WORDDEVO: "The Weekly Word with Greg Laurie" [12-2 thru 12-8] 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.

 

Your Heart, a Battlefield

Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
— Ephesians 6:11


I am sure the greatest day in your life was the day you put your faith in Jesus Christ. And as we grow in our faith and knowledge of what God actually did for us, we become more aware of how significant that day really was. That was the day when we literally had our eternal address changed from a place called hell to a place called heaven. That was the day when we turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. That was the day when, according to Jesus, there was a party in heaven given in our honor—a victory shout, if you will, from the angels and from those who have gone before us.

But it was also the day when a very real spiritual battle began. In fact, it has been said that conversion has made our hearts a battlefield. Just as surely as there is a God who loves you, there is also a devil who hates you—a devil who wants to stop the work God is doing in your life.

In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus talked about the seed that fell on the roadside and was eaten by the birds. He said, "Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts" (Matthew 13:19). It is called an attack, and you had better get ready for it.

If you want to be a spiritual pacifist, then you are going down. You will have to toughen up and put on the armor of God, because in this spiritual battle, you are either advancing or retreating. You are either winning or losing. So you must fight to win. And it is a battle that can be won—if you march with Christ.

 

MONDAY

 

HOW TO PRAY, PART 1

 

Matthew 6

 

Most Christians understand that prayer is an important part of their relationship with God. And

most believers make an effort to pray as part of their daily routine. But not everyone understands

why we need to pray.

 

For one, Jesus told us many times in Scripture to pray (Luke 18:1). Second, prayer is God’s

appointed way of asking for things (James 4:2). Third, prayer is the way through which God

alleviates our worry and anxiety (Philippians 4:6-7). And lastly, prayer helps us prepare for the

return of Christ (Luke 21:34-36).

 

Today, let’s look at some key principles regarding prayer.

 

PRACTICAL PRINCIPLES

 

1. The objective of prayer. When we pray, we are not trying to change God’s mind so that He will

give us what we want. We are trying to conform our will to God’s. If we want to see more of our

prayers answered, we need to lock in on God’s will through studying Scripture, and then align

our will with His.

 

2. Contemplating His glory and awesomeness. It’s noteworthy that the first three requests in the

Lord’s Prayer are about God’s glory, not our wants. Before making any requests to God, we need

to acknowledge His greatness and glory. Of course, it’s okay to just call out for help in an

emergency!

 

3. What stops prayer in its tracks. Your prayers are a reflection of your life as a believer. You can’t

live a life of disobedience to God, or a life of selfishness, and expect to have an effective prayer

life. He wants you to put Him first in all things. If you are in unrepentant sin, your prayers will

go nowhere.

 

RELEVANT REMINDERS

 

It’s not always easy to remember the proper format for prayer, but here’s an easy-to-remember

acronym:

 

• Adoration: Worship and praise Him.

• Confession: Confess any known sin in your life that might hinder His work.

• Thanksgiving: Give Him thanks for whatever His response may be.

• Supplication: Make your requests known to God.


 

TUESDAY

HOW TO PRAY, PART 2

Matthew 6:5-13

 

Most Christians understand that prayer is an important part of their relationship with God. And

most believers make an effort to pray as part of their daily routine. But not everyone understands

why we need to pray.

 

For one, Jesus told us many times in Scripture to pray (Luke 18:1). Second, prayer is God’s

appointed way of asking for things (James 4:2). Third, prayer is the way through which God

alleviates our worry and anxiety (Philippians 4:6-7). And lastly, prayer helps us prepare for the

return of Christ (Luke 21:34-36).

 

Today, let’s look at the template that Jesus gave for prayer—the Lord’s Prayer.

 

PRACTICAL PRINCIPLES

 

1. Our Father who art in heaven. This is a reminder that we aren’t just coming before the Lord God

Almighty, but we are also approaching our heavenly Father. Even though God is the Creator of

the universe, He also desires a close, intimate relationship with you.

 

2. Your Kingdom come. This is a three-pronged request: global, personal, and evangelistic. It’s a

request for Christ’s soon return (global), a request for Christ to rule in our lives (personal), and

for Him to bring new people into His kingdom (evangelistic).

 

3. Give us this day our daily bread. God wants to bless you and provide for your every need. This

verse is not only a request for God to fill our needs, but also an acknowledgement that everything

we have comes from Him. We are told many times in Scripture that God will provide for all of

our needs.

 

4. Forgive us our sins. This is just an affirmation that we are people who sin on a regular basis, and

need forgiveness on a regular basis. The more that you are in God’s presence, the more that you

will realize that you are a sinner in constant need of forgiveness.

 

5. I should also forgive others. If you know anything about the forgiveness of God, then you must

learn to forgive those who have sinned against you. It’s human nature that we will offend one

another and hurt others. In a society where vengeance is cherished over forgiveness, it takes more

strength and will to forgive someone than it does to get back at them.

 

6. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. This is a petition where we are

asking God to guide us so that we will not get out of His will and unnecessarily place ourselves

in the way of temptation. We are essentially saying, “Lord, don’t give me more than I

can handle.”

 

WEDNESDAY

A Wall of Protection

And don't let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. 
—Matthew 6:13

God is omniscient, which means that He is all-knowing. God is omnipotent, which means that He is all-powerful. And God is omnipresent, which means the He is present everywhere.

In sharp and direct contrast to this, the devil does not reflect God's divine attributes. He is not omnipotent. Although he has great power, his power is clearly limited, and he is nowhere near to being God's equal. Nor is the devil omniscient. He knows many things, but he doesn't know all things. And, he is not omnipresent. He can only be in one place at one time.

What the devil doesn't want you to know is that he can do nothing in the life of a Christian without God's permission. The devil complained that God had put a wall of protection around Job (see Job 1:10). So we see from this that even though Satan has a wicked agenda, he has to ask permission to touch the child of God. There is an impenetrable wall that God has placed around you that Satan cannot breach. That doesn't mean you can't be tempted. It doesn't mean you can't be harassed. It doesn't mean you can't be attacked. But God never will give you more than you can handle. So when the devil comes knocking at your door, I would suggest that you say, "Jesus, would You mind getting that?" I am so glad He is there, because I am no match for the devil. And neither are you.

Temptation will come into your life. Jesus even taught us to pray, "And don't let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one" (Matthew 6:13). So the next time you are facing temptation, remember that God never will give you too much. He will provide a way out. 

 

THURSDAY 

The Way Out

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but is God faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 
—1 Corinthians 10:13

As believers, we have God's promise that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle. But here is the problem: sometimes we unnecessarily put ourselves in the way of temptation. As one person put it, "Lead me not into temptation. I can find it myself." Instead of hearing what God is saying and taking practical steps to stay away from the things that could drag us down, we unnecessarily put ourselves in the path of temptation.

We live in the real world, and all around us are things that can distract us, things that could ultimately entice us. But it is another thing to put ourselves in places where we know we are weak.

The person who has a problem with drinking shouldn't be spending time in a bar. The single guy who is struggling with sexual temptation shouldn't be spending time alone with his girlfriend late at night, in the dark. That is putting oneself unnecessarily in the way of temptation.

We know that God "will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13). And sometimes the way of escape is the door.

Case in point: Joseph. Day in and day out, Potiphar's wife was trying to seduce him. Eventually, she cast all subtlety aside and just pulled him down on the bed. So what did Joseph do? He did what any clear-thinking young man would do under the circumstances: he ran like crazy.

God will never give us more than we can handle. There is always a way out. But sometimes we just need to take practical steps to resist temptation. What steps are you taking today? 

 

 

FRIDAY

Out of His Control

We know that God's children do not make a practice of sinning, for God's Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them.
— 1 John 5:18


When Jesus Christ comes into your life, he becomes the sole occupant. Yet some people have suggested that Christians can be demon-possessed. However, Jesus is not in a timeshare program with your heart. The Bible says, "What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God's temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God" (2 Corinthians 6:15–16).

Yet the devil would love you to think that you are powerless against his attacks, that you have no recourse, that you are no match. He would love you to believe that you will always be a victim, an addict, a puppet for him to control. And I want to tell you that is 100 percent wrong. Though it is true that a believer can be hassled or tempted or oppressed by the devil and his minions, he cannot control us.

If we yield to his power, he will have his sway in our lives. But if we resist him, we can be free from it. And here is what you need to remember: God is greater than Satan. As the Bible says, "But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world" (1 John 4:4).

You cannot cast out temptation. You cannot cast out things that attack you. Instead, you need to deny and resist them. You need to put your spiritual armor on. The Bible says, "So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). The key is to stay as close to God as you possibly can.

 

 

SATURDAY

Strength in Weakness

And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
— 2 Corinthians 12:9–10


Why does God allow hardship? Why does God allow illness? Why does God allow tragedy? We can go on and on asking why, but we can't always answer these questions. Yet listen to what the apostle Paul said as he explains why it was allowed in his life in particular:

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. (2 Corinthians 12:7–8)


We don't know what Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was. Most commentators believe it was some kind of physical disability that he probably acquired after one of his multiple beatings or stonings. Whatever it was, the devil wanted to use it to get Paul down. And it worked. Paul got down on his knees and called on God. The devil wanted to drive Paul away from God, but instead the apostle clung to Him that much tighter.

When we go through suffering and hardship, it can be so difficult at times. I have never had a more difficult time in my life than the past 19 months. Yet the fellowship I have had with God has never been sweeter. I have never been more dependent on Him. There are times I don't think I can handle it, and then God gives me the strength that I need. And I have learned things that I would not have learned anywhere else. I don't know the "why" of it all, but I trust God, cling to God, and rely on God.

Are you facing hardship and suffering today? Pour out your heart to God. He is trustworthy.

THE WEEKLY WORD WITH GREG LAURIE

Can be found here:

 http://theweeklywordgreglaurie.blogspot.com/

 


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