May 2017
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The Pruning Process by Joel Osteen
He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
John 15:2, NIV

TODAY'S WORD:
In life, we all go through a pruning process. God will prune our lives so that we can bear much fruit. To “prune” means something is cut away, something is removed. In other words, maybe a good friend that you counted on moved to another city. Maybe a business shut down that you were connected to, or a relationship went a different direction.

Friend, God knows what you need in your life in order to grow and flourish. Sometimes when things happen that we don’t understand, we have to just trust that He is working behind the scenes preparing you for increase, preparing you to go to another level. Don’t put a question mark where God has placed a period.

When you’re going through transition, don’t get bitter. Don’t get down and think it’s the end. Don’t start thinking that you’re a failure. Have the attitude, “God, I let this go knowing that it was only temporary provision, and what You have in my future will be greater than what I’m letting go of.” If you will accept the change and stay in faith, God will open new doors. He will bring new opportunities, new friendships, and take you to another level of His glory!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father, thank You for loving me enough to work in my life. Today I release the things I don’t understand into Your hands. I believe that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf. I believe that You have good things in store for my future. I choose to wait on You and trust You now and forevermore in Jesus’ name. Amen.


You’re an Everything/Nothing…and So Am I!  by Joyce Meyer
What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of [earthborn] man that You care for him? Yet You have made him but a little lower than God [or heavenly beings], and You have crowned him with glory and honor.
—Psalm 8:4-5 AMPC

Pride is a terrible sin, and we are instructed in God’s Word not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to (see Romans 12:3). That doesn’t mean that we need to have a bad opinion of or look down on ourselves. It does mean that we are to remember that we are no better than anyone else and that whatever God has enabled us to do is a gift from Him. We have no more right to claim credit for a special ability we have than we do for blue eyes or brown hair. Paul wrote to the Corinthians and asked them what they had that did not come as a gift from God (see 1 Corinthians 4:7).

When we are warned not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to, it means we are to realize that we are nothing apart from Jesus and without Him we can do nothing. The value we have is found in Him, and we can celebrate who we are only because of Him. Actually, when we celebrate who we are in Jesus, it is a way of celebrating Jesus Himself.

We make this a lot more difficult than it needs to be. It is simple—we are everything in Jesus and nothing in ourselves. I like to say, “I am an everything/nothing!” We celebrate because of the amazing work God does in us, and not because of any worth we have in ourselves. As long as we continue giving God the glory for anything good that we manifest, we are on a safe and right track.

For some reason religion has taught people that to be godly they must have a low, or even bad, opinion of themselves, and I believe this kind of thinking has done incalculable damage to the plan of God. As long as we know we are lower than God and He is always our Chief and Head, then we are safe.

Trust in Him: Say out loud daily, “I am nothing without Jesus, but in and through Him I am valuable and I can do great things.”



 The Fundamental Principle Of Christianity by John Hagee
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid.

The Fundamental Principle Of Christianity Is To Be What God Is, And He Is Light
David opens Psalm 27 with the simple declaration, “The Lord is my light.”  The Bible also calls Jesus the “day star”, the “bright and morning star” and the “true Light.”  Jesus said of himself, “I am the light of the world:  he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” John 8:12.

It is the destiny of the church to be the light in a dark world.  Light reveals…light exposes…light guides…light conquers darkness.  It’s time for the church to quit wailing about the darkness in the world and turn on the light of Jesus Christ.  It’s time for Satan to be seen shuffling through the back alleys of hell in a true Maalox Moment, dialing 911 and lamenting, “Where will the church strike next?”

A definition of the occult is “that which is hidden and secretive.”  Anything not open and above board is not of God.  You don’t have to be in the occult to walk in darkness—the first step away from the light is a step toward darkness.  The first step away from Jesus Christ is a step toward the prince of darkness.

When you reject the truth, you embrace a lie.  You are either saved or lost…sheep or goats…wheat or tares…light or darkness.  So “walk as children of light …and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” Ephesians 5:8, 11.  “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” Matthew 5:16.

Source:  Turn On The Light


Our Protector by Dr. Charles Stanley
Psalm 121:1-3

Psalm 121 describes the safety that is found in the Lord. Today and tomorrow, let’s look at several verses to better understand our security.

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord” (vv. 1-2). When this psalm was written, robbers dwelled in the mountains, waiting for innocent travelers to become their unsuspecting victims. Not only that, but wild animals also posed a threat. Needless to say, journeying on these remote hilly roads must have caused anxiety and fear.

Our lives can be like mountainous territory. Do you look to the future and wonder what dangers lurk? The Lord is our helper; He alone is able to protect us, regardless of what lies ahead. Friends and relatives can offer limited assistance, but God knows everything and has all the power necessary to rescue us.

“He will not allow your foot to slip” (v. 3). God has provided everything we need in order to avoid sin. The Holy Spirit directs and empowers us; the Word lights our path so we do not slip. Yet at times, we choose to sin. Almighty God could stop us from disobeying, but He doesn’t interfere with our free will. Instead, He upholds us, enabling us to walk in His way.

These opening verses focus on the Lord’s ability to protect us in treacherous times. Whether trouble originates with others, external circumstances, or our own sin, we can find ourselves in danger and afraid. Thankfully, we have a loving Father who leads us to safety.

Bible in One Year: Job 1-4


God Is Not Punishing You For Some Sin by Joseph Prince
Ephesians 1:7
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

Some Christians believe that although you have forgiveness of sins, you are not free from the penalties of your sins. In other words, you can still expect punishment from God. For example, some married Christian couples have been told that they are childless because God is punishing them for having had pre-marital sex. So although God has forgiven them of that sin, He still has to punish them for it.

I am certainly not for pre-marital sex, but I want you to know that God, who is the only one who can fully appreciate the full value of His Son’s blood and who is completely satisfied by His Son’s sacrifice, is at rest in His heart today concerning your sins! That is why He is not against you even when you fail. Neither is He out to punish you when you sin. No, He still loves you, is for you and wants to help you overcome that sin.

In the Old Testament, the blood of bulls and goats could only “cover” sins and not take them away. (Hebrews 10:4) But the blood of Jesus is not like the blood of animals! For by one sacrifice, the eternal blood of the Son of God has forever removed your sins (Psalm 103:12) and cleansed you of all unrighteousness! (1 John 1:9) In fact, God is so satisfied with His Son’s perfect work that He says to you today, “Your sins and lawless deeds I will by no means remember!” (Hebrews 10:17) And if God does not remember them, why would He punish you for them?

Beloved, you have “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”. Because Jesus’ work is complete, all your sins have been completely forgiven. And complete forgiveness means that the penalties for your sins can no longer fall on you because they had already fallen on Jesus at the cross. (Isaiah 53:5)

So don’t think for one moment that God is punishing you for some sin just because something bad happened to you. Look to the cross and know that all your sins have already been punished fully in the body of Christ. Believe that God is for you and expect victory!

Thought For The Day
Because Jesus’ work is complete, all your sins have been completely forgiven.


Forgive by Jerry Savelle
I’m sure everyone been wronged at one time or another. Because of this, we all have a decision to make. We can either let that wrong affect us the rest of our lives and cause us to sit down and wallow in pity. Or we can get up, wipe ourselves off, forgive and keep going.

“Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Colossians 3:13, TLB).

That’s the choice we have to make, and it is never too late to make the right choice!

You cannot expect any change or real growth in your life until you forgive and let go. Give it all to God. Do not pick up that load of anger, resentment, hurt, shame, guilt or whatever it may be that you have been struggling with.

It’s not easy to forgive when you have been treated badly or abused in some way, but it is necessary. We have no choice if we want our Heavenly Father to forgive us of our wrongdoings.

You do not have to suffer the rest of your life for past mistakes or for other’s past mistakes. Your past does not have to be your future. God is a restorer and He will restore all that you have lost if you will seek Him and believe His Word.

Confession: I choose to forgive. I choose to let go of that person or that situation completely. I forgive by faith and by an act of my will and refuse to be influenced by my feelings. I am free.

Author: Jerry Savelle


Glory Realized by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:26-27)

What some Christians assume from our opening scripture is that if Christ is in you, you have a hope of glory in the future. In a sense, that’s correct; if Christ is in you, there’s hope in your life for glory. But what that portion of Scripture means is, Christ in you is the fulfilment of that hope of glory. He’s not saying we have a hope that we’re going to have glory in the future, or in the sweet by and by. The hope that man was looking forward to has been fulfilled in Christ. Christ in you is glory realised.

The latter part of our theme scripture says, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). This is the revelation or essence of Christianity. The glory that was lost in the Garden of Eden has been restored.

Adam lived in the presence of God and God’s presence was his light. That connection, that relationship, was the glory of God. Adam, and subsequently all men, were cut off from that glory in the Garden of Eden, when he sinned against God by committing high treason.

But now, you don’t have any reason to live outside the glory of God anymore, because the glory is here now; it’s in your spirit. How do you know that your life is excellent and full of glory? It’s because Christ is in you! That’s your hope  for a flourishing life in health, prosperity, victory and success. That’s your confidence that you’ll never be defeated in life: Christ in you, your hope of the transcendent life.

PRAYER Dear Father, I thank you for the indwelling presence of Christ in me; He’s the glory of my life. My life is the manifestation of the glory and righteousness of God. Thank you, blessed Father, for the triumphant life I have in Christ. As I behold the glory of God in the Word, I’m transformed into that same image, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

1 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
John 16:17-33
1 Chronicles 7-8

2 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Mark 14:32-42
Numbers 35

FURTHER STUDY:
John 17:22
1 John 4:4
Romans 8:30  


We Are Gifted by Pastor Mark Jensen
We are created in the image of our Father in Heaven, but we are also given individual gifts and talents. God did not create us to be the same, but to honor and worship and praise him with our unique gifts.

There are things that only you can do and you are alive to do them, just as there are things that only I can do. We are gifted, we are talented, for God created us and placed in everyone of us a gift. We just need to seek Him to reveal that gift and then use it for all His glory.

Everything we are, everything we have, everything we know is because of our Father in Heaven.


Open Heavens: Be Refilled by Pastor E. A. Adeboye
Memorise: 
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18

Read: Ephesians 5:17-19 (King James Version)
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;


Bible in one year: 
Acts 22-23,
Jeremiah 39:11-40:6,

Hymn: 
Sing hymn 15

Message:
The moment you give your life to Christ, a long drawn out battle for your souls begins. While your spirit would want to begin to exercise control over your soul as it rightfully should, your body would resist it and ask you to go in the opposite direction. To be victorious in this protracted battle, you need to understand your new nature and the life of the Spirit, so that you can easily flow in it. From time to time, people ask me how I was able to grow in the Spirit, but they are never satisfied with the answer I give them. Let me share some of what helped me with you. The moment you become born again, your spirit man is brought back to life. The fish is born in water and so cannot survive outside its natural habitat – water. John 3:6 says,

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

Therefore, now that your spirit man is born again, you are expected to gravitate towards the things of the spirit if you want to grow. Your new birth is a spirit experience, and only the things of the Spirit will help you grow.

One way to grow in the Spirit is to repeatedly experience being filled with the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost, after the Holy Spirit descended, the disciples gained their first experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:4 says,

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Later on, when they gathered to table a pressing challenge before the Lord, they prayed earnestly, and they experienced the in-filling of the Holy Spirit again. Acts 4:31 says

“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”

Furthermore, to successfully live the life of the spirit, it is not enough to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. You must pursue a growing, personal relationship with Him and crave for more opportunities to be filled by Him. No wonder Ephesians 5:18 commands us to be filled with the Spirit. Like the disciples, if you want to be filled over and over again, be separate from the things of the flesh, have fellowship with God where you can worship Him in spirit and in truth, attend Church services together with like-minded believers, feast on His word and pray in tongues regularly.

Action Point
Consistently try to increase the amount of time you spend praying in tongues. Pray in tongues and sing in tongues. This will help your spirit grow.

Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer's Ministries.

iOpenHeavens is the electronic version of the Hard Copy. The Open Heavens devotional application is available across all mobile platforms and operating systems: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Mobile and PC.


The Great Escape by Kenneth Copeland
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Once you start stepping out in faith and walking in the spirit, the devil will see to it that you have ample opportunity to fall flat on your spiritual face. He’ll try to get you into some jams where there appears to be no way out.

But take it from me as one who’s been there, if you’ll look to God and trust His wisdom instead of your own, He’ll always show you a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). Not only that, but He’ll do it in such a way that He’ll get the glory and you’ll have the last laugh on the devil.

I remember one particular Wednesday night in Wichita Falls, Texas, where I was faced with just such a situation. I was preaching on the reality of the righteousness of God, and the anointing was really strong. Just as my message reached its climactic moment, a woman in the audience suddenly burst forth in tongues. I told her to stop three times, but she only continued to grow louder. By the time she hushed, the anointing had gone and the message was forgotten. So I looked at that woman sternly and began to correct her for being out of order.

Then a man sitting next to her spoke up and said, “Brother Copeland, she is stone deaf. She can’t hear a word you’re saying.”

At that point, I had no idea what to do. Not only had my sermon been shattered, but the whole congregation was mad at me for getting onto that poor deaf woman. (I found out later the man next to her used her to disrupt services and run preachers out of town. When the service reached a high point, he’d punch her and tell her it was her turn to prophesy.)

So, I just stopped a moment and got quiet and waited for the Lord to tell me what to do. Sure enough, He told me. He said, Call her up and lay hands on her and I’ll open her ears.

Talk about a turnaround! When God healed that woman’s ears, He turned that disaster into one of the most powerfully anointed meetings I’d ever had. Everyone was blessed!

Next time the devil tries to back you in a corner, get quiet. Ask God to show you the way of escape. He’ll bring you out in victory every time.

Scripture Reading:
Acts 14:8-22


Where Is Your Hope? By Billy Graham
This certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, connecting us with God himself . . .
—Hebrews 6:19 (TLB)

What are you placing your hope in for the future? Your country’s government, educational system, some plan or organization? My hope is in a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, who sits at the right hand of God. I have hope and know that I’m going to heaven. And, right here and now in this present life, I have God’s presence to help me.

Suppose we had no Bible. Suppose there were no cross, no salvation, no empty tomb. Suppose we had nothing to hang on except, “Do your best, try to patch it up, do what you can.” Oh, but we have a hope. There is a plan of redemption, a plan for the future. The New Testament is an exciting Book to read, it is so full of hope and expectancy. And God is interested in you!

Prayer for the day
Reading Your Word, my heavenly Father, makes me realize that the world and all its heartaches are so transitory. Inspire me to reach others with Your message of hope.


No One Else Could Have Made You, You by Rick Warren
“You made my whole being; you formed me in my mother’s body” (Psalm 139:13 NCV).

God planned every single day of your life. Before you took your first breath, God knew every single event of your life.

Long before you were conceived by your parents, you were conceived in the mind of God. It is not fate, or chance, or luck, or coincidence that you are breathing at this very moment.

You’re alive right now because God wanted you — with all of your strengths and weaknesses — to be alive.

Whether your parents were good, bad, or indifferent, God used them because they had the exact DNA needed to create you. God wanted you alive. From the beginning of time, God has had a plan for your life — and he has a purpose he wants you to complete.

No one else could have made you to be you.

The Bible says, “You made my whole being; you formed me in my mother’s body. I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way . . . You saw my bones being formed as I took shape in my mother’s body. When I was put together there, you saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in your book before I was one day old” (Psalm 139:13-16 NCV).

God was intimately involved in your birth. He loved you then and he’ll love your forever. Your parents may have contributed your DNA, but God made you. You were not just one more baby born. God personally planned for your birth.

You are God’s masterpiece. He made you for a reason: to fulfill his purposes in this world.

PLAY today’s audio teaching from Pastor Rick >>

Talk It Over:

What do you think about the truth that God wanted you alive? What are some ways you might apply this truth in your life?
No one else could have made you to be you. Are there areas in your life where you are not being you? Why do you think you’re allowing that to happen?


Open Heavens: Whose Will? by Pastor E. A. Adeboye
Memorise: 
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10
Read: Matthew 6:9-13 (King James Version)

9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.


Bible in one year: 
Acts 20-21,
Jeremiah 38:24-39:10,

Hymn: 
Sing hymn 14

Message: 
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing for your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Romans 12:2

God is a God of purpose and He is highly organised. He plans fat ahead of His deeds. For instance, Ephesians 1:4 says that long before God laid the foundations of the earth, He had already chosen us to live a holy and blameless life before Him. God knows exactly what He wants and where He is going. God could not have created the world and everything in it without a definite plan and purpose for His creation (Isaiah 45:18). He has a will which is clearly revealed by His word. May God cause you to know His plan for your life and give you the grace to follow it in Jesus’ Name.

From the teaching of Jesus commonly known as “the Lord’s prayer”, one thing is very clear: only the will of God is done in Heaven where He dwells. No one can violate His will or commandment over there and continue to stay there.

 He cannot live with rebels; hence, Lucifer and the angels who rebelled against God were thrown out of Heaven (Isaiah 14:12-15). Everyone and everything existing in Heaven conforms to God’s will and plan, and they all make Him happy. How about on earth? Since the fall of man, Satan and his demons have done a lot to cause men to take after their rebellious path. For this reason, Jesus Christ came so that we can once again unite with those in Heaven in doing God’s will and pursing His pleasure. Matthew 6:10 says,

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

Why were you saved? God saved you so that you can join His family in Heaven in doing His will. David had this understanding, and so he said in Psalm 143:10:

“Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

You are here on earth to do His will and not to please yourself (Romans 12:2). For this reason, Colossians 1:16 says we were created by Him and for Him. You were created for His purpose. At the end of time, only those who followed God’s will diligently on earth will be translated to continue doing so in Heaven. Whose will are you following? Are you daily doing God’s will or yours?

Prayer Point
Father, teach and grant me grace to do Your will with all my heart.

Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer's Ministries.

iOpenHeavens is the electronic version of the Hard Copy. The Open Heavens devotional application is available across all mobile platforms and operating systems: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Mobile and PC.



Praising in the Midnight Hour by Joel Osteen
"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose."
Acts 16:25-26, NIV

Paul and Silas were put in jail for spreading good news. It wasn’t fair. They were beaten with rods without a trial. It was unjust. As they sat in the prison, bloody, bruised and uncomfortable, they began to sing praises to God. All of the sudden, there was a great earthquake. The prison doors flung open, the chains fell off and they walked out as free men. What happened? They praised their way to victory!

Friend, if you’re going to live in victory, you have to know how to praise in your midnight hour—when things seem the darkest, when you’re in pain, disappointed, lonely or experiencing a loss. When you praise Him no matter what, that’s when God can enter your situation. That’s when He can break your chains and set you free!

Even if you aren’t in a difficult season, remember, praise paves the way to victory. Praise is what we are called to do! Today, praise Him, not because of how you feel but because He is worthy! Praise Him in your midnight hour and get ready to embrace the freedom and victory He has prepared for you!

Prayer:
Father, right now I lift my heart to You. I declare that You are worthy to be praised, and Your worth doesn’t change because of my circumstances. I will bless You in the midnight hour knowing that You are good, and You have victory and freedom in store for me in Jesus’ name! Amen.


The Log in My Eye  by Joyce Meyer
You hypocrite, first get the beam of timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother’s eye.
—Matthew 7:5

Loving people unconditionally is the greatest gift we can give them (and ourselves). I have learned that one of the secrets to my own personal peace is to let people be who God made them to be, rather than try to make people be who I would like them to be. I do my best to enjoy their strengths and be merciful toward their weaknesses because I have plenty of my own. I don’t need to try to take the speck out of someone else’s eye while I have a telephone pole in my own.

Make a decision not to look at—or for—flaws. We all have them! But you don’t have to focus on them.

Power Thought: God is merciful to me with my weaknesses, and I am merciful toward the weaknesses of others.


Knowing The Secrets Of God by John Hagee
So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai; and Joshua chose thirty thousand mighty men of valor and sent them away by night.

And he commanded them, saying:  “Behold, you shall lie in ambush against the city, behind the city.  Do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready.”

“Then I and all the people who are with me will approach the city; and it will come about, when they come out against us as at the first, that we shall flee before them…”

“Then you mighty men of valor shall rise from the ambush and seize the city, for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand. Parenthesis added

There are two of God’s laws, which form the basis of human laws for all ages since the Flood:  Do not commit murder and execute men who commit murder Genesis 9:5-6.  Notice that scripture records the birth of capital punishment—it was God’s idea!  When a criminal murders someone, he not only attacks the victim, but the victim’s family, society at large and God Himself, for men are created in the image of God.

Scripture tells us it is imperative that we punish criminals, both as individuals and nations.  God sanctions law enforcement and sometimes war as unpleasant as it is as necessary and justifiable.  When nations become criminal they must be called to account for their actions.

The Just War Theory St Augustine/Thomas Aquinas gives us several criteria to help judge whether a nation is right to wage war:

• A Just war is one aimed at repelling or deterring aggression.

• A just war must be authorized by legitimate authority with genuine intentions.

• War must be a last resort with all peaceful alternatives exhausted.

• The probability of success must be sufficiently clear to justify the costs.

• The damage inflicted must be proportionate to its objectives.

• Noncombatants must not be targeted.

The next time you hear someone express uncertainty regarding the validity of an American military action or inaction, tell him or her to consider these principles to judge whether or not it is justified.

Defend and support our military personnel for they are America’s mighty men of valor representing One Nation Under God.  Pray for their protection and God’s favor that as He set up Godly authority under Joshua and delivered Israel from their enemies, He will do the same for America.

God bless the mighty men and women of valor who serve us today and who have served in the past, as we remember the sacrifices of our troops and their families this Memorial Day.

Source:  Knowing The Secrets Of God, pages 92-95


The Blessing of Loving Others by Dr. Charles Stanley
1 Peter 1:22

If we responded simply from natural impulses, we’d probably be nice when people were kind. At other times, though, we would likely be vengeful, angry, or hurtful.

Yet Jesus clearly teaches us to love even when those around us seem unlovable. And He lived out what He taught: Christ loved us enough to die for us while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8). Surely, out of gratitude for what He did, and with His strength, we—His followers—can love others (1 John 3:14).

While it’s hard to respond to unkindness with love, such godly behavior can lead to great blessing in our life. First, the Father is pleased. This realization should bring His children joy, peace, and a sense of accomplishment. Next, believers ought to feel excitement and anticipation to watch how God will move in the relationship. Finally, there will be an awareness that the Holy Spirit is working from within, enabling divine love to flow through yielded human lives.

John 13:35 tells of an important benefit: Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Since unconditional godly love is uncommon in our world, people will notice.

Treating others as we want to be treated is what builds the deep, satisfying connections that all people desire. Without significant relationships, life lacks meaning—regardless of how many possessions or acquaintances we have. So think about the people you come in contact with throughout the week. Are you treating them the way that Jesus modeled?

Bible in One Year: Esther 6-10


‘Lord, I Cannot, But You Can!’ by Joseph Prince
Philippians 2:13
for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Have you ever tried to break a bad habit on your own? You probably found that when you tried to stop it by sheer willpower, you saw improvement for a while, and then bounced back to square one. Worse, you found yourself binging on the very thing that you were trying not to do. And your condition is worse than before you started your “I’m going to quit” program!

The changes were temporary because it was you doing it.

A church member who had been a chain-smoker used to believe that with willpower, he could quit smoking. He would tell himself, “If there is a will, there is a way!” But he discovered that with willpower, he could stop smoking for a week or two, and then he would succumb to the pull of nicotine again.

When he turned his life over to God and learnt about God’s grace, he told God, “I realize that I cannot stop smoking. I cannot, but You can break my habit, Lord.” And every time he lit up, he would say, “Lord, I am trying to stop smoking, but I cannot. I am trusting You.” He would even say, “I am still righteous because of Jesus’ blood.”

Well, in the very same year, all his cravings to smoke vanished! When asked how he succeeded, he would say, “It is entirely God and none of me! It is all by His grace.” This man lost all the desire to smoke. That is true transformation.

When you receive the grace of God to do for you what you cannot do, you will experience effortless and permanent change on the inside, which in turn changes your actions on the outside. The Bible tells us that God works in us to give us both the will and ability to perform what He desires. It is God who removes the old want to’s and gives us new ones. And He even gives us the power to carry them out!

Beloved, look to His grace to do what you cannot do. Say, “Lord, I cannot, but You can!” Then, what you experience will not merely be behavior modification, but true and lasting inward transformation!

Thought For The Day
It is God who removes your old want to’s and gives you new ones.


No More Condemnation by Jerry Savelle
Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. (Romans 8:1 AMP)

Guilt and condemnation are two of the primary weapons the devil uses in an attempt to drive a wedge between you and God so that he can separate you from the love of God.

Any time you feel bad about yourself and you cannot sense God’s presence, it may be that you have allowed condemnation into your heart. The devil is a liar who will say things like “you are such a failure … God will never forgive you for what you did … you deserve just what you got … you’ll never amount to anything.”

Those who live under this kind of guilt and condemnation will often cease to trust in the blood of Jesus as the only means to come to God and receive His love, His grace, and His acceptance. Their relationship with the Father is vulnerable to being reduced to one based partly on works instead of wholly on grace.

If you allow it, condemnation will cause you to focus on your failures. It will rob you of your confidence before God, making Him seem distant and cold. Tell the devil you will no longer accept his lies and condemnation. Choose instead to meditate on the grace of God and how loved and valuable you are to Him. Then rest in His grace, knowing that nothing will be able to separate you from the love of Christ.

Confession: I thank You, Father, than neither guilt nor condemnation can separate me from the love of Christ. I let go of all the lies of the enemy and choose now to draw near to You, to receive your love, your grace, and your mercy.

Author: Jerry Savelle


My beautiful Robe of Righteousness by Deborah Waldron Fry
Dream. I saw a Believer on the street. An evil being ran past him. The Believer thought the devil had taken his coat and asked why he was throwing it in the mud. The evil one said very angrily," Because it isn't yours." The Child of God then realized that he was still wearing his coat. It had never left his back.

"Beloved. I have you covered. It is a coat of many colors. It is My beautiful Robe of Righteousness. Rainbow colors are flowing from it. The colors of heaven. You are reflecting My Glory, Dear One. The devil is angry. He thought he had taken your covering. He took it from Adam in the Garden, but he cannot take yours. It was a free gift from your Father. You are now the Redeemed of the Lord. You wear MY mantle. It is the Garment of Salvation.

As I delight in My Son, so I delight in you, My Child. I have removed your shame and covered you with My Grace. No one can take this from you, Dear One. The devil can not touch your festive Robe. Instead of sackcloth, you are girded with gladness. I have granted to you the mantle of praise instead of the spirit of fainting. I have made you a dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions. You are covered by the Blood of the Lamb.

You are the favored one of the Father. You are wrapped in My Love, Light and Glory. You are clothed with POWER from on high. Have no fear, Beloved. I have you covered. For the eternal God is your refuge, and His everlasting arms are under you. He drives out the enemy before you; he cries out, 'Destroy them!'

Isaiah 61:10 I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

...Zechariah 3:4..."See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes."

...Psalm 30:11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.

..Isaiah 61:3 To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.

...Galatians 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

...Luke 24:49 "And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."


Levels Of Maturity by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome
For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:13-14).

Some Christians get very excited to read 1 Corinthians 1:30: “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” Then, they come across James 1:5: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” and get confused. “Should one still ask for wisdom after Christ has been made unto us wisdom?” they wonder. Now, those two verses aren’t contradictory at all; it’s about levels of maturity in Christ.

The Scriptures are given to us to guide and lead us, and as you study, you’ll find that there’re different kinds of instructions for different groups of Christians on the basis of their maturity. Some are addressed to the babes in Christ; others, to the maturing in Christ, and then, there’re instructions for the “fathers” or the spiritually mature in Christ.

The one who’s still a babe in Christ may quote and confess that Christ has been made unto him wisdom, but he hasn’t really caught it. His words and actions may still be incongruous with the Word, and the wisdom of God. He isn’t yet manifesting wisdom, which is a fruit of righteousness. He still acts and thinks like the rest of the world, like those without wisdom. So, James says to such a fellow, “Ask that wisdom becomes a reality in your life.”

Remember, it’s children, the babes in Christ, that ask for things. Jesus said, “Ask and it shall be given unto you”; He related it with children asking their father for bread (Luke 11:9-12). The spiritually mature doesn’t ask for anything, because he lacks nothing in Christ. This has become his living consciousness. This is the level God wants you to grow into, where you know that all things are yours; you’re not asking for wisdom, but walking in wisdom.

CONFESSION I’m bearing fruits of righteousness, and the glory of God is revealed in me today in wisdom, power and might! I live in victory and dominion over the elements of this world, in Jesus’ Name. Amen. 


Live in Power by Gloria Copeland
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:4

As a believer, you actually have residing in you the same new life God gave Jesus when He raised Him from the dead. The old sinner you once were has died. You’ve become a new creation on the inside.

You are full of the resurrection life of God!

But sin, disobedience and living a selfish, carnal life will keep that resurrection life from flowing out. Sin will separate you from the power of God, even though you’re born again. Resurrection life will lay dormant in you if you walk in sin.

You can’t overcome sin by trying to stop sinning, however. You overcome it by walking after the new life God has put within you, by spending time in the Word and in prayer. As you do that, the Spirit of God will strengthen you and enable you to put that sin under your feet.

Remember, though, the Holy Spirit will not subdue those old fleshly habits of yours on His own. He’ll wait on you to take the initiative. Then He will strengthen you to follow through with your decision. He will teach you how to walk in the new life that is on the inside of you.

Take the first step today by asking for His help. Say, “Lord, I desire to experience the power to live by this new life every day. By a decision of my heart, I put down the dictates of sin. I declare myself dead to sin. In Jesus’ Name, I will spend time in prayer and in the Word today. As I do, I believe I’ll receive a Holy Ghost refreshing in my life. I believe I’ll begin to live out the resurrection power that You’ve placed in me!”

Scripture Reading:
Romans 7:1-6


Need for Inner Change By Billy Graham
Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
—2 Corinthians 5:17

The world says that all we need to do is be decent, respectable, and reasonable. True, that is all one needs to do to be a member of the Great Society, but to be a member of the Kingdom of God, there must be an inner change. A Communist in Hyde Park, London, pointed to a tramp and said, “Communism will put a new suit on that man.” A Christian standing nearby said, “Yes, but Christ will put a new man in that suit!”

Prayer for the day
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for the change that came deep within me when I received You.


God’s Plans for You Started Before You Were Born by Rick Warren
“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you” (Jeremiah 1:5a The Message).

If you want to live a life of purpose and meaning, maximize the strengths God has given you. Find ways to do more of what you do well and less of what you don’t.

One reason for this is because God created you to be unique, and he wired you for a unique purpose. The Bible says, “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you” (Jeremiah 1:5a The Message).

No matter what, you can rest in the truth that God has holy plans for you. He shaped you in advance for those plans. God’s plans for your life didn’t start the moment you were born. Those plans started before your birth, when the Bible says he shaped you in your mother’s womb.

But here’s the best part. The way God shaped you reveals how he wants to use you. In other words, if you want to know what you’re supposed to do with your life, you’ve got to look intently and deeply at how God wired you.

Your SHAPE — the spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences God gave you — reveals your purpose. Set aside some time to discover your purpose, based on how God shaped you.

Talk It Over:

Consider what you do well and how God has wired you. What lessons can you draw from that about how God wants to use you for his work?
What things may make it difficult for you to figure out how God has wired you? Ask God to give you discernment about this, and ask some friends to share what they see in you — pieces that may reveal how God wired you.
What do you think about the truth that God had a purpose for you before he placed you in your mother’s womb? How might that change the way you live?

Help The Lost Souls by Pastor Mark Jensen
When Jesus was healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, allowing the crippled to walk, he was not picking and choosing who should be healed and who should not.

Just as He healed all the broken no matter their past or their future, we as Christians need to find all the lost, lift all the fallen and help mend all the broken, with God's word.

We don't know their past nor do we know their future, but we do know their present and we are to bring them home.

We are saved because of our Lord and Savior and we know our pasts, let us help others know Jesus Christ and be saved as well.



True Strength  by Joyce Meyer
Sing to God, sing praises to His name, cast up a highway for Him Who rides through the deserts—His name is the Lord—be in high spirits and glory before Him! A father of the fatherless and a judge and protector of the widows is God in His holy habitation. God places the solitary in families and gives the desolate a home in which to dwell…
—Psalm 68:4-6

The world is filled with single mothers whose husbands walked out on them and refuse to support their children financially. Men who merely walk away need to remember that strength does not walk away, but it works through situations and takes responsibility.

More than ten million single mothers today are raising children under the age of eighteen. That number is up drastically from the three million reported in 1970, and it’s estimated that 34 percent of families headed by single mothers fall under the poverty line. Their biggest concerns are much more basic than many two-parent homes—they worry about quality child care for their children, keeping a car running, and living in a safe house or apartment, all within a restricted budget. They work hard and try to be both mom and dad to their children. They sacrifice time, personal pleasures, and everything else imaginable because they love their children fiercely. They are certainly not weak.

These moms are giants in my eyes.

Lord, I pray for the single moms whom I know. Give them the strength and protection and fullness of Your blessings. Champion their cause and provide for them in abundance. Amen.


Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!
Psalm 31:19, NKJV

TODAY'S WORD:
Scripture talks about how God has blessings stored up for those that honor Him. Think about that. God has contracts, houses, ideas, good breaks that already have your name on them! They’ve been stored up for you. The question is, how do you see them released? Number one: by honoring God and keeping Him first place. Then number two: by making room for them in your thinking. You’ve got to believe that something big is in your future. You’ve got to declare His promises over your life. You have to see with your eyes of faith what God can do.

Today, why don’t you take the limits off God and say, “God, I don’t see how this could happen in the natural, but I know You are a supernatural God. I know You have blessings that already have my name on them. Lord, I just want to thank You for Your far and beyond favor.” If you live like that, you will see God amaze you with His goodness, and you’ll receive those blessings He has stored up for you!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father, thank You for storing up blessings for me. I choose to honor You and bless You. I put my faith and hope in You knowing that You will amaze me with Your goodness in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Arinola O. Yinka

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