Daily Devotional for Thursday April 9, 2020
Today is sometimes referred to as Maundy Thursday! (Take communion on the LP TV show tonight!)
(1 Corinthians 11:23-34)
***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: Please Lord bless me and my family today. Help us to never forget to honor You and praise Your holy name. Thank You for Your blessings. Let us be good stewards of those blessings and never forget to reach out to others and be a blessing to those who cross our path each day. In the name of Jesus I pray...AMEN!
***THE DAILY LIVEPRAYER TV NUGGET: Tonight I want to salute Terry Bollea, known worldwide as Hulk Hogan. Many of the professional wrestlers call the Tampa Bay area home. Bollea and his family lived for years in a large compound near Clearwater Beach. I actually ran into him one Saturday morning, and I didn’t even know it. LOL! Back in the early 2000’s prior to the divorce from his first wife, she owned a small boutique breakfast/lunch restaurant in Clearwater. I used to have breakfast there on a Saturday mornings every now and then. I honestly didn’t know it was owned by Bollea’s wife, just that they had a great breakfast menu and excellent food. On one occasion I had just paid for my breakfast and as I was walking out, heard a couple in front of me state that Hulk Hogan was standing by the cash register I had just left. I thought they must be seeing things since I had just been at the register and certainly didn’t see Hulk Hogan. So I went back in, and there standing next to the register was a man talking to the woman at the register. Upon looking much closer I realized, yes, it was the Hulkster! LOL! I’m 6’2” and to be honest with you, despite being listed at 6’7”, Bollea was more like 6’4” tops. He was obviously dressed in street clothes, but looked NOTHING like the roided-up monster who spent his life entertaining wrestling fans worldwide as the character Hulk Hogan. However, I could see his frame and how a few months on the “juice” and working in the gym he could bulk up to the muscle-bound superstar fans worldwide loved. There is a reason for sharing this personal story with you. In the midst of the current Chinese Flu pandemic, Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan has chimed in. He said in a recent interview that the worldwide pandemic was like the plagues of Egypt in the Bible. He then stated, “we need a personal revival more than a vaccine!” Like many famous entertainers, especially in the world of professional wrestling, Bollea has had a life that certainly wasn’t being lived for the Lord. However, I reached out to a few close friends in the area who know him personally and those in his inner circle, and from all I was told he has really embraced a faith in Christ as he has gotten older. Like many, he started to realize there has to be something bigger in this world than even the fictional Hulk Hogan! I pray he continues to grow in his faith, and am grateful for his boldness, since like Kanye, like Justin Bieber, someone like Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea can reach a large audience with the message of Christ’s love and the hope we have in Him. I know I will be praying for him!
*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
***TONIGHT ON THE LIVEPRAYER TV PROGRAM, WE WILL BE CELEBRATING COMMUNION! PLEASE JOIN ME AT THIS SOLEMN TIME OF THE YEAR FOR THIS WONDERFUL PERSONAL EXPRESSION OF OUR FAITH. ALL YOU NEED IS A CRACKER OR PIECE OF BREAD TO REPRESENT THE BODY OF CHRIST, AND A SMALL CUP OF WINE, JUICE, OR WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO REPRESENT HIS BLOOD. THAT IS TONIGHT FROM 11pm EDT to Midnight! For details on viewing options for the Liveprayer TV program, go to: https://liveprayer.com/liveprayer-show-about.cfm
Communion. Today is sometimes referred to during Holy Week as Maundy Thursday, the night of the Last Supper. Communion is that wonderful act of remembering the sacrifice Jesus made as He literally gave His life for the sins of all mankind. There has been much confusion and poor teaching about this wonderful time when a follower of Jesus Christ fulfills the command the Lord gave to His followers to remember Him by partaking of the bread and wine, re-enacting that moment He shared with His disciples in the Upper Room during the Last Supper.
When we're dealing with anything, our final authority in all matters is not "man-made traditions" but the Bible! The primary scripture that deals with communion is found in Paul's first letter to the Church of Corinth, in the 11th chapter. This passage refers back to the words of Jesus on the night of the Last Supper with His disciples.
On that night, our Lord broke the bread and said, "This is my body which is broken for you. This do in remembrance of Me." After dinner was over, Jesus took the cup and told His disciples, " This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." You see, Jesus knew what was about to happen. Jesus knew that in just a few hours He would be going to the cross to shed His precious blood and give His life as the one-time, perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world.
What Jesus did that night was give all of those who would follow Him a way of remembering His finished work on the cross. This is Easter or Resurrection week. It's that time of year Believers worldwide will reflect on the great sacrifice Christ made for us. We remember the Last Supper. We remember that time in the Garden of Gethsemane where he would be betrayed by Judas. We remember his trial before Pontius Pilate. We remember how our Lord was beaten, scourged, mocked, spat upon, and eventually nailed to the cross where He hung and died.
The fact is, we need to remember Christ's sacrifice for us more than just during the Easter season. That is the wonderful thing about communion. It allows us to take time and reflect, to remember the price Jesus paid for our salvation and the greatest event in human history when God raised Him from the dead on that Sunday!!!
One of the controversies regarding communion is how often a Believer should participate in this act of remembrance. Jesus simply said to do it in remembrance of me, and even used the word "often." The Bible doesn't give us a specific time period, once a day, once a week, or once a month. It really becomes an issue each Believer needs to pray about and let the Holy Spirit guide you.
Most churches have communion once a month. I know of some churches who observe communion every week. The Roman Catholic church celebrates communion at every mass. Again, there is no Biblical mandate how often to take communion. My personal belief is that every Believer should take communion at least once a month to never go too many days without remembering the price Christ paid for our salvation.
Another controversial issue surrounding communion is who is supposed to take communion. In most churches, everyone present is invited to take communion. That is WRONG! The Bible is very clear regarding who should and should not take communion. Communion is an act of remembrance for those who placed their faith in Jesus Christ. Communion is not something a nonbeliever should participate in.
A nonbeliever has no relationship with Christ, so the observance of communion is a meaningless exercise to that person. The bread and wine that represent the body and blood of Christ have no special significance to a person who has not given their heart and life to the Lord.
I've had the honor of preaching many times over the years when communion was being served. I make it clear that communion is a time for those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ to examine themselves, repent of their sins and ask God to forgive them of their sins before they partake of the bread and wine. One of the reasons I love communion is that it is the perfect opportunity to allow people who aren't Believers in Christ to accept the Lord as their Savior by faith.
There's no better time to give people an invitation to know Jesus than at the time of communion! After making the decision to accept the Lord, they can then partake of the bread and wine and understand the incredible sacrifice Jesus made for them when He shed His blood and gave His life for their sins, so that they might be able to receive God's gift of everlasting life.
Let me share this with you. You don't have to be in church to take communion. I've taken communion dozen of times in my office or at home. I get a cup with some grape juice to represent Christ's blood. I'll take some bread to represent His body. I sit down with my Bible and read some of those great passages in the Gospels about Christ's crucifixion, and I take communion.
You don't need a pastor or priest to give you Communion! Communion is an act of remembrance for Believers in Jesus Christ. You don't need a pastor or priest to stick a wafer or piece of bread in your mouth. You don't need a pastor or priest to give you a cup of wine or grape juice. You can take communion at home, in your office, anywhere. It's an act of remembrance each follower of Christ was asked by our Lord to do to remember Him!
It is a time for those followers of Jesus Christ to remember the price He paid for our salvation, why we are able to be the recipients of God's gift of everlasting life. Yes, it's a great experience when you are with a body of Believers in a church and you walk up and the pastor gives you the bread and the cup. Yes, it's wonderful to be able to share that experience in a corporate setting with other Believers.
However, you can take communion anywhere, and you don't need a pastor or priest since this is a time for personal reflection. It's a time of remembrance. That is why you shouldn't go more than 30 days without taking communion since it a reminder of what our faith is all about. Jesus Christ went to the cross, gave His body as a one-time sacrifice and shed His blood for the remission of sins. That is something every Believer should never forget and taking communion often is important.
I love you and care about you so much. Communion is an act of remembrance every Believer should do on a regular basis. It is an act only Believers are to participate in. Not children. Not the unsaved person you brought to church. Believers!!! Communion is an act of remembrance. How can a nonbeliever remember something he or she doesn't believe in?
Unfortunately most pastors absolutely miss this great opportunity to invite people to come to know Jesus before offering communion. There is no better opportunity in the world to invite someone to know Christ than at the time you are extending an invitation to communion. It gives you the perfect opportunity to explain WHY a person needs Jesus.
I pray today that you will not ever let more than 30 days pass without taking communion. I believe it is a very important part of our faith and spiritual journey. It is the foundation of what our faith is all about. I don't care if you have been saved 10 minutes or 80 years, all followers of Christ need to reflect and remember what our Lord did for us. Even more important, Christ INSTRUCTED US to do this "oft" in remembrance of Him.
For the Christian, communion is a very holy, somber, special time of reflection both on our life and the sacrifice our Lord made for us. No time more than during this Holy Week. May you be strengthened and challenged each time you partake of the bread and wine, remembering that Jesus gave His very life for us, so how can we do anything less for Him?
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,