Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Opportune Time

"One Year Bible" New Testament Passage
Luke 4:1-30

Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. Luke 4:13 (NKJV)

This is an amazing and interesting insight into the nature of temptation and how the devil seeks to trip us up. What does it mean "an opportune time?"

I believe there are seasons that are very significant in your progress in God. They are seasons of advance and opportunity. They also can be times of change and transition. These are times when God is opening new doors and closing old ones. He is taking you in directions that stretch you but IMPROVE you.

Just as God has great plans for you, so also Satan has destructive plans. Satan will resist you just at the threshold of a new era. This is exactly what happened with the Lord Jesus, and it will happen with us, too.

An "opportune time" is not necessarily a time of foolish vulnerability in which we let our guard down. It is rather a time of advance or transition in which you experience a higher degree of satanic opposition. WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE THIS.

Like Jesus, we should not allow it to slow us down or stop us. We must rely anew on the power of God so that we can go forward "in the power of the Spirit" (Lk. 4:14).

This life will always be filled with seasons in which the enemy seeks to discourage or destroy us. We can overcome these by standing on the authority of God's Word and assurance of our identity in Christ. That ALWAYS leads to a new and grander day!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Two "Insignificant" People

"One Year Bible" New Testament Passage
Luke 2:36-52

Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.... Luke 2:36a (NKJV)

Two individuals fascinate me in this chapter: Simeon and Anna. This is the only place in the Bible these two individuals show up. We know nothing further about them. Simeon gets 10 verses and Anna gets 3...and they're gone.

I am sure that when they got up that morning they did not know that this was the day they would go down in history. This was the day that they would reach their highest earthly accomplishment. This was the day they would play a role in the greatest drama of history - they would witness the coming Redeemer.

I am inspired to stay vigilant and excited about the possibilities of every day. Who knows what God wants to accomplish today?

Also, it says that Anna was a prophetess. That means she knew what God was saying. She was tuned in to the Holy Spirit. Some might think this is over the top in terms of spirituality. But it is the standard operating procedure for every believer today.

So, wake up and listen. This could be a world-changing day.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Life Together

"One Year Bible" New Testament Passage
Mark 14:22-52

After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Mark 14:26 (NASB)

This is a small glimpse into the devotional and fellowship life of Jesus. He had supper with His closest friends. They sang together. They prayed together.

It was in this context that Jesus inaugurated that which we call the Lord's Supper - Holy Communion. This ordinance has, of course, taken on huge significance in the history of the church and in various denominational theologies.

At its core it is LIFE TOGETHER IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD. I do not mean to lessen the religious or spiritual significance of Holy Communion. But, at it's core it is very human as well as divine. It is the making and keeping of covenant with each other in the context of real world situations.

That's the way Jesus lived His life with His closest friends.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The God of the Impossible

"One Year Bible" New Testament Passage
Mark 10:13-31

But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible."  Mark 10:27 (NKJV)

If any of us could get a glimpse of what God really has planned for us, it would blow us away.  We tend to operate out of the context of our own capabilities.  God, however, thinks of us in terms of HIS CAPABILITIES.

Everything in our walk with God is this way.  God plans and desires such awesome things for us, but we usually think only in terms of what we can see or touch or prove.  The rich young ruler (Mk. 10:13-22) fell into this trap.  He wanted eternal life, but he thought only in terms of his own capabilites.  Jesus led him to a place beyond what he could do.  At that point he faltered, and "went away sorrowfully."

God always takes you in over your head.  He confronts you will needs or problems beyond your ability to handle.  We then are faced with two options.  We can either give up in defeat or throw ourselves on the God of the Impossible.

When we realize the impossibility of the task, we then can draw on the God of the Impossible.  That leads us to live a supernatural life.  It is the life of grace.