Daily Devotional for Sunday April 5, 2020
***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: Dear Lord, Thank You for obediently going to Jerusalem on this day we celebrate as "Palm Sunday." It was an act of pure obedience. Please oh Lord, let ME be obedient each day and follow You. It is my heart's desire to live a life pleasing and acceptable to You, and that starts with my obedience. In the name of Jesus I pray...AMEN!
***THE LIVEPRAYER CHURCH!!! Haven't been to church yet this week? Join me for this week's service at the LivePrayer Church. This week’s message is: “The Triumphant Entries!” Please visit the website at: http://liveprayerchurch.com and be part this week’s worship service. Each Sunday there will be a new service at 12:01am EDT
***BEGINNING TOMORROW THERE WILL BE 7 DAYS OF SPECIAL EASTER SEASON DAILY DEVOTIONALS LEADING UP TO THAT GLORIOUS RESURRECTION SUNDAY!!!
***THE DAILY LIVEPRAYER TV NUGGET: (This is from 2/26 which seems like a lifetime ago with the changes taking place here and around the world literally every 24 hours. At the time these words were written, nobody could really know what was going to unfold and that is even true today! Only under the inspiration of God could I have written these words 39 days ago and have them come to pass, making it well worth your time to read them again!)
Is the coronavirus God’s warning to the world? What started in a China, exactly how still to be determined, we are a LONG way from this global threat being anything close to a pandemic taking tens of millions of lives around the world. Having said that, God created man to life forever, to never die. He also created man’s environment in perfection. There were no germs, diseases, sicknesses to contend with. When men chose to sin, it not only brought physical and spiritual death into the picture, but destroyed the perfect environment man was living in. So this coronavirus is a byproduct of the fallen state men is living in. Like SARS in 2003, the ebola virus outbreak 7 years ago, this is the latest strain of a virus that currently there is no known cure for. It clearly is a cause for concern as it is spreading to nations around the world with over 80,000 known cases and over 2,700 deaths. Sadly, it is being used as a political football as all issues end up being at some point. It is NOT a major problem in the United States at this moment, but very easily could be in the coming weeks and months. As in China where it originated, it would preclude all kinds normal daily activities such as children going to school, going to see a movie, attending sporting events, and basic travel. These restrictions would also have a major effect on the economy, even more than we are currently dealing with. For Christians, it would also affect such a basic activity like going to church services. For now, PRAY for the Lord to give gifted medical professionals the wisdom to come up with a vaccine. Pray for world leaders to make wise decisions to restrict the spread of this virus. Pray for the sick to be healed and the family of those who have lost their lives to know God’s strength and comfort in the midst of their loss. Back to the initial question. While the coronavirus is simply a byproduct of our fallen nature like all sicknesses and diseases are, I believe it is also a reminder that we are frail beings, death is imminent for all of us, and we know from Scripture there will come a day when God will judge this fallen world. WE SHOULD ALWAYS SEE SUCH EVENTS AS A REMINDER OF OUR SIN AND REBELLION AND USE THEM AS OPPORTUNITIES TO TURN TO OUR FAITH AND THE LORD EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY!!!
*Don’t miss the Liveprayer TV program, airing “LIVE” every Monday thru Friday from 11pm EDT to Midnight! For details on viewing options for the Liveprayer TV program, “LIVE” or “On Demand,” go to: https://liveprayer.com/liveprayer-show-about.cfm
During this Easter season, it is one of the two times a year that almost everyone who even professes to believe in God goes to church. Of course, the other is Christmas. I thought that this would give me an opportunity to address something that I deal with in the prayer requests I receive daily here at Liveprayer, and that is, how important it is to go to church. Not just on the special holidays, but to be actually part of a fellowship of believers all year long.
*Of course, during the current restrictions due to the Chinese flu, physically going to church isn’t possible for most people during this Easter season. Thankfully, due to the technology of the day we can still “go to church” through many available online services. IT IS NOT THE SAME AS THE PHYSICAL CONGREGATING WITH YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST, BUT STILL CAN BE A MOVING EXPERIENCE. The truth of this Daily Devotional however, doesn’t change as we will be back to our normal worship experiences very quickly!
Let me make this point perfectly clear up front. Going to church and belonging to a body of believers IS NOT AN OPTION. Read today's scripture from Hebrews. This is God telling you NOT to stop meeting together. Even in the early church this had become a problem. Never forget my friend, the church is NOT a man-made idea, it is a God-made idea. This is another way God has provided for His children to remain strong, and live productive, victorious lives. Trust me, over my years in ministry I have heard every rationale for not going to church that there is and the only one that is valid is when you are physically unable to attend.
By the way, sleeping in does not count as physically unable to attend. Not going to church is living in rebellion to God's will for your life!
The reason God has made this part of our life with Him is, to stay on track. So, there are several basic things that we MUST do. We MUST pray and we MUST read the Bible every day. We also MUST be part of a fellowship because it is in that fellowship we are spiritually fed and nurtured. It is in that fellowship we make friends with other believers. It is in that fellowship we usually find ways to serve the Lord. It is in that fellowship we grow spiritually!!!
Before you say it, let me. There is not, never has been, and never will be a perfect church because a church is made up of imperfect people from the pastor on down. That is a fact. For those of you looking for a church home, the best advice that I can give you is to pray, find a place where the Word of God is preached in an uncompromising way, and find a place that is not operating in contradiction to the Bible (example: A church that promotes an unscriptural lifestyle such as homosexuality or a church that does not accept the basic tenets of faith such as the virgin birth, who Jesus is, and the work on the cross). Find a place where you feel that you can grow spiritually as well as serve the Lord.
I have found that after preaching in over 500 churches of every denomination, that the key to a great church is the shepherd, the pastor. I have so much respect for those God has called to be pastors. I honestly prayed that God would never call me to pastor a church. It is one of the most difficult jobs in the Kingdom. However, it is important to find a true shepherd as described in John Chapter 10.
I am praying today that during this Easter season, you will come under great conviction about becoming part of a fellowship if you are not already. It is important to your life and relationship with the Lord. You will never grow spiritually without this being part of your life. It is impossible. It is also a reason that many are struggling in their life. I realize that some of you have been hurt in the past by a church. DO NOT let your past experiences get in the way. That is a ploy of satan who wants you out there all alone so that you are an easy target. There is safety in numbers.
As I normally do, I am going to let you pray about this. One thing that I realized early in my ministry is that I cannot force someone to do anything. God didn't make us that way. He gave us the free will to make our own decisions. My job is to tell you what the Word says, what God wants from your life, and how you can become all that He has raised you up to be. Like in everything, there are basics. Without doing the basics, it just doesn't work. Going to church and being part of a local fellowship are just two of the basics that is critical to your spiritual health. I am praying in earnest that this message is finding fertile ground in the hearts that need to hear these words today. Make it a part of your life not just on Christmas and Easter but part of each week.
I love you and care about you so much. I am praying for you and trusting God that those who are not a part of a church, will make that commitment today. Remember, it is not an option but something that God requires. If you need a church home, let me encourage you to become part of the LivePrayer Church. In just a few years, it has become the world's online cathedral, with over 10,000 joining our service each week. Each week the service is posted at 12:01 EDT and is up all week so you can worship on whatever day, whatever time is convenient to you.
You can access the LivePrayer Church by going to: www.liveprayerchurch.com
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,