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    Living Stone
    devotionals

    Who are today’s disciples of Jesus Christ? According to Jesus
     
    (Am I becoming a disciple myself – am I making others disciples? It is our mission)
     
    Matt 28:19 (Our Mission) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
     
    There are just 6 things that Jesus said make and identify a disciple – 3 relate to the major areas of my life that God invites me to fully submit into His hands – my relationships, my possessions and my self will. The other 3 relate respectively to my continuing to allow God to impart Christ’s nature to my heart, my continuing to live in that new nature, which is love, towards other Christians and finally under the direction of God’s Spirit my ongoing willingness to share that nature– which is the life of Christ – through my prayers for and my words to both unbelievers and believers.
     
    Lu 14:26 If anyone comes to me and does not love less his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (In other words my love for God must be greater than my love for each of the members of my family and must exceed my love for myself – Surely in recognition that there is only One, Jesus Christ, who died for my sins how could my first allegiance and my first devotion not be to Him – otherwise I am not His disciple, and if I’m not a disciple of Christ what or who am I?).
     
    Lu 14:27 And whoever of you does not bear his cross (which is really his share of Christ’s cross, by understanding and believing that when we abide in Christ we share in His death on the cross to His flesh and thus become dead to our own flesh with its sin nature), and follow me (in the Spirit), cannot be my disciple. (Will I allow God to reveal to me that my own flesh, that is my human nature also being my sin nature where self rules, is despicable, ugly and the enemy of God? If so, I will gladly embrace the further revealed truth that when I am in Christ I am dead to my flesh with its sin nature because I now share in His death to the flesh on the cross - but if I reject God’s provision, in Christ, to free me from bondage to my sin nature, even though I know how it has harmed both me and others in the past, then I cannot be Christ’s disciple – and then what or who am I?)
     
    Lu 14:33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake (surrender ownership claim to) all that he has, he cannot be my disciple. (In other words cheerfully transferring my authority to God over position, possessions, money, ambition, acclaim, image, an independent will, and personal rights. When the full impact dawns in my heart that God purchased my life from Satan, with all that this implies both now and for eternity, it will not be difficult for me to see that my stuff came with that purchase and belongs to God. If I refuse to see this truth it casts doubt on the validity of God’s purchase and I cannot be Christ’s disciple – then who am I?)
     
    Jo 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed him If you abide in my word (continue in, feed your spirit on and walk in the light of) then you are my disciples indeed; (In other words day by day allowing God to impart more of His divine nature through His living words to my heart – progressively conforming me to Christ, by whose life in me I am enabled to overcome all 3 of my enemies, live in the center of God’s will and expand His Kingdom on earth. But if I drift away from God, neglect His ongoing salvation and lose my appetite for His daily spiritual bread my enemies will trample all over me and I will no longer be a disciple of Christ – then who am I?)
     
    Jo 13:35 By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another. (The love of God is in Christ Jesus, as we live in Christ, full of His Spirit with hearts abounding in His new and past words that He has spoken to us, His love nature as is reflected in 1st. Corinthians Chapter 13 will abound in us and through us to other Christians. But if we don’t live in Christ, in unbroken submission to His Spirit, and thoughts and words other than His abound in our hearts, then it will be impossible to walk in love towards other believers – and we will no longer be disciples of Christ – then who or what are we?)
     
    Jo 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples. (This is the fulfillment of our mission and our calling. It is only possible on a consistent basis as we believe and live in the five revealed truths outlined above concerning discipleship. Therefore now, in Christ, and being anointed by the Holy Spirit with our hearts daily nourished with more of God’s words, we will bear living fruit in the form of our prayers for others and in the form of our words that enter the hearts of others who have eras to hear them. In this way, through prayer and living words of God, the very life of Jesus Christ is imparted, birthing unbelievers into God’s Kingdom and making disciples of believers. Jesus said we are known in the spirit realm by the fruit of our lips. When we are in Christ, life giving words come from our hearts as living water – but when we are not living in Christ, we are detached from the Vine, our words are devoid of life and do damage to God’s kingdom – and we cease to be Christ’s disciples – and then what or who are we?).
     
    Matt 28:19 (Again, the Mission of a Christian is) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
     
    A person has to be a disciple of Jesus themselves in order to be used of God to make others disciples of Jesus –Can I really be a Christian if I am not becoming nor intend to become a disciple of Jesus Christ?
     
    Let God answer this probing question in our hearts! God bless

    Living Stone
    devotionals

    We Christians have two natures one utterly corrupt the other totally divine
     
    Eph 4:22-24 (Written to Christians) That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man (human nature) which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts… and that you put on the new man (divine nature) which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
     
    What the old man, human nature really looks like,
     
    The truth about the characteristics of my human nature, this is what the Bible refers to as my flesh, and this was the nature I lived in until I was born again. This nature is inherently selfish, self absorbed, self promoting and self pitying. It’s most dominant characteristic is pride, which man defines as boastful but which God broadens to mean a rebellious independence from Him. This nature secretly envies, covets and lusts after what others have. It lives entirely in the material visible realm, living by faith in God is foolishness. It makes all it’s choices and decisions by physical senses, human intellect and reasoning abilities, therefore it can only be content when all its circumstances are favorable. It falsely assumes that the accumulation of much stuff will result in happiness. Since these desires are seldom achieved it is prone to constant worry and anxiety over the potential lack of things. Even when they are achieved it is prone to worry and anxiety over the loss of those things.
     
    This nature, since it can’t find contentment within itself, is touchy and irritable about many trivial things; it is very easily angered and offended by others, and virtually incapable of truly forgiving them. It will bear grudges for a lifetime. It struggles to keep its basic animal wants in check and they often become compulsive or addictive. It tends to be lazy unless motivated by gain or glory, it is deceitful and manipulative. Because its core nature is so rotten it becomes a master at concealing and camouflaging itself with all manner of outward false airs and graces, that mask its true inner motives. If you ask me did God make me with this horrible nature? The answer is no. Where then did I get it? I got it from my parents who in turn ultimately got it from Adam and Eve. And they in turn got it from Satan when they believed his words – that’s how his nature got into them – instead of believing God’s words to them, so that His divine nature could have remained in them. We all, if we’re honest would agree that even if these characteristics don’t always manifest themselves outwardly, they are alive and well in our thoughts,
     
    Eph 2:2-3 In which you once walked according to the course of this world, NKJV/AMP according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God]. Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh, our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature, obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind. We were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind.
    Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells…
    Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me…
    Jer 13:23 Neither are you able to do good—you who are accustomed to doing evil.
     
    As a Christian I will live in and continue to be controlled by this evil human nature, unless:
     
    (1) I consciously and very deliberately choose to live in, that is, for my will continually to be controlled by, my new nature. This nature is my spirit or heart, and it was created in Christ the moment that I was born again. However to live in this new divine nature requires that I remain in continuous submission to God’s Holy Spirit, as He directs all of my steps.
     
    Eze 36:26-28 I will give you a new heart…put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, (God) responsive heart…I will put my (Holy) Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes (words), and you keep my judgments (words), and do them. NKJV
    Rom 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if…the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
    Acts 5:32 …The Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.
    Gal 5:16 So I say, walk in (every step directed by) the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
     
    (2) I consciously and very deliberately allow God to grow my new nature with more of that nature, by daily feeding me more of His words, by His Spirit, which words are that nature. However for this to happen I must continue to live in my new nature and to fully believe with that nature, my spiritual heart, the words that God personally brings to me each day. The genuineness of my belief will always be evidenced by my own words and actions being consistent with those words of God. A mere mental acknowledging or memorizing of His words keeps their life from my heart and makes me falsely assume that I know them.
     
    Jer 15:16 Your words were found, and I ate them (believe them in my heart), and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart… ESV
    2 Cor 4:16 …The inward man is being renewed day by day (or God intends it to be).
    Jam 1:21 …Receive with meekness the implanted word (from God), which is able to save your souls (your will from being captive to your flesh and so to sin).
    2 Pet 1:4 …There are given us exceedingly great and precious promises (God’s words), that by these you may be partakers of the divine nature…
     
    Unless I choose to do both (1) and (2) above I will remain, that is, my will or soul will remain, under the continuing dominance of my corrupt human nature. This is what the Bible refers to as a Christian who is carnal, born of the Spirit but has returned to his flesh,
     
    2 Pet 2:22 But it has happened to them…“A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
     
    What our inward man, new divine nature looks like,
     
    If I do consciously and very deliberately choose to do (1) and (2) above I will be living in my new and ever growing divine nature, in which Jesus Christ, by His Spirit and by His words, ever increasingly lives. Let me share with you what this new nature is like:
     
    It is always forgiving just as it is forgiven; it is loving, but with a purer divine love rather than a highly conditional and often impure human love. It is increasingly patient and considerate of others and constantly thinks about their spiritual and eternal welfare. It is humble, in the sense of knowing its total dependence on God, therefore it isn’t envious of what others have, even what they have spiritually; instead it is charitable without any need to be given credit. It is not easily angered but rather seeks peace as it keeps getting stronger in faith toward God and bolder in its witness of Jesus Christ to others. Because it trusts God it is free from worry, it always wants to please God so it doesn’t sin. It is immensely joyful often for no apparent visible reason. This nature is “supernatural” it is the very nature of Christ,
     
    Col 1:27 …God willed to make known…this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
    John 15:7-8 (Jesus) If you abide (live) in Me, and My words abide (live) in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
    1Cor 15:49 …just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so also shall we bear the likeness of the Heavenly Man (Jesus Christ). KJV
     
    To live permanently in my new nature requires my becoming dead to my human nature,
     
    If I consciously and very deliberately choose to do (1) and (2) above then the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, will guide me to certain specific truths in God’s word. Truths that tell me Christ, by dying to His flesh on the cross, has already provided a way for me to die, in Him, to my flesh. As with the initial gospel truths, this deeper truth of the gospel simply needs to be revealed to my inquiring heart, and then just believed, so as to become mine,
    Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
    Rom 6:11 Likewise you also, reckon (believe) yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    Then in order to stay dead to my corrupt human nature I simply need to continue to believe, each day, that I am dead, in Christ, to my flesh. This is taking up my cross daily,
     
    Luke 9:23 Then He (Jesus) said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me”.
     
    My human nature will not want me, that is, for my will, to be dead to its sinful influence; nor will the devil; and nor will unconverted people and fleshly Christians around me. But my love for and gratitude to God, my knowledge of just how evil my human nature is, and the powerful growing nature of Christ in me, will both motivate and easily enable me to overcome my enemies and to be made conformable to Christ’s death - which was for me,
     
    Phil 3:10 That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
    Gal 5:24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh…
     
    These two natures of ours, one evil and one good, are in total conflict with each other. The conflict ends when we choose to die to our evil human nature and live with our will under the continuous influence of Christ’s nature within our hearts. This is what it means to be a disciple of Christ, now we will bear much fruit, through our words, into the lives of others. And our heavenly Father will be glorified and our eternity will be secure,
     
    Gal 5:17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, NIV
    2 Pet 1:8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    2 Pet 1:10-11 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
     
    Thank you Father, You keep us, You water us every moment, so nothing harms us, and all this by faith!

    Living Stone
    devotionals

    From the book “The Master's Indwelling” By Andrew Murray
     
    Chapter 9 (in part) DEAD WITH CHRIST (and Risen with Christ)
     
    Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ... (words in italics added)
     
    We often ask earnestly: How can I be free from the self life? The answer is, “Get another life.” We often speak about the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon us, but I doubt if we fully realize that the Holy Spirit is a heavenly life come to expel the selfish, and fleshly, and the earthly life. If we truly want to enjoy fully the rest that there is in Jesus, we can only have it as He comes in, in the power of His death, to slay what is in us of human nature, and to take possession, and to live His own life in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
     
    Christ died for my sins, He was judged for them as my substitute, only He could do this,
     
    God's Word takes us to the cross of Christ, and it teaches us about that cross, two things. It tells us that Christ died for sin. We understand what that means, that in His atonement He died as I never die, as I never can die, as I never need die; He died for sin and for me.
     
    1 Jo 4:10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his NIV Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (to be judged as our substitute).
     
    Christ also died to the sin nature and wants to conform me to it, to free me from sin’s power,
    He also died to sin, and in dying He conquered sin. Now, I cannot die for sin like Christ, but I can and I must die to sin like Christ. Christ died for sin. In that He stands alone. Christ died to sin, and in that I am to have fellowship with Him. I am crucified, I am dead.
     
    Rom 8:3 …God…condemned sin in human nature (judged it and sentenced it to death) by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like man's sinful nature (and then He died to it, on our behalf) to do away with sin. TEV
    Phil 3:10 That I may know Him...being conformed to His death (to sin),
    2 Tim 2:11 This is a faithful saying: for if we died with Him we shall also live with Him.
     
    Christians are largely ignorant of Christ’s death to sin, therefore sin still reigns over them,
     
    If we want to have the real Christ that God has given us, the real Christ that died to sin for us, in the power of His death and resurrection, we must take our stand here. But many Christians do not understand the 6th chapter of Romans. They do not know that they are dead to sin. They do not know it, and therefore Paul instructs them: Do you not Know that as many of you as are baptized into Christ Jesus, are baptized into His death? How can we who are dead to sin in Christ live any longer in its power? (Rom 6:2-3). We have the death and the life of Christ working within us. But, alas! most Christians do not know this, and therefore do not experience or practice it. They need to be taught that their first need is to understand and to believe what Christ did about the sinfulness of their human nature on Calvary, and what that means to us when we are united to Christ.
     
    A person must begin to say, even before he understands it, “In Christ I am dead to sin.” It is a command: Reckon (believe) yourselves to be dead to sin. (Rom 6:11). Get hold of your union to Christ; believe in the new nature within you, that spiritual life which you have from Christ, a life that has died and been raised again. A person’s acts are always in accordance with his idea of his nature. So I cannot live the life of a true believer unless I am conscious of this new nature every day: “I thank God that I am dead in Christ. Christ died to sin, and I am united with Christ, and Christ lives in me and I am dead to sin.”
     
    The Adam life I inherited is alive to sin, but the Christ life in me is dead to sin – if I know it,
     
    What is the life Christ lives in me? Ask what is the life Adam lives in me? Adam lives in me the death life, a life that has fallen under the power of sin and death, death to God. That Adam life lives in me by human nature as an unconverted man. And Christ, the second Adam, has come to me with a new life, and I now live in His life, the death-life of Christ. As long as I do not know it, I can not act according to it, though it be in me. Praise God, when a person begins to see what it is, and begins in obedience to say, “I will do what God's Word says; I am dead, I reckon myself dead,” he enters upon a new life. On the strength of God's everlasting Word, and your union to Christ, and the great fact of Calvary, reckon, know yourself as dead indeed to sin. A Christian must see this truth.
     
    Rom 6:10 For the death that He (Christ) died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
    Gal 5:24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh, the godless human nature with its passions and appetites and desires. AMP
    Gal 2:20 (I believe God’s word and hence know that) I am crucified with Christ... KJV
    Rom 6:7 For he who has died (with Christ to sin) has been freed from sin.
    John 8:36 Therefore if the Son makes you free (from sin), you shall be free indeed.
    Matt 1:21 ...You shall call His name Jesus for He will save His people from their sins.
     
    By my belief in this truth, and the power of the Holy Spirit I’m kept free from my sin nature,
    And that is what the Holy Spirit will teach us and work in us. If I have accepted Christ in faith by the Holy Spirit, and yield myself to Him, Christ every day keeps possession, and reveals the full power of my fellowship in His death and life in my heart. To some this comes undoubtedly in one moment of supreme power and blessing; all at once they see and accept it, and enter in, and there is death to sin as a Divine experience. It is not that the tendency to evil is rooted out. No; but the power of Christ's death keeps us from sin, and destroys the power of sin. As we believe God’s word, the power of Christ's death will be manifested by the Holy Spirit's always putting to death the deeds of our human nature.
     
    Rom 8:13 For if you live according to your human nature you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body (your old self), you will live.
     
    I get asked if, after this, spiritual growth is still needed. Yes it is. By the Holy Spirit a person can now begin to live and grow, deeper and deeper, into the fellowship of Christ's death. New things are discovered by him in areas of which he never thought. A person can be filled with the Holy Spirit, and yet still have great imperfections in him. Why? Because his heart, perhaps, has not been fully prepared by a complete discovery to him of sin. There may be areas of pride, self-consciousness, impatience, or other qualities of his old nature which he has never noticed. The Holy Spirit does not always cast everything out at once.
     
    Out intellects won’t accept our human nature is riddled with sin and God’s curse is upon it,
     
    Here is one of the reasons why the Church of Christ enters so little into the death of Christ: Christians do not want to believe that the curse of God is upon everything in them that has not died with Christ. People talk about the curse of sin, but they do not understand that the whole of human nature has been infected by sin, and that the curse is on everything. My intellect, has that been defiled by sin? Terribly, and the curse of sin is on it, and therefore my intellect must go down into the death.
     
    Rm 8:6–8 The mind of the flesh is death…because the mind of the flesh is hostile to God: It does not submit to God’s Law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the flesh (and it’s intellect) cannot please God.
     
    I believe that the Church of Christ suffers more to-day from trusting in intellect, in human wisdom, in culture, and in mental refinement, than from almost anything else. The Spirit of the world comes in, and men seek by their wisdom, and by their knowledge, to help the Gospel, and they rob it of its crucifixion power. Christ directed Paul to preach the Gospel of the cross, but to do it not with wisdom of man’s words. The curse of sin is on all that is of human nature. If there is a minister who delights in his preaching, who does his very best, who gives his very best in the way of talent and of thought, and who asks, “Must that go down into the grave?” I say, “Yes, my brother, the whole man must be crucified.”
     
    Matt 16:24,25 (Jesus) "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross (every day reckon, believe himself dead, crucified with Christ to his sinful human nature, primarily his human wisdom) , and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life (natural life) will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it (their life in Christ).”
     
    It is very hard to give up a thing to the death, and it is hardest of all to give up my life to the death, and I never will until I have learned that everything about that life is stamped by sin. And let it go down into the death as the only way to have it quickened, brought under the life of God, and sanctified, made Holy when given to God as a living sacrifice.
     
    Col 2:11–13 In Him (Jesus) you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh (old man) was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism (in death to the sin nature), in which you were also raised with Him through your faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. NIV
     
    Don’t look for crowds before dying to Self – God is rarely with the crowd but with a remnant,
     
    Do not wait to see what others do; if you wait for that,—alas! I desire to say it in love and tenderness,—you will not find much company in the Church of Christ. Pray incessantly: “Lord Christ, let the power of Your death come into me.” For God's sake, pray the prayer. If you want to live the life of Heaven, there must be death to sin in the power of Jesus. There must be a personal entrusting of the soul into His death to sin, and a personal acceptance of Jesus to do this mighty work.
     
    1 Thes 2:13 …the word of God (Jesus Christ) , which works mightily in you that believe.
     
    Shall we not come into personal contact with Jesus, and shall not each one of us just speak before the world these simple words: “Lord, here is this life; there is much in it still of self, sinfulness, and self-will, but I come to You; I long to enter fully into Your death; I long to know fully that I have been crucified with You; I long to live Your life every day.”
     
    Rom 6:6-7 Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with...For he who has died has been freed from sin.

    Njoku Vivian Chidinma
    devotionals

    The Devil said to Jesus if you are the Son of God turn the stones to bread (Mat. 4:3). The Bible clearly says Jesus Christ the Son of God is the BREAD OF LIFE (John 6:35). In (John 6:49) Jesus said your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness but I am the true bread, if any man eat of me, he will never hunger. Jesus is also the Chief Corner Stone -Matthew 4:1-4.
     
    At the Passover feast Jesus Christ offered bread as His Body. The devil tempted the Lord with who He already is, JESUS IS THE BREAD OF LIFE.
     
    It is ignorance that leads men to make wrong choices when tempted. Eve's ignorance led her to eat the forbidden fruit. The Devil said to her; if you eat of this fruit you will be like God but it is written in Genesis 1:26: "And now we will make man; they will be like us and resemble us". God made Man in His own image and when He breathed into Man, He did not just breath in oxygen.  The Bible states He gave Man dominion (Gen. 1:26 -30), therefore God breathed in His potentials into Man. But the enemy tricked the 
    woman into doubting her already given potentials. Sometimes the Devil comes in disguise to tempt you with what you already have.
     
    A young lady told me, my husband is cheating on me and I want to leave him, so I asked her does he come home to you every night. She said yes then I said to her so do you want to leave your home for the other woman to come in. It is a trick of the enemy to make you think you have lost what you have. The great God, majestic in all His ways promised in Isaiah 41:10 - "Fear not, for I am your God. I will give you strength. I will uphold you with the right Hand of my justice". It doesn't matter what comes against you, the great King will always protect you. 
     
    The devil bides his time until you are vulnerable, Jesus was hungry after fasting for 40 days and nights. It can be assumed that there was a stone right under His feet. So the Devil said; If you are the Son of God command that stone to become bread? But Jesus did not need to turn stone to bread to prove His identity, He choose not to be famous in Satan's eyes but to be obedient to His Father. He choose faithfulness above being famous. Besides the King of Glory is both the ROCK OF AGES AND THE BREAD OF LIFE.
     
    Lord JESUS does not perform a miracle to boast. The Lord is not into appearances and has no pride in Him. The word 'compassion' was always attributed to His personality in various verses in the Bible. He had compassion on the multitude and fed them(Matthew 9:36).  
     
    More so, following the character of Jesus, one will ask, in the present day, do all Pastors or Ministers perform miracles to truly heal a person or to show off.  Paul's letter to the Galatians, he wrote on the true meaning of Apostleship. Galatians 1:10 - "Does this sound as if I am trying to win human approval? No Indeed! What I want is God's approval! Am I trying to be popular with people? If I were still trying to do so, I would not be a servant of Christ." Your discipleship should not be aimed at showing off but a heart of faithfulness to God.
     
    The temptation to turn stone to bread was also a test of provision, Satan tempted Jesus to use His anointing to provide for Himself but Jesus resisted the temptation when He said MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE BUT BY THE COMMAND OF GOD (Mat 4:4). There is nothing wrong with been hungry but you need to distinguish between a good work and a God work.
     
    A God work is based on God's instructions. Jesus explained this when he said;“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [a]miracles?’And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’ (Matthew 7:21-23). Brethren in Christ, at the end of time. The Great God will not be mindful of how many cars or houses you possess, but on what you did with what He entrusted to you with. Therefore no matter what you possess or accomplish anything done outside the will for God is sin.
     
    The temptation to turn stone to bread is also a test of character. Since He did not get a permission from God so He remained content till He is granted. Power should not be used to achieve selfish goals. Selfish people turn stones to bread to quench their hunger, so in another word Jesus said; I am hungry but my Father's Word will fill me.
     
    Furthermore, the bible states in Luke 10:38-42; Martha was busy in the kitchen but Mary was sitting on the feet of Jesus and Jesus applaud Mary because man shall not live by bread alone. 
     
    I pray; that agent of darkness sent to distract you with worldly pleasures to prevent you from receiving what God has designed for you shall be defeated in Jesus name.
     
    To overcome temptation you MUST learn to be content, be obedient to the Word of God, identify who Christ is in your life and choose faithfulness above being famous.

    Living Stone
    devotionals

    God is the great revealer, Satan is the great concealer
     
    Man gave control over the world to Satan, at the beginning, through disobedience to God,
     
    God created all angels (disembodied spirit beings) and humans (spirits living in a physical body) with a freewill, the ability to choose, a will that is free to make decisions independent from Him. Satan and a third of the angels were cast out of heaven when they chose to rebel against God. Man transferred his God given dominion over the world to Satan in the Garden of Eden the moment he chose to hear and obey the devil’s words over the words he had heard from God. From that moment Satan became the god or ruler of this world and the source of all the evil that influences the lives of most of the human race. This is why in the temptations of Jesus, Satan could legitimately boast that “The kingdoms of the world …this has been delivered to me” (Luke 4:5-6 - and Jesus didn’t refute Satan’s claim).
     
    1 John 5:19 We know positively that we are of God, and the whole world around us is under the power of the evil one (Satan). AMP
    2 Cor 4:4 In whom the god of this world (Satan) has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. KJV
    Eph 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world's darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
     
    In the end Jesus takes back the dominion of the world from Satan,
     
    Rev 11:15 “The kingdoms of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” ESV/KJV
     
    Satan, the concealer, does not want us to know if or how he operates in our lives,
     
    Now Satan’s kingdom is a kingdom of darkness, meaning he operates where there is no light or insufficient light from God, who is light, in men’s hearts to expose his activities. God’s word makes plain to those who have light that Satan has an enormous influence in the lives of all the unconverted and sadly in the lives of many of those converted to Christ but who do not currently walk in the light. But all of these who Satan constantly influences for evil are largely unaware that Satan exists let alone is a dominant factor in their lives. Why? Because Satan is the master deceiver, and able to remain anonymous in the lives of those with whom he proceeds to steal and to kill and to destroy (John 10:10). Hence:
     
    Luke 21:8 (Jesus) “Take heed that you not be deceived…”
    Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived…
    James 1:16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
     
    These are multiple warnings, not to the world that is completely deceived, but to us Christians who also have the potential of likewise being deceived by the great deceiver:
     
    Isa 14:12-17 How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer…You who weakened the Nations…Who made the world as a wilderness And destroyed its cities, Who did not open the house of his prisoners.
    Rev 12:9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world…
    Eph 2:2-3 AMP In which at one time you walked habitually. You were following the course and fashion of this world…following the prince of the power of the air. You were obedient to and under the control of the demon spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience…Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh, our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature, obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind…we were then by nature children of God's wrath…like the rest of mankind.
     
    The extent of our ignorance of Satan’s operations shows how successful he’s been with us,
     
    The scripture makes clear that Christians were all once under the influence of Satan as everyone else is without exception and, we like they, did not know that we were. Why? Because this master concealer operates through thoughts that he imparts into our thought lives, that we in our ignorance falsely assume to be our own thoughts. These are what the scripture calls the fiery darts of the enemy, thoughts which only the faith that comes from an active, deepening relationship with God can extinguish or take captive.
     
    2 Cor 2:11 Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices (the same greek word translated devices is translated as thought in)
    2 Cor 10:5 …Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
    Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery(thought) darts of the wicked one.
     
    Satan’s principal weapons are thoughts, and are the major source of all evil in the world! Not just thoughts of overt wickedness, but also more subtle thoughts that have the superficial appearance of rightness about them. But they’re thoughts designed to divert us from a full surrender to Christ and to challenge the authority of God’s words to us, just like he did with Adam and Eve. Satan can’t force his will on us, for we have a will and a conscience, but if we don’t know how to discern his influence he’s bound to have some control in our thought lives, particularly with respect to God. It shouldn’t surprise us therefore to learn that Satan, as the great concealer, can disguise the nature of his thoughts so that they appear to us to be both truth and light:
     
    2 Cor 11:14 …Even Satan can disguise himself to look like an angel of light! TEV
    1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (consume with his thoughts).
     
    What are some examples of Satan disguising himself and his thoughts, which he imparts to people, as right and illuminating thoughts? Since there is only one mediator between God and all men, Jesus Christ (1 Tim 2:5) Satan inspires all the other, seemingly right, religions to divert those he can deceive from becoming Christians. Then within the Church he sows the thought seeds of many, seemingly right, Christian teachings. But they are all false teachings that oppose God and keep Christians from being fully saved and eternally secure.
     
    1 Tim 4:1 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that…some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. NLT Therefore,
    1 Tim 4:16 Watch your life and doctrine (teaching) closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
     
    He is able to get away with these deceptions because all of the false doctrines that contradict God, that he imparts through thoughts, like - “the inevitability of sin”; “God is in control anyway”; “I can’t lose my salvation” – These teachings all have a strong appeal to and give license to our sinful human nature,
     
    Inevitability of sin,
    1 Jn 3:8 The one who practices sin is of (belongs to) the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the very start. This is why the Son of God was revealed, to destroy the (sin) works of the devil.
    Matt 1:21 …you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sin.
    Rm 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you… NKJV
     
    God in control,
    Matt 6:10 Your kingdom come, your will be done (because it is being hindered by the kingdom of darkness), on earth as it is in heaven.
     
    Can’t lose my salvation,
    Heb 6:4 …bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened, those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come, and who then turn away from God. NLT
     
    As Christians we do not have to be deceived, provided we grow and walk in God’s light,
     
    God has made it possible for every Christian to see through the deceptions of Satan and continue to walk in the light and not be snared by the subtle works of darkness. God’s two principal requirements to do this are: (1) A heart or spirit that remains tender toward God and receives daily the engrafting of more of God’s light giving words, and (2) A willingness to submit to and do God’s will and thereby remain under the leading and control of the Holy Spirit. Only such Christians as continue to hear and obey God’s voice, God speaking through His word and by His Spirit, and don’t listen to Satan’s thoughts or voice.
     
    John 10:4-5 And when He (The Chief Shepherd) brings out His own sheep...the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger (Satan) but will flee from him for they do not know the voice (thoughts) of strangers...
    1 John 2:26-27 These things I have written to you (God’s word) concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing (Holy Spirit) which you have received from Him abides in you and…teaches you all things, and is true, and is not a lie…
    Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God (your spirit clothed with the protective truth of God’s words), that you may be able to stand against the wiles (deceits) of the devil.
     
    In particular Satan imparts thoughts that contradict the true teaching that every believer in Christ needs to be baptized with and remain full of and under the control of the Holy Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit is the only One who can cause the word of God to become truth and light in the hearts of believers and so expose all of Satan’s works of darkness.
     
    Acts 19:2 Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?
    Matt 3:11 …He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit…
    Eph 5:18 …be filled (continually) with Spirit…
    Rm 8:14 …as many as are led (under the control of) by the Spirit, these are the children of God.
     
    Satan does not want to be known, but God wants to be known, He is the great revealer,
     
    1 Cor 2:9-14 ….No (natural) mind has conceived the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit…that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God…But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God…nor can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned (revealed by God’s Spirit to a person’s re-born spirit).
    Matt 11:25 …Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes” (to those spiritually born again and willing to grow up in spirit).
    Col 1:26-27 The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known…this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
     
    Everywhere in scripture our loving and redeeming Father makes indisputably clear His eagerness to reveal Himself to the hearts or spirits, but not to the intellects, of anyone who will allow Him to do so. This of course is the absolute worst thing from Satan’s standpoint and he will do everything possible to conceal this truth. He wants to stop people becoming Christians, and then if they do, to stop them becoming true disciples of Christ. Since they, with Christ actively living in them, will make others of his captives into Christ’s disciples too. Although Jesus Christ defeated Satan at Calvary he still controls the world and most of the Church because of their ignorance of his devices. And what is God doing? He is regaining control one soul at a time, as each soul turns at His correction so that He can make Himself known to their hearts by the Holy Spirit and through His word.
     
    2 Tim 2:24-26 …the servant of the Lord must not strive (quarrel); but be gentle to all men (people), able to teach, patient, in meekness correcting them that oppose themselves; if perhaps God may grant them repentance unto the knowledge of the truth, And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. NKJV
    Prov 1:23 Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out My Spirit on you; I will make My words known to you (to make you holy as He is holy and to expose the beguiling thoughts of Satan).
    Jn 16:33 Jesus, These things I have spoken unto you (the truths in this message!)…In the world you shall have tribulation (trouble, because of the world, our own flesh, and the Devil), but be of good cheer; I have overcome (All your enemies!)… NKJV
     
    Thank you Father for revealing the truth and for making a way for us to be more than conquerors, and to always triumph “in Christ”, Amen!

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