Sample Devotion [46111]
Today 1
Choices, Freedom and Consequences
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28 NIV)
GOD knows you from the end to the beginning. He knows you inside out. Isn’t it amazing that He is never once intrusive or invasive?
As you commence the journey you will soon discover that God will not interfere into any decision you make because you are liable for the consequences. God has given every person the power of choice. It is your choice to follow God or reject Him as much as it is your choice to live purely for your own purposes. But every choice carry consequences and no one is free from the consequences of that choice.
However, God is obliged to be with you in all circumstances if you chose to let God in your decision (whatever that is). When you involve Him in the decision, He is with you whatever the outcome of that decision. If the decision turns sour, He is with you to help you come out of it. It is worth your while to involve God in all your decision-making.
How do you involve God in your decisions? Pray! Before you make a decision, pray and commit the matter to Him. That immediately involves Him. You have just given Him material to work on. If it turns out you are heading into a mistake, guess what God will do? He will cause all things to work out for your good. (see Rom.8:28)
You can trust God for a good outcome when He is on your side. His Word says so and He will not deny His Word. No one loses with God and even if, for now, it seems like anything but good the case is not closed. Wait for the outcome. Pray speaking as you do throughout the day: “I have made my choice in God and God is with me. He is at work to turn things around in my behalf. Nothing happens without Him knowing and He is in control.”
Someone will enjoy the goodness of God from today; it might as well be you! Amen.

(from Boiling Point, George Barna, pp 99 – quoted from George Carlin, “The Paradox of our Time.”)

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less. We have bigger house and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly; stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour. We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things. We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men and short character; steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and ills that do everything from cheer to quiet to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom.

-David Wilkerson

The New Testament church was born in a blaze of glory. The Holy Ghost came
down upon it with fire, and the first Christians spoke with tongues and
prophesied. They experienced smiting conviction, and multitudes were
converted. They broke out on the right and on the left and were greatly
enlarged. The fear of God fell upon them and upon all who saw them. There
were signs, wonders, and miracles. The dead were raised. Fearless
evangelists went every- where preaching the Word. Jails could not hold them.
Storms could not drown them. When their possessions were seized, they
continued to rejoice. When they were stoned, hanged, burned or crucified,
they went out singing and praising God. It was a triumphant church, unafraid
of Satan, irreverent toward idols, unmoved by plagues or persecution. It was
a blood-washed church, living and dying in victory.

What is the last hour church going to be like? How will the church go out in
its final hour? Will it go out as a fat, prosperous, self- seeking church,
counting heads, getting out the vote? Will it be just a handful of true
believers holding on, watching death and apostasy eat away at it like a
cancer? Will the last day church live in dread and fear as AIDS and other
plagues ravage the masses? Will fewer and fewer overcome the world? Will
coldness and apostasy leave it weak, mocked, and powerless? Will the church
go out of this age full of hypocrisy, with great praise, worship, and prayer
meetings where unclean hands and impure hearts offer strange fire?

To be sure, there is going to be a great falling away or apostasy.
There will be spiritual harlotry on all sides. Because sin abounds, the love
of many will grow cold. There will come deceivers, teaching doctrines of
demons. People will have itching ears and will flock to hear soft preaching.
Deceptions will get so bad that even the elect will be tested severely.

But the church of Jesus Christ is not going out with a whimper or a limp. It
is going out victorious, with joy unspeakable, riding a river of peace. It
is going out in freedom from all bondage, with its foot on Satan’s neck. And
every member of this true church will live and die without fear. The
tempter’s power will be broken.
Christians will be holy and will tear down idols. They will be just as
strong in the Lord as the first Christians.

Is there going to be a great ingathering before Jesus comes? Can we expect
to see one last powerful out pouring of the Spirit, greater than anything in
history? Is it not said that only a remnant will go on with Christ? Does not
Joel prophesy “to the remnant which the Lord shall call?” Is it not true
that at present only a small remnant wants to hear about holiness? We need
to understand what is meant by “a remnant.” It is true that it will be but a
small percentage compared to the billions of people on the earth. But even
10% of New York City would be over one million overcomers.
The remnant also means “that which remains of the original.”
Those who sew understand that a remnant is a piece of the original cloth. A
remnant church is one which has the same character as the original New
Testament church.

A Great Revival of Righteousness is Coming

I want to make a statement with the greatest spiritual authority possible; I
make it backed by a covenant as sure as the one made to Noah. There is going
to be a final, midnight hour revival, one which shall break forth on all
sides. Zion will travail and many, many children will be given to her. There
will be great singing and shouting, and Zion will say, “Where have all these
come from?”
It will be a revival of righteousness.

I have heard old-time preachers speak of a last revival for years.
One dear friend has been preaching it for over 60 years. Now the young
preachers are praying for revival; they want to see God work in this day,
not just read about it in books. It is not enough to simply preach on past
revivals. Why pray, why seek revival, if it is not promised in the Bible? If
the Bible says we are beyond hope, let’s just evangelize and preach, and not
be concerned about results. But, if revival is promised, Christians need to
see it, lay hold of it, and pray with faith knowing that God has promised to
do it. Is it in the Word? The promise is found in Isaiah 54. This is one of
the most important chapters, in God’s Word for this generation. We are
clearly told here what God intends to do with His church, His people, in the
last days. This chapter prophesies what is going to happen at Times Square
Church, as well as everywhere else there are hungry hearts. It will happen
in Russia, in China, in every land, every island of the sea, from the North
Pole to the South.

The church is going to experience an undeserved outpouring of love, mercy,
and kindness. It is going to come in a time of great affliction, with a
tempest raging, with anxiety on all sides, when society is being tossed
about. God swears he is going to reveal Himself in great kindness: “…But
with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on you, says the Lord your
Redeemer… My kind- ness shall not depart from you, neither shall the
covenant of my peace be removed, says the Lord that has mercy on you”
(Isaiah 54:8-10). What God is saying to the church, He is also saying to
individual believers. God is speaking to those “…afflicted, tossed with
tempest, and not comforted” (Isaiah 54:11). Is that you? Are you
experiencing a sudden, violent disturbance? Yes, this includes the economy.
It also includes the alarming world situation.

God Will Have An Overcoming People

But God’s greatest concern is for those who have at any time been His
beloved, even backsliders and those overcome by a sudden, violent storm of
temptation. His promise is to those who are right now in great affliction,
tossed in a storm, not comforted, hopeless, helpless, and lost. God is going
to woo back to Himself a backslidden, forsaken people…

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