Daily Devotional for Friday January 31, 2014
(1 Corinthians 15:57)
***ASK BILL: The Bible seems to say that God has mercy on some but not all, and makes some people to be evil, dishonest, dishonorable, etc.
ANSWER: That is not accurate. God created man with freewill, the ability to make his own choices without interference. God's grace and mercy DOES extend to all men, but sadly some choose to reject His grace and mercy and live in rebellion to their Creator. It is a CHOICE to sin, to rebel against God and the Truth of His Word.
"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" I Corinthians 15:57
VICTORY! I Corinthians 15:57 is my life verse and the words that have taken me through the last 22 years of serving the Lord on the front lines where most pastors won't go. Never before have those words meant more to me than earlier this week.
As you know, for the first time in my life I had health issues last August with my heart. After 21 years of putting in 15-18 hour days 6 days a week, and 12 or so on Sunday, I went right back to my normal schedule after being out less than a week. That lasted about 2 months before I had a relapse because I went right back to my old schedule. I did my best to obey the docs, but slipped back into my old routine and late last week had a really bad relapse, a real physical breakdown.
The difference this time was it wasn't just physical, but it was mental. Laying idle for a couple of days, something I have never done, gave me time to reflect on over 20 years of serving the Lord. Jesus told us that the goal of satan is to, "kill, steal, and destroy." I have told you 100 times he is a liar, the father of lies, John 8:44.
As I laid there for several days, needing to simply be still and let my body recoup from the physical exhaustion, I began to wonder what was the purpose of the last 22 years, literally giving my life to the Lord 24/7 and focusing on nothing else. I thought about the never ending daily grind for the finances to simply operate because I hade refused to "play the game."
I thought about the daily personal attacks from taking a stand for the Lord in the public arena over 2 decades. The 8-10 death threats every month for the last 15 years now. The need for personal security in public appearances from people serious about trying to physically harm me. The never ending stream over 22 years of ministry from people who have tried to destroy me personally, our work for the Lord, for no other reason than they disagree with the message.
People would never believe the attacks of every kind that I have dealt with over the years. Even my assistant, staff, and wife who know many of the things that occur, don't know it all. I share some of the stories with close friends who sit in disbelief that people could have such hatred and rage to try and silence someone who at the end of the day is giving his life to help people in their hour of need.
It is in those quiet moments that your mind can begin to convince you that having spent half of my life serving the Lord has been a waste of those precious years you will never get back. While others have chosen to tickle ears, preach to the choir, and cash in on the flock for millions to live a life of luxury, I am on the front lines in the public square taking on the baby killers, the homosexual activists, the satanists, the atheists, the top apologists of the cults, the pure evil of Islam...for no personal gain other than my basic needs.
It was into the third day as my body began to gain strenght that it was those people the Lord had me dwell upon. That no matter what happens the rest of my life, God has used my sacrifce, my efforts, and the love, prayers, and sacrifice of so many friends over the years to enable us to help people in their most difficult times, to reach those lost hurting souls with the Gospel, many who would be lost for eternity otherwise.
Just during the last 15 years of Liveprayer, literally tens of millions of lives worldwide impacted, over 100 million emails for prayer responded to, 8 million praise reports archived, millions of people we have reached with the Truth of God's Word and the hope of Christ over 10 years of the Liveprayer TV program, still the only TV program to air "live" and only on non-Christian stations to reach those who will never go to church or hear the Truth, and most important, over 800,000 souls we know of who have come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
SATAN, MY WORD TO YOU THOU LIAR IS THAT MINE HAS NOT BEEN A LIFE OF DEFEAT...BUT A LIFE OF VICTORY!!! THANKS BE TO GOD WHO GIVES US THE VICTORY THROUGH OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST!!!
I love and care about you so much. At the end of each hard day, drained from ministering to people worldwide with every need imaginable, standing with people in their darkest hours, it has been YOUR love, YOUR prayers, and YOUR sweet sacrifce that has made it all possible. Whatever rewards/crowns there may be in Glory, will not be mine alone, but shared with all my dear friends who have been part of the Liveprayer family.
My body is strong again, though I have to use the common sense the Lord gave me and not push myself to the point of sheer physical exhaustion again. My recent health issues and age preclude that, but I can still accomplish all that I need to each day. My faith has been increased. It has been my faith alone that has taken my through this journey over the past 2+ decades, and as strong as it needed to be each day, it has been matured this past week.
I told you last November what 2014 meant. It is no coincidence that we are starting to air the TV program in Chicago, a big piece of seeing the move of God's hand during this year ahead. In retrospect, it is not a surprise this most serious attack came when it did. In fact, it ended up only confirming all the Lord has showed me.
Please continue to pray for me, as I do you and your family each day. Those who can, do what you can to support our work here. As He has for the past 22 years, God will use our collective faith and efforts to accomplish His purpose as He has through His human vessels throughout the course of human history. As the 11th Chapter of Acts recounts some of the great heroes of the faith, may etenrity show us in our hour on the stage to have been faithful to the end, even if it will only be in Glory that we see the fruits of our labors for the Lord!!! God Bless You!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,