July 2019
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Where Strength and Joy are Found by Joel Osteen
Honor and majesty are [found] in His presence; strength and joy are [found] in His sanctuary.
1 Chronicles 16:27, AMPC

TODAY'S WORD:

Do you need more strength and joy in your life? The Scripture tells us that in God’s presence there is fullness of joy, fullness of peace, fullness of victory—the most abundant and complete! That’s where you’re refreshed and restored. And when you have His joy, you have His supernatural strength. There’s nothing that can come against you when you are filled with the strength and joy of the Lord. Notice this verse says that strength and joy are found in His sanctuary. One translation says they are found “where He is.” And do you know “where He is?” His Spirit is alive in every believer, and in His Word, He promises that He inhabits, or manifests, in the praises of His people. That means when you begin to praise and worship God, either corporately in a church setting or privately in your personal time, God is there. You are in His sanctuary. Anytime you feel depleted or overwhelmed, just begin to sing a song of praise to Him. Declare His goodness and faithfulness. Draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you. He’ll fill you with His joy and strength so that you can live as an overcomer all the days of your life!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Father, I bless You today. I thank You for Your goodness in my life. Thank You for filling me with Your strength and joy. I praise and worship You today in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Just Give It Time by Joyce Meyer
Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.

— Exodus 33:13

When you spend time with God, it becomes evident. You become calmer, you’re easier to get along with, you are more joyful, and you remain stable in every situation.

Spending quality time with God is an investment that yields rich benefits. You begin to understand what He likes and what offends Him. As with any friend, the more time you spend with God, the more like Him you become.

Spending time with God causes you to become more sensitive to the love He wants to demonstrate to you and to others. Your conscience alerts you when you’re talking to someone in a way that does not please Him.

Your heart grieves when He grieves, and you quickly pray, “Oh, God, I’m sorry.” You soon want to apologize to the person you have offended and discover that saying, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you,” isn’t so difficult after all.

When God told Moses he had found favor in His eyes (see Exodus 33:12), Moses understood that God was telling him he could ask for anything his heart desired.

Moses responded by saying that he simply wanted to become more intimately acquainted with God. Moses had seen God perform history’s most magnificent miracles, yet what he wanted most of all was to know God intimately.

I pray that knowing God is the desire of your heart. You can know Him and hear His voice as clearly and as intimately as you want to. All it takes is spending time with Him.

Prayer Starter: Father, like Moses, I want to know You more intimately. Help me to take time to grow closer to You and develop a deep, personal relationship. Help me to become more like You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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The Value of Our Conscience by Dr. Charles Stanley
1 Timothy 1:18-19

The conscience is God’s early warning system for alerting us to potential danger. It monitors our emotions, thoughts, and conduct.

Think of the conscience as a radar system that notifies us of possible trouble, usually without specifically identifying the problem. The principles and standards that we hold determine the sensitivity of our conscience. For example, if we believe lying is wrong, an alarm will sound when we start to shade the truth. But if we think lies are justifiable, it will be silent.

When programmed with the truth of God’s Word, the conscience has great value for a Christian. It detects deviations from the Lord’s standards and sends out a warning. The Holy Spirit uses that signal to get our attention. Then He will reveal what the problem is, give us understanding about it, and show us the right choices to make. He may guide us to friends, relevant Scripture verses, or other resources that can shed light on our situation and point out the implications of a wrong choice.

Failure to heed our inner alarm can bring serious consequences. Adam and Eve knew what God expected (Gen. 2:15-17). When tempted, however, they ignored their conscience and sinned against Him.

When your conscience sounds the alarm, do you stop and take notice or continue on the same course? Repeatedly ignoring your internal warning system can decrease its effectiveness at keeping you out of trouble. Ask God to help you program your inner alarm with His truth and sharpen your ability to hear it.

Bible in One Year: Proverbs 29-31

39 Stripes by John Hagee
Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
After Paul Was Stoned, Paul Did Not Climb On His Pity Pot And Roll Out His Lower Lip To Whine And Complain About Suffering For Jesus!

Paul was beaten three times with 39 stripes, stoned and left for dead and shipwrecked.  Although innocent, he was thrown into prison.  He was cursed, he was kicked, and he was spit upon.  How many of you know that would hurt your self esteem?

Paul never developed a negative attitude.  He picked his bloody body up out of the dirt and went back into the city where he had almost been stoned to death, and he said, “Hey, about that sermon I didn’t finish preaching—here it is!"

Paul said, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).  He wrote that we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ (Romans 8:37) and we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us Philippians (4:13).

Compare that with Doubting Thomas.  He had been with Jesus for three years and had seen the sack lunch that fed 5,000, Lazarus walked out of his grave and the resurrection of a widow’s son.  But at the first negative thing, he doubted.  When the disciples came and said, “Thomas, Jesus is alive, he said, “Oh, I can’t believe that…not until I can touch the scars in his hands!

Everybody has been hurt or disappointed at some point in their life.  There is something all of us could go back to and wail about if we choose to.  In Jesus’ name, get over it!  Look to the future.  Forget those things that are in your past and say, “With God’s grace, tomorrow is going to be a better day.”

Source:  12 Sunday Mornings—Volume 2

Today's Bible Reading

Old Testament

1 Chronicles 22:1-23:32

New Testament

Romans 3:9-31

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 12:1-8

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Expect The Extraordinary Now by Jerry Savelle
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV).

I learned a long time ago that having the “now” kind of faith is what would bring the extraordinary into my life—and it did. And now, I’m challenging you to develop this same kind of faith. If you do, your life will never be the same, your existence will no longer be ordinary, and you will begin to live an extraordinary life.

The desire to live above the mundane is more than just a dream. It is a desire deeply rooted in God’s plan and purpose for your life—a plan that is exciting, challenging, and perfect for you.

Are you willing to break out of the ordinary and experience the life God intended for you? Are you willing to do what it takes to experience God’s best? If your answer is yes, then it’s time for you to press in and start meditating on God’s promises in His Word.

Forget the past, it is irrelevant. Your past doesn’t have to be your future. If you will change what you expect, you can break free from a pattern of defeat and experience the victory and success that are yours in Christ.

As you think on the great and wonderful things that God’s Word declares are yours in Christ, you will start to expect the extraordinary to manifest in your life. You will expect goodness and mercy to follow you all the day of your life (see Psalm 23:6). You will expect your enemies to be defeated before your face (see Deuteronomy 28:7). You will expect to triumph in every situation (see 2 Corinthians 2:14), and you will expect to be more than a conqueror through Him who loves you (see Romans 8:37).

I challenge you today to take the limits off of God. Expect Him to do for you what He promises in His Word. Break out of the ordinary, and experience the extraordinary life God has promised—now.

Confession: I refuse to limit God by expecting so little. God is good, He loves me, and He has an extraordinary plan for my life. I make the quality decision right now to mediate on the promises in His Word and expect them to come to pass in my life.

Author: Jerry Savelle


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For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
Romans 8:26

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Once, when my father was hospitalized, I remember driving as fast as I could to the hospital to see him because his condition was deteriorating rapidly. I was just sobbing in my car on the way there. I didn’t know what to pray. So I just cried and prayed in tongues, groaning in my spirit.

I believe that at that very low point, the Holy Spirit was helping me in my weaknesses—“For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

The events that soon unfolded in the hospital convinced me that just a groan or sigh will reach the throne of our Abba Father.

I managed to reach the hospital just in time to clasp my father’s hand before he was wheeled in for surgery. The surgeons came out of the operating theatre some time later to inform my mother that they didn’t need to do anything after they had opened him up because they discovered that “surgery” had already been done on him!

Surprised, my mother answered, “He has never been operated on. I am his wife. I should know.” Not convinced, the surgeons told my father when he regained consciousness, “We opened you up and found that surgery had already been done. Whoever did it did a perfect work.”

Equally surprised, my dad told them, “I have never had surgery done on me.”

“No, you have!” the surgeons insisted.

As my parents and the doctors continued arguing, I found myself thinking, “My goodness, I didn’t even pray for a miracle on my way to the hospital. Yet, a miracle has just happened!”

My friend, when we who are God’s children groan as we pray in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which will reach the throne of our Abba Father, and cause Him to move powerfully on our behalf!



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Paul witnessed while at work, he took with him Aquila and Priscilla who witnessed to Apollos and mentored him, and Apollos became a powerful witness of Christ to others as well. Let us witness while we work, and disciple others in a small group so that they too, can witness while they work, and disciple others who will do the same for the glory of God!



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Joyce Meyer shares a powerful message of faith at Lakewood Church. It doesn’t matter if what you have seems big or little to the world. God only holds us accountable for what we do with what He's given us. You don’t have to compare or compete with anyone.

Do the most you can with the gifts and talents He gave you. You have everything you need to fulfill your purpose!


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The Color of The Rainbow by Deborah Waldron Fry
7/15/2019 I saw seven "cords" of cloth being woven together. Each one was a color of the rainbow and words were written on each one. They were the names of the Seven Spirits of God. 

In these last days, the Bride of Christ is being adorned with the King's mantle, clothed in His Rainbow, covered in His Glory, walking in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit. And this Mantle is also our armor of Light.

Beloved. I have clothed you in My Light and Glory. This garment is one of great Beauty and Strength. It is a coat of many colors. The enemy shall be thrown into confusion because this Glorious Mantle has a Strength that he cannot comprehend. Beauty and Strength together are foreign to the powers of darkness. It is the Mantle of the King. It is My Gift to the Bride of Christ. In Me, you live and move and have your being. I have wrapped you in My Glory; the very same Glory as the Son, the same Glory that raises the dead. It is a Beautiful Armor of Light. It is unpenetrable by the Power of the Holy Spirit. This mantle cloaks you and conceals you.

You are hidden in Christ and MORE than a conqueror. You shall walk in the Dunamis Power of the Seven Spirits of your God, My Child, My Warrior, My Bride. The Spirit of Yahweh rests upon you and in you; the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding; the Spirit of Counsel and Might; the Spirit of Knowledge and the Fear of the Lord. You are clothed in the Lord Jesus Christ. Whom shall you fear, Beloved? Strength and Honor are your clothing, and you shall laugh at the enemy. Words of wisdom are in your mouth, faithful instruction upon your lips and healing shall flow through you to the nations.

COAT OF MANY COLORS: Bible: Royal apparel, priestly garment, a coat of the "favored one", garment of special distinction: Hebrew: Kethoneth: garment, robe, to cover, inner garment next to the skin. ‘Passim’: colorful, fine, embroidered, striped.

CLOAK: something that envelops or conceals "a cloak of secrecy"
...Gen 37:3 Now Jacob loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.

...Psalm 45:13-14 “The royal daughter is all glorious within. Her clothing is woven with gold. She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors."
...Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of Yahweh (1) shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom(2) and understanding(3), the spirit of counsel (4) and might(5) the spirit of knowledge (6)and of the fear of the LORD.(7)

...John 1:4In Him was life; and the life was the Light of men. 5 And the Light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

...Romans 13:12 .. let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
...Revelation 4:5 Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;

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The Philistine Garrison by Tammy Lang Jensen
As I closed my eyes I began to see angels land from the heavenly‘s. The first one had a guitar in his hand that I could tell doubled as a sword. The second one had a harp in his hand, the third one a tambourine and the fourth one had a wooden instrument that made the most interesting sound. 

Oddly enough, these angels looked tough like warring angels, and appeared to have just returned from battle. As they began to play their instruments, I heard the heavens and the earth shake....

Afterward you will come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is; and it shall be as soon as you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and a lyre before them, and they will be prophesying (1 Samuel 10:5)....So as I looked again, I could see the band of prophets coming down a winding path around the mountain. They were dancing, singing, prophesy and playing instruments. They were dressed in elaborate brightly colored robes and clothes. As I looked back up to the top of the mountain, I could see the four angels playing their instruments and vibrating their wings. There was not just sound coming from them, but a rainbow of color and lights..

Suddenly, I could see into the kingdom of darkness. The demons were groaning and holding their heads. You could tell every resounding sound coming from the angels and prophets was shaking the kingdom of darkness. Be diligent in your praise life, worship the Lord with gusto and reverence. With tambourine I will praise thee, my stringed instrument I will bend like a bow, and I will wield my shofar like a sword. You will be my horn of plenty, you will be my source for all things. All day long I will praise thee, and when night comes I will dream of thee. Let me sing hymns and psalms in my sleep. Let my heart be so devoted to thee, that the enemy has no way in....

Your word says,”Love covers a multitude of sins.” So if there is a chink in my armor, let your love cover it. If there is a hole in my heart, let your love fill it. And if there is disease or infirmity in my body, let your blood cover it. Let there be no place of lack in my life, when I am trusting you to provide....

Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now then when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see (Romans 13:11-13)....

Dance with the angels, rejoice with your God! The time is near for his kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven. Shake the kingdom of darkness, and sing to your God today. His ears are attuned to you, and He is listening. Hearken unto the voice of the Lord, follow his commands. And all day long, things will go well for you. Sing at daybreak, stand firm at nightfall. You don’t have to fight this battle alone. Take up your position, stand firm and see the Lord deliver you.
Rejoice in the Lord always, and I say it again, REJOICE....

Tammy Lang Jensen

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We Must Preach The Gospel by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome
Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great (Joel 3:13).

The wickedness and evil we see in our world are our opportunity to shine the light of the Gospel. The darker the world, the brighter our lights must shine, for we’re the light in a dark world (Philippians 2:15).

 A sinful and hurting world presents us with compelling opportunities to establish the righteousness of Christ. It’s our calling; we’ve got to do it! Bearing the light of the Gospel, we’re to turn men from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God.

Consider for a moment, the blessings of the Gospel for the poor and the despised; the afflicted and the downtrodden, and what promise it holds for them! How that a man who is as nothing, if only he’d receive Christ, would become a prince of power with God (1 Samuel 2:8).

That’s what our God does; that’s what the Gospel does. No one’s valley is too deep; no one’s sin is too dark. He said in Isaiah 1:18, “…though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Hallelujah!

So, in looking at the world around you, have a new mindset, because Jesus came not for the righteous, but for sinners. He came to save sinners and make them sons of God. And we’re the bearers of the good news.

The world today has become so hopeless. Men have lost hope in the future; they’ve lost hope in just about everything. But there’s hope in Christ. And when we minister that hope, we’re not giving people some false hope, no; He proves His reality in the message that we preach.

We never minister alone; when we preach, the Lord confirms the Word. The Bible says, “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen” (Mark 16:20). Utilize every opportunity to preach the Gospel.

PRAYER
Dear Father, I thank you for counting me worthy and faithful, putting me in the ministry of reconciliation and committing to my trust the Gospel of peace. As I shine the light of the Gospel in my world, your grace is released for salvation and many are imparted with eternal life, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

FURTHER STUDY:
1 Corinthians 9:16; 2 Timothy 4:2

1 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Acts 24:1-27 & Psalms 1-6

2 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Luke 9:10-17 & Joshua 12


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Tuesday July 16th 2019
Memorise: And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. Exodus 2:2

Read: Psalm 127:1-5 (KJV)
1 Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
3 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Bible in one year: 
Joshua 6-7,
Ezekiel 17:22-18:13,

Hymnal: 
Sing hymn 16

Message:
What parents see in their children goes a long way to determine how well they treasure them.


As God’s heritage, it is important that parents see the image of God in their children, so that they can nurture them for the glory and pressure of God, who is their rightful Owner. Unfortunately, some parents, especially in under-developed nations, treat their children as domestic animals or working machines, so much so that you begin to wonder if they purposely gave birth to them for economic reasons. Many abuse their children by engaging them in money making ventures and making them become breadwinners at a tender age. I know of a man who has about thirteen children. He gives them out to serve as domestic workers and collects the wages of their labour to feed himself. Clearly, he does not see his children as carriers of God’s image.

Furthermore, some couples decide to abort pregnancies they are not prepared for. However you look at it, this is murder – a grievous sin against God and humanity. God asked me to tell someone reading this devotional that they pregnancy you are about to terminate is your glory; don’t abort the child that will bring God’s glory upon your life. When ‘struck’ with an unwanted child, many parents go ahead to despise such a child, instead of seeing him or her as a pleasant surprise from God. These are all examples of ungodly parenting.

In Exodus 2:1-4, we see what godly parents look like. Moses’ mother, Jochebed, was a godly parent. Even though Pharaoh had ordered all sons born to Hebrew families to be killed at birth, she saw God’s image in her own child and did all she could to preserve him. Exodus 2:2 says:

“And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.”


When the baby could no longer he hidden, she decided to commit him into the hands of his original Owner, the Almighty. In all this, Moses’ parents never imagined that this child was to become the deliverer of the whole nation of Israel. The Lord asked me to tell someone using this devotional that that child you think is a problem will turn around to put smiles on your face in your lifetime.

All you need to do is to give that child the best you have as a springboard for his or her leap into destiny. Children are carriers of God’s image, and unless we see them in that light, there is the tendency to abuse them and lose the blessings accompanying them. In light of what today’s Bible reading says about children, I encourage all parents to first surrender their lives to God, and then it will be easy for them to also surrender their children to Him for supreme care. Parents who do this will not be denied their blessings in Jesus’ Name. 

Prayer point:
Father, please open my eyes to see Your image and glory in the children You have given me, and help me cooperate with You in the fulfilment of their destinies.

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

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Tap In to the Truth by Kenneth Copeland
When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.

John 16:13

Jesus said the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth. Not just enough truth to get by on. Not just an occasional truth to help us teach our Sunday school classes. All truth!

If you're a businessman, that means the Holy Spirit will show you how to increase your profits and reduce your expenses. If you're a mother, it means the Holy Spirit will show you how to settle arguments between your children. If you're a student, it means the Holy Spirit will show you how to excel in your classes.

In fact, if you know Jesus Christ and are baptized in the Holy Ghost, somehow inside you is the answer to every financial problem, every spiritual problem and every physical problem that exists. You have answers for problems you don't even know about yet!

Back during World War II, for example, the United States ran into some serious trouble. Their ships were being sunk by the enemy faster than they could build new ones, a process which at that time took a year.

In an effort to solve their dilemma, a method was devised by which a ship could be built in a single day. The problem was, the process involved building the ship upside down and, when the ships were turned upright, the welds would pop and the ship would come apart.

The problem was presented to a deeply spiritual man who was a famous industrialist at the time. "I'll find out how to do it," he said. And, sure enough, after days of prayer and fasting, God showed him the welding formula that would hold the ship together.

If you're facing a problem today, don't drag around trying to handle it on your own. Take Jesus at His Word and start asking the Holy Spirit to give you the knowledge you need to solve it. Put the wisdom of the ages to work on your job, in your family and in your world. Tap in to the truths He's placed in you.

Scripture Reading:
John 14:6-17

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Solving the Problem by Billy Graham
Lord, grant us peace; for all we have and are has come from you.
—Isaiah 26:12 (TLB)

Only a few years ago children were delighted at the prospect of a trip to the wharves to see the great ships come in. Today they are blasé about helicopters and jet planes. We who once marveled at the telegraph now take for granted the far greater miracle of television. Not so long ago many of the physical diseases were termed hopeless and incurable.

Today we have drugs so effective that age-old diseases are becoming rare. We have accomplished much, of that there is no doubt. But with all this progress, we have not solved the basic problem of the human race. We can build the highest buildings, the fastest ships, the longest bridges—but we still can’t govern ourselves, or live together peacefully and with equality.

Is a better, more peaceable world really possible?

Prayer for the day
In loving and being loved by You, there is all I have longed for, my Savior, Jesus Christ.



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Three Things to Remember When You’re Opposed by Rick Warren
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven” (Matthew 5:10-12 NLT).

When you feel pressured by the world because you love Jesus and other people don’t, you need to remember three things:

Opposition can make you more like Jesus.
Jesus says in John 15:18-20, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you” (NLT).

If you’re going to grow up and be like Jesus Christ, you’re going to have to go through the things Jesus went through, including loneliness, discouragement, stress, and temptation. Why would God spare you when he didn’t spare his own Son from those things?

Opposition will deepen your faith.
Your faith is like a muscle. A muscle doesn’t grow when you sit in a chair and eat popcorn. A muscle grows by being stretched, strained, and tested. You’re never going to grow a muscle if no weight is ever pulling in the opposite direction.

If you don’t have opposition in your life, your faith is not growing. The strongest believers in the world right now are those who are having their faith tested the most. The Bible says in 1 Peter 1:7, “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” (NLT).

Opposition will give you eternal rewards.
Matthew 5:10-12 says, “God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven” (NLT).

God’s going to bless anybody who’s persecuted because they live for him. Notice that you don’t get rewarded for being rude or obnoxious. If you live a self-righteous life when you get persecuted, you’re not a martyr. You’re just a jerk.

You don’t get rewarded for that. You get rewarded for being like Jesus. When you share your faith, do it with gentleness and respect, just like Jesus, and you will be rewarded for it one day in heaven.

Remember those three things whenever you’re harassed for your faith: It can make you more like Jesus. It can deepen your faith. And you will be rewarded for it in eternity.

Talk It Over

How have you responded to the testing of your faith? How has your response impacted your walk with God?

What does persecution look like in our culture?
How might God want you to pray for Christians who are persecuted all over the world?

Stay Above Strife by Joel Osteen
Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. 
Proverbs 17:14, NIV

TODAY'S WORD:

Too often, people fall into the trap of strife. Someone says something that rubs you the wrong way, and before you know it, there is tension, quarreling and division. The Scripture tells us that strife opens the door to “every evil work.” It’s the enemy’s greatest trap to keep people from living in victory. But you don’t have to fall into the trap of strife, you can rise above it. Today’s verse says that you can simply drop the matter before it turns into something bigger than it needs to be. You don’t have to sink down to somebody’s level and argue with them and try to prove that you’re right. You weren’t put on this earth to correct everybody around you.

If you are going to be all that God’s called you to be, you have to learn to stay above strife. Instead of letting disagreements pull your relationships apart, look for common ground to draw you closer to the people in your life. Look for peace. Look for ways to be a blessing. Stay above strife so you can enjoy your relationships and experience the blessing He has for you!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Heavenly Father, I choose to stay above strife. I choose to honor You by seeking peace in my relationships. Empower me to walk in love and be an example of Your light everywhere I go in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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God Blesses Obedience by Joyce Meyer
Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine.

— Exodus 19:5

God’s grace and power are available for us to use. God enables us or gives us an anointing of the Holy Spirit to do what He tells us to do.

Sometimes after He has prompted us to go another direction, we still keep pressing on with our original plan. If we are doing something He has not approved, He is under no obligation to give us the energy to do it. We are functioning in our own strength rather than under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Then we get so frustrated, stressed, or burned out, we lose our self-control, simply by ignoring the promptings of the Spirit.

Many people are stressed and burned out from going their own way instead of God’s way. They end up in stressful situations when they go a different direction from the one God prompted. Then they burn out in the midst of the disobedience and end up struggling to finish what they started outside of God’s direction, all the while begging God to bless them.

Thankfully, God is merciful, and He helps us in the midst of our mistakes. But He is not going to give us strength and energy to disobey Him. We can avoid many stressful situations simply by obeying the Holy Spirit’s promptings at all times.

Prayer Starter: Father, I know Your plan is always best for my life. Please help me today and every day to obey the promptings of Your Holy Spirit in every area. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Deuteronomy 8:18
And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth.
Power To Get Wealth Does Not Come From Your Genius; It Comes From God’s Goodness.
You don’t have the power to take your next breath.  Even as you pound your chest and congratulate yourself for being a self-made man, you ought instead, to deny your own doing… to save yourself the liability!

Psalm 1 says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly…But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate, think day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water” unlimited resources, “…and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3).  After you think upon and act upon God’s word, you are destined to prosper!

Some of you read the word of God, you think about the word of God, you speak the word of God, but you don’t act upon it.  You don’t obey the word of God.  Nothing good is going to happen until you act.

When Jesus came to the pool and saw the man who had been crippled for 38 years, he told him, “I want you to act upon what I am saying.  Take up your bed and walk.”  That man could have looked at Jesus and said, “Hey, you’re an itinerant carpenter who just walked up on the scene.  I’ve been by this swimming hole for years and nothing good has ever happened to me.”  But he didn’t say that.  He immediately obeyed the Lord and got up, and instantly he was healed.

Your attitude determines your attainment.  A good attitude will produce a good result.  A bad attitude will produce a bad result, every time.

Source:  12 Sunday Mornings—Volume 2

Today's Bible Reading

Old Testament

1 Chronicles 19:1-21:30

New Testament

Romans 2:24-3:8

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 11:1-7

Proverbs 19:10-12

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When We Cry Out to God by Dr. Charles Stanley
Psalm 57:1-3

When you face a crisis, what is your first line of defense? The natural response is to attempt to fix the problem on your own. God, however, gives us a different way to handle difficulty.

David was no stranger to pressure or sudden appearances of evil. When he wrote Psalm 57, he was facing many hardships—including pursuit by King Saul, who wanted to kill him (1 Samuel 24:1-22). The shepherd’s response was to cry out to God and take refuge in Him until the calamity had passed.

Let’s learn from David’s example by exploring his words. Today’s passage has much to teach about the One to whom he cries.

First, David refers to God as El Elyon, or the Most High God. With all power and wisdom, He is the only one who can help us in our need.

Second, God is said to be our refuge. If He is a place of shelter for our soul, then we need not fear. He hovers over us and protects us when crises arise and leave us feeling helpless.

Third, the psalm expresses complete confidence that the Almighty can and will accomplish anything it takes for His purpose to be fulfilled. He’ll do whatever is necessary to intervene on our behalf, to hold accountable those who oppose us, and to surround us with His love and truth.

During His time on earth, Jesus brought great passion to His life and ministry . Therefore, we can approach Him when emotions run high. If your heart is troubled, cry out to the Lord. Know that you come before the throne of Him who is a powerful protector, capable and willing to do all you need.

Bible in One Year: Proverbs 26-28



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Seize Opportunity Quickly by Jerry Savelle
And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize—a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion] (Matthew 11:12 AMP).

Has God put a strong desire in your heart for something specific, yet it seems too big to grab hold of? My advice to you is this: seize your God-given opportunity!

Webster’s dictionary defines seize as “to take possession of suddenly and by force, or attack, or a strike.” Why is it important to take possession of something suddenly? Because opportunities don’t wait for the faint hearted, the slow-to-move, or the coward.

When an opportunity arises that seems just a little out of your grasp, go to God in prayer. If you have peace about it, then go for it—God will help you. Jesus described just such a kingdom opportunity like this: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44 NKJV).

When God presents you with an opportunity, be aggressive. Be enthusiastic and committed. Continue to seek God for His wisdom and favor in how to proceed. And as you continue to make your confession of faith God will meet you with His grace and favor.

Confession: I give thanks for the God-given dreams and desires He has placed in my heart. As each new opportunity presents itself, I will go to God in prayer to receive His peace and provision, and then I will seize each opportunity quickly, and for the glory of God.

Author: Jerry Savelle



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Christ, The Power And Wisdom of God by Joseph Prince
1 Corinthians 1:24

....to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

People today run after two things: miraculous signs and wonders, and knowledge. It was no different in Bible times. The apostle Paul acknowledged that “Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:22).

So when Paul preached Christ crucified as God’s solution to them, the message was “to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:23). They didn’t understand how getting a revelation of Jesus and His death could give them the miracles they needed or the wisdom they wanted.

Beloved, we don’t have to run after miracles or wisdom today. We just need to run after Jesus because He is “the power of God and the wisdom of God.” The more we know Christ and Christ crucified, the more we will have the power and wisdom of God.

Several church members have shared how they have seen the power of God blast financial debts out of their lives. Not knowing what to do about their debts, they looked to the Lord to deliver them. And the Lord was able to do so mightily because He is indeed the power of God.

So if you are facing a financial debt, Christ has the power to remove the debt. And because He is also the wisdom of God, He will show you where you went wrong and teach you how to stay out of debt!

Let me give you another illustration. Let’s say a man, whose wife has left him, looks to Jesus to bring his wife back. Christ, the power of God, brings about a miraculous restoration of their marriage. But it is Christ, the wisdom of God, who will teach the husband how to keep his wife by showing him what he had done wrong and what to do to strengthen the marriage. If the husband does not have this wisdom, it will only be a matter of time before the same problems surface and his wife leaves him again.

My friend, Christ is both the power and wisdom of God to us. As the power of God, He removes obstacles in our paths. As the wisdom of God, He continually directs our paths!



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Are you carrying the sorrows of yesterday with you? Join Kenneth Copeland on Believer’s Voice of Victory as he teaches you to see yesterday as dead and gone. You will wake up new every morning when you see how Jesus bore all your fault. Enjoy living free from condemnation every day! Plus, Brother Copeland shares a word of deliverance from lung cancer, which must bow its knee to the Name of Jesus!


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Paul and Hannah McClure wrote “Now I See” as a joyful approach to the story of the blind man found in John chapter 9, who said, “One thing I do know, though I was blind, now I see.” 

Through their journey of becoming parents, The McClure’s have discovered the freedom that comes from knowing the Father’s love. When lies creep in to cloud our vision, all it takes is one look into the eyes of our Father who takes us from darkness to light.


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He Doesn't Take Away by Death by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death (1 Corinthians 15:26).

In most religious circles, when funerals are being conducted, it’s common to hear the officiating minister say, “The Lord has given, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord.” But the Lord doesn’t “take away” by death. He’s the giver or author of life, and death isn’t from Him.

The Bible lets us know that death is an enemy, and refers to it as the last enemy that shall be destroyed. However, it’s already been defeated as the scriptures show us.

God never takes anybody away by death. The only people He took away from this world, He took them alive. Enoch, the Bible says, walked with God and suddenly, he was taken away from the earth by the Spirit of God—alive into heaven (Genesis 5:24). Elijah was also taken away alive (read 2 Kings 2:11).

What about Jesus? He too was taken away alive! And for those who believe in Him, they’re going to be taken away alive. Hallelujah! 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says, “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” This is how God “takes away”; it’s not by death. It’s called a translation.

Moreover, those whom God took away knew ahead of time. Enoch, the Bible says, before his translation, had the testimony that he pleased God. Elijah knew he was to be taken away and he discussed it with Elisha (2 Kings 2:9-11). The Lord Jesus was in a meeting with His disciples, after discussing with them, He levitated (Acts 1:9). He had told them He was going to leave that way.

For the rest of us, we’ll have the same witness in our spirits that our departure is very close, so much so, we’ll be talking about it. There’ll be an urgency in the spirit and we’ll preach the Gospel with greater fervency, compelling men to believe in Jesus Christ. While we’re at it, suddenly, the trumpet will sound, and we’ll all be taken out of this world. Glory to God!

PRAYER
Thank you, precious Father, for you have abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel. Thank you for granting me eternal life in Christ, by which I live eternally in your presence, and for your glory, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

FURTHER STUDY:
2 Timothy 1:8-10; Hosea 13:14; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

1 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Acts 23:12-35 & Job 40-42

2 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Luke 9:1-9 & Joshua 11



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Open Heavens: To Obey is Better Than Sacrifice By Pastor E.A Adeboye
Monday July 15th 2019
Memorise: And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. 2nd Corinthians 10:6

Read: 1st Samuel 15:17-22 (KJV)
17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel?
18 And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.
19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord?
20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.
22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Bible in one year: 
Joshua 3-5,
Ezekiel 17:7-21,

Hymn: 
Sing hymn 3

Message:
Disobedience has the evil tag of being the first sin man committed. The deadly mystery of this sin is that disobedient people more often than not never accept blame for their act.

They tend to give excuses and blame other people or “factors beyond their control”. This is what Adam did when God questioned him concerning his disobedience. Genesis 3:12 says:

“And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”

Unfortunately, his excuse did not clear him of responsibility, nor did it deter God from punishing him. Another person who gave excuses for disobedience is King Saul. In today’s Bible reading, when he was confronted with his sin, he tried to justify himself by using the good act of sacrifice as an excuse for his disobedience. In response to his attempt at justifying himself, God’s prophet told him in 1st Samuel 15:22:

“…Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”

Let us take a closer look at King Saul’s excuse for disobeying God. 1st Samuel 15:21 says:

“But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.”

Saul’s excuse was that it was not him, but the people, who took the spoil. This make one wonder who was leading who in the battle against the Amalekites. He was trying to pass the buck. He felt he could appease God or His prophet, Samuel, by presenting a big offering in the form of sacrifice.

Beloved, in what areas are you disobeying God? You better repent today and cultivate the habit of living by the dictates of the infallible word of God. No amount of service you render to God can take the place of obeying His word. No amount of money given as seed offerings, tithes or donations can justify indulging in fraudulent practices at your place of work. May the Lord give you the grace to obey His commandments to the letter in Jesus’ Name.

Prayer Point:
Father, please help me obey You willingly and completely as a show of my gratitude to You for Your goodness and mercy over me.

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


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Arinola O. Yinka

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