Take A Stand

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Scripture

2 Kings 23:3 “Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant.”

Observation

In this passage of Scripture, the Bible records that Josiah, the king of Judah at that time, made a covenant before the Lord to follow Him with all of his heart and all of his soul in obedience to the commands of the Lord written in the word of God.  When King Josiah publicly made this heart and soul commitment to follow the Lord and obey the word of God, Jewish history records that all the people turned to the Lord and took a stand for their covenant relationship with Him.

Application

As leaders in our community, we have tremendous leadership influence to significantly impact our community and our nation much like King Josiah had tremendous leadership influence to significantly impact his community and nation. When we are willing to publicly come forth as leaders of righteousness in the kingdom of God and follow the Lord with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind, the Lord gives us great ability to make real positive lasting impacts in our community and nation.  Because people take notice when leaders lead with a genuine heart strong after God, the hearts of others are softened toward the Lord and their spines are strengthened to take a stand for their covenant relationship with Him.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness!  Thank You Lord for exchanging Your righteousness for my unrighteousness at the Cross so that I could become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! As I commit my heart, soul, strength, and mind to follow after You as a leader of righteousness in Your kingdom, give me the discipline to obey You and the spine to do what You ask me to do. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Take A Stand Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Take A Stand, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Learned Obedience

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Scripture

Hebrews 5:8-9 “Though He [Jesus] was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.”

Observation

In this verse, the writer of Hebrews makes the profound statement that our Lord Jesus “learned obedience by the things He suffered.”  While it is a little difficult to comprehend that the Lord of lords and King of kings had to learn obedience by the things He suffered, I take great comfort in knowing that even the Lord had to learn obedience by submitting his human flesh to the ultimate will of God for His life.   As a result, I should not be surprised that I must also learn obedience by the things I suffer as a human being through the submission of my flesh to the ultimate will of God for my life. 

Application

Because the Lord was victorious in learning obedience through the things He suffered, being both fully God and fully human, I too can be victorious in learning obedience by the things I suffer as a believer because Christ lives in me and gives me the strength and grace to learn obedience through my sufferings as a human being filled with His Holy Spirit.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord my Righteousness!  Thank You for giving me the strength and grace to learn obedience by the things I suffer in the flesh as I submit my flesh to Your ultimate will for my life. Through Your glorious victory over sin and death through the things You suffered at the Cross, in Christ, I am more than a conqueror also by learning obedience through the things I suffer too. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Learned Obedience Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Learned Obedience, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

The Lord Delivers

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Scripture

Psalms 34:7 “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.”

Psalms 34:17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.”

Psalms 34:19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

Observation

In this psalm, David declares three times that the Lord delivers the righteous out of all their troubles and afflictions.  By declaring this promise of the Lord three times in the same psalm, David is saying that this promise is BIG and means a lot.  According to Bartlett’s Roget’s Thesaurus, this means that when the Lord delivers me, He saves me, rescues me, comes to my rescue, throws me a life-line; snatches me from the jaws of death, saves me at the last second or minute, rescues me at the eleventh hour, saves me by the bell; extricates me, unravels me, untangles me, extracts me, gets me out; unfastens me, unlooses me, unties me, unbinds me, unfetters me, unchains me; unburdens me, disburdens me, disencumbers me, rids me of, saves me from, relieves me; releases me, emancipates me, liberates me, frees me, declares me free, sets me free, sets me at large; unlocks me, unbars me, lets me out, lets me go, lets me off, gets me off, reprieves me, acquits me, exempts me, excuses me, dispenses me from, spares me; redeems me, ransoms me, bails me out, buys me off, purchases me; salvages me, retrieves me, recovers me, brings me back, and restores me. There is no promise bigger or better than the Lord’s promise to deliver the righteous!

Application

Personally, “by not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith,” I am declared righteous in the Lord’s sight (Philippians 3:9).  Therefore, “being the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 5:21), the Lord’s promise to deliver me applies to me and everyone else who calls upon the name of the Lord and is righteous in His sight through faith in Christ. This is good news!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Tsidkenu, The Lord our Righteousness!  Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for me so that I could be delivered from the power of darkness and brought into the kingdom of Your Son whom You love. I am forever grateful for Your promise and Your faithfulness to deliver me in Christ! I love You Jesus! Amen!

The Lord Delivers Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, The Lord Delivers, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

The Promises Of God

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Scripture

2 Corinthians 1:20 “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”

Observation

In this verse, the Apostle Paul makes an extraordinary statement that all of God’s promises are Yes in Him, and in Him Amen, to His glory through us.  Wow! This means that God says Yes to every one of His promises to us that He has made to us in His Word.  Furthermore, Webster defines Amen as a solemn ratification which means that God solemnly ratifies each of His promises to us by His Word. Simply put, God will do what He promises to do in His Word because He is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19) and He is faithful (1 Corinthian 1:9).

Application

Regardless of my circumstances in life, I know that God is good, He is faithful, His Word is true, and He will fulfill His promises to me when I place my trust in Him!  In fact, in 2 Timothy 2:13, the Apostle Paul says that “if we are faithless, He (the Lord) remains faithful, because He cannot deny Himself.” I am grateful that even in the times of my life when I’ve been faithless, God has remained faithful to fulfill the promises of His Word in my life because He is faithful and He cannot deny Himself.  Because the Lord’s faithfulness reaches to the clouds (Psalms 36:5) and His mercy endures forever (1 Chronicles 16:34), I have hope in Him that He will solemnly ratify His promises in my life to His glory through us. Amen!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are El Elyon, God Most High, Creator and Possessor of Heaven and Earth!  Thank You for the truth of Your Word that brings comfort and peace to my life and my soul! In You alone I place my trust to fulfill Your promises in my life, work all things together for my good, and complete the good work that You have begun in me. I love You Jesus! Amen!

The Promises Of God Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, The Promises Of God, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Never Forsaken

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Scripture

Psalm 37:25 “I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.”

Observation

In this verse, King David is simply declaring the faithfulness of God to His people. From the time David was a young man to the time he grew as an old man, he never witnessed any person with faith in the Lord forsaken by Him. And furthermore, he had never seen their descendents left on the street to beg for bread.  This is a testament of God’s faithfulness to those who believe Him and place their trust in His Sovereign provision and will for their lives.

Application

God promises to be my very present help in time of need and to never leave me nor forsake me. I know that I can trust Him because He says I can trust Him and His faithfulness reaches to the heavens. Even when life seems hard and the storms of trial are blowing strong against me, Jesus says that the person of faith who builds their house on the rock of His Word will stand and not crumble.  I believe this because the Lord is good, He is faithful, and His Word is true!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Shammah, the Lord is There!  Thank You for always being there with me and for me in every trial and tribulation of life.  You alone know every hair on my head and You alone are faithful to fulfill Your Word and Your promises in my life and in my family!  I love You Jesus! Amen!

Never Forsaken Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Never Forsaken, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Believe That You Receive

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Scripture

Mark 11:24 “Therefore I [Jesus] say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

Observation

In this verse, Jesus teaches His disciples to have faith in God when they pray because with God all things are possible.  In this teaching situation with Jesus, the disciples were astonished that a fig tree which Jesus had cursed the day before actually had withered away and died by His Word.  In response to their astonishment, the Lord makes an even more astonishing declaration to His disciples – if we have faith to believe what we say when we pray, it will be done. Wow, what a tremendous promise from our Lord!

Application

As I pray about having overcoming victory in the trials and challenges that I experience in life, I can take great comfort in knowing that the Lord hears my prayers and by faith I will have what I say when I believe in Christ to receive the answer to my prayers.  This means that even if my faith is as small as a mustard seed, there is no mountain or trial in life too big for the Lord to remove when I respond in prayerful faith, boldly speaking to the mountain, and believing to receive the promises of God regarding my situation. The mountains in my life may be big; however, the Maker of mountains – my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ – is simply bigger and His faithfulness reaches to the heavens!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are El Shaddai, my All Powerful and All Sufficient Heavenly Father!  Thank You for the authority given to me to come boldly before Your throne of grace and ask for the seemingly impossible situations in my life to be made possible by Your faithfulness to respond to my faith – even if my faith may be as small as a mustard seed.  When I pray, in faith, I believe that I receive what I say because all of Your promises are Yes and Amen in Christ Jesus to Your glory through us! Thank You for hearing my specific prayers and answering them in Jesus Name!  I love You Jesus! Amen!

Believe That You Receive Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Believe That You Receive, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Affirmed To Be Alive

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Scripture

Acts 25:18-19 “When the accusers stood up, they brought no accusation against him [Paul] of such things as I supposed, but had some questions against him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who had died, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.”

Observation

In these verses, Paul is being brought before King Agrippa accused by the Jews as “a plague and a creator of dissension among all the Jews around the world” because of his fervent testimony about Jesus.  In the face of such accusation, Paul stood firm in faith with courage before the king and eloquently expressed the good news of the gospel and the hope that was in him through Christ.

Application

To be a light in the present darkness of this world, I must be willing to risk the approval of people by sharing the good news of the gospel to those who are perishing.  In doing so, some people may bring false accusation against me because of their pride and offense with the name of Jesus and the good news of His kingdom.  However, like Paul, I can stand firm in the face of such accusation with the courage of Christ knowing that Jesus is with me and will be faithful to be my very present help in time of need. 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord my Righteousness!  Thank You for giving me the courage to stand firm in faith as I affirm to others through my testimony that You are alive and Your kingdom reigns. Give me boldness in Christ to share the good news of the gospel with others and the wisdom to build Your kingdom in my sphere of influence. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Affirmed To Be Alive Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Affirmed To Be Alive, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

According To The Time Of Life

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Scripture

Genesis 18:14 “Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”

Observation

In this verse, the Lord visited Abraham and declared that his wife Sarah would have a son according to the time of life appointed by the Lord for them.  However, because Abraham and Sarah were both advanced in age and Sarah was past the age of child-bearing, Sarah laughed within herself, considering such a plan to be too unlikely for them. In His reproof, the Lord reminds Abraham and Sarah that there is nothing too hard for Him.  In fact, according to the time of life that the Lord had planned for Sarah, He visited Sarah as promised and she bore a son as He had spoken.  As a result, Abraham named his son Isaac, meaning laughter.

Application

From this passage, I can be assured that God has a good plan for my life and at the appointed time He will make it happen because there is nothing too difficult for Him.  Even if His plan for my life doesn’t make sense in the natural and seems too laughable to consider, I must trust that He is faithful.  In fact, in Jeremiah 29:11 the Lord says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” A future and a hope in this economy?  Yes.  A future and a hope in this relational situation? Yes.  A future and a hope in this set of circumstances? Yes.  Regardless of the laughable odds perceived in the natural, in faith, the answer is simply yes because the Lord is faithful, He has a good plan for me, and at the appointed time He will fulfill His Word in my life.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are El Shaddai, the All-Powerful and All-Sufficient Lord of my life!  Thank You for the future and the hope that You have planned for me.  At Your appointed times in my life, I trust that You are faithful to complete the good work that You have begun in me because You are the faithful Author and Finisher of my faith! I love You Jesus! Amen!

According To The Time Of Life Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, According To The Time Of Life, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Reap In Joy

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Scripture

Psalm 126:5-6 “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.  He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

Observation

In these passages, the Word of God promises that those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.  And not only shall they reap in joy, they shall reap in joy, abundantly, bringing their sheaves (bountiful harvest) with them. Because the Lord is our Great Comforter who cares for us so much that He puts every one of our tears into His bottle (Psalms 56:8), He alone can turn our tears into multiplied rejoicing.  In fact, Jesus can sympathize with our weakness because He also knows what it is like to weep as a person.  When his friend Lazarus died, Jesus wept; however, His weeping was turned into multiplied rejoicing when He also raised him from the dead.

Application

During times of difficult life circumstances, I sow in tears before my Lord and Savior, knowing fully that He hears my cry and will answer me according to His faithfulness.  I take great comfort in the promise of God that my weeping may endure for the night, but joy does come in the morning (Psalms 30:5). Furthermore, Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” I know that the Lord doesn’t waste anything in my life including my tears because He has promised and He is faithful (Hebrews 10:23).

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are the Great Comforter of my soul! Thank You Lord for comforting me when life circumstances cause me to weep before You in the humbleness of prayer.  May all the tears I have sown through the night seasons of my life reap multiplied rejoicing through the complete fulfillment of Your Word in me!  I love You Jesus! Amen!

Reap In Joy Copyright 2010, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Reap In Joy, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Faithful To Forgive

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Scripture

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Observation

In this passage, the disciple whom Jesus loved and whom was so close to Jesus that he leaned his head on the Lord’s shoulder at the last supper, the apostle John, shares one of the most incredible aspects of God’s unconditional love for us. Regardless of our sins, if we confess them to Jesus, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. It’s almost too incredible to believe that Jesus loves us so much that He will forgive us and cleanse us from our sins, even when we sin as one of His disciples saved by grace through faith, but it is true because Jesus is faithful even when we are unfaithful. 

Application

I can personally know and experience the depth of Jesus’ incredible unconditional love for me in the same way that John knew and experienced the Lord’s incredible unconditional love for him as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, despite my sin, because Jesus is faithful to forgive my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness when I confess my sin to Him. In truth, Psalms 36:5 states, “Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds” and Psalms 103:12 states, “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Tsidkenu, The Lord Our Righteousness! I thank You Lord for Your faithfulness to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness when I confess my sin to You. I am so grateful for Your incredible gift to become the righteousness of God in You, my Lord and Savior. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Faithful To Forgive Copyright 2010, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Faithful To Forgive, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

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