October, 18 - Daily Devotions
October Scripture Portion: Matthew chapter 1 - Luke chapter 22 including the Gospel according to Mark.
Chapter 11 records Mark's account of the week before Jesus' crucifixion. In it we read of His triumphal entry (verses 1-11); the Temple cleansed (verses 15-18); and the lesson of the barren fig tree (verses 12-14,19-25).
Verses 22-26 have been labeled, "The Prayer of Faith." In answering the disciples, Jesus said, "Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith." Christians today can exercise this type of faith. However, many times when we pray, we do not pray in faith. God will not answer if we do not exercise faith. God longs to give us the desires of our heart; but we must come to Him in faith, believing. Then our desires will be met.
Many times Christians wonder if what they are asking for is God's will for them. If there is a settled peace within your heart about the matter, the Holy Spirit will give you the assurance to ask for it and the faith to believe that you will receive it. If you have doubts, then simply pray that God's will be done.
Verses 25 and 26 give the reasons why there are hindrances to our prayers being answered. Jesus said, "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." Do you have a grudge against someone and have been unable to forgive? If so, then your prayers cannot be answered. I have talked with many people who feel they cannot forgive someone for something that person has done to them. This is Satan's way of trying to defeat Christians. God says we must forgive! And through the power of His grace, He will help us to forgive. The words of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, are very explicit concerning the matter of forgiveness. If you have a problem in this area, I trust you will turn it over to the Lord, and experience the joy of salvation and answered prayer in your life.
In chapter 12:28-34 Jesus gives the great commandments. The first is, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength." The second is, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Following the giving of the second commandment, Jesus said, "There is none other commandment greater than these.".
Our society today is very selfish. Individuals are prone to put themselves before anything or anyone else. God's chain of command is--God first, our neighbor second, and us third. How happy and full our lives would be if we would but follow God's chain of command. I wonder today how many of us truly love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Do we really love our neighbors? It should be the desire of every Christian to have a greater capacity for love and compassion for those around him. We should love people for Christ's sake. God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross for us.
Jesus has called us to be ambassadors and messengers for Him, to be His servants, ready and willing to proclaim the great message of salvation. In order for us to be faithful servants, we should love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We should also love those about us so much that we can truly say, "I love my neighbor as myself.".
MEMORY VERSE FOR TODAY: Man now can be: Righteous.
Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.