God With Us

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Scripture

Zechariah 8:23 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”‘”

Observation

In this passage, the prophet Zechariah speaks of a day when Jewish people will know the Lord Jesus Christ as Immanuel, God With Us.  Furthermore, people from all nations will be influenced by this truth.

Application

As a Christ follower today, I do not have to wait until the time prophesied by Zechariah for the world to be influenced by me through Immanuel, God With Us, because the Lord Jesus Christ is already with me through the good news of His birth, death, burial, and resurrection in my life.  In fact, the gospel of Matthew states in Chapter 1:22-23, “So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, “God with us.”” In Christ, God is with me and His Kingdom is within me; therefore, I am given the authority and the power to influence the world around me for His glory through Jesus Christ – Immanuel – God With Us.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Immanuel, God With Us! Thank You Lord for giving me the authority and the power in Christ to influence the world around me for Your glory. Strengthen me in Christ to do all things that You have called me to do in Your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. I love You Jesus! Amen!

God With Us Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, God With Us, 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.

  • Tested (makeithappenmoment.com)

Forever Fair

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Scripture

Ezekiel 18:25-26 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair?”

Observation

In this passage of Scripture, the prophet Ezekiel is confirming by the Spirit of the Lord that His way is fair and our ways are not fair.  The people in Ezekiel’s day were thinking that their righteous deeds without repentance would somehow cover their inequity and they would live; however, the Lord says that they would surely die.  On the other hand, the Lord also says that if the wicked man turns and repents from his sin, he would surely live and not die. The people were having difficulty understanding that both the righteous and the wicked needed a Savior.

Application

Unfortunately, many people in our day can have the same difficulty understanding that both the righteous and the wicked need a Savior.  There is no amount of self-righteousness we can have that will replace our need for a Savior.  Plus, there is no amount of wickedness that we can do which our Savior cannot cover with His righteousness when we repent.  Romans 3:23 states that “We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and 2 Corinthians 5:21 states, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Through Jesus Christ, the Lord is forever fair to all who call upon His Name and repent.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness! Thank You Lord for shedding Your blood on the Cross to pay the debt for my sin and for giving me Your robe of righteousness that completely covers my sin in repentance. I am grateful Lord that Your ways are not my ways and Your way is forever fair! I love You Jesus! Amen!

Forever Fair Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Forever Fair, 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.

Tested

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Scripture

Psalms 105:19 “Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him.”

Observation

In this passage of Scripture, the Bible reminds us of the faithfulness of God to fulfill the word spoken to Joseph about his purpose and destiny in Him. God gave Joseph a dream and until the dream was fulfilled in his life, the word of the Lord tested him in many ways. There were times in Joseph’s life when it appeared that the dream God gave him would never be fulfilled; however, Joseph allowed those times of testing to build his testimony and his character in preparation for the time when the Lord would bring it to pass in His perfect timing.

Application

By the example of Joseph’s life, I know that God cares more about my character than my comfort and will therefore use all situations and circumstances to prepare me for the destiny and purpose He has planned for me.  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.” Because the word of the Lord is true and He is faithful to perform it, I can rest assured that He will work all situations and circumstances in my life for good as I allow Him and His word to test me and prepare me for the good work He began in me and has planned for me.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Tsebaioth, the Lord of Hosts! Thank You Lord for working all things together for my good as I trust You to fulfill all of Your promises in my life. Because You are my victory in Christ, I am more than a conqueror in times of testing and trial on my personal journey of purpose and destiny in You. I love You Jesus! Amen!

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

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.

All Things Richly

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Scripture

1 Timothy 6:17-19 “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,  storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

Observation

In these passages of Scripture, the apostle Paul is teaching Timothy how to effectively disciple and coach people of influence and affluence in his community. His encouragement and admonition to the wealthy is to place their trust in the Giver of the wealth and not the wealth itself. Additionally, he emphasizes that God gives us all things richly so that we can enjoy life as a real life blessing by doing good to others, being rich in good works of the kingdom, and generously sharing the blessings of abundant life with others.

Application

As the Lord opens doors of abundant blessing for me and my family that no man can close, I must recognize that the Lord gives me all things richly to enjoy, but never to worship, and that He blesses me abundantly so that I may be an abundant blessing to others. 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Jireh, the Lord my Provider!  Thank You for supplying all of my need according to your riches in glory by Christ Jesus and for giving me life and life more abundantly to richly enjoy with others.  As a child of the Most High God, thank You for the blessing of Abraham upon my life and my family so that in Your blessing, we are blessed to be a blessing in Your kingdom! I love You Jesus! Amen!

All Things Richly Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, All Things Richly, 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.

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.

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.

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