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HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

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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.

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 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.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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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.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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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
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 10 May 2017, 10:42 pm

'Be Unshakable'" — A Year with Jesus for 05/10/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious One, 

The writer of the "word of exhortation" (Hebrews 13:22) that you call the book of Hebrews wrote this:

When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now He makes another promise: "Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also." This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful... 
(Hebrews 12:26-28 NLT)
Do you hear the profound truth in these words? 

As My disciple, you are part of something that can't be shaken. You are part of an unshakable kingdom. The world will pass away. Your body will die. Your riches will fade. Your homes, clothes, mementos, and valuables will rust, rot, decay, fall apart and be lost. 

However, this is not true of you! You are eternal! What you believe and the One in Whom you believe connect you to what is unshakable. 

My resurrection from the dead means so many things that are good and precious for you, but today I want you to hear the apostle Paul's words of exhortation in verses below: "be unshakeable!" What you do matters to Me. Everything done to honor Me is remembered forever. Who you are matters to Me. Your future matters to Me. 

I faced death, enduring the horrors and humiliations of the cross so that you could know My love. My lifeless body was wrapped in burial clothes and placed in a new tomb. The stone across My tomb was sealed, and a guard was posted to ensure that no one took My lifeless body from the tomb. However, I defeated the powers of sin, death, and hell. Then, on resurrection Sunday, the ground shook (Matthew 28:1-6), and all the powers of evil in all of its manifested forms were shaken — evil was shaken to its core and its grip was shaken loose from your life and your future. I arose from death and the tomb victorious... for you!
Verses to Live

Everything not eternal was shaken that resurrection day, but not Me, not My promises for you, not the future I purchased for you, and not My victory for you! So spend extra time pondering the last words in Paul's powerful statement in the verses below. Contemplate what My resurrection means for you. Go "be unshakable" in your faith as you live for Me!

Now listen to this: brothers and sisters, this present body is not able to inherit the kingdom of God any more than decay can inherit that which lasts forever. Stay close because I am going to tell you a mystery — something you may have trouble understanding: we will not all fall asleep in death, but we will all be transformed. It will all happen so fast, in a blink, a mere flutter of the eye. The last trumpet will call, and the dead will be raised from their graves with a body that does not, cannot decay. All of us will be changed! We'll step out of our mortal clothes and slide into immortal bodies, replacing everything that is subject to death with eternal life. And, when we are all redressed with bodies that do not, cannot decay, when we put immortality over our mortal frames, then it will be as Scripture says:
Life everlasting has victoriously swallowed death. 
Hey, Death! What happened to your big win? 
Hey, Death! What happened to your sting?
Sin came into this world, and death's sting followed. Then sin took aim at the law and gained power over those who follow the law. Thank God, then, for our Lord Jesus, the Anointed, the Liberating King, Who brought us victory over the grave. 

My dear brothers and sisters, stay firmly planted — be unshakable — do many good works in the name of God, and know that all your labor is not for nothing when it is for God. 
(1 Corinthians 15:50-58)
Response in Prayer

O Father, I look around and see the realities of my mortal world. I see the wounds that death afflicts on my heart and the hearts of those that I love. As I experience these things, I have to confess that I do not feel unshakable! Sometimes I feel very vulnerable to the earthquakes of life and death that I encounter. I ask for the Holy Spirit's help. I ask that the Spirit work deep within my heart to help me truly believe in the power of Jesus' resurrection for me and those I love. Help me believe that Jesus' resurrection changed everything. I want to be unshakable. So I ask, dear Father, for the power of Jesus' resurrection — the Holy Spirit — to awaken my heart to life eternal with the conviction that what I hold dear is truly unshakable. I pray this in the powerful 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 Edito
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 09 May 2017, 6:51 pm

"Dead to the World" — A Year with Jesus for 05/09/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

Don't fall in love with what cannot ultimately satisfy or eternally sustain you. Many around you chase after things that do not last and cannot supply them with genuine satisfaction. The world and the things of the world are passing away. They are in the process of decay. That doesn't mean that the physical world is inherently evil. However, the allure to focus on the stuff of your world rather than focusing on Me is strong.

Your trust in Me and your being joined to Me through faith and baptism mean that you have died to the world. You are now alive with Me. Your life and your future are tied to Me (Colossians 3:1-4). My indwelling presence within you through the Holy Spirit will sustain you and transform you (2 Corinthians 3:18). My life is alive in you, and this means that you "will never cease to be."

You trusted in My death to ransom you from sin. You believed in the power of My resurrection to give you new life. This life, empowered by the Holy Spirit, does not end with your physical death. No one can take this life from you. My resurrection from the dead is not just a historical fact that happened on a specific day nearly two thousand years ago. My resurrection also happens again, each day, as you offer yourself to Me.

Verses to Live

As you read these verses from My apostles John and Paul, notice the emphasis on being dead to the world that is passing away and alive to Me and through My power at work within you.

Don't fall in love with this corrupt world or worship the things it can offer. Those who love its corrupt ways don't have the Father's love living within them. All the things the world can offer to you — the allure of pleasure, the passion to have things, and the pompous sense of superiority — do not come from the Father. These are the rotten fruits of this world. This corrupt world is already wasting away, as are its selfish desires. But the person really doing God's will — that person will never cease to be.
(1 John 2:15-17)

May I never put anything above the cross of our Lord Jesus the Anointed. Through Him, the world has been crucified to me and I to this world.
(Galatians 6:14)

I have been crucified with the Anointed One — I am no longer alive — but the Anointed is living in me; and whatever life I have left in this failing body I live by the faithfulness of God's Son, the One Who loves me and gave His body on the cross for me.
(Galatians 2:20)

For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, Who raised Christ from the dead.
(Colossians 2:12 NLT)
Response in Prayer

Father, may I never boast in what I can do, but only in what You have done, in what You are doing, and in what You will do in Me. I ask this in the name of Jesus, Who was and Who is and Who is to come, the great I AM. 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 08 May 2017, 9:46 pm


"Joined!" — A Year with Jesus for 05/08/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Partner in Grace,

You and I are joined!

You believe that I died for your sins, was buried, and was raised from the dead. By now, you should have shared in baptism with Me based on that faith. In immersion based upon your faith, we are "joined" together! Not only are you saved by My death, burial, and resurrection, but you also shared them with Me when you called on My name for salvation and were baptized.

As you saw two days ago, the good news story of My saving grace is built on My death, burial, and resurrection. Your faith in Me and what I did make salvation from sin and death available to you. Your baptism is not just a step or a symbol, and it is not a work that merits your salvation. Rather, because of your faith in Me and through your immersion, we were joined in My death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-7). My sacrifice on the cross and My resurrection are what save you.

Your faith that what I did — on the cross, in the tomb, and in being raised from the dead — satisfied all of God's demands for righteousness is how you receive My grace. By faith, as you are baptized, we are joined together in these events and My new resurrected life becomes your new life. My future is now your new future. You don't have to earn this grace. You don't have to win the Father's favor. You don't have to pay for past sins. You are joined to Me. I paid the debt. I defeated death. I AM alive forever to the glory of God. And you are joined to Me and share in each of these eternity-changing realities!

Paul explained it this way:

Therefore, if anyone is united with the Anointed One [Jesus], that person is a new creation. The old life is gone — and see — a new life has begun! ..

He [the Creator God] orchestrated this: the Anointed One, Who had never experienced sin, became sin for us so that in Him we might embody the very righteousness of God.
(2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Corinthians 5:21)
Verses to Live

Notice the simplicity of the message and how you are "joined" with Me in My sacrifice to save you and "united" with Me as in the verse above!

Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
(Romans 6:3-4 NLT)

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.
(1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
Response in Prayer

Holy and Almighty God, I know that You are awesome in holiness and completely righteous. I confess that it is hard for me to understand how Jesus could become sin for me so that I could become Your righteousness. But, dear Father, I recognize Your overwhelming grace given to me in the gift of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. I come to You in prayer rejoicing that I am joined with Him and share in His triumph over sin and death. I am thankful that I don't have to earn your love and grace. I am thankful that you chose to pay the price for my sins through the sacrifice of Jesus. I ask for the power of the Holy Spirit so I will live up to what You have made me by Your grace. In Jesus' name and because of Jesus' sacrifice, 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:
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 07 May 2017, 11:25 pm

According to the Scriptures" — A Year with Jesus for 05/07/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Friends,

My resurrection should not have been such a big surprise to My disciples. While My resurrection was not something anyone would have expected in normal life, I lived My life in tune with the will of the Father and in fulfillment of the Scriptures. As I began to make My way to Jerusalem for the final time in My earthly ministry, I repeatedly talked about My death and My resurrection that would occur three days later (Mark 8:31; Mark 9:30-31; Mark 10:33-34). I also used earlier Scriptures that carry strong hints about My life, death, and resurrection (Mark 15:34 with Psalm 22:1-31) Later My followers did likewise (Acts 13:32-35 with Psalm 2:1-12 and Psalm 16:7-11; Acts 2:31 with Psalm 16:7-11; Acts 8:26-40 with Isaiah 53:7-12). Even those who viewed Me as their enemy worried about My prediction that I would rise from the dead after three days. They went so far as to take precautions to keep anyone from stealing My dead body and making a claim of resurrection (Matthew 27:62-66).

As I had promised, as the scriptures had suggested, and as My enemies inadvertently had helped to validate, I rose from the dead. However, grief and loss closed My disciples to any expectation of a good outcome to the horrific events of the cross. I had to go to great lengths to show them that I was alive. I had to open their minds to understand the scriptures about My resurrection and their upcoming mission (Luke 24:45-49).

What do I want you to do with this important insight into My resurrection that I have shared with you today?

What difference does it make whether or not the scriptures spoke of My resurrection?

Here are a few real-life applications that I want you to take away with you from the verses below. There are others, but please grab hold of these implications from what I have told you.

First, what you call the Bible is really My family story. In fact, because you are joined to Me, it is also your family story. It is a gift to help you understand how grace worked its way through the religions of humankind and brought all blood sacrifices to an end in My sacrifice (Hebrews 9:22; Hebrews 10:12 NLT). All humanity, regardless of race or social standing or gender or anything else, comes to the Father on equal ground — the ground at the foot of My cross — and can receive grace to be the Father's children through faith in what I did (Galatians 3:26-29).

Second, My life on earth was a fulfillment of that great story of grace (Matthew 5:17-20), and all of its greatest promises find their fulfillment in Me (2 Corinthians 1:18-20). So if you want to know Me more completely, then use the Scriptures of what you call the Old Testament. Learn more about Me and use your faith in Me to help you understand how to use those Scriptures to bring salvation to you and others (2 Timothy 3:14-17).

Finally, realize that My resurrection helps you look at everything in a new way. My closest disciples weren't bad or dumb because they didn't expect My resurrection; they were grieving and broken and hopeless. However, My resurrection changed all of that for them... and for you... and "All this happened to fulfill the Scriptures."

Verses to Live

As you read these verses, notice especially the last sentence. The cross and My resurrection were no accident. They were God's plan... to redeem you!

Let me remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I 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.
(1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
Response in Prayer

O Father, thank You for the Scriptures. Forgive me when I have taken them lightly and neglected to use them to draw me closer to Jesus and His wonderful gift. I ask that You use the Holy Spirit, Lord Jesus, to help me understand the message inspired by the Spirit's grace. I ask this to honor You — Father, Son, and Spirit — in the 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.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Sat 06 May 2017, 5:09 pm


Core Gospel" — A Year with Jesus for 05/06/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved,

Yesterday, I used parts of one of Paul's letters to the Corinthian Christians to emphasize the authenticity of the gospel message. Today, I am using the same verses to focus your attention on the essential aspects of the good news message about Me.

This note is especially important because it addresses the very core, the bedrock, of your faith. You will find certain phrases highlighted in the verses below to help you see the core gospel and what your response to the gospel should be. This core gospel is the central truth of your faith. It is the good news that I want to be preached about Me. It is the foundation upon which you are to build your life, your values, and your witness before others. This core gospel is emphasized, proclaimed, and used in Paul's letters to the Corinthians as motivation and assurance for faithful living and authentic ministry. Notice three aspects of this core gospel in the verses below. These three truths are the foundation of much of what your New Testament teaches.

Core Gospel Emphasized: The first few phrases in bold emphasize the foundational nature of the core gospel. It is "the essential message," "the central story," and the "gospel" by which "you are liberated" from sin and death because this core gospel is "the crux of it all."

Core Gospel Proclaimed: There are phrases in bold and underlined that summarize the proclaimed message of the gospel. I, the Christ and "the Anointed One, the Liberating King, died for" your sins and "was buried and raised from the dead on the third day," and I subsequently "appeared alive" to many witnesses who knew Me both before and after My resurrection. Tomorrow we will look at Scriptures that foretold My sacrifice and that illustrated how My disciples and I used those Scriptures.

Core Gospel Used to Inspire Faithful Living: The phrases in bold toward the end of the verses leverage your faith in the core gospel to inspire and encourage you to holy living. "What matters is... that you have faith in this message," that "you now base your life on" this gospel, and that you "stay firmly planted — be unshakeable — [and] do many good works in the name of God" because you know that "your labor" is not wasted, is not in vain, and "is not for nothing." As the year progresses, more will be said about how you are to live your life as My disciple.

Verses to Live

I endured death to defeat its hold on you. I was raised victoriously back to life to share that life with you. To show the power of God over Satan, hell, and death, I appeared after My resurrection to those who knew Me best. I did this to help you know that your life matters — not just to you and to those you love, but it matters to the Father. What you do because you are My disciple will never be forgotten! Following, beloved, is the core gospel, the good news that saves you.

Let me remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I 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. Last of all, He appeared to me [Paul]; I was like a child snatched from his mother's womb. You see, I am the least of all His emissaries, not fit to be called His emissary because I hunted down and persecuted God's church. Today I am who I am because of God's grace, and I have made sure that the grace He offered me has not been wasted. I have worked harder, longer, and smarter than all the rest; but I realize it is not me — it is God's grace with me that has made the difference. In the end, it doesn't matter whether it was I or the other witnesses who brought you the message. What matters is that we keep preaching and that you have faith in this message.

...

Sin came into this world, and death's sting followed. Then sin took aim at the law and gained power over those who follow the law. Thank God, then, for our Lord Jesus, the Anointed, the Liberating King, Who brought us victory over the grave.

My dear brothers and sisters, stay firmly planted — be unshakable — do many good works in the name of God, and know that all your labor is not for nothing when it is for God.
(1 Corinthians 15:1-11; 1 Corinthians 15:56-58)
Response in Prayer

Almighty God, I humble myself before You as I think of Your wondrous grace! Thank You for making the core gospel so plain, so clear, and so powerful. I believe that Jesus died for my sins. I believe that He was buried. I believe that He was raised to life on the third day and showed Himself alive to those who knew Him. I choose to offer my life to You. I want to be used to share Your core gospel with those who do not yet know of Your saving grace. In Jesus' name, I pray and offer myself to You, for Your glory, so that others might be saved. 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 05 May 2017, 10:36 am


"Faith's Solid Ground" — A Year with Jesus for 05/05/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious Disciple,

While many things in life are complicated, the basis for saving faith shouldn't be. I want you to know that your faith is on solid ground. My apostle Paul gave a very clear summary of the solid ground of your faith. The gospel, the good news by which you are saved, is solid ground on which to build your life. Notice the key ways Paul emphasizes the trustworthiness of the gospel in a letter to disciples in Corinth:

Paul had "received" the gospel message as the authoritative truth.
He had "passed down" this same message as authoritative truth.
The message is "the good news" that Paul "preached" to the disciples.
It is "the essential message" that they had "taken to heart".
They could "base" their lives upon this gospel that had saved, or "liberated," them from sin and death.
Bottom line: Paul went to great pains to emphasize that the message they believed was the authoritative message of good news and of the true salvation that can be found only in Me.

So what is that message?

What is the good news that brings salvation and liberation from sin and death?

The good news message is that I died, was buried, and rose from the dead... for you... to forgive your sins... and to give you victory over sin. This gospel should be life-altering for you and other Christians, but the facts of the gospel are simple. Because of My sacrifice and your faith, your life matters. The things you do in My name and for My glory will always be remembered. Furthermore, when everything in your life on earth is said and done, you will share in My victory!

Yes, I died for the sins of the world. Yes, I died at the hands of sinners and asked My Father to forgive them. But at the foundation of the good news, there is this one great reality that you must accept: I did this for you!
Verses to Live

Don't let folks make the truth of the gospel complicated. Realize that I died, was buried, and rose from the dead. I was victorious over sin and death, for you and all who will build their lives upon this truth!

Let me remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I 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 [Jesus] 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. Last of all, He appeared to me; I was like a child snatched from his mother's womb. You see, I am the least of all His emissaries, not fit to be called His emissary because I hunted down and persecuted God's church. Today I am who I am because of God's grace, and I have made sure that the grace He offered me has not been wasted. I have worked harder, longer, and smarter than all the rest; but I realize it is not me — it is God's grace with me that has made the difference. In the end, it doesn't matter whether it was I or the other witnesses who brought you the message. What matters is that we keep preaching and that you have faith in this message.
Sin came into this world, and death's sting followed. Then sin took aim at the law and gained power over those who follow the law. Thank God, then, for our Lord Jesus, the Anointed, the Liberating King, Who brought us victory over the grave.

My dear brothers and sisters, stay firmly planted — be unshakable — do many good works in the name of God, and know that all your labor is not for nothing when it is for God.
(1 Corinthians 15:1-11; 1 Corinthians 15:56-58)
Response in Prayer

Almighty God — Father, Son, and Spirit — I confess to You that I sometimes lose sight of all that Jesus did and all that He did for me. I know it wasn't for me only, but it was undeniably for me. He loved, cared, and died for me. He was raised from the dead and is now interceding for me. He has called me to follow Him as I base My life on what He did for me. I ask for courage to live my life in a manner worthy of Jesus' great sacrifice for me. In His 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 04 May 2017, 1:28 pm

"Words of Hope and Peace" — A Year with Jesus for 05/04/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Faithful Follower,

I spoke the words you will read in the verses below before I went to the cross. I planted them like seeds into the hearts of My closest followers. Later, when the time was right, the Spirit of truth would help them remember all that had transpired and all that I had told them. I shared these messages on My last evening with them before My arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. They were some of My last words before dying. These words were spoken to those who were precious to Me. I hope that you will let these words be a blessing to you.

I want you to notice several things that you will find in these words.

First, I acknowledged that the world is a tough place. I shared these words so My followers could find true shalom. I wanted them to have more than just peace; I wanted them to know that they could be whole and unafraid of the future even without My physical presence. I was about to overcome the powers — "the corrupt world order" — that had marred and broken the created universe. My victory over sin and death through My resurrection brought victory over death to My disciples. Coupled with My words of encouragement, My disciples could be reassured and find My peace. I trust My words will give you peace as well.

Second, I promised to send the Spirit to My disciples. Rather than My physical absence being a loss, it was My disciples' gain. I gave them My promises before I returned to the Father:

Promise one
I would send the Spirit to be with them and in them and to give them everything they needed from Me.
Promise two
When I had ascended to the Father, I would present My disciples' requests to Him. They could rest assured that their prayers would be heard.
Third, I laid out the plan for the days ahead.
I would go away — in death on the cross — and they would be scattered and forsake Me, but the Father would not forsake Me.
I would come back — I would be raised from the dead to be with them again to help them understand Who I AM and why I had come to earth.
I would return to the Father — I would ascend — but I would continue to be with them through the sending of the Holy Spirit. Their first experience of the Spirit would be something that would happen in a small group and in a private way with My first appearance to them (John 20:19-22). Then there would be a huge experience of the coming of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-41).
My closest followers experienced so many things in just fifty days after My resurrection. I wanted them to have My promises to look back upon as seeds of hope and assurance for their future. While you live thousands of years later, these promises are true for you, too (Acts 2:38-41)!
Verses to Live

As you read these words, please ask for My help. I will empower you and fill you with the Spirit. The Spirit will lead you and guide you in what you read.

Jesus:
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. For a little while you will not see Me; but after that, a time will come when you will see Me again.
Some of His Disciples:
What does He mean? "I'll be here, and then I won't be here, because I'll be with the Father"?
Other Disciples:
What is He saying? "A little while"? We don't understand.
Jesus knew they had questions to ask of Him, so He approached them.

Jesus:
Are you trying to figure out what I mean when I say you will see Me in a little while? I tell you the truth, a time is approaching when you will weep and mourn while the world is celebrating. You will grieve, but that grief will give birth to great joy. In the same way that a woman labors in great pain during childbirth only to forget the intensity of the pain when she holds her child, when I return, your labored grief will also change into a joy that cannot be stolen.

When all this transpires, you will finally have the answers you have been seeking. I tell you the truth, anything you ask of the Father in My name, He will give to you. Until this moment, you have not sought after anything in My name. Ask and you will receive so that you will be filled with joy.

I have been teaching you all of these truths through stories and metaphors, but the time is coming for Me to speak openly and directly of the Father.

The day is coming when you will make a request in My name, but I will not represent you before the Father. You will be heard directly by the Father. The Father loves you because you love Me and know that I come from the Father. I came from the Father into the cosmos, but soon I will leave it and return to the Father.
Disciples:
We hear You speaking clearly and not in metaphors. How could we misunderstand? We see now that You are aware of everything and You reveal things at the proper time. So we do not need to question You, because we believe You have come from God.
Jesus:
So you believe now? Be aware that a time is coming when you will be scattered like seeds. You will return to your own way, and I will be left alone. But I will not be alone, because the Father will be with Me. I have told you these things so that you will be whole and at peace. In this world, you will be plagued with times of trouble, but you need not fear; I have triumphed over this corrupt world order.
(John 16:5-33)
Response in Prayer

Father in heaven, I need the peace and wholeness that Jesus promises in today's Scripture. I know that this peace and wholeness come from the work of the Holy Spirit, so I ask for the tender mercies, the abiding presence, and the strong power of the Spirit to be at work on me and within me. I ask 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.

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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Wed 03 May 2017, 9:25 pm

"Your Resurrection: Certain and Glorious!" — A Year with Jesus for 05/03/2017
Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

The verses for today involve a group called the Sadducees. They were trying to trap Me in something they could use to turn people against Me. They were also looking for an excuse to arrest Me. Their question was a tricky one involving Yibbum or Levirate marriage (Deuteronomy 25:5-10). It was a principle of the law that Moses gave My people. Levirate marriage was a law to protect a widow who had no family to take care of her when her husband died. However, the real issue in the verses below is not so much Levirate marriage as it is the Sadducees' attempt to trap Me. They didn't believe in the resurrection, so they made up this crazy scenario to try to show that believing in the resurrection from the dead was foolish. So I replied to their crazy question with two answers that silenced them.

One of My answers to their question was that the resurrection life is glorious — life like the angels (or "heavenly messengers") live. This new life really shouldn't be compared with the life lived on earth where there is marriage and giving in marriage. Relationships among My disciples after the resurrection will be elevated to a new level of glory. They will enjoy the full blessings and privileges of being "children of God and children of the resurrection" with new, immortal bodies that are not subject to death and decay (1 Corinthians 15:50-58). The resurrection life for My disciples will be glorious and beyond comparing to the best your world can offer.

My other answer was that the Father revealed in His statement to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-6) that there is this resurrection life. Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, the Father said that He is "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. By Moses' time, they were all dead, but God isn't God of the dead, but of the living. So all live to God."

My main point in this discussion with the Sadducees was that there is a resurrection life. So what do I want you to take away from the reading today?

First, notice that I could use the trick questions of those who hated Me to teach the truth of the resurrection. They could not trick, trap, or defeat Me with their silly religious arguments. Such arguments are not worthwhile. You should avoid them (2 Timothy 2:23-26; Titus 3:9-11).

Second, the resurrection life is more glorious than you can imagine when compared to your earthbound life — you will share in My glory and the glory of the angels of heaven (Luke 20:36; Romans 8:18; Colossians 3:4; cf. Luke 9:26).

Third, We — Father, Son, and Spirit — rule over all people whether they are alive on earth or alive after death. All people "as mortals are appointed to die once and then to experience a judgment... before the throne of the Anointed, the Liberating King, to receive what is just for our conduct (whether it be good or bad) while we lived in this temporary body. .. [E]very knee will bow, ... every tongue will confess" that I AM Lord "to the glory of God our Father" (Hebrews 9:27; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 2:10-11). For you, a child of the Father and My disciple, the resurrection will be a glorious event — a time of victory, deliverance, and celebration (2 Timothy 4:8). As the apostle Paul wrote:

On that day when He [Jesus] comes, all the saints in heaven and on earth will celebrate the glory of His power, and all who believe will stand and be amazed — this includes you because you believed us when we testified on His behalf.
(2 Thessalonians 1:10)
Because of My resurrection, you can know that your resurrection is certain and glorious. Don't let a so-called bunch of "religious experts" cloud your mind with doubt. Their deceptive trick questions are not aimed at getting to the truth but are asked to make themselves look better.
Verses to Live

The Sadducees' question was intended to trap Me, but notice how I turned the situation around and used their duplicity to silence them and to teach about the resurrection. I want you to know and to believe with great assurance that resurrection and glory await all who are My disciples!

Another group came to test Him [Jesus] — this time from the Sadducees, a rival party of the Pharisees, who believe that there is no resurrection.

Sadducees:
Teacher, Moses wrote in the Hebrew Scriptures that a man must marry his brother's wife and the new couple should bear children for his brother if his brother dies without heirs. Well, once there were seven brothers, and the first took a wife and then died without fathering children. The second took her as his wife and then he died childless, and then the third, and so on through the seven. They all died leaving no children. Finally the woman died too. Here's our question: in the resurrection, whose wife will she be, since all seven had her for a while? Will she be the wife of seven men at once?
Jesus:
The children of this era marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain the resurrection of the dead in the coming era do not marry and are not given in marriage. They are beyond mortality; they are on the level of heavenly messengers; they are children of God and children of the resurrection. Since you brought up the issue of resurrection, even Moses made clear in the passage about the burning bush that the dead are, in fact, raised. After all, he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. By Moses' time, they were all dead, but God isn't God of the dead, but of the living. So all live to God.
Religious Scholars:
Teacher, that was a good answer.
After this no one had the courage to ask Him any more questions.
(Luke 20:27-40)
Response in Prayer

O Father, I do not fully understand the glory that awaits me. I confess that. However, the glimpses of this realized grace, this eternal glory that makes even life's happiest moments pale in comparison, lead me to awe and amazement. I pray that You, dear Father, will help me keep my focus on living for Jesus until I share in His glory. In His name, I pray. 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.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Tue 02 May 2017, 9:26 pm

To the Praise of His Glory!" — A Year with Jesus for 05/02/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

One day you will hear the angels sing in celebration around the throne of God (Revelation 5:11-13). However, I wish you could hear them sing and praise God now. The shepherds heard them the night I was born to Mary (Luke 2:1-14). Right now they sing in celebration of My victory over sin and death as they gather around the throne of God. They sing in anticipation of your full redemption from all that is tainted, flawed, broken and mortal (Revelation 5:11; Revelation 7:11). On that glorious day, you will join the chorus of angels and all the people of God in celebration of full redemption.

So until you can share in that glorious day, I want to point you to a great passage of praise (see the verses below). As Paul wrote to the churches of Asia Minor in the letter you call Ephesians, he began this letter with an outburst of passionate praise. When he spoke these words of praise to the person transcribing his letter, Paul's words poured out of him as if he scarcely took a breath. This wonderful gushing forth of praise was really more song than it was letter-writing!

Verses to Live

Today, I want you to rejoice in the victory that is yours because of the Father's plan, My resurrection from the dead, and the presence of the Holy Spirit within you. Let Paul's words of praise guide you, but don't let your praise be confined to what Paul has written. Let the Spirit lift you in the Wind of heaven's grace and help you plumb the depths and soar to the heights of all that My triumph over sin and death has brought to you! As you read these verses, the portions in bold function as the repeated chorus or refrain for Paul's "Song of God's Glorious Grace"!

Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus the Anointed One, Who grants us every spiritual blessing in these heavenly realms where we live in the Anointed — not because of anything we have done, but because of what He has done for us. God chose us to be in a relationship with Him even before He laid out plans for this world; He wanted us to live holy lives characterized by love, free from sin, and blameless before Him. He destined us to be adopted as His children through the covenant Jesus the Anointed inaugurated in His sacrificial life. This was His pleasure and His will for us. Ultimately God is the one worthy of praise for showing us His grace; He is merciful and marvelous, freely giving us these gifts in His Beloved. Visualize this: His blood freely flowing down the cross, setting us free! We are forgiven for our sinful ways by the richness of His grace, which He has poured all over us. With all wisdom and insight, He has enlightened us to the great mystery at the center of His will. With immense pleasure, He laid out His intentions through Jesus, a plan that will climax when the time is right as He returns to create order and unity — both in heaven and on earth — when all things are brought together under the Anointed's royal rule. In Him we stand to inherit even more. As His heirs, we are predestined to play a key role in His unfolding purpose that is energizing everything to conform to His will. 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 1:3-14)
Response in Prayer

Almighty God, You are more glorious than my words can describe and more generous than my heart can conceive. So I ask that You accept my meager words and thoughts of thanks and praise. Please receive from my heart through the Holy Spirit the emotions my words cannot fully articulate. I love, appreciate, and adore You. May Your name and Your grace be praised with my thoughts, my words, and my actions, this day and every day to come! 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 01 May 2017, 10:12 pm

Children of God" — A Year with Jesus for 05/01/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Child of God,

The fifty days between My resurrection and Pentecost were important. I appeared to My closest disciples on several occasions, and I appeared to many others during the first forty days before My return to the Father's side (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). During the ten days after My ascension, My disciples prayed and waited in Jerusalem for the coming of power just as I had told them to do (Acts 1:4). Their growing realization of Who I AM and what this means for all people was preparing them for the coming of the Holy Spirit. This same Holy Spirit would empower them to be My witnesses to the ends of their world.

One of the most important realizations and revelations they experienced was what My death, burial, and resurrection actually meant. The implications of these great events were important for them and also for those who did not yet believe. I had opened a way for people — all people who came to true faith — to become children of God, born "not by human power or initiative but by God's will."

You are God's children and My brothers and sisters through faith. When you confessed Me before other people, were baptized calling on My name, and received Me into your life, you trusted in what I have done for you to save you. You were figuratively given a new set of holy garments — you "clothed yourselves with Christ." You were reborn by the will and the power of the Father. You were filled with the Holy Spirit, Who now lives in you. This promise is true for all peoples (Acts 2:36-42). It is not confined to one race, one gender, or one social class. If you belong to Me, then all of the Father's incredible promises to Abraham are yours as a spiritual child of Abraham and as a child of God through your faith (Galatians 3:26-29)!

Verses to Live

It would take a long time for My first followers to grasp the incredible power and the Father's great and marvelous promises available to all whose lives are joined with Mine through their conversion. These promises are still true for you. These promises are still true for all whom God will call. These promises are even true for those whom the Father uses — you, and others like you, to reach out with the good news of His grace given through Me. Being a child of the Father is not determined by race or gender or social class; it is determined by grace received through faith in My death and resurrection and experienced in immersion and through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, in Whom you were sealed for redemption (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:30).

The true Light [Jesus], Who shines upon the heart of everyone, was coming into the cosmos.

He entered our world, a world He made; yet the world did not recognize Him. Even though He came to His own people, they refused to listen and receive Him. But for all who did receive and trust in Him, He gave them the right to be reborn as children of God; He bestowed this birthright not by human power or initiative but by God's will.
(John 1:9-13)

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
(Galatians 3:26-29 NIV)
Response in Prayer

Father in heaven, hallowed be Your glorious and powerful Name. May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done on earth just as it is in heaven as I offer myself to live for Your kingdom. Please give us today the bread we need to sustain us. Please do not let us be taken captive by the powers of temptation, whether tempted from within by our own desires or from without through the scheming of the evil one. In fact, dear Father, I ask that You deliver us from the power of the evil one. As Your child, I pray this prayer for myself and all who are a part of Your family. In the name of Jesus, 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 30 Apr 2017, 11:40 am

Son of God with Power" — A Year with Jesus for 04/30/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Friend,

There are many voices that call out to you and seek to win your heart. There are many distractions in your busy and high-tech culture that can dilute your focus and make you forget your mission. So today, I want My message to you to be clear: My resurrection from the dead changed everything! You've heard Me say that to you in previous notes, but today I want to come back to this important theme.

I AM Who I AM for all eternity. I AM "the One Who is, the One Who was, and the One Who is coming" (Revelation 1:4-8; Revelation 22:13). As the great I AM, We — God as Father, Spirit, and Son — announced Our identity to Moses when We called him to lead Our people to freedom (Exodus 3:1-15).

I AM Who I AM for all eternity. I announced this to My people facing hardship, unfaithfulness, apostasy, and persecution around the end of the first century. I called them to holy living and to be My faithful witnesses even if it cost them their lives (Revelation 21:6-8).

I AM Who I AM for all eternity. I announced this to My disciples repeatedly. John records My "I AM" statements in his gospel:

I AM —
the bread that gives life (John 6:35),
the bread that came down from heaven (John 6:41),
the living bread (John 6:51),
the light that shines through the cosmos (John 8:12),
the gate of the sheep (John 10:7-9),
the good shepherd (John 10:11-14),
the resurrection and the source of all life (John 11:25),
the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6 NIV), and
the true vine (John 15:1-5).
I share these truths with you because there is nothing I needed to do to earn My position and place as Lord. I became human flesh to show Satan, the world of demons, and the power structures corrupted by humans that I AM Who I AM for all eternity. I suffered the gross indignities of an illegal trial, physical abuse, and death on a cross to triumph over death and Satan through My resurrection from the dead.

The apostle Paul recognized this sacrifice and triumph as validation of every holy and righteous claim made about Me. Paul had been an unbeliever — one who even considered Me to be a blasphemer. But his discovery of My resurrection convicted him of My true identity. He recognized Me as Jesus, the Anointed (the Christ and Messiah), and the one true Lord. He declared that I AM "ultimately designated to be the true Son of God with power upon His [My] resurrection from the dead by the Spirit of holiness."

Paul's life was changed by this astounding revelation of My identity. He spoke of it this way:
But God — Who set me apart even before birth and called me by His grace — chose, to His great delight, to reveal His Son in me so I could tell His story among the outsider nations.
(Galatians 1:15-16)
I want this realization of My identity, this revelation of Who I AM and what I was willing to do for you, to be the reason for your changed life as well!
Verses to Live

Paul's call to live for Me and find the mission of his life in sharing the message of My grace emanated from My being revealed to him — see his declaration of this in the verses below. And now, dear friend, remember that I call you

to recognize Me for Who I have always been and forever will be,
to respond with your commitment to be a living witness to My grace in your life, and
to share that grace with others who do not know Me.
Your call may not take you all over the world like Paul. However, it will most certainly shape the way you live and interact with those around you. Think about all of this as you read of Paul's testimony about his call, a call rooted in My resurrection from the dead.
Paul, a servant of Jesus the Anointed called by God to be His emissary and appointed to tell the good news of the things promised long ago by God, spoken by prophets, and recorded in the Holy Scriptures. All of this good news is about His Son: Who was (from a human perspective) born of David's royal line and ultimately designated to be the true Son of God with power upon His resurrection from the dead by the Spirit of holiness. I am speaking of Jesus, the Anointed One, our Lord.

And here's what He's done: He has graced us and sanctioned us as His emissaries whose mission is to spread the one true and obedient faith to all people in the name of Jesus. This includes you: you have been called by Jesus, God's Anointed.
(Romans 1:1-6)
Response in Prayer

Almighty God, the Eternal, the great I AM, please help me understand my call to testify to the grace of Jesus. Open my eyes to the ways I can lovingly and gently influence and lead others to know Jesus and His grace. I claim the promise of Jesus that the Holy Spirit will give me words to say and strength to say them in ways that are effective. I ask for this grace and for the ability to fully discern Your call in My life, 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 Sat 29 Apr 2017, 3:55 pm

"No Matter What!" — A Year with Jesus for 04/29/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

I do not promise you that following Me will be easy. Some of My greatest and most faithful servants faced severe testing, hardship, and even martyrdom. That is still true in your day. You are asked to live with the character and compassion of the Father in a world that doesn't appreciate those values. So when times of testing and hardship come, I want you to remember today's promises — they are highlighted in the verses below, but I want to emphasize them so you will remember them:

Nothing can separate you from My love for you — nothing, not even death!
I have destroyed the power of death. It cannot hold you.
I have brought you life and immortality through My resurrection from the dead and your faith in My resurrection!
As I told you yesterday, I endured all of the shame and pain of the cross so that you could know the Father's love and know I love you and will NEVER betray, deny, or abandon you. I AM alive forever... for you!
Verses to Live

Carefully read these words from Paul. He lived a life of absolute passion and courage because he believed the promises he shared. These promises are true and will always be true for you! As you read these words, remember that Paul lived through extreme trials and hardships (2 Corinthians 11:24-30) because he personally trusted in the words he shared. The second set of verses below comes from Paul as he was actually awaiting martyrdom (2 Timothy 4:6-8; Acts 20:22-24). His faith was undimmed. His heart was as passionate for Me and the gospel as when he began his ministry.

So who can separate us? What can come between us and the love of God's Anointed [Jesus]? Can troubles, hardships, persecution, hunger, poverty, danger, or even death? The answer is, absolutely nothing. As the psalm says,
On Your behalf, our lives are endangered constantly; we are like sheep awaiting slaughter.
But no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him Who loved us.
(Romans 8:35-37)

Don't be embarrassed to testify about our Lord or for me, His prisoner. Join us in suffering for the good news by the strength and power of God. God has already saved us and called us to this holy calling — not because of any good works we may have done, but because of His own intention and because eons and eons ago (before time itself existed), He gave us this grace in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King. And now, the time has come! That grace was revealed when our Savior, Jesus the Anointed, appeared; and through His resurrection He has wiped out death and brought to light life and immortality by way of this good news.
(2 Timothy 1:8-10)
Response in Prayer

Lord Jesus, today I not only thank the Father, I also thank You. I thank You for Your promised presence in my life. I thank you for being at the Father's side as my advocate to intercede for me. I thank You for the price You paid to experience my world in human flesh. I thank You, Lord Jesus, for all You have done and all you do for me and all who have an undying love for 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 Fri 28 Apr 2017, 10:17 pm

"Your Advocate Forever" — A Year with Jesus for 04/28/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved,

You saw My apostles fail Me during My arrest, trials, and crucifixion. One betrayed Me, another denied he knew Me, and the rest abandoned Me (Matthew 26:56). Only a handful of women were faithful to Me. Even with their presence, I felt so alone at times on the cross. One reason I endured all of the shame and pain was so that you could know that I will NEVER betray, deny, or abandon you. Since I faced all of those horrors and that rejection to redeem you, surely you know how much I long to bless you!

I want you to be sure of two things that My resurrection means for you:

You will always have someone on your side Who will never leave or abandon you. I am your eternal advocate and friend.
As your advocate, I sit at the Father's side to defend your cause and plead for you to be blessed.
No matter how others view you, accuse you, or reject you, please remember this: I AM forever at the Father's side for you. Even when you are down on yourself and cannot believe that I could still love, accept, or defend you, remember these words from My disciple John:
There is a sure way for us to know that we belong to the truth. Even though our inner thoughts may condemn us with storms of guilt and constant reminders of our failures, we can know in our hearts that in His presence God Himself is greater than any accusation. He knows all things.
(1 John 3:19-20)
Don't despair! I will always be there in the Father's presence to be your advocate and friend. I will be there to help you through every storm of life, the most horrifying fear, the greatest challenge, and the deepest doubt. I AM alive forevermore, and I live to make intercession for you (Hebrews 7:24-25).
Verses to Live

Because I was raised from the dead and I AM alive in the presence of the Father, My grace for you is multiplied. Notice especially the words in bold below. I don't just bless you with forgiveness and grace in the cross, but I continue to speak for you before the Father and ensure that this grace is your gift each and every day!

So what should we say about all of this? If God is on our side, then tell me: whom should we fear? If He did not spare His own Son, but handed Him over on our account, then don't you think that He will graciously give us all things with Him? Can anyone be so bold as to level a charge against God's chosen? Especially since God's "not guilty" verdict is already declared. Who has the authority to condemn? Jesus the Anointed Who died, but more importantly, conquered death when He was raised to sit at the right hand of God where He pleads on our behalf.
(Romans 8:31-34)

So we can see that Jesus has become the guarantee of a new and better covenant. Further, the prior priesthood of the sons of Levi has included many priests because death cut short their service, but Jesus holds His priesthood permanently because He lives His resurrected life forever. From such a vantage, He is able to save those who approach God through Him for all time because He will forever live to be their advocate in the presence of God.
(Hebrews 7:22-25)
Response in Prayer

Father in heaven, thank You for Jesus' resurrection. His resurrection ensures so many good and gracious things for me. I know that Jesus not only purchased my pardon with His sacrificial death but that He also lives as my advocate in your presence. Thank You for Your plan too marvelous for words. In a world of fickle friends and people who can let us down, I am so thankful to know that Jesus is always there for me because of Your great love for me. Thank You! In Jesus' name and because of Jesus' many gracious gifts, 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:
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 27 Apr 2017, 9:51 pm

Absolutely Nothing!" — A Year with Jesus for 04/27/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Faithful Follower,

One of David's most beautiful praise songs, (Psalm 139:1-24), speaks of the abiding presence of your Father in heaven with His children — with you. He knows you inside and out. He knows your thoughts from afar. He knew you when you were unseen and unfelt in your mother's womb. From your conception, He had a plan for your life and a purpose for your time on earth. There is no place that you can go that the presence of your loving Father will not be with you to sustain you as His beloved child. This great psalm has comforted believers for centuries. I hope you will read it several times today and be reminded of how much you are loved by Us — Father, Son, and Spirit.

The apostle Paul also has a chapter in his letter to My followers in Rome that speaks about Our presence in your life through the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1-39). The language that Paul uses is complementary to the language of David, and it is equally as beautiful and reassuring. Here are some of the statements of assurance that Paul gives you in the verses below. He writes these things to help you live as a true child of the Father while you live in a broken world longing for your ultimate redemption:

There is no need to fear because We — Father, Son, and Spirit — are on your side in all of your battles.
The Father longs to bless you with everything you need to be My disciple, to conform you to My example, and to bring you into My inheritance.
The Father has declared you "not guilty" so that no one can bring a meaningful charge against you.
No matter what happens, you will share in My victory.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, can come between you and the love that We have for you.
The Father has revealed this love to you and given you assurance of it through what I did to save you.
"But no matter what comes," Paul says in the conclusion to all these promises, you "will always taste victory through Him [the Father] Who! loved us. For I have every confidence that nothing... can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord."

How can you know this is true?

How can you trust in these great promises?

I provided the assurance you need to answer these questions by becoming flesh, facing temptation, dealing with the fickleness and unfaithfulness of friends, facing persecution and ridicule, dying as a criminal would die, and being raised victoriously from death. I came to your world and faced your life's struggles so that you could know I understand them. That understanding isn't just based on My being God. My understanding involves being mortal and vulnerable so that through death I could conquer the power of sin, death, and hell. I did all of this so you could know that there is not a place I will not go to redeem you, reclaim you, and restore you to My presence. And I sent you the Spirit as a guarantee of these promises to you (Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
Verses to Live

The message I want you to hear today is simple, yet profound. You are loved by Us — Father, Son, and Spirit. We will never abandon you. No one and nothing can separate you from Our love. So be confident in the Father's love, My commitment to helping you, and the Holy Spirit's presence within you. The apostle Paul spoke the same way about this to you. I want you to believe it! There is absolutely no one and absolutely nothing that can separate you from Our love for you!

So what should we say about all of this? If God is on our side, then tell me: whom should we fear? If He did not spare His own Son, but handed Him over on our account, then don't you think that He will graciously give us all things with Him? Can anyone be so bold as to level a charge against God's chosen? Especially since God's "not guilty" verdict is already declared. Who has the authority to condemn? Jesus the Anointed Who died, but more importantly, conquered death when He was raised to sit at the right hand of God where He pleads on our behalf. So who can separate us? What can come between us and the love of God's Anointed? Can troubles, hardships, persecution, hunger, poverty, danger, or even death? The answer is, absolutely nothing. As the psalm says,
On Your behalf, our lives are endangered constantly; we are like sheep awaiting slaughter.
But no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him Who loved us. For I have every confidence that nothing — not death, life, heavenly messengers, dark spirits, the present, the future, spiritual powers, height, depth, nor any created thing — can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:31-39)
Response in Prayer

O Father of grace, in Your mercy You have repeatedly demonstrated Your love for me. I trust that You are near me no matter what happens in my life or how I feel at the moment. I thank You for the empowering presence of Your Holy Spirit to heal, renew, and abide within me. I pray for strength to believe the truths I have heard from Your word — to believe not just in the good and easy times, but also in the hardest and most trying moments of my life. 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 26 Apr 2017, 10:28 pm

"Reason to Celebrate" — A Year with Jesus for 04/26/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious One,

In the face of life's irritations, what is your source of joy?

In the middle of life's biggest heartaches and wounds, what is your reason for hope?

In the moments of life's greatest blessings, what multiplies and deepens your joy in anticipation of a joy even greater than you can describe?

Peter reminds you in the verses below that your faith in My resurrection gives you

"a joy that is glorious and beyond words,"
a reason to "celebrate" and rejoice now as you anticipate a richer life, and
an even greater joy that I have waiting for you since "you are receiving the salvation" of your soul!
This salvation has begun, but even greater experiences and realities of this salvation lie on the horizon.

So in the most joyous moments of your life, remember that even greater joy is ahead. In your painful and most trying days, remember that a far better future lies ahead. In the everyday routine — no matter how filled with monotony or great blessings or deep sorrow — celebrate that you are caught up in the marvelous and astounding future promised in My resurrection from the dead. Life and joy are yours, both now and forevermore!
Verses to Live

As you read these verses one more time, focus on the future joy that is promised. Notice especially the words "celebrate," "glorious," "greatly rejoice," and "beyond words." These words are used to describe the "joy" that is yours because of your faith in My resurrection that assures your salvation both now and throughout eternity!

Blessed is God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! Because He has raised Jesus the Anointed from death, through His great mercy we have been reborn into a living hope — reborn for an eternal inheritance, held in reserve in heaven, that will never fade or fail. Through faith, God's power is standing watch, protecting you for a salvation that you will see completely at the end of things. You should greatly rejoice in what is waiting for you, even if now for a little while you have to suffer various trials. Suffering tests your faith which is more valuable than gold (remember that gold, although it is perishable, is tested by fire) so that if it is found genuine, you can receive praise, honor, and glory when Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, is revealed at last.

Although you haven't seen Jesus, you still love Him. Although you don't yet see Him, you do believe in Him and celebrate with a joy that is glorious and beyond words. You are receiving the salvation of your souls as the result of your faith.
(1 Peter 1:3-9)
Response in Prayer

Loving Father, open my eyes to the joy available to me because of the future ahead of me and the salvation You have given to me in Jesus, in Whose 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 Tue 25 Apr 2017, 10:09 pm

"Inheritance!" — A Year with Jesus for 04/25/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Child of the Father,

Yes, you are a child of God! Doesn't that sound incredible? The Father in heaven, the Eternal, the Almighty, the Creator is your Father. I AM your older Brother. I shared your world of flesh and blood, so I could intercede for you (Hebrews 2:14-18) and so I could share My inheritance with you (Romans 8:17)!

Read what Paul wrote to the Roman Christians:

If the Spirit of God is leading you, then take comfort in knowing you are His [God's] children. You see, you have not received a spirit that returns you to slavery, so you have nothing to fear. The Spirit you have received adopts you and welcomes you into God's own family. That's why we call out to Him, "Abba! Father!" as we would address a loving daddy. Through that prayer, God's Spirit confirms in our spirits that we are His children. If we are God's children, that means we are His heirs along with the Anointed, set to inherit everything that is His. If we share His sufferings, we know that we will ultimately share in His glory. Now I'm sure of this: the sufferings we endure now are not even worth comparing to the glory that is coming and will be revealed in us.
(Romans 8:14-18)
Similar things are said in other passages in your New Testament (Ephesians 1:13-14; Colossians 1:10-12; Colossians 3:24; Hebrews 9:15). Take the time to read these additional passages. These scriptures champion the authenticity of your inheritance. They remind you that you are a co-heir with Me of all the Father's blessings. Many people hope for a rich uncle or aunt or friend to leave them a lot of money when that loved one dies. Here's an incredible truth for you: your inheritance — riches that won't decay, can't be stolen, and will never be lost — will be yours when you die and you receive your eternal inheritance! Salvation is more than just being saved from hell and punishment. Salvation is being saved for a purposeful life now and an eternal glory that is waiting for you with the Father!

So rejoice and "celebrate with a joy that is glorious and beyond words"! Your inheritance, when you come to share glory with Me, will far exceed any earthly inheritance. Such is the nature of the salvation awaiting you that "you will see completely at the end of things"!
Verses to Live

While you have read the following words of celebration and praise the last several days, do so again. This time, however, focus your joy on being an heir of God's grace and glory. This eternal inheritance is yours, as the words in bold below announce. Salvation is so much richer and deeper than you can imagine. You are a child of the King of Glory!

Blessed is God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! Because He has raised Jesus the Anointed from death, through His great mercy we have been reborn into a living hope — reborn for an eternal inheritance, held in reserve in heaven, that will never fade or fail. Through faith, God's power is standing watch, protecting you for a salvation that you will see completely at the end of things. You should greatly rejoice in what is waiting for you, even if now for a little while you have to suffer various trials. Suffering tests your faith which is more valuable than gold (remember that gold, although it is perishable, is tested by fire) so that if it is found genuine, you can receive praise, honor, and glory when Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, is revealed at last.

Although you haven't seen Jesus, you still love Him. Although you don't yet see Him, you do believe in Him and celebrate with a joy that is glorious and beyond words. You are receiving the salvation of your souls as the result of your faith.
(1 Peter 1:3-9)
Response in Prayer

O Father, thank You for adopting me into Your family by grace. Thank You, Jesus, for paying the high price of that adoption. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for being the deposit that guarantees the inheritance that I will receive. Father, to know that I am Your child, a participant in Your grace, and an heir of the riches of Your mercy and grace is the reason for great joy. So forgive me for not always being thankful. Forgive me for wallowing in my problems and not looking through them to the glory that awaits. Thank You! In Jesus' name, I thank You with a joyful appreciation that is beyond words! 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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