…readers and followers, thank you much for reading and liking the post “The Response of Faith“; due to your responses and feedback it will be added to the featured posts of Joppa Road (left sidebar)! And with that will come another post soon about approaching the LORD Jesus Christ by, and with, faith… how many of you know, that without faith it’s impossible to please the LORD? I know somebody knows, but I wanted to ask…

Today God is First: Baptism at the Red Sea

Today’s Prayer,
Dear God, I ask You to please give me the grace to be a faithful follower during times of prosperity as well as lean and trying times. I pray that I will be consistent “in season and out of season.” I pray also for my family, that my whole household would serve you with gladness. Where there is doubt, give reassurance. Where there is sorrow, give joy. Where there is an ounce of faith, give an abundance of hope. I thank you and praise you in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Baptism at the Red Sea
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2,
by Os Hillman


“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life”
(Rom 6:4).

When Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt, he took them to the edge of the Red Sea. The people saw the sea before them and heard the chariots of the Egyptians behind them. They knew they were trapped – and they lost their faith in God. They thought God was no longer at work in their lives. In panic and despair, they turned on Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out into the desert to die? When we were slaves in Egypt, didn’t we tell you, ‘Just leave us alone and let us continue serving the Egyptians.’ Better to live as slaves than to die out here!”

They couldn’t imagine that God’s path to freedom actually led straight into and through the deep waters! The waters of the Red Sea, like the New Testament sacrament of baptism, are a symbol of death. When Moses parted the Red Sea, the people of Israel walked upon the dry seabed with walls of water on either side. They descended into the depths of the sea. They died to their old selves and rose to a new life that led to the Promised Land.

Like the people of Israel in their journey, we panic and cry out to God, “Did You bring me out into this desert of adversity to die?” We would rather live as slaves than die to self and yield control of our lives to God. But God takes us through the depths so that we can emerge as new people, ready to enter the Promised Land.

In general, I’ve observed that the greater and higher the calling, the more intense the adversity. I’m not saying one person’s call is more important, but I am saying it may have a more far reaching impact on others. This often requires greater preparation.

If you find yourself in deep water, thank God today that He is preparing you for a life that is designed to impact many.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Today God is First: Come Out of the Stronghold

Come Out of the Stronghold
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

01-04-2014

…”Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah”… – 1 Samuel 22:5

David and his fighting men had been hiding in the cave of Adullam. He was fleeing Saul. Many of life’s down-and-out had come and joined David’s army. David was content to stay in the stronghold of safety. Then, God’s prophet came to David and told him that he must leave the stronghold and go into the land of Judah.

When life beats down on us and we get to the place where we want to hide in a cave, God often places people around us who prod us into moving in the right direction. He does not want us to remain in the place of discouragement. He wants us to move into the land of “praise.” Judah means “praise.”

I recall when I went through a very difficult time. It seemed to drag on and on with no change until finally I wanted to retreat to a cave and forget pressing on. It was a great time of discouragement. A godly man came to me and said, “You must keep moving! There are too many who are depending on you in the Kingdom.” I didn’t totally understand what he meant at the time. Now I know he was saying that God is preparing each of us to be the vessel He wants to use in the life of another person, but we will never be that vessel if we give up and hide in our cave of discouragement. Not only must we keep moving, we must move into a new realm. Our attitude must move from discouragement to praise. It is when we move past discouragement to praise that we begin living above our problems. Make a decision today to go into the land of Judah.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Today God is First: Avoid the Escape Mentality

Today’s Prayer,
Dear Father in Heaven, This day I look up and remember how it is you who created all and who owns the cattle upon the hills, the water that springs from the earth, the skies that span our view, and everything good. It is you who can provide for and bless the earth and the inhabitants thereof. I pray for the many people who are in difficult circumstances right now and need a touch to help them with their basic needs. I pray for those who need financial income to pay their living expenses, those who need jobs to bring in that income, who need good health to be able to do those jobs; and for those whose jobs do not provide sufficient income for their needs. I pray also for those who have the income, but do not know how to properly manage it for the best outcome. And I pray for those who have much and can give much. Please, connect the right people with jobs, and the right people with the right people, to do what needs to be done. I pray that you will meet every need; that you will bless the lives of those who follow your guidance and those who are thankful for what you provide. Hear the cries of the needy. I pray you will bless those who give from the abundance you have allowed them to have, for sharing and ministering in ways that others cannot. Thank you, Father, for hearing my prayer. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Avoid the Escape Mentality
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman


“Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle”
(Ps 144:1).

One of the best-selling American books of all time is a fiction series that focuses on the end times called Left Behind. It deals with the rapture of Christians from the earth before the final end-times crisis takes place and the anti-Christ rules.

If we are not careful we will fall into a mindset that we are simply buying time until Jesus calls us home. No matter what the end-times scripture teaches, it is clear that believers should model a behavior that is more like a soldier in battle desiring to take the land, than a person awaiting an airlift.

When God placed man on earth, He desired man to rule the earth. “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Gen 1:28). The intent was not dictatorship, but to express the love and care of God throughout all of creation in order to know and experience the creator in all things.

Today, we often have a cruise ship mentality in the Church of Jesus Christ instead of a battleship mentality designed to engage the enemy of our souls. Our army is often ill-equipped to know how to take the land that God has provided through His Son. This is why believers in the workplace must see their work and calling as an assignment from God to demonstrate His power in all of society in order to restore His rule upon the earth. That is the key reason Jesus died on the cross – to restore that which was lost (Lk 19:10).

Are you engaged in the battle?

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Today God Is First: My God Shall Provide

Today’s Prayer,
Dear Lord, Your Word tells us “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). I pray right now, in the name of Jesus, that you would rebuke every evil thought, tear down every stronghold in my life, and help me Lord, to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Help me to overcome and to rise above all that pulls me down. Help me to soar with the Eagles and restore fellowship with You. May my life be a living testimony to You, Oh God. Amen.

My God Shall Provide
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

06-25-2014

“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Have you ever gone through a time of complete dependence on God for your material needs? Perhaps you lost a job and could not generate income on your own. Perhaps you got sick and could not work. There are circumstances in our lives that can put us in this place.

When God brought the people of Israel out of Egypt through the desolate desert, they had no ability to provide for themselves. God met their needs supernaturally each day by providing manna from Heaven. Each day they would awake to one day’s portion of what they needed. This was a season in their lives to learn dependence and the faithfulness of God as provider. By and by, they entered the Promised Land. When they did, God’s “supernatural provision” was no longer required. “The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan” (Josh. 5:12). In both cases God was the provider of the need.

For most of us, we derive our necessities of life through our work. Like the birds of the fields we are commanded to go out and gather what God has already provided. It is a process of participation in what God has already provided. Sometimes it appears it is all up to us; sometimes it appears it is all up to God. In either case we must realize that the Lord is our provider; the job is only an instrument of His provision. He requires our involvement in either case.

“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your forefathers, as it is today” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).

Acknowledge the Lord as the provider of every need you have today. He is a faithful provider.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

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