Devotional

Know Your Fathers Heart

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
~ 1 John 4:10

Today, I want you to read the parable of the father of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11–32). As you read, keep in mind that this son utterly rejected and completely humiliated and dishonored his father, then only returned home when he remembered that even his father’s hired servants had more food than he did! It was not the son’s love for his father that made him journey home; it was his stomach. In his own self-absorbed pride, he wanted to earn his own keep as a hired servant rather than to receive his father’s provision by grace or unmerited favor.

God wants us to know that even when our motivations are wrong, even when we have a hidden (usually self-centered) agenda and our intentions are not completely pure, He still runs to us in our time of need and showers His unmerited, undeserved, and unearned favor upon us. Oh, how unsearchable are the depths of His love and grace toward us! It will never be about our love for God. It will always be about His magnificent love for us. The Bible makes this clear: “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10 KJV).

Some people think that fellowship with God can only be restored when you are perfectly contrite and have perfectly confessed all your sins. Yet we see in this parable that it was the father who was the initiator, it was the father who had missed his son, who was already looking out for him, and who had already forgiven him. Before the son could utter a single word of his rehearsed apology, the father had already run to him, embraced him, and welcomed him home. Can you see how it’s all about our Father’s heart of grace, forgiveness, and love? Our Father God swallows up all our imperfections, and true repentance comes because of His goodness.

Do I say “sorry” to God and confess my sins when I have fallen short and failed? Of course I do. But I do it not to be forgiven because I know that I am already forgiven through Jesus’ finished work. The confession is out of the overflow of my heart because I have experienced His goodness and grace and because I know that as His son, I am forever righteous through Jesus’ blood. It springs from being righteousness-conscious, not sin-conscious; from being forgiveness-conscious, not judgment-conscious. There is a massive difference.

If you understand this and begin practicing this, you will begin experiencing new dimensions in your love walk with the Father. You will realize that your Daddy God is all about relationship and not religious protocol. He just loves being with you. Under grace, He doesn’t demand perfection from you; He supplies perfection to you through the finished work of His Son, Jesus Christ. So no matter how many mistakes you have made, don’t be afraid of Him. He loves you. Your Father is running toward you to embrace you!

Devotional

If You Only Knew

John 4 tells the story of a shunned Samaritan woman who encountered Jesus when she came to draw water at a well. When she asked Jesus why He (a Jew) would ask her (a despised Samaritan) for a drink of water, this was His amazing response: that she would ask Him for living water, the only thing that would satisfy her from within and slake her deep thirst for acceptance and love forever.

What an amazing Savior! Although this woman had a past of looking for love in all the wrong places that imprisoned her in shame and self-loathing, Jesus met her at her point of greatest need with the offer of Himself, the living water. He knew all that she had ever done and yet offered her the true intimacy that fully satisfies every aching need. He invited her to discover, taste, and experience His perfect and unconditional love.

Jesus is saying the same thing to you today: If you only knew who it is who comes to you in your darkest and weakest moments. If you only knew this gift of God who will never leave you nor forsake you, who has gone before you and who comes to you in the midst of your storms. If you only knew the One who reaches out to you even when you have failed and who doesn’t hold your past mistakes or present failures against you.

Beloved, if you only knew this gift of God who offers the living water of His unconditional, endless love to you and you drink of that love, you will never thirst again. You won’t need to look for love or acceptance in all the wrong places, have your heart broken and fearful about the future, and have your life derailed. You can wake up with a fresh expectation of good every day.

Jesus was essentially inviting the woman to ask Him for the living water of His love. Will you do that today? Your life will never be the same again when you personally experience His love!

Devotional

Be Forgiveness-Conscious

Not too long ago, I was driving out for lunch with my wife, Wendy, and for some reason, every time she made a passing comment, I found myself snapping irritably at her or making an unnecessarily provocative remark. Have you had one of those days?

When I reflected on why I was so irritable, I realized it was because I was actually feeling guilty about a couple of matters from earlier in the day. I hadn’t necessarily done anything wrong, but I’d just allowed a little bit of guilt to creep into my heart and unconsciously allowed condemnation to come in.

My friend, when you are walking under a cloud of judgment, you can become a really unpleasant person to be around. Trust me, I know what I am talking about. Even if you are an author of books about God’s grace and forgiveness, there can be moments where condemnation creeps into your heart and you are completely oblivious to it.

I thank God that when Wendy asked me if there was a reason for my irritability, He gave me that moment of clarity where I could see the condition of my heart. And praise Jesus for a discerning and perceptive wife who didn’t take my remarks personally and knew something was not right with me. I remember telling her to let me know the next time she noticed such behavior from me, because it’s so easy to slip into condemnation and guilt.

When you’re under guilt and condemnation, all day long you can feel lousy, and all your answers have a sting in them. That’s not the abundant life, and you know what it all comes back to? It comes back to having a constant sense of God’s forgiveness over your life. Instead of taking in and harboring all the guilt, condemnation, and judgment, we need to stand secure in our perfect forgiveness in Jesus.

There is a redeeming quality to being forgiveness-conscious, as opposed to being conscious of your failings, sins, and mistakes. When you are forgiveness-conscious and see your failings on the cross of Jesus, you receive power to break out of your irritability, impatience, and short-temperedness with others. You receive power to break out of your eating disorders, addictions, and anxieties! When you realize that we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness and grace yet He gives it to us anyway, this revelation of His unmerited favor changes us from within. It dissolves the knots of anger and impatience in us that have built up over the years and frees us to enjoy God’s love and to show it to others!

Devotional

Bold as a Lion

Today, we are beneficiaries of God’s favor, because His wrath against our sins has already been completely satisfied at Calvary. In Hebrew, the word used for “favor” is ratsown, which means His pleasure, delight, goodwill, and acceptance.

Our place of protection was purchased with the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Him, we have been made righteous, and all the blessings of the righteous, including protection, provision, and length of days, are our inheritance. That’s the place we are in today. Isn’t that beautiful? No wonder the Scriptures tell us, “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Prov. 28:1). It also tells us, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). A righteous man (or woman) is who you are in Christ, and when you pray the prayer of protection in Psalm 91, your prayers avail much, for God answers your prayers!

I received a testimony of God’s divine protection from Sally, who lives in South Africa. Be encouraged as you read how she prayed for protection knowing that she is righteous in Christ:

“I was driving a rented car when I heard a loud bang. With­in moments, the car was on fire. I immediately switched off the engine to get out. But to my horror, I could not remove the seat belt or open the door! I was stuck.”

“Finally, I managed to get the door opened. By then, the flames were threatening to come inside the car and I had to close the door again because I was trapped by the seat belt. I called out to Abba Father and just declared, “I am Your righteousness. You are the only One who can save me!” As those words were echoing in my ears and heart, I heard a click as the seat belt was released. I dashed out of the car.”

“When the fire department arrived, they were able to stop the blaze. I praise the Lord for delivering me safely out of this dangerous situation! I realized that the devil has long been defeated and we don’t have to fear anything anymore.”

Praise the Lord for His deliverance and protection. I rejoice that we are shielded from danger because of the righteousness we have in Christ!

Evening Devotional

Jesus—the One Who Always Believes

Mark 9:23 has been traditionally taught to mean that you can have your miracle if YOU can believe. If you can’t believe, then Jesus isn’t going to give you your miracle.

But if you study the Greek structure of the verse, it’s actually saying, “Can you believe that all things are possible to Him [Jesus] who is always believing?”

That makes a world of difference! It’s not about how well or how much you can believe, but WHO you believe. Jesus is the only one whose faith is always constant and never wavers. His faith never fails! And if you can believe that all things are possible for Jesus who never doubts, never wavers, then you are on your way to receiving your miracle!

Beloved, have faith not in your faith, but in Him who always believes and always wants to do good to you!

Devotional

Today, because of the cross, you are under the new covenant of grace. Now, what does the new covenant hinge on? Beloved, God is so good. The new covenant that God has made is not dependent on anything that you and I must do because He knows that we will always fail. Listen carefully. The new covenant works because of one thing only, and it is the last clause of the new covenant—”For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” To the measure that you have a revelation of this clause and all its blessings, to that measure you will walk in it.

Note the word “For.” It means “because.” The new covenant works because God says that He will be merciful to our unrighteousness, and our sins and lawless deeds He will remember no more! “No more” means that there was a time God remembered our sins, even to punish them to the third and fourth generations (Exodus 20:5). This is found in the Ten Commandments. However, today, God says emphatically, “No more!” (It is the double negative that is used in the Greek.) “No more” means that God will never again remember our sins against us because He remembered (to punish) all our sins in the body of His Son. Jesus bore God’s punishment of our sins on the cross. Now, we can walk in the new covenant and hear God say, “Your sins and lawless deeds I remember no more.”

My friend, the new covenant works because of the last clause. In other words, because of Hebrews 8:12, God can put His laws in our minds and write them on our hearts, and all of us can know Him and be led by Him. It is His mercy toward us that enables us to hear Him and be led by Him to victory in every situation!

Devotional

Release God’s Power into Your Situation

Let me share with you how Megan, a precious lady from Minnesota, confronted her fears by speaking the Word of God for the area of her need and saw the power of God released in her situation. I’ll let her tell you her story:

“I was diagnosed with throat and neck cancer. After a series of treatments, I recovered and tests showed that there was no more cancer. However, two years later, the doctors found a mass in my throat again.”

“At that time, I’d begun watching Joseph Prince on television. He shared a testimony of a woman who had taken hold of 1 John 4:17—”as He is, so are we in this world”—for herself and ended up not needing to have any surgery.”

“So I took hold of this Scripture for myself as well. My first thought after hearing the doctor’s diagnosis was, “As Jesus is, so am I in this world. Since He does not have cancer, then neither do I.””

“Fear tried to enter my thoughts over the next several days, but I believed and kept declaring 1 John 4:17 as I was being told that I might have cancer again. I was advised to have a biopsy done and was also told that a bilateral tonsillectomy, a procedure to remove the tonsils, would be needed.”

“As I was being prepped for surgery, I was asked if there was anything I wanted to say. I said, “Yes. When the doctor comes in to do the surgery, she will say that the surgery is not needed and there is no cancer.””

“And that was exactly what happened! The tonsillectomy was canceled because the biopsy showed that I did not have cancer! When told the good news, I smiled and said, “Thank You, Jesus!””

“I have your book, 100 Days of Favor, which has a page that teaches on 1 John 4:17. I keep a bookmark on that page and read it often.”

“I am continually being set free by the gospel of grace. Thank you, Pastor Prince!”

Praise the Lord—what an awesome testimony of the power of the written Word released through our mouths! Beloved, what the Lord did for Megan, He can and will do for you too!