Evening Devotional

Jehovah Shalom Is Your God

I’m sure you want the Lord to manifest Himself as the God of peace when you are fearful. So let’s go deeper into what the “God of peace” means. Don’t forget that Paul was Jewish, so when he said “the God of peace be with you,” he was saying “Jehovah Shalom be with you.” “Jehovah Shalom” is Hebrew for “the God of peace.” Now, the first appearance of the name Jehovah Shalom is in the Old Testament story of Gideon in Judges 6.

As we read Gideon’s story, we discover that the Midianites terrorized Israel day and night, descending upon them like a swarm of marauding locusts and destroying their crops and pillaging their livestock. Fearful of their cruel enemies, the Israelites hid in dens and caves in the mountains. It is no wonder Gideon was petrified and hid himself at the bottom of an abandoned winepress to thresh the measly stalks of dry grain he had somehow managed to scavenge. He was bound by fear and overcome by all the news of terror that surrounded him.

In the midst of Gideon’s fear, “the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!'” (Judg. 6:12).

When you find the expression “the Angel of the Lord” in the Old Testament, it usually refers to our Lord Jesus in His preincarnate state. Jesus Himself appeared to Gideon when he was in the pit of fear and called him a mighty man of valor. Isn’t that amazing?

Are there moments when you feel besieged by fear? When you hear reports of terror or exposure to some virus, do you feel fearful and anxious? Has fear driven you into hiding? The truth is, regardless of how you feel, when our Lord Jesus looks at you right now, He sees you as a mighty man or mighty woman of courage.

Isn’t it amazing how our Lord looks at us? It’s not how we see ourselves that defines us; it is how our Lord Jesus sees us that defines us. That’s why we read His Word. We read it to discover what His Word says about us. My friend, no matter what state you are in right now and how messed up your life might be, the Lord Jesus sees the best in you.

He sees your potential, your gifting, your call, and your destiny to do great things in this life! And as the ending of Gideon’s story shows, He will guide you and cause you to be a testimony of His protection as you trust in Him and see yourself and your situations through His eyes.

Devotional

The Power of Praying and Speaking Psalm 91

Let me now encourage you with a praise report on the power of praying and speaking Psalm 91 over our loved ones. This came from Brenda, who lives in Connecticut:

“My twenty-four-year-old son, Lee, was crossing the street on a crosswalk in New York City when he was struck by a cab on the leg and thrown onto the hood of the car before landing on the street. Miraculously, he was totally fine after the accident! He did not have a single broken bone, bruise, or even a scratch.”

“I recall that just a few days before the accident, we were having a wonderful time celebrating Thanksgiving. Suddenly, I saw in my mind an image of Lee on a slab and dead in a morgue. I immediately dismissed that image, proclaimed that my son would live and not die, and pleaded the blood of Jesus over him.”

“I didn’t tell anyone what I’d seen, but just thanked God for His protection for my son and all my family members in Jesus’ name. The morning of Lee’s accident, I also felt led to pray God’s protection over my children from car accidents—not something that I usually do.”

“Then, later that afternoon, I received a text from Lee telling me about the accident and that he was unharmed. After hearing my son was fine, I got on my knees and cried tears of joy, thanking my wonderful Father God! I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit warned me before the accident happened so I could pray for his protection.”

“My son had just been awarded an awesome position in his company and we were all celebrating his wonderful new title and how God had opened up doors of favor for him. The accident happened just one day before he started his new job.”

“At the time I learned about Lee’s accident, I was just listening to Joseph Prince’s message on Psalm 91. I used to pray it over my family all the time, but over the years, I had forgotten about this powerful psalm. I am thankful to Joseph Prince for reminding me of the power of Psalm 91. When we pray the Word of God over our children or any situation, we release His angels to work on our behalf.”

Our God is such a good God, isn’t He? I trust that you are beginning to see how important it is to invest your time in getting His living and powerful Word into your heart, praying it over yourself and your loved ones, and speaking it out loud.

Devotional

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

The Bible tells us that God breathed into man and he became a living being (see Genesis 2:7). It also tells us that all Scripture is God-breathed (see 2 Timothy 3:16, NIV). This means that when you read the Bible or listen to God’s Word preached, you are imbibing the very breath of God which gives you life.

That is why there may have been times you walked into church feeling tired at first, but left at the end of the service feeling refreshed and energized. God’s Word had breathed life into your body! I have also seen many of our church members becoming healthier, stronger and even younger-looking because they spend time in God’s Word.

It is no wonder that Proverbs 4:22 tells us that God’s words are “life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.” So if you are under the weather or if symptoms are attacking your body, double up on God’s medicine. Simply feed more on God’s Word, and you will find life and health flowing through your body again.

Jesus said that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. If it is important to eat our meals every day, how much more feeding on God’s Word? Jesus wants us to know that we need God’s Word even more than our daily meals. He made us, so He knows best what our bodies need daily.

So whatever you do, remember to get your daily feeding of God’s Word. Read your Bible in the comfort of your home or in the office during your lunch break. Play sermon CDs while driving to work or doing household chores. If you prefer something more visual, watch DVDs on the preaching of His Word. Choose whichever form you prefer and get His Word into you!

Beloved, you cannot live when you stop breathing. In the same way, you cannot live without the Word because it is the very breath of God which gives you life and health!

Devotional

If It Troubles You, God Wants to Take Care of It!

Many Christians make the mistake of thinking that God is too busy taking care of the “big things” to be interested in the little problems they are facing.

But God is not like that. He is not just God Almighty, He is also your heavenly Father who loves you! To God, whether it’s a new pimple on your face, a sore throat or an aching back, no matter how trivial or commonplace it sounds, if it troubles you, He wants to take care of it!

If, as the Bible says, God bothers to keep track of how many hairs you have on your head, then there is no symptom, no discomfort and no condition in your body that He doesn’t know of or care about. His love for you is all-encompassing, personal and in-depth. There is nothing in your body or life too small that you can’t bring to Him and watch Him take care of!

Devotional

There Is Only One Way

The apostle Paul tells believers who have been born again in Christ that God the Father “has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13–14). Notice that there has been a change of location. You used to be under the power of darkness. But the moment you believed in Jesus, you were moved and placed under the blood of Jesus, where there is perpetual forgiveness of sins.

To understand the total forgiveness of sins, we have to understand the value of the person Who sacrificed Himself on the cross for us. He alone, because He was sinless, could pay for all the sins of every man. When our Lord Jesus died at Calvary, He took all of humanity’s sins with one sacrifice of Himself at the cross. He took the judgment, punishment, and condemnation for all sins upon Himself. That’s the value of the one Man, Jesus. He is an overpayment for all our sins.

Now, does that mean that everyone is automatically forgiven? Of course not! Read today’s scripture carefully. While everyone’s sin is paid for, every individual needs to make a personal decision to receive the forgiveness of all their sins by receiving Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Jesus is the only way to salvation. There is no other way except through Jesus and His shed blood.

There is no ambivalence in scripture as to how a person becomes a born-again believer in Christ. To be saved, you have to confess with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. Therefore, anyone who tells you that everyone’s sin is automatically forgiven and that you don’t need to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior in order to be saved is scripturally inaccurate. Such teachings are heretical and are lies from the pit of hell. There is no salvation without Jesus. There is no forgiveness without the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. There is no assurance that all our sins have been forgiven without the resurrection of Jesus.

But today, as born-again believers in Christ, there is forgiveness and the amazing assurance that our salvation is secure and we will never be put to shame! This is our reality today—we can enjoy His presence, His righteousness, and His help every day and in every season.

Devotional

The Battle Is Real

Imagine you are in a battlefield and all around you soldiers are being slain. On one side, you see a thousand fall. On the other, ten thousand crumple one by one to the ground. You hear screams as bullets find their targets.

It is a disturbing picture and I thank God that the majority of us have not had to experience the horrors of being in a physical combat zone. But that does not mean that we are not under attack nor does it mean that we do not see death claiming its victims all around us.

We are assaulted daily from all directions by tragic newsflashes, by doctors’ reports, and by attacks of the devil launched at us. And every day, we see casualties around us as we read about people dying in accidents, in attacks, or of diseases. Please understand that I am not in any way suggesting that such occurrences are equivalent to the experiences of those who may have been in wars. What I do want to establish is that believers are in a spiritual war, and we should not be ignorant of the enemy’s tactics.

When the enemy attacks you, do you recognize his weapons? The projectiles he shoots may not come with arrowheads or be filled with gunpowder, but they are no less deadly. His weapons come in the form of crippling thoughts and crushing fears. When you hear about a plane crash and are paralyzed by the thought that your next plane ride might be your last, you have been shot. When you read about a shooting at a concert venue and fear going near one in case the same thing happens to you, a “bullet” has been lodged in your mind.

In this section, I want to teach and equip you to combat these oppressive thoughts. Unfortunately, many believers who may experience these dark thoughts allow them to take root and grow. They water them with worry, fertilize them with anxiety, and allow them to sun for hours in their mind. How? By replaying the bad thoughts over and over again and letting them go on and on like a broken record. As a result, these believers can’t sleep, they suffer from chronic panic attacks, and they might even develop autoimmune and psychosomatic conditions. What begins in the mind can take root in your heart, and can even lead to adverse effects on your physical body. When those negative thoughts come your way, you must not give them time to take root!

Devotional

Are You Mixed Up?

To understand the grace of God, it is essential you understand the differences between the old covenant of law and the new covenant of grace. To help you accelerate your understanding of law and grace, I want to share with you one of my favorite scriptures. I have preached this verse around the world, from Hillsong Conference in Sydney, Australia, to Lakewood Church, in Houston, Texas.

“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

[John 1:17]”

The law was given through a servant. Grace and truth came through the Son. The law talks about what man ought to be. Grace reveals Who God is. In the first miracle of Moses, he turned water into blood, resulting in death. In the first miracle of grace, Jesus turned water into wine, resulting in life and celebration. The letter (the law) kills, but the Spirit gives life (see 2 Cor. 3:6).

Under the law, God demands righteousness from sinfully bankrupt man. But under grace, God provides righteousness as a gift. Now, which covenant would you like to be under? The answer is obvious!

The truth is, through the cross at Calvary, all who believe in Jesus and acknowledge Him as their Lord and Savior are under the new covenant of grace. Yet today many believers are still living in confusion, and get law and grace all mixed up by holding on to some aspects of the law and some aspects of grace in their Christian beliefs and walk. Jesus said you cannot put new wine into old wineskins. The new wine will ferment and break the wineskins, and you will lose both (see Matt. 9:17). In the same way, you cannot put the new wine of grace into the old wineskin of the law. One will cancel out the other (see Rom. 11:6).

Under the law, God said, “I will by no means clear the guilty, but I will visit their sins to the third and fourth generations” (see Exod. 34:7). But under grace, God says, “I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more” (see Heb. 8:12).

There has been a change! Can you see with absolute high-definition clarity that there has been a radical change and it is all because of Jesus? Choose to live wholly under the new covenant of grace today, where through Christ’s perfect finished work at the cross, you have God’s righteousness as a gift, and God’s own Spirit of life leading you to victory over areas of defeat.