Today God is First: Standing in the Gap

Today’s Prayer,
Dear God, Thank you for being with me through another day and night. Thank you for answered prayer. And thank you for continuing to love me in spite of myself. Today I am keenly aware of people who need people. That’s right…we all need each other. No man is an island and can stand alone. You know, because you created us with a need for fellowship and companionship. I pray that every person participating in this devotional time with you, and that every person who is in desperate need of this provision today, will be blessed with at least one very special person and with a network of good, Christian brothers and sisters to meet that need of fellowship and companionship. I pray that each one of us will look at ourselves and ask, am I being a good friend to others? Am I showing caring, Christian concern for my fellow man? God, you are the ultimate one with whom we have fellowship and it is you who can meet needs far beyond what any human being can meet. Everyone will have the opportunity to experience that relationship with you. I pray that you will use me to be a light to those with whom I have contact with in my daily life. May you be pleased and blessed with the fellowship of those who love you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Standing in the Gap
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

01-18-2014

I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before Me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. – Ezekiel 22:30

The people of Israel fell into sin when they worshiped the golden calf. It would not be the last time God’s people would fall into idol worship. They had forgotten the great things God had done for them. This angered God so much that He was going to destroy the whole nation. Only one thing changed God’s mind in the matter — Moses. Psalm 106:23 says, “…had not Moses, His chosen one, stood in the breach before Him to keep His wrath from destroying them.” Moses was a man willing to stand in the gap, sacrificially, for those who were not deserving of such sacrifice. This sacrificial love by Moses is called for among His people today.

The prophet Ezekiel described another situation in which God’s people fell into sin. God was ready to destroy the nation when He spoke to Ezekiel, asking him if there is a man willing to stand in the gap so that God would not have to destroy His people.

Judah was a man who stood in the gap on behalf of his younger brother Benjamin. Joseph held his brother Simeon hostage as insurance that the other brothers would bring Benjamin to Egypt. Judah had a long history of a me-focused life, but in this instance he came forward to stand in the gap for his younger brother. He responded to the anguish of his father, Jacob, by personally guaranteeing the safe return of both Simeon and Benjamin. Judah’s sacrifice was rewarded (see Gen. 42-43).

Just as Christ did, we are to be those who will stand in the gap on behalf of others who are not aware of their own vulnerable condition. It is a proactive sacrificial position. Who is God calling you to stand in the gap for? Perhaps it is a mate; perhaps it is a coworker who has not come to know the Savior; perhaps it is a wayward child. Are you willing to become the sacrificial offering to God to change His plans of judgment because of your willingness to stand in their place? This is a hard teaching. This is what Jesus did for each of us. When we stand in the place of another, God moves because of our willingness to stand on their behalf. If we don’t, His plans will go forward because He is a righteous and holy God who will honor His own word, even if it means destruction. Are you willing to stand in the breach of the wall for someone today? Perhaps you are the only person who will stand on someone’s behalf.

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

…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.

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