Daily Devotional for Sunday December 21, 2014
Believe It or Not Christmas is Only a Few Days Away
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, Somewhere in the Bible it says the laws are impossible to keep. What exactly does that mean?
ANSWER: The weakness of our human nature means that we find it impossible to fully keep the law of Moses, but due to Christ's complete obedience to it, we are freed from any obligation to keep it. Our salvation is due to God's gift through Christ, rather than our personal works of obedience. "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin (i.e. a sin offering), condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom. 8:3). Thus "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us" (Gal. 3:13)
Believe it or not, Christmas is only a few days away! I was taught very early in life that you can learn much by watching people. In the day Jesus was born, a shepherd was the equivalent of a busboy or dishwasher in today's society. It was a very lowly position and these were not the type of people that you would think to look at as role models. Let me remind you that you can never judge a person by the house they live in, the car they drive, or the job they hold. It is our heart God sees and judges.
The shepherds on the night Jesus was born must have been pretty important men in the eyes of God because it was to those men, that He revealed the birth of His son in Bethlehem's manger that night. While there are many great spiritual lessons that you can learn from the shepherds, the one I want to focus on today is their conduct after they had visited the manger and saw with their own eyes the baby Jesus.
The scripture reference today tells us that they left praising God for all they had seen and were shown. Praising God. I have talked about this many times in the past, and will continue to talk about it because it is one element of our faith that we just don't practice enough. So much of our prayer time, so much of our focus is on our problems and circumstances, that we often forget to spend time each day just thanking and praising God for all that He does for us each and every day.
In the past month, a lady in Baltimore, Maryland emailed a request for God to restore her marriage. Her husband had left her for another woman. Within 3 weeks the husband had come home, recommitted his life to Christ, and they were in Christian counseling to work out their problems. For those of you today with marriage problems, God is still in the restoration business.
A man in Newark, New Jersey requested prayer the day before open heart surgery. He emailed us a week later telling us all had gone well and the doctors told him he would make a full and complete recovery. For those battling health problems today, God is still in the healing business. A single mother of 4 in St. Louis asked us for prayer after she lost her job. 2 weeks later God had given her a better job, with more money. For those of you in need of a financial blessing today, God is still in the business of providing for His children.
On the 5th day after we started Liveprayer back in August of 1999, our prayer partner on the live video feed was praying for a person as they accepted Christ as Savior. The next day an email came in from Hong Kong from a man who had lost his business, was thinking of suicide, and somehow logged on to our site. As the prayer partner was leading the person in the sinner's prayer, this man in Hong Kong prayed to accept Jesus too. God is still in the business of saving souls! Everyday we get incredible praise reports of how God has touched lives and worked miracles in thousands of people who have visited Liveprayer during a time of great need in their life.
I want to encourage you today to learn from the shepherds and never neglect to thank God for all He does for you each and everyday. Blessings that you take for granted. It is through your praise, through you telling others all that God has done for you, that they might increase their faith to allow God to work in their life. Your praise report gives others going through the same situation the hope and strength to go on, trusting God for their miracle.
Hope is the greatest gift you can give to another person, and our hope is in Jesus Christ!!!
I love you and care about you so much. I pray today that you will not forget to give God the praise He deserves each and everyday. I appreciate more than you can know the praise reports that we get everyday because that keeps all of us here at Liveprayer encouraged. God not only hears our prayers, but answers our prayers! My challenge to you today is to be like the shepherds. God blesses you so that you can share His blessings with others, to encourage them! Be like the shepherds and tell those you meet along the path of your life about this wonderful friend you have named Jesus Christ!
***DECEMBER FINANCIAL UPDATE: Thank You for everyone who was led and able to help me with a gift this week! As we head into the final 10 days of the month and year, please be in prayer with me for the final $2,000 of our November shortfall so we can begin to work on the $40,000 we require for our December internet operations and the $25,000 we require for the TV program in December.
IT IS CRITICAL THAT WE BRING IN THE FINAL $2,000 OF OUR NOVEMBER SHORTFALL TODAY! ADDITIONALLY, WE REQUIRE IMMEDIATELY THE FIRST $10,000 OF OUR DECEMBER INTERNET BUDGET FOR BASIC OPERATIONAL COSTS NECESSARY TO KEEP LIVEPRAYER.COM ONLINE! I AM ASKING FOR ONE FRIEND WHO CAN COVER THIS CRITICAL $12,000, OR TWO FRIENDS WHO CAN HELP ME WITH A SPECIAL YEAR-END GIFT OF $6,000. WILL YOU PRAY ABOUT BEING THAT ONE OR TWO SPECIAL FRIENDS I NEED TO HEAR FROM TODAY?
--->Everyone else please pray about what you can do to help me For those able, pray about a special one-time year-end gift of $1,000 or more to help me insure Liveprayer continues to be a beacon of light to so many each day! Just 67 people would insure we end the year with 100% of our basic internet and TV operations current!!! The Bible teaches to give according to your ability to give. For some that may be $5, for other it may be $20, for others it may be $50. Still others God has blessed and you can make a sacrifce today of $100, $300, $500, $1,000, or more. Never forget that it is not the amount God sees, but your sacrifice, and He will honor your heart as you obey His voice.
Will you help me today? Will you please take a minute today, and pray, seek the Lord what He is asking you to sacrifce to help me as we boldly stand where virtually nobody else will, in the marketplace declaring His Truth as unpopular as that is today, to help lead this nation back to God and Biblicla Truth while leading the lost to faith in Jesus Christ!
TO GIVE A GIFT TO LIVEPRAYER, you can use your major credit card on our secure server at: www.liveprayer.com under the "Donation" link, you can give using your PayPal account using my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org,or you can mail your gift to: Liveprayer, 6660 46th Ave. North, St.Petersburg, FL 33709. All gifts to Liveprayer are 100% tax deductible.
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,