Daily Devotional for Tuesday May 22, 2007
How Committed are You to Jesus
(John 15:19-21; John 16:2-3; 1 John 5:19; Matthew 24:9; Acts 20:24)
I think that is a fair question to ask since if you are saved, when you made that commitment to Christ, you literally gave Him your life. The Bible says that we have been bought with a price and that it is no longer our life. So I ask you again, how committed are you to Jesus? I would never ask you a question like that if I wasn't willing to ask myself that same question. The fact is, each morning when I wake up, I go through the process of surrendering my life afresh to the Lord. Even so, I have to check myself at times during the day by asking myself how committed I really am to the Lord?
Today, Dr. Jerry Falwell will be memorialized and laid to rest. Since his death last Tuesday, I have watched some of the tributes to this great man of God whose life literally impacted millions of people around the world. I have also watched his detractors, those who hated him, those who hated his message, those who couldn't stand that he was bold enough to proclaim God's Truth in the public square. As I listened to them call Dr. Falwell a hate monger, insensitive, intolerant, and an endless array of other demeaning names, it only reinforced that those who have rejected God, rejected the Truth of the Bible, and rejected His free gift of everlasting life through faith in Jesus Christ hate anyone who is brave enough to call their choices what God calls them, SIN!
I think about John the Baptist. He was called by God to prepare the way for the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Remember how his life ended? He had has head cut off for having the audacity to call sin sin. Think about Stephen in Acts 7. Remember how he died? He was literally stoned to death for simply sharing the Gospel, and may I remind you that he was speaking to the religious leaders of his day! Of course there is Jesus. I remember when he preached and people left because of what He taught. In John 6:66 the Bible says, "As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore." Why? PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO BE REMINDED OF THEIR SIN, OF THEIR REBELLION TO GOD! Of course, our Lord was ultimately crucified for simply stating the fact that He was God!
I asked you today how committed you are to Jesus? Are you committed enough to be laughed at, scorned, ridiculed, and called every nasty name there is because you take a stand for Christ? Are you committed enough to be persecuted by family, friends, and strangers because you take a stand for Christ? Are you committed enough to die because you take a stand for Christ?
This has been a challenging few weeks for me personally, in my own journey of faith. I am no different than you. I am tempted by the things of this world like everyone is. I doubt God at times like we all do. I fail God too often. I try to do my best each day, but when the day is over I know I could have done more. Something is happening right now in the heavenlies. I can only tell you it is spiritual discernment, but something is happening. I always know because when the battles are being waged in the heavenlies (Ephesians 6) because I get indications through the daily events that unfold in this world we live in.
The whole relationship with Howard Stern is not only very bizarre, but something only God could have orchestrated. We are currently in talks with Howard's people regarding some sort of ongoing relationship. Ten days ago we had the firestorm that was caused by the Romney Devotional which put Liveprayer in the national spotlight, and once again in the cross hairs of the satanic Mormon cult. For the first time since we began almost 8 years ago, the heart of what Liveprayer does each day, the Daily Devotional we deliver to over 2.4 million subscribers worldwide every morning has been threatened.
In addition to the 6 month battle we have been in with Microsoft that has affected our ability to deliver the Daily Devotional to our subscribers using Microsoft email accounts (Hotmail MSN and WebTV), we have now been targeted (after being set-up by people who want to silence Liveprayer) by some of the major anti-Spam organizations who ISPs use in order to identify organizations sending Spam so they can block their mail. This has affected apx 30% of the Liveprayer subscribers for the past 2 weeks. So the basic delivery of the Daily Devotional and our ability to communicate with those in the Liveprayer family has been hampered and threatened, not to mention our ability to aggressively attract new subscribers has been crippled.
On top of all of that, is the ongoing pursuit each day to bring the right people together with the vision and resources (or connections to the resources) to get the Liveprayer TV program back on nationwide as quickly as possible. If this nation ever needed a voice of Biblical Truth to compete with the never ending and life/soul destroying message of this world, it is now. Of course we also have the monthly challenge to simply raise the $80,000 we need to operate Liveprayer.com and the TV program in the local Tampa market each night. Oh, and did I mention this Friday would be the inaugural performance of "An Interactive Evening of Faith," a live musical/video/oral performance geared to reach those who are searching spiritually that will be edited into a PBS special and be appearing in a different city each month starting this summer?
ALL of that is happening along with our daily work in ministering to over 2.4 million people worldwide every day through the Daily Devotional, responding each day to over 40,000 emails for prayer, and doing the "live" TV program 5 nights a week! Through those daily efforts we are seeing thousands of praise reports each week from people God has touched and 400-500 people every week giving their hearts and lives to Jesus by faith! I see enough happening in the natural to know there are some incredible battles over Liveprayer being waged right now in the heavenlies. God is up to something!!!
It is against this backdrop that I have done some serious souls-searching the last few days, asking myself, how committed I really am to Jesus? After nearly 2 decades of full time ministry, after making the commitment 8 years ago this August to give the Lord everything I have, after faithfully being here day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year for nearly 8 years now, am I committed enough to take my life and service to Christ to the next level??? I hit my knees Monday morning outside the door of the used car lot where Liveprayer has been operating since we began. I simply told God I don't know how much more I have, but ALL I have is His!!!
I love you and care about you so much. As I have answered God's challenge in my own life regarding my commitment to Christ, today I pass on that challenge to you. I am challenging those in the Liveprayer family to make an even greater commitment to Christ each day. This small group that God has sovereignly put together through this 21st century electronic marvel called the Internet, has already impacted tens of millions of lives worldwide and seen over 180,000 souls we know of come to faith in Jesus Christ since we began in August of 1999. God is calling me, and He is calling you, to now take our commitment to the next level!
The fact is, it is up to us each day just how much of an impact we will have for the Lord. We can do as little or as much as we want. For me, it took cleansing myself of earthy goals and setting instead heavenly goals. It took not being motivated by the temporal material things of this world but by the eternal spiritual things of God. You see my friend, the things of this world, money, possessions, power, position, all mean NOTHING in light of eternity. The moment you die, all of those things cease to exist or have any importance at all. The only thing left when you take your last breath are the things you've done for the Kingdom. Your only real legacy is in the hearts and souls of those lives you have impacted for Jesus during your journey here.
I can't tell you exactly what God is up to. He doesn't have to consult with me. But I have been doing this long enough to know something is up. On top of being in prayer for our ongoing daily work through Liveprayer.com and the TV program 5 nights a week, this week we are taking very aggressive offensive measures through our attorneys regarding the unfair treatment we are receiving by several self-appointed groups who are causing our Daily Devotional delivery problems as well as Mr. Gates and his company who think they are god and don't have to answer to anyone. I'll keep you posted as our legal strategy unfolds.
I will also be having conversations with Stern's people about an ongoing relationship, so be praying for whatever God wants to do in that situation. The satanic Mormon cult has now targeted Liveprayer since we are on the front lines exposing their lies to the world. Please be praying for God's protection since satan and those who follow him like this cult have only one goal, to kill, steal, and destroy. Also, be praying for God's favor with the various groups we are in discussions with about getting the TV program back on nationwide. I sense this is a BIG part of that spiritual warfare going on since the program already demonstrated last year in just 10 weeks what a powerful impact it can have over millions lives all over this nation very day. Lastly, pray for the event this Friday night as we unveil another facet of Liveprayer that can impact millions of lives for Christ.
I have never asked you to do anything I haven't done. Before I ask you to sacrifice to give to this ministry, my wife and I already have made our sacrifice. Before I ask you to take a stand for Christ, I've already taken my stand. I have always believed that you lead by example. I would not be asking you today to make a greater commitment to Christ if I hadn't already done so. I am challenging you today to take some time alone with the Lord and let God show you how He can use your life as part of the Liveprayer family to help me make the impact, not on millions, but on BILLIONS of lives God has called us to make.
If you've been called to pray for me and this ministry, seek God how you can pray more effectively. If you've been called to sacrifice to give to support God's work here, seek God how you can make an even greater sacrifice. If you've been called to share Liveprayer with people you know, seek God how you can share this work with even more people. It is no accident that God has brought our lives together, and through the commitment to Christ we have each made, God has used our lives over nearly 8 years to impact tens of millions of lives around the world.
GOD IS NOW CALLING US TO STEP UP, MAKE AN EVEN GREATER COMMITMENT SO HE CAN USE THIS WORK TO IMPACT TENS OF MILLIONS OF LIVES WORLDWIDE EVERY DAY!!!!
How committed are you to Jesus?