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HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Sat 03 Jun 2017, 10:38 pm

"Can These Bones Live?" — A Year with Jesus for 06/03/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious Believer, 

My resurrection was a surprise to everyone, including My closest followers. It was a glorious shock to their system in many ways, but the truth of My resurrection became obvious through My many appearances. The reanimation and the reinvigoration of My followers — their "resurrected" lives — suddenly became a possibility with My resurrection. 

New life was no longer a symbolic truth, but a genuine reality. When I poured out the Holy Spirit — the Helper as John the beloved disciple liked to call the Spirit — the power that raised Me from the grave was suddenly poured into the lives of mortal people. That's why the apostle Paul could pray the following prayers for My disciples in Asia Minor:

God of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, Father of Glory: I call out to You on behalf of Your people. Give them minds ready to receive wisdom and revelation so they will truly know You. Open the eyes of their hearts, and let the light of Your truth flood in. Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace. Reveal to them the glorious riches You are preparing as their inheritance. Let them see the full extent of Your power that is at work in those of us who believe, and may it be done according to Your might and power. 

Friends, it is this same might and resurrection power that He used in the Anointed One to raise Him from the dead and to position Him at His right hand in heaven. There is nothing over Him. 
(Ephesians 1:17-20) 

Father, out of Your honorable and glorious riches, strengthen Your people. Fill their souls with the power of Your Spirit so that through faith the Anointed One will reside in their hearts. May love be the rich soil where their lives take root. May it be the bedrock where their lives are founded so that together with all of Your people they will have the power to understand that the love of the Anointed is infinitely long, wide, high, and deep, surpassing everything anyone previously experienced. God, may Your fullness flood through their entire beings. 

Now to the God Who can do so many awe-inspiring things, immeasurable things, things greater than we ever could ask or imagine through the power at work in us, to Him be all glory in the church and in Jesus the Anointed from this generation to the next, forever and ever. Amen. 
(Ephesians 3:16-21)
This power and glorious reanimation of what was dead was foreshadowed by the prophet Ezekiel hundreds of years earlier. Seeing the people of Israel "beyond dead" — nothing more than symbolically being a bunch of scattered, dried, and unburied bones piled high and abandoned in an open valley as the remnants of war — the Father told Ezekiel to speak life into those bones. When those bones took on sinew and flesh, the Father told Ezekiel to prophesy the breath of the Eternal, the Spirit of the living God, to make those bones live. 

The gloriously strange vision you find in the verses below is what the coming of the Holy Spirit means to My followers. Where there once was death, the Holy Spirit, the Breath of Heaven, can bring life. As the Father said, "I will breathe My Spirit into you, and you will be alive once again." With My resurrection, I defeated death, sin, and hell. I poured out the Spirit on My people at Pentecost (Acts 2:14-21; Acts 2:33-39). I continue to pour out the Spirit on each believer (Titus 3:3-7) when she or he shares in My life, death, and resurrection based on faith and experienced through immersion with Me into My saving grace (Romans 6:3-7). 

The Breath of Heaven that Ezekiel prophesied to make the dead bones live was at work in My resurrection. This same Holy Spirit, Who was the power behind My resurrection, has also been at work in the lives of My disciples from Pentecost up until your time and will continue His work among My disciples until I return. This Breath of Heaven, this glorious power of the Holy Spirit, is available to you now. The Spirit has the power to bring life out of death, hope out of despair, and strength out of powerlessness. Can these bones live? Yes, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you can begin to experience everlasting life!
Verses to Live

Do you feel dead and lifeless in your spiritual walk? 

Are you ever frustrated with the powerlessness you see in the lives of those who claim to be My people? 

Do you long for the powerful influence of the Spirit that you see in the book of Acts? Then I ask you to read Ezekiel's old prophecy and remember this: the Holy Spirit, Who has this power, is available to you and is at work among My people who pray for the Helper's power to be released among them and in them (Luke 11:13).

The Eternal had a hold on me, and I couldn't escape it. The divine wind of the Eternal One picked me up and set me down in the middle of the valley, but this time it was full of bones. God led me through the bones. There were piles of bones everywhere in the valley — dry bones left unburied. 

Eternal One (to Ezekiel):
Son of man, do you think these bones can live?
Ezekiel:
Eternal Lord, certainly You know the answer better than I do.
Eternal One:
Actually, I do. Prophesy to these bones. Tell them to listen to what the Eternal Lord says to them: "Dry bones, I will breathe breath into you, and you will come alive. I will attach muscles and tendons to you, cause flesh to grow over them, and cover you with skin. I will breathe breath into you, and you will come alive. After this happens, you will know that I am the Eternal."
So I did what God told me to do: I prophesied to the bones. As I was speaking, I heard a loud noise — a rattling sound — and all the bones began to come together and form complete skeletons. I watched and saw muscles and tendons attach to the bones, flesh grow over them, and skin wrap itself around the reforming bodies. But there was still no breath in them. 

Eternal One:
Prophesy to the breath. Speak, son of man, and tell them what the Eternal Lord has to say: "O sweet breath, come from the four winds and breathe into these who have been killed. Make these corpses come alive."
So I did what God told me to do: I prophesied to the breath. As I was speaking, breath invaded the lifeless. The bodies came alive and stood on their feet. I realized then I was looking at a great army. 

Eternal One:
Son of man, these bones are the entire community of Israel. They keep saying, "Our bones are dry now, picked clean by scavengers. All hope is gone. Our nation is lost."
He told me to prophesy and tell them what He said. 

Eternal One:
Pay attention, My people! I am going to open your graves and bring you back to life! I will carry you straight back to the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Eternal One. I will breathe My Spirit into you, and you will be alive once again. I will place you back in your own land. After that you will know I, the Eternal, have done what I said I would do.
(Ezekiel 37:1-14)
Response in Prayer

O Father, I join my heart with many others who long for a revival of Your power released through Your people. Send the Holy Spirit, the mighty Breath of Heaven, to empower us and inspire us to fulfill the mission Jesus has for us and to animate us to live as Jesus' presence in today's world. I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Fri 02 Jun 2017, 4:01 pm

"Commissioned!" — A Year with Jesus for 06/02/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple, 

The two passages below tell about My commissioning the disciples right before My ascension to the Father. You cannot ask for a more dramatic moment to leave My last instructions for My disciples. Some of them worshiped Me. Others were filled with a holy fear, wonder, and awe. A few even doubted. 

Anything I said was with authority. So the words here, what you call the Great Commission, were said intentionally with the claim of that authority. After I had finished giving these words of mission and purpose, I ascended out of sight, returning to the Father. 

Two heavenly messengers told the disciples to go back to the city and do what I previously instructed them to do. They were to return to Jerusalem. They were to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit with power. They did as I instructed and they were in "constant prayer" while they waited. 

I wanted My last words to be dramatic, powerful, and convicting. I wanted the results of the disciples' obedience to these words to be world-changing! I wanted My last words never to be forgotten. These last words are the words I want you to remember as well. These words of the commission are for you also. This is what I want you to do: 


Make disciples!

That was My primary command as I left the earth. You make disciples by going to all cultures of people — including your own, by baptizing those who believe in Me, and by teaching them to obey all I have taught. That's your mission. Those are My last words. Let them inspire and motivate you. I want you not only to remember them but also to put them into practice!
Verses to Live

As you look at these last words of mine from Matthew's gospel, please notice that I don't want you just to know My teaching. I want you to obey My words, and I want you to teach others to obey My teaching. The second scripture is from the book of Acts and records the events immediately after I issued the commission.

Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him — but some of them doubted! 

Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." 
(Matthew 28:16-20 NLT) 

As He finished this commission, He began to rise from the ground before their eyes until the clouds obscured Him from their vision. As they strained to get one last glimpse of Him going into heaven, the Lord's emissaries realized two men in white robes were standing among them. 

Two Men:
You Galileans, why are you standing here staring up into the sky? This Jesus Who is leaving you and ascending to heaven will return in the same way you see Him departing.
Then the disciples returned to Jerusalem — their short journey from the Mount of Olives was an acceptable Sabbath Day's walk. 

Back in the city, they went to the room where they were staying — a second-floor room. This whole group devoted themselves to constant prayer with one accord: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the Zealot), Judas (son of James), a number of women including Mary (Jesus' mother), and some of Jesus' brothers. 
(Acts 1:9-14)
Response in Prayer

Holy God and loving Father, thank You for Jesus' words of commission to His closest disciples and words for me. Empower me, O God, with the power of the Holy Spirit to be a part of fulfilling Jesus' mission. I pray this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Thu 01 Jun 2017, 2:10 pm

"Family Is Important" — A Year with Jesus for 06/01/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Child of God, 

Family is important. Your spiritual family is important to you. Your physical family is important to you. Family is important to you just as it is to Me! 

One of the great hurdles I faced in My earthly ministry was that most of My physical family didn't believe in Me. Most of My brothers and sisters along with relatives and friends from my hometown did not believe before My resurrection. My family situation was very complicated like the family situations of many of My followers today. One time My family thought I was crazy because I ministered so passionately without thinking of My own bodily needs for food and rest (Mark 3:20-21). On another occasion, because My siblings did not believe in Me as God's Son (John 7:1-7 — found in the verses below), they teased Me very harshly, mocking My call to be the Father's Messiah. 

So when I was raised from the dead, I appeared to My spiritual family, and I also appeared to My physical family, most notably James. One of the touching things for Me in the New Testament is the way My half-brother James began his letter with great humility toward Me and great admiration for Me:

James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, to the twelve tribes of Israel who are spread across the earth: I send you my warmest welcome. 
(James 1:1)
Sometimes the hardest people to bring to faith are the people in your own family. I want you to know that I know that — not just because I AM God and know everything, but also because I have experienced it in human flesh. So I remind you that an essential and powerful part of your testimony about Who I AM and what I have done is your resurrected life that shows My power, love, and grace (Romans 6:1-14). Don't give up on those around you who do not believe. I will work in their lives to give them the opportunity to change, and I challenge you to show that I have brought new life to you. Demonstrate the power of that new life in the way that you live with righteous character and gracious compassion.
Verses to Live

The beloved disciple was close to My physical family, especially after My ascension back to the Father. When I was dying on the cross, I asked him to look after My mother, Mary (John 19:26-27). He knew about the struggle My half-siblings had in believing that I had come from God. His words in the first verses below capture the emotional tension that their lack of faith produced between them and Me. 

One of the most profound blessings after My ascension was to have some of My brothers become a part of the Jerusalem disciples praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14). One of those brothers, James, went on to become a great leader in the Jerusalem church. That is why My appearance to him after My resurrection was so important. (See the second set of verses below.) My resurrection and My appearance to My brothers changed everything for them and for what they believed about Me!

After these events, it was time for Jesus to move on. He began a long walk through the Galilean countryside. He was purposefully avoiding Judea because of the violent threats made against Him by the Jews there who wanted to kill Him. It was fall, the time of year when the Jews celebrated the Festival of Booths. 

Brothers of Jesus (to Jesus):
Let's get out of here and go south to Judea so You can show Your disciples there what You are capable of doing. No one who seeks the public eye is content to work in secret. If You want to perform these signs, then step forward on the world's stage; don't hide up here in the hills, Jesus.
Jesus' own brothers were speaking contemptuously; they did not yet believe in Him, just as the people in His hometown did not see Him as anything more than Joseph's son. 

Jesus:
My time has not yet arrived; but for you My brothers, by all means, it is always the right time. You have nothing to worry about because the world doesn't hate you, but it despises Me because I am always exposing the dark evil in its works. Go on to the feast without Me; I am not going right now because My time is not yet at hand.
(John 7:1-8) 

Let me remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I [Paul] preached to you when we first met. It's the essential message that you have taken to heart, the central story you now base your life on; and through this gospel, you are liberated — unless, of course, your faith has come to nothing. For I passed down to you the crux of it all which I had also received from others, that the Anointed One, the Liberating King, died for our sins and was buried and raised from the dead on the third day. All this happened to fulfill the Scriptures; it was the perfect climax to God's covenant story. Afterward He appeared alive to Cephas (you may know him as Simon Peter), then to the rest of the twelve. If that were not amazing enough, on one occasion, He appeared to more than 500 believers at one time. Many of those brothers and sisters are still around to tell the story, though some have fallen asleep in Jesus. Soon He appeared to James, His brother and the leader of the Jerusalem church, and then to all the rest of the emissaries He Himself commissioned. 
(1 Corinthians 15:1-7)
Response in Prayer

O Father, my words will be few today, but My heart yearns for them to be fully true. Let the beauty, grace, love, and character of Jesus be seen in my life by everyone, especially by my family. In Jesus' name, I ask this. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Wed 31 May 2017, 1:49 pm

"ASK!" — A Year with Jesus for 05/31/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Child of God, 

James, my half brother, hit the nail on the head when he taught about why My people lack so many of the simplest and yet most essential things they need to live the committed life of a disciple:

Where do you think your fighting and endless conflict come from? Don't you think that they originate in the constant pursuit of gratification that rages inside each of you like an uncontrolled militia? You crave something that you do not possess, so you murder to get it. You desire the things you cannot earn, so you sue others and fight for what you want. You do not have because you have chosen not to ask. And when you do ask, you still do not get what you want because your motives are all wrong — because you continually focus on self-indulgence. 
(James 4:1-3)
You are a child of the Father in heaven. Your Father paints a fresh sunrise every morning and mellows the sky into a new color palette every evening. Your Father listens to you attentively. He cares about what is happening in your life. So ask the Father for what you truly need. Seek after Him. Share your burdens, both spiritual and physical, with Him. Be honest with Him. Ask for Him to reign in you and in your world. 

As you pray, realize this: your Father longs to give you the gifts you need to live for Him. So one of the greatest blessings you can ask the Father to give is the Holy Spirit. The Father longs to give this gift, even to those who already have the Spirit living inside them. He wants you to be:
full of the Spirit,
led by the Spirit,
empowered by the Spirit,
comforted by the Spirit,
purified by the Spirit,
transformed by the Spirit, and
reminded about Me as the Holy Spirit reminds you of My words and My actions.
Praying for the Spirit to be present with power is one of the most basic of all prayers for My disciples. Before the apostles began their mission to reach all nations for Me, they first prayed... and they prayed... and they prayed (Acts 1:12-14). I had asked them to go back to Jerusalem and to wait for the coming of the Spirit with power. That is what they did. As they prayed, just as I promised, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and with power. Because of this Spirit-power, they changed the world... for good... forever! So can you, if you... PRAY! 

So are you praying for the Spirit to come with power in your day and in your life? The Father longs to give you the supremely good gift of the Holy Spirit. So ASK in prayer!
Verses to Live

There are so many truths packed into these few verses that you find below. As you read them, I want you not only to notice My simple teaching at the end of these verses. Request the Father send you the Holy Spirit. Also, notice the simple, childlike prayer I teach you to pray at the beginning of these verses. Pray as a child speaking to your loving Father in heaven. You don't need a lot of words. You don't need fancy words. Come and offer your heart to the Father in humble adoration and ask Him for the most basic needs in your life. From His loving grace, your Father wants to bless you with what you most need and what He longs to give to you: the good gift of the Holy Spirit!

Another time Jesus was praying, and when He finished, one of His disciples approached Him. 

Disciple:
Teacher, would You teach us Your way of prayer? John taught his disciples his way of prayer, and we're hoping You'll do the same.
Jesus:
Here's how to pray:
Father in heaven, may Your name be revered. 

May Your kingdom come. 
May Your will be accomplished on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us the food we need for tomorrow, 
And forgive us for our wrongs, 
for we forgive those who wrong us. 

And lead us away from temptation. 
And save us from the evil one.
Imagine that one of your friends comes over at midnight. He bangs on the door and shouts, "Friend, will you lend me three loaves of bread? A friend of mine just showed up unexpectedly from a journey, and I don't have anything to feed him." Would you shout out from your bed, "I'm already in bed, and so are the kids. I already locked the door. I can't be bothered"? You know this as well as I do: even if you didn't care that this fellow was your friend, if he keeps knocking long enough, you'll get up and give him whatever he needs simply because of his brash persistence! 

So listen: Keep on asking, and you will receive. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened for you. All who keep asking will receive, all who keep seeking will find, and doors will open to those who keep knocking. 

Some of you are fathers, so ask yourselves this: if your son comes up to you and asks for a fish for dinner, will you give him a snake instead? If your boy wants an egg to eat, will you give him a scorpion? Look, all of you are flawed in so many ways, yet in spite of all your faults, you know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to all who ask.
(Luke 11:1-13)
Response in Prayer

O Father, I want to see the influence of Your grace triumph. I want to see Your name glorified above all other things and all other beings. I have been so blessed with earthly blessings and with the blessing of Your grace. I deeply appreciate the presence of the Holy Spirit within me. Still I ask, dear Father, and I seek this with all of my heart, that Your Holy Spirit have complete influence over me so that I will be transformed into the righteous character and gracious compassion displayed in the life of Jesus. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Tue 30 May 2017, 10:45 pm

"Purpose and Power" — A Year with Jesus for 05/30/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Child of God, 

You probably know the story that is told by Doctor Luke in the verses below. Familiarity can sometimes lead you to miss something important in the story. After My ascension to the Father, My closest disciples returned "to Jerusalem, filled with intense joy, and they return again and again to the temple to celebrate God." These are the same disciples who were distraught and immobilized by My death. 

Why? Why the "intense joy"? Why "celebrate God"? Why be glad that I had left them to return to the Father? 

Notice two things that My disciples received from Me in the joyous goodbye in the verses below:

I promised to send My disciples the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
I gave these disciples a clear mission. They were to begin where they were (Jerusalem), go to the surrounding regions (Judea and Samaria), and share My message with the world (the farthest places on earth).
I gave My followers a purpose and the power to carry out that purpose. 

So today, as you read these verses about My parting from My disciples, I want you to remember something important. You have the same purpose they did, and you have been given the same power I shared with them. 

I don't want you making excuses! I don't want long faces! It's time for some "intense joy" as you "celebrate God"! Celebrate the salvation given you through My death, burial, and resurrection. Celebrate because you have a great purpose for your life in the world. Celebrate that I have poured out all the power you need to live up to the purpose I gave you!
Verses to Live

There are two sections of Scripture today. Both were written by Luke, the physician. The first one is from the beginning of the book of Acts. Here Luke summarizes some of the things from his gospel, including some of My last instructions to My disciples. The second Scripture is from the very end of Luke's gospel and records My ascension and the disciples' following My instructions to return to Jerusalem.

To a lover of God, Theophilus: In my first book [the gospel of Luke], I recounted the events of Jesus' life — His actions, His teachings — from the beginning of His life until He was taken up into heaven. After His great suffering and vindication, He showed His apostles that He was alive — appearing to them repeatedly over a period of 40 days, giving them many convincing proofs of His resurrection. As before, He spoke constantly of the kingdom of God. During these appearances, He had instructed His chosen messengers through the Holy Spirit, prohibiting them from leaving Jerusalem, but rather requiring them to wait there until they received what He called "the promise of the Father." 

Jesus:
This is what you heard Me teach — that just as John ritually cleansed people with water through baptism, so you will be washed with the Holy Spirit very soon.
When they had gathered just outside Jerusalem at the Mount of Olives, they asked Jesus, 

Disciples:
Is now the time, Lord — the time when You will reestablish Your kingdom in our land of Israel?
Jesus:
The Father, on His own authority, has determined the ages and epochs of history, but you have not been given this knowledge. Here's the knowledge you need: you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. And you will be My witnesses, first here in Jerusalem, then beyond to Judea and Samaria, and finally to the farthest places on earth.
(Acts 1:1-8) 

Then He [Jesus] leads them [His disciples] out to Bethany. He lifts up His hands and blesses them, and at that moment, with His hands raised in blessing, He leaves them and is carried up into heaven. They worship Him, then they return to Jerusalem, filled with intense joy, and they return again and again to the temple to celebrate God. 
(Luke 24:50-53)
Response in Prayer

Forgive me, O God, for thinking negatively, for not believing fully. Forgive me for not taking the time to rejoice because of the purpose you have given me for my life. Forgive me for not celebrating the power of the Holy Spirit to live out that purpose. Let the joy of heaven and the Holy Spirit's power move me, stir me, and propel me to share Your grace with great joy. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Mon 29 May 2017, 8:58 am

"The Hebrew Scriptures" — A Year with Jesus for 05/29/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple, 

In today's verses, I AM in the final preparation stages of leaving My disciples and ascending back to the Father. Although the promised Helper, the Holy Spirit, would come later to them on the day of Pentecost, I wanted to open their minds and help them see that many passages in the Hebrew Scriptures (your Old Testament) pointed to My birth, life, death, and resurrection. As I journey with you through the New Testament the rest of this year, you will find many different passages from the Hebrew Scriptures that are quoted in the different writings that make up the New Testament. This continuity is a reminder that your Bible is the story of the Father's plan of redemption, revealed through the Holy Spirit and delivered through My work in your world. 

One of the responsibilities of the prophets in the early church was to help explain how these Hebrew Scriptures pointed to Me. Matthew took a special interest in pointing out how My ministry fulfilled these Scriptures. The early sermons by Peter, Stephen, and Paul in the book of Acts used these Hebrew Scriptures to affirm My identity as the Anointed One of Israel, the Messiah. 

I promised to send the Holy Spirit to My disciples to help them know the truth and to help the early witnesses speak My message and remember My words and deeds. And the precious time I had with My closest disciples just before My ascension was crucial in beginning the process of connecting them to My story and the grand story of the Scriptures. What happens is all part of Our — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit's — plan to redeem your broken world. 

When you look at your Bible, I want you to know that it is all part of My story. I existed even before the beginning and then as Creator (Colossians 1:15-17). 

I was promised as a Savior after the terrible rebellion in the garden when Adam and Eve rejected the Father's instructions and chose to live their own way. 

I was there leading My people through the parted waters of the sea delivering them from Pharaoh's hand. 

I was there in the pillar of fire and the cloud that led My people through their wilderness wanderings. 

I was there when the promise was made to Abraham and to David that a descendant would bless all nations and reign as Lord and King forever. 

I was there when the prophets spoke of My coming. 

I was there all through the journey, but I became flesh, being born of a virgin in fulfillment of the expectations and prophecies about My coming. 

Because I was there all along in the events recounted in the Hebrew Scriptures, I want you to remember what Paul told Timothy about these Scriptures. Notice especially the underlined part and realize that I can open up the power of the Hebrew Scriptures to you and help you find life and salvation in them:

So surely you ought to stick to what you know is certain. All you have learned comes from people you know and trust because since childhood you have known the holy Scriptures, which enable you to be wise and lead to salvation through faith in Jesus the Anointed. All of Scripture is God-breathed; in its inspired voice, we hear useful teaching, rebuke, correction, instruction, and training for a life that is right so that God’s people may be up to the task ahead and have all they need to accomplish every good work. 
(2 Timothy 3:14-17)
Verses to Live

The Hebrew Scriptures lead you to Me. Your faith in Me helps you understand those ancient words and brings you the salvation the Scriptures anticipate and declare.

Jesus:
I've been telling you [Jesus' disciples, after His resurrection] this all along, that everything written about Me in the Hebrew Scriptures must be fulfilled — everything from the law of Moses to the prophets to the psalms.
Then He opens their minds so they can comprehend the meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures. 

Jesus:
This is what the Scriptures said: that the promised Anointed One should suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, that in His name a radical change of thought and life should be preached, and that in His name the forgiveness of sins should be preached, beginning in Jerusalem and extending to all nations. You have witnessed the fulfillment of these things. So I am sending My Father's promise to you. Stay in the city until you receive it — until power from heaven comes upon you.
(Luke 24:44-49)
Response in Prayer

Almighty God, I thank You for Your work in creation through the ages. I thank You for working for my salvation and redemption. I thank You for promising to send the Messiah, Jesus my Lord, long before He came to earth. I thank You for Jesus' story that was proclaimed by those inspired by Your Spirit and that is now my own story of salvation. In Jesus' name, I thank You. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
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Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Sun 28 May 2017, 9:19 am

"My Prayer" — A Year with Jesus for 05/28/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious Follower, 

The verses you will read today come from a very emotional time on the night I was betrayed. These verses are My prayer for My disciples. I want you to notice five things I say to the Father — five important truths and areas of importance to Me. 

First, I spoke to the Father about Our glory. I looked forward to the day when My disciples would fully experience this "collective glory." I had this glory with the Father "before the creation existed." This shared glory before creation should remind you of the love We shared long "before the foundations of the cosmos were laid." I began and ended My prayer with these thoughts. 

Second, I prayed for unity. I prayed for My earliest disciples to be one. I wanted this to be more than just the unity of easy times and pleasant talk. I wanted this unity to be as real as the unity the Father and I share. My first disciples had great opportunities and faced harsh resistance and vicious persecution. They needed to be one just as the Father and I are one. 

Third, I prayed for you. Yes, I prayed for you nearly two thousand years ago! You see, I prayed for those who would believe in Me because of the apostles' testimony. That is My prayer for you: I want you to be one — unified in mission, purpose, and grace. This desire is not just because I want you to get along with each other, but also because I want the world to believe in Me and that the Father sent Me. Your unity should reflect Our unity to the world. 

Fourth, being one in genuine unity is really a reflection of love. I had told My disciples that a defining characteristic showing they are My disciples would be their love for each other (John 13:34-35). This genuine love, love like the Father and I have for each other, is a foretaste of the grace, joy, life, and glory that the Father and I long to share with you in Our home. The Helper, the Holy Spirit that I have given you, fills you with this love and all its attendant graces (Romans 5:5; Galatians 5:22-23). 

Finally, I want you to notice that My prayer as I faced My crucifixion was not for Me. I would pray later in the garden from the depths of My heart about what I faced. However, this prayer in today's verses was for My disciples in every age — for the apostles and first disciples who would take My love and My message to the world and for you who are recipients of that message centuries later and who are also called to take My Love and My message to the world. Never for one moment think My heart is not concerned for you and your part in My family and how My family will impact the world.

Verses to Live

I want you to read this prayer several times. Listen behind the words and between the lines. Feel the depth of My love for the Father and for you. Recognize that there is so much going on in these words that is bigger than just the words themselves. These words share My heart about eternity, glory, love, and family, and you are an important part of each of these!

Jesus (lifting His face to the heavens):
Father, My time has come. Glorify Your Son, and I will bring You great glory because You have given Me total authority over humanity. I have come bearing the plentiful gifts of God; and all who receive Me will experience everlasting life, a new intimate relationship with You (the one True God) and Jesus the Anointed (the One You have sent). I have glorified You on earth and fulfilled the mission You set before Me. 

In this moment, Father, fuse Our collective glory and bring Us together as We were before creation existed. You have entrusted Me with these men who have come out of this corrupt world order. I have told them about Your nature and declared Your name to them, and they have held on to Your words and understood that these words, like everything else You have given Me, come from You. It is true that these men You gave Me have received the words that come from You and not only understood them but also believed that You sent Me. I am now making an appeal to You on their behalf. This request is not for the entire world; it is for those whom You have given to Me because they are Yours. Yours and Mine, Mine and Yours, for all that are Mine are Yours. Through them I have been glorified. 

I will no longer be physically present in this world, but they will remain in this world. As I return to be with You, holy Father, remain with them through Your name, the name You have given Me. May they be one even as We are one. While I was physically present with them, I protected them through Your name. I watched over them closely; and only one was lost, the one the Scriptures said was the son of destruction. Now I am returning to You. I am speaking this prayer here in the created cosmos alongside friends and foes so that in hearing it they might be consumed with joy. I have given them Your word; and the world has despised them because they are not products of the world, in the same way that I am not a product of the corrupt world order. Do not take them out of this world; protect them from the evil one. 

Like Me, they are not products of the corrupt world order. Immerse them in the truth, the truth Your voice speaks. In the same way You sent Me into this world, I am sending them. It is entirely for their benefit that I have set Myself apart so that they may be set apart by truth. 

I am not asking solely for their benefit; this prayer is also for all the believers who will follow them and hear them speak. Father, may they all be one as You are in Me and I am in You; may they be in Us, for by this unity the world will believe that You sent Me. 

All the glory You have given to Me, I pass on to them. May that glory unify them and make them one as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may be refined so that all will know that You sent Me, and You love them in the same way You love Me. 

Father, I long for the time when those You have given Me can join Me in My place so they may witness My glory, which comes from You. You have loved Me before the foundations of the cosmos were laid. Father, You are just; though this corrupt world order does not know You, I do. These followers know that You have sent Me. I have told them about Your nature; and I will continue to speak of Your name in order that Your love, which was poured out on Me, will be in them. And I will also be in them.
(John 17:1-26)
Response in Prayer

I am dumbfounded, Father, at the words, the love, the passion, and the prayer of Jesus. I ask the Holy Spirit to imprint their emotion and their power on my heart. Please use them to mold me into a faithful disciple, friend, and influence. O God, be glorified in my life — in my words, my thoughts, my intentions, and my actions. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Sat 27 May 2017, 11:22 am

"Sending the Great Helper" — A Year with Jesus for 05/27/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved, 

My ascension back to the Father was a wonderful blessing. I know that you would love to have My physical presence with you — to see Me minister, heal, cast out demons, teach, and preach. That was also true of the eleven apostles and My closest disciples that I left behind as I ascended to the Father, so I told them not to believe what seemed so obvious to them:

But the truth is that My departure will be a gift that will serve you well, because if I don't leave, the great Helper will not come to your aid. When I leave, I will send Him to you.
Without My ascension, My departure, the Holy Spirit wouldn't have come to their aid and the Helper wouldn't be available to aid you. 

My ascension meant that I would send the Holy Spirit to be My people's Helper — your Helper. The Spirit helps My disciples point others to the truth about Me. The Helper gives My followers strength to face their trials. The Helper works through My friends when they proclaim Me. The Helper convicts lost people of their sin, of their need for righteousness, and of their need to change because the world they trust, along with the powers of evil behind it, have already been defeated. The Helper guides My beloved disciples into the truth about Me. 

In a couple of days, I will begin sharing the book of Acts with you. The opening verses of Acts tell about My ascending back to the Father (Acts 1:1-11). I commissioned My disciples to share My story of grace with the whole world, but I told them to wait in Jerusalem for the coming of the Helper, the Holy Spirit, before beginning their mission. The Spirit's coming on the day of Pentecost ignited them on their mission with power (Acts 2:1-4). All that I promised them about the Helper came true as they lived out this mission. This little band of believers, propelled by the power and presence of the Helper, changed the world. I have given you this same Helper, the Holy Spirit, to empower you to impact your world like this first band of believers altered their world!
Verses to Live

Just as those early disciples changed the world, I am calling on you to rely on this same Helper to empower, to strengthen, to inform, to guide, and to propel you to change your world. The last words in today's verses remind you that I am confident in the Helper's power to do this:

The Spirit has unlimited access to Me, to all that I possess and know, just as everything the Father has is Mine. That is the reason I am confident He will care for My own and reveal the path to you.
This same Holy Spirit is at work in you because I have ascended to the Father and sent the Helper to you!
Jesus:
I will send a great Helper to you from the Father, one known as the Spirit of truth. He comes from the Father and will point to the truth as it concerns Me. But you will also point others to the truth about My identity, because you have journeyed with Me since this all began. 

I am telling you all of this so that you may avoid the offenses that are coming. The time will come when they will kick you out of the synagogue because some believe God desires them to execute you as an act of faithful service. They will do this because they don't know the Father, or else they would know Me. I'm telling you all this so that when it comes to pass you will remember what you have heard. It was not important for Me to give you this information in the beginning when I was with you. But now, I am going to the One Who has sent Me, and none of you ask Me, "Where are You going?" 

I know that hearing news like this is overwhelming and sad. But the truth is that My departure will be a gift that will serve you well, because if I don't leave, the great Helper will not come to your aid. When I leave, I will send Him to you. When He arrives, He will uncover the sins of the world, expose unbelief as sin, and allow all to see their sins in the light of righteousness for the first time. This new awareness of righteousness is important because I am going to the Father and will no longer be present with you. The Spirit will also carry My judgment because the one who rules in this world has already been defeated. 

I have so much more to say, but you cannot absorb it right now. The Spirit of truth will come and guide you in all truth. He will not speak His own words to you; He will speak what He hears, revealing to you the things to come and bringing glory to Me. The Spirit has unlimited access to Me, to all that I possess and know, just as everything the Father has is Mine. That is the reason I am confident He will care for My own and reveal the path to you.
(John 15:26-27; John 16:1-15)
Response in Prayer

O Father, I take seriously Jesus' commission to reach the world with Your grace. I trust that the Helper Jesus promised is alive in me. I trust the Holy Spirit will help me share You with the world. I thank You for the Spirit's presence within me and His power available to me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
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Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Fri 26 May 2017, 3:18 pm

Heavenletter #6027 You Are a Living Loving Breathing Being of Light., May 26, 2017 

God said: 
Do you perhaps have the idea that being disgruntled is second nature to you? Not so. Your true nature is good nature. Never were you meant to be or appear to be routinely displeased. Never were you meant to moan and groan and weep at disappointment. Never were you intended to let your good nature down and assume a role of displeasure. If you are on a foray of discontent, then be aware that discontent truly resides within yourself. You have opted for discontent. There are other choices.

Debate as you may, Beloveds, it is you who have wined and dined displeasur, you settle for finding fault with just about anything and everything, as if nothing is quite good enough for you. You may set yourself apart from the throng. You may see yourself as bombarded by the world, yet it is you who feels, if you do, that it is the world that gave you a raw deal. What advantage is there for you to think this way?

Beloved critics, the world is bound to reflect your thoughts, uplifting or down-turning. If you announce even only to yourself your disappointment with the world, you uphold the world's playing of sour notes. You may even rush to prove the inadequacy of the world, as if the world is determined to let you down. Have you become more and more adept at forswearing and faulting the world as if you are a notch above? Of course, you have the freedom to look at Life that way.

Look, by the same token, when you give a little thumbs up to the world, the world will flock to you. Everyone and everything goes toward that which gives a modicum of joy. Give yourself joy.

It can't be that you like to have something to complain about, can it?

In the fairy tale of the Princess and the Pea, the Princess emphasized the misbegotten and found pleasure in the slightest annoyance as she imbued the world with all her good taste! How good and sensitive she is, way above the quality of the world! She even deigns to say that the world is inadequate to her standards, that she really must have a world more considerate than this one, and that, really, as things are, the world must acquiesce to her! To the Princess, one-hundred soft mattresses are not enough for her to be comfortable in bed. One little pea at the bottom of 100 mattresses stands in the way of her getting a good night's sleep!

Now, is it too much to ask My Children to refrain from grumbling? It may be that you see yourself as a connoisseur of the world. Connoisseurs stay at attention on the outer fringes of Life. A food critic doesn't prepare the food, merely tastes it and makes his pronouncements.

I do not think you belong on the outside, on the rim, external to the real Life that is here as an offering to you.

Dear Ones, there is no outside you. All is within. There is no out there for you to frown at. Come back to Life and living in the World that grows with you.

Be at the Heart of the Matter. Be not desultory. Be not conciliatory. You are a Living Loving Breathing Being of Light. Rather than pointing out the wrongs of the world, shed Light. Make the world a better place by virtue of your raising the tone of the world high. Give, dear ones, and no longer think of cutting the world down to size.

Beloveds, it is for you to uplift the world. Make the world what you want it to be. Start now. Now! Raise the world. Find that which exists in the world to cheer the world on with, will you?
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Fri 26 May 2017, 3:00 pm

Despised?" — A Year with Jesus for 05/26/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple, 

During My earthly ministry, I warned My disciples that following Me would not be easy. The words you read in the verses below were spoken right before My own rejection, betrayal, arrest, torture, crucifixion, and death. My warnings sounded ominous to those disciples gathered around Me on the night of My betrayal. This particular part of My warnings took on a much greater sense of foreboding after My crucifixion:

"If you find that the world despises you, remember that before it despised you, it first despised Me. .. If I was mistreated, you should expect nothing less."
The beloved disciple remembered these words of warning and reiterated them decades later: "Brothers and sisters, don't be shocked if the corrupt world despises you" (1 John 3:13). Persecution has been and will continue to be very much a part of being My disciple (2 Timothy 3:12). When your role model is the crucified Messiah, then you should expect to face some pretty stout challenges yourself. 

In the first part of the verses below, I told My disciples the reasons that they would face persecution. Persecution and loss of rights for My disciples are becoming more and more prevalent in your world, too. Just like My first followers, you need to know that you are not alone as you face trials, ostracism, distrust, false accusations, persecution, and even death. I AM with you! 

I promised My disciples that I would be with them through the presence of the "Helper", the Holy Spirit. In today's verses, this promise follows immediately after the very honest acknowledgement of the hardships. The work of the Holy Spirit is to be with you, to be My presence in you, and to give you peace. The Spirit is your Helper and Advocate. Even in the worst of situations, the Holy Spirit will give you the right words to say when you are under trial (Luke 12:11-12). Even if all others seem to abandon you in your hour of need, I will never abandon you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5-6). You may face difficult times, but you will never have to face them alone!
Verses to Live

Please remember that I have called you to be different from the world. I have called you to be salt and light in the world of decay and darkness. You are not "of the world," so the world won't accept you. Yet be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world. My glorious position is your assurance of future glory!

Jesus:
If you find that the world despises you, remember that before it despised you, it first despised Me. If you were a product of the world order, then it would love you. But you are not a product of the world because I have taken you out of it, and it despises you for that very reason. Don't forget what I have spoken to you: "a servant is not greater than the master." If I was mistreated, you should expect nothing less. If they accepted what I have spoken, they will also hear you. Everything they do to you they will do on My account because they do not know the One Who has sent Me. If I had not spoken within their hearing, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for ignoring My voice. 

If someone despises Me, he also despises My Father. If I had not demonstrated things for them that have never been done, they would not be guilty of sin. But the reality is they have stared Me in the face, and they have despised Me and the Father nonetheless. Yet their law, which says, "They despised Me without any cause," has again been proven true. 

I will send a great Helper to you from the Father, one known as the Spirit of truth. He comes from the Father and will point to the truth as it concerns Me. But you will also point others to the truth about My identity, because you have journeyed with Me since this all began.
(John 15:18-27)
Response in Prayer

I pray to You, dear Father of mercy and God of all grace. Sometimes I feel like I am swimming upstream against the current of popular opinion because I follow Jesus. Forgive me, dear Father, for being weak at times. Remind me of Your abiding presence within me through the Holy Spirit. Give me words to say to those who doubt or disbelieve You. Give me wisdom to know how and when to share my faith in Jesus with others. Bless me with courage when I feel alone and with confidence to remember Jesus' promise of the Spirit's presence and help in my times of need. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Thu 25 May 2017, 1:10 pm

"Let's Stay Connected!" — A Year with Jesus for 05/25/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Friend, 

Before I ascended to the Father, I promised My disciples that I would send the Spirit. I promised I would pour out the Spirit on people with faith in Me as they were baptized into Me (John 7:37-39; Titus 3:3-7). On the night I was betrayed, I reiterated this promise over and over again as I talked to My closest disciples about the Spirit being their Helper when I was gone (John chapters 14-16). The Helper's presence would be their assurance that We — Father, Son, and Spirit — make our home in you and We will never leave or forsake you. I want you to know that My promise to send the Helper is for you, too. 

In your world, a house can have many power outlets. However, the electric devices and appliances won't be able to fulfill their purposes unless they are connected to the power source. The same is true for the work of the Spirit in your life. The Helper is My power source for you. You need the Spirit's presence and power in your life to fulfill your purpose as My disciple. I emphasized that your part of this process is to love Me and obey what I call you to do:

The one who loves Me will do the things I have commanded. My Father loves everyone who loves Me; and I will love you and reveal My heart, will, and nature to you. 
(John 14:21)
Your obedience, your commitment to abide in Me and live for Me, connects you to that power source found in the Helper's presence. 

Today's verses that you find below remind you to stay connected to Me. Our relationship is organic and relational, not mechanical or just organizational. You abide in Me. I am your vine. You are My branch. There is no source of true life for a literal branch unless it remains connected to the vine, and there is no everlasting source of life in you unless you remain connected to Me! You remain connected to Me — you connect to the power source of the Holy Spirit, the Helper I've sent to you — when you choose to love. 

In My earthly ministry, I taught the importance of love being the guiding star in your life as you seek to live for Me:
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, a group of Pharisees met to consider new questions that might trip up Jesus. A legal expert thought of one that would certainly stump Him. 

Pharisees:
Teacher, of all the laws, which commandment is the greatest?
Jesus (quoting Scripture):
"Love the Eternal One your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is nearly as important, "Love your neighbor as yourself." The rest of the law, and all the teachings of the prophets, are but variations on these themes.
(Matthew 22:34-40)
You remain connected to Me when you love Us — Father, Son, and Spirit — with all your heart, soul, and mind and when you share that love with others. When you love Us, you live in My love as well as share My love with everyone with whom you interact. The Spirit within you will be your source of a never-ending supply of this love (Romans 5:5). 

So stay connected to Me and to each other by loving and by living in My love. Keep the love flowing!
Verses to Live

The image of the vine and branches is a powerful one that illustrates a spiritual truth you must not neglect: you must remain connected to Me!

Jesus:
I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard. My Father examines every branch in Me and cuts away those who do not bear fruit. He leaves those bearing fruit and carefully prunes them so that they will bear more fruit; already you are clean because you have heard My voice. Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. A branch cannot bear fruit if it is disconnected from the vine, and neither will you if you are not connected to Me. 

I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear great fruit. Without Me, you will accomplish nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is like a branch that is tossed out and shrivels up and is later gathered to be tossed into the fire to burn. If you abide in Me and My voice abides in you, anything you ask will come to pass for you. Your abundant growth and your faithfulness as My followers will bring glory to the Father. 

I have loved you as the Father has loved Me. Abide in My love. Follow My example in obeying the Father's commandments and receiving His love. If you obey My commandments, you will stay in My love. I want you to know the delight I experience, to find ultimate satisfaction, which is why I am telling you all of this.

My commandment to you is this: love others as I have loved you. There is no greater way to love than to give your life for your friends. You celebrate our friendship if you obey this command. I don't call you servants any longer; servants don't know what the master is doing, but I have told you everything the Father has said to Me. I call you friends. You did not choose Me. I chose you, and I orchestrated all of this so that you would be sent out and bear great and perpetual fruit. As you do this, anything you ask the Father in My name will be done. This is My command to you: love one another.
(John 15:1-17)
Response in Prayer

O God, please move through the Holy Spirit within me and help me love others ever more completely, ever more consistently, until my love fully reflects and embodies the righteous character and gracious compassion of Your love. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Wed 24 May 2017, 10:39 pm

"I Will Be with You!" — A Year with Jesus for 05/24/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple, 

My return to the Father after My crucifixion and resurrection was important for many reasons. However, for My apostles, the experience of losing My presence on earth was terrifying. After My crucifixion, they had retreated to an upper room in Jerusalem behind a locked door not knowing what to do (John 20:19-20). While My resurrection raised their hopes, after forty days they still had to adjust to life without My physical presence. After I had left them to return to the Father, they remembered that I had told them that I was going back to the Father. My leaving would have been even more troubling to them if I had not given them the promises that you read in the verses below. 

My return to the Father would not mean that I had left them: I would continue to live in them and be with them, and they would remember My life and words because I would send them the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

The Greek word John used to speak about "the Spirit of truth" was paraklaetos — translated as "Helper," "Comforter," "Counselor," and "Advocate" in different versions of the Bible. The presence of the Helper would ensure that they would not be left alone to do the work I would later call them to do. They would never face the opportunities and trials of discipleship alone. The Spirit, the Helper, ensured the presence of the Father along with My presence. Our presence would bring them peace — My peace, not peace like the world gives, but everlasting and life-altering peace. 

My promise began with My assurance that I would bring My disciples home to Me (John 14:1-3 — see My note from yesterday). In today's Scripture, however, I assure them that they would not have to wait till they come to Us for Us to make Our home with them. Since they would obey and live for Us, we would choose to make Our home with them. 

Now here is a great thing about these promises that were originally made to My earliest disciples: these promises are for you, too! Look at My promise. Each word was chosen carefully so that you could know that you are included:

Anyone who loves Me will listen to My voice and obey. The Father will love him, and We will draw close to him and make a dwelling place within him.
That means the following promises that I made are your promises as well:
I will ask the Father to send you another Helper, the Spirit of truth, Who will remain constantly with you.
I will never abandon you like orphans; I will return to be with you.
Because I live, you will also live.
My Father loves everyone who loves Me; and I will love you and reveal My heart, will, and nature to you.
The Father will love him [anyone who loves and obeys God], and We will draw close to him and make a dwelling place within him.
The Father is sending a great Helper, the Holy Spirit, in My name to teach you everything and to remind you of all I have said to you.
My peace is the legacy I leave to you.
I will go away, but I will also return to be with you.
So I hope you ca! n see that My physical absence is not a disadvantage for you, just as it was not a disadvantage for the early disciples. On Pentecost, I poured out the Holy Spirit on them to do My work and bring My presence to them (Acts 2:2-4; Acts 2:33). At your baptism, I poured out this same Holy Spirit on you (Titus 3:3-7). These promises are for you. 

I encourage you to learn all you can about the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, that I have sent to live in you and be My presence with you. And today, I want you to rest assured in the peace of God that passes all understanding that you will never be alone. We — Father, Son, and Spirit — have made our home in you until you can come home to Us and share Our home with Us! This assurance should bring you everlasting peace. 

If you would like to learn more about the Holy Spirit through a short daily devotional on the Spirit's work, check Heartlight's SpiritFire — you can subscribe and receive SpiritFire free in your inbox every day. 
Verses to Live

Be blessed by these promises about the Spirit, the Helper that I have sent to you. Remember, these words are not just for the apostles who first heard them, but also to anyone who is truly My disciple. May these words bring you peace.

Jesus:
If you love Me, obey the commandments I have given you. I will ask the Father to send you another Helper, the Spirit of truth, Who will remain constantly with you. The world does not recognize the Spirit of truth, because it does not know the Spirit and is unable to receive Him. But you do know the Spirit because He lives with you, and He will dwell in you. I will never abandon you like orphans; I will return to be with you. In a little while, the world will not see Me; but I will not vanish completely from your sight. Because I live, you will also live. At that time, you will know that I am in the Father, you are in Me, and I am in you. The one who loves Me will do the things I have commanded. My Father loves everyone who loves Me; and I will love you and reveal My heart, will, and nature to you.
The Other Judas:
Lord, why will You reveal Yourself to us, but not to the world?
Jesus:
Anyone who loves Me will listen to My voice and obey. The Father will love him, and We will draw close to him and make a dwelling place within him. The one who does not love Me ignores My message, which is not from Me, but from the Father Who sent Me. 

I have spoken these words while I am here with you. The Father is sending a great Helper, the Holy Spirit, in My name to teach you everything and to remind you of all I have said to you. My peace is the legacy I leave to you. I don't give gifts like those of this world. Do not let your heart be troubled or fearful. You were listening when I said, "I will go away, but I will also return to be with you." If you love Me, celebrate the fact that I am going to be with the Father because He is far greater than I am. I have told you all these things in advance so that your faith will grow as these things come to pass. I am almost finished speaking to you. The one who rules the world is stepping forward, and he has no part in Me; but to demonstrate to the cosmos My love for the Father, I will do just as He commands. Stand up. It is time for us to leave this place.
(John 14:15-31)
Response in Prayer

Father in heaven, thank You for Jesus — thank You for His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and pouring out the Holy Spirit into My heart and the hearts of all who love Him and obey Him. Teach me, please, O God, to recognize the work of the Spirit in My life and to rest in the assurance that You will never leave Me or forsake Me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Tue 23 May 2017, 6:16 pm

"Hold These Promises in Your Heart" — A Year with Jesus for 05/23/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Child of God, 

Beginning today and for the next several days, I will remind you of things I shared with My closest disciples on the night I was betrayed. The beloved disciple, known to you as John, wrote these things down for you. They contain a series of comforting words and empowering promises about what I can do and will do for you because I have returned to the Father. Many of these promises focus upon My sending of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit's intercession for you as your advocate at the Father's side. 

Today I want you to recognize My promises that you will find in the verses below. These promises are yours because of My resurrection from the dead and My ascension to the right hand of the Father. These are great promises for you to memorize as a source of encouragement on days that are not so great, so I encourage you to hold these promises in your heart:

My Father's home is designed to accommodate all of you.
I am going to make arrangements for your arrival.
I will be there to greet you personally and welcome you home, where we will be together.
If you know Me, you know the Father.
If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.
...whoever believes in Me will be able to do what I have done, but they will do even greater things, because I will return to be with the Father.
Whatever you ask for in My name, I will do it so that the Father will get glory from the Son.
My returning to the Father is so important for My disciples — including you, but My first disciples could not anticipate how My leaving them would be to their advantage. However, I wanted them to know — and yes, I want you to know this as well — My role at the Father's side as your intercessor, advocate, and gift-giver is to your great advantage. So remember My promises and don't forget to ask of Me. I AM at the Father's side for you until you come home to Us!
Verses to Live

Home is such an important place. I want you to know that I am preparing your new home with Me. This assurance is just one of several incredible promises you will find in the verses below as I speak the truth about My love for you, My preparation for you, My presence in you, and the coming of the Holy Spirit — the Spirit will be more of our focus tomorrow. Be blessed!

Jesus:
Don't get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing in Me. My Father's home is designed to accommodate all of you. If there were not room for everyone, I would have told you that. I am going to make arrangements for your arrival. I will be there to greet you personally and welcome you home, where we will be together. You know where I am going and how to get there.
Thomas:
Lord, we don't know where You are going, so how can we know the path?
Jesus:
I am the path, the truth, and the energy of life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you know Me, you know the Father. Rest assured now; you know Him and have seen Him.
Philip:
Lord, all I am asking is that You show us the Father.
Jesus (to Philip):
I have lived with you all this time, and you still don't know Who I am? If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. How can you keep asking to see the Father? Don't you believe Me when I say I abide in the Father and the Father dwells in Me? I'm not making this up as I go along. The Father has given Me these truths that I have been speaking to you, and He empowers all My actions. Accept these truths: I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me. If you have trouble believing based on My words, believe because of the things I have done. I tell you the truth: whoever believes in Me will be able to do what I have done, but they will do even greater things, because I will return to be with the Father. Whatever you ask for in My name, I will do it so that the Father will get glory from the Son. Let Me say it again: if you ask for anything in My name, I will do it.
(John 14:1-14)
Response in Prayer

O Father, these precious promises give me great hope and will sustain me through my darkest days and longest nights as I await the reunion of all who belong to You on the day Jesus returns. Until then, I will pray in Jesus' name and rejoice in the blessings that are mine because Jesus rose from the dead, ascended to Your right hand, and lives to make intercession for me and others like me who love You and long for Jesus' return. I praise and thank You. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Mon 22 May 2017, 5:02 pm

"The Third Time" — A Year with Jesus for 05/22/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved, 

The last few days I've visited with you about Peter's restoration and several important principles regarding confession, forgiveness, grace, cleansing, and restoration. In today's verses, you get to read how I lovingly confronted Peter concerning his bold claims about not failing Me even if the other apostles did and concerning his subsequent denial of Me on the night Judas betrayed Me. On Peter's third denial, the rooster crowed, he realized his failure, and he went out and wept bitterly (Luke 22:59-62). 

The verses below continue the account of My third appearance to the apostles. I asked Peter three times if he loved Me. He was hurt when I asked him a third time. Don't miss the symmetry — third denial, third appearance, third time I asked the question. This is no mere coincidence. This is the delicate art of loving confrontation — the parallels of things involving the "third" time, the careful wording, the loving but clear confrontation of Peter about his bold claims about being faithful when I washed his feet (John 13:1-38). 

I asked Peter three times about his love for Me. On that third time, let's just say that he heard that rooster crow figuratively once again. Three denials. Three times I asked on our third visit after the resurrection about his three denials. The point was clearly there for Peter and everyone else around the fire with Me to understand. 

I likewise made clear to Peter in front of the other disciples that I was calling him back to ministry:

"Take care of My lambs. .. Shepherd My sheep. .. Look after My sheep."
With each question about his love for Me, Peter also received an affirmation of My call for him to be a pastor. The original meaning of "pastor" was "shepherd." I was calling Peter to shepherd My people. 

For those keeping up with each of the "thirds," let's go over them:
Peter heard the rooster crow on his third denial.
This is My third visit with the disciples after My resurrection.
Peter was hurt when I asked him the third time if he loved Me.
Peter heard My call for him to be a shepherd of My sheep a third time.
Why was this loving, yet clear, confrontation so important? It was important because Peter's fellow apostles knew about his denials. Peter needed to be reclaimed and restored to leadership. He would never have been if he hadn't been lovingly confronted with his failure and if he hadn't received My call in front of those he disappointed — a call for him to come back to leadership. 

I let him know serving Me as a leader wouldn't be easy, but that is what I was calling him to do. Eventually, he was going to follow Me into a death like I endured as a martyr. He would follow Me. He would reach out to people as a shepherd. He would be a great leader among My people. He would give his life in the process. In the end, he would live up to the brash promises he had made earlier on the night he denied even knowing Me — but he would live up to his promises only after being humbled, lovingly confronted, and called back into ministry. That is what it means to be forgiven, cleansed, reclaimed, and restored! 

One last time, you see Peter being Peter: After I confronted him and then told him about the nature of his death, he wanted to know what was going to happen to the beloved disciple. It was like he was saying, "OK Lord, I know I'm going to die for you, but what about him?" Before Peter could go very far down that road of comparison of worth, value, and life span, I reminded him of the only issue that mattered: "... what difference will this make to you? You follow Me!" 

That, My beloved friend, is the issue for you today. Don't let failure, pride, embarrassment, overstatement, rivalry, jealousy, envy, or any other sin stand in the way of your following Me. Just as surely as you must face your failure, you have to know that even more I want to reclaim, remake, and restore you to useful service in My kingdom. So, follow Me!
Verses to Live

Today's verses continue the story from yesterday — the time after My resurrection when Peter took six other disciples fishing with him. Not only does this story parallel closely the time I originally called Peter, Andrew, James and John from their lives as fishermen, but there are those "third-time" parallels that run throughout this event. All of that is important to notice, however, only if you get the message: When you have failed Me and failed other disciples, I don't want you to give up and quit. I don't want you living your life in guilt and suspicion because you have not addressed your sinful failures. I want to recall you to ministry. Notice how I do this with Peter.

Jesus took the bread and gave it to each of them, and then He did the same with the fish. This was the third time the disciples had seen Jesus since His death and resurrection. They finished eating breakfast. 

Jesus:
Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these other things?
Simon Peter:
Yes, Lord. You know that I love You.
Jesus:
Take care of My lambs.
Jesus asked him a second time... 

Jesus:
Simon, son of John, do you love Me?
Simon Peter:
Yes, Lord. You must surely know that I love You.
Jesus:
Shepherd My sheep.
Jesus (for the third time):
Simon, son of John, do you love Me?
Peter was hurt because He asked him the same question a third time, "Do you love Me?" 

Simon Peter:
Lord, You know everything! You know that I love You.
Jesus:
Look after My sheep. I tell you the truth: when you were younger, you would pick up and go wherever you pleased; but when you grow old, someone else will help you and take you places you do not want to go.
Jesus said all this as an indicator of the nature of Peter's death, which would glorify God. After this conversation, Jesus said, 

Jesus:
Follow Me!
Peter turned around to see the disciple loved by Jesus following the two of them, the same disciple who leaned back on Jesus' side during their supper and asked, "Lord, who is going to betray You?" 

Peter:
Lord, and what will happen to this man?
Jesus:
If I choose for him to remain till I return, what difference will this make to you? You follow Me!
(John 21:13-22)
Response in Prayer

Holy God, I know that You have things for me to do to bless others and honor You. Help me know these things I am supposed to do. Help me do these things humbly and faithfully. Use these things to bless others. And, dear Father, when I fail, please give me the courage to face my spiritual failures and to trust that You will reclaim, remake, and restore me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor

Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.

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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Sun 21 May 2017, 10:25 pm

"Back at the Beginning?" — A Year with Jesus for 05/21/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple, 

Sometimes things have a way of repeating themselves. The events in the verses below occurred after My resurrection. The apostle Peter and six of My other disciples were back where Peter was when I first called him to follow me (Luke 5:1-11); they were fishing. Once again, they caught no fish during a long night of fishing. Once again, I directed them how to catch fish, and they netted a huge haul of fish. After experiencing the miraculous catch of fish earlier when I was calling My first disciples, Peter fell at My feet and said:

I can't take this, Lord. I'm a sinful man. You shouldn't be around the likes of me. 
(Luke 5:8).
I then called Peter to leave his life as a fisherman and follow Me to start reaching people with My good news. 

After over three years of ministry with Me, Peter was back where he began. But I needed him ready to lead My disciples to take the good news to the world. However, Peter's failure stood in the way. Despite My warning, he denied Me three times on the night I was betrayed. Despite his claims that he would not fail Me even if the other disciples did, he failed to live up to his word. Peter's failure stood in the way of his leadership. 

There was that other problem in the verses below: a problem symbolized by Peter's jumping into the water, swimming ashore, and leaving the other men behind in the boat to take care of the fish. Peter needed to humble himself, do the little things that needed to be done and live faithfully for Me. Most importantly, the confession that he was a sinful man didn't happen this second time. Enough time had passed for Peter to own the ways he had failed Me on the night I was betrayed. He had not done so. My appearance to Peter and the apostles on the beach — see the verses below — was My third appearance to them after My resurrection. Peter had not yet confessed his failure and asked for forgiveness from the disciples or Me. 

Bottom line: Peter's failure and his brash bravado stood in the way of his being a great servant leader in the new church that was about to be born. So I began My ministry of restoration with Peter. I would firmly, but lovingly, help him confront his failure in front the men who knew it best. I seized this opportunity to help Peter remember — to remember his initial call to become a fisherman for people and follow Me and to remember his failure to live up to his brash promises. 

In tomorrow's verses, you will join Me as I directly but lovingly confront and restore Peter. Today, however, I want you to think about how your own sin and failure can make you feel as if you have to start all over and as if you have to win My trust and earn your right to My grace. Please know that is not true. 

I long to forgive and restore you. I do ask that you own your failure, that you trust the sufficiency of My grace, and that you get back to following Me. But don't let shame destroy you. Don't let your pride keep you from being honest with Me and others. Don't let the evil one cloud your heart with doubts about My love for you. I long to restore you. I want to use you to grow My kingdom and share My grace. I will use your failures to help you learn to be gracious and empathetic with others so they can be restored, too. I did it with Peter. I will do it with you! 

Believe in My love for you. Rely on the grace I have for you. Trust the plans that I have to use you. Follow me!
Verses to Live

Notice how similar this situation is to the first call of Peter (Luke 5:1-11). Then notice how these two events are different. 

Why do you think I chose for this to be the scene of My third appearance to the apostles after My resurrection? 

What do you think would have happened to Peter and his leadership if I had not confronted him about his failure before I returned to the Father?

There was one other time when Jesus appeared to the disciples — this time by the Sea of Tiberias. This is how it happened: Simon Peter, Thomas (the Twin), Nathanael (the Galilean from Cana), the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 

Simon Peter (to disciples):
I am going fishing.
Disciples:
Then we will come with you.
They went out in the boat and caught nothing through the night. As day was breaking, Jesus was standing on the beach; but they did not know it was Jesus. 

Jesus:
My sons, you haven't caught any fish, have you?
Disciples:
No.
Jesus:
Throw your net on the starboard side of the boat, and your net will find the fish.
They did what He said, and suddenly they could not lift their net because of the massive weight of the fish that filled it. The disciple loved by Jesus turned to Peter and said: 

Beloved Disciple:
It is the Lord.
Immediately, when Simon Peter heard these words, he threw on his shirt (which he would take off while he was working) and dove into the sea. The rest of the disciples followed him, bringing in the boat and dragging in their net full of fish. They were close to the shore, fishing only about 100 yards out. When they arrived on shore, they saw a charcoal fire laid with fish on the grill. He had bread too. 

Jesus (to disciples):
Bring some of the fish you just caught.
Simon Peter went back to the boat to unload the fish from the net. He pulled 153 large fish from the net. Despite the number of the fish, the net held without a tear. 

Jesus:
Come, and join Me for breakfast.
Not one of the disciples dared to ask, "Who are You?" They knew it was the Lord. Jesus took the bread and gave it to each of them, and then He did the same with the fish. This was the third time the disciples had seen Jesus since His death and resurrection. 
(John 21:1-14)
Response in Prayer

O Father, thank You for grace. Thank You for repentance. Thank You for new starts. Thank You for being the God of comfort, forgiveness, and grace. I own my failures — I confess them to You and trust You will completely remove the guilt of my sin from me. I trust You will remove my sin from me as far as the east is from the west. I commit to follow Jesus, to live for Him, and to love You with all that I am and to love others by sharing Your grace with them. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Sat 20 May 2017, 10:52 pm

"A Turnaround" — A Year with Jesus for 05/20/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Seeker of truth, 

For several days, I will continue talking to you about restoring Peter back to ministry after his three denials on the night of My arrest. Peter over-promised what he would do to stand with Me. I warned him that he would deny Me three times, which is exactly what happened. I told Peter that I was praying for him:

I have prayed that your faith will hold firm and that you will recover from your failure and become a source of strength for your brothers here. 
(Luke 22:32)
Although initially Peter was willing to defend Me using force when the Temple guards came to arrest Me, I told him to put away the sword. I then allowed the Temple soldiers to arrest Me. This situation left Peter confused. In the aftermath of My arrest and during the early stages of My illegal trial by the Jewish religious leaders, Peter denied he knew Me. He insisted he was not associated with Me. He protested and spoke an oath declaring that he did not know Me. Then, I looked at him across the courtyard; the rooster crowed, and Peter was deeply grieved when he realized what he had done and how he had failed. 

Peter, the rock, one of My future leaders among My apostles and in the early church, stumbled miserably. His failure was not a secret. His agony over his actions was genuine. So before I share with you how I restored Peter, I want to remind you of a story I told. I was in the middle of a confrontation with the religious leaders when I told them the story about two sons (see the verses below). 

The story is primarily about repentance. I want you to think of repentance in terms of the word "turnaround." That's what Peter needed — a major turnaround. He was prone to over-promising and reaching to grab the spotlight. Peter was always wanting to go first, be best, and say the right thing at the right time. This trait was true of Peter whether he was walking on the water then sinking, confessing Me as Lord yet then denying I would suffer, or not wanting Me to wash his feet then wanting Me to wash him all over. On each of these occasions, Peter failed. He over-promised and under-delivered! 

At times, Peter was like each son in the story below. He over-promised what he would do and didn't keep his word; this is like the second son. However, like the first son, he was sorrowful and wanted to get his life back on track when he had time to think through his flawed actions. Somewhere along the way, Peter needed to own both his overstatements and his failures. He needed a turnaround. He needed to leave the past failures behind and walk a new direction, My direction, the direction of faithful obedience. 

You, like Peter, will stumble and fall. You will fail to live up to what you want to be. You don't want to stumble. I don't want you to stumble. But it will happen. Your decision at that point is very simple: Will you choose to stay in the place where you've faltered and live in your failure? Or will you choose to own your failures by confessing them and then turn your life around to live faithfully for Me? 

A life of discipleship is not about pretending you are perfect, not about saying the right thing just to make yourself look good, and not about hiding or excusing your sin. I'm not looking for a person who fakes holiness to look righteous. What matters to Me is that you are cut to the heart when you falter, and you are willing to own that stumble, then turn around and get back on track living for Me. 

My righteousness covers those who repent. My forgiveness covers those who choose to turn their lives around. So if you have let Me down and disappointed yourself because of your sin, remember that your failure isn't fatal unless you choose for it to be final. I always welcome a turnaround.
Verses to Live

Which of the two sons below are you most like? Do you push back against what I call you to do, but after thinking about it, get your life back on track like the first son? Or do you over-promise trying to make yourself look good to the folks around you and then fail to deliver like the second son? 

For Me, the appearance of being religious means nothing. What I AM after is your heart and your obedience. Even if you find yourself in the shoes of the second son, please realize that you can change. You can turn around, and you can get your life back on track and live for Me. Just remember My apostle Peter. He started out as the second son, then ended up turning things around like the first son.

Jesus:
I will tell you a story, and you can tell Me what you make of it: There was a man who had two sons. He said to his first son: 

Father:
Go and work in the vineyard today.
First Son:
No, I will not.
But later the first son changed his mind and went. Then the father went to his second son. 

Father:
Go and work in the vineyard today.
Second Son:
Of course, Father.
But then he did not go. So which of the sons did what the father wanted?
Chief Priests and Elders (answering at once):
The first.
Jesus:
I tell you this: the tax collectors and prostitutes will enter the kingdom of God ahead of you. John came to show you the straight path, the path to righteousness. You did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. Even as you saw the prostitutes and the tax collectors forgiven and washed clean, finding their footing on the straight path to righteousness, still you did not change your ways and believe.
(Matthew 21:28-32)
Response in Prayer

O Father, forgive me for the ways and times I have faltered, stumbled, and fallen. I ask that the Holy Spirit give me the strength to get up and turn my life around. I thank You for Your generous and gracious forgiveness. I thank You for the many examples of those people in Scripture who turned their hearts and behavior around to live for You after they had faltered, stumbled, and fallen. Thank You for using them, and I trust that You will use me as I turn my heart and behavior around to live for You. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor

Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Fri 19 May 2017, 10:31 pm

Beyond Failure" — A Year with Jesus for 05/19/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved, 

Over the next several days, I will take you on a journey with My apostle, Simon Peter. Before his denial of even knowing Me, I warned him about this upcoming sin. While he stumbled and fell, his faith didn't completely fail. The verses below remind you of My warning to Peter. Later in the evening when I was arrested, Peter used a sword to try to defend me (John 18:10). He was trying to live up to his promise of being willing to die for Me. He was confused when I told him to put away the sword and that I must fulfill what the Scriptures had said about Me (John 18:11; Matthew 26:50-54). Later that same evening, Peter denied Me three times (John 18:16-27) — just as I had told him he would. After his third denial, I looked straight at him across the courtyard, and he went away devastated by his failure when he heard the rooster crow (Luke 22:61-62). 

What should I do with those who claim to follow Me and then deny, betray, or abandon Me in a moment of weakness? What if they renounce Me in their confusion or fear or concern for their family or...? Even many of the so-called best and bravest have failed at one point or another. Does that disqualify them from My grace? Does that mean that I abandon them as they have abandoned Me? Are they to be cast out or distrusted forever? Definitely not! 

Watch these next few days closely. See how I restored Peter. I didn't just lovingly confront him and forgive him, but I restored him to leadership among the apostles! But for today, notice the seeds of grace I planted in Peter's heart and the hearts of the other disciples. 

Know that as you face your trials, My words are equally true for you: "I have prayed that your faith will hold firm and that you will recover from your failure and become a source of strength for your brothers ..." My grace not only can sustain you, but it can also reclaim you when you have failed yet are still clinging — be it tenaciously or tenuously — to the hope that I will never leave you or forsake you!

Verses to Live

Over the next several days, I want to show you how I approach forgiveness and cleansing — the promise I made you yesterday using John's words about My atoning sacrifice and My ongoing role as your advocate before the Father (1 John 1:5-10; 1 John 2:1-2). So read the words carefully and you will see how I was already preparing Peter to overcome his failure and sin and to be restored as My leader. Did his faith fail? No, it didn't, not permanently. You will see that his failure — unlike Judas' failure — wasn't final. Was he confused? Yes! Was he overconfident? Absolutely! Did he deny me three times? Yes! Did he quit in his failure, or did he hold out hope beyond it? He held out hope. And so should you!

Simon Peter:
Lord, where are You going?
Jesus:
Peter, you cannot come with Me now, but later you will join Me.
Peter:
Why can't I go now? I'll give my life for You!
(John 13:36-37) 

Jesus:
Simon, Simon, how Satan has pursued you, that he might make you part of his harvest. But I have prayed for you. I have prayed that your faith will hold firm and that you will recover from your failure and become a source of strength for your brothers here.
Peter:
Lord, what are You talking about? I'm going all the way to the end with You — to prison, to execution — I'm prepared to do anything for You.
Jesus:
No, Peter, the truth is that before the rooster crows at dawn, you will have denied that you even know Me, not just once, but three times. Remember when I sent you out with no money, no pack, not even sandals? Did you lack anything?
Disciples:
Not a thing.
Jesus:
It's different now. If you have some savings, take them with you. If you have a pack, fill it and bring it. If you don't have a sword, sell your coat and buy one. Here's the truth: what the Hebrew Scriptures said, "And He was taken as one of the criminals," must come to fruition in Me. These words must come true.
Disciples:
Look, Lord, we have two swords here.
Jesus:
That's enough.
(Luke 22:31-38)
Response in Prayer

Lord Jesus, I live today confidently. I am not confident in my abilities to never fail, forsake or disappoint you, but confident in Your grace to reclaim and restore me. I promise never to take sin lightly. I will do my best never to presume on the generosity of Your grace. But for those times when I sin — I fail, forsake or deny you — I will not believe the lies of Satan that I am worthless and irreclaimable. I will remember Your grace and how You reclaimed and restored Peter, so I trust You can do the same with me. Thank You. And thank You Father for such redemptive love. In Jesus' grace, I rest my hope and give You thanks. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Thu 18 May 2017, 9:28 pm

"Walking in the Light of Grace" — A Year with Jesus for 05/18/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved, 

I came to your world to be God among you and die as the atoning sacrifice for your sins. However, My ministry for you did not end with My death. After I was raised from the dead and ascended to the Father, I began My role as a heavenly intercessor for you and all others who truly follow Me. My atoning death was the last sacrifice needed. My presence at the Father's side ensures that I am your holy advocate forever (Hebrews 7:25). My sacrifice still covers your sin. That sacrifice assures you of both your forgiveness and your cleansing. You can be forgiven and also be made pure. It is as if you had never sinned! 

We — Father, Son, and Spirit — do not want you to sin. Some sin is rebellion, some is weakness, some is immaturity, and some is missing your intended target for the character you desire in your life. I want you to be open with the Father about your sin. I want you to confess your sin to at least one other brother or sister in your spiritual family (James 5:16). Be honest about your sin and your struggle with that sin. Come clean about your sin, rebellion, moral failure, and shortcomings. You are not going to do everything perfectly. Only the self-deluded would claim to have never sinned (1 John 1:8). Only someone who does not understand the nature of sin would try to cling to his or her own supposed sinlessness: "You see, all have sinned, and all their futile attempts to reach God in His glory fail" (Romans 3:23). However, if you walk with Me in the open fellowship of My grace, you will confess your sin for what it is. You will want it gone, forgiven, and cleansed so that your sin is purged from any record of wrongs and you are purified from any stain of sin. 

Here is what I ask of you. Realize the love and blessings of the grace you have received. Realize this grace came at a very high price. Realize that My sacrifice was given for you, but not just for you: It is for every person in the world! Please, pass this good news of My atoning sacrifice and My gift of new life, overwhelming grace, complete forgiveness, and total cleansing on to those who are lost. So walk with Me... be honest with Me... and share My grace because others need this same forgiveness and cleansing that you have received.

Verses to Live

Read the following verses several times. They are from My beloved disciple John, who wrote them to encourage those who were discouraged with their sin. These verses contain great promises to you about what I am doing right now in the presence of the Father to bless you and bless all who choose to follow Me as their Lord and Savior:

What we are telling you now is the very message we heard from Him [Jesus]: God is pure light, undimmed by darkness of any kind. If we say we have an intimate connection with the Father but we continue stumbling around in darkness, then we are lying because we do not live according to truth. If we walk step by step in the light, where the Father is, then we are ultimately connected to each other through the sacrifice of Jesus His Son. His blood purifies us from all our sins. If we go around bragging, "We have no sin," then we are fooling ourselves and are strangers to the truth. But if we own up to our sins, God shows that He is faithful and just by forgiving us of our sins and purifying us from the pollution of all the bad things we have done. If we say, "We have not sinned," then we depict God as a liar and show that we have not let His word find its way into our hearts. 

You are my little children, so I am writing these things to help you avoid sin. If, however, any believer does sin, we have a high-powered defense lawyer — Jesus the Anointed, the righteous — arguing on our behalf before the Father. It was through His sacrificial death that our sins were atoned. But He did not stop there — He died for the sins of the whole world. 
(1 John 1:5-10; 1 John 2:1-2)
Response in Prayer

O Father, I know that I have sinned and fallen short of Your plan for Me. Thank You Lord Jesus for Your sacrifice. You sacrificed Your comfort, Your security, Your dignity, and Your life to give me grace. Your sacrifice gave me the way to receive the Father's mercy through forgiveness and cleansing. Thank You Holy Spirit for Your work to transform me to be more and more like Jesus. I commit to living for Him as You empower and transform me. I promise to share His grace with others so that they can share in these blessings. In Jesus' name, I offer You my thanks, commitment, and praise. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor

Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Wed 17 May 2017, 10:37 am

"Wait!" — A Year with Jesus for 05/17/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious Follower, 

I know that waiting is hard for you. Regardless of your reason for having to wait, I know that waiting is hard. However, sometimes the best thing you can do to catch the Wind of Heaven (the Holy Spirit) in your sails of faith is to wait. 

Think for a minute about all that My closest disciples had experienced during the time surrounding My crucifixion:

My challenging teaching and confrontations during My last week in Jerusalem before My crucifixion.
The brutalities I suffered during My trials and on the day of My crucifixion.
The heartbreak and devastation during the time My body lay lifeless in the tomb.
The excitement of that first week after My resurrection.
The wonder of My presence during the forty days of My appearances to My disciples after the resurrection.
My disciples had an incredible message to tell the world. They had experienced things no one had ever experienced or would ever experience again. So in My farewell appearance to them, imagine how hard it was for them to hear My instructions to them:
"But you must wait in the city until the power from above comes down upon you."
They had these great experiences, and they had this great message about My resurrection, but I told them to WAIT! 

Wait? 

Yes, wait! 

You see, the mission that I gave them was staggering. They were going to change the world by taking My story to the nations. 

Perhaps you're wondering, "Was this small band of disciples actually going to take the message of My life, death, and resurrection to the world?" 

Yes! 

Perhaps you're still wondering, "Was this ragtag group of disciples going to fulfill their world mission without great monetary resources? Without positions of power? Without an international network of partners? In a world of travel mostly by foot or on sailing ships, and very, very slow mail service without any internet or phone service?" 

Yes! 

Yes! That was their mission. 

Yes! That is what they did. 

You see, the secret to fulfilling their mission — as well as the secret for you to fulfill your mission — is the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. 

Over the nearly two thousand years since My resurrection, many have heard My words of commission to take the good news message to all the world. They have trained. They have studied languages. They have prepared themselves culturally. They have prepared themselves theologically. They have trained themselves in communication, cross-cultural communication, culture shock, and reverse culture shock. However, they have sometimes not taken the time to wait:
to wait for Me to guide them to the place they need to go,
to wait for Me to tell them when it is time to go, and especially
to wait for the Holy Spirit to come and empower them to go.
Imagine My message as a fire, a burning flame. But as powerfully as that flame may burn, it is surrounded by pockets of unbelief, places of hostility, and non-combustible spaces of disinterest. To jump these zones where the fire has little fuel to burn, the flame needs the Wind of Heaven, the Holy Spirit, to propel it past the barriers of indifference and rejection. The bearers and keepers of the flame need the Spirit to empower that flame to burn brightly in places where hearts are ready to be lit afire with the grace of heaven. 

My messengers must have more than human power and plans. As good as these messengers are, as precious as their faith is, and as noble as their intentions may be, they need power — real, holy, enduring, heavenly power! They need — and before you launch on a plan to bring Me glory and share My grace, whether it is some great ambitious plan or a plan to tell your neighbor about Me, you need — Holy Spirit power. So please, honor Me by dedicating yourself to waiting in prayer for the release and guidance and power of the Holy Spirit rather than trying to do things on your own strength. 

Isaiah promised strength from the Lord many years before I promised it to My little band of would-be world-changers:
Have you not known? Have you not heard? 
The Lord is the everlasting God, 
the Creator of the ends of the earth. 

He does not faint or grow weary; 
his understanding is unsearchable. 

He gives power to the faint, 
and to him who has no might he increases strength. 

Even youths shall faint and be weary, 
and young men shall fall exhausted; 

but they who wait for the Lord 
shall renew their strength; 
they shall mount up with wings like eagles; 
they shall run and not be weary; 
they shall walk and not faint. 
(Isaiah 40:28-31 ESV)
In a few weeks, I will take you on a journey through the book of Acts. You will see a little band of believers become a massive and multi-cultural family held together and propelled to new frontiers by the power of the Holy Spirit. You need to know that I want you to do the same thing in your day, again and again, with people who are committed to "make disciples" by going and "baptizing" and "teaching" others to know and "to obey" all that I taught (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV). So I ask you to wait — not stall, not make excuses, not grow cold to My message, not give in to the distractions of the world, but to wait — through prayer and holy expectation for the coming of the Holy Spirit with power.
Verses to Live

Before I ascended back to the Father, I promised My closest disciples that I would send "power when the Holy Spirit comes on you." You will see that power lived out in the stories from the book of Acts. However, I want you to read the passages below that came after these promises to My disciples and realize this important truth: the Holy Spirit is also promised to you! I will remind you of this in coming days, but for now, realize that My resurrection and return to the Father mean the release of the promised gift of the Holy Spirit!

To a lover of God, Theophilus: In my first book, I recounted the events of Jesus' life — His actions, His teachings — from the beginning of His life until He was taken up into heaven. After His great suffering and vindication, He showed His apostles that He was alive — appearing to them repeatedly over a period of 40 days, giving them many convincing proofs of His resurrection. As before, He spoke constantly of the kingdom of God. During these appearances, He had instructed His chosen messengers through the Holy Spirit, prohibiting them from leaving Jerusalem, but rather requiring them to wait there until they received what He called "the promise of the Father." 

Jesus:
This is what you heard Me teach — that just as John ritually cleansed people with water through baptism, so you will be washed with the Holy Spirit very soon.
When they had gathered just outside Jerusalem at the Mount of Olives, they asked Jesus, 

Disciples:
Is now the time, Lord — the time when You will reestablish Your kingdom in our land of Israel?
Jesus:
The Father, on His own authority, has determined the ages and epochs of history, but you have not been given this knowledge. Here's the knowledge you need: you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. And you will be My witnesses, first here in Jerusalem, then beyond to Judea and Samaria, and finally to the farthest places on earth.
(Acts 1:1-8) 

[Jesus (speaking to the disciples):]
And I myself will send upon you what my Father has promised. But you must wait in the city until the power from above comes down upon you.
Then he led them out of the city as far as Bethany, where he raised his hands and blessed them. As he was blessing them, he departed from them and was taken up into heaven. They worshiped him and went back into Jerusalem, filled with great joy, and spent all their time in the Temple giving thanks to God. 
(Luke 24:49-53 GNT) 

[From the events at Pentecost during that first great gospel sermon:] Peter's words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, "Brothers, what should we do?" 

Peter replied, "Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles — all who have been called by the Lord our God." 
(Acts 2:37-39 NLT) 

[From Paul's letter known as Ephesians:] As a result, we — the first to place our hope in the Anointed One — will live in a way to bring Him glory and praise. Because you, too, have heard the word of truth — the good news of your salvation — and because you believed in the One Who is truth, your lives are marked with His seal. This is none other than the Holy Spirit Who was promised as the guarantee toward the inheritance we are to receive when He frees and rescues all who belong to Him. To God be all praise and glory! 
(Ephesians 1:12-14)
Response in Prayer

O Father, forgive me and forgive us for the times when we have either disregarded Jesus' commission or launched out trying to do that mission on our own power. I confess that I don't know everything about the work of the Holy Spirit, but I do know this: I can't and we can't live out our mission without the presence and power of the Wind of Heaven. Jesus promised that You would send the Holy Spirit to us if we ask. And so I'm asking as one committed to living Your will and fulfilling Jesus' commission. Please help each one of us to wait on the Spirit and to recognize and follow the guidance and power of the Spirit so that we will be effective servants in sharing the message of Jesus throughout the world. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen. 



If you would like to learn more about the Holy Spirit through a short daily devotional on the Spirit's work, check Heartlight's SpiritFire — you can subscribe and receive it free in your inbox every day.
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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor

Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Tue 16 May 2017, 1:06 pm

"Immanuel: Making Disciples" — A Year with Jesus for 05/16/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple, 

I want you to "make disciples." I want you to "go out" of the security of your own comfort zone, friends, or culture to share My good news with anyone from your neighbors to people of other cultures. I want you to "wash them through baptism" in the name of the "triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." I want you to walk beside these new disciples: "Form them in the practices... that I have taught you, and show them how to follow the commands I have laid down for you." 

These words are commonly called My "Great Commission." They were my parting words to My closest followers. I shared these words with them shortly before I ascended back to the Father. On Pentecost after My ascension, I sent the Spirit to empower My disciples to fulfill My commission. I have also given the Spirit to empower you to fulfill this same commission. I want all people to know the grace of the Father, the sacrificial love that I have for them, and the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit Who lives inside My disciples. 

My charge is a huge challenge. Some of My followers have taken this commission seriously. Others play at fulfilling it. So many in your world today either are ignorant of this commission or have chosen to ignore it. However, I want you to know that My Great Commission is just as important to Me today as it was when I spoke it to My first disciples. 

Today, I want to emphasize an important aspect of My Great Commission: It contains My fourth Immanuel saying in Matthew's gospel. As you live out this commission, I will be with you every step of the way. I will be Immanuel to you. My presence will go with you wherever you go. I will be present with you as long as you have breath. And when your body loses its breath, I will be there to welcome you into My presence (Philippians 1:19-23). Nothing will separate you from My love for you (Romans 8:32-39). I will be with you. I will be Immanuel, God with you... always!

Verses to Live

I will be with you, so please read carefully and obey what I ask of you. Your obedience will change the world, and I will be with you in that world wherever you go!

Jesus came forward and addressed His beloved disciples. 

Jesus:
I am here speaking with all the authority of God, Who has commanded Me to give you this commission: Go out and make disciples in all the nations. ..wash them through baptism in the name of the triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then disciple them. Form them in the practices and postures that I have taught you, and show them how to follow the commands I have laid down for you. And I will be with you, day after day, to the end of the age.
(Matthew 28:18-20)
Response in Prayer

Almighty God, I promise that by the power of the Spirit within me I will answer Jesus' call to make disciples. I will seek out those who need Your grace and introduce them to Jesus regardless of their race, nationality, ethnicity, or social status. I commit this to You in Jesus' name. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor

Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Mon 15 May 2017, 8:33 pm

Immanuel: Compassion" — A Year with Jesus for 05/15/2017
Note from Jesus

Dear Friend, 

I call you My friend because you know and practice My will (John 15:15). Therefore, I have brought you into My family through My sacrifice on the cross. I have given you the power to live in My family through the Holy Spirit within you. So today, as we continue talking about the Immanuel sayings in Matthew's gospel, I call you to be a friend to others who desperately need your compassion and My grace in their lives. 

The Immanuel sayings promise that you can experience My presence in your daily life. These sayings help you recognize how you can experience My presence as Immanuel. The four sayings promise that you can experience Me as Immanuel in these ways:

Through entering My story (Matthew 1:22-23).
By loving each other as My spiritual family (Matthew 18:20).
By actively demonstrating compassion to those in need (Matthew 25:40).
Through making disciples, whether among your own acquaintances or in other cultures, and leading them to know My way of life (Matthew 28:18-20).
Today, I want to focus on the third of these sayings:
Come here, you beloved, you people whom My Father has blessed. Claim your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of creation. You shall be richly rewarded, for when I was hungry, you fed Me. And when I was thirsty, you gave Me something to drink. I was alone as a stranger, and you welcomed Me into your homes and into your lives. I was naked, and you gave Me clothes to wear; I was sick, and you tended to My needs; I was in prison, and you comforted Me. .. I tell you this: whenever you saw a brother or sister hungry or cold, whatever you did to the least of these, so you did to Me.
I want you to treat others, especially the most vulnerable ones among you, as I treated people when I walked the earth. As you do, you will not only be following My example, but you will also experience My presence with you. I'm not promising that doing this will always be easy. It wasn't always easy for Me. In fact, My ministry to others often became messy and difficult. I do not promise you that everyone will be appreciative or recognize the grace you've shared with them. They didn't understand when I shared My grace with them. However, I want you to know one thing for sure: if you share compassionate care with those in need, you will find Me with you. In fact, you will actually be serving Me! You will experience My presence in serving those in need. You will meet Immanuel!
Verses to Live

As you read these words, remember these are My words. They come from My heart. They are words of great importance. What you do in response to these words of promise, you are doing — or not doing — for Me. These words also help you to know what is important to the Father at the final judgment. Please hear the urgency in these words. Live them with expectancy, trusting that you will meet Me in the doing of them.

When the Son of Man comes in all His majesty accompanied by throngs of heavenly messengers, His throne will be wondrous. All the nations will assemble before Him, and He will judge them, distinguishing them from one another as a shepherd isolates the sheep from the goats. He will put some, the sheep, at His right hand and some, the goats, at His left. Then the King will say to those to His right: 

King:
Come here, you beloved, you people whom My Father has blessed. Claim your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of creation. You shall be richly rewarded, for when I was hungry, you fed Me. And when I was thirsty, you gave Me something to drink. I was alone as a stranger, and you welcomed Me into your homes and into your lives. I was naked, and you gave Me clothes to wear; I was sick, and you tended to My needs; I was in prison, and you comforted Me.
Even then the righteous will not have achieved perfect understanding and will not recall these things. 

Righteous:
Master, when did we find You hungry and give You food? When did we find You thirsty and slake Your thirst? When did we find You a stranger and welcome You in, or find You naked and clothe You? When did we find You sick and nurse You to health? When did we visit You when You were in prison?
King:
I tell you this: whenever you saw a brother or sister hungry or cold, whatever you did to the least of these, so you did to Me.
(Matthew 25:31-40)
Response in Prayer

O God, give me the eyes to see people as Jesus does. Give me the heart to feel what others feel as You do, Father. Give the strength inspired by the Spirit within me to serve in ways that are helpful and selfless. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor

Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Sun 14 May 2017, 10:32 pm

Immanuel: In Spiritual Family" — A Year with Jesus for 05/14/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved, 

I began yesterday to share with you the four Immanuel passages in the book of Matthew. Recall that Immanuel is the name given to Me in prophecy (Isaiah 7:14). Immanuel means "God with us." The first of the Immanuel sayings (Matthew 1:23) was spoken about Me. The remaining three were spoken by Me. I spoke these three Immanuel sayings as promises to My disciples. While these last three don't specifically use the name Immanuel, they emphasize that I AM with you when you:

Come together as authentic spiritual family (Matthew 18:20),
Compassionately care for "the least of these" (Matthew 25:40), and
Step outside the comfortability of your ethnicity and culture to make disciples and lead them to follow Me (Matthew 28:18-20).
In other words, I AM not only the One Who was raised from the dead never to die again, but I AM alive and present with you. I want you to know how you can experience My presence in your life as My disciple. 

Today, the verses below are focused on experiencing My presence and My influence on your life in a community as spiritual family (Hebrews 2:10-11). As Christians, you are not members of an organization, but you are part of My blood-bought family. You are brothers and sisters who share something more important than a physical bloodline or common DNA markers. The Holy Spirit, Our — Father, Son, and Spirit's — presence, is living in you making you spiritual family. 

Family life can sometimes be messy and difficult. However, the Father has given you the power of the resurrection through the work of the Holy Spirit within you (Ephesians 1:17-20; Ephesians 3:14-21). This power can help you live together in love (Romans 5:5) as a true spiritual family. When you choose to live in the radical ways I am calling you to live as My family, you are living with Me. My presence is there with you and among you. 

This lifestyle means that you will take special care with how you use your freedom. You will do your best not to cause a disciple to stumble and fall away. You will go directly to a person who offends you rather than gossiping about that person or trying to "get even" with that person. You will forgive any brother or sister who sins against you and asks forgiveness, and you will continue to forgive as long as that person asks for your forgiveness. You will notice and work to reclaim any of your brothers and sisters who have wandered away, have been overcome by sin, or have dropped out of the family. 

Being with you as a member of My family is My promise to you. It is Matthew's second Immanuel saying. What I said reminds you that I AM present and can be experienced in your world as you live as genuine spiritual family:
For when two or three gather together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. 
(Matthew 18:20)
Verses to Live

As you read My words in the verses below, remember that I AM calling you to live as My spiritual family. My teaching recognizes that this life together as a spiritual family can be messy. Everyone in My family is imperfect just as you are. However, you need each other to be what I've called you to be.

Around that same time, the disciples came to Jesus and questioned Him about the kingdom of heaven. 

A Disciple:
In the kingdom of heaven, who is the greatest?
Jesus called over a little child. He put His hand on the top of the child's head. 

Jesus:
This is the truth: unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. In that kingdom, the most humble who are most like this child are the greatest. And whoever welcomes a child, welcomes her in My name, welcomes Me. And do not lead astray one of the weak and friendless who believes in Me. If you do, it would be better for you to be dragged down with a millstone and drowned in the bottom of the sea. 

Beware indeed of those in a world filled with obstacles and temptations that cause people to turn away from Me. Those temptations are woven into the fabric of a world not yet redeemed, but beware of anyone who lures righteous women and men off the narrow path. If your hand constantly grasps at the things of this world rather than serves the Kingdom — cut it off and throw it away. If your foot is always leading you to wander, then cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to hobble, crippled, into the kingdom of life than to burn in hell with two hands and two feet. And if your eye always focuses on things that cause you to sin, then pull your eye out and throw it away. It is better for you to see the kingdom of life with one eye than to see the fires of hell with perfect sight. 

Make sure that you do not look down on the little ones, on those who are further behind you on the path of righteousness. For I tell you: they are watched over by those most beloved messengers who are always in the company of My Father in heaven. [The Son of Man has come to save all those who are lost.] A shepherd in charge of 100 sheep notices that one of his sheep has gone astray. What do you think he should do? Should the shepherd leave the flock on the hills unguarded to search for the lost sheep? God's shepherd goes to look for that one lost sheep, and when he finds her, he is happier about her return than he is about the 99 who stayed put. Your Father in heaven does not want a single one of the tripped, waylaid, stumbling little ones to be lost. 

This is what you do if one of your brothers or sisters sins against you: go to him, in private, and tell him just what you perceive the wrong to be. If he listens to you, you've won a brother. But sometimes he will not listen. And if he does not listen, go back, taking a friend or two friends with you (for, as we have learned in Deuteronomy, every matter of communal import should be testified to by two or three witnesses). Then, if your brother or sister still refuses to heed, you are to share what you know with the entire church; and if your brother or sister still refuses to listen to the entire church, you are to cast out your unrepentant sibling and consider him no different from outsiders and tax collectors. 

Remember this: whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. And this: if two or three of you come together as a community and discern clearly about anything, My Father in heaven will bless that discernment. For when two or three gather together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.
Peter:
Lord, when someone has sinned against me, how many times ought I forgive him? Once? Twice? As many as seven times?
Jesus:
You must forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven.
(Matthew 18:1-22)
Response in Prayer

O Father, forgive me when I have not lived with my spiritual brothers and sisters in love as true family. I know that I have missed receiving Your blessing when I have allowed my own stubborn will and my own injured pride to overrule Your call for me to love my spiritual family as Jesus does. I'm asking You, dear Father, for the strengthening power of the Holy Spirit to help me as I commit myself to Your spiritual family. I trust that as I do, Jesus will be ever more real to me. I pray this in His name. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor

Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Sat 13 May 2017, 11:41 pm

"Immanuel: In the Story" — A Year with Jesus for 05/13/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Friend, 

I want you to know Me. I'm not talking about knowing more about Me — although that is a good thing and something I invite you to do by reading more about Me in the Bible books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I want you to know Me — to know that I AM real and to experience My moment-by-moment presence in your life. 

Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, many church leaders and teachers began to speak about My great work only in the past tense. Some even inferred that I didn't do any of the great things I did long ago. Some teachers and preachers have taught about Me in ways that confined My presence and My power to a time long ago and a place far away. They have made it seem that when the New Testament was all written that I quit making Myself known and that My presence was no longer experienced in the lives of My people. 

Remember that I AM above all things, and I reign over all things to bless My people, the church. I AM risen from the dead. I AM alive forever, and I will bring all who are mine to Myself to join Me in glory. 

One of the great things Matthew wrote into the fabric of his good news story of My life was an emphasis on My identity as Immanuel. I AM the presence of God that can be experienced in the lives of My people. So I want to spend today and the next three days drawing your attention to four passages that we will call Matthew's four Immanuel sayings. 

Matthew connected My birth to a prophecy from Isaiah and identified Me as the promised "Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14) — which means "God with us" (Matthew 1:23). More than just a statement of My divinity as God in human flesh, "Immanuel" is a reminder that I AM the eternal and immortal God, Who became flesh and walked among you to reveal God to you and make Him known to you (John 1:14-18). 

As Immanuel, what I did among you, I did as God with you. You want to know how We — Almighty God as Father, Son, and Spirit — feel about you? Then look at how I treated people. Want to know what God wanted to say to you? Notice how I talked to people with whom I came in contact and what I said to them. Want to know how God cares for His people? See what I did to love people. Want to be reassured that God listens to people? Watch as I listen to people. Want to see how God chastised religious people who were hypocrites and how He healed broken people and challenged people to be more? Look carefully at My life. All along My way going to the cross, witness how I repeatedly served others to redeem them. My life example is how your God feels about you! 

So I invite you to enter into My story. Go all the way back to the first hinted promise of My coming after the fall of humanity in the garden (Genesis 3:15). Then go all the way up to My conception in the womb of Mary (Luke 1:26-38). This story actually continues with Me as your living Lord Who will return for you. As you enter into this story, realize that this is your story, too! Your Bible is more than a book of laws, history, wisdom, poetry, prophecy, and teachings. Think of it as your family album of stories. It is your history about how you are loved, the kind of people from whom you have come, and the glorious promises about where you are headed with your brothers and sisters who find their identity in Me. 

As you read from the Bible, expect to meet Me. Ask the Holy Spirit, Who inspired the words of the Bible, to help you understand them. Even more, invite the Holy Spirit to help you hear My voice as I call you to follow Me. I will call to you through the words you read, the thoughts you have, and the convictions that the Holy Spirit inspires in you. I want you to ask the Spirit to help you discover what I want you to know from what you read, what I want you to feel, and what I want you to do in response to what you read. 

The apostle Paul told his son in the faith, Timothy, the following:

So surely you ought to stick to what you know is certain. All you have learned comes from people you know and trust because since childhood you have known the holy Scriptures, which enable you to be wise and lead to salvation through faith in Jesus the Anointed. All of Scripture is God-breathed; in its inspired voice, we hear useful teaching, rebuke, correction, instruction, and training for a life that is right so that God's people may be up to the task ahead and have all they need to accomplish every good work. 
(2 Timothy 3:14-17).
Look closely at the words that are highlighted in bold. They teach you two things:
The holy Scriptures lead you to salvation through your faith in Me! I am the key for you as you read the Bible. Ask the Spirit to help you hear My voice and deepen your relationship with Me and your faith in Me.
The holy Scriptures are intended to be lived — to be practical and useful truth for your life. I want to help you use the Bible to live a life of blessing, grace, and holy character!
So more than dry pages of paper and ink and more than pixels of light and dark, the words of the Bible are part of the way I come to you and instruct you. I use these words of Scripture to lead you and to show My love for you. So ask Me to come to you as you read. Seek My presence as you come to the holy Scriptures for life-help and hope beyond life's limits. I am still Immanuel — God with you. As the Father said through Amos centuries before My birth, "Seek Me and live..." (Amos 5:4; Amos 5:6). I AM still Immanuel — God Who longs to be with you!
Verses to Live

Matthew's first Immanuel saying occurs early in his gospel where he was talking about My miraculous conception in Mary and My human birth. My story is the center of the big story of the Bible and is your story, too, if you are willing to invite Me into your life and into your Bible reading for Me to live it with you.

Joseph woke up from his dream and did exactly what the messenger had told him to do: he married Mary and brought her into his home as his wife (though he did not consummate their marriage until after her son was born). And when the baby was born, Joseph named Him Jesus, Savior. 

Years and years ago, Isaiah, a prophet of Israel, foretold the story of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus:
A virgin will conceive and bear a Son, 

and His name will be Immanuel")
(which is a Hebrew name that means "God with us"). 
(Matthew 1:22-25)
Response in Prayer

Forgive Me, O God, for the times I have approached the Bible as just a book of facts and laws and history or didn't engage my heart when I read the Scriptures. I ask that the Holy Spirit — Your presence within me — open my heart to the message of the holy Scriptures so that I can live a productive life that blesses others and that reflects Your righteous character and gracious compassion. In the powerful name of Jesus, Immanuel, I pray. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor

Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Fri 12 May 2017, 7:25 pm

Head Over All Things" — A Year with Jesus for 05/12/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Servant of God, 

In My earthly ministry, I repeatedly taught that the greatest in the kingdom of heaven is a servant. My death on the cross for your sins was My ultimate demonstration of this principle. Servanthood is also something the apostle Paul reminded the Philippians was to be their motivation and mindset in their relationships with each other (Philippians 2:5-11). 

My resurrection from the dead and My exaltation to the right hand of the Father provided validation of My lordship. Not only was I the suffering servant Who gave Himself for you, but I AM also the One Who is "above all rule, authority, power, and dominion; over every name invoked, over every title bestowed in this age and the next." 

Greatness is more than a title. Greatness is more than a position. Greatness is more than a reputation. In My kingdom, greatness is rooted in selfless service and sacrifice for others. You know Me now as Master and Savior. You know Me as Lord of all. You also should know Me as the suffering servant of God. 

I now reign as Savior and servant. I AM Master and Lord. I also want you to realize that I AM over all things for you — for you individually and for all of My people. Those in My spiritual family represent Me as My bodily presence in the world today. I reign in glory, not for My own benefit, but for you... and I reign forever over all things!

Verses to Live

Paul's letter that you know as the book of Ephesians is full of passionate praise. While it would be great for you to read the whole letter, I want you to read at least these two passages about My place in the created universe for you.

This God has given to each of us grace in full measure according to the Anointed's gift as the Scripture says,
When He ascended to the heights,
He put captivity in chains;
And in His triumph, He gave gifts to the people.
(Well, when it says "He ascended," then that must mean that He had descended earlier to the lower levels, that is, to the earth. The One Who descended is the same One Who rose from the dead to ascend far above all the heavens so that He could fill all things.) 
(Ephesians 4:7-10) 

Friends, it is this same might and resurrection power that He [the Father] used in the Anointed One to raise Him from the dead and to position Him at His right hand in heaven. There is nothing over Him. He's above all rule, authority, power, and dominion; over every name invoked, over every title bestowed in this age and the next. God has placed all things beneath His feet and anointed Him as the head over all things for His church. This church is His body, the fullness of the One Who fills all in all. 
(Ephesians 1:19-23)
Response in Prayer

O Father, I recognize that Jesus bought my forgiveness by being a suffering servant and that He reigns for us, His church, as Lord. Please use me — my thoughts, my words, and my example — to bring glory to You and praise to Jesus for what He has accomplished and what He is doing right now as reigning Lord. Through the powerful name of Jesus and the intercession of the Holy Spirit, I pray. Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Thu 11 May 2017, 10:14 am

"Your Baptism" — A Year with Jesus for 05/11/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Friend, 

My earthly ministry began with My baptism by My cousin, John the Baptist, in the Jordan River (Luke 3:21-23). The heavens were ripped open showing a new time — a new era — had begun in the Father's work of salvation in human history (Mark 1:10-11). The Spirit descended upon Me as the Father spoke the words, "You are My dearly loved Son, and You bring Me great joy" (Mark 1:11 NLT). There in that moment, you are able to witness Us — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — together and share a glimpse of our eternal and heavenly glory. 

Unfortunately, My followers have fought about, divided over, and even forgotten about this great gift of baptism. We made baptism available to you as a moment when We as Father, Son, and Spirit are present together in your life as you are baptized. Matthew records my last words before returning to the Father, and these last words include instruction about baptism:

Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." 
(Matthew 28:18-20 NLT)
So take a moment and read the verses below and catch a glimpse of some of what baptism means for you. Finally, hang on to the words in the last verse below where the apostle Paul tells you that you "were raised with Him [Me, Jesus] by faith in the resurrection power of God, Who brought Him back from the dead." Notice especially the following phrases:
"raised with Him" 

"by faith" 

"resurrection power" 

"brought Him back from the dead"
Yes, that's what your baptism, your being united with Me in My death, burial, and resurrection, means for you — not just getting wet and not just going through some ceremony. It is actively placing your faith in My victory over sin and death through the power of God. It is not only immersion in water, but it is also immersing your heart into a life joined to Me. It is your appeal to God from a "good conscience" as you call on My name for your salvation. The power that was set loose in the moment of My resurrection comes to meet you in your moment of being raised from waters of baptism as you trust in the Father Who brought Me back from death to give you new life. 

Everything begins new and fresh with My resurrection and your ultimate trust that this same power is now at work within you.
Verses to Live

Your English word "baptize" actually comes from a transliteration rather than a translation of the Greek word baptizo which means immerse, dip, or plunge. Several passages in your New Testament use this description for a person who believes in Me being buried under water and then raised up from it, actions that connect baptism with My death, burial, and resurrection. In baptism, you offer yourself to Me in faith trusting in what I did in My death, burial, and resurrection to save you. As you are raised with Me from the waters of baptism, you trust that you begin a new life empowered by the Holy Spirit.

The Anointed One suffered for sins once for all time — the righteous suffering for the unrighteous — so that He might bring us to God. Though He died in the flesh, He was made alive again through the Spirit. And in the Spirit, He went and preached to those spirits held captive. It was these who long ago lived in disobedience while God waited patiently as Noah was building the ark. At that time, only a tiny band — eight people — was spared from the flood. 

The water through which the ark safely passed symbolizes now the ceremonial washing through baptism that initiates you into salvation. You are saved not because it cleanses your body of filth but because of your appeal to God from a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King. Now He has entered heaven and sits at the right hand of God as heavenly messengers and authorities and powers submit to His supremacy. 
(1 Peter 3:18-22) 

You were buried with Him beneath the waters of ... baptism and then were raised up with Him by faith in the resurrection power of God, Who brought Him back from the dead. 
(Colossians 2:12)
Response in Prayer

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for becoming human flesh, living among us, dying for our sins, and triumphing over death through Your resurrection. Thank You Father for Your divine plan and gracious gift of salvation. Thank You Holy Spirit for Your purifying and indwelling presence. Father, thank You for giving us baptism as a way to share in Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection so that we can experience the beginning of our new life in Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit. All glory and praise be Yours, now and forevermore! Amen.

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This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor

Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

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