Devotional – The God of All Power

Is anything too hard for the LORD? Genesis 18:14 ESV

Ah, Lord GOD… Nothing is too hard for you. Jeremiah 32:17 ESV

In the Greek language omni means “all” and potent means “power.” This is where our English word omnipotence originates. So, when we speak of God’s attribute of omnipotence we are actually saying He possess “all power.”

In Genesis 18 the LORD gives Abraham the amazing news that his aged wife Sarah will give birth a child in about a year’s time. Overhearing this Sarah was incredulous – how could a woman well beyond her childbearing years possibly have a child?
Knowing her thoughts, God asked the rhetorical question “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Many years later the prophet Jeremiah decisively declared, “Nothing is too hard for [God].”

Do you believe this? Do you really believe God possesses all power? Do you really believe nothing is too hard for God? Even in your life?

If you truly believe this… if you have truly placed your full, unconditional trust in Him, you have no reason to fear any challenge you may face. No matter how impossible it may seem. You can rest in the full confidence of knowing that nothing is too hard for God!

Father, You are omnipotent. There is nothing too hard for You, for You possess all power. Please help me to fully rest in you, while placing no confidence in the flesh.

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Editorial note: Originally published January 23, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Devotional – What Jesus Never Said

“Thus says the Lord…” Jeremiah 2:2 ESV

“I say to you…” Matthew 5:18 ESV

Throughout the long history of the Nation of Israel God sent many prophets to speak His words to the people.

A prophet was simply a human messenger. A mere mortal chosen by God to speak the words given to him by God. A prophet’s authority did not come from himself, rather it came from God. A prophet’s words did not come from himself, rather his words came from God. To underscore this truth, prophets often prefaced their prophesies with the phrase “Thus says the Lord.” In fact, this phrase is repeated well over 400 times in the Old Testament.

Then came the Lord Jesus Christ.

Not once did he ever utter the phrase “thus says the Lord.” Rather, He often prefaced His words with the phrase “I say to you.” Some 87 times He boldly proclaimed this astounding phrase!

Jesus Christ was not just another prophet. Jesus Christ was not merely a human messenger sent on behalf of God! No!

Jesus Christ was, and is God incarnate! Jesus Christ did not need to say “thus says the Lord” because He is the Lord! He is God! Every time Jesus Christ said “I say to you” He was boldly declaring that His words ARE God’s words.

“And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority.” Mark 1:22 ESV

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Editorial note: Originally published May 3, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Devotional – Spiritual Exile

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“And Jeremiah… [said] ‘I am banned from going to the house of the Lord.” Jeremiah 36:5 ESV

Jeremiah was in spiritual exile—banned by his own brethren from entering the house of the Lord! Why? For speaking the truth.

Joseph was sent into exile and slavery by his own brethren! Why? For speaking the truth.

Jesus Christ was rejected and crucified by his own brethren, for He ‘came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.’ John 1:11 ESV. Why? For speaking the truth.

Today, maybe you too are in spiritual exile for speaking the truth—having also been rejected by your own brethren.

Spiritual exile is not a fun place to be, but take heart! You are in very good company. Jeremiah, Joseph, and Jesus were all rejected by those who should have gladly received them and the truth they proclaimed!

Never forget—God not only sees the bigger picture, He sees the entire picture from beginning to end! When rejected by your own, the best example to follow is that of the Lord Jesus Christ, for ‘when he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.’ 1 Peter 2:23 ESV.

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Editorial note: Originally published June 29, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Devotional – God is Fully Trustworthy

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yet I will not make a full end. Jeremiah 4:27 ESV

but make not a full end. Jeremiah 5:10 ESV

I will not make a full end of you Jeremiah 5:18 ESV

but of you I will not make a full end. Jeremiah 30:11 ESV

but of you I will not make a full end. Jeremiah 46:28 ESV

Looking for evidence that the Bible is true? Look to the Jew!

Some two thousand six hundred years ago God, through the prophet Jeremiah, told the Jewish people His judgment was about to be poured out on them. The Babylonians would overrun the Jewish nation and destroy the city of Jerusalem, including the temple. Many would die and most of the survivors would be taken captive and exiled to Babylon.

God also made a stunning promise: despite being brought to the brink of total annihilation, He would not make a full end of the Jews.

Fast forward 2,600 years: the Jews are still a clearly identifiable people! God has kept His promise– His word is fully trustworthy!

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Editorial note: Originally published June 17, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Devotional – A Peaceful and Quiet Life

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But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. Jeremiah 29:7 ESV

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV

Jeremiah 29:4-23 records for us a divinely inspired letter written by the prophet Jeremiah to the Jewish exiles in Babylon. The letter, written near the beginning of the Babylonian exile, provided the newly arrived exiles with instructions for daily living, encouragement, and warnings regarding false prophets.

Among other things, the exiles were to “seek the welfare of the city” in which they were living. In other words, the exiles were to live as exemplary citizens. They were to conduct themselves in a manner that would benefit the larger community around them.

The exiles were also instructed to “pray to the Lord on [the city’s] behalf.” In addition to being model citizens the exiles were also instructed to petition God in prayer for the welfare of city– the city that was holding them captive!

In the New Testament we have been given similar instructions: to be good citizens (Romans 13:1, Mark 12:17), to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44), and to pray for those who are in political positions of authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

Why?

“That we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” 1 Timothy 2:2.

Lord, it is my desire to live a peaceful and quiet life. I desire to live a life that would reflect your love and character to the world around me. Help me to live godly and dignified in every way. For your glory. Amen.

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Editorial note: Originally published May 9, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

 

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Devotional – In Times Like These

 

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Cursed be the day on which I was born!
The day when my mother bore me, let it not be blessed! ~ Jeremiah 20:14 ESV

Let the day perish on which I was born, and the night that said, ‘A man is conceived.’ ~ Job 3:3 ESV

And [Elijah] asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life” ~ 1 Kings 19:4

And [Jonah] asked that he might die and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” ~ Jonah 4:8 ESV

 

Jeremiah cursed the day of his birth. Job wished the day of his birth had never occurred. Elijah cried out “Enough!” and begged the Lord to take his life. Jonah also asked the Lord to take his, figuring death is preferable to life.

At least once in their lives Jeremiah, Job, Elijah and Jonah all reached a point where they wished they were dead!

Have you ever gone through a life crisis, wishing you had never been born? Maybe you’re feeling that way right now?! Maybe you have come to the end of what you think you can possibly handle, and like Elijah you’re screaming out to God, “Enough!”

If you are feeling that way, please remember God loves you! During times like this it’s difficult to feel His love. But, just because you can’t feel His love, it doesn’t mean you are unloved! Just because you can’t feel His presence, it doesn’t mean you are alone! Just because you feel like giving up, it doesn’t mean you should give up.

Oh, don’t trust your feelings! Rather grab ahold of the Lord Jesus Christ and never let go! Trust in His promises. Trust in His love. Trust in His strength. Trust in Him.

In times like these, you need a Savior,
In times like these, you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

The Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the One,
The Rock is Jesus, The only One
Be very sure, be very sure, Your anchor holds,
And grips the Solid Rock.

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Editorial note: Originally published April 2, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

‘In Times Like These’ by Ruth Caye Jones

 

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Devotional – With A Nature Like Ours

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O Lord, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger than I, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all the day; everyone mocks me.  ~ Jeremiah 20:7 ESV

We may be tempted to think that the heroes of the Bible, such as the prophet Jeremiah, were invincible, even indefatigable spiritual giants.  Servants of God who never worried, were consistently fearless, and never tired of the Lord’s work.

We can easily grow discouraged, even depressed, in our service for the Lord when we think we have failed Him. “Why am I afraid to witness?” “Why didn’t I speak up and give a word for the Lord?” “Why did I go along with crowd and do what I knew was wrong?”

However the Bible does not portray the heroes of the faith as superhuman or super-spiritual.  Absolutely not. The Bible never glosses over the failures, shortcomings, or weaknesses of His servants.

Consider the following:

  • Elijah became depressed and suicidal ~1 Kings 19:4
  • David committed adultery and murder ~ 2 Samuel 12:7
  • Paul had his thorn in the flesh ~ 2 Corinthians 12:7
  • Thomas doubted the Lord had risen from the dead ~ John 20:25
  • Peter denied the Lord Jesus Christ. Three times. ~ Luke 22:61
  • Noah drank to the point of intoxication ~ Genesis 9:21
  • Paul and Barnabas went their separate ways after a fierce argument ~ Acts 15:39

Jeremiah often grew fearful and discouraged. At times Jeremiah questioned his calling—even accusing the Lord of using deception to lure him into the ministry (Jeremiah 20:7).

Clearly the heroes of the Bible were neither superhuman nor super-spiritual. Rather they were men and women “with a nature like ours.” James 5:17.

Lord, help me to go forth today in the power of Your strength.   Thank you for Your deep and abiding love!  Help me to ever keep my eyes squarely focused on you, that I may not grow discouraged.

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Editorial note: Originally published March 26, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Devotional – Formed, Known, Consecrated and Appointed

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“I formed you”

 “I knew you”

 “I consecrated you”

 “I appointed you” Jeremiah 1:5

When God sent a prophet to the nation of Judah He did not randomly choose just anyone.  No.  Long before God’s calling of Jeremiah God perfectly designed, specifically created and sovereignly appointed him for the task.

Jeremiah was not an accident; God specifically designed him to fulfill God’s purposes.

Jeremiah was not without purpose; God specifically created him to be a prophet.

Jeremiah was not alone; God intimately knew him and promised to go with him every step of the journey.

Jeremiah is not unique.  You were also designed and created by God for a very specific purpose.

Because you were specifically designed by God to fulfill His divine purposes, you can have confidence.  Maybe you wonder why God created you with a speech impediment? Moses said something very similar, “I am slow of speech and of tongue.” God responded to Moses by saying He is the Creator of the mouth!

Because God specifically created you for His purposes, your life has value.  You need not feel unimportant or even worthless.  You are important and your life has value—infinite value.  Why?  Because you are not an accident! God specifically created you.  God specifically created you to fulfill a unique purpose.  “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 ESV.

Because God desires an intimate and personal relationship with you, you need never to be alone or even feel alone. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8 ESV

Lord, I pray that today you would fill me with a real sense of Your presence, that You would reveal to me Your purpose for my life and fill me with the confidence of knowing that you designed and created me.

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Editorial note: Originally published March 21, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Devotional – The Bread and The Cup

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 “No one shall break bread for the mourner, to comfort him for the dead, nor shall anyone give him the cup of consolation to drink for his father or his mother.” Jeremiah 16:7

God sent the Prophet Jeremiah to the southern Kingdom of Judah to pronounce God’s impending judgment because of the nation’s persistent idolatry.  God was about to unleash the enemies of Judah who would bring sweeping death and destruction.

If the nation of Judah would truly confess, repent and turn from their sin, Jeremiah preached, God would relent and withhold His judgment.  Sadly the people ignored Jeremiah’s impassioned pleas, choosing instead to persist in their evil ways.

In Jeremiah 16 God instructs those who would survive not to bury or lament the dead or even comfort surviving family members.

In verse 7 God specifically directs the people to refrain from the common funeral practice of breaking bread and partaking of the cup of consolation.  It was as if God was saying that the deceased were not worthy to be remembered for their sins were so great.

Today, when we meet together each Lord’s Day to break bread and partake of the cup we do so to remember One who is truly worthy to be remembered, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Those who died in the judgment in Jeremiah’s day were guilty sinners; He was without sin. They turned from the true God to worship idols (v11); He did the will of His Father.  They broke God’s laws (v11); He fulfilled the law.  They refused to listen to God (v12); He was the Living Word of God. They followed their own will (v12); He meticulously followed the will of His Father.  They deserved the judgment of God; He did not.  They bore their own judgment; He bore our judgment.

So on this Lord’s Day we meet together to break bread and partake of the cup to remember our Lord Jesus Christ.  For He alone is worthy to be remembered.

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Editorial note: Originally published March 15, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Devotional – Peace in Times of Turmoil

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“Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away?  Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.  Jeremiah 23:23-24

There is nowhere you can go where God is not.  There is nowhere you can go where God cannot see you.  There is nowhere you can go where God cannot hear you.

If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, the truth of God’s all-presence brings inner peace in times of turmoil, confidence in the face of opposition, and strength in times of weakness.

Today you can face all of the difficulties of life knowing that He is right there with you. You can be comforted to know that He hears your prayers.

Father, You are omnipresent. There is nowhere I can go where you are not.  May I rest fully in the peace, confidence and strength that only your presence can bring.

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Editorial note: Originally published February 4, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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