Convicted In Christ

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Scripture

Revelation 1:9 “I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and for my testimony about Jesus.”

Observation

As the writer of the book of Revelation to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, the apostle John reveals his identity in Christ as a fellow believer by stating 1) he is a brother in the Lord, 2) he is a partner in suffering, 3) he is a partner in God’s kingdom, 4) and he is a partner in the patient endurance of the call of Christ for all believers. Furthermore, he unashamedly declares his conviction in Christ as a person banished to the island of Patmos for preaching God’s word and sharing his testimony about Jesus.

Application

I once heard someone ask this question, “If you were accused of being a follower of Christ, would there be any evidence to convict you?” In contemplating an answer to this question, I believe there would be significant evidence in my life to convict me as a Christ follower provided that I share the same evidences that identified and convicted the apostle John as a fellow believer and follower of Christ. To accumulate such evidences in my life, I must faithfully live my life in a way that affirmatively answers the following questions: 1) Am I a true brother in the Lord to other believers in Christ? 2) Am I a true partner in the sufferings experienced from a personal faith in Christ along with other believers? 3) Am I a true partner with other believers in building God’s kingdom in my generation? 4) Am I a true partner in the patient endurance of the call of Christ for all believers during my lifetime? 5) Am I faithful to unashamedly share the good news of the gospel with others and tell them about my relationship with Jesus?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord my Righteousness! Thank You Lord for Your unfailing love towards me that never gives up on me even when I have failed You and have demonstrated a weak conviction in You. By Your overwhelming grace in my life and the power of Your Holy Spirit working in me, help me to grow in Christ day by day in ways that produce solid evidences of my life surrendered to You, my Lord and Savior. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Convicted In Christ Copyright 2012, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Convicted In Christ, 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.

Fill Me Up Holy Spirit

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Scripture

Matthew 25:1-4 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.”

Observation

In these verses, the Lord is teaching about preparation for his second coming by sharing the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. The wise virgins who were prepared to meet the coming bridegroom had oil in their lamps, but the foolish took their lamps and no oil with them.  Unfortunately, when it was time to go out and meet the bridegroom for the wedding, the foolish virgins had empty lamps. As a result, they were not prepared to meet him and were left out of the wedding banquet.

Application

This parable is a powerful illustration of the importance of continually inviting the Holy Spirit into our lives – to walk with us and sup with us on a daily basis as a friend that sticks closer than a brother. When we refresh ourselves each day with the filling of the Holy Spirit, we are being like the wise virgins – filling our lamps with the oil of His presence, power, and strength so that we can be used by the Lord [our bridegroom] to be a light in this present darkness until He returns and welcomes us into His wedding banquet. Without the oil of the Holy Spirit to light my lamp each day, I am nothing but an empty lamp unable to shine the light of His presence in my life.  Furthermore, in Matthew 5:16, Jesus says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Unfortunately, if I do not invite the Holy Spirit to fill me afresh each day, I am like the foolish virgins in the Lord’s parable – all dressed up and nowhere to go, or in more modern terms, like a car in the driveway without any gas – all ready to go and no power to get there.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Tsebaioth, the Lord of Hosts, who gives me Your precious Holy Spirit to set me apart as a vessel of Your light for Your good and noble use.  Strengthen me Lord and fill me to the top with Your anointing so my light in You may shine brightly before men and glorify You, my loving heavenly Father. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Fill Me Up Holy Spirit Copyright 2010, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Fill Me Up Holy Spirit, 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.

His Blessing

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Scripture

Psalms 128:3 “Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine In the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants All around your table.”

Observation

In Psalms 128, the Lord promises blessings to the man who fears Him and more specifically in verse 3, He promises that such a man’s wife will be a life-giving partner in the center of his home and his children will be a sweet smelling aroma around his table.

Application

As a man who fears the Lord, I am forever grateful to Him for blessing me with my wonderful wife who loves me unconditionally and gives herself to me as a faithful life-giving partner.  Additionally, as a man who fears the Lord, I am forever grateful to Him for blessing me with a full quiver of five beautiful children who love me and will always be a sweet-smelling aroma to me in my home like that of a sweet olive tree in full bloom.   

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Shalom, the Lord our Peace! Thank You Lord for blessing me with my beautiful wife and all of my children. May Your peace with nothing missing and nothing broken be upon our home and our relationships as You faithfully watch over us and make Your face to shine upon us in Your grace. I love You Jesus! Amen!

His Blessing Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, His Blessing, 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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Stronger And Stronger

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Scripture

2 Samuel 3:1 “Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David.  But David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.”

Observation

In this verse, the Bible chronicles the strengthening of the house of David, the anointed king of Israel, and the weakening of the house of Saul led by Saul’s son, Ishbosheth, the appointed king of Israel. 

Application

What God anoints is strengthened by God over time. What man appoints is weakened by man over time. When I move forward in life with God’s anointing upon me, I am strengthened by the Lord with His favor and blessing to fulfill my life purpose and destiny inside of God’s will.  When I move forward in life without His anointing upon me, I am weakened by myself with nothing but human pursuit to fulfill my life purpose and destiny outside of God’s will.  God did not create me to fulfill my life purpose and destiny without Him.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are El Shaddai, my All-Powerful and All-Sufficient Father God!  Thank You for Your anointing and blessing upon my life to strengthen me and empower me to fulfill my life purpose and destiny in You. I am grateful for Your life-time of favor that surrounds me as with a shield as I move forward in faith to do what You have called me to do in Your kingdom! I love You Jesus! Amen!

Stronger And Stronger Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Stronger And Stronger, 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.

Say The Word

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Scripture

Luke 7:6-7 “Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.”

Observation

In these passages, Luke records Jesus’ encounter with the astonishing faith of a Roman centurion. The centurion had a servant who was sick and about to die so he sent elders of the Jews to ask Jesus to come and heal his servant.  However, before Jesus could even get to the centurion’s house, the centurion sent friends to Jesus saying that the Lord did not need to visit his house, but only say the word and his servant would be healed.  Because the centurion understood authority, he also understood the power of a word spoken with authority and therefore had great faith in the power of the Lord’s spoken word to heal his servant.  As a result, Jesus marveled at the centurion’s great faith and the servant was healed.   

Application

The same is true today for me as it was true for the Roman centurion – there is power and authority in the spoken word of God.  In John 6:63, Jesus says “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” and John 1:14 says that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Because of the Word of God, I know that Jesus is the same today, yesterday, and forever Heb 13:8).  And furthermore, I know that the Lord is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34 KJV) and He is a respecter of faith (Heb 11:6).  Therefore, as I demonstrate my faith in God and speak His Word over my life, I will see the power of His Word fulfilled in my life just like the centurion did more than 2,000 years ago.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Nissi, the Lord our Banner! Thank You Lord for fulfilling the promises of Your Word in my life as I believe Your Word, speak Your Word, pray Your Word, and live Your Word each day of my life for all of Your promises are yes and amen in You to Your glory through us. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Say The Word Copyright 2010, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Say The Word, 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 Beginning Of Wisdom

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Scripture

Psalm 111:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.”

Observation

In this passage, the psalmist declares that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. To me it is pretty simple and can be summed up this way.  No fear, no wisdom. Know fear, know wisdom. This is true because the Lord is the Author of all wisdom; He is all wise and all knowing. Meditating on this truth produces a healthy fear of the Lord in me.  Furthermore, in truth, what can the created [me] – tell the Creator [God] that He doesn’t already know about His creation?

Application

The only way that I can truly know wisdom is to humbly surrender myself to the Lord, my Creator. When I submit myself to the Lord with my whole heart and humble myself before Him as a living sacrifice through prayer, praise, and worship, I am drawing near to Him with a healthy, reverential fear and He draws near to me.  I [the created] get to know the Lord [the Creator] by boldly coming before His throne of grace and through my personal relationship with Him, He draws nears to me and shares with me His mind.  James 4:8 states, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” and 1 Corinthians 2:16 states, “For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are El Elyon, God Most High, Creator and Possessor of Heaven and Earth! Thank You for making a way for me to come boldly before Your throne of grace that I may obtain mercy and find grace to help in my times of need. For without you Lord, I have nothing. I love You Jesus! Amen!

The Beginning Of Wisdom Copyright 2010, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, The Beginning Of Wisdom, 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.

Yet I Will Rejoice

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Scripture

Habakkuk 3:17-18 “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls — yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

Observation

In this passage, the prophet Habakkuk declares his heart-filled faith in God regardless of the circumstances surrounding him.  Even when the situation seems bleak and desperate: no blossoms on the fig tree or fruit on the vines; no food from the fields and no herd in the stalls, Habakkuk states that he will rejoice in the Lord and take joy in the God of his salvation.

Application

It does not matter if the circumstances surrounding me are really good or really bad, the Lord of my salvation is always good! No matter what, God is the all powerful, all sufficient, great El Shaddai and He is my loving heavenly Father. Through successes, trials, and tribulations, I know my heavenly Father is Lord of the mountaintop and Lord of the valley. Proverbs 18:10 says that, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe”; therefore, whenever I am in the valley of life and the situation looks bleak, I run to the Lord and find safety in His unconditional love, grace, and mercy. Because the Lord promises in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that His grace is sufficient for me and His strength is made perfect in weakness, I will rejoice in the Lord and take joy in the God of my salvation – even in the midst of personal sorrows and sufferings.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Shammah, The Lord Is There! I thank You Lord for always being there with me and promising to never leave me nor forsake me.  You are my strength when I am weak and my fortress when I am afraid. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Yet I Will Rejoice Copyright 2010, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Yet I Will Rejoice, 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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