December 25, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO STIR UP MY GIFT (part 1)

II Timothy 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day

All these devotions this year were birthed out of verse twelve of II Timothy chapter one. God began to deal in my heart to do year-long devotions about the fact that God is able. As we close this year, let’s end where it all began. Paul challenges us to “stir up the gift of God which is in thee”.

In verse six, this word “gift” is the Greek word “charisma”. This is where we get our word charisma, and charismatic. This simply means that a person is gifted or has been given gifts. Unfortunately, some people can put more emphasis on the gifts than the God who gave them. Our gifts should not get the attention or the priority, the God who gave them should. If we rely on our gifts, we will soon realize that we are not able. We must rely on God‘s ability and not our gifts. That is why God says that the gift is not you, the gift is “in you”. So, Paul here teaches Timothy that when an individual is persuaded or convinced that God is able, that will change our lives.

WHEN WE ARE PERSUADED THAT “WE” ARE ABLE:

  1. WE FAIL
  • John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

God is the one that puts the fruit on your branch, not you. We may have a list of gifts that God has given us but when we try to use them without God’s power, those gifts accomplish nothing.

  1. WE GET DISCOURAGED
    We soon realize that we are fighting a losing battle when we depend on our ability
    and we begin to lose the motivation to keep fighting because we keep losing. We have given it our best shot, but our best shot just hasn’t been good enough. We have tried to make our marriage better, we have tried to make our family stronger, we have tried to get victory over that temptation, we have tried to control that temper, we have tried to keep our mouth shut, and on the list goes. It gets discouraging to wake up every morning just to lose another battle.
    We will continue in the next devotion, but I encourage you today, be persuaded that you are not able.

December 24, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:
TO MAKE THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE
(part 2)

Luke 1: 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. 39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; 40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. 41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

“BE IT UNTO ME”
Not only did Mary have faith in God’s plan, but she also fully surrendered to God’s plan. By this statement that Mary made, she was saying that God could do what He said, and that she was going to obey. You know, there are many people that believe God’s Word, but they never actually obey it. They hear it, but they don’t do it. You know the verse:

  • James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

How humble Mary was to say, “be it unto me”. God, whatever you want to do in my life, do it. God, whatever you wish to accomplish through me, do it. Mary told the angel that she was the “handmaiden” of the Lord. That word means “servant”. She decided to surrender and to serve. Notice in verse thirty-nine that “Mary arose…and went”. Where did Mary go? Exactly where Gabriel had spoken to her about. Gabriel had told her about her cousin Elizabeth, and that God would cause her to conceive…etc. You know the story. This proves that Mary believed what she was told and acted upon it.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that was exactly how you and I would be? To say,

“Lord, I know that you are able. Whatever you want to do in my life, do it. I am your servant. I know there is nothing that is impossible with you, Lord.”

And then may we “arise and go”.

December 22, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO MAKE THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE (part 1)

Luke 1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. ……..37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

“HOW SHALL THIS BE”
Mary was given some information here that you and I are not normally given. She was told what God was going to do. We are not privy to that information in our everyday life. As we read God’s Word, we are told some things that will happen as the Second Coming of Christ draws near. We are told in some cases what God will do in our life if we obey, if we follow, and when we have faith. However, I did not have an angel come to me this morning to tell me what God was going to do today, this week, this month, or even this year. In fact, my responsibility as a Christian is to find out each day what God wants me to do, not try and find out what God is going to do.

This means that I must exercise “faith” everyday as a Christian. To keep following God even though I do not know what He is going to do. I think it is amazing to consider how much faith Mary showed that day. Mary did not have a complete copy of Scripture. She did not have a pastor. She did not even have a church. No one did at this time. Mary had not been taught all that you and I have had opportunity to learn. An angel appears to her in her home and tells her the impossible things that God was going to do. Here is what is interesting to me. Mary answers with this question, “how shall this be?”. This means that she did not doubt that this would happen, she just didn’t know how. She never said it was impossible, she just asked “how” God was going to do it. After a brief explanation, the angel replied with this message:

  • “37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

May we have that kind of faith. Even though we do not know how or what God is going to do, for us to simply believe that God can. Believing God does not mean to believe the impossible, it means to believe there is no such thing.

December 21, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO HELP ME REJOICE (part 7)

PHILIPPIANS 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice

God has given us precious resources to enable us to “rejoice” in our everyday lives. Rejoicing should be a characteristic that is present in our lives. It is, or should be, one of those things that sets us apart. Let’s look at some more of these resources that are given to us in Philippians chapter four.

7. PROMISE TO PROVIDE FOR US (19)
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

This is an amazing statement. It is a promise of provision. Think about that. Whatever we need, God has promised to provide. To better understand, we need to look closer at this promise.

1. It is a Personal Promise
Notice the statements, “my God”, and “your need”. Not just God, but “my” God. Not just anyone’s need but “your” need. Our God is personal. He is aware of our needs, our desires, our faults, our failures, our character traits, and our feelings. He knows you and loves you. You can rejoice about that today.

2. It is a Plentiful Promise
The provision that is promised is “according to His riches in Christ Jesus”. This means that there is “plenty” of provision. There could never be a number that could measure the vastness of the riches of God. It is unlimited. Therefore, there is no need that could possibly arise in your life that God could not provide for. It is not earthly riches or resources that God is limited to by the way. It is His “riches in glory”. Our solar system cannot contain the riches of God. Trust me, there is plenty.

3. It is a Powerful Promise
God will supply “all” your need. Not just some, but all. Every detail covered. Every “T” crossed and every “i” dotted. Nothing overlooked or missed. Unlimited resources, and unlimited supply available.

I may have many seemingly insurmountable needs, but I can “rejoice in the Lord alway”. Why is that? Because God has given me the promise of provision. “My God” supplies “my needs”.

December 20, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO HELP ME REJOICE (part 6)

PHILIPPIANS 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice

God has given us precious resources to enable us to “rejoice” in our everyday lives. Rejoicing should be a characteristic that is present in our lives. It is, or should be, one of those things that sets us apart. Let’s look at some more of these resources that are given to us in Philippians chapter four.

6. POWER TO STRENGTHEN US (13)
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

The older I get, the more it seems I need strength. When we are younger, we think we are strong enough to do anything. As we get older, we begin to feel a bit more fragile. We begin to realize our limits a little more. Spiritually speaking, we need more strength than we can provide for ourselves. We are not strong enough to handle many things that come up in our lives. We need supernatural strength.

Paul said that he could accomplish anything, but only “through Christ”. Christ provides a strength that is beyond and above any strength in our own power. God has not asked us to accomplish anything in our own power. Christ has not asked us to rejoice always in our own power. It must be by His strength, and that only comes “through Christ”.

It is imperative that you depend on God’s strength today. To rejoice when things are good is something that you and I can do in our own strength. To rejoice when things are not good is something that can only be done with God’s strength.

“I can”, but only “through Christ”.

December 19, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO HELP ME REJOICE (part 5)

PHILIPPIANS 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice

God has given us precious resources to enable us to “rejoice” in our everyday lives. Rejoicing should be a characteristic that is present in our lives. It is, or should be, one of those things that sets us apart. Let’s look at some more of these resources that are given to us in Philippians chapter four.

5. HIS PRESENCE TO ACCOMPANY US (9b)
9:…the God of peace shall be with you.

With all the really wonderful reasons that we have to continuously rejoice in the Lord, this is the ‘mother load’. “God with us!” Remember in Matthew chapter one:

* 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

We should rejoice “in” the Lord, because we can rejoice “with” the Lord. We are never alone. I have heard people say that a person should rejoice if they have two or even one true friend in their life. We have a “friend that sticketh closer than a brother”, and He has promised to be with us for an eternity. Even if I go a wrong direction, He is with me. Even if everyone forsakes me, He is with me. Even if everything in my life seems to go wrong, He is with me. Therefore, Paul says right after in verse eleven:

* 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Paul was content in whatever circumstance or situation he was in because he knew that God was with him. Therefore, you and I should be content also. We should be constantly aware that God Himself is with us wherever we go and whatever we go through. Be content today. We have God’s presence to accompany us. We are never alone. God never promised that our life would be easy, but when we put our faith and trust in Him, He has promised that we don’t ever have to go through it alone.