Don’t you see that he is dead?

Man lying in bed on a lazy dayThis devotion is by Smith Wiggelsworth, Smith Wigglesworth Devotional, Compiled by Patricia Culbertson, Whitaker House, 1999, P 476

One day when I came home and found that my wife was out, I was told that she was down at Mitchell’s. I had seen Mitchell that day and knew that he was at the point of death. I knew that it would be impossible for him to survive the day unless the Lord undertook to heal him.

There are many who let up in sickness and do not take hold of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ that is provided for them. I hurried down to Mitchell’s house, and as I got near I heard terrible screams. I knew that something had happened. I saw Mrs. Mitchell on the staircase and asked, “What is up?” She replied, “He is gone! He is gone!” I just passed by her and went into the room. Immediately I saw that Mitchell had gone. I could not understand it, but I began to pray. My wife was always afraid that I would go too far, and she laid hold of me and said, “Don’t, Dad! Don’t you see that he is dead?” I continued to pray and my wife continued to cry out to me, “Don’t, Dad. Don’t you see that he is dead?” But I continued praying. I got as far as I could with my own faith, and then God laid hold of me. Oh, it was such a laying hold that I could believe for anything. The faith of the Lord Jesus laid hold of me, and a solid peace came into my heart. I shouted, “He lives! He lives! He lives!” And he is living today.

There is a difference between our faith and the faith of the Lord Jesus. The faith of the Lord Jesus is needed. Your faith may get to a place where it wavers. The faith of Christ never wavers. When you have His faith, the thing is finished. When you have that faith, you will never look at things as they are. You will see the things of nature give way to the things of the Spirit; you will see the temporal swallowed up in the eternal.

As we remain steadfast and unmovable on the ground of faith, we will see in perfect manifestation what we are believing for.

Thought for today: It is when we are at the end of our own resources that we can enter into the riches of God’s resources.

James 5:15 – “The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up”

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Let Jesus fix it!

printA South American company purchased a fine printing press from a firm in the United States.  After it had been shipped and completely assembled, the workmen could not get it to operate properly.  The most knowledgeable personnel tried to adjust it, but to no avail.

The company finally sent a wire to the manufacturer, asking for a representative to come and fix it.  Sensing the urgency of the request, the U.S. firm sent the designer of the press.  When he arrived on the scene, the company officials were skeptical because he was young.  After discussing the situation, they sent this cable to the manufacturer: “Your man is too young.  Send a more experienced person.” The reply came back, “He made the machine.  Let him fix it!”

Mankind is in a similar situation.  Every area of life seems to be in chaos.  People don’t know how to “put it all together.”  Addictions, enslaving sins and nagging guilt leave them confused.  Man-made plans and panaceas offer little hope.  It is only Jesus who can really fix our lives.*

Do you fully trust Jesus to get your life victorious?

Psalm 62:6,7 – “He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.”

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I am going to take my chance with JESUS

photo-1519452635265-7b1fbfd1e4e0Some time ago in one of the back-state mining towns in Colorado, an infidel lecturer came to town. Calling the people together in the only hall, he lectured five nights on atheism and infidelity.

He talked about all the devilish, all the satanic, all the hellish arguments that are the cornerstone of these lecturers. He tore the Bible, as he thought, to shreds. He denied God, denied Christ, mocked the Church, ridiculed preachers, laughed at Christians.

On the last night, having finished, he stood before the crowd and cried out, “I have knocked off your shackles. I have knocked off your fetters. You are free. There is no God. Go ahead and do as you please. Christianity is a myth.”

When he finished shouting, a heavy-handed, heavy-faced mining man stood. “Mister, will you let me say a word?”

“All right, brother, fire away”.”

“Mister, I haven’t got your education. I can’t use your language. I don’t know some of the words you used, but I have heard you every night and you sure are a good talker. I want to tell you something. Five years ago, I was a drunkard, a gambler, and worse than that, I beat my wife. I abused my children. I couldn’t hold a job for a month straight. Nobody had any confidence in me.

“There came to this town a youngish fellow. He made mistakes in his grammar. He wasn’t nearly as handsome as you are. He stood up there on the platform and he told us, told me about Jesus. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I am saved. I have a good job. My wife and children are well-dressed. I have the respect of this town. Brother, what you mean by that word ‘myth’ I do not know, but I am going to take my chance with Jesus.” (Dr. Hyman Appelman)

“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” –Revelation 12:11, NIV

Your testimony is the most powerful argument you have. No one can take that away from you.

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Slaughter the oxen!

photo-1486590781073-2ad02b358578In 1519, the Spanish explorer and conquistador Hernando Cortez decided he wanted to seize the treasure the Aztecs had been hoarding. He took his soldiers and landed his ships on the shores of the Yucatan. Despite the large army under his command, he was still outnumbered by a huge and powerful empire that had been around for 600 years.

Some of his men doubted their chance of success and wanted to escape. Cortez did something that seemed insane. He gave the order to destroy his own ships. The path forward was clear—all or nothing, 100-percent commitment.

According to the legend, Cortez succeeded in getting the treasure because there was no going back.

To have success in your walk with God and in your ministry, you must abandon it all, like Elisha did in 1 Kings 19. He had a huge operation going which included 24 oxen running and 12 working plows. Elijah appeared on the scene, walked up to Elisha and threw his cloak around him.

This was the clear communication to Elisha, “God has chosen you to be my successor”.” Elisha’s response was unbelievable. He went back, kissed his parents goodbye, then took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant. (See 1 Kings 19:21, NIV.) Like Cortez, he destroyed every possibility of ever going back.

There is no such thing as casual Christianity. Following Christ comes with a cost. What are the things in your life you need to kill, burn or leave behind to pursue the “treasure” God has for you?

The truth is you cannot follow Jesus without leaving some things behind, killing some things off and burning some things up. Peter, James and John left the fishing business. Matthew left tax collecting. Mary Magdalene left prostitution.

To truly follow Christ, you must kill some things off—entertainment, TV, movies, social media, electronic games. Any or all of these could be blocking you from an intimate relationship with God. Or old friendships or relationships could be pulling you back into alcohol, drugs or dirty lifestyles. It could be your horoscope, yoga, essential oils, or other demonic influences.

What do you need to leave behind, kill off or burn today?

Jesus said, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62, NIV).

__________________________
Paul Wagorn, http://www.ideaconnection.com

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Get to the finals!

photo-1518214598173-1666bc921d66My secret was tightly locked up in my little box. I had worked diligently for weeks to prepare for this day—the Pinewood Derby.

When we entered the building, we could sense the excitement among the racers. The big track was set up, and the judges were taking their places.

Years before, my brothers developed a family secret for the axle system of these little cars that were carved out of a little block of wood. The process was the same every year. You must overcome every contestant to reach that final race. There were no shortcuts.

If you don’t overcome the smaller challenges of life, you never make it to the final race. Many of the tests in life, if overcome, qualify us for the bigger much more significant ones.

David was pursuing the Amalekites who had stolen everything he and his army owned including their wives and children. He was going to the enemy’s camp to take back everything.

“David and the six hundred men with him came to the Besor Valley, where some stayed behind. Two hundred of them were too exhausted to cross the valley, but David and the other four hundred continued the pursuit” (1 Sam. 30:9-10, NIV).

Life has a way of disqualifying the half-hearted. Consider the 200 who were too exhausted to cross Besor. They missed that “final race” probably because they had not conditioned themselves like the other 400. The 200 had no testimony of victory to tell their children. They did not witness how David and his men snuck up on a drunk army and took back everything. It must have been humbling when their wives and children were brought to them.

Don’t underestimate the small challenges of life. They are often the prerequisite for the glorious challenges. God has victory for you every step of the way. Don’t get stuck at Besor.

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”—Isaiah 41:13, NIV

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Build your life in the secret place

YUBiQ2NZdQThe hot midday sun shone mercilessly on the middle eastern countryside. A young shepherd sat under a tree working tirelessly while watching over his sheep. Again, and again he chose different targets working hard never to miss the mark. No one was there to see his accomplishments.

When he was done with his daily routine, he pulled out a simple harp and began playing like a master musician. He worked hard to polish up his skills. With the sun setting and the sheep safely in the fold, his mind was busy dwelling on the goodness of God. Inspired by the presence of God, he grabbed a pen and wrote,

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.”

Why was this “no-name” working so hard? The sheep would not cheer him on saying “great shot” or “what a beautiful song, David”.” Would anyone ever read the poems he had written in his little book?

He was not of noble birth so why work so hard. Nobody saw any potential in him. When  the prophet Samuel came to visit his family for a special meal, nobody bother to tell David. Not even his own father saw potential in him.

David was not trying to get the attention of people. He wanted to please his God. In the end, it was not people but God who promoted him from the shepherd fields to the palace in Hebron and then later Jerusalem. Although, Samuel wanted to anoint one of David’s brothers as the next king of Israel, God said each time, “No, it is not him.”

The brothers finally went to the shepherd fields and brought David in. The family stood in shook when Samuel pulled out the anointing horn filled with oil and poured it over David’s head saying, “You are chosen of God to be the next king of Israel.”

Too many people live only to stand in the limelight. They will work hard to achieve their goals if they know they will have a platform. They will do everything to be recognized. They work hard to get the attention of influential people.

David was not like this. He didn’t try to meet Samuel at every conference or read all of his books or listen to every podcast. David wished to please only one person—God.

Are you building your life in the secret place or are you doing it to be recognized by men?

“The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”—Matthew 23:12, NIV

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Are you in love with Jesus?

Z0VnQmdQWhen people are in love, they do the craziest things. I remember when I first fell in love with Simone, who is now my wife. No price was too high for me. I would buy flowers for her every week. I would drive through the night, getting next to no sleep just to be with her. I spent way too much money on her, more than I could afford at the time. But , to me, she was just worth it.

Are you in love with Jesus? When you are in love with Him, going to church is a joy. Reading the Bible and prayer is not a chore. You cannot wait for the prayer meeting, because you get the joy of His presence. Giving sacrificial offerings is a joy because you love your God.

How much is Jesus worth to you? Luke 14:3 talks about a woman that came in where Jesus was eating with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head. Imagine, this jar of perfume was worth a year’s wages. In our day it could be worth $30,000. It was extravagant and wasteful in the eyes of some. Why would she do that? Because she loved Jesus and wanted to give her best.

Jesus said in Revelation 2:4, “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!”

Some Christians say, I am just not an emotional type of person. I can’t get excited about my faith like some people do. The interesting thing is that just these “unemotional” people will go to great lengths to be at a football game. They complain about parking at church but are willing to park a mile away from a football stadium and walk to an uncomfortable bleacher seat that they paid $200 for. When the game starts, all un-emotionalism passes away. They shout at the top of their voices and get excited. Why? Because that is where their heart is.

Many Christians have a loving problem. Jesus says, “Turn back to me and do the works you did at first.”

When you still were in love, How much is Jesus worth to you?

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind’” (Matt. 22:37, NLT).

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