Thursday, October 20, 2016


Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, often referred to as “the three Hebrew children,” refused to bow in worship before Nebuchadnezzar’s ninety-foot golden idol. They stood resolute even when condemned to die in a fiery furnace. As the wicked king taunted, “Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?” (Daniel 3:15), the young men committed the Lord to His promises.
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee [we don’t hesitate in our response] in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace. . . . But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up” (3:16–18).
These young men were so confident God would honor His name that they willingly faced certain death.
Prominent leaders from throughout the land gathered for the execution: princes, governors, judges, rulers from surrounding provinces. And Nebuchadnezzar ordered the fire stoked seven times hotter than usual, a heat so fierce it killed the servants tending the furnace.
The crowds were aghast, exclaiming, “These men can’t survive! They’ll drop dead before they get near that furnace. No God can deliver from this kind of fate.”
Again, the Lord’s name was on the line. If He didn’t intervene, His name would be defamed throughout the nations.
But the Lord never puts to shame those who fully trust Him! Scripture says Jesus Himself showed up in that furnace to protect and comfort His servants. And out of the fire walked the men, without even a whiff of smoke on them.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


 There are times when it looks as if God hasn’t shown up — when His people are left in shame and despair — but the full story hasn’t been told. (The cross was one of those times.) What we don’t realize in the midst of our crisis is that God’s own honor is at stake.
Throughout the Bible He had a people whose flint-like faith proved His faithfulness in the most difficult times. These servants unashamedly committed the Lord to act, putting His honor at stake while trusting Him to deliver.
Consider Moses’ example at the Red Sea, a humanly impossible situation. Israel was on the run from the Egyptian army, hemmed in on one side by the sea and on the other by mountains. Moses had already prophesied that God would lead Israel into the Promised Land and now the Lord’s reputation was at stake for all to see.
What was Moses’ reaction to this crisis? Facing the vast sea before him, he cried, “Move forward!” Moses so believed in God’s care, trusting His word to lead Israel into His promise, that he declared, “I know the Lord is faithful. And I’m going to act on His word.”
Think about the consequences of such faith. If the Red Sea didn’t open up miraculously, Moses would be thought a fool. The Israelites would go back into bondage, and God would never again be trusted. Yet we all know what happened: As Moses stretched out his hand, the waters divided, and the people walked across on dry ground. I tell you, no one who fully trusts in God will ever be put to shame. God will deliver on His promise for His own name’s sake.
“O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? Or to thy faithfulness round about thee?” (Psalm 89:8).

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


“The Lord upholdeth the righteous. . . . They shall not be ashamed in the evil time [the time of calamity]” (Psalm 37:17, 19, my italics).
You may ask, “What does this mean exactly?” It means simply this: God is faithful not just in His recompense of woes, but also in His promises. David is saying, in effect, “Look around you and see how God keeps His Word. His warnings are now being manifested in our headlines, His actions all over our media. Will not God also keep His Word to preserve His chosen ones?”
Think of it: No matter what happens in the world — no matter how fearful the news becomes; how severely the world shakes; how closely economies teeter toward collapse — God’s people will not be left ashamed. Indeed, the Lord will act on our faith to fulfill His Word to us. We may suffer, but He will come through for all who fully trust in Him. The world will never be able to say, “Your God didn’t keep His Word.”
Make no mistake, we are going to face impossibilities in the days ahead. But our Lord says He is God of the impossible, providing miracles when there is no human answer. In fact, He willingly puts His reputation in the hands of His people, calling us to commit Him to His Word. You may think, “But God can defend His own name. He doesn’t need me.” Not so! God has chosen His people to be His testimony to a numb, unmoved world. And He is calling us to openly commit Him to do what He promises.

Monday, October 17, 2016

ULTIMATE FAVOR by Gary Wilkerson

“If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here” (Exodus 33:15).
Moses knew something of God that exceeds His blessings, even His supernatural works. He knew that beyond God’s unlimited favor is His ultimate favor, favor that isn’t found in the things He does but only in Who He is.
A famous Christian writer posed this question, “What if heaven were a place where you could have everything you wanted — all your dreams come true and every desire is made a reality—but God isn’t there? Would you want to go?” It’s a legitimate question for any Christian. Do we desire God’s blessings apart from knowing Him, the Giver of all good things? Or, like Moses, would we prefer to have every blessing stripped away rather than lose God’s presence?
I don’t take God’s blessings lightly — and neither does His Word. There is hardly a book in the Bible that doesn’t mention God’s concern for the poor. Poverty affects every area of life, and we are to give food to the hungry, hope to the downcast, healing to the brokenhearted. But for those of us who know God’s abundant blessings, Moses conveys something important: Even daily bread pales in comparison to knowing God.
It’s not that Christians today aren’t grateful for God’s blessings. Our problem is that we stop there. We say, “Lord, Your unlimited favor is enough for me.” But it isn’t enough. We can have the most vibrant marriage, the most beautiful home, the most fulfilling job, and the greatest kids — but if Jesus isn’t in the midst of them, we have nothing.
Are we willing to declare with Moses, “Lord, if You’re not there, I won’t go”? If we are, God will answer us the way He did Moses: “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14).

Saturday, October 15, 2016


On the heels of his great sin, David prayed:
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. . . Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:1-3, 9-10).
David’s sin took him farther from God’s face than he ever imagined he could travel. The greatest pain of his life came during his time away from God’s hand of blessing and favor. He couldn’t bear the thought of losing his relationship with the One he loved the most.
“Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (verses 11-12).
David paid dearly for his sin, but he didn’t allow it to define him. When he came to his senses he cried out to God for forgiveness and God eagerly took him back; however, that didn’t erase the consequences his sin brought about.
If we knew the consequences of our sin before falling to temptation, how many of us would ever take that leap? If only we could see beforehand the harm that our sins eventually bring.
Living in the blessing of God demands that we seek the purpose He has set before us, looking to the future and calculating the cost of every decision. We must keep our eyes fixed firmly on His path and stay focused and true.

Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run

Friday, October 14, 2016


When David sought God’s guidance after the catastrophe at Ziklag (see 1 Samuel 30:1-6), I believe he heard a voice behind him whispering, “This is the way, walk in it.” And, beloved, the same is true for us today.
There is an old uplifting gospel song entitled, “He Will Make a Way,” and our Lord does just that. You see, He has always had a plan in place for us and that plan is still at work even now through whatever turmoil we face.
I’m convinced the word from God that David replayed over and over in his mind was, “You will recover all” (see 1 Samuel 30:8). David knew full well he wouldn’t recover his house in Ziklag nor would his soldiers recover their homes, their gardens, their possessions. Those material things were all gone, burned and destroyed. No, the all they were going to recover was the safety and security of their families.
All that David and his six hundred loyal men cared about was that their families — everything that truly mattered — were going to be safe. They may have had to live in tents with their wives and children after that. But God had assured them they were going to be secure.
Do you see the parallels to our own time? These men weren’t about to recover a past lifestyle. They weren’t about to return to the same quiet days that had been so peaceful before. Those “good old days” were now history — but they “recovered all” the important things.
 “And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away” (1 Samuel 30:18).

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Every believer is challenged to stay in the Scriptures until the Holy Spirit makes God’s promises seem to jump off the pages to him or her personally. We can know when that happens because we will hear the still, small voice of the Spirit whispering: “This promise is yours. It is God’s Word given just to you, to see you through hard times.” I am convinced you can’t fight the battle of faith without hearing the assuring voice of the Lord to you.
When David went down in defeat, he encouraged himself, got back his fight, and immediately acted in faith. When he got back his fighting spirit, he sent for something known as the ephod. This was a kind of garment that included two stones kept in the priest’s breastplate. On occasion God spoke through the ephod, and David was determined to get a word of direction from the Lord.
“David said to Abiathar the priest  . . . I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. And David inquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? Shall I overtake them?” (1 Samuel 30:7–8, my italics).
Consider what David did here. After he had wept, and after he had regained his fight, this man went directly to his knees. The Lord gave him the word of direction he needed:
“He answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all” (30:8, my italics).
God’s direction to David was, “Go forth. You will be victorious.” In other words: “Fight on!”