Signs and Wonders Today

Today’s Prayer,

Today is Friday–the day after Thanksgiving Day in the USA. People flock to the malls and outlets to spend more money than any other day of the year. There are sales to catch, gifts to buy…and debts to incur. God, please give us an extra nudge today and wisdom and a desire to live within our means today and in the days to come. You gave us a very special gift because of your love for us. And we should not give to others out of a sense of duty, but because we love or appreciate them. Help us remember that the gifts we may buy are no where near as important as the gifts of our time and love. Lord, I want to enjoy the simple pleasures of life…and make time for my friends and family this Christmas season. Thank you so much for your priceless gift of your Son, and the salvation you so lovingly provided for me. In my Savior’s name Jesus I pray, amen.

 

Signs and Wonders Today
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman
11-28-2014

“The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them.” – Acts 15:12

“I was a pastor for 19 years before I went into business,” said the man sitting across the table from me as we were sharing lunch together. What led him from being a pastor to a businessman was both a move of God and an attack from the enemy.

“I was a pastor of a particular denomination that did not embrace all of God’s Word. It was a time in my life when I was experiencing many physical problems. I was on the verge of being admitted to the hospital. I had been seeking God about whether He was truly a God of healing and whether His Word was applicable in all areas of life as it was in the early Church. I was to go into the hospital the next day. That night I cried out to the Lord. I confronted God about His Word. I asked Him if He still did miracles today. Just then, I turned on my TV and saw an evangelist preaching. At that very moment, he stopped preaching, looked into the TV camera, and said these words: ‘There is a man in the viewing audience who has been a pastor for many years and is struggling to know whether God heals today. His own denomination does not believe He does. [He even named his denomination.] God is healing you right now to demonstrate to you that His healing is for today, and you are to know that His Word is true for today just like it was for the early Church.’ “

My friend was shocked. The TV evangelist could not have described him more accurately if he had been sitting in the same living room with him. God healed him that very night. He was not admitted to the hospital. He was forced to go before his church and witness to God’s power in his life. He was soon fired as pastor of this church, and this is what led him into business.

So often when we experience God in greater and deeper ways, the persecution comes not from the world, but from those who are closest to us. The religious community persecuted Jesus. He was betrayed by one of His own disciples. However, we must realize this betrayal was necessary for God to accomplish His work through Jesus.

God will bring each of us to a crisis of faith to test what we really believe. For my friend, he had to experience God in a new way. Then he had to be tested in that belief to the point of losing his job.

Have you experienced God in all of your life? Are there areas in which you believe God does not operate today? Before you discount God, seek Him with a whole heart. You might be surprised at what you will find.

 

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

Mount Horeb

Today’s Prayer

“Hear my cry, O God: Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me. A strong tower form the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings” (Psalm 61:1-4). Please calm my soul and be my shelter always. I praise You and worship You, Almighty God and loving Father. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for who You are and all You have done and all You will do, from moment to moment and age to age. You are worthy of honor and praise and glory. In┬áJesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

Mount Horeb
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

“So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.” 1 Kings 19:8

Elijah and Moses were men of great zeal. They were passionate about their causes. Moses sought to free the Hebrews from the tyranny of slavery by killing an Egyptian with his own hand. Elijah, after calling down fire on the evil prophets of Baal, found himself spent physically and emotionally to the point he asked God to take his life.

Immediately after these two events, 500 years apart from one another, both men were led to the same Mount Horeb, the mountain of God. In Hebrew, Horeb means “desolation.” This barren environment mirrored the condition of Moses and Elijah. For Moses, it was 40 years of barrenness. For Elijah, it was 40 days without food. Elijah became tired of standing alone for God.

As workplace believers we often become so focused on the goal we forget to meet God at our own Mount Horeb. This was the place God met both Moses and Elijah. It was a place of renewal, a place of new beginnings, a place of personal encounter with the living God.

Perhaps Elijah’s greatest virtue was his zeal. Indeed, we shall see that twice in his communication with God, Elijah speaks of having been “very zealous” for the Lord. But zeal, unattended eventually becomes its own God; it compels us toward expectations, which are unrealistic, and outside the timing and anointing of God. To remain balanced, zeal must be reined in and harnessed by strategic encounters with the living God. We otherwise become frustrated with people and discouraged with delays. We step outside our place of strength and spiritual protection. Many of us become so consumed with our battles that we are no longer aware of the presence of Jesus. We have been traveling in our own strength. [Francis Frangipane, Place of Immunity (Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Arrow Publications, 1994), 5.]

Pray that Jesus will teach us that intimacy with Him is the greatest measure of success. Lord, guide us to the mountain of Your presence.

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

Today God is First: Redeeming the Time

Redeeming the Time
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman
10-07-2014

“Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.” Acts 8:40

Many times I’ve heard a man or woman say they cannot participate in an event, a service, or activity for God because of the time it will take away from their job. God has called each of us to be good stewards of our time and our resources. It is just as important to learn how to say yes as it is to say no, and we must be faithful to our employers if we do not have freedom to take time away. However, many times I sense that workplace believers justify a lack of obedience under the guise of stewardship.

Philip was one of the first businessmen who was given a commission to preach the gospel. He was in the city of Samaria preaching when many miracles began to take place and the crowds came to see what was happening. Then in the midst of this great move of God, the angel of God spoke to Philip and told him to leave Samaria and go to a desert road that led from Jerusalem to Gaza. Imagine how Philip must have questioned the logic of this decision when he was seeing such results in Samaria. But Philip was obedient to the angel. Along the road, he met an Ethiopian eunuch who wanted to have the Scriptures explained to him. Philip explained the Scriptures to the Ethiopian, who was the treasurer of Ethiopia under Queen Candace, and led him to the Lord, then baptized him in a nearby lake. A few moments later, Philip was supernaturally transported many miles northwest of his location to Azotus, where he preached Christ along the way toward his final destination of Caesarea.

So often we think that if we give our time outside our work life, our work will suffer. God redeemed the time for Philip by supernaturally transporting him to the next place he was to be. God always blesses those who serve Him. He can redeem lost time for those who willingly give of themselves for His purposes. Do not fall into the trap of believing that God cannot redeem the time you give for Him. If He calls you to give outside your normal work life, be assured He can make up that time. I have heard countless examples of workplace believers who experienced God’s supernatural financial provision for time given for the sake of the gospel through unexpected business or unusual income that resulted after they made the commitment to take time away from their work for service to God.

God desires that we respond as Philip did in order to be used by Him in the life of another person. Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit so that you can go and speak when He says go and speak. Do not fear the consequences of what that might mean if it requires leaving your work interests for a time. God will make it up. He always takes care of those who are obedient. He is more concerned about obedience than the bottom line.

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

Today God is First: Understanding What God Has Given

Today’s Prayer,

Dear God, Sometimes I feel like I have poured myself into something or someone, and worked and fought for a cause, only to see no fruits for my labors. It all seemed in vain. But I know that You can work in all of that to fulfill a greater purpose. Please, don’t let the labor of my heart and hands be in vain. I pray that all I do would be as unto You and for a good purpose and eternal value. Please bless the works of my heart and hands for Your glory. Please empower me with wisdom and insight through Your Holy Spirit. Please guide me every step and every day, to have a part in reaching this world for You and ministering to those I love. In┬áJesus’ name, amen.

Understanding What God Has Given
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman
10-06-2014

“We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.” 1 Corinthians 2:12

God desires for us to know what He has freely given to us. One of the responsibilities of the Holy Spirit is to reveal His plans and purposes to us. They may be hidden for a time, but if we seek Him with our whole heart, we can know what He has given to us.

John the Baptist understood this principle. When asked if he was the Messiah, he replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven” (Jn. 3:27). John understood his role in the Kingdom of God. He came to pave the way for the Messiah; he was not the Messiah himself. His ministry on earth was very brief, yet Jesus described his life in this way: ” ‘I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he’ ” (Mt. 11:11).

Once we understand what God has given to us, we can walk freely in our calling. However, if we strive to walk in a role that He never gave us, it will result in frustration and failure. God wants to reveal His plan to us by His Spirit. This requires a willingness to seek and accept what He gives us. It may be different from what we thought. It may require adjustments to follow His path for our lives. As we learn from the life of John the Baptist, obedience requires death to our own wills.

Ask God to reveal what He has freely given to you. Pray that you receive and embrace only those things He has reserved for you to receive and to accomplish in your life. Then you can be assured of a life full of meaning and purpose, and you can look forward to hearing those all-important words someday, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.”

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

Today God Is First: Walking in the Anointing

Today’s Prayer,
Oh God, most gracious heavenly Father, that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain (to You, my loved ones, my church family, to those who stand in need of your love, mercy, and salvation–or to myself). May You be glorified, Oh lovely and loving One. Thank You in Jesus’ name, amen.

Walking in the Anointing
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1

by Os Hillman
07-10-2014

“So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power….” 1 Samuel 16:13

Has the Spirit of the Lord rested on your life? Can you cite the time when God’s Spirit began demonstrating His power through you?

David knew the day the Spirit of the Lord began a special work in him. That Spirit was different from most leaders. Instead of seeking power and control, he led in response to a need. Instead of being a perfect person, he learned from mistakes and acknowledged them among those he led. Instead of placing confidence in his own abilities, he sought wisdom from the only real Commander in charge. David never lost a battle through his many years of leading Israel. He failed God by sinning with Bathsheba and by numbering the troops, but he learned from those failures, and he had to pay a price for them. However, God’s Spirit never left David. He never left because of David’s willingness to keep a soft heart toward God, even when he failed.

God wants to do the same in you and me, but He will not allow that Spirit to rest on us if we seek to control outcomes and manipulate out of our need for power. Servant leaders know that they are only a tool in the Master’s hand. They do not value themselves more than they ought. David’s heart was fully the Lord’s. Is your heart fully the Lord’s to do with what He wills?

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

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