Last Call: Greg Laurie (Weekly)


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"All Devotional Posts are Presented in Weekly Format"

(Posted on Sunday for all Seven days of the Week)

 

 

 This Weeks  

Greg Laurie

 


SUNDAY

April 3

MORNING



From Ordinary to Extraordinary

"The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him."
A conversation took place many years ago between D. L. Moody, before he became the great evangelist, and another man. The man said to Moody, "You know, the world has yet to see what God can do with and through the man who is totally committed to Him." Those words went deep into Moody's heart, and he prayed, "Lord, I want to be that man." He sure came close.

The Book of Acts is a story of ordinary men and women who did extraordinary things because they allowed God to have His way in their lives. In the same way, God wants to use you to turn your world upside down for Christ. It starts with your saying, "Lord, I want to make a difference. I don't want this world to turn me around. I want to turn it around. Use me."

The world has yet to see what God can do with and through the man or woman who is totally committed to Him. Will God find such people today? I wonder if you would say, like Moody, "I want to be that person." If you will, then your life can make a difference. It will be exciting in the days ahead to see what God will do through and with you. But He wants you to be available to Him.

One of these days, your life will come to an end. What will you say of your life? What will others say? How great it would be to say, like Paul, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful" (2 Timothy 4:7). What will you say?

MONDAY


April 4

MORNING

When God Seems Distant

"John the Baptist, who was now in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, 'Are you really the Messiah we've been waiting for, or should we keep looking for someone else?' "
Have you ever had something happen in your life that caused you to say, "Where is God?" None less than the greatest prophet who ever lived, John the Baptist, faced this struggle.

John had put it all on the line for Jesus Christ. He had baptized Him in the Jordan River. He pointed his own disciples to Jesus, whom he believed was the Messiah. John had clearly pledged his complete loyalty to Jesus. Yet a strange series of events took place after that. One moment, he was out preaching to the multitudes and baptizing people. The next moment, he was in prison. The great John the Baptist began to entertain some doubt. So he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question, "Are you really the Messiah we've been waiting for, or should we keep looking for someone else?"

Jesus' disciples and John commonly believed that Jesus would establish His kingdom then and there. But they failed to recognize that before Christ would establish His kingdom, He would first come to suffer and die for the sins of humanity. John misunderstood the prophesies of Scripture, and therefore felt that Jesus was not doing what He was supposed to do.

Sometimes we, too, misunderstand God and His Word when He doesn't do what we think He should do or when He doesn't work as quickly as we would like Him to. But even when we cannot understand God's ways, His methods, or His timing, He still asks us to trust Him. And He is trustworthy.

TUESDAY


April 5

MORNING

Dealing with Discouragement

"Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God."
It is not unusual for even the most spiritual people to have their days of doubt. Moses, on one occasion at least, was overwhelmed by his circumstances. After he had listened to the constant complaining of the children of Israel, he basically told the Lord, "I'm fed up. Just kill me. I don't want to deal with this another day."

Elijah, after his contest with the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, heard that Jezebel had put a contract out on his life. He was so overwhelmed by his circumstances, so discouraged, so uncertain, and so filled with doubt that he said to God, "Take my life."

Even the great apostle Paul had moments when he was discouraged. He wrote to the church at Corinth, "We were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life" (2 Corinthians 1:8).

Jeremiah, the great prophet, faced it as well. He was ridiculed and harassed for giving out the Word of God. Because he was tired of the pressure he was facing, it made him want to stop giving out God's Word altogether. He said, "The word of the Lord was made to me a reproach and a derision daily. Then I said, 'I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name' " (Jeremiah 20:8–9).

You are not the only one who has ever faced doubt or uncertainty or has been perplexed as to why God did not work in a certain way. We may be in the midst of God's working and can't see the big picture as He can.

WEDNESDAY


April 6

MORNING

  

Never Alone

" 'For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, "Don't be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What's more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you." ' "
Time and time again God reminded Paul of His presence, no doubt when he needed it the most. God knows what we need, and He knows when we need it. He knew when Paul could use that extra assurance. When he was in that prison cell in Jerusalem, the Lord appeared to him and told him to be courageous (see Acts 23:11). Then from prison in Rome, he wrote to Timothy, "But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength . . ." (2 Timothy 4:16). In some special way, God reassured Paul of His presence. Acts 27 tells us that the Lord sent an angel to reassure him.

You can take heart in the face of danger or uncertainty because of your awareness of God's presence with you. When your heart sinks, when it seems as though your life falling apart, you must remember the Lord is there with you. You are not alone. No, there are not always easy answers. But we can be sure of this: He will be with us through the storm.

God was standing by Paul's side, and God is with us in our storms as well. He may not necessarily send an angel. We may not necessarily hear an audible voice. But if we pay attention, we can hear the still, small voice of God. And certainly, He will speak to us through His Word. Then we, like Paul, can reassure others that the Lord is in control.

 

THURSDAY


April 7

MORNING

Unwavering Faith

"And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!"
One of the things that amazes me about the apostle Paul is how he always seemed to rise to the top of every situation and seized every opportunity to preach the gospel. We read in the Book Acts that when Paul and Silas were thrown in prison, they began to sing praises to God at midnight. An earthquake struck, the walls fell, and the next thing you know, the very jailer that was responsible for chaining them up and whipping them asked, "What must I do to be saved?"

Then, when Paul was brought before the various dignitaries of Rome, he became master of every situation. For example, when he was before Felix, he reasoned with him regarding righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come. When he stood before Festus and Herod Agrippa II, he said, "Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?" He posed the question to Herod Agrippa II, "Do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe." He was a prisoner on a ship, and in a short time, the crew, the captain, the soldiers, and the Roman centurion were taking orders from Paul---and everyone was listening to him!

Paul was bold. He didn't seem to be afraid of anything. He never seemed to get down. His life wasn't always easy. In fact, it was very difficult. But the words he penned to the believers at Philippi seemed to always hold true: "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content" (Philippians 4:11). He was fully convinced of the faithfulness of God and was sustained by that conviction.

FRIDAY


April 8

MORNING

In His Time

"Then Jesus said to them plainly, 'Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.' "
Martha, Mary, and their brother, Lazarus, were close friends of Jesus. He often would spend time in their home in Bethany. When Lazarus became sick, Martha and Mary sent word to Jesus. No doubt they thought that Jesus would drop whatever He was doing and rush back to Bethany. But Jesus intentionally delayed His arrival.

In fact, Jesus didn't show up until much later. By the time He hit town, not only had Lazarus died, but he had been dead four days. Martha walked up and said, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died." Loose paraphrase: "Jesus, you blew it. You had the perfect situation here. You could have healed him, but you didn't show up."

Jesus told her, "Your brother will rise again."

Martha replied, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" Martha didn't quite get it, so Jesus said, "Lazarus, come forth!" and her brother came out of the tomb. Martha wanted a healing. Jesus wanted a resurrection.

Sometimes we limit God. Sometimes we think God must work on our schedules. But God will not be bound by time. God will not be bound by our schedules. God will work when He chooses and with whom He chooses. Therefore, there will be times when our circumstances don't make sense. Even then, we need to trust Him.

SATURDAY

 

April 9

MORNING

From His Perspective

"But Jesus looked at them and said to them, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.' "
I heard the story of an elderly minister who liked to visit people in hospitals. He often would take along a little, embroidered bookmark that he carried in his Bible. On the back of the bookmark were a group of tangled threads with no apparent pattern. He would hand this bookmark, with the back facing up, to those who were hurting or upset and say, "Look at that and tell me what it says."

As they looked at all the tangled threads, they would say, "I have no idea what it says. It doesn't seem to say anything."

Then he said, "Now, turn it over." As they would flip that bookmark over, they saw the words, "God is love." The minister would say, "Many times as we look at what God is doing, we just see tangled threads with no rhyme or reason. But from God's perspective, He is dealing with us in love, and He knows what He is doing."

The next time you think it is all over for you, just remember how things turned out for Joseph. Just remember how things turned out for Daniel. No doubt things looked pretty dim when he was in the den of lions. It looked hopeless as well for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego when they were thrown into the fiery furnace. Things looked pretty grim for Peter when he was in prison. And things looked bleak for Martha and Mary when their brother died.

You see, things can look bad at one moment, but then God will step in and turn events around. Then suddenly you'll look back and say, "Now I understand what God was doing."

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Last Call: My Utmost (Weekly)


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"All Devotional Posts are Presented in Weekly Format"

(Posted on Sunday for all Seven days of the Week)

 

 

 This Weeks  

STREAMS IN THE DESERT

 


SUNDAY

April 3

MORNING

THE UNRELIEVED QUEST

 

 

"Feed My sheep." John 21:17

This is love in the making. The love of God is un-made, it is God's nature. When we receive the Holy Spirit He unites us with God so that His love is manifested in us. When the soul is united to God by the indwelling Holy Spirit, that is not the end; the end is that we may be one with the Father as Jesus was. What kind of oneness had Jesus Christ with the Father? Such a oneness that the Father sent Him down here to be spent for us, and He says - "As the Father hath sent Me, even so send I you."

Peter realizes now with the revelation of the Lord's hurting question that he does love Him; then comes the point - "Spend it out." Don't testify how much you love Me, don't profess about the marvellous revelation you have had, but - "Feed My sheep." And Jesus has some extraordinarily funny sheep, some bedraggled, dirty sheep, some awkward, butting sheep, some sheep that have gone astray! It is impossible to weary God's love, and it is impossible to weary that love in me if it springs from the one centre. The love of God pays no attention to the distinctions made by natural individuality. If I love my Lord I have no business to be guided by natural temperament; I have to feed His sheep. There is no relief and no release from this commission. Beware of counterfeiting the love of God by working along the line of natural human sympathy, because that will end in blaspheming the love of God.

MONDAY


April 4

MORNING

COULD THIS BE TRUE OF ME?

"But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself." Acts 20:24

It is easier to serve God without a vision, easier to work for God without a call, because then you are not bothered by what God requires; common sense is your guide, veneered over with Christian sentiment. You will be more prosperous and successful, more leisure-hearted, if you never realize the call of God. But if once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God wants will always come like a goad; you will no longer be able to work for Him on the common-sense basis.

What do I really count dear? If I have not been gripped by Jesus Christ, I will count service dear, time given to God dear, my life dear unto myself. Paul says he counted his life dear only in order that he might fulfil the ministry he had received; he refused to use his energy for any other thing. Acts 20:24 states Paul's almost sublime annoyance at being asked to consider himself; he was absolutely indifferent to any consideration other than that of fulfilling the ministry he had received. Practical work may be a competitor against abandonment to God, because practical work is based on this argument - Remember how 'useful you are here, or - Think how much value you would be in that particular type of work." That attitude does not put Jesus Christ as the Guide as to where we should go, but our judgment as to where we are of most use. Never consider whether you are of use; but ever consider that you are not your own but His.

 

TUESDAY


April 5

MORNING

IS HE REALLY LORD?

 

 

". . . so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus." Acts 20:24

Joy means the perfect fulfilment of that for which I was created and regenerated, not the successful doing of a thing. The joy Our Lord had lay in doing what the Father sent Him to do, and He says - "As My Father hath sent Me, even so am I sending you." Have I received a ministry from the Lord? If so, I have to be loyal to it, to count my life precious only for the fulfilling of that ministry. Think of the satisfaction it will be to hear Jesus say - "Well done, good and faithful servant"; to know that you have done what He sent you to do. We have all to find our niche in life, and spiritually we find it when we receive our ministry from the Lord. In order to do this we must have companied with Jesus; we must know Him as more than a personal Saviour. "I will show him how great things he must suffer for My sake."

"Lovest thou Me?" Then - "Feed My sheep." There is no choice of service, only absolute loyalty to Our Lord's commission; loyalty to what you discern when you are in closest contact with God. If you have received a ministry from the Lord Jesus, you will know that the need is never the call: the need is the opportunity. The call is loyalty to the ministry you received when you were in real touch with Him. This does not imply that there is a campaign of service marked out for you, but it does mean that you will have to ignore the demands for service along other lines.

WEDNESDAY


April 6

MORNING

  

AMID A CROWD OF PALTRY THINGS

 

 

". . . in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses." 2 Corinthians 6:4

It takes Almighty grace to take the next step when there is no vision and no spectator - the next step in devotion, the next step in your study, in your reading, in your kitchen; the next step in your duty, when there is no vision from God, no enthusiasm and no spectator. It takes far more of the grace of God, far more conscious drawing upon God to take that step, than it does to preach the Gospel.

Every Christian has to partake of what was the essence of the Incarnation, he must bring the thing down into flesh and blood actualities and work it out through the finger tips. We flag when there is no vision, no uplift, but just the common round, the trivial task. The thing that tells in the long run for God and for men is the steady persevering work in the unseen, and the only way to keep the life uncrushed is to live looking to God. Ask God to keep the eyes of your spirit open to the Risen Christ, and it will be impossible for drudgery to damp you. Continually get away from pettiness and paltriness of mind and thought out into the thirteenth chapter of St. John's Gospel.

 

 

THURSDAY


April 7

MORNING

UNDAUNTED RADIANCE

 

 

"Nay, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us." Romans 8:37

Paul is speaking of the things that might seem likely to separate or wedge in between the saint and the love of God; but the remarkable thing is that nothing can wedge in between the love of God and the saint. These things can and do come in between the devotional exercises of the soul and God and separate individual life from God; but none of them is able to wedge in between the love of God and the soul of the saint. The bedrock of our Christian faith is the unmerited, fathomless marvel of the love of God exhibited on the Cross of Calvary, a love we never can and never shall merit. Paul says this is the reason we are more than conquerors in all these things, super-victors, with a joy we would not have but for the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.

The surf that distresses the ordinary swimmer produces in the surf-rider the super-joy of going clean through it. Apply that to our own circumstances, these very things - tribulation, distress, persecution, produce in us the super-joy; they are not things to fight. We are more than conquerors through Him in all these things, not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. The saint never knows the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it - "I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation," says Paul.

Undaunted radiance is not built on anything passing, but on the love of God that nothing can alter. The experiences of life, terrible or monotonous, are impotent to touch the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

FRIDAY


April 8

MORNING

THE RELINQUISHED LIFE

 

 

"I am crucified with Christ." Galatians 2:20

No one is ever united with Jesus Christ until he is willing to relinquish not sin only, but his whole way of looking at things. To be born from above of the Spirit of God means that we must let go before we lay hold, and in the first stages it is the relinquishing of all pretence. What Our Lord wants us to present to Him is not goodness, nor honesty, nor endeavour, but real solid sin; that is all He can take from us. And what does He give in exchange for our sin? Real solid righteousness. But we must relinquish all pretence of being any thing, all claim of being worthy of God's consideration.

Then the Spirit of God will show us what further there is to relinquish. There will have to be the relinquishing of my claim to my right to myself in every phase. Am I willing to relinquish my hold on all I possess, my hold on my affections, and on everything, and to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?

There is always a sharp painful disillusionment to go through before we do relinquish. When a man really sees himself as the Lord sees him, it is not the abominable sins of the flesh that shock him, but the awful nature of the pride of his own heart against Jesus Christ. When he sees himself in the light of the Lord, the shame and the horror and the desperate conviction come home.

If you are up against the question of relinquishing, go through the crisis, relinquish all, and God will make you fit for all that He requires of you.

SATURDAY

 

April 9

MORNING

THE TIME OF RELAPSE

 

 

"Will ye also go away?" John 6:67

A penetrating question. Our Lord's words come home most when He talks in the most simple way. We know Who Jesus is, but in spite of that He says - "Will ye also go away?" We have to maintain a venturing attitude toward Him all the time.

"From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him." They went back from walking with Jesus, not into sin, but they relapsed. Many to-day are spending and being spent in work for Jesus Christ, but they do not walk with Him. The one thing God keeps us to steadily is that we may be one with Jesus Christ. After sanctification the discipline of our spiritual life is along this line. If God gives a clear and emphatic realization to your soul of what He wants, do not try to keep yourself in that relationship by any particular method, but live a natural life of absolute dependence on Jesus Christ. Never try to live the life with God on any other line than God's line, and that line is absolute devotion to Him. The certainty that I do not know - that is the secret of going with Jesus.

Peter only saw in Jesus Someone to minister salvation to him and to the world. Our Lord wants us to be yoke-fellows with Him.

v. 70. Jesus answers the great lack in Peter. We cannot answer for others.

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Last Call: One Year Bible Read (Weekly)


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 One Year Bible Read

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