Devotional Archive (Previous Week)

Sunday 

Ps 126:5-6 "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goes forth and weeps, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him"

These verses are a poetic rehash of the law of sowing and reaping, with one crucial additive - weeping.

Joy comes to us and the Lord when we sow and reap. Ps 30:5b says, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning", and "Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life" (Pr 13:12). Some think it presumptuous to ask things from God, thinking this to be humility. Rom 8:32 says salvation is the best thing but Jesus also died for everything else besides - healing, deliverance, peace, protection, provision, etc. If we don't take advantage of these things, Jesus, in part, died for nothing.

The next phrase talks about "going forth". Unless we put our hands to the plow and don't look back, we are unfit to apprehend these other things that Rom 8:32 refers to. A plow is only useful when it moves forward. We aren't violently taking the kingdom unless we are moving forward. "Woe to those who are full for they shall hunger (Lk 6:25).

Weeping connotes an attitude of desperation. We've exhausted all other options and now God has to come through else we are finished. Unless we come to this point we will not reap what we are sowing. Tears also provide water for the seed to grow. The crop is multiplied. Sheaves are a bundle of wheat stalks. God multiplies seed sown and increases the fruits of our righteousness (2 Cor 9:10).

Monday 

Gen 2:24 "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be one flesh"

Becoming "one flesh" is a process. Bodily union in sexual intercourse is only the first step. The harder processes takes place in the realm of the soul.

There are basically three words in Hebrew for the word "husband". Enowsh (582) is first used in Gen 3:8 referring to Adam before the Fall. It is usually translated "man" in English. It also can mean "stranger". At first a husband might seem to be a stranger to the wife.

Iysh (376) is the second word, I believe in a progression toward intimacy. It means husband, champion, high degree, worthy. It is usually translated in English "man" and only occasionally "husband". In this stage the man proves his worth to his wife and she honors is efforts with esteem. In Lev 24:15 it is translated "curse". If he proves inadequate to the task he can become a curse to her.

The final Hebrew word in the progression toward intimacy is baal (1167). Baal means lord, furious, dreamer, master, owner, married. It is a word derived from the idea of dominion. The husband now gains her loyalty, respect and fealty. Sarah called her husband Abraham "lord" at one point (Gen 18:12). This is a different Hebrew word (113) but has a similar meaning.

This is the ideal and goal of a marriage. Many a women, and some men, have an idyllic vision of what their marriage will be like, only to find out after awhile it doesn't end up that way. Some, unfortunately, bail out and divorce to find another mate. But the problem continues in the next marriage, and the next.

One of our goals in life should be to learn to love. God loves us who are imperfect. If you've ended up with a lemon learn to love them instead of despise them and reject them. God loves us in our imperfection as much as He does when we are fully sanctified in the future.

Tuesday 

Luke 6:26 "Woe to you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets"

Persecution is not the manifestation of another person's hate for you. It's a manifestation of satan's fear of you.

There should be a certain amount of people in our lives, within our sphere of influence, who don't like us. Why? because they hate the God we re-present to them. We shouldn't think that if we're doing it all right everyone will like us. Jesus did it all right and they killed Him for it. How much more we who don't always do it right.

Remember we are not dealing with flesh and blood but against demonic strongholds (Eph 6:12). It takes time but eventually we recognize immediately when someone takes umbrage against our re-presenting the Gospel to them that it's satan who is behind the attack, not the person. They don't know what's going on. They think its their thoughts and feelings being expressed. As we develop love in our lives we learn to love those who persecute us and despitefully use us.

We have authority over darkness (Lk 10:19). Remove blinders satan puts on their eyes (2 Cor 4:4) and release the angels to watch over the Word you spoke to them to come to pass (Jer 1:12; Ps 103:20).

Wednesday

Matt 11:30 "For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light"

A yoke (2218) means two harnesses side by side, which is then connected to the plow. Phil 4:3 speaks of a yokefellow, that is, two people side by side pulling together: "And I exhort you too, [my] genuine yokefellow, help these [two women to keep on cooperating], for they have toiled along with me in [the spreading of] the good news (the Gospel), as have Clement and the rest of my fellow workers whose names are in the Book of Life". 2 Cor 6:14 urges us not to yoke ourselves with unbelievers: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" In the eighteenth verse it implies we should yoke ourselves rather to God Himself.

We are not alone in our struggles here on earth. If we'll allow Him, He will help us pull the load forward. I imagine Him at my right side with a yoke around Him pulling together we me as we go forward. The right side is prophetic for power and strength.

Sometimes we can yoke ourselves to things that He never told us to pull. We can burn out by doing that. Maturity is being led by the Spirit (Rom 8:14). If you find yourself in life having a heavy yoke then I submit either you're pulling things He never told you to pick up or perhaps you haven't allowed Jesus to help you pull them. The Galatian Christians were caught doing the latter, doing the things of God without God.

His yoke is easy and light. Let Him help pull them with you. We are co-laborers with God, yoked together.

Thursday

Isa 4:1 "And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach"

I believe we are approaching the end times when Jesus will return to the earth. "That day", I believe, refers to the end times. There is a recent trend among young women to be attracted to older men. I believe this verse applies to this phenomenon. I think the reason behind this is that the young girls of today don't have the father influence they need growing up to maturity. They seek a father still in an older man.

Children need both a father and a mother. So often these days children only have a mother's influence to raise them. The mother does the best she can. If you are in that situation try to bring male influences into your children's lives, whether elders at church or male relatives. One of the end time curses is women ruling (Isa 3:12). God intended men to rule the family, not women (1 Cor 11:3).

In end day blessing will also occur. The mountain of the Lord will descend upon earth (Isa 2:2). Isaiah continues in chapter four: "In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel. It will come about that he who is left in Zion (i.e. the church) and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem. When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning, then the Lord will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy. There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain" (vs. 2-6).

The Glory of God will be seen once again in the church, in manifestation, not as some metaphor or even spiritual reality but physical.

Friday 

2 Sam 7:14 "I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten (3198; reprove, rebuke, convict, correct) him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men"

God sometimes uses people to chasten us. This passage comes after David proposed to build a house for God and Nathan the prophet responded affirmatively. Then God spoke to Nathan to say it would be done through David's son.

One of the ways God speaks to us is through others. In this case David received it through a prophet. The fivefold ministry is for the perfection of the saints (Eph 4:11,12). As a nation, God dealt with Israel in the past through other nations. God actually incited them to invade Israel sometimes because of their rebellion in order to judge them.

I remember once God used my boss to speak to me. He was an unbeliever. Some of the things he said to me were true, while others were not. I had to judge myself in that case (1 Cor 11:31), not receiving those accusations that were false and embracing those things that were true. I remember it felt like I was fencing with a sword, deflecting those things which were effectively curses.

Even though chastening is not pleasant its yields are great (Heb 12:11). A wise man loves rebuke but a fool despises it (Pr 9:8). Choose to be wise rather than foolish. It's hard but thank God for all the rebuke and reproof you've received from Him through the years from others.

Saturday

Gal 5:19-21 "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God"

Salvation is a free gift from God. We cannot earn it by works of righteousness. Either one accepts it or rejects it, like any other gift someone might offer us. Inheritance, on the other hand, is something accrued by virtue of being born into a family. There are things we can do, or not do, that will effect what, if any, inheritance we might receive after the death of the father. We must keep these two concepts straight and distinct in order to understand such passages as the one above.

On first glance one might suspect we will not born again if we participate in any of the sins listed. Paul wrote this to believers who were already in the kingdom. They were already born again and in the family of God. Being born again is the only way one can enter the kingdom of God. As believers we sometimes sin (1 John 1:8). An occasional sin does not disqualify us from anything. We ask God to forgive us and we move on (1 John 1:9). Deep entrenched sin in a believers life, however, may disqualify us from inheriting the things of the kingdom that go beyond the new birth, such as healing and finances for example. The lord does not hear our prayers when we refuse to let go of our pet sins (Ps 66:18; Isa 59:2).

We've inherited everything we will ever need or want - everything beyond what we can ask or think - and all of it will respond to faith in God and His Word. We must position ourselves to receive His kingdom benefits. They don't come automatically just because we are in the family of God. They come by faith. And we must strive lawfully - according to His ways - to receive them (2 Tim 2:5).

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