WORDDEVO: "The Weekly Word with Raul Ries" [11-25 thru 12-02] DEVOTIONALS


Seven Days of Devotion

 The Weekly Word is a Collection of Devotionals to be read on the Day Listed and presented freely as a service to and for the Body of Christ and Believers throughout the World that We may Hear God Speak to us as the Spirit of God gives us ears to hear and eyes to see what God would have for us daily in relationship to Him.


Deliverance from Annihilation

“For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Esther 4:14

The Book of Esther tells the story of how the Jewish people were delivered from certain annihilation by the intervention of a young woman who was placed in the palace of the king, for such a time as this.

Today, at sundown, the Jewish people observe the Festival of Purim, which celebrates their deliverance from oppression and destruction.

Sometime between the destruction of the First Temple and the building of the Second Temple, the Jewish people came very close to being wiped out because of the evil scheming of Haman, a high ranking official within King Ahasuerus’ palace.

However, God had someone He had placed in the palace to save the people. Esther, a young Jewish girl, had won favor with the king and was made queen. After three days of fasting and praying, the young girl went to the king and revealed the evil scheme of Haman.

Esther stepped out by faith and allowed God to use her to save her people. She did not allow her fears to keep her from walking in God’s will. We should all be willing to be used by God.

If the service of God is worth anything,
it is worth everything.
-C.H. Spurgeon-





God’s Chastening

My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction; For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son
in whom he delights.

Proverbs 3:11-12

We are in the Old Testament, and the children of Israel are making an 11-day journey in 40 years. Why 40 years? It is because God wants to take an inventory of their lives. He wants to take an inventory of every person’s life.

Once God takes an inventory of my life, He either keeps me or chastens me. God chastens me because He loves me and He wants to use my life. If I do not learn, He removes me.

Not only does God chasten me, but He has written the Old Testament and the New Testament as examples for me. These are the things God does in order to bring my life into alignment with His will.

We need to learn from God’s chastisement and from the examples in the Bible.

It is like the class I am teaching, when I give a test and the students do not pass it. I am not going to give them diplomas until they pass the test.

That is what God does. Every time you fail, you have to retake the test. Pass the test, so you can be used greatly by God.

We are always in the forge or on the anvil; by trials
God is shaping us for higher things.
-Henry Ward Beecher-







My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.
Psalm 62:5-6

It is really important for us to listen when the Bible is speaking to our hearts. We not only need to respond, but there is a time when we need to step back and be silent, so we can hear what God has to say.

We live in such a fast-paced and noisy culture. We have the radio, television, computer, iPods and other gadgets, so we can listen to people and music constantly. We seem to be afraid of silence–afraid to hear from God.

The best times for me are when I am completely by myself, and I can give myself fully and completely to the Lord, without any interruptions. Then, I can hear from the Lord. It is a blessing for me. I get to pray for me, my wife and my family, and no one is talking to me. I get to talk to the Lord. And more importantly, He talks to me. That is the conversation I want to have.

Take time daily, not to just pray and speak to God, but be silent and wait for His response.

God still comes where He can find someone quiet
enough to listen and alone enough to heed.
-G.B. Duncan-




Train the Next Generation of Leaders

And the LORD said to Moses: “Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation,
and inaugurate him in their sight.”

Numbers 27:18-19

What did Moses do as a leader? He prepared a leader to take up the reigns and lead a new generation into Canaan. Isn’t that beautiful? He did not leave the people without a godly man to lead them in their new country.

I remember when I was being trained by my “Moses,” Pastor Chuck Smith, when I was 24 years old. Now, in my 60’s, how I thank God for Pastor Chuck, Dr. Duffield, Dr. Van Cleave, Dr. Orr, Billy Graham, Dr. Alan Redpath and many others. For all the people God gave to me who, today, are in the Christian Hall of Fame–the best of the best. I was privileged to spend time with them. They were my leaders and I thank God for them.

I want to do the same thing for this generation. Before long, I will be gone, but I am training pastors and teachers, Joshua’s, to continue the work of the ministry. So, if the Lord tarries, the Gospel of Jesus Christ will continue.

Difficult times are coming for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s train up the next generation of Christian leaders.

A leader has been defined as one who knows the
way, goes the way and shows the way.
-Author Unknown-




Honesty with God

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Genesis 3:8

It is never an issue of who we are among our friends and families, but who does God see, behind closed doors. Are we honest with God? He sees everything, but He wants us to be honest with Him.

Just like Adam in the Garden of Eden. He knew he had disobeyed God, so he hid. In verse 11, God asked Adam what he had done, not because He did not know, but because He wanted Adam to be honest with Him.

It is very similar with little children. You are making cookies and you leave the room for a moment. When you return, there are cookies missing, and you say, “Who took my cookies?” The little child says, “Not me,” but there is chocolate all over his mouth.

That is how many of us are with God. I can see the chocolate in your mouth, and God can see it too. Be careful how you live. Be careful of the things you listen to, the things you watch and the things you put into your brain. What has gone into your heart?

Only he who believes is obedient;
only he who is obedient believes.
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer-





Walk by Faith

For we walk by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7

God was giving the children of Israel a new generation, a second chance. It was a second opportunity to go and do what was not done the first time — enter the Promised Land and fight the giants.

Remember when Moses sent the spies out? When they returned with the great fruits of the land, ten of them were afraid to go in. They lacked faith and caused the people to have fear in their hearts, not trusting in the Lord. It was not the majority who had faith. No, it was the minority.

Think about it: even today, it is the minority who has faith in God, not the majority. Two people out of twelve believed God — Joshua and Caleb. They were the true leaders.

Not everyone is a leader. In order to be a leader for God, you must walk in faith, not by sight. It is very important that we learn this lesson.

Faith is not a question of majorities.
-Auguste Lecerf-




Finish Well

These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel on this side of the Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain opposite Suph, between Paran, Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab.
Deuteronomy 1:1

Notice what it says, the words which Moses spoke. . . . Imagine, Moses stood before the people, saying, “Go to the Promised Land,” but in his mind he thought, I cannot go. He wanted to go, but God told him he could not.

I have known many leaders who have made such an impression on my life, and in the lives of others, but they did not finish well.

As a young Christian, I became good friends with a leader. I stayed in his home a couple of times and saw how he mistreated his wife and was unkind to his children. It really bothered me, so I prayed.

A few months later, he left his wife and ran off with his secretary. Today, he is on the internet. He does not even believe in God. He started out well, but is he finishing well?

He is no different than you and me, men and women who have sat under the teaching of God’s Word. We can finish well or allow the enemy to come in and destroy us.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race,
I have kept the faith.

-The Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7-



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