Tag Archives: Devotional

Living Beyond Your Natural Ability ¦ Devotional

Scripture: ‘We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself’. – 2 Corinthians 1:8

Have you ever sensed that God’s calling you to do something that you know full well you don’t have the ability to do? Perhaps as a Christian you’ve found yourself in situations that have been impossible to endure without God’s help?

When I read about the life of the apostle Paul, I sometimes think to myself “HOW ON EARTH did he do that?! How did he go around preaching so boldly to people he knew were very likely to reject his message, and how did he endure such persecution in city after city?” In today’s scripture we even see Paul himself admitting that the trials he faced were too much to bear! So how did he do it?

Fortunately, he gives us the answer in Colossians 1:29. He says ‘To this end I labour, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me’. The two key words here are ‘his energy’. Paul makes it absolutely clear that he didn’t do any of these things in his own ability, but that God was supplying the physical, emotional and spiritual energy he needed. The result was a man who lived far beyond his natural ability.

There have been times in my life where I’ve not wanted to ask God what He wants me to do in the next season of my life, because I’ve been afraid that I wouldn’t be able to fulfil it. Now I realise that that’s the whole point! In fact, how will God be glorified if I live within my own natural ability?

I’ve come to realise that the Christian life is supposed to be lived in such a way that the people around us have no doubt whatsoever that we’re living with a power that’s not our own. So,if you’re facing situations today that seem beyond your natural ability to endure, perhaps they are! Perhaps that’s the whole point. Perhaps God wants to be glorified as you step forward in His strength and live beyond your natural ability.

Prayer: Father, I thank You that You haven’t called me to live the Christian life in my own strength. Sorry for the times when I haven’t asked You to provide the strength and the energy I need to endure the situations I face. I want to humble myself before You now and accept that I can’t do what You’re calling me to do on my own. I need You. I need Your grace, Your strength and Your power to endure. I believe that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, so I ask You right now to clothe me with power from on high, to enable me to carry out all that You ask of me in this life. In the powerful name of Your Son, Jesus, Amen.

If God has used this teaching to impact you by His Spirit, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it!

Source:  Seeds of the Kingdom

The Pattern of a Miraculous Life ¦ Devotional

Scripture: But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” – Luke 1:30-34

Perhaps you feel very normal as you read this devotional today, not considering that your life is very ‘miraculous`. Mary probably felt exactly the same way until the angel Gabriel appeared and told her that she was going to be used in miraculous ways to fulfil God’s purposes.

When Gabriel had given her the first part of his message, Mary was clearly wondering how on earth such a thing could possibly happen to her, a virgin. “How will this be?” she began to ask, before reminding Gabriel that the suggestion was (humanly speaking) totally impossible, “since I am a virgin”.

I wonder how many Christians stop believing that God will use them in miraculous ways because it seems totally impossible. I read a quote recently that said ‘you don’t always get what you want in life but you always get what you expect’.

I love the fact that Mary didn’t simply state that it was impossible and stop there, but she asked Gabriel “How will this be?” Her ‘mustard seed’ of childlike faith was evident as she allowed herself to wonder how God might do such a thing. She got her answer in the next verse.

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (verse 35). Wow, what a response! Gabriel basically told her not to worry because she wasn’t going to be required to do the impossible bit and that the Holy Spirit would take care of that.

Mary then demonstrated great faith and complete submission to God’s will by saying “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said” (verse 38). Of course we know now that it did happen exactly as God had said and millions of lives have been changed as a result.

In this story I see a pattern for miraculous living. Firstly, God is always the one who initiates – the vision has to come from Him. Secondly He requires us to respond with faith and submission to His will, even if our minds are screaming ‘this is impossible!’. Finally, we are not expected to ‘produce’ the miracles. He is the one who brings about the miracles by the power of His Holy Spirit.

Prayer: Father, I thank You that You have a special and important part for me to play in Your Kingdom purposes on this earth. I want to say sorry for the times I have backed away because I’ve felt that the ideas or visions You were giving me were impossible to achieve. I choose to believe that nothing is impossible for You. Today I want to submit myself to Your will afresh and recognise that Your Holy Spirit can overshadow me and my weaknesses at the time You want to do the miraculous with my life. Help me to hear Your voice and follow Your leading. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Source:  Seeds of the Kingdom

If God has used this teaching to impact you by His Spirit, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it!

Many Will Be Offended ¦ Devotional

Scripture: “And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” – Matthew 24:10

As well as famines, earthquakes and wars, Jesus said that one of the things that will mark the last days is that many will become offended.

To be offended is to have had an offence committed against you (either actual or perceived) that you have not yet chosen to completely hand over to God and release all judgement to Him. You can recognise it by the way you feel when you think about the person who hurt you, or when you see them in the street.

Offence causes our love to grow cold and it eats away at the very life that God has placed within us. Scripture says that if you allow a bitter root to grow up inside you, it will not only cause trouble and defile you but it will also defile those around you (Hebrews 12:15).

Can I challenge you today to search your heart and see if there is any offence present. Ask yourself: Have I found myself moaning or complaining in my heart about my spouse, my boss, my pastor, one of my family members or one of my friends? Has the thought crossed my mind recently that my life would be much better if a certain person hadn’t done a certain thing?

If you have been hurt and your heart has been damaged, the key to restoring the life within you is forgiveness. The person who is quick to forgive will not find their love growing cold. Your broken heart can be healed if you are willing to obey the one who heals the broken hearted.

Prayer: Father, thank you that you have extended your unfathomable mercy to me. I am sorry that I have not always been quick to extend that same mercy to others. I come before you humbly today and choose to forgive from my heart everybody who has ever hurt me. I ask that as I walk in forgiveness, you will bring deep healing to my heart and that you would restore my life and my ability to love others, even my enemies. Thank you for coming to heal the broken hearted and for giving us the greatest example of forgiveness the world has ever seen. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Source:  Seeds of the Kingdom

If God has used this teaching to impact you by His Spirit, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it!


Defeating Fear Daily ¦ Devotional

Scripture: “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” – Psalm 56:3-4

The producer of a national radio station contacted me recently to ask if I could come on her show to speak about “Freedom from Fear”. “Wow” I thought, “God has provided me with an opportunity to speak His truth to thousands of people”. Almost immediately fear began to speak (rather ironically you may be thinking!). “Who do you think you are?” it said. “Why do you think you have anything to say that will help other people in the area of fear?”. And finally, “There are people much more qualified than you who could do this. Go and ask somebody else to do it”.

Sound familiar? We all know that fear speaks. In my experience the voice of fear usually comes straight after the voice of God. It usually comes as a direct attack on you taking the next step to fulfil your personal calling. You see, I’ve never been afraid to go out to a restaurant with my wife or to take my family to the zoo – it seems that the enemy knows when his work is being threatened and when it is, he uses fear to try to stop us.

In order to walk in victory over fear on a daily basis, we need to understand how it operates. Perhaps the biggest key in this area is recognising that behind almost every fear is a lie. The lie that Satan tried to have me believe in this instance was “You don’t have anything to say about fear that will help anybody”. The effect of this lie was that my confidence was shaken and I began to doubt not only the gift God has placed on my life, but more importantly, God’s ability to empower me for this task. Nothing is impossible for God so I know it was an absolute lie, but it felt very true in the moment.

When you are afraid, first ask God to expose the lie that you are believing. Since God’s Word is the truth, the next step is to ask God to give you a scripture that says the opposite to the lie. The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit and so when you know what the truth is, you can take hold of it in the Spirit like a sword. You can then declare it over yourself and the situation you are in, cutting the enemy’s lie to pieces with the sharp blade of truth. It may take perseverance but when the lie has been defeated (i.e. you no longer believe it!) the fear will disappear. Quite literally, the truth will set you free.

With God’s help I overcame the fear and I did speak on national radio. God gave me the words to say and many lives were impacted for His kingdom and His glory. The scripture He gave me was Joshua 1:5. My prayer is that today, you too will defeat fear and walk confidently in the gift and call God has placed on your life.

Prayer: Father, I thank you that your Word is a powerful sword and that it is mighty for the pulling down of strongholds. I pray that you would expose the lies of enemy that I have been believing and that you would enable me to walk in complete freedom from fear as I stand on the truth of your Word. Help me to trust in you so that like king David, I will be able to win tremendous battles that are far beyond my natural ability. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Source:  Seeds of the Kingdom

If God has used this teaching to impact you by His Spirit, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it!

Keep It Simple ¦ Devotional

Scripture: For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, “Go,” and he goes; and that one, “Come,” and he comes. I say to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it.’ – Matthew 8:9

There are times when God gives us basic instructions and we follow them immediately, just like the soldiers who were under the authority of the centurion soldier that Jesus encountered in Matthew 8.

Then there are other times when we feel God is telling us to go in a direction that is so radical and requires so much change, that our human nature likes to ask lots of questions and over-complicate things!

“How is it all going to work out?” we ask, or “Is God really telling me to do this” (when we know full well He is!). “How on earth will we survive financially?” or “what are people going to think?”. Rather than operating in simple faith, we allow ourselves to over-analyse the potential consequences of the decision. This is obviously not the way God intends us to handle things, since he commands us not to worry or be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6).

At a point in my life when I found my mind full of questions like these, the Holy Spirit gently calmed my thoughts and fears by speaking these three words into my spirit: keep it simple.

This was His gentle reminder to me that the God of the Universe, who placed the stars in the sky, is quite capable of handling all the little details of our lives, and that worrying about them is not a burden He wants us to carry. I know it’s easier said than done but our responsibility before God is simply to listen to his instructions and obey them.

So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:31-34

Prayer: Father, I want to say sorry for the times I have tried to work things out in my own mind, rather than simply trusting you with the details of my life. I’m sorry for the times I have missed things that you wanted to do in my life because I was too busy worrying about the practicalities. Today I choose to trust you with all my heart, and not to lean on my own understanding. I thank you that you have an incredible plan for my life and I ask you now to empower me by your Holy Spirit to fulfil that plan as I take instructions from you, step by step. In the mighty name of your Son Jesus, Amen.

Source:  Seeds of the Kingdom

If God has used this teaching to impact you by His Spirit, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it!

Worth Writing Down! ¦ Devotional

Scripture: Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” – Isaiah 30:21

God has a unique race marked out for each one of us and has promised to guide us each step of the way. He speaks to us in many different ways and if the God of the universe is willing to speak to us, then what He says is certainly worth writing down!

A wise man once encouraged me to keep a journal. I decided I would, but I wasn’t sure which details of my life were really worth writing down. He then proceeded to give me five questions that I should ask myself regularly. Why don’t you join me in asking these questions today?

1. When did God last speak to you?

2. What did He say?

3. How did He say it?

4. How do you know it was Him?

5. What did you do with it?

The answers to these five questions are not only worth writing down, but they’re worth revisiting again and again. As you look back over what God has said to you over the years, you can build a strong understanding of the calling and destiny He has for you personally.

Question 4 is vital. We must test everything we hear to check that it’s in line with God’s Word and His character. Doing this will prove to be a safeguard against false ‘prophetic’ words.

You may also find that this exercise is a powerful tool to keep you on track and in God’s perfect will. It’s so easy for us to commit ourselves to all sorts of things that seem like ‘good ideas’, before we’ve consulted God. If, like Jesus, we only do what the Father tells us to do (John 5:19) we can know we’ll bear much fruit in His Kingdom.

Prayer: Father, thank You that You promise to guide me each day into the plans You have for me. Please show me the things that I’m doing that You haven’t told me to do, and give me the grace to stop doing them. Help me to hear Your voice clearly and to be obedient, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Source:  Seeds of the Kingdom

If God has used this teaching to impact you by His Spirit, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it!


The Curtain Has Been Torn ¦ Devotional

Scripture: “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” – Mark 15:38

I was recently dropped off by a friend at the train station and as I walked across to buy my ticket I had this sudden realisation that I was all alone – just me and God. I felt the Lord was grabbing my attention to simply remind me that nothing else in my life matters as much as where I stand with Him.

Over the last two years I have become a husband, a father and have taken on various other responsibilities that leave me with much less ‘alone time’. Almost all of the activities that I am involved in day-to-day, concern my relationships with other human beings. Maybe you can relate? As I have been pondering on this recently I was reminded of today’s scripture.

I find it incredible to think that the spiritual transaction that took place on the cross was so powerful that the thick, 60ft (approx) long curtain that was hanging between the outer room and the inner room was physically torn in two at that moment! By this, God made a powerful declaration that we are now free to enter His presence. Before that only the high priest could enter the inner room once a year, and even he couldn’t come just as he was (for more on this see Hebrews 9:1-8).

For those of us who have brought our sin to Jesus, there is nothing that can stop us having intimacy with God. The fact that the curtain has been torn in two signifies that sin can no longer keep you from His presence. You can come just as you are, right now. In the apostle Paul’s words: ‘Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence’– Hebrews 4:16

As we come into His presence we discover the fullness of life that we were originally created to have. Can I encourage you, right in this moment, to spend some time with Him – make space and allow Him to pour out His love on you, speak personally to you and breathe His life into you?

Prayer: Father, I thank You that the curtain of the temple was torn in two when Your Son Jesus breathed His last breath on the cross. I thank You that because of His sacrifice, I can freely enter Your presence. I pray that You would help me to remember that I can enter Your presence just as I am, at any time of the day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Source:  Seeds of the Kingdom

If God has used this teaching to impact you by His Spirit, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it!