Purpose Driven Praise

I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth (recount and tell aloud) all Your marvelous works and wonderful deeds! I will rejoice in You and be in high spirits; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High!

Psalm 9:1-2

Praise is one of the most powerful tools we have in our walk with Christ.  The word tells us that for the spirit of heaviness, put on the garment of praise.  If we want to confuse and defeat the enemy, we can use praise as our weapon.  Praise can also turn away the wrath of God, and help bring about abundant blessings in our lives.

Praise can also be expressed in many ways.  We can praise god audibly, through words and song, and even physically through dance and raising of hands.

We recognize the benefits of praising God and we even know how to praise him through our own personal expressions but we should ask ourselves is our praise to God really pure and purposed from our heart? Psalms 9:1 says “I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart”, signifying that our heart should be the controlling force for our praise.

During the remainder of this week please remember that our praise should be pure and purpose driven from our heart, straight to the heart of God.

Declaration: I will have Purpose Driven Praise

Prayer:  Father thank you for the ability to praise you.  Thank you for the various ways you have given us to praise you.  Your word tells us that you inhabit the praises of your people.  Help us to always praise you with our whole heart.  In Jesus name. Amen!

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Keep Your Eye On The Prize!

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus

Phillipians 3:14 KJV

Today’s devotion was written to simply encourage us to keep our mind fixed on spiritual things.  Everyday we encounter so many natural/carnal things that distract us, making it easy at times, to loose sight of what’s really important.

The word of God tells us that our time spent here on earth is very short and refers to our lifespan as a vapor. While we are here, we should do all we can to be a light, an effective witness, and an excellent example of a spirit filled and spirit led christian.  Our center focus should be making disciples and consistently sharing the gospel to those who are lost.

Remember our time here on earth is temporary.  This is not our home. So,we must work the works of Him that SENT US while it is day. Let’s focus our minds and keep our eyes on the prize.

 Declaration: I will fix my mind on spiritual things and I will not be distracted by  the worlds system.

Prayer:  Father we thank you for sending us to be ambassadors for your kingdom here on earth.  We appreciate the fact that you chose us.  Help us to always align our minds with your will and purpose for our lives.  Help us to be excellent examples of Holy and Righteous men and women of God. We bind all carnal distractions that come to divert/abort the good plans you have for our lives.  We thank you for your dunamis power to continue to walk the narrow path in these evil days. We Thank You Father!  We Praise You Father! Amen!

P.S. – The Romans Bible Study page is updated!

He Did for Me, He’ll Do It for You

For God shows no partiality [undue favor or unfairness; with Him one man is not different from another].

Romans 2:11

It’s no secret that some people have a greater influence than others and that some people seem to have more favor than others, but yet the Apostle Paul says that God shows no partiality, He plays no favorites. Is this really true? One of the most challenging things about scripture is its apparent duality. These seemingly contradictory ideas like a loving God that shows wrath, or a God that is always good but yet bad things happen to good people, or a God that shows no partiality but there are only a few “chosen” ones.

These concepts cause a sane person to question, “How is this possible, God?” And I believe that is the point. There are levels of truth. Some truths carry more weight than others, but yet they are all truth. The highly anointed and powerful individuals of the faith that we know (i.e. Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Smith Wigglesworth, etc.) got their anointing by pressing deeper into God. It is good to question things about your faith because it causes you to seek for the answer (Proverbs 25:2). Every new revelation about God should inspire more questions because God is so massive and deep that we will never stop searching.

It is true some people have more favor than others because they learned how to steward the little favor they had to grow it into more favor. Even Jesus had to grow in favor with GOD and man (Luke 2:52). God doesn’t bless or reveal Himself in greater measure to one over the other because one is a favorite and the other is just “normal”. We are all His favorites, but some want to know Him better than others and so to those individuals God reveals Himself a little more. If you desire an anointing and grace that someone else has then you must realize they sought it out [continually]. If you ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking, knock and keep knocking until the door is pounded down God will do for you what He has done for me, and what He has done for those generals of the faith. He looks for hungry ones.

Declaration: I will ask until I get an answer, seek until I find my treasure, and knock until a door of revelation is open.

P.S. – The Romans Bible Study page has been updated!

Roman’s Bible Study Updated!

I know it’s been a week since the Roman’s Bible Study page has been updated so I just wanted to inform all who were looking for the notes from last week’s bible study that the notes are now posted.

 

God Bless,

HP Devotional Team

God’s Kindness, Our Repentance

Do you suppose, O man–you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself–that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance an patience, not knowing the God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

Romans 2:3-4

Starting from verse 18 of the first chapter of Romans to the end of the chapter Paul describes a bunch of vile and unrighteous type of people and actions. The list is quite expansive and he concludes saying that it’s God’s righteous decree that such people who practice such things deserve to die. Harsh words, and in the past the Church has stopped right there and started declaring judgment on such people. But now there is a mighty rising shift in thinking and observance of the following chapter where Paul says the person(s) who judge(s) such people are just as guilty and worthy of judgment.

Our greatest example of the Kingdom lifestyle is Jesus the God-Man. Nobody before or after Him walked sinless (and thus the only person whom Romans 2:1-4 does not apply) but yet he only showed kindness to those in need of redemption. The woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, Zaccheus, etc. The only group of people Jesus spoke harshly (only after there many rejections of kindness) were the Pharisees. Ironically, they were seen as the holiest of their culture however being guilty of judging others unjustly because they weren’t perfect themselves.

There are many people in the modern day Church who were apart of the Pharisee mindset but have, thanks to the guiding of Holy Spirit, redirected their focus to Jesus and recognized that kindness still leads to repentance. The Church is meant to be a medic to a sick world. Where we once would press on the wounds of the sick with our judgments and condemnation we are now learning to dress the wounds and bring healing through Jesus. No matter how bad the sin (wound) our judgments won’t help to bring healing, rather love, compassion, and kindness will do it.

God’s judgment and wrath is real. No doubt about that, but God wills that no man perish, but all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

Declaration: Father, help me show your love, compassion, and kindness for it is your kindness that redeems people and brings them to repentance.

The Gospel of The Kingdom Pt.2 (Romans 1:16)

Scriptures: Romans 1:15-17, 15:19, Matthew 24:14

Continuing on with Apostle Paul’s greeting and introduction to the believers in Rome he states,

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is God’s power working unto salvation to everyone who believes…(v.16)

The gospel is the greatest story ever told. It is the true account of the Creator (of creation itself) coming down to dwell with His creation, being killed by His creation so that the enemy of His creation could be defeated once and for all, resulting in the creation being reconciled back to the Creator. What motivated this monumental act? Love.

So this story of love, this gospel, has within it the power to actually save a person(s) from the enemy of mankind, sin. Yes, the devil is mankind’s enemy too but the devil cannot separate you from God, only sin can, and the devil uses sin to take people into eternal torment. When Jesus died, He literally became the embodiment of sin and because God is the most powerful being in existence, sin and all it’s effects were defeated (think of the end of The Matrix when Neo literally leaps into Agent Smith and then busts out him thus defeating Agent Smith).

It sounds crazy that to be saved from an eternity apart from God in everlasting torment all one has to do is believe in this message, but that’s the beauty if it. It’s like it’s too good to be true. The reality is that it’s SO GOOD THAT’S IT’S TRUE! The stumbling block for anyone wanting to believe this truth is belief itself. If all I have to do is believe it seems too easy and thus foolish and something to be ashamed of believing because I’m not working hard enough to earn it.

But something happens when you believe the simplicity of the gospel, it changes you. You may not be able to pinpoint exactly when it happens but as you “lean into” this simple truth day-by-day, the power of the message infiltrates your life. Instead of judgement, ridicule, and hate you feel acceptance, encouragement, and love for who you are based on you being a human being. All of sudden you realize that the pain and mistakes of your past (and even your present) cannot bear under weight of this burning truth: God loves me for who I am, not what I’ve done.

The Gospel wants and has the power to save everyone and everything. The Gospel wants to save everything so it can put an end to the oppression of the enemy on mankind. The Gospel can end human trafficking. The Gospel can end apartheid. The Gospel can end overt and covert racism. The Gospel can end rape, murder, and abuse. The Gospel is Jesus Christ and everybody wants a king like Jesus and that’s nothing to be ashamed of for it is the power of God to save!

Declaration: I am not ashamed of the Gospel!

Sharing The Gospel (Romans 1:10-15)

Other scriptures referenced: John 1:14, 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13:13

Paul’s eagerness to preach and share the gospel was almost unparalleled in the early church and even now it’s quite encouraging to read of his adventures in sharing Jesus with the known world, but times are different so how can we share the gospel with the fervency of the Apostle Paul? Let’s demystify the notion of sharing the gospel.

Though Paul, at times, did stand in front of many people preaching and trying to persuade people to the gospel (cold-calling) he was his most effective when he demonstrated the power of God through the gifts of the Spirit and when he built a relationship. Paul sought to connect with people so his connection would open the door for the message of the One who came to save the world. Right relationships are built on love and love was the motivating factor in God sending Jesus to save us.

The Gospel is Jesus and Jesus is love, grace, and truth, possessing the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form, and Christians (humble believers in Jesus) have Jesus living inside them through the Holy Spirit. Thus the gospel is sharing love to others, believers and non-believers alike. Showing love builds relationships, which opens the door for honest and heartfelt communication. What can be more heartfelt and honest than sharing the message of Jesus Christ through our words and deeds? Paul was a slave to this kind of gospel.

Sharing the gospel is not a numbers game, trying to manipulate people to pray a prayer and add another notch to our spiritual belt. Jesus and Paul, and many other apostles gave out love for love’s sake with pure motives. When people sense that we genuinely care for them for no other reason than they are a person worthy of love, the Gospel is being preached. A message of faith, hope, and love can be accepted when the person sharing the message exemplifies faith, hope, and above all love. Now I can understand how a message like the gospel cannot be contained! Like Paul we are eager to share this Gospel!

Declaration: The Gospel is faith, hope, and love to everyone who experiences it, and my life exemplifies the Gospel. Therefore, I will share it with everyone I know.

Lay Aside Every Weight

Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us

Hebrews 12:1 (AMP)

Many times as believers we have a difficult time laying aside weights or things that can entangle us because we are often motivated by the spirit of fear.  At times the spirit of fear can even cripple us from moving forward. For example… in an unhealthy relationship we may fear that if we lay that relationship down, or let it go that it may cause us to walk alone. Or, if we lay down the weight of our worldy pleasures that we enjoy, then it will leave an unfulfilled void in our lives.

In order to truly take charge of our lives and loose (lay down) the weight we have to move from a place of fear to an act of faith, knowing that as we obey the word of God we will receive exactly what He has ordained for our life. It takes a lot of courage to let go of the known and step out into the unknown, but it’s only then that we can truly be a doer of the word by moving forward on our appointed course of the race that is set before us.

Declaration: I will lay aside every weight! (repeat every day of the week)

Prayer: Father we thank you for helping us identify areas and weights in our lives that we need to lay aside.  We thank You for your strength and power to completely lay down the weights and carry out the instructions that you have given us.  We bind the work of the enemy who uses the spirit of fear to control and we release the spirit of freedom from every weight and bondage on our lives.  We thank you that once we lay down these weights we will never pick them up again but we will move forward in confidence and faith knowing that your way and your word is perfect!

We ask these things in the mighty name of Jesus! Amen

The Gospel of The Kingdom Pt. 1

Scriptures: Romans 1:15-17, 15:19; Matt. 24:14

In the first part of Romans chapter 1, the Apostle Paul was writing to the believers in Rome and letting them know how eager he was to come to Rome and preach the gospel (v.15). He goes on to say that he is not ashamed of the gospel because it is literally the power of God for salvation to anybody who believes no matter what race, sex, sexual preference, etc. a person may be (v.16).

When Jesus was on Earth, a little bit before Paul was writing this letter, He (Jesus) also preached the gospel. Gospel means “good news” and all this good news points to Jesus. So Paul, like Jesus, preached the Gospel of the Kingdom. What is this Gospel of the Kingdom? Paul said in the chapter 15, that to fully preach the gospel included both words and deeds (like signs, wonders, miracles, healings, deliverances, etc.). Make note that the Gospel of the Kingdom, Christ, or anything else related to God/Jesus is “good news” that included words and actions filled with power from the Holy Spirit.

The gospel as we know it now is that Jesus Christ, Son of God, came down to Earth as fully human and fully God to live a sinless life, to die for the sins of the world and rise three days later having beat sin, death, and hell. What’s mind-blowing about this is that Jesus was preaching this eternal reality even before it had happened on Earth yet! Jesus was able to free people from the sickness, demons, even death before He had taken His own three-day power nap. Jesus understood what is available for all believers now, that He sits in heavenly places and has the resources of Heaven to fix earthly problems.

The Apostle Paul understood this truth and preached this Gospel, this Jesus, in fullness (word and deed) and as this Gospel was received it transformed every place Paul went and released it. In light of that, how could he ever be ashamed of this Gospel when it is the power to destroy darkness wherever it may be living!

Declaration: In the words of Apostle Paul: “I am not ashamed of this Gospel for it is the power of God!”

The Romans Bible Study Page!

Hello High Praise family, I want to make sure everyone is aware of our added page to the blog. The Romans Bible Study is taking place during our Wednesday night services for the month of March at High Praise Ministries.

The Romans Bible Study page can be located directly underneath our High Praise Ministries banner to right of the “About” page on the home page of this Daily Bread blog. It’s important for you to know that since the Romans Bible Study page is actually a separate page and not a blog posting you will not get an email when it is updated. Therefore, you will have to access the page on your phone, tablet, or computer by coming to this site hpdailybread.wordpress.com. The Romans Bible Study page will be updated Tuesdays and Fridays for the month of March. We will also have some devotional posts focused on the Romans teaching we are experiencing on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings.

Happy reading and we pray this helps in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

HP Devotional Team