John 3:16 Arrow For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life ^DREAM interpretation ministry




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The Word for today-A daily devotional
#11
UNITY WITHOUT UNIFORMITY (1)
‘May they be brought to complete unity.’ John 17:23 NIV
The last prayer Jesus prayed before His crucifixion was
that we would come together in unity. That’s a tall order!
We’re a thoroughly diverse assortment, differing
denominationally, doctrinally, politically, emotionally,
intellectually, socially and materially, often to the point of
enmity and division. So how can Christ’s prayer be
answered and His people united? We can start by
acknowledging that unity is God’s will and committing
ourselves to work toward it. Next, we can learn as Paul
teaches the principles of unity to the divided church at
Rome: 1) Unity demands that we don’t judge one another.
‘Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his
own master he stands or falls’ (Romans 14:4 NIV). God
alone is authorised to hand out verdicts. Even when
you’re right, or you’re the more knowledgeable party, you
still have no right to judge. Your job is to ‘make every
effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit’ (Ephesians
4:3 NLT). Discuss it with God, then trust His wisdom. 2)
Unity requires us to respect each other’s convictions.
‘Each one should be fully convinced in his own
mind’ (Romans 14:5 NIV). Personal convictions, not the
enforced opinions of others, are what Paul is referring to.
The desire to make someone else over in your image is a
form of idolatry and pride that destroys any possibility of
unity. God reserves the right to bring up His own children
without your interference! He’ll mould and lead them
where and when He decides, because He understands
their needs and capacities. So trust Him with His job, and
do yours by loving and respecting others.
Lev 18-20, Matthew 6: 9-18, Psalm 71: 1-16, Prov 2:1-2
#12
UNITY WITHOUT UNIFORMITY (2)
‘Have fervent love for one another.’ 1 Peter 4:8 NKJV
In working for unity: 1) Consider your motives. Only God
knows the motives of a person’s heart, and only God is
qualified to judge them. ‘No one can know a person’s
thoughts except that person’s own spirit’ (1 Corinthians
2:11 NLT). We’re externally-oriented creatures; we ‘judge
by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’ (1
Samuel 16:7 NLT). It’s not necessarily what people do
that causes us to judge them; it’s what we tell ourselves
about what they’re doing. We’re quick to attribute
negative motives: ‘He meant to hurt me. She’s selfish.
They never consider others.’ The church in Rome was
sabotaging its own unity over outward issues, so Paul
reminded them that even though their behaviour was at
odds, their motives were similar. ‘He who eats meat, eats
to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who
abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to
God’ (Romans 14:6 NIV). Unity doesn’t depend on
outward conformity, but understanding hearts! 2)
Consider your impact on others. We say, ‘It’s nobody’s
business but mine, as long as I don’t violate Scripture.’
Wrong! You can follow the letter of the Word but violate
its Spirit. Paul said, ‘Everything is permissible—but not
everything is beneficial’ (1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV). Yes,
you can do it, but somebody else may end up being hurt.
God has a higher law than that of ‘my rights’; it’s the law
of love! He cares ‘when you use your freedom carelessly
in a way that leads a Christian…to be thrown off track’
(1 Corinthians 8:9 TM). What should you do? ‘Do nothing
from selfishness…regard one another as more important
than yourselves’ (Philippians 2:3 NAS).
Lev 21: 1- 23: 25, Matthew 6: 19-34, Psalm 71: 17-24,
Proverb 2: 3-5
#13
In Place, But Not Connected


'You cannot be fruitful unless you
remain in Me.' John 15:4 NLT
‘Mobile phones can be life–
savers…but the batteries have a
limited lifespan and need to be
recharged. One weary weekend I
was as drained as my phone
battery. I went through my evening routine, dutifully
placing
my mobile phone on its charger.
Unfortunately, I neglected to plug
the charger into the socket. Next
morning I woke refreshed—but
my phone was no better than the night before. It was in
the right
place… but it wasn’t connected to
the power source! Sometimes the
consequences of not “plugging
in” can be more severe…many
people dutifully march to church every week, but leave as
drained
as when they came. They’re in
the right place, but they’re not
plugged in to the power of God…
and without that it doesn’t matter
if you sit in a pew or on a barstool… You can study the
Scriptures for hours on end, “always learning and never
able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7
NAS); you can even do great things for God but lack
power in your life. If I’d left my mobile phone on the
charger for days or weeks
instead of overnight, it wouldn’t
have helped. Multiplication of
effort isn’t a substitute for true power… Guard against
things
that disconnect you from the
power source…obviously sin will
do that, but so will weariness. We
can’t remain connected if we’re
weighed down by busyness. We can spend so much time
doing
things forGod that we neglect our
relationship with Him.’ Jesus said,
‘You cannot be fruitful unless you
remain in Me.’ That means
reading the Bible, praying and resting in His presence.
SoulFood: Lev 23:26-25:55, Luke
2:34-40, Ps 74:1-11, Prov 2:6
#14
The Lord Knows Where You Are


'The Lord has need of him.' Luke 19:34 NKJV
Luke records: ‘He sent two of His disciples, saying, “Go
into the village…you will find a colt tied, on which no one
has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. And if anyone
asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’…say to him, ‘Because
the Lord has need of it.’”’ (Luke 19:29–31 NKJV) Who
notices a donkey tied to a tree in a town where nothing
ever seems to happen? Jesus! During the busiest week of
His life, on His way to Jerusalem to die, He paused for a
lowly colt, saying, ‘Bring him to Me.’
There’s a lesson here for you. Jesus knows where you
are today, and when the time is right He will call you.
Notice the words, ‘A colt…on which no one has ever sat.’
Maybe that’s because nobody placed much value on it.
But when God has a plan for your life, He’s not influenced
by those who overlook or underestimate you. Note also
the phrase ‘a colt tied’. You may be tied up with legitimate
things like raising a family or holding down a job. Or you
may be tied up with illegitimate things you can’t even talk
about. Either way God knows, and He’s bigger than your
problem.
Note the words, ‘If anyone asks you, “Why are you loosing
it?”…say to him, “Because the Lord has need of it.”’
Understand this: neither your friends nor your foes control
your future—God does. How long had the colt been tied to
that tree? Days? Weeks? Months? We don’t know. But this
much is sure, when the Lord says, ‘Loose it and bring it
here,’ the clock starts ticking and His plan for your life
starts falling into place.
SoulFood: Lev 26-27, Luke 2:41-52, Ps 74:12-23, Prov
2:7-8
This is The Word For Today
#15
PRAYER (1)
‘Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe…and it will be
yours.’ Mark 11:24 NIV
When you pray: 1) Use your faith. William Ward says: ‘We
stamp and address an envelope and send it on its way
with complete confidence that it will reach its destination.
Yet we wonder and even doubt if our prayers will be heard
by an ever-present, ever-loving God.’ Wrap your prayer in
expectation. God doesn’t respond to your need, He
responds to your faith. 2) Don’t worry about using the
right words. Jesus said of the Pharisees, ‘They think they
will be heard because of their many words’ (Matthew 6:7
NIV). Ever heard the lawyer’s version of ‘Give us this day
our daily bread’? (Matthew 6:11). ‘We respectfully
petition, request and entreat that a due and adequate
provision be made, this day and date first above and
inscribed, for the satisfying of petitioners’ nutritional
requirements, and for the organising of such methods of
allocation and distribution as may be deemed necessary
and proper, to assume the reception by and for said
petitioners of such quantity of cereal products (hereinafter
and herein called “bread”), and shall in the judgment of
the aforesaid petitioners constitute a sufficient amount.’
That’s eighty words! Jesus used only seven! Sometimes
the most effective praying is brief and to the point. 3) Be
specific. Jesus said, ‘You will be given whatever you ask
for in my name’ (John 16:23). The great thing about being
specific is that whenever God answers, you know it. The
loved one you prayed for was saved. The illness was
cured. The more explicit you are, the more alert you’ll be
for answers—which means you can be more specific with
your thanks to God.
Leviticus 26-27, Matthew 7: 15-29, Psalm 74: 12-23,
Proverb 2: 7-8
#16
'You will ask what you desire.'
John 15:7 NKJV
Jesus said, ‘If you abide in Me,
and My words abide in you, you
will ask what you desire, and it
shall be done for you.’ For your
prayers to be answered you
must:
(1) Make Christ the centre of your
life. ‘If you abide in Me.’ John was
close enough to lean his head on
Jesus’ bosom, but Peter ‘followed
[Him] at a distance.’ (Luke 22:54
NKJV) How close to God do you want to be? It’s up to
you.
(2) Fill your mind with Scripture.
When you pray the words of
Scripture your faith is activated,
the devil retreats as he did from
Christ in the wilderness, and God
responds because you’re praying in harmony with His
will. So ask
yourself, ‘Is my request in line
with Scripture; will it blend with
my gifts; will it draw me closer to
God; what is my part in
answering it; have I obeyed the Lord?’ Now, when you
pray, ‘Give
us this day our daily bread’ (Matthew 6:11 NKJV), God
probably won’t rain down
groceries! He will give you
opportunities you must seize and act on. The words, ‘Pray
without
ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17
NKJV), mean you should stay in
God’s presence long enough for
Him to answer your prayer, or
change your request.
(3) Before you ask, examine
your heart. ‘If I regard iniquity in
my heart, the Lord will not hear
me.’ (Psalm 66:18 NKJV) Achan’s
sin had to be dealt with before
Israel could go forward in the Promised Land (Joshua
7:10–26).
And so does yours! The moment
you become conscious of sin,
confess it, then be confident that
God has forgiven you and move
forward.
SoulFood: Dan 3-4, Luke 3:21-38,
Ps 84, Prov 2:16-19
#17
Prayer (2)
‘When you pray, go into your room, close the door.’
Matthew 6:6
Have you ever tried to have a
conversation with a toddler? When
you’re in the middle of a sentence,
they figure it’s a good time to play with their toys or chase
the dog around the house. Sometimes that’s how we treat
God. We give Him a few hurriedminutes and scattered
thoughts, but we don’t set aside a time and place to give
Him our full attention. We forget that the place of prayer
is also the place of answered prayer!
Our problem is ‘the war of wandering thoughts’. Things
we’ve forgotten suddenly ‘parade’ across our
consciousness, demanding our
attention. And as James says, if we’re
‘double-minded’ we don’t get answers to our prayers
(James 1: . What can we do?
1) Pray aloud. This makes it
difficult for your mind to wander. You may feel awkward
at first, but you’ll soon get comfortable with it.
2) Jot down distracting thoughts. When the ticker tape
starts running, write each thing down and forget it until
later.
And if you still can’t help thinking
about it, take it to God in prayer.
3)Keep a diary. Sometimes we don’t
really know what we want or how we feel about
something until we put it in writing. Then, like a mirror,
there it is: your deepest needs and yearnings in front of
you—and God. Tell Him your longings and let Him purify
them. Tell Him your temptations and let Him strengthen
you. Tell Him your
resentments and let Him forgive you,
and empower you to forgive others.
There’s no greater privilege than the
privilege of prayer, so don’t neglect it. Gen 33-35, Matt
10:1-16
#18
PRAYER (4)
‘Seek his face continually.’ 1 Chronicles 16:11KJV
A good relationship is based on being sensitive to the
other person’s needs, and to do that, you must make the
relationship a priority and spend time together. The
difference between ‘catching a few moments’ with the
Lord and spending quality time with Him is like the
difference between driving through McDonald’s and
spending the evening at a fine restaurant. At McDonald’s
you drive up, shout into a microphone and drive around to
a window where they hand you a bag of food. In a fine
restaurant you sit down, savour every bite in a relaxed
atmosphere, and leave satisfied and nourished. Too many
of us live on spiritual fast food and never experience the
banquet God has for us. The Bible says, ‘Seek his face
continually.’ Have you learned how to stay in God’s
presence and enjoy it? When it comes to prayer, we all
face two challenges: 1) Lack of desire. We complain
about lack of time, but the truth is we make time for what
we truly care about and enjoy. If you want to build an
effective prayer life you must be willing to forfeit some
things. 2) We don’t know how. Find a place with no
distractions. Take your Bible and a notepad with you. Use
a CD player with worship music to help you. Worship will
change the atmosphere around you. Just do what works
for you. And be patient! Sometimes it takes weeks or
months before you develop a pattern, so stick with it—the
rewards are worth it. And remember, prayer is a two-way
street. It’s not about seeing how much you can tell God;
it’s about learning to hear from Him as well.
Daniel 3-4, Matthew 8:18-27,Psalm 84, Proverb 2:
16-19.