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HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

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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.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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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.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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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.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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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.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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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.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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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.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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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.
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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.
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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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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Mon 24 Apr 2017, 10:38 pm

Great Joy in Believing" — A Year with Jesus for 04/24/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious One,

I know faith is not easy, especially now living nearly two thousand years after My death, burial, and resurrection. So I want us to spend today and the next two days together delighting in your faith. Our tour guide is My impetuous and dramatic apostle, Peter. We will be reading from the opening words of his small letter (1 Peter) to believers in Asia Minor. Like you, those people had never seen Me. They had to take the testimony of others who had. They were facing imminent persecution like many of My followers face right now in a lot of places in the world. Peter wanted to affirm their faith and also to emphasize several great blessings that accompanied their faith. I want you to delight in these things that he said and be blessed. Each day, the special focus sections will be in bold so you won't miss them!

Before sharing the verses from 1 Peter, I want to remind you of the promise I made to Thomas — a promise I shared with you in yesterday's verses:

Eight days later, they [the disciples] gathered again behind locked doors; and Jesus reappeared. This time Thomas was with them.

Jesus:
May each one of you be at peace.
He drew close to Thomas.

Jesus:
Reach out and touch Me. See the punctures in My hands; reach out your hand, and put it to My side; leave behind your faithlessness, and believe.
Thomas (filled with emotion):
You are the one True God and Lord of my life.
Jesus:
Thomas, you have faith because you have seen Me. Blessed are all those who never see Me and yet they still believe.
(John 20:26-29)
Notice those words in bold! I have a special blessing for you — you who believe without having ever seen Me.

Your faith is precious! It stands guard over your heart and protects you to receive a salvation and share in a glory that you won't fully enjoy until you discover it "completely at the end of things." It is more valuable than gold. Your faith gives you something that can't be stolen. That faith has given you something that isn't perishable — it won't wear out or decay. That faith is connecting you to true and eternal salvation.

So today, I want you to take a moment and be thankful for the gift of your faith!

Your faith was planted in your heart and nurtured by someone for whom you should give thanks.

Your faith connects you to Me, and I am more powerful than death and all the forces of hell.

Your faith is protected by the power of God if you are willing to nurture it and rejoice in it.

Your faith is placed in Me and what We — Father, Son, and Spirit — have accomplished in My resurrection from the dead and in the power that is continuously being released into your life as you keep your faith focused on Me.

Your faith is the door of grace opening to you so that you can receive all that salvation is meant to offer you — now and forevermore.

Thank you for believing! I left heaven to win your heart, to give you a reason to believe, and to give you a hope that can endure until we see each other face-to-face and your faith becomes sight and we rejoice together... forever!
Verses to Live

Peter was present when I was talking with Thomas in the verses quoted above from John's gospel. The second paragraph below echoes the things that I said to Thomas about you and others who have faith without having seen Me. Notice the things that Peter associates with your faith: "a living hope," "eternal inheritance," "never fade or fail," "salvation," "praise, honor, and glory," and "joy that is glorious and beyond words."

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)
Please remember Peter's words. Especially remember them when you are facing difficulties because of your faith. Please remember Peter's words when you are wondering whether it is worthwhile to continue along the path of faith. Peter's words were spoken with the integrity of proven and challenged faith. Peter's words were tested by fire. He had endured hardship, ridicule, threat, and persecution and yet refused to renounce his faith in Me after My resurrection. When facing possible death if he and his fellow apostles continued to proclaim My resurrection, Peter and the apostles said:
If we have to choose between obedience to God and obedience to any human authority, then we must obey God. The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from death. You [the religious leaders] killed Jesus by hanging Him on a tree, but God has lifted Him high, to God's own right hand, as the Prince, as the Liberator. God intends to bring Israel to a radical rethinking of our lives and to a complete forgiveness of our sins. We are witnesses to these things. There is another witness, too — the Holy Spirit — Whom God has given to all who choose to obey Him.
(Acts 5:29-32)
Response in Prayer

O Father, thank You for those who first introduced Me to Jesus, for those who nurtured my freshly-born faith, for those who challenged my faith to grow, and thank You for the promised blessings for those of us who believe. I do believe, dear Father; I believe that Jesus is Your Son, the Messiah of Your people Israel and all who believe in Him, and Lord of all creation... as well as my Lord and Savior, 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.

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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Sun 23 Apr 2017, 10:37 pm

"The Blessing of Believing" — A Year with Jesus for 04/23/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Seeker of Truth,

Believing in My resurrection is a real challenge. That's understandable. Having a friend who dies and then suddenly appears, offers for you to touch him, shows you his scars, eats bread with you, drinks wine with you, has a bit of fish with you, and then shares your company doesn't happen in your experience. But the most important purpose and meaning for your life hinge on your faith in My resurrection. Paul makes this clear when he says:

Now if we have told you about the Anointed One [Me, Christ] (how He has risen from the dead and appeared to us fully alive), then how can you stand there and say there is no such thing as resurrection from death? Friends, if there is no resurrection of the dead, then even the Anointed hasn't been raised; if that is so, then all our preaching has been for nothing and your faith in the message is worthless. And what's worse, all of us who have been preaching the gospel are now guilty of misrepresenting God because we have been spreading the news that He raised the Anointed One from the dead (which must be a lie if what you are saying about the dead not being raised is the truth).
(1 Corinthians 15:12-15)
Being My disciple hinges on your faith in My resurrection! Sooner or later, if you haven't already done so, you must take the huge step of faith and entrust your future to this reality that is outside your experience.

Helping you to believe in My resurrection is the reason why My interaction with Thomas is so important a week after My resurrection. (See the verses below for this story.) Thomas was not a bad guy. He was not trying to be difficult or problematic. He just wanted to know for sure. He just wanted to know for himself. He would not believe until he saw Me face-to-face and touched my scars. The confession and commitment of Thomas after seeing Me and being able to touch Me, are powerful:
You are the one True God and Lord of my life.
Thomas' confession and commitment are what I want from you concerning Me. Your problem is that I am not there for you to physically touch. That's why I promised you the special blessing that I did:
Thomas, you have faith because you have seen Me. Blessed are all those who never see Me and yet they still believe.
The apostle Peter knew your challenge to believe since you haven't seen Me. He taught and wrote to people who had never seen Me yet believed. He wrote to these disciples about the blessing of believing and the joy such faith brings:
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 1:8-9).
I want you to remember these blessings. I want you to remember these blessings every time you struggle with doubt. I want you to remember these blessings every time someone ridicules you for believing in Me and My resurrection. These blessings are yours because you believe! The Holy Spirit will help you strengthen your faith and have confidence that you can receive these blessings.

Here are a few of the many reasons to believe in My resurrection:
The eyewitnesses who wrote in the New Testament about My resurrection.
People like My own family, and especially My brother James, who did not believe that I was the Messiah and Son of God until seeing Me alive after My resurrection from the dead.
The change in the apostles from men who were scared and hiding to world-changing men of courage, many of whom were martyred for their faith in Me.
The experiences you have had of My presence in your life as you have served Me:
- the times just the right word came from someone else,
- the empowerment I've given you when you were on mission,
- the rich sense of My presence when you've served the needy, and
- the palpable sense of My presence as you've worshiped.
The testimony and resilience of My people over the centuries through oppression, martyrdom, and ostracism.
These are but a few reasons.
Verses to Live

Don't get so hung up on the reasons to believe that you miss the two truths I want you to hear in the verses below:

I know it is hard for many of you to believe — you're like Thomas and many others like him. Keep seeking Me and you will find Me.
There is a great blessing for you who find your way through doubt and come to faith in Me — for you who have never physically seen Me and yet still believe.
Please receive that blessing now as you read about Thomas, his struggle for faith, his incredible confession and commitment, and My blessing for you who believe in Me, yet have never seen Me!
All of the eleven were present with the exception of Thomas [that first Sunday evening after Jesus was raised from the dead]. He heard the accounts of each brother's interaction with the Lord.

The Other Disciples:
We have seen the Lord!
Thomas:
Until I see His hands, feel the wounds of the nails, and put my hand to His side, I won't believe what you are saying.
Eight days later, they gathered again behind locked doors; and Jesus reappeared. This time Thomas was with them.

Jesus:
May each one of you be at peace.
He drew close to Thomas.

Jesus:
Reach out and touch Me. See the punctures in My hands; reach out your hand, and put it to My side; leave behind your faithlessness, and believe.
Thomas (filled with emotion):
You are the one True God and Lord of my life.
Jesus:
Thomas, you have faith because you have seen Me. Blessed are all those who never see Me and yet they still believe.
Jesus performed many other wondrous signs that are not written in this book. These accounts are recorded so that you, too, might believe that Jesus is the Anointed, the Liberating King, the Son of God, because believing grants you the life He came to share.
(John 20:24-31)
Response in Prayer

Father in heaven, for many reasons, some of which I don't fully understand, I do truly believe that Jesus was raised from the dead. I ask, dear Father, that the Holy Spirit strengthen that faith and that the Spirit help me to be aware that Jesus is there for me even when I do not perceive His presence. I believe, but I want to believe fully. I long for the day when my faith becomes sight, but I also rejoice that I know this faith inspires my hope and gives me longing for the day I see Jesus face-to-face. Thank You for this hope, dear Father. I thank 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 Sat 22 Apr 2017, 9:51 pm

Resurrection Power" — A Year with Jesus for 04/22/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

The apostle Paul prayed a meaningful and moving prayer for the Christians in Asia Minor. Here is part of his prayer:

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope He [Jesus] has given those He called — His holy people who are His rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms.
(Ephesians 1:18-20 NLT)
The power of My resurrection is also at work in you through the Holy Spirit Whom I "poured out" on you "in abundance" (Titus 3:3-7). While you still face the limits of your mortal physical body, you will one day have an immortal, indestructible body like the one I had after My resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:49-57; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2). This resurrection power is already at work in you in many ways. So over the next six weeks, I want to share with you some of the implications of the resurrection power that is at work in you through the Holy Spirit.
Verses to Live

Today, I want to share with you another passage that goes along with Paul's prayer from chapter 1 of Ephesians. Paul found himself in very difficult circumstances again and again. Once when he was in Asia Minor — the place the people lived for whom Paul prayed in the verses above, he faced a terrible, life-threatening situation that should have ended in his death. As he stated in the first part of today's Scripture, he recognized his dire situation. However, he experienced resurrection power first hand as We — Father, Son, and Spirit — miraculously delivered him from death. It wasn't the first time, and it wouldn't be the last time that We did this for Paul. However, the words he used to describe his deliverance are powerful, and I know that they can be a great encouragement to you if you let them. Notice particularly the part in bold below. It's worth memorizing, especially if you are facing a trying ordeal of your own.

My brothers and sisters, we have to tell you that when we were in Asia the troubles we faced were nearly more than we could handle. The burdens we bore nearly crushed us. Our strength dwindled to nothing. For a while, we weren't sure we would make it through the whole ordeal. We thought we would have to serve out our death sentences right then and there. As a result, we realized that we could no longer rely on ourselves and that we must trust solely in God, Who possesses the power to raise the dead. Miraculously God Himself delivered us from the cold hands of death. We again place our hope in Him alone, and we know He will deliver us.
(2 Corinthians 1:8-10)
Response in Prayer

Almighty God — my loving Father, Immanuel, and Comforter — thank You for bringing life to what was dead, hope to those who are hopeless, and help to all who need You. I thank You for the apostle Paul's experiences and his words that give me powerful ways to see the implications of Jesus' resurrection from the dead. Thank You for this grace. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

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

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

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

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

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

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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Fri 21 Apr 2017, 10:42 pm

"Something Good & Beautiful" — A Year with Jesus for 04/21/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved,

My resurrection from the dead changed everything! As awful as My crucifixion was for the Father and Me, the cost of that suffering doesn't compare to the victory it brought for you because of My resurrection (Hebrews 12:1-2; Romans 4:25; Romans 8:18). My resurrection is the reminder that We — Father, Son, and Spirit — can take the very worst of life and turn it around into something good.

However, the evil one doesn't feel very threatened when you tend to keep My resurrection confined to Easter. Satan is hardly bothered when you praise God for My resurrection just one day a year — especially a day where My resurrection can get lost in colored eggs, bunnies, and new clothes! The devil is little disturbed by your talk about My death and resurrection as long as you keep it locked away in church buildings and confined to Easter Sundays.

On the other hand, the devil is defeated when you let My resurrection from the dead change you. Faith in My resurrection can change your heart, your hope, your lifestyle, and your courage as you face life's worst struggles! When you truly believe that the Father brought life to My lifeless body, you have something powerful! Your own life, regardless of circumstances, can be full of fresh hope when you truly believe in My resurrection.

When you believe in My resurrection, you can have confidence that the Father will do great things to overcome the brokenness of your world. When you believe that the Holy Spirit brought life to My lifeless body, then you can have faith that the Father can transform the worst things in your life by His grace and power. The power of the resurrection means that you fully believe that the Father "is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful" for you no matter how awful things appear to be right now. The Father "did not spare His own Son [Me], but handed" Me over to be crucified for you. However, My resurrection after My horrendous suffering means that you can know with certainty that the Father will also share His power, grace, and blessings with you now that I AM alive and have defeated death, sin, and hell!

My resurrection is not a theory to be debated; it is the reality of grace that changes everything! My resurrection is your assurance that God will use His power and grace to bless you by taking what is horrific and bringing something "good and beautiful"!

Verses to Live

Paul's words below are some of the most quoted and favorite verses of the Bible. You can believe them because you believe in Me and My triumph over death. I long for you to believe these words and live based on the conviction that they are as true for you as they were for Paul when he wrote them!

We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. From the distant past, His eternal love reached into the future. You see, He knew those who would be His one day, and He chose them beforehand to be conformed to the image of His Son so that Jesus would be the firstborn of a new family of believers, all brothers and sisters. As for those He chose beforehand, He called them to a different destiny so that they would experience what it means to be made right with God and share in His glory.

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?
(Romans 8:28-32)
Response in Prayer

O Father, thank You for Your promise to bring something "good and beautiful" out of the messes and struggles that I so often let consume me. I believe what Paul says here, dear Father, but help me so that my unbelief is replaced with full and confident belief. 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 Thu 20 Apr 2017, 5:25 pm


"A Brief Look Back" — A Year with Jesus for 04/20/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Child of God,

What drew you to follow Me? What called your heart to open up to Me? What convinced you that We — Father, Son, and Spirit — deeply love you and want you as part of Our family?

During the last week before My crucifixion, Philip and Andrew brought some Greeks (non-Jews) to Me. They had come to worship at the Passover festival and wanted to see Me. The coming of non-Jews seeking to meet Me and learn about Me was a huge confirmation in My heart that the time had come for Me to go to the cross. You see, My death on the cross was for all people. It was one of the Father's ways of drawing the hearts of all people to Him so they could know His love for them (John 12:32-33).

For Me, going to the cross was the ultimate way to glorify the Father. In going to the cross, the Father exercised His power to reach out to Jews and non-Jews — including you today, whatever your racial identity. My cross called to the hearts of all those seeking for something more to life than what they had found — those seeking to know the one true God.

As an instrument of execution, the cross was brutal, gross, morbid, and ghastly. While crucifixion was an excruciating death, the primary intention was to execute a person in as humiliating a way as possible. Crucifixion was intended to be a deterrent aimed at all those aligned with or sympathetic to the person crucified.

For Me, as a Jew, crucifixion also carried another significant consequence: the person hung on a cross — sometimes called a pole or tree — was considered cursed by God (Deuteronomy 21:22-23). The apostle Paul would pick up on this theme and speak great truth about the cross when he said the following:

The Anointed One [Christ], the Liberating King, has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. It was stated in the Scriptures, "Everyone who hangs on a tree is cursed by God."
(Galatians 3:13)
My resurrection reversed the whole meaning of My execution on the cross. All of the shame, humiliation, pain, mockery, and rejection that I endured during My trial and crucifixion was turned into blessing — forgiveness, redemption, ransom, and salvation. I endured the worst aspects of humanity and hell to redeem you from them. And My salvation isn't just for any one race or nation or people, but for all who find themselves drawn to My sacrifice, My love, and My grace.

My body was planted like a seed in the ground. It lay there dead to life. Then the power of grace renewed My life, and I rose a victor over sin, death, and hell. Now, on your side of the resurrection, millions upon millions have accepted My offer of salvation, forgiveness, and grace. What I appeared to have lost in humiliation is now given back many times over. Such is the power of the resurrection and of My love, the love of your Savior. On top of all the blessings that stream from the mercy and grace of the cross and the empty tomb, remember this: this resurrection power is available to you to help you as you live for Me (Ephesians 1:17-20). My resurrection from death's hold changes everything for you... even in the middle of the week, on a normal Thursday, that seems so far away from resurrection Sunday.

I was lifted up from the earth so that you could be lifted up to share with Me in resurrected glory (Colossians 3:1-3). So blessings to you this Thursday as you live for Me by resurrection power from the Holy Spirit!
Verses to Live

So here is a brief look back as I was headed to the cross. After you read this, I hope you will remember the short little parable of the grain of wheat included in the following verses. Because of the resurrection power at work in you, when you offer yourself to Me and the work of the kingdom, your sacrifices and efforts are multiplied by grace to touch more hearts. That is the power of My cross and the empty tomb... even on a seemingly unimportant Thursday — a day to plant seeds and share in the future harvest of grace!

Pharisees (to one another):
Our efforts to squelch Him [Jesus] have not worked, but now is not the time for action. Look, the world is following after Him.
Among the crowds traveling to Jerusalem were Greeks seeking to follow God and worship at the great feast. Some of them came to Philip with an important request.

Greek Pilgrims (to Philip):
Sir, we are hoping to meet Jesus.
Philip, a disciple from the Galilean village of Bethsaida, told Andrew that these Greeks wanted to see Jesus. Together Andrew and Philip approached Jesus to inform Him about the request.

Jesus (to Philip and Andrew):
The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth: unless a grain of wheat is planted in the ground and dies, it remains a solitary seed. But when it is planted, it produces in death a great harvest. The one who loves this life will lose it, and the one who despises it in this world will have life forevermore. Anyone who serves Me must follow My path; anyone who serves Me will want to be where I am, and he will be honored by the Father. My spirit is low and unsettled. How can I ask the Father to save Me from this hour? This hour is the purpose for which I have come into the world. But what I can say is this: "Father, glorify Your name!"
Suddenly a voice echoed from the heavens.

The Father:
I have glorified My name. And again I will bring glory in this hour that will resound throughout time.
The crowd of people surrounding Jesus was confused.

Some in the Crowd:
It sounded like thunder.
Others:
A heavenly messenger spoke to Him.
Jesus:
The voice you hear has not spoken for My benefit, but for yours. Now judgment comes upon this world, and everything will change. The tyrant of this world, Satan, will be thrown out. When I am lifted up from the earth, then all of humanity will be drawn to Me.
(John 12:19-32)
Response in Prayer

O Father, yes, I do believe that Jesus' resurrection from the dead means that everything is different — better, hopeful, and full of power. I am one of those seeds that spring from the planting of Jesus' body in the grave and the resurrection power of that Sunday morning. Help me live by the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit no matter what day it is or wherever I find myself. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

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

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

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

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

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

Post  Admin on Wed 19 Apr 2017, 10:17 pm

The Crux of It All!" — A Year with Jesus for 04/19/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Child of God,

After the apostle Paul spent years opposing My followers and My message, I revealed Myself to him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19), and he was changed forever. He took the good news message of My death, burial, and resurrection all over the Roman empire. Thousands upon thousands of people were transformed as a result of Paul's conversion and influence, and his influence continues through his writings in the Bible.

Paul could plumb the depths of theology. He could connect My coming to the promises of God in the Old Testament. This great teacher could also make things very simple and clear. Paul summarized "what was most important" about the gospel into three clear truths (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NLT):

Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.
He was buried...
[H]e was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.
Paul also tied this saving faith to baptism, which he connected to these three truths (Romans 6:3-4 NLT):
[W]hen we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death.
[W]e died and were buried with Christ by baptism.
[J]ust as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
At the heart of your new life in Me is what I did on the cross, in the tomb, and in My resurrection from the dead. My victory opened the way for you to share in My saving grace and also eventually in My glory:
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. ..

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
(Colossians 2:12 NLT; Colossians 3:1-3 NLT)
What happened with My death, burial, and resurrection is the essential core of salvation.

Do you believe these truths?

Have you shared in these saving events with Me through your baptism?

I want your life to be fresh and new. I want your faith to be full of hope!
Therefore, if anyone is united with the Anointed One, that person is a new creation. The old life is gone — and see — a new life has begun.
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
Verses to Live

Notice all the ways Paul emphasizes that this saving faith is essential, what is most important, and what are the essential truths necessary for you to believe if you are going to be saved!

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...
(1 Corinthians 15:1-8)
Response in Prayer

Father, thank You for the future glory promised me as one who has trusted Jesus and shared with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection. 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 Tue 18 Apr 2017, 10:34 pm

"Receive the Breath of Heaven" — A Year with Jesus for 04/18/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

Mary Magdalene, Peter, John, and a couple of disciples on the road to Emmaus weren't the only ones to meet Me on that first day of My resurrection. Whether I met them at the tomb, along the road, or over a meal, they saw that the inexplicable and seemingly impossible was true. There were more surprises as I showed Myself alive to those closest to Me. Many were startled and even terrified when I showed up among them as they were locked inside the upper room.

My proof of life was very simple. I asked the people to look at My scars. I also asked them to give Me a bite of their broiled fish. Fear gradually gave way to joy. This joy was so rich and full that they could still scarcely believe. It was simply too good to be true. Except it was true!

My resurrection was incredible for them. I wanted them — and I want you — to know that this good news of My life, crucifixion, and resurrection is not news to hoard or hide. This news is not for a few faithful followers tucked away and withdrawn from the doubters. This joy was not to be fearfully locked up and hidden from the everyday world of real people. I want the good news of My life, death, and resurrection to be shared with everyone. So I drew My disciples close to Me and spoke words to them that I also want you to hear:

I give you the gift of peace. In the same way the Father sent Me, I am now sending you.
The mission of testifying to My resurrection wouldn't be easy — not for My first disciples and not for you. So I drew My disciples close to Me and let My "breath" fall on them. I told them, "Welcome the Holy Spirit of the living God." (The same word in the languages I spoke was used to mean both "breath" and "spirit.") I reminded them about the Spirit Whom I had promised to send to them when I returned to the Father. In this moment of tender and joyful closeness, I wanted My disciples to know that I would be present with them and within them through the Holy Spirit, the Breath of heaven. My presence in them through the Holy Spirit would empower them to fulfill their mission of testifying to My resurrection.

Over the next few weeks, I will share with you some of those things I had originally spoken to My disciples on the night I was betrayed. I talked to them about the coming of the Spirit, their great Helper that I would send to be with them and to live within in them. Today, I want to remind you of two truths about the Holy Spirit, the Breath of heaven.

First, the Holy Spirit is not just about power and presence; the Spirit is also the holy and cleansing fire of heaven that I send to cleanse you (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Titus 3:3-7) and to give you the power to forgive others.

Second, the Holy Spirit will be in you as an endless blessing of grace. You cannot exhaust the supply of My presence, grace, and power within you. Remember My earlier promise about the Holy Spirit:
On the last day, the biggest day of the festival, Jesus stood again and spoke aloud.

Jesus:
If any of you is thirsty, come to Me and drink. If you believe in Me, the Hebrew Scriptures say that rivers of living water will flow from within you.
Jesus was referring to the realities of life in the Spirit made available to everyone who believes in Him. But the Spirit had not yet arrived because Jesus had not been glorified.
(John 7:37-39)
Now that I had been glorified, they were about to experience the powerful work of the Spirit. As you read the verses below, please know that My presence and power are also available to you through the Holy Spirit today. So come close to Me. Lean in and let Me share the Breath of heaven with you so that you can answer My call:
In the same way the Father sent Me, I am now sending you.
Go and please share My grace by the power of the Spirit!
Verses to Live

Today we have sections of scripture from two of the Gospels. The first section, from Luke's Gospel, begins with the last few verses from yesterday. It continues to recount My joining the disciples in Jerusalem and interacting with them. The second section from John's Gospel also gives an account of My interaction with some disciples. Things are recorded in both sections to demonstrate that I was really alive, raised from the dead. I was really present with them in My resurrected body, interacting with them and telling them about the coming of the Holy Spirit to help them fulfill their mission to tell others about Me.

So they [the two disciples Jesus met on the road to Emmaus] get up immediately and rush back to Jerusalem — all seven miles — where they find the eleven gathered together — the eleven plus a number of others. [The followers had gathered together behind locked doors in fear that some of the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem were still searching for them.] Before Cleopas and his companion can tell their story, the others have their own story to tell.

Other Disciples:
The Lord has risen indeed! It's true! He appeared to Simon!
Then the two men report their own experience — their conversation along the road, their moment of realization and recognition as He broke the bread. At that very instant, as they're still telling the story, Jesus is there, standing among them!

Jesus:
May you have peace!
They're startled and terrified; they think they're seeing a ghost.

Jesus:
Why are you upset? Why are your hearts churning with questions? Look — look at My hands and My feet! See that it's Me! Come on; touch Me; see for yourselves. A ghost doesn't have flesh and bones, as you can see that I have!
Then He shows them His hands and His feet.

Now their fear gives way to joy; but it seems too good to be true, and they're still unsure.

Jesus:
Do you have anything here to eat?
They hand Him a piece of broiled fish, and He takes it and eats it in front of them.
(Luke 24:33-43)

Jesus:
I give you the gift of peace. In the same way the Father sent Me, I am now sending you.
Now He drew close enough to each of them that they could feel His breath. He breathed on them:

Jesus:
Welcome the Holy Spirit of the living God. You now have the mantle of God's forgiveness. As you go, you are able to share the life-giving power to forgive sins, or to withhold forgiveness.
All of the eleven were present with the exception of Thomas. He heard the accounts of each brother's interaction with the Lord.

The Other Disciples:
We have seen the Lord!
Thomas:
Until I see His hands, feel the wounds of the nails, and put my hand to His side, I won't believe what you are saying.
(John 20:21-25)
Response in Prayer

O Father in heaven, please fill me with Your Spirit. Yes, dear Father, I believe Your Spirit is present in me. Therefore, I yield my will and open my heart to be led and transformed by the Holy Spirit so that I can share the gracious compassion of Jesus and show His holy character in my life. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

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

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

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

Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International

HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.

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

© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
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Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Mon 17 Apr 2017, 4:06 pm

"Beyond Bread" — A Year with Jesus for 04/17/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious Disciple,

Today, I hope you realize that everything is different because of what we celebrated together yesterday. Resurrection Sunday changed everything for all of time! On Sunday afternoon after My resurrection, I caught up with a couple of disappointed and confused disciples walking back home to Emmaus. The disciples didn't recognize Me when they spoke these words that were poignant reminders of crushed hopes, yet they were still waiting to see what the rumors of My resurrection would actually mean:

We had been hoping that He [Jesus] was the One — you know, the One Who would liberate all Israel and bring God's promises. Anyway, on top of all this, just this morning — the third day after the execution — some women in our group really shocked us. They went to the tomb early this morning, but they didn't see His body anywhere. Then they came back and told us they did see something — a vision of heavenly messengers — and these messengers said that Jesus was alive. Some people in our group went to the tomb to check it out, and just as the women had said, it was empty. But they didn't see Jesus.
So I stepped into their disappointment, confusion, and weariness. I gave them the sacred blessing of My presence and My grace through the ordinariness of a simple meal, a prayer of blessing, and an explanation about My work on earth.

I broke bread with them — something that I had repeatedly done throughout My ministry. Luke was very good to show you how often I shared a meal with precious people. Some of these people were opposed to Me, some were seeking something more than they had found in their staid religious practices, some were passionate disciples who loved Me, and some were just hanging around with me. Regardless of the reason, each of them was precious to Me. For Me, beginning My passion with a meal and celebrating My resurrection with a meal were natural. My meal with two disappointed disciples was very simple and ordinary, except... they recognized Me in the breaking of the bread.

So as you continue this week, I want to remind you of one very simple, and I hope very exciting, promise that I made:
For when two or three gather together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.
(Matthew 18:20)
And this promise is fully true when you share a simple meal, call on My name, talk about Me, think about the Scriptures, and share in the love you have for each other.

In your busy and harried lives, you often try to segment life into sacred and secular, holy and ordinary. As your resurrected Lord, I hope you will receive My presence with you at meals as an incredible gift with the simple and gracious joy that I give to you. Anytime and anywhere that you gather with fellow believers and eat food, share in fellowship, and call on My name, you have carved out an especially sacred space in ordinary life. After all, isn't that part of what My life was about? Wasn't I the Holy One of heaven Who came to earth to be your human host Who makes all meals in My name into an especially sacred moment of shared grace!

So join Me on the road or at the family dinner table or the communion table. Each of these is an especially sacred place of grace when you gather in My name to remember, reflect, and renew our friendship. More than just giving thanks for your meals, invite Me into the moment and let's share together in an ordinary, yet especially sacred, space of grace!
Verses to Live

This story that Luke provides is very precious to Me. Enjoy your reading. Begin anticipating when we will sit at the table of grace together with your friends and family of faith. Blessings to you as you read!

Picture this:

That same day [resurrection Sunday], two other disciples (not of the eleven) are traveling the seven miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus. As they walk along, they talk back and forth about all that has transpired during recent days. While they're talking, discussing, and conversing, Jesus catches up to them and begins walking with them, but for some reason they don't recognize Him.

Jesus:
You two seem deeply engrossed in conversation. What are you talking about as you walk along this road?
They stop walking and just stand there, looking sad. One of them — Cleopas is his name — speaks up.

Cleopas:
You must be the only visitor in Jerusalem Who hasn't heard about what's been going on over the last few days.
Jesus:
What are you talking about?
Two Disciples:
It's all about the man named Jesus of Nazareth. He was a mighty prophet Who did amazing miracles and preached powerful messages in the sight of God and everyone around. Our chief priests and authorities handed Him over to be executed — crucified, in fact.

We had been hoping that He was the One — you know, the One Who would liberate all Israel and bring God's promises. Anyway, on top of all this, just this morning — the third day after the execution — some women in our group really shocked us. They went to the tomb early this morning, but they didn't see His body anywhere. Then they came back and told us they did see something — a vision of heavenly messengers — and these messengers said that Jesus was alive. Some people in our group went to the tomb to check it out, and just as the women had said, it was empty. But they didn't see Jesus.
Jesus:
Come on, men! Why are you being so foolish? Why are your hearts so sluggish when it comes to believing what the prophets have been saying all along? Didn't it have to be this way? Didn't the Anointed One have to experience these sufferings in order to come into His glory?
Then He begins with Moses and continues, prophet by prophet, explaining the meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures, showing how they were talking about the very things that had happened to Jesus.

About this time, they are nearing their destination. Jesus keeps walking ahead as if He has no plans to stop there, but they convince Him to join them.

Two Disciples:
Please, be our guest. It's getting late, and soon it will be too dark to walk.
So He accompanies them to their home. When they sit down at the table for dinner, He takes the bread in His hands, He gives thanks for it, and then He breaks it and hands it to them. At that instant, two things happen simultaneously: their eyes are suddenly opened so they recognize Him, and He instantly vanishes — just disappears before their eyes.

Two Disciples (to each other):
Amazing! Weren't our hearts on fire within us while He was talking to us on the road? Didn't you feel it all coming clear as He explained the meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures?
So they get up immediately and rush back to Jerusalem — all seven miles — where they find the eleven gathered together — the eleven plus a number of others. Before Cleopas and his companion can tell their story, the others have their own story to tell.

Other Disciples:
The Lord has risen indeed! It's true! He appeared to Simon!
Then the two men report their own experience — their conversation along the road, their moment of realization and recognition as He broke the bread.
(Luke 24:13-35)
Response in Prayer

O holy Father, what sweet grace that Jesus has given us the promise of His presence in the most ordinary places of our lives. We always welcome Him to our table and receive Your grace 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 Sun 16 Apr 2017, 11:10 pm

Welcome to Son Rise" — A Year with Jesus for 04/16/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Follower and Friend,

Let there be light. And light flashed into being.
(Genesis 1:3)
Yes, I was there the very first time light drove away the darkness at creation. In fact, I AM the living Word Who brought creation into existence (John 1:1-5; Colossians 1:16). You shouldn't be surprised that I was there for the great rising of the sun on that Sunday after my crucifixion. Just as I, Jesus the Christ and Son of God, was slain as the Passover Lamb for the sins of the world, I triumphed over the grave to end death's hold over you. I AM the Lord of creation and I am the Lord of Resurrection Sunday.

You may call it Easter, yet for heaven's angels, that resurrection morning was Son Rise. This event is the great day of victory for each of you who has placed your faith in Me. The power of sin and death was defeated. Broken hearts with shattered dreams were suddenly jubilant. With Son Rise, they were joyously stitched together with unconquerable hope realizing that I AM forever victorious over the power of sin, hell, and the grave.

I know you will have hard days, dark days, that are too long and feel hopeless. So as you read the verses below, I want you to notice that Mary Magdalene twice calls Me her Lord even though she thinks that death still holds Me. So, on your days that are too long and feel hopeless, I want you to hang onto faith like Mary did. Call out to Me as your Lord. Trust Me as your Lord. Hang on to Me as Lord even when there appears to be no reason to keep holding onto faith in Me. Sooner or later, like for Mary, there will be Son Rise! That is the promise of Resurrection Sunday. That is the assurance that Mary Magdalene's example of faith can give you.

Rejoice today, but not just today. Every sunrise is a reminder that death cannot hold you when you are in My life-giving grip. Every cemetery sorrow is but a temporary parting for those touched by My grace. Remember this: the grave cannot hold those who have put their faith in Me as Lord. With Me, there is always the promise of Son Rise!
Verses to Live

Death is the horror that hell has used to enslave humanity. When you see the broken heart of My mother, Mary, as she watches Me die, please know I came to bring hope to such pain. When you see Peter devastated by his betrayal as I faced death, please know I came to remove such shame. When you see Mary Magdalene touched first by My powerful grace when I cast out the demons oppressing her and then confused and broken by My death, please know that I am Lord of life and of the assurance that hope triumphs over death. When you see the sunrise, remember Me and remember Son Rise. I bring light to darkness, hope to despair, healing to brokenness, and, most of all, life to death. Hear these words and remember, Son Rise!

Near the place He [Jesus] was crucified, there was a garden with a newly prepared tomb. Because it was the day of preparation, they [Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus] arranged to lay Jesus in this tomb so they could rest on the Sabbath.

Before the sun had risen on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene made a trip to the tomb where His body was laid to rest. In the darkness, she discovered the covering had been rolled away. She darted out of the garden to find Simon Peter and the dearly loved disciple to deliver this startling news.

Mary Magdalene:
They have taken the body of our Lord, and we cannot find Him!
Together, they all departed for the tomb to see for themselves. They began to run, and Peter could not keep up. The beloved disciple arrived first but did not go in. There was no corpse in the tomb, only the linens and cloths He was wrapped in. When Simon Peter finally arrived, he went into the tomb and observed the same: the cloth that covered His face appeared to have been folded carefully and placed, not with the linen cloths, but to the side. After Peter pointed this out, the other disciple (who had arrived long before Peter) also entered the tomb; and based on what he saw, faith began to well up inside him! Before this moment, none of them understood the Scriptures and why He must be raised from the dead. Then they all went to their homes.

Mary, however, stood outside the tomb sobbing, crying, and kneeling at its entrance. As she cried, two heavenly messengers appeared before her sitting where Jesus' head and feet had been laid.

Heavenly Messengers:
Dear woman, why are you weeping?
Mary Magdalene:
They have taken away my Lord, and I cannot find Him.
After uttering these words, she turned around to see Jesus standing before her, but she did not recognize Him.

Jesus:
Dear woman, why are you sobbing? Who is it you are looking for?
She still had no idea Who it was before her. Thinking He was the gardener, she muttered:

Mary Magdalene:
Sir, if you are the one who carried Him away, then tell me where He is and I will retrieve Him.
Jesus:
Mary!
Mary Magdalene (turning to Jesus and speaking in Hebrew):
Rabboni, my Teacher!
Jesus:
Mary, you cannot hold Me. I must rise above this world to be with My Father, Who is also your Father; My God, Who is also your God. Go tell this to all My brothers.
Mary Magdalene obeyed and went directly to His disciples.

Mary Magdalene (announcing to the disciples):
I have seen the Lord...
(John 19:41-42; John 20:1-18)
Response in Prayer

Almighty God — so high and exalted, yet so near — I praise You and thank You for Your power, love, and grace. Thank You for Jesus, born of woman, clothed in mortality, moved by love to be crucified for my sins, entombed in death to share my mortality, and raised from death as my conquering Lord. I thank You that Jesus' future is now my future, His conquest over death is now my assured victory, and His glory is now my destination. Thank You for Son Rise! Thank You, in Jesus' name. Hallelujah! 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

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