Day 20: God Does Not Take Vacations!

On several occasions I have entered a government department to conduct business and I was informed that the person who can help me is on vacation. When I enquired when that person will be back in office I was unable to obtain a definite answer. Sometimes life can make us feel as though God is on vacation. Sometimes, we pray and pray and pray to God for deliverance from our problems and nothing happens. In those moments we believe that God is ‘out of office’. However, the Bible gives us a different account of God’s work schedule. The Bible records that since the beginning of creation God only took one day off:

And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation. (Genesis 2:3 NLT)

God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them in six days and He rested on the seventh day. He rested because His work was finished. However, God was not finished working on behalf on His creation. God planted the Garden of Eden so Adam and Eve would have a nice place to live. After Adam and Eve sinned, God made clothes for them to wear. God continues to work on behalf of His creation:

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalm 107:8 KJV)

There is no doubt that God does wonderful works on behalf of His creation. The Psalmist revealed that God delivered and saved His people when they were distressed and in trouble. However, there is something that occurred before God worked on their behalf:

Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. (Psalm 107:6 KJV)

Those who were in trouble “cried unto the LORD” and the LORD “delivered them out of their distresses”. God works on behalf of those who put their trust in Him. God worked on behalf of David when he was running from King Saul. God worked on behalf of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when they were thrown into the fiery furnace. God worked on behalf of Daniel when he was thrown into the den of lions. God worked on behalf of Jesus when He died and was buried in a tomb.

Are you in distress? Are you faced with trouble? There is Someone Who can help you and He does not go on vacation. God is not so far away that you can not reach Him. Call on Him now:

Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6 NLT)

Day 19: God is the Righteous Judge!

Have you ever been deprived of your rights by someone in authority? We live in a world where persons in authority ignore the rights of others on a daily basis. Those who are not considered to have a high standing in society suffer the most. Even though the United Nations is present and many Treaties protecting the rights of human beings have been signed by many different countries in the world, the rights of many human beings are not protected by those in authority. These things occur in this world but they do not occur in the Kingdom of God. Those who do not have a high standing in the eyes of the world are considered highly in the eyes of God. God ensures that the rights of such persons are upheld.

One day Jesus told His disciples a parable about a woman who was a widow. This widow had a legal problem and she needed justice quickly. She went to a Judge but she faced a great obstacle. The Judge was a person:

“who neither feared God nor cared about people” (Luke 18:2 NLT)

In other words, the Judge was unrighteous. Even though persons came before Him with legitimate claims, He did not care. He would refuse legitimate claims at any time and against any person. However, this widow woman did not give up. She went to that unrighteous Judge on several occasions and said:

‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ (Luke 18:3 NLT)

The parable continued:

The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people,  but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’” (Luke 18:4-5 NLT)

The widow continued to bother that unrighteous Judge with her requests for justice. Jesus said we should learn an important lesson from this widow:

So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly… (Luke 18:7-8 NLT)

The lesson is this:

The people of God should not give up asking God for justice. The people of God should not give up praying to God for victory. God is the Righteous Judge and He will uphold your legal rights.

NEVER STOP PRAYING (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT)

Day 18: You Have Legal Rights!

Every human being has legal rights! I am not referring to those legal rights given to us by the laws of the country in which we reside. I am referring to those legal rights given to us by our Creator, the King of Heaven. Everything that God does is legal. In other words, no human being or spiritual being can successfully challenge the legality of God’s actions on the earth. When God decided to save the world from sin He used the legal process of Redemption. Redemption may be defined as:

The action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt. (English Oxford Living Dictionaries)

The Apostle Peter says:

For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. (1 Peter 1:18-19 NLT)

Adam left mankind with a great debt that we could not clear. However, it was not the will of God to leave us with this debt hanging over our heads. It was God’s will to pay that debt in full. There was only one price that was acceptable in the eyes of God:

The Blood of a sinless Man

That sinless Man was Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Through the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross every human being obtained the legal right to be set free from sin. Through His death, Jesus has given every human being the opportunity to abandon sin and live righteously in the eyes of God. All who take this opportunity are legally declared to be forgiven of their sins. The Bible records:

For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. (Colossians 1:13-14 NLT)

Every believer in Jesus Christ has exercised their God-given legal right to be forgiven of their sins. However, every believer in Jesus Christ has also received other legal rights . These legal rights must be embraced and exercised to overcome Satan, the enemy of our souls and every obstacle and difficulty in life. The Prophet Zechariah gave us a glimpse into what redemption looks like:

Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua. And the LORD said to Satan, “I, the LORD, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.”

Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.” (Zechariah 3:1-4 NLT)

God has snatched us from the fire of sin. Our clothes were filthy but through Jesus Christ, God took away those filthy clothes and gave us new clothes to wear. This is redemption!

You were redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Your redemption was paid for in full by Jesus Christ. You are legally free from sin and no human being or spiritual being can successfully challenge your redemption which is in Christ Jesus.

Day 17: God’s Army Stands Ready (Part 2)

It is my desire to encourage you today. We all need encouragement at some point in time in our lives. The best boxers need their trainers to encourage them. The greatest athletes needs encouragement from their coaches. Children need encouragement from their parents. Christians need encouragement from their God and Father. Our Father in Heaven is the God of Encouragement. He encourages us through His Word. He encourages us through His presence. He encourages us through His servants.

Joshua was given the great responsibility of leading Israel to possess the Promised Land. God encouraged Joshua through His Word:

“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous.(Joshua 1:6-7 NLT)

God encouraged Joshua through His presence:

So Joshua told the Israelites, “Come and listen to what the LORD your God says. Today you will know that the living God is among you…Look, the Ark of the Covenant, which belongs to the Lord of the whole earth, will lead you across the Jordan River!…as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away… And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho. (Joshua 3:9-16 NLT)

God encouraged Joshua through His servant:

When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?” “Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the LORD’s army.” (Joshua 5:13-14 NLT)

God told Joshua to be strong and courageous. God showed Joshua that He was with Him by moving the waters of the river Jordan so Israel could pass over to the other side. When Joshua had to conquer the city of Jericho, God sent a man with a sword in his hand to meet Joshua. This man revealed himself to be:

The commander of the LORD’s army

This man did not reveal why he was there but I believe he was there to encourage Joshua. I believe His presence alone encouraged Joshua to continue doing the will of God. If the commander of the army is present, his army cannot be too far away. Joshua was faced with the great task of conquering the city of Jericho but God’s army stood ready. If you are faced with a great difficulty today, be encouraged by Joshua’s encounter with the commander of LORD’s army. God’s Army Stands Ready to help you!

 

Day 16: God’s Army Stands Ready (Part 1)

Semper Paratus is a Latin phrase which means “Always Ready”. This Latin phrase is the motto of the United States Coast Guard. It paints a picture in my mind of the United States Coast Guard always being ready at a moment’s notice to protect and to save. It paints a picture in my mind of the United States Coast Guard always being ready to handle any danger or evil that it is called to respond to. The United States Coast Guard is an earthly army. There is a Heavenly Army whose motto is also “Always Ready”.

The Bible records that in the time of greatest need God’s Army stands ready to protect and deliver those who put their trust in God. One day Elisha the Prophet and his servant were in a city called Dothan. The King of Aram heard of Elisha’s presence in Dothan and the King sent a “great army with many chariots and many horses to surround the city”. Elisha’s servant became afraid. However, Elisha had a different response:

“Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!” The LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire. (2 Kings 6:16-17 NLT)

Elisha and his servant were surrounded by a great army but that great army was surrounded by an even greater army:

God’s Army

God’s Army stood ready to protect Elisha, the servant of God. Are you one of God’s servants? Are you a follower of Jesus Christ? Then be certain of this:

God will never leave you nor forsake you!

God has provided around the clock protection for you. His Army stands ready to protect and deliver you at a moment’s notice. While surrounded by armed men who came to arrest Him, Jesus told Peter:

Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? (Matthew 26:53 NLT)

Trust God today!

Day 15: You Are in God’s Army

Wouldn’t it be great if the earth was filled with peace everyday? No wars, no battles, no pain, no trouble? God promises to give His people this kind of life. However, until that promise is fulfilled we have to live on an earth filled with war, conflict and pain. Every day we hear news of some kind of evil that has taken place in our country or in a foreign land. Very often we are powerless to do anything about the evil that has occurred. We may lack the strength, resources or knowledge to help those who have been hurt or wounded by conflict and other evils. Sometimes we lack the strength, resources or knowledge to help ourselves.  However, there is good news for those who believe in Jesus Christ:

YOU ARE IN GOD’S ARMY!

Let us look at the army of any nation. Any nation that has an army is responsible for training the members of the army. That nation is also responsible for equipping each member of the army with the tools, resources and weapons he/she needs to operate effectively. That nation is also responsible for appointing experienced men and women to lead that army to victory.

God has an army on earth. That army is the Church (all believers in Jesus Christ). God is constantly training us and equipping us to be effective members of that army. God has given us the Holy Spirit to train us:

But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. (John 14:26 NLT)

God has given us resources to equip us:

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-12 NLT)

God has given us His Son to lead us to victory:

God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. (Ephesians 1:22 NLT)

Jesus is the General of the Army. He has been appointed by God our Father. Jesus was victorious over Satan in the wilderness. Jesus was victorious over death. He wants to lead us to victory also.

Let us stay in God’s army and follow our leader to victory!

Day 14: Wear God’s Clothing

Identity is very important to us as human beings. From the moment we are born we are identified by a particular gender. We are later issued with an identification number. Government departments use this number to identify individuals. However, there is another way to identify an individual:

Examining the clothes they are wearing

There are specific clothes worn by specific people in society. Police officers wear specific clothing. Fire officers wear specific clothing. Paramedics wear specific clothing. These clothes are called uniforms. Therefore, all police officers of the same rank wear the same uniforms. The same goes for fire officers.   Uniforms allow others to identify the person wearing the uniform. The same is true for those who believe in Jesus Christ.

There is a specific set of clothes that all overcoming Christians must wear everyday of their lives:

I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10 NLT)

Heaven has a Clothing Line. Two of these Heavenly clothes are “the clothing of salvation” and the “robe of righteousness”. These clothes are not optional. God requires all believers in Christ to wear salvation and righteousness. These clothes are not seasonal. Some try to wear these clothes at Christmas or during Easter. However, salvation and righteousness must be worn all year round.

Sometimes there are seasons in our lives when we feel like overcomers. Other times we feel defeated. This is not the will of God. God wants all believers in Jesus Christ to be clothed in victory every day even though there is an atmosphere of defeat all around us. Jesus Christ was sentenced to die the death of a criminal. He was “counted among the rebels”. However, Jesus was victorious even in the presence of wrongful accusations, cruel punishment and death. God said:

I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death (Isaiah 53:12 NLT)

Jesus was clothed in victory even in the face of death. The Roman soldiers stripped Him of His clothes. However, Jesus was wearing “the clothing of salvation” and the “robe of righteousness”. Three days later, God the Father saved Him from death.

Let us wear God’s clothing every day of our lives!

Day 13: God wants You to Eat Like a King (Part 1)

Do you know that God wants you to eat like a King? This is the description that the Bible gave concerning the food that was available for King Solomon on a daily basis:

The daily food requirements for Solomon’s palace were 150 bushels of choice flour and 300 bushels of meal; also 10 oxen from the fattening pens, 20 pasture-fed cattle, 100 sheep or goats, as well as deer, gazelles, roe deer, and choice poultry. (1 Kings 4:22-23 NLT)

There was no shortage of food in King Solomon’s palace. I believe there are persons in the 21st century who would scoff at the lavish lifestyle that Solomon lived. Therefore, I think it is best to put Solomon’s lifestyle in context. Firstly, Solomon was the King of Israel. He was the highest authority in Israel. Everyone looked to him for guidance and to do justice whenever persons had disputes with each other. In every Kingdom the position of King was highly esteemed and the King or Queen enjoyed certain privileges. One of those privileges was having more than enough to eat. As the King of Israel, Solomon enjoyed that privilege also.

Secondly, Solomon was blessed abundantly by God. One night God told Solomon:

“What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” (1 Kings 3:5 NLT)

Solomon asked God to give Him wisdom. God said He would give it to him. However, God gave Solomon something else:

…I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! (1 Kings 3:13 NLT)

God gave Solomon riches and fame. Some of the Kings and Queens of the earth already had riches and fame but God gave Solomon much more riches and much more fame than all the other Kings and Queens. This is the context in which we should judge Solomon’s lifestyle. But the question is asked:

How is Solomon’s diet relevant to me living an overcoming life as a Christian?

The measure of Solomon’s diet was not only in the abundance of food he had but the quality of the food he had. The Bible records that Solomon had “…choice flour…pasture-fed calves…choice poultry…” The word “choice” meant that the food which Solomon ate was the best. God blessed Solomon with the best food. Solomon truly ate like a King.

However, there is something about Solomon’s life that is even more exciting for us as Christians. God gave us the opportunity to eat the best food:

Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35 NLT)

Solomon was indeed a very rich King. However, the food that Solomon ate was never of such a high quality that Solomon did not have to eat again for the rest of his life. Solomon had to eat of that food every day until He died. Our Father in Heaven has given us something better:

THE BREAD OF LIFE

There is no food which is greater than the bread of life. The bread of life is of the highest quality. It is of an eternal quality. Those who eat of it will never hunger again. This is the lavish lifestyle of the Christian. Believing in Jesus Christ is a lifestyle of abundance. It is an overcoming lifestyle. Jesus said:

…My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10b)

Certainly, there is no doubt that God wants you to eat like a King.

 

By Corey H.D. Beckles

Day 12: Follow God’s Kingdom Diet

A healthy lifestyle is one of the most important things that we can have as a human being. Without strong, healthy and energetic physical bodies, we cannot function effectively on this earth. Therefore, as human beings we need to follow a healthy lifestyle. One of the ways in which we can begin to follow a healthy lifestyle is by changing our diet (what we eat). There are many different programs developed by wise, educated men and women on this earth which can help us begin on our journey to health and wellness. However, do you know that the Kingdom of God has a dietary program for its citizens? I am not talking about physical food though. I am talking about spiritual food. Jesus Christ said:

People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4 NLT)

Many people are familiar with the circumstances in which Jesus said these words. Jesus had not eaten for forty days and forty nights and He was hungry. Then Satan tempted Jesus by telling Him:

“If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” (Matthew 4:3 NLT)

I believe Jesus was able to turn those stones into bread. However, Jesus was full and satisfied with another kind of food:

Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” (John 4:34 NLT)

Jesus followed the diet of the Kingdom of God. He followed this diet wholeheartedly while He was on the earth. He followed this diet even though He was given the opportunity to follow the diet of the world. The diet of the world is disobedience to the will of God. Adam and Eve followed this diet when they ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We inherited the desire to follow that diet from Adam and Eve. However, through Jesus Christ we can break free from the diet of the world and follow God’s Kingdom diet. Jesus overcame Satan’s temptation to disobey the will of God and turn those stones into bread. Through Jesus we can overcome temptations also. All we need to do is to decide that we will do what Jesus did:

FOLLOW GOD’S KINGDOM DIET

By Corey H.D. Beckles