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Daily Devotionals

May 31, 2017: The Darkness Spreads

May 31, 2017: The Darkness Spreads

Isaiah 59:16

16  He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him.

All across the city those in their prayer closets or gathered in small prayer groups were caught unaware.  Without their knowledge, each prayer group experienced a confusion and despair at the same time.

As each group brought their prayer times to an end they each began to experience suggestions of insignificance, of looking foolish to others.  Some even began to accuse others in the prayer group of not being spiritual enough to pray longer.

All across the town voices were being heard that had not been heard in a very, very long time.

“Why are we concerned about the Williams?  They have their nice little home and their nice little ministry.  They don’t have any children to worry about and they have a nice income.  They probably don’t even have any bills they have to worry about.  Why invest so much time to pray for them.  They’re not even part of any church that has over 60 members in it.”

“Sir, we have located the student group and we have now found the location of Chancellor Wilson,” the Young Wicked One said with much pride.

“Good, I knew my strategy would work.  I have used it well for thousands of years.  It is my best weapon against these sniveling little dirt bags.”  The Prince was ecstatic.  His plan was doing better than he anticipated.

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Daily Devotionals

May 30, 2017: The Battle Gets Bloody

May 30, 2017: The Battle Gets Bloody

Daniel 10:12-14 (NIV)

12  Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.

13  But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.

14  Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”

The intercession activity was extremely high in the homes of many of those who belonged to the Scarred One.  The Persian Prince had arrived and none too soon.  He was now about to undertake his strategy that had worked well for thousands of years.

As the small storefront church was praying the Persian found a way into their prayer session.

“Father, we ask that you restrain the power of the enemy.  We pray for an awareness of sin to be strong among those you are calling to yourself.” Pastor Henry offered his request.

“Who do you think you are to ask such things of a God you have never seen?” came the voice of suggestion to Pastor Henry. “Look at all the things you have thought lately. Do you think this God of yours even cares about what happens here in this little insignificant town?  If he really cared about you why did he let what happen to you so many years ago.  Why has he kept you working as a janitor at the Library with all the degrees you have?  How can you even trust this God who lets such things happen?”

Henry was caught unaware of what just took place. “Yes, I guess that is true. Perhaps I have just convinced myself this Christian faith is true because I so wanted to believe it.  I see so many of my colleagues getting promoted in their field of study and here I am stuck here as a janitor pastoring this small weak church.  I am not even thought much of on campus.  All that work in physics years ago and all those academic achievements have served only to lead me to more and more depression.”

“Well, Church let us stop for the night.  We have spent enough time in intercession for one night. After all, we know of many churches that hardly have more than five minutes of intercession and we are at least giving ourselves to an hour or more each week.”

It is time to go home and get some sleep because many of us have to work tomorrow.”  With that, Pastor Henry brought the prayer meeting to an end and the church quietly exited to their own homes.

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Daily Devotionals

May 29, 2017:   The Enemy Invades

May 29, 2017:   The Enemy Invades

Ephesians 6:10-12 (NIV)

10  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

11  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

“Sir, I believe we need to call in our best warrior for this situation,” A very wise young warrior suggested.

“Do you think it is that serious Young Wicked One?” one of Old Slew Foot’s associates asked.

“I do sir and we must do it now if we are to stand any chance of victory in this battle,” stated Young Wicked One.

“I will let you make the call,” Slew Foot’s Associate was looked worried.

Young Wicked One placed the call. “Sir I believe we are in need of your services here at the University.”

“What seems to be the problem?” the Prince of Persia inquired.

“Well, sir it seems like we have far too many of our enemy’s sniveling creation engaged in this activity that leaves us powerless against them.”

“Have you let them gather together for intercession again?” demanded the Prince.

“Sir, we have done our best but they refuse to be sidetracked. Apparently, we grew lazy in our deceptive tactics.  It seems we have led them to believe that they have no other hope but this.”

“How could you be so stupid? Have you not been taught better than that? I will be there immediately!” The Persian Prince was in route and things were looking up for the Fallen One’s strategy.

Somewhere on campus, another loud explosion was heard in the realms of darkness but there was no light associated with it.  Immediately after the explosion, a deep and foreboding darkness settled over the University and the town.  No one saw it coming except the Fallen One’s emissaries.

A cheer was heard in the halls of the Fallen One.

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Daily Devotionals

May 28, 2017: The Story Continues

May 28, 2017: The Story Continues

2 Kings 6:15-17 (NIV)

15  When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked.

16  “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

17  And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

“Where is Chancellor Wilson?” Confusion was now growing in the place far below the Chancellor’s Office.

“Where is that Sally woman who works with the Williams?” The disorder was everywhere and the lead demons were barking orders, but no one seemed to know what to do.

“Sir, we have not only lost contact with Chancellor Williams but his daughter seems to have disappeared as well,” replied one very sheepish demon.

Alarms were heard going off everywhere deep underneath the basement of the office of the Chancellor.

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Daily Devotionals

May 27, 2017: the Beautiful Power of Intercession

May 27, 2017: the Beautiful Power of Intercession

1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV)

1  I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– 2  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

“O God I pray for Chancellor Wilson at the University where my grandson goes.  I hear of reports of trouble on campus for many of your children there.  Would you please work in Chancellor Wilson’s heart and mind and help him to see his need of you.  Cause him to repent and trust you.  Send someone to share your message of redemption so he can find his way to you soon.”

John’s grandfather had been experiencing a growing sense of urgency as he entered his prayer room each morning to intercede for those he would never see in this life.  He could not see how his prayers were being used by God to accomplish things in the real world.  For now, he was content to just obey the word of God and pray for all those in authority.  This had been his practice for years.  Ever since he attended a World Literature Crusade Prayer conference in St. Louis back in the late 1970’s he had been faithful to pray for many he would never see in this life.

He had no idea what he would get to see in just a few short years.

Chancellor Wilson was just leaving his office walking toward his car when he saw a woman who was having car trouble.

“Can I be of some assistance ma’am,” he asked.

“Yes, I have had a very bad day.  First, my alarm went off an hour after it was supposed to and I was late to work at the Health Center on campus. Then we were swamped with all these students getting sick all of a sudden.  I have never seen it like this before in all of my fifteen years working here.”

“So you work here on campus at the health center?” Chancellor Wilson asked.

“Yes.  I really love my work here, but these past few weeks have been very strange.  It all started a few weeks ago when this small group of students from a philosophy class came in to see about having one of their friends treated for a hard fall he had on campus on his way home after their study group.”

“That sounds quite intriguing.  I guess I best help you with your car. Here let me see if I can jump your car and get it started.”

That would be great,” Sally replied.

After several attempts, the car was not going to start. “Looks like I need to call you a tow truck to finish off your very fine day,” Chancellor Wilson said, attempting to lighten the mood of this woman alone on campus.

“Thank you very much for the encouragement sir,” Sally replied with a slight sense of humor.

“Can I at least offer you a lift home?  Don’t worry about not being safe with me.  I am the Chancellor of the University and I assure you, you are quite safe with me.”

‘Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?  You are not really the chancellor of this university?”

“Guilty as charged!”

“Listen I have a bone to pick with you about what is happening on this campus these past few days,” Sally offered, sounding quite perturbed.

“Well, perhaps our meeting was meant to be.  It is not too late.  Can I treat you to a cup of coffee or some dessert at one of our late night cafes on campus?  I figure that would be a safe place for us to carry on this conversation.”

“Perhaps God has allowed my car to have trouble tonight for a greater purpose than I could see at first,” offered Sally, thinking of what she had heard Pastor Henry teach about God’s sovereignty.

“Listen, to make sure you are ok with this arrangement, let me call campus security and have them bring a golf cart over and we can ride with one of our campus security team to the café.  Would that be ok with you Ms.?” Hesitating because he did not yet know this woman’s name.

“You can call me Sally, I work with Dr. Williams in the Health Center and have been for over fifteen years now.”

In just a couple of minutes the golf cart arrived.

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Daily Devotionals

May 26, 2017: A Brilliant Flash of Light and an Explosion

May 26, 2017: A Brilliant Flash of Light and an Explosion

Luke 10:17-20 (NIV)

17 the seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

20 however, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

“Where are those students in Becki Wilson’s study group?  We seem to have lost contact with them and their whereabouts?” demanded Old Slew Foot.

“Sir, we have been looking for them for the past two hours and we cannot seem to locate them.  The last we had contact with them was in Becki Wilson’s dormitory.”

“Do you not see what is happening here you fools.  Our enemy is up to his old tricks.  He has blinded our eyes to their whereabouts so he can do his best work with our sniveling little cowards he calls his creation.”

Get over to that dormitory and stop whatever is going on in the dorm.”  Old Slew Foot demanded with rage rising in his voice with every word.

The demons scurried up and out onto the campus fleeing toward the dormitory.  As they drew near the dormitory, there was a brilliant flash of light and a loud explosion.

The war was now all out on the campus of this University.

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Daily Devotionals

May 25, 2017: A Testimony of a Life that was Changed

May 25, 2017: A Testimony of a Life that was Changed

Mark 5:18-20 (NIV)

18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him.

19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him.  And all the people were amazed.

When I was just fifteen, my mother was diagnosed with a disease that took her from me in less than two months.  My mother was my best friend.  I could not imagine living life without her.  In less than two months, I had lost my mother and I had no one to help me through my teenage years.

My mom and dad had a great marriage and they always encouraged me to live for Christ no matter what.  When my mother died, I blamed God for taking my mom and jettisoned the whole idea of God.  My dad spent a lot of his time working trying to pay the bills and he did not have the time he needed with me.  He gave me what he could but it would not fill the vacuum that my mom left.

I began to fill that vacuum with other things.  I began to hang around a group of students in high school that were popular and looked like they had everything going for them.  That was the beginning of several years of making one bad decision after another.

When I was nineteen, I was a sophomore at another university in this state and I found myself at a party.  I knew I should not be there, I had been warned that nothing good happens there but I really needed to find something that would numb the pain I was feeling.

It all happened so fast that night.  I was offered a drink and the next thing I know I found myself several hours later curled up in a corner of the party house.  I had no idea what had happened to me.  It was not until a few weeks later I learned what had happened.  I discovered I was pregnant.  Talk about confusing and emotional.  I was a real basket case.

I remember screaming at God, “If this is the way you are going to treat me when all I am looking for is something to numb my pain then I don’t want anything to do with you.”

I could not see how God was going to use my pain to help me see my need for him.

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Daily Devotionals

May 24, 2017: Jesus Meets a Woman in her Dorm Room

May 24, 2017: Jesus Meets a Woman in her Dorm Room

John 4:9-14 (NIV)

9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman.  How can you ask me for a drink?”  (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep.  Where can you get this living water?

12  Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”

13  Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,

14  but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Before her, there was Mark, Nathan, Peter, Julie, Susan, Barry, and John.  Suddenly fear hit her and she wanted to run, but she was frozen.  “Wow, we certainly did not expect to see you here tonight.”  The others all chimed in, Mark offered.

Ruth entered the room, found a chair, and sat down.

“I think I know why you are here Mrs. Wilson.  Could I take a guess and see if I am right?”  Peter asked with a quiet confidence.

“I too am interested to see if you know my reason for being here, Peter.  Go ahead and tell me why you think I am here.”

“We have been here with Becki for the past two hours.  She has been mortified by what she has done.  It all came to a head when that random student interrupted your visit at the coffee shop this morning.” Peter began.

Ruth looked at Becki and she could see she was visibly trembling.  Becki caught Ruth’s glance but instantly looked away.

“Becki has been here for the past two hours asking us how you could ever forgive her for what she did to you and your husbands’ reputation.  I told her that you would find a way to forgive her.  I have been explaining to all of us how the forgiveness that Christ offered each of us allows us to forgive others who have hurt us.  We have all sinned in many ways, and some sin we do not even know of.  Our sin has separated us from God.  Far too many people who have sinned against God reach the wrong conclusion about Him.  They think he is coming to condemn them and send them off to prison or hell, so they try their best to hide from God and from others.  Then one day comes and they can no longer keep up the façade and everything falls down and they are left completely open to God with all their sin and yes sometimes even to others.

“God knew that we needed forgiveness and grace in order to start over and rebuild our relationship with him that was lost at the fall.  Mrs. Wilson, I am guessing the reason you are here is to let Becki know that she is forgiven.  Is that the reason you have made your way here tonight?”

“Yes, Peter it is.  That is not the only reason I am here.  I wanted to meet with you this morning to share my story with you so you could see what God has done with my life.  You see only what Christ has done with me since I trusted him; you did not see me before I knew Christ.”

“Before I begin my story let me say to you in front of these here in this room.  Becky, I forgive you.  I forgave you the minute I knew you were the one who was spreading all those rumors.  I know the pain and the heartache you have felt over these past four years since your mother and brother were killed.”

“I want so share with you how I found Christ in the midst of my despair when I was just a little younger than you are today.”

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Daily Devotionals

May 23, 2017: A difficult assignment

May 23, 2017: A difficult assignment

Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?  Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Ruth Wilson drew a deep breath as she opened the door to the dormitory where Becki Wilson was residing.  She went up to the residence hall advisor and asked if Becki Wilson could be paged.

The residence advisor knew Ruth Wilson, and had heard of the rumors that had been flying all over the campus.  “Just what is it you would like to see her about?” the advisor asked looking rather suspicious.

“Just tell her that a good friend has stopped by and wants to share something with her that should help her in the next few days.”

“Yes, Becki, the person said she had some information that would help you a lot in the next few days.  She would like to come up to your room to talk what you for a few moments.”

“No, I do not know who it is.  I think I have seen her on campus the past several weeks but I think you really need to talk with this person.”  The RA looked at Ruth and Ruth mouthed, “Thank you so much.”

The R.A. buzzed Ruth in past the entranceway, and Ruth began her long climb up to the third floor.  “God, I really am going to need all the wisdom you can give me on this one.  Becki has to be hurting terribly.  Help me show her your love however I can.’

Ruth arrived at Becki’s door and knocked.  Becki Wilson opened the door and what Ruth saw in her room was something she would never have believed.

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Daily Devotionals

May 22, 2017: A Clear Word from God

May 22, 2017: A Clear Word from God

2 Chronicles 20:12 (NIV)

12 O our God, will you not judge them?  For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

The Williams had retreated to their prayer room on the second floor of their home.  Meanwhile, many other believers had done the same thing at the same time, unaware of the chorus of intercession that was being sent up in this University town.

“I just cannot believe she could treat us so poorly, Honey.  I really thought we were becoming friends and then she is the one who started these rumors that may get you and I fired from this University.

How are we going to ever recover from this?  I just do not see any way this can have something good come out of it.”  The words just tumbled out of Ruth when she met her husband in their prayer room.  For the next several minutes, she just poured out her heart to her husband, and to God.

Dr. Williams gently put his arm around his wife and drew her close.  “Father, we do not know what to do at this moment but our eyes are upon you.  Please show us in your word how we should obey you so that others may see how great your son is.

Ruth and her husband spent the next hour or so waiting before the Lord.  Sometimes they would open to a passage of Scripture and pray according to what that passage revealed.  Other times they would sit quietly, or sing some hymn they both knew and just enjoy being before the Lord together.

Ruth was led to a certain passage and when her eyes fell on the passage, she knew what she had to do.  She looked at her husband and said, “Honey, I know now what I need to do.  I just need you to stay here and pray for me as I obey what God showed me in his word just now.”

Dr. Williams offered up a brief prayer for his wife to have wisdom and courage to obey what God had shown her in His Word.

With that prayer, Ruth Williams left on an assignment that was going to alter the course of many lives over the next few weeks.