Friday, December 31, 2010

Jesus Anoints His New Tabernacle – His Church

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. Acts 2:1-11

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; 11, 12

God new that He needed people to communicate His messages of recovery to the world. He called this group of people and trained them through the three and one half years of His ministry. Then after His resurrection He spent the same amount of time training the Apostles as He had Moses in the Old Testament – 40 days. After His training He returned to heaven and when all was ready in heaven He poured out His Spirit upon His people as He had done at Mt Sinai 50 days after they had left Egypt so many years before. Now God blessed them with the presence of His Holy Spirit and gave them special gifts to share their experience, strength, and hope. God blessed them with the gift of tongues to tell the people from 15 different nations who had come to Jerusalem for Passover. The people were astonished that they heard the wonderful works of God in their own languages. They knew that the disciples were not trained for this and they knew that God was doing something special for them.

Prayer for Today: God, please grant us special gifts so that we too can go out and tell people of Your wonderful works toward us.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Replacing the Fallen Addict Judas

And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take. Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. Acts 1:15-26

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12

In this story God states several principles. He wanted 12 men to lead out in His church. He also stated that He knew that Judas would hold on to his addiction and not come to Jesus. He also stated through Peter that this fact needed to be healed and healed by a replacement person. God encouraged His people to pray to Him for guidance and they were able to find a replacement for Judas and have a solid, united, group from which to build the church of Christ throughout the world. Thus God’s will was done.

Prayer for Today: God, help us to be a united front to prepare the rest of the world for Your second coming. Help us to live out Your principles in such a ways as that when people come in contact with us they will see You and desire to be with You and Your people for ever. Thank You for Your grace and love.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jesus Gives His Promise to Return to Earth

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Acts 1:9-11

Steps: 11, 12

After Jesus had been with the disciples for 40 days, as He had been with Moses in the Old Testament, Jesus rose up in the air and was accepted into a cloud of angels and the disciples could no longer see Him. This is one of the remarkable claims of the Bible. After the disciples were standing there looking for Jesus two men (angels) stood by and asked them why they were standing there looking up into heaven. These men assured the disciples that this same Jesus, which went up in their sight would come again, in like manner – in a cloud of angels, and would return to Earth. This is a promise of God, and it will be done just as His first coming was completed in accordance with all of the details of the Scripture. (See I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:50-58).

Prayer for Today: What a spectacular promise, that You would come again someday. Help us to take You literally about this promise. What an honor and a privilege to see You coming personally to get us. It is an amazing thought to think about, You coming back in a cloud of angels to gather us to You forever. Grant us courage and faith to believe You and to trust You to prepare us for such an experience.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Counsel of Jesus After His Resurrection

The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. Acts 1:1-9

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

After His resurrection, Jesus spent 40 days to instruct His church on how to build the sanctuary of the New Testament Church. Jesus knew what struggles would be ahead of His church and He gave them counsel so that they in turn to counsel others. The disciples wondered if He was going to re-establish the kingdom of Israel on Earth and Jesus firmly denied that His kingdom would be on this Earth in the near future. Other Scriptures indicate that He will re-establish His kingdom in the Earth made new but not now. His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom and is to happen in the heart and mind of each individual and united in the church to do service for Him. God wanted His people to go out into the world and testify of what Jesus had done to them and in them. But before they went out they were to wait for His gift of the Holy Spirit and then go out and do service for Him.

Prayer for Today: God, grant us this power as well and give us a message of recovery in Jesus. Help us to be able to share these thoughts in a manner that You can approve of. Help us not to try to force people but to share our experience, strength, and hope, and give them freedom to choose. Thank You for all You have done for us and continue to walk with us that we may accomplish Your thoughts and Your holy will for us and for all of the people in the world.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Peter’s Amends

So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. John 21:15-19

Steps: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Peter had denied Jesus three times just prior to Jesus death on Calvary. Now God is addressing Peter on this point for Peter’s sake – to know that He is forgiven as well as the disciple’s sake to know that God doesn’t forget issues and sweep them under the rug. God wanted His disciples to be united and completely settled on each other as well as being settled on Jesus Himself. To ignore Peter’s behaviors would have left an open door of potential misunderstanding between the brothers in the church and God wanted that door closed. Jesus wanted all of His disciples to trust one another and to be able to work efficiently with one another. God, as always, ties up every loose end to accomplish His will.

Prayer for Today: God, we acknowledge that You know all about us, every dirty secret, every sin, every addictive behavior or process. Help us to recognize that You will not forget any problem that we have and You want every single thing addressed and addressed thoroughly. Help us to learn to trust Your perspective and Your knowledge of our lives and thinking. Help us to remember that our recovery depends on how thoroughly you care for us and our defects. Thank You for this story about Peter to know that You don’t want to harm us or get rid of us.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thomas Still Addicted to Doubt

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 20:24-31

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12

Thomas did not trust anything unless he saw it with his own eyes and even then he doubted. He was so accustomed to trusting in himself that it was difficult for him to trust God. God allowed this scene to play out to train Thomas, the disciples, and those of us who read this story. God wants us to trust Him because of what He says, not because of what we see. (II Peter 2:16-21). His words are more trustworthy than what we think we see. Jesus took great pains to be sure that Thomas had a physical event to rest upon and then corrected him by telling him that he had seen Jesus but those in the future would be blessed by “reading” this account and by putting faith in the story without the physical sight. Jesus also said that those who believe on what is written will have life through His name.

Prayer for Today: Lord, You know our history. You know our past. You know what we will do with the testimonies in this little devotional. You know if we will have faith in what You say or in what we think, and in what we fear. Help us today to put our faith in You and not in our fears. Help us today to experience that spiritual experience in You.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Jesus Reveals Himself to His Disciples

And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread. And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them. Luke 24:33-43

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12

Jesus chose to reveal Himself to His disciples while they were talking about Him in the upper room. The disciples had hidden themselves there because they were afraid that the Jews would take them prisoners and kill them because they were followers of Christ. They had heard all of the different threads of experience from different people but were still afraid and doubting. They were still bound by their addictive thinking that unless they were in control then all things were lost. At this time Jesus came and stood, miraculously in their midst. The disciples were afraid because they thought that Jesus was a ghost, or a spirit. Jesus told them to touch Him and handle Him to see that He was flesh and blood, even though He could do supernatural things like show up in the middle of a meeting without coming through a door. Then He asked them for something to eat to show them again that he was real and had resurrected from the dead and that He indeed was their Lord and Saviour.

Prayer for Today: God, You know what each one of us is looking for when we think about You. Reveal Yourself to each one of us in such a way as that we will believe. Grant us this great gift and then grant us a soft heart that when we are satisfied in our hearts that we will believe in You and not turn back to the world and to our old ways of addictive thinking. Thank You that You will go to almost any length to give us what we need to believe.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Jesus Meets with His Disciples

And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Luke 24:13-33

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples in a way to keep the focus on Scripture as a more accurate testimony that His personal presence. God wanted to know the truth about Him from Scripture first and then He would reveal Himself to them physically

Prayer for Today: God, You know our hearts and how easily we are deceived by the influences of others. Help us to stand firm and true for you and choose recovery over any other thing in this world.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mary Magdalene Blessed by God

But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her. John 20:11-18

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

Mary, former addict to sexual activities, was totally into recovery. She was disappointed at the death of Jesus as were all of the disciples. She went to the last place that she had seen Jesus and He was no longer there and she was fearful lest she has missed Him in some way or whether someone had taken His body away unseen. But God knew her need and sent angels to instruct her and remind her of what He had said about His resurrection. She turned away and saw a man, but in her grief, she did not recognize Him. Then He spoke her name and she recognized His voice. Then she was going to throw herself at His feet but He stopped her because He was going to His Father to be validated as a Perfect Sacrifice. He instructed her to go and tell the disciples who were still grieving and locked away for fear of the Jews, that He had risen and that she had seen Him and that He had given her instructions to tell them about. Mary obeyed and did as she had been instructed to do. She was blessed by God as His faithful messenger.

Prayer for Today: Help us to remember where we have come from and all of the miracles You have granted us to get this far. Help us to be faithful in the little duties You have instructed us to perform. Help us to be willing to share as You inform us. Grant us grace, wisdom, determination to do Your will and to be a blessing to others. Thank You for being there for us.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Disciples Inventory

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass. Luke 24:1-12

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12

After the Sabbath was completed (Luke 23:50-56) the disciples went back to work wanting to finish Jesus’ burial preparations. When they come to the tomb the stone was rolled away and Jesus was not there. An angel asked them why they were seeking the living among the dead. The angel then reminded them about Jesus’ teaching that He would be abused at the hands of evil men, crucified, and then would rise after three days. Then they remembered what He had said, for their minds were clouded by grief and misunderstanding. The women went back and told the disciples and Peter and John came to check it out and found it to be how the women had said. Even then they were having difficulty believing what Jesus told them. They were taking sight over faith.

Prayer for Today: Help us Father to believe what You say even over what we can see with our own eyes. We have been deceived so many times that we trust no one even You. We know that You are always faithful and honest and help us to be trained to remember that You are always there with only truth. Thank You for raising Jesus from the dead, and that that assurance is available to us as well. Help us to remember that an inventory is often for the good things as well as the bad. Help us to remember that You are not always telling us bad things about ourselves but the good as well. Help us to learn to trust Your inventory of us over our own inventory.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

God Displays His Power to All Addicts

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. Matthew 28:1-4, 11-15

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12

The Jewish leadership had tried to lock Jesus into His tomb with the seal of the Roman Emperor. But when the Sabbath rest was completed and the three days of prophecy had taken place, Friday, Sabbath, Sunday, then God displayed His power. God sent His angel to call Jesus from His tomb. This angel came and rolled away the rock at the door of the tomb and called Jesus and Jesus responded and resurrected from the dead. When the soldiers ran away from the scene they came to the Jewish elders and they accepted a bribe to not tell the truth. The power addicts would not accept recovery but continued trying to deny the truth that is God.

Prayer for Today: Help us God, that we will accept the truth as You send it to us. Help us to learn to trust You that You are not trying to hurt us or deceive us but that everything You do is honesty and truth. Help us today to believe this story and receive the blessing You want us to get. Help us to turn away from error and control, and to turn to You for recovery from all our addictions even those addictions which try to control the truth.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Pharisees Think That They Can Control Jesus Even After He is Dead

Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch. Matthew 27:62-66

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

The Pharisees appeal to the power of the state to keep their enemy Jesus in the tomb. They knew what Jesus has predicted – that He would raise from the grave on the third day. They hoped that Jesus would not be able to get out of the tomb on the first Sunday after Passover Friday and the first Sabbath that took place after Friday on the Seventh Day Saturday. They hoped that the power of the state of Rome would be sufficient to keep Jesus out of their addictive businesses. They put their hope on their fellow addicts rather than on the power of God to do for them what they could not do themselves.

Prayer for Today: God, please help us not to interfere with your plans for us. Somewhere in our hearts is the hope that You are greater than our fears, and greater than our addictions. Grant us deliverance from our addictions and grant us a willingness to come to You for help rather than the state. Thank You again for You patience with us.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Jesus Died According to the Scriptures

The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.
John 19:31-37

Steps: 11, 12

Jesus died in harmony with the Scriptures. All of the things that God had seen in the future were played out in the life of Jesus, and in His death. No bones were broken, and they looked upon Him whom they pierced. All who believed in Him were disappointed if they looked on His death but those who looked on Scripture were confirmed. Trust in Scripture is more reliable than your eyesight. II Peter 1:16-21.

Prayer for Today: God, thank you for allowing Jesus to die for our addictions. Thank You for allowing it to happen in a way that we can process the idea that You would die to redeem us. It is difficult for us to grasp but when we do grasp it our lives start to change. Thank You for Your grace and love in this most precious gift.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Father Into Thy Hands I Commend My Spirit

And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. Luke 23:44-46
Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. Matthew 27:54

Steps: 11, 12

Though tempted to doubt His Father’s love, Jesus had the victory by faith in what He knew about His Father. When sin tried to close the door to faith, Jesus held on to His Father’s love by faith. He did not let fear nor despair drive Him to the point of denying His faith in His Father. This was His call to victory and it is for us as well. There is no sin so great that we can not trust in the love of Jesus to be able to deal with that sin, or that addiction. Jesus will forgive us, and cleanse us from each and every sin that we are willing to confess to Him. He already knows every sin that we have done, and ever will do, so anything we tell Him will not be a surprise to Him or to have taken Him off guard. Jesus knows us, and knows us so well that He has already taken all of our sins to the cross 2000 years ago. So let us not pretend with God. God knows and we know. The great question is will we commend our spirit into His hands and allow Him to perform His wondrous grace to cleanse us from all unrighteousness so that we to might go to paradise with Him?

Prayer for Today: God, we thank You again for all of Your wondrous love and care for us. Help us to trust You with our darkest secrets, which You already know. Help us to not play games with You but to learn to trust that You actually do love us even though You know us. Help us to learn to know You and trust what we find out about You. Help us to believe that You actually went through this terrible experience with Jesus so that we might know You and learn to love You. Thank You for Your love for us before we even knew You.

Friday, December 17, 2010

My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me!

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. Matthew 27:45-49

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12

This little sentence is one of the most profound statements in the Bible. First of all it is a direct quotation from Psalm 22:1. This Psalm is a whole study in the events related to the crucifixtion of the Messiah. Jesus was quoting this so that we would read the 22nd Psalm and to express His suffering. To all human appearances Jesus was cut off from His Father and felt like He was abandoned by the closest relationship possible – God Himself. Jesus was feeling what all humanity felt in their relationship with God because He was carrying all of the sins in the total history of the world on Himself. He felt abandoned because of sin. Jesus had to feel the total depth of the guilt, and sadness, and fear of sin in order to save us from sin. Jesus wanted us to know these things so that we would be willing to have us cry out to Him to save us from sin and addiction in all of its forms.

Prayer for Today: Father, we can imagine what it is like to have to abandon someone to the clutches of sin for we all have tasted this in some form or another. But today help us to have some sympathy for You for You had to allow Your Son Jesus to die for us, even though He had done no wrong against You. To hear Your Son say this statement must have torn Your heart for You knew that He was innocent of all things. None the less, You allowed Him to do it for You and for us that we could be reconciled once again. Help us to accept the death of Jesus as Your greatest statement that You want to be with us and that the only thing in the world that can separate us from You is our sins. Help us to be willing to surrender them to You today that we will no longer feel that separation. Thank You for Your love and for Your willingness to surrender Your Son to this terrible trial.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Jesus Saves Addicts Even While Crucified

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:39-43

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

In this story Jesus is on the cross crucified between two addicted thieves. They apparently were not able to stop from stealing on their own and were suffering death for the crimes which they admitted they were guilty of. They were making their amends to the state, but their amends to God were being fulfilled right next to them in the death of Jesus. One of the thieves did not want God to deliver him from his addiction but he wanted to be freed from the cross. The other thief admitted to God that he was an addict through and through. That thief simply pleaded his need of recovery and God granted it to him and promised that man that day, that he would be with God in paradise at the second coming. That thief was satisfied for he had been made right with God and God would bring him to heaven with Him at the end of the world.

Prayer for Today: God, we thank You for doing this work for us. Help us to come to You just like this addicted thief did and receive Your gifts for us. Thank You for Your mercies to us, and thank You for these stories.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jesus, the King of the Addicts

Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down they watched him there; And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. Matthew 27:26-38

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12

In this section of Scripture the story of Jesus’ story to Calvary is told. Pilate had given the people Barabbas, and then turned Jesus over to the soldiers to be taken to Calvary and there crucified. Before they got Jesus there they scourged Him, mocked Him, and put a crown of thorns on His head. The crown of thorns was a symbolic testimony that Jesus was the king of the rebels, or king of the addicts. Ezekiel 2:6. They offered Jesus a pain killing brew but when He had tasted of it He refused it so that His thoughts would remain intact and He would not help Satan tempt Him. Then they crucified Him and placed Him between two thieves to again symbolize that Jesus was perceived of as such a criminal that He was considered the Prince, or King, of Thieves. Jesus had become sin for us even thought He had never committed a sin, all of His natural life. All eyes looked to Him to see whether He would deliver Himself or would He wait for directions from His Father in heaven.

Prayer for Today: God, we thank You that You would make Jesus king over us. We want tell You again that we are sorry for how we have treated You. You are our hope in Jesus. That Jesus our king would be crucified for us. We recognize that Jesus is our King and that as our King, He died in our places. Thank You Father for thinking up this wonderful testimony of Your love and grace. Grant us completed deliverance in the name of Jesus our King.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pilate’s Addiction Revealed

Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. John 19:10-16

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10

Pilate, the Roman governor, has the responsibility to maintaining Roman law at Jerusalem. He knows that Jesus is innocent of the charges against Him but Pilate is a politician. He wants to curry favor and he knows that if he lets Jesus go he will have to deal with the political fall out from the Jewish leadership. Pilate looks for a way to let Jesus go but the Jews tell him that if he lets Jesus go he will be charged with the thought of not being Caesar’s friend. Pilate tries to get it turned around and he asks the Jews if they want their king crucified. The Jewish leadership is ready to fully sell out their kingdom to get Jesus killed and they say “We have no king but Caesar.” They officially went on record as saying that they do not want God to be their king but they have chosen their worst enemy Caesar to be their king. God honored their request. He allowed them to receive their king. Sadly in 70 AD their king destroyed Jerusalem and the temple. Pilate allows the Jews to choose Barabbas to be released unto them and then crucified Jesus, primarily to make the Jewish leadership happy.

Prayer for Today: God help us not to sell you out for political gain. Grant us an awareness of what needs to take place and help us to stand for truth no matter what the cost. Help us not to sell another human being out for political advantage. You know we are fully capable of selling others out but please grant us your grace so that we won’t do it again. Help us to trust that you won’t do it to us either. Help us to get into recovery and stay in recovery. We want full recovery, no half steps for us.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Priesthood and the People Choose Barabbas over Jesus

Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: Matthew 27:15-26

Steps: 4, 5, 6

In this part of the story the Priesthood persuades the people to vote for Barabbas a robber and a person who claimed to be the Messiah. The people chose someone who thought and acted like they did in their hearts. Pilate thought that Jesus was innocent but was not willing to get into an uproar with the people so he was willing to sacrifice an innocent man to satisfy the mob. Pilate asked the people to make their final decision and they decided to choose the robber over the Messiah. Then Pilate declared that he was innocent of this man’s blood. Then the people proclaimed a terrible curse to be upon themselves – they said to God that they were willing to have this man’s blood be on them and on their children. They were willing to have the guilt of killing an innocent man, and the God of their Fathers, to be upon them as a nation. This curse has had its impact on them as a nation ever since.

Prayer for Today: God, forgive us for if we had been there we would have probably chosen a criminal to be our Messiah as well, and rejected You. Help us today to choose You because You are a righteous God. Thank You again for your mercies in forgiving us and being willing to start again with us. Thank You for Your love.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pilate and Herod Judge Jesus

And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King. And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it. Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man. And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place. When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean. And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time. And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. Luke 23:1-11

Steps: 4, 5, 6

The Priests and Elders bring Jesus to Pilate – the Roman governor – to accuse Jesus by presenting false charges to him. They cannot officially kill anyone and they want the state to find a charge and have the state kill Jesus. They, the Priests) would have been happy to kill Jesus but they could not without running up against the laws of the state. After Pilate evaluates Jesus and finds no fault in him. Legally he should have released Jesus immediately but Pilate wanted to please the Church leadership and so we have a church state relationship developing in this story. Then Pilate figures he can send Jesus to the ruler of Galilee, who happened to be in Jerusalem at the time. Herod also evaluates Jesus and finds no fault in Him, and after abusing Jesus sends Him back to Pilate to do with as he sees fit. This dual inventory concludes that there was no fault in Jesus, but the fault was in the church and in the state. After doing their inventory they did not recognize their Higher Power.

Prayer for Today: God, help us to recognize our Higher Power, Jesus the Christ, from Nazareth. Help us not to get so caught up in the affairs of the state that we forget that there is a Higher Power that demands integrity from us. Help us to recognize God and to obey Him over the state, Acts 5:29, when those times come, and to obey God over the church, when those times come. Thank You for Your mercy and for the opportunity to recognize You and enter into deep relationship with You. Thank You for allowing us to see that sometimes the church and the state unite and come up with decisions that do not reflect You, or Your principles of recovery.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Judas’ Addiction is the Death of Him

Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me. Matthew 27:3-10

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10

When Judas saw that His plan of confronting Jesus is not working he brings the money, he had received for betraying Jesus, back to the Priests and Elders, and wants to give it back to them. They refuse his amends. God does not accept his amends either for he is not serious about changing but he was serious about accomplishing what he wanted done, not what God wanted done. The Priests took the money and bought a field where they would bury strangers in. When Judas saw that even his amends were not accepted he went out and hung himself, and thus ending a potentially powerful life in the saddest of ways.

Prayer for Today: God, You know how close to the end of our lives we are. You can see the end but we can not. Help us to be right with You before that time comes. Help us to learn the lessons that Judas’ life has taught us. When You call help us not to wait too long. Grant us wisdom to see what is happening and grant us a tender heart that when You talk to us we will listen and no let our rebellion get out of hand. Thank You for Your tender mercies toward us that You continue to talk to us. Help us to be willing to surrender to You today and give You a chance to make changes in our lives.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Peter Denies Jesus Just As Prophesied

Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:69-75

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Jesus told Peter that he would deny Jesus that very night. But when a person’s addiction is to trust in self, Peter ignored Jesus’ warning and continued to trust in his own ability to watch over himself. Peter wanted to be close to Jesus to see if there was a way to help Him because he had already forgotten that Jesus had told him that He would be turned over to the Priests and that they would beat Him and then kill Him and He would rise again after three days. Matthew 16:21. When Peter was near the judgment hall people began to ask him if he was with Jesus of Galilee he grew fearful and denied that he knew Jesus. Finally the people said surely you are one of them because of the purity of your speech. To convince the people that he did not know Jesus he started cursing and swearing to show them that he was not a follower of Jesus for Jesus did not use any bad language. Once Peter committed to this display and fulfilled the issues of the prophecy then the rooster crowed and then Peter remembered what Jesus had said about his denial. It then dawned on him that he did not know himself and that he should have trusted Jesus to know what to do to help him, then he went out and wept bitterly for now he knew that he was capable of anything in order to take care of himself first, even deny his best friend.

Prayer for Today: God You know what we will do in a pinch, especially if it comes to taking care of ourselves – the first rule of addiction – self must come first. We have even seen ourselves doing these sad things and we can’t stop ourselves. Please help us and deliver us from our addictions. We don’t know how You will do it but we trust that if it can be done, it will have to be You that does it. Thank You for coming to help us, and just like You promised to pray for Peter please pray for us as well.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The First Trial of Jesus

Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee? Matthew 26:59-68

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12

In this story Jesus has been captured by the Jewish leadership so that they can kill Him. They are basically jealous of Jesus and His popularity and the leadership wants to remove Him once and for all from the public eye, and to have the people return to them for guidance and teaching. To kill Jesus in this historical time they have to come up with a charge that will pass the test of the Roman empire so they are hoping to find a charge that will allow them to get Jesus to court and then attempt to bribe, or politically manipulate the governor to kill Jesus. So the leadership tries to find false witnesses to condemn about saying that He would destroy the temple and build it again in three days. This statement comes from John 2:18-22 and Jesus was talking about His own resurrection after they would kill Him. The Jewish leadership finally gives up with the false witnesses and they ask Jesus to condemn Himself by having Him testify that He was the Messiah, sent from God. If He says that He is the Messiah then they will accuse Him of blasphemy, a death sentence in the Jewish religion. If He says nothing then He will tacitly deny His relationship with God. In this situation Jesus declares not only that He is the Messiah but that He will some day in the future judge all of those sitting in judgment on Him. With that statement the leadership declares Him worthy of death and then treat Him as a criminal with no rights to a fair and decent trial. They declare their own addictive desire for power and control while killing the One who claimed, and displayed, the power of God.

Prayer for Today: God, when it is our turn to be in a position of power, help us to remember to treat even our victims in a way we would like to be treated. Help us to recognize our addictive behaviors and our need of Your help. Thank You again for Your mercies toward us.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Judas Betrays Jesus

And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand. And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely. And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him. And they laid their hands on him, and took him. Mark 14:41-46

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

Judas, not accepting the help of Jesus, was captive to his addiction to money. He would do anything to get money including betraying the Son of God to be killed. On top of all of the sad things that Judas did was that he wanted to signal to others that the person he would betray would be the one he would kiss. But Jesus was not deceived by Judas. Jesus knew the character of Judas and He had done everything possible to rescue Judas, and Judas would not surrender to the recovery process. Therefore, Judas had no protection from his addiction after he had broken the trust relationship between the two of them. Judas fulfilled the prophecy of betraying Jesus in Psalms 41:9 and even the amount of money was prophesied. Zechariah 11:13. Jesus also allowed these things to take place so that Scripture could be fulfilled and that all would know that He was intimately entwined with prophecy.

Prayer for Today: God, You know what each of us will do in the midst of crisis. You know whether we will turn to our addictions for help or will we turn to You for help in time of need? Help us not to betray You and help us to look to You for help and deliverance.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Jesus' Suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane

And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. Luke 22:39-46

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

In this story Jesus goes into the Garden of Gethsemane to remake the decision that Adam failed to make long ago in the Garden of Eden. Jesus had to decide whether He would allow Himself to die like a criminal for mankind's sake. He was innocent and did not need to suffer because He had never done anything wrong. But mankind had done every possible thing wrong - murder, rape, lies, stealing, child abuse, addictions, every possible thing wrong. Jesus was deciding whether He, the innocent one, would allow all of the guilt of the entire human race through all time, to be placed on Him at one time. If He would decide to suffer this then mankind could be introduced to recovery, if He chose not to do this then all of mankind would eventually burn out and die as a race. This was His decision. Three times He had to struggle with this and then He made the decision, He the innocent one, would suffer for all of mankind, no matter what it would take, even all the way to being crucified for all.

Prayer for Today: God, we pray that we may have some little idea of what it would be like to feel the guilt for all of mankind's history. To even think about it for a while gets overwhelming for us. To think that Jesus would do that for us, to go to Calvary, to suffer the beatings, and to experience the rejection of all His people, to experience feeling like He was being abandoned by You, is too much. But we thank You Father, that You allowed, and in fact You suffered with Him just as You suffer with us. Touch our hearts that we be grateful for this precious precious gift. Help us to understand, and help us to be willing to go into recovery to not allow our addictions to separate us from You. Thank You again.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples. Matthew 26:31-35

Steps: 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12

Jesus alerts Peter that there will be big problems for him that very night. But Peter, as well as the rest of the disciples, did not believe Jesus. They had heard Him say these things to others and all of His sayings had come to pass, but this night Peter did not believe Him because what Jesus said stated that Peter would deny even knowing Jesus. Peter found it difficult to believe that He would do that to Jesus. Jesus wanted to alert Peter for unless alerted Peter might get so frustrated that he might do something even worse than denying Jesus. Peter could have saved himself if he would have been humble enough to ask Jesus for help. But he, and the disciples, were still so focused on themselves that he could not ask for help.

Prayer for Today: Thank You Lord for alerting us. We have all had experiences similar to Peter where we have been warned by friends, family, and sometimes even You, and yet we have still found ways to relapse. Grant us an awareness of our need, and grant us a willingness to come unto You to get the help we need. Thank You again for Your alerts, and we pray this time that we will accept it before we get into trouble.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Lord’s Supper

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. Matthew 26:26-30

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

After Judas had been confronted about the wisdom of Jesus and His awareness of the soon betrayal by Judas, the Lord finished out His supper. After the disciples has been washed and cleansed then they were ready to proceed to the rest of the Supper. Jesus took of the unleavened (sinless) bread and broke it (symbolizing his death on Calvary and His broken body) and then passed it on to each of the disciples. Then He gave the disciples the wine (symbol of His shed blood) to drink. I Corinthians 11:23-34 gives us many more details of the procedures of the Lord’s Supper. But the important part is that this supper is a testimony of the various things that God has given to His people to remind them of what He has done for them. God wants us to participate in the Lord’s Supper frequently enough to remind us of our great need of Him.

Prayer for Today: Thank You Lord for giving us all of these little things to keep us focused and to remind us again that You have done all these things for us. Help us to understand what You are trying to say to us and when we do understand help us to follow through with Your desires and Your wisdom. Thank You again for your love and mercy.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Jesus Predicts Judas’ Betrayal

When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night. John 13:21-30

Steps: 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12

Jesus, after washing everyone’s feet, predicts that there is one disciple in the group that will betray Him. All are shocked and start conducting an internal inventory and wonder if it is them. Jesus then identifies the betrayer by saying that it is the one that he will give a piece of bread to. That one was Judas Escariot. Jesus wanted to alert the disciples that this event was happening so that they would know that it had not taken Jesus by surprise. Judas, was still angry for being confronted at the feast of Simon’s house, and he wanted to make a point by forcing Jesus’ hand to state that He was the Messiah. Judas thought he was getting a good bargain, show the Pharisees’ where Jesus was at, make some contacts in upper places, make a few bucks, and then if Jesus stated that He was the Messiah then he would try to take credit for making it happen. Sadly Judas did not understand what was happening to him and he did not ask for help.

Prayer for Today: God, You know that very often we are like Judas and think that we are doing a good thing while doing something addictive. Help us to recognize that our thinking is not too good and help us to be willing to come to You for help. Thank You for not giving up on us but helping us to see things clearly through Your eyes. Thank You for Your grace and love.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jesus Washes His Disciples Feet

Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. John 13:1-15

Steps: 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12

At this Passover celebration Jesus recognized that His disciples were still striving to be number one (Luke 22:24) and to be the leader. But Jesus, the recognized Leader displayed His leadership by being a servant unto all of His disciples by washing their feet. He washed their feet because none of the disciples were willing to be a servant to their brothers, and to give them an example of washing one another’s feet as a part of the Lord’s Supper. He washed Judas’ feet and He washed Peter’s feet along with the other ten. Peter, speaking for the disciples, protested the fact that Jesus washed his feet but Jesus told him that if he did not partake in this experience he would have nothing to do with Him, and Peter then was willing to submit. After washing everyone’s feet Jesus declared that they were all clean except one. Jesus thus set the stage for the fellowship of His disciples regarding spiritual cleanliness.

Prayer for Today: God, help us to be willing to allow You to wash our feet and our hearts, and our actions, that we may be of service to You and Your children. Grant us victory over our pride and self-sufficiency and help us to be willing to accept Your gifts for us.