Some will hate you, some will love you;
Some will flatter, some will slight;
Cease from man, and look above you,
Trust in God and do the right. —Macleod
Love in return for love is natural, but love in return for hate is supernatural.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
Knowing God Through John