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Devotional by Ray Stedman – A Cry For Mercy – A daily devotion for October 23

Topic:A Cry For Mercy

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
Psalm 51:1-2

Ray Stedman

What a marvelous understanding of the nature of sin and the character of God’s forgiveness is found in these verses! There are three things David asks for. First, he understands that sin is like a crime. If criminals are to be delivered from the effects of their crime, they do not need justice but mercy. Sin is an illegal act, a violation of justice, and an act of lawlessness and rebellion and therefore requires mercy.

Then he says, Blot out my transgressions, and thereby he reveals that he understands sin is like a debt. It is something owed, an account that has accumulated and needs to be erased.

Finally he cries, Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. He understands that sin is like an ugly stain, a defilement upon the soul. Even though the act fades into the past, the dirty defiling stain remains a stigma upon the heart. So he cries out and asks to be delivered from these things.

Notice that David understands well the basis for forgiveness. He asks on the basis of two things: first, according to your unfailing love. He understands that he himself deserves nothing from God, that God is not bound to forgive him. Some people are never able to realize forgiveness because they think they deserve it, that God owes it to them. But David knows better. He realizes that only because of God’s love may he even approach God to ask. On the basis of that unqualified acceptance, that marvelous continuing love-that-will-not-let-me-go, he says to God, I am coming to you and asking now for this.

Second, as David appeals to God according to your great compassion, he again indicates his understanding of the character of God. God is not a penny pincher; He does not dole out bits of mercy, drop by drop. No, He pours it out. His are abundant mercies. When God forgives, He forgives beyond our utmost imaginings. Two figures of speech that are used in the Old Testament depict the forgiveness of God. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12). How far is that? Well, how far do you have to go east before you start going west? You never come to west. Then God says He will hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19). Someone has added that he puts up a sign that reads NO FISHING. Do not go down there and try to fish old sins out once God has dealt with them. What relief comes when we begin to understand this fullness of God’s forgiveness.

Father, thank You that I can come to You with my sin and cry out for mercy and love. Your love is steadfast; your mercy is abundant. I trust that You are always willing to forgive.

Life Application
The Word of God teaches the true nature of sin, and the astounding basis for God’s forgiveness. Are we learning to live in these liberating truths?

Ray Stedman Bible Studies – Rejoice! A daily devotion March 17th

Ray Stedman Bible Studies

TOPIC- Rejoice! A daily devotion March 17th By Ray Stedman

Read the Scripture: Philippians 3:1

Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! Phil 3:1a
Ray Stedman Bible Studies

 

I suppose if you wanted to sum up Christianity in four words this would be the best possible phrase you could use: rejoice in the Lord. This is the mark of spiritual life, of a truly spiritual Christian. It is the distinctive sign of a victorious Christian. It is the one attitude that invariably brings peace and contentment to the heart. Therefore, it is the one thing Paul repeats over and over and over again: rejoice in the Lord. He knows he has said this many times before, and he will say it two more times before he ends this letter. But it is so important, he says, that he doesn’t mind saying it as many times as necessary, and it’s safe for them to hear it.
Ray Stedman Bible Studies

As we saw earlier in this letter, Paul pointed out the opposite as well. The sign of unbelief in the Christian life is always grumbling and disputing. Do all things, he says, without grumbling and questioning, because that is the sign of an unbelieving believer, who doesn’t believe what God is telling him. The mark of one who has learned to believe is rejoicing. Remember that definition of a Christian we have given from time to time: one who is completely fearless, continually cheerful, and constantly in trouble. It is the continual rejoicing in the midst of trouble that marks the Christian life.

It is a remarkable commentary on Christian unbelief that the mark the world usually associates with a Christian is not a smile but a long face. This being the case, it reveals how little we believe in the God we love. You remember that story of the little girl who first saw a mule in the countryside. She looked at it for quite a while, then she said, I don’t know what you are, but you must be a Christian. You look just like my grandfather. Unfortunately, the mark of a Christian has become a sober, solemn mien, casting gloom on every occasion. This isn’t real Christianity.

Ray Stedman Bible Studies

The mark of a true Christian is a smile of confidence, despite the circumstances. Not a screwed on smile, one that is forced, to appear something we are not, but a genuine smile, sometimes through tears, but a smile nevertheless. It comes as a result of acceptance of all events as ordered by the Lord. That’s the secret. It arises from a quiet trust in his indwelling adequacy to handle whatever comes. It is living out of adequacy. Living out of inadequacy is what puts the frown on people’s faces. It is trying to face the inrushing tumult of life with inadequate resource. This strain shows in the face. But if we genuinely believe what God tells us, that we have within us one who is completely competent to meet every situation through us, there is never any strain, for whatever comes we know he is adequate to meet it in and through us. We rest on that fact, and that is the quiet confidence that marks the Christian.

There is nothing new about this experience. It is the experience of the believer in any age. When we learn this secret we discover there are mysterious bridges flung over every abyss to which we come. An invisible strength is imparted to meet every stress life lays on us. No matter how long you have been a Christian, if you are still grumbling and complaining, griping and grouching about what life gives you, you need to be taught again what are the first principles, the ABC’s, of the gospel of Christ.

I rejoice in you, Lord. Thank you that you have put a smile in my heart because I know that you are Lord and I can trust you for even the most challenging aspects of my life.

Life Application: While the world seeks happiness, the Christian finds Joy in knowing and trusting the character of God. Are we missing out on that heritage because we fail to seek to know Him through His character revealed in His Word? Ray Stedman Bible Studies

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March 17 Daily Devotional Kenneth – Start Planting

March 17, 2018, Daily Devotional Kenneth

TOPIC- Start Planting Devotional by Kenneth Copeland

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 1 Peter 1:23

You won’t really get excited about the Word of God until you realize that it’s more than just a collection of divinely-inspired promises. It’s a living force that literally carries within it the power to make those promises become a reality in your life.

March 17, 2018, Daily Devotional Kenneth

Is it tough for you to believe such a thing is possible?

It shouldn’t be. You see it happen in the natural world all the time.

If I were to put a tomato seed in your hand and tell you that within that tiny, dry seed lies the power to produce a stalk thousands of times bigger than the seed, to produce leaves and roots and round, red tomatoes, you wouldn’t have any trouble believing that, would you? You know from experience that even though that scrawny seed doesn’t look like a tomato factory, somehow, given the right environment, it will become one.

Jesus says the Word of God works by that same principle. There’s miraculous power within it. It is a seed that, once planted by faith in a human heart, will produce more blessings than you can imagine.

Once you grasp that, you’ll get extremely excited about the Word of God. That’s what happened to me.

Over 45 years ago, I caught a glimpse of what that Word could do. I caught a glimpse of the power within it. Before long, I had a Bible in every room of my house, a Bible in my car, and a tape player going nearly all the time. March 17, 2018, Daily Devotional Kenneth

I spent every possible moment in the Word of God because I wanted the power of that Word inside me more than I wanted anything else in the world. I knew it would blow the limits off my life, limits that had held me back and kept me down for years. I knew that when I read it, I wasn’t just reading, I was planting seeds. Seeds of prosperity, seeds of health, seeds of protection and seeds of victory for every area of my life.

Don’t treat the Word of God like a book. It’s not! It’s spiritual seed that has the supernatural power within it to produce the harvest of a lifetime. Get excited about it and start planting today!

Scripture Reading: Mark 4:23-32

March 17, 2018, Daily Devotional Kenneth

Daily Devotional with Ray Stedman Wednesday March 7th, 2018 – Citizens of Heaven

Daily Devotional with Ray Stedman Wednesday, March 7th

Topic: Citizens of Heaven A daily devotion for March 7th

Read the Scripture: Philippians 1:27
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Phil 1:27a

Daily Devotional with Ray Stedman Wednessday March 7th, 2018 – Citizens of Heaven

Paul uses an interesting word here, translated “conduct” in the NIV. It is a word from which we get our English word “politics,” or “politician.” The Greek word is politeuma, a word that means your conduct as a citizen or a colony. This is the first indication in this letter of a unique condition in the city of Philippi. Everyone in that city was aware that its citizens were citizens of Rome even though they were a thousand miles away. This was because of the great battle that had been won by the Roman Emperor, and in gratitude to the residents they were made citizens of Rome. Daily Devotional with Ray Stedman

Paul builds on this idea and says to them, in effect, you Christians in Philippi are members of another government. You cannot have the same attitude to the rest of the citizens of Philippi. You belong to a colony of heaven; therefore you must behave like citizens of heaven. You must let your manner of conduct be worthy of the government to which you belong, the kingdom of God and the gospel of Christ.

How should you live as a citizen of heaven? Paul mentions two essential things. First, “stand firm in one Spirit.” Never depart from complete dependency on the Spirit of God to do through you everything that needs to be done. The Christian life is lived by a totally different process than you lived before you came to Christ. It is God’s life through you. It is the indwelling Lord Jesus expressing Himself in terms of your human personality. Never depart from that. The second essential is to never let anything but serious heresy keep you from working side by side in the gospel. Daily Devotional with Ray Stedman

Now interestingly enough, all the wiles of the devil, all the thrust and power of his activity is aimed at these two things. To keep us from observing them, the enemy tests us first on one point, and if he can’t derail us there he goes to the other point. First, he tries to get you to depend upon yourself, not on the indwelling life of Christ, and to make you therefore fearful, worried, discouraged, impatient, or upset with something. Haven’t you felt this? This is the attack of the enemy, trying to budge you from your position in Christ which makes for victory.

Whenever we get discouraged we are depending on ourselves. We’re discouraged because we were expecting that we could do something and we failed. We’ve been self-confident, counting on ourselves, thinking we have all it takes to do the job. We think we don’t need any help from God. We then move from that position of dependency on God’s Spirit. We get worried, anxious, fearful, timid, impatient. We have yielded to the attack of the enemy and temporarily have shifted from that position of dependency.

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If that doesn’t work, and we stand firm, then the enemy tries another strategy. He tries to make a breach between us and those who labor with us. He tries to split us up, divide us, create suspicion, smoldering resentments and personality conflicts. He tries to get us to not talk with each other, have nothing to do with one another, look down on others, cut them off from our fellowship and conversation and contact. Daily Devotional with Ray Stedman

We often feel in spiritual warfare that every time we turn around we’re under attack, and we never know when he will strike next and we have to be constantly on guard. But that isn’t true. We have only two things to watch: that we stand firm in one Spirit, and that we strive side by side together in the gospel. That’s all. If we are careful to keep our eyes open to the power of God working within in these two areas, our conduct will become worthy of the gospel of Christ.

Thank you, Lord, that you have made me a citizen of heaven. Teach me to stand together, side by side, with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Life Application: Daily Devotional with Ray Stedman

As Christians we are fellow citizens of the commonwealth of heaven, and Satan, the enemy, will use two main strategies in his attempt to divide and conquer us. How do we stand firm in one Spirit, behaving in a manner worthy of this high calling?
We hope you were blessed by this daily devotion.

Daily Devotional Kenneth Copeland March 6, 2018 – Victorious Praise

Daily Devotional Kenneth Copeland March 6, 2018

Topic: Victorious Praise Kenneth Copeland and  Gloria Copeland

When he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers to sing to the Lord and praise Him in their holy [priestly] garments as they went out before the army, saying, Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy and lovingkindness endure forever!
2 Chronicles 20:21, The Amplified Bible

 

Daily Devotional Kenneth Copeland March 6, 2018

Praise precedes victory!

You can see a graphic example of that in 2 Chronicles 20. There, the Bible tells us that a multitude of forces was marching against Israel. The army of Israel was so outnumbered, they literally didn’t know what to do. So they fasted and prayed until they received a word from God. “Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicle 20:15, The Amplified Bible).

Do you know what they did in response to that word? They put together a praise choir! That’s right. They appointed singers and praisers and sent them out in front of the army! And when that choir began to sing, the Word tells us that “the Lord set ambushments against the men…who had come against Judah, and they were [self-]slaughtered” (verse 22).

When it was all over, not one Israelite had fallen—and not one of their enemies had escaped. What’s more, when they came to take the spoil, they found so many cattle, goods, garments and other precious things, it took them three whole days to haul it all home.

Now, that’s victory! And it all began with praise.

Are you looking for that kind of victory today? Then stand up and shout, “Glory!” After all, you’re in the same situation those Israelites were in. You have an army marching against you, but Jesus has already defeated it. He won that battle for you on Resurrection morning.

All that’s left for you to do is trust Him and begin to praise. Sound out those praises today. Speak them, sing them, declare them in the face of your enemy. Once he hears them, he’ll know he doesn’t even stand a chance.

Recommended – OPEN HEAVEN 6 MARCH 2018

Scripture Reading:
2 Chronicles 20:1-22

Daily Devotional Kenneth Copeland March 6, 2018