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Scripture

[ecko_quote source="2 Timothy 2:3"]Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ[/ecko_quote]

Devotion 

Times of hardness are inevitable. You need to know that. It's true that we've been redeemed from the curse, and there's nothing Satan can do to reverse that, but he is going to challenge you on it.

So don't be surprised when things get tough. Times will come when you have to stand strictly by faith when you'll have to speak and act as though what God says is true even when you can't feel it or see it happening around you. There will be times when everything looks terrible. That's when you must endure hardness as a good soldier.

So many people hear the word of faith about healing or prosperity and they think, Hey! I'm going to try that. Then when the hard times come, they give up and cave in.

Let me warn you, living by faith is not something you try. It's a lifestyle. You do it when it's hard. You do it when it's easy. You do it all the time because you're not doing it just to get in on the benefits. You're doing it because you know that faith pleases God (Hebrews 11:6).

Things may get a little rough at times, but let me assure you, you'll always come out on top if you endure hardness as a good soldier. If you refuse to faint and fall away, you will have the victory. The only defeated Christian is the one who quits!

Image Source: 
[http://jonah.uec.nz/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/maxresdefault.jpg= Kenneth Copeland

Scripture

[ecko_quote source="John 3:3"]Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God[/ecko_quote]

Devotion

Born again. Do you know what Jesus had in mind when He said those two words to Nicodemus? He was talking covenant talk. He was telling Nicodemus what it meant to have a covenant with God.

Let me paint the picture I believe was in Jesus’ mind. Imagine a baby, a little baby born of an unwed mother. No one knows who its daddy is and no one wants to know. He is a child no one wants. He doesn’t belong to anyone.

Now, picture the best kind of family you can think of. A family that loves God. The man has a good job. They’re blessed financially. They’re givers and lovers of people, and they fall in love with this baby. Before long, they adopt the baby.

What’s happened? That baby was reborn. He got a new set of parents. Through adoption, he has now become an heir. Why? Not because of anything the baby has done. Those parents didn’t say, “I want you to look at that baby. I’m so impressed with all that that child has done for us. He has certainly earned our love and respect.”

No, it’s a baby. It couldn’t have done anything to earn its new life. This man and this woman agreed together out of the love in their hearts and bestowed grace on that child. Now he has access to everything they have. When they offer him a bottle of milk, he doesn’t knock the bottle away and say, “I’m so humble and undeserving. Just give me water.”

Of course not. That baby acts like part of the family—and not just part of the family but the best part of the family. Because in Jesus’ day a covenant or adopted child had the same birthright as the firstborn son.

That’s what Jesus was talking about when He said, “You must be born again.” He was talking about grace. He was talking about a new relationship of favor. A new family. A new authority. A new power.

If you feel unworthy to receive the rich blessings God has for you today, think about that. Meditate on it, so instead of worrying about and struggling with the needs in your life, you can just walk boldly into the throne room of your Father and receive help to get those needs met.

Discover what it really means to be a blood-bought child of Almighty God with a big brother like Jesus. Discover what it means to be born again!

Image Source: 
[http://jonah.uec.nz/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/born-again.jpg]= Kennith Copeland

Scripture

[ecko_quote source="2 Kings 6:17"]And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. [/ecko_quote]

Devotion

King of Syria planned a war against King of Israel several times. But when the information and details about the war were passed onto King Israel, the King of Syria was greatly troubled; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me which of us is the King of Israel? And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O King; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the King of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom”.

So he said, Go and see where he is, that I may get him. And it was told, saying “Surely he is in Dothan. Therefore, he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. And when the servant of Elisha arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And Elisha’s servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

To the servant, this must have sounded ridiculous because there were thousands ready for battle all around the city. As far as he could see, there were only two - Elisha and himself - who are standing against this great army. Elisha was not young in the faith. He was seasoned with the things of God and sensitive to the Spirit of God. He had learned that the power of God is not diminished because of the great appearance of the enemy. Instead of reacting to what he saw and stepping into fear, he acted upon the word of God and stepped into faith. It coincides quite well with what Faith is all about. It's about believing in things we cannot see and blindly placing our trust in God.

Elisha prayed, and said, "Lord I pray, open his eyes that he may see". Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. As the story continues, the Syrian’s were struck with blindness (v18) and the story ends with a victory. The great and mighty army of God did not arrive when Elisha prayed. The army of God was already there; it was just invisible. When Elisha prayed, the young man’s eyes were opened, and he was able to see what had been there all along.

What's next?

My dear ones, I do not know your situation, but one thing you must always remember is that "the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). There are angels all around us ready to help us out. When we walk by faith and base our actions on what God says; instead of walking in fear looking at the appearance of the enemy/situation. We will soon realise that this is when the power of God will be manifested, and we are bound to see victory.

Image Source: 
[http://www.thearisingchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/elisha.jpg]

Scripture

[ecko_quote source="Proverbs 6:6-8"]Go to the ant, you lazy man! Observe its ways and become wise. It has no commander, officer, or ruler, but prepares its provisions in the summer and gathers its food in the harvest. [/ecko_quote]

Devotion

The years 2008-2011 were the hardest times I've experienced. I was not able to get a job in my field of study. This continued for several years despite successfully completing and excelling in my tertiary education in New Zealand. I tried my very best and even offered to work voluntarily in some Chartered Accountant firms to complete my log book. However, my best was not good enough. I received rejection letter after letter. My heart was broken, and there was no joy was left in me. During this process, I became depressed and regretted the choices I have made in coming to New Zealand. Later, I stopped applying for the jobs and lost interest in everything I hoped to undertake. In fact, I gave up and became lazy. During the 2009 watch night service, where we have a tradition of picking promise cards, the Lord spoke to me through the above verse. This enabled me to consider the ways of an ant carefully and learn several lessons from them.

The ants are more diligent than slothful men. We ought to learn wisdom from these insignificant creatures. Let’s look into some of the facts. There are over 10,000 different species of ants and they can lift 20 times their own body weight. The ant's brain is made up of 250,000 cells whereas the human’s brain has 10,000 Million cells. However, they probably use more of their cells than we do. See where this is going? Ants also have two stomachs, one for storing their own food and the other for storing food which they share with other ants later. Isn’t that nice of them to be so thoughtful of others? The life expectancy of an ant is only 45-60 days, yet these tiny creatures accomplish so much in their short lifespan.

If we watch an ant for a few minutes, we can see that it is an industrious, cooperative, self-motivated creature with a lot of perseverance/endurance. Moreover, this is a very convicting example for us. The ant, according to the text, has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its supplies in the summer and gathers its food in the harvest. It plans! If you have ever tried to stop an ant from doing its work, you would know that an ant does not stand still for a minute. It will standback if you block its path, and then it's off to find some other way to accomplish its goal, but It will never give up.

Among several lessons that I learnt from ants, one of the most important ones is that we should never give up. After this enlightenment, I once again started my journey of job hunt with a renewed energy and strength gained from the Lord through this promise/instruction. Not long after this, our Heavenly Father granted me with an opportunity to complete my Chartered Accounting and also enabled me to find an excellent job in the Inland Revenue Department. All the Glory to God. A young man once asked Henry Ford, "How can I make a name for myself and be successful?" He replied, "Decide what you want, then stick with it. Never deviate from your course no matter how long it takes or how hard the road is until you accomplish your purpose". How true and insightful that is?

Successful people have one thing in common: they refuse to quit! No matter how many times they fail, they get back up, dust themselves off, learn from it, and start over again. Although a righteous person may fall seven times, he gets up again (Proverbs 24:16). Paul J Meyer says, “Ninety-nine percent of those who fail are not actually defeated, they simply quit”. The only people who never fail are those who never try. So keep going, and don’t even think about quitting!

What's next?

My dear friend, if you are struggling today and wondering why God has forsaken you, why He has left you, or why you’re going through such fiery trials, be encouraged. God is strengthening your faith for you to partake in a bigger plan He has for you!

Image Source: 
[https://bobchoat.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/never-give-up-d.jpg]

Scripture

[ecko_quote source="2 Kings 6:17"]And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. [/ecko_quote]

Devotion

King of Syria planned a war against King of Israel several times. But when the information and details about the war were passed onto King Israel, the King of Syria was greatly troubled; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me which of us is the King of Israel? And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O King; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the King of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom”.

So he said, Go and see where he is, that I may get him. And it was told, saying “Surely he is in Dothan. Therefore, he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. And when the servant of Elisha arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And Elisha’s servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

To the servant, this must have sounded ridiculous because there were thousands ready for battle all around the city. As far as he could see, there were only two - Elisha and himself - who are standing against this great army. Elisha was not young in the faith. He was seasoned with the things of God and sensitive to the Spirit of God. He had learned that the power of God is not diminished because of the great appearance of the enemy. Instead of reacting to what he saw and stepping into fear, he acted upon the word of God and stepped into faith. It coincides quite well with what Faith is all about. It's about believing in things we cannot see and blindly placing our trust in God.

Elisha prayed, and said, "Lord I pray, open his eyes that he may see". Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. As the story continues, the Syrian’s were struck with blindness (v18) and the story ends with a victory. The great and mighty army of God did not arrive when Elisha prayed. The army of God was already there; it was just invisible. When Elisha prayed, the young man’s eyes were opened, and he was able to see what had been there all along.

What's next?

My dear ones, I do not know your situation, but one thing you must always remember is that "the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). There are angels all around us ready to help us out. When we walk by faith and base our actions on what God says; instead of walking in fear looking at the appearance of the enemy/situation. We will soon realise that this is when the power of God will be manifested, and we are bound to see victory.

Image Source: 
[http://www.thearisingchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/elisha.jpg]

Scripture

[ecko_quote source=" Isaiah 41:10"]Fear not, for I am with you; Be not discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.[/ecko_quote]

Devotion

I am greatly encouraged by this verse whenever the Holy Spirit God brings it to my remembrance - John 14:26. This scripture states our problem and also provides us with God’s solution and assurance. Firstly, it talks about how we should not fear because our God is with us. Faith and fear are two unrelated words that are mutually exclusive. You may or may not have noticed this but they are quite opposite words to each other. Therefore, Faith and fear cannot co-exist within us. They are mutually exclusive things.

To understand clearly, in Matthew 14:22-24, Peter said to Jesus "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water". In response, Jesus said, "Come". Then, Peter had come down out of the boat having faith in Jesus; he walked on the water to get to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, the scripture states "he was afraid" and was beginning to sink. He cried out, saying, Lord, save me.  Dear ones, Peter started out with faith but ended up in fear. Faith and fear can never live together peacefully nor can they share the same sheath. Either we're walking by faith or we're living in fear. That is it!

Our Heavenly Father asks us not to fear - Why? Because He is with us. When God is for us, who can be against us? My friend if you are in fear, heed to God’s instruction, we should exercise our faith instead of embracing the fear. The choice is ours to make.

There’s a story about the devil auctioning off his tools. He had a high price on pride, laziness, arrogance, hate, envy, and jealousy. But there was one tool that had a sign under it which said, "Not for Sale." Someone said, "What is that tool and why isn’t it for sale?". "Well" he said, "I can’t afford to get rid of that one. It’s my chief tool, discouragement. With this tool, I can pry open a heart, and once I get in, I can do almost anything I want".

In the next verse, God is telling us not to be discouraged. When we are discouraged, we hardly have any strength to sustain and continue fighting. The army which never gets discouraged inevitably wins any battle they face. When you are discouraged, consider it right soil for Satan to sow the seed of evil into our lives. Someone said that, "discouragement is a darkroom where the negatives of fear and failure are developed".  Therefore, my dear ones check constantly whether your soul is discouraged or disheartened. The moment we allow discouragement to come into our hearts is the very moment when we let the enemy to use his favorite tool on us.  Unfortunately, most of us don’t even notice it, and we keep moving in towards discouragement instead of rebuking it in the name of Jesus. It is wonderful to know that scripture says not to be discouraged - Why?, because God says "for I am your God".

Would you like me to tell you why and when you and I get discouraged? I’ll tell you in a nutshell—It's when we take our eyes off God! Furthermore, God tells us that He will strengthen us, help us, and uphold us with His righteous right hand. Don’t be afraid. Fear is an insult to God, who said, "I will be with thee". Fear will destroy you and me.

What's next?

Are you a worrywart? One lady said, “Don’t tell me it does no good to worry. Most of the things I worry about never come to pass." Be not dismayed. God will take care of you.

Did you know, 365 times in the Bible, God has told us not to be afraid? Three hundred and sixty-five times, which might imply every day of the year. He said, "Be not afraid" or "Fear not". The devil is the sinister minister of fear, but our Lord tells us not to be afraid.  As we start believing the promises of God, May He dispel any kind of fear that the devil might try to attack us with.

Image Source: 
[http://www.saviorsite.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/jesus-walking-on-water-benjamin-mcpherson.jpg]

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