"Uniting Christian & Jewish Clergy from Around the World"
DAY 1: If It Matters To You, It Matters To God
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7
Many Christians make the mistake of thinking that God is too busy taking care of the "big things" to be interested in the little problems they are facing. Are you one of them? It may be your child's bed-wetting habit, a quarrel with a friend or the small pimple on your face. No matter how trivial it sounds, if it troubles you, then God wants to take care of it!
God wants to take care of every area of your life, even the smallest detail. He loves you so much that He knows the number of hairs you have on your head. And if your loving heavenly Father knows and is interested in the small details of your life, then you don't have to overcome any problem on your own.
When my daughter Jessica turned three, my wife Wendy and I decided to bring her to Disneyland. Knowing that it was her first encounter with Disneyland and that she could be frightened by unexpected shocks, I decided to watch one of the theatre productions which I had planned to bring her to, before I took her to watch it.
As I sat through the production, my mind was on Jessica all the time. I was thinking, "ls this too frightening for her? Will she like the mechanical singing bear? Is the place too dark for her?" I decided to bring her to the show only after I had seen it myself and was sure that she would enjoy it.
My friend, your heavenly Father cares for you in the same way as He lays out His plans for you. You are on His heart all the time as He carefully considers and makes plans for every aspect of your life, both big and small. And the very thought of you puts a smile on His face because He knows that the plans, He has for you are plans to bless you (Jeremiah 29: 11).
So, no matter what problems you are facing right now, you can rest in His love for you. There is no problem that is too insignificant for Him to handle. He is not just God Almighty, He is also your heavenly Father who loves you!
DAY 2: The Lord ls Your Refuge
1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust." Psalm 91 :1-2
Every day, we are bombarded with news of conflicts, natural disasters, diseases and new strains of drug-resistant viruses. We also hear of people losing their loved ones in freak accidents. And we ask ourselves, "Is there a place where I can take refuge from a world gone mad?" Yes, there is! God foresaw all these things and He has promised in His Word protection from every evil known to man. There is no trap set by the devil that our Father cannot deliver us from, if we trust in Him and take Him as our refuge. That is His promise in Psalm 91.
Whether it is an earthquake at midnight, a crazy sniper, an unknown virus or a terrorist attack, God says, "You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday" (Psalm 91 :5-6).
Because you have made Him your dwelling place, angels are watching over you right now (Psalm 91:9-11). They give heed to the voice of God's Word, so you should give voice to God's Word. This means that you should agree with and speak what God's Word says about His preserving and protecting you. Then, angels are sent to minister for you (Hebrews 1:14).
My friend, don't say, "If it can happen to them, it can also happen to me!" Say, "A thousand may fall at my side and 10,000 at my right hand, but it will not come near me" (Psalm 91:7)! The world says that you cannot but expect danger all around. God says, "You are in this world but not of this world. You have My protection because you are of Me and in Me” (John 17:14-23).
You have access by faith into the secret place of the Most High where no evil can touch you. There is no need to fear living in the end times because the Lord is your refuge and fortress. His Word says so. And those who trust His Word completely find His Word completely true!
DAY 3: The Good Life Without The Sweat
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:26
Most people are of the opinion that the good life does not happen without hard work and buckets of sweat. They believe that to achieve success, you first need to have this educational certificate, that professional qualification, this particular job and that many years of hard work. I have good news for you: God has a better way. We all must work, but the world wants you to believe that there is a natural process of sowing, reaping and gathering, accompanied by waiting, toiling and stress, before the good life actually comes. But God says, "My people do not need to go through this natural process to enjoy the good life for they are not of this world's system. They can operate out of My economy and I can give them the good life straightaway!"
In the same way that God feeds the birds which do not go through the sow-then-reap-then-gather system of the world, He wants to and will do much more for you!
Your heavenly Father wants you to know the generosity of His heart toward you and how much He wants to make you successful. A case in point is what happened to a church member who believed this truth. After leaving his previous job, he trusted God to provide him with a better one. Within just four months, he found himself heading two companies.
His newly formed distribution company not only clinched a major project in Singapore but was also made the principal distributor in Southeast Asia for a popular line of products from the United States. His second company, which provided consultancy services, was given two projects by a Korean and a Hong Kong company for a six-figure consultancy fee in US dollars.
Today, God wants you to know that you are not of the world's system. You are of the kingdom of God-the same kingdom that feeds the birds that do not toil, but simply trust their Creator for all their provisions in life. Be convinced that you are of more value to your heavenly Father than the birds and let Him give you the good life without the toiling and laboring of the world.
DAY 4: You Are Perfect In God's Eyes
12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God ... 14 For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. Hebrews 10:12, 14, KJV
God sees you with no flaw, spot or imperfection, so honor His Word and the finished work of His Son by saying, "Amen!" Don't doubt your perfection in Christ. To see yourself as far from being perfect is not modesty, but a failure to understand the perfect sacrifice that Jesus has made for you. The Bible tells us, "For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified". Did you get that? You have not only been sanctified, that is, made holy, but by the same offering of His body, you have been perfected. You are both holy and perfect in God's eyes!
Your sins have been purged perfectly. Today, Jesus is seated at His Father's right hand not because He is the Son of God (although that is true), but because His work of purging your sins is completely finished and perfect!
So instead of being conscious of your sins, which is to have an evil conscience (Hebrews 10:22), you can have a perfect conscience, a conscience that is free from the guilt and condemnation of sins.
When you find yourself conscious of your sins, just say, "Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your wonderful work at the cross. It is a perfect work that has removed all my sins completely.
"Holy Spirit, thank You for convicting me of righteousness, not my own, but God's righteousness given to me as a gift. Keep on convicting me in the days to come, reminding me especially when I fail that I am still the righteousness of God in Christ."
My friend, God sees you perfect without any spot of sin. He sees you covered in the beautiful white robes of His own righteousness. He treats you like a righteous man because that is what He has made you. So, expect good things to happen to you because blessings are on the head of the righteous (Proverbs 10:6)!
Day 5 - Choose Not To Worry
Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? Matthew 6:27
Many Christians are familiar with Jesus' rhetorical question, "Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?" But not many of us actually let it get into our hearts and allow the love of God to free us from our habit of worrying. The truth is, no amount of worrying can lengthen your life or add anything to your physical person. Instead, worrying robs you of sleep, health and many good years. In fact, it is only when you are worry-free that God's anointing flows freely in you, strengthening, healing, restoring and adding to you.
A church member, after undergoing a mammogram, found that she had lumps in her breast. Upon receiving the doctor's report, she wrote this down on the report: "Jesus is my healer. I receive my healing. I am healed. I rest in God completely."
She was due back at the clinic later the same day for a biopsy to see if the lumps were malignant. Her sister-in-law, who was having lunch with her that day, witnessed her cheerful and worry-free attitude while she ate her lunch.
Back at the clinic, this precious sister sat among other ladies, who were also there for their biopsies. They looked very worried, so she started sharing Jesus with them and prayed for some of them. When her turn came and she had an ultrasound scan done, the doctor was puzzled-her scan showed no evidence of any lumps! The doctor went back to consult her colleague who had first discovered the lumps. Stunned, both doctors conducted their own investigations. They returned to her only to say, "It's a miracle!"
My friend, when you worry, you are actually believing that the devil has the power to make inroads into your life that God cannot protect you from. But when you refuse to worry, you are putting your faith in God. You have more confidence in His love and power working for you than in the devil’s ability to harm you! When you refuse to worry but choose to rest in the finished work of Christ, you will see the manifestation of your blessing. You will see your miracle!
Day 6: It Is Finished!
So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. John 19:30
Imagine looking at Leonardo da Vinci's famous Mona Lisa painting in the Louvre museum. Would you think of adding more brush strokes to it? Of course not! It was done by a master, so what could you possibly add to the painting to improve it? In the same way, that is how we are to look at Jesus' work on the cross. He cried out, "It is finished!" You cannot complete a completed work. You cannot finish a finished work.
Our salvation is won. Our sins are all forgiven. We are made forever righteous by His blood. Christ paid completely and perfectly for our total forgiveness, righteousness and every blessing! In fact, these three words, "It is finished", come from one Greek word teleo. In the days of Jesus, a servant would use it when reporting to his master: "I have completed the work assigned to me" (John 17:4). The word means, "It is finished, it stands finished and it will always be finished!"
Perhaps the most significant meaning of teleo is how it is used by merchants: "The debt is paid in full!" When Jesus gave Himself on the cross, He met fully the righteous demands of the law. He paid our debts in full!
Today, it is not our works that will bring us the blessings. It is Christ's finished work. Christian living is not about doing but believing in His finished work. Under the law, we must do. Under grace, it is done! Maybe you are faced with overwhelming odds today. Jesus promises, "It is finished!" You are not going to be delivered because you have already been delivered. You are not going to be healed because you are already the healed! God healed you 2,000 years ago!
Isaiah 53:5 declares, "By His stripes you are healed!" You are already pregnant with healing. Keep resting in His finished work and it will manifest! My friend, the work is finished. The victory is won. Our blessings have been bought by His blood! Live life knowing that there is nothing for you to do - only believe! It is finished!
DAY 7: You Are Already Blessed
I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.’ Joshua 24:13
God is more willing to bless you than you are willing to be blessed! In fact, He is so keen for you to enjoy His abundance that in His mind, giving you over and above what you need is a settled matter.
God has already promised: "I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant."
He did not say, "I may give," which means that it may or may not happen, but He said, "I have given," which means that it has already happened. It is only a matter of time before your revelation of what you have through the work of Christ brings forth the abundance that He has already blessed you with.
A brother in the United States wrote in to share how he needed to buy a car, but had only half the amount of money needed. He kept calculating and strategizing, but the sums just weren't adding up. He finally quit trying to make it happen and just rested in the Lord's love and ability to provide for him. Weeks later, he was able to buy a car that was two years newer than what he had wanted, at exactly the amount that he had!
My friend, expect divine provision in your life because you are already richly blessed in Christ. Jesus took your place of poverty at the cross -"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9).
In Him, you are poor no more. So, stop looking at the lack in your natural resources. Look to the cross and say, "Because of Jesus' finished work, I can expect to walk in all of His blessings
DAY 8: Jesus Is Willing, Be Healed!
Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." ... Matthew 8:3
Do you know that it is God's will for you to be healed? In fact, Jesus always healed the sick who came to Him. The blind, lame, maimed, mute, deaf and demon-possessed - He healed them all! (Matthew 8: 16)
The Bible says that he who has seen Jesus has seen the Father (John 14:9). You want to see what God is like? Look at Jesus! He never gave sickness to anybody. You never find Jesus looking at a person, a fine specimen of a man, and saying, "Come here. You are too healthy. Receive some leprosy!" In fact, when a leper came to Him for healing, Jesus, full of compassion, told the leper, "I am willing; be cleansed."
Unfortunately, there are some Christians who say, "It is God's will for me to be sick. God has some purpose, some mysterious purpose for my situation. It is all part of His divine plan and we shall all know in the sweet by and by, the reason why!" But these same people go to their doctors to get well. They take their medication and rest. Why do they do that if they really believe that God wants them sick? Doesn't make sense does it?
Come on, what makes perfect sense is this: God wants you well. He wants you whole. His will is for you to be healed! In fact, He is so willing that He took all your sicknesses and diseases upon His own body, so that you don't have to suffer them today! He allowed Himself to be beaten and scourged, so that by His scourging - by His stripes - you are healed (Isaiah 53:5)! Since He has already suffered the sickness on your behalf, why should you suffer it today?
So my friend, if you are sick, know that God did not give you the disease. Read every healing miracle that Jesus did in the Gospels and see how Jesus is the Lord who heals you (Exodus 15 :26). Hear His gracious words, "I am willing, be healed," and know that they are as much for you today as they were for the leper!
DAY 9: By Jesus' Stripes You Are Healed
...The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
You know, one of the biggest outcries against Mel Gibson's movie, The Passion Of The Christ, was that it was too violent, especially the part where Jesus was scourged.
Let me tell you this: It was not violent enough! The Bible says that at the cross, Jesus' visage was marred beyond that of any man (Isaiah 52: 14). In the movie, even after all the beatings, the actor James Caviezel, who played Jesus, still looked quite handsome.
But the reality is that when Jesus hung on the cross, He had "no form or comeliness ... there is no beauty that we should desire Him" (Isaiah 53:2). He was beaten to a pulp until His face looked like jelly hanging out! In the movie, when they scourged Him, only a small portion of His bones was exposed, so it was still quite tidy. But the messianic psalms say, "The plowers plowed on my back; they made their furrows long" (Psalm 129:3), and "I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me" (Psalm 22:17). All His bones were exposed!
My friend, He was thinking of you when the soldiers tied Him to the scourging post. As they raised their whips, He said, “Let it all come on Me!"
But what came on Him was not just the whip stripping the flesh off His bare back, but your sicknesses and diseases. Each time He was whipped, every form of sickness and disease, including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, bird flu and dengue fever, came upon Him. "The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed."
Today, healing is your right because Jesus has paid the price for your healing. So, if the devil says, “You cannot be healed,” just declare, “Jesus has paid for my healing. Disease has no right to be in my body. I am healed in Jesus’ name!” Every curse of sickness that was supposed to fall on you fell on Jesus instead. He bore every one of those stripes, so that you can walk in divine health all the days of your life. The price has been paid so that you can rise up and get out of your bed of affliction!
DAY 10: God Is Not Judging You
Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.
Some people see God as a judge who has exacting demands on man. When they fall short or when things go wrong in their lives, they think that God is judging them.
My friend, the truth is that if you are a believer, God does not bring any charge against you. Instead, He justifies you because of the blood of His Son. In fact, God's Word goes on to say that the One who has the right to condemn you, chose instead to die for you and is risen at the Father's right hand to be your righteousness (Romans 8:34)!
But what the devil tries to do is to get you to believe that God watches you with a critical eye and punishes you when you do wrong. He has deceived many sincere Christians into believing that if they have done something wrong, sickness or some other evil thing has a right to come upon them and their families. And when these things happen, he convinces them that they are suffering God's judgment because of their wrongdoings. In the meantime, these sincere Christians struggle with condemnation because they think that they are the cause of their problems.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Ever since the cross, where Jesus was judged in your place for every one of your wrong actions, thoughts and words, God no longer judges you, His child. You need not accept condemnation or evil things happening to you because Jesus took all your punishment at the cross.
So, when you start to feel condemned for your actions or when you experience negative circumstances, say, "It is written: It is God who justifies me. I am completely forgiven and made righteous before Him. I refuse to accept any condemnation and I reject every symptom of the curse that I am seeing in my circumstances!”
Then, simply stand on the truth of God’s Word, and watch Him deliver and bless you!
DAY 11: God Is Your Strength
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Ephesians 6:10
When you say, "I can manage this problem by myself, Lord," God says, "Okay, you do it then." But when you say, "Help me, Lord! I need You. I cannot do this on my own," God says, "Good, I have been waiting for you to say that. You cannot, but I can. Now, watch Me!" That is how God is - He loves it when you depend on Him.
You see, when you think that you are strong and don't need God, He cannot help you. But when you need Him and look to Him, He will not leave you weak and helpless. He comes and becomes the strength of your life. He becomes the breakthrough that you need.
A church member, with a smoking habit came to me one day and said, "Pastor Prince, please pray that God will help me. I want to stop my smoking habit." I told him simply, "You cannot, but God can." He replied, "Yes, I know that I can't. But with God's help, I will discipline myself and try my best to quit the habit."
I told him, "No, you cannot, but God can." I repeated this to him a few times until he realized that it was not his self-discipline or willpower that would help him overcome his smoking habit, but the power of God. He finally understood that true deliverance from this destructive habit would not come by his own strength, but by "[being] strong in the Lord and in the power of His might."
When I saw him again a few weeks later, he said, "Pastor Prince, since that day, I didn't even try to stop myself from smoking. But each time I lit up, I told God, 'I cannot, but You can.' Then one day, the craving was gone! Jesus has completely delivered me from my bondage to nicotine!” This man experienced true deliverance, not just an outward form of discipline and willpower. So, when you say, “I can do something about it,” you are still relying on your human strength. But when you say to God, “I cannot, but You can,” you have just tapped into the real source of your strength - Jesus. And as you rest in His strength, you will see His power manifesting in your life!
DAY 12: God Gives You Undeserved Preferential Treatment
... Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
When you fly first class in an airplane, the cabin crew gives you first-class treatment. They ask you, "Is everything okay with you, sir?" They ask you what magazines you want to read. They give you a blanket if you are cold. They give you the best kinds of food. They give you preferential treatment compared to those traveling in economy class.
The grace of God is defined as "undeserved, unearned and unmerited favor." And one of the definitions for favor is "preferential treatment!" Today, God wants you to know that you have His favor on you. He wants you to know that He gives you preferential treatment which you do not deserve. And He wants you to depend on and take full advantage of it in your life.
God also wants you to know that His favor in your life can be increased. You can experience more of His favor from day to day. How? The Bible tells us in 2 Peter 1:2 that God's grace (or favor) is multiplied to us "in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." The more you behold Jesus and His love for you, the more you believe and confess that God's favor is on you, the more you will see His favor work for you.
So, if you are a doctor, you will find patients favoring you and you will have more patients than you can handle. If you are a businessman, you will find people just wanting to do business with you because they like you and feel good about you. Then, you will have more business than you can handle, and you will need to plan for expansion!
When the favor of God shines on your church, you will find its premises too small for the people who queue up week after week to attend the services! So, when people wonder and ask, "What is happening here?" you can tell them, "It is the favor of God multiplied all over us!" And it is all undeserved, unearned and unmerited!
DAY 13: Believing Is Receiving
28For she said, "If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well." 291mmediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.
You have heard people of the world say, "I will believe it only when I see it." Generally, that is the way the world thinks. But God's ways are not like the ways of the world. The world says, "If I can't feel it or see it, I cannot believe the miracle is here." God says, "If you believe it before you feel it or see it, you will see your miracle."
Believing first before seeing the evidence of what we are believing for is called faith. Faith is like a spark and Jesus is the dynamite powder.
In the story of the healing of the woman with the issue of blood, there were many people who touched Jesus (Mark 5:31), but nothing happened to them. They didn't touch Him in faith. But when the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years came to Him and touched Him in faith, He felt power leave His body (Mark 5:30), and it sparked off an explosion of healing in the woman 's body!
Hearing about how good, kind and loving Jesus was fired her faith to believe that He could and would heal her. So convinced was she (even when the condition in her body was still evident) that she said, ''If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.'' Did she experience her healing first before she believed? No, she believed first in Jesus' goodness and power, acted in faith and only then felt the healing in her body.
In the same way, God wants you to believe in His goodness and love toward you. He wants you to know how willing He is to act on your behalf to bless you, and how, with Christ, He will freely give you every good thing (Romans 8:32).
He wants you to declare by faith that all is and shall be well with you, and to expect to see just that. And then, no matter how long you have had the problem, no matter how bad the experts say it is, an explosion of healing and restoration will take place, and you will receive what you are believing for!
Hi Everyone, I pray all is well with you all and your families! I have posted days 1 to 13 of Pastor Joseph Prince's 31 day devotional, "The One Thing!" I will post the other days, as I read them; posting two days at a time. Therefore, the next days you all will receive are "Day 14 & Day 15."
Have a blessed day and week! Happy Labor Day!
Rev. Dr. Dorothy E. Hooks