Day 7/21 – The Experience of Believing

Put Christ First  – Matthew 6:33 (ESV)  “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”   Matthew 6:33

“Because He calls you to be the friend of sinners, and because you become like the people with whom you associate, it is imperative that you counter-balance your association with sinners by a band of godly brothers and sisters that will provoke you to godliness.”  Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt”)

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A history of these Daily Devotions along with other valuable Resources can be found at: lylebrennan.com. 

This daily devotion contains, sequentially: Memory Verse (#1 above),  Daily Quote (#2 above): and, below: Daily Devotion from “Thoughts From The Diary of A Desperate Man” by Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt”), Scripture Reading  (read the entire Bible in 1 year), and Prayer Requests. 

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The Experience of Believing

Day Two Hundred Two

“Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”  John 20:29

You believe something either on the basis of personal experience or the testimony of others. When evaluating the testimony of others, there are various levels of reliability.  For example, Jesus told the disciples before His crucifixion that He would die and be raised again.  You believe because what He said happened.  Second, you see evidence without actually witnessing the event. John looked in at the empty tomb and seeing the burial cloth, believed.  Third, you believe the experience of someone else.  This believing Jesus extols: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

Your conversion confirms your belief in Christ, but biblically it is not the reason you believe.  The object of your faith determines the validity of your faith.  The object of your faith is God, but you cannot believe simply because you experienced His power in your life; you believe Scripture as well.  Only in the Bible do you meet and get to know God.  God will not accept belief in Himself apart from belief in His revelation.

Many people claim to have wonderful experiences with God, but not necessarily the God of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Your experience, as important as it is, must be based on the Word of God.  Otherwise you can easily end in idolatry, worshipping a god of your own creation.

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Psalm 29-30 Acts 23:1-15 (New King James Version)

Psalm 29-30

Praise to God in His Holiness and Majesty

A Psalm of David.

29 

Give[a] unto the Lord, O you mighty ones,

Give unto the Lord glory and strength.

[b]Give unto the Lord the glory [c]due to His name;

Worship the Lord in the [d]beauty of holiness.

The voice of the Lord isover the waters;

The God of glory thunders;

The Lord isover many waters.

The voice of the Lord ispowerful;

The voice of the Lord isfull of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars,

Yes, the Lord splinters the cedars of Lebanon.

He makes them also skip like a calf,

Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord [e]divides the flames of fire.

The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;

The Lord shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth,

And strips the forests bare;

And in His temple everyone says, “Glory!”

10 

The Lord sat enthronedat the Flood,

And the Lord sits as King forever.

11 

The Lord will give strength to His people;

The Lord will bless His people with peace.

The Blessedness of Answered Prayer

A Psalm. A Song at the dedication of the house of David.

30 

I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,

And have not let my foes rejoice over me.

O Lord my God, I cried out to You,

And You healed me.

O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave;

You have kept me alive, [f]that I should not go down to the pit.

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,

And give thanks at the remembrance of [g]His holy name.

For His anger is but fora moment,

His favor is forlife;

Weeping may endure for a night,

But [h]joy comesin the morning.

Now in my prosperity I said,

“I shall never be [i]moved.”

Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong;

You hid Your face, andI was troubled.

I cried out to You, O Lord;

And to the Lord I made supplication:

“What profit is therein my blood,

When I go down to the pit?

Will the dust praise You?

Will it declare Your truth?

10 

Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me;

Lord, be my helper!”

11 

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;

You have put off [j]my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,

12 

To the end that my[k]glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.

O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

Footnotes:

  • Psalm 29:1 Ascribe
  • Psalm 29:2 Ascribe
  • Psalm 29:2 Lit. of His name
  • Psalm 29:2 majesty
  • Psalm 29:7 stirs up,lit. hews out
  • Psalm 30:3 So with Qr., Tg.; Kt., LXX, Syr., Vg. from those who descend to the pit
  • Psalm 30:4 Or His holiness
  • Psalm 30:5 a shout of joy
  • Psalm 30:6 shaken
  • Psalm 30:11 The sackcloth of my mourning
  • Psalm 30:12 soul

Acts 23:1-15

The Jerusalem Jews Plot to Kill Paul

23 Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, “Men andbrethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, youwhitewashed wall! For you sit to judge me according to the law, and do you command me to be struck contrary to the law?”

And those who stood by said, “Do you revile God’s high priest?”

Then Paul said, “I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’ ”

But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Men andbrethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!”

And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the assembly was divided. For Sadducees say that there is no resurrection—and no angel or spirit; but the Pharisees confess both. Then there arose a loud outcry. And the scribes of the Pharisees’ party arose and protested, saying, “We find no evil in this man; [a]but if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him, let us not fight against God.”

10 Now when there arose a great dissension, the commander, fearing lest Paul might be pulled to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring himinto the barracks.

The Plot Against Paul

11 But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, [b]“Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.”

12 And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 Now there were more than forty who had formed this conspiracy. 14 They came to the chief priests and elders, and said, “We have bound ourselves under a great oath that we will eat nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 Now you, therefore, together with the council, suggest to the commander that he be brought down to you [c]tomorrow, as though you were going to make further inquiries concerning him; but we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”

Footnotes:

  • Acts 23:9 NU what if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?omitting the last clause
  • Acts 23:11 Take courage
  • Acts 23:15 NU omits tomorrow

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PRAYER REQUESTS 

Praise Report: Sister Diane’s grandson, Logan, had eye surgery and is full of giggles and smiles. As they will not know the results from the surgery for some time, please continue to Pray for Logan. 

Please Pray for Lidia’s husband, Carlos, who needs heart surgery, but has been in the hospital for over a week now with pneumonia. 

Please Pray for Brother Walt’s son, Elijah, Emilia, Elijah’s girl friend, and their new baby. Pray that Walt be reunited with his son and family. 

Please Pray for Brother John LaPorte’s friend and Sister in the Lord, Rachael, who has received her counceling degree  and is looking for a job. Pray she uses the Bible as her only counceling Guide to lead her clients to the Lord. 

Please Pray for Gemma that she be delivered from evil and receive Jesus as her Savior. 

Praise Report: Brother Tom Rolfstad who had a surgical aortic heart valve replacement last week is recovering and doing amazingly well. Tom wants all to know he is thankful for your Prayers. 

Please continue to Pray for Brother Mark P, a missionary in the Philippines. He said they have an issue with a senior leader who was living another life unknown to them, in deep sin. This leader was second under Mark over the entire ministry.  Mark asks for Prayer, specifically, in 2 areas:

  1 – That Marks keeps his own heart and hands Holy; and 

  2 – … that this individual needs to Repent. 

I would like to add to Mark’s Prayer Request… we need to Pray

for Mark, Mark’s wife, this individual and for all that are touched by him. … And Note: We can only look to One Perfect Example in our lives… Jesus. (People will let us down, but He will never let us down.) And, from God’s Word, we read and need to mediate on:

  Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

  Romans 3:10 – As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

  James 4:11-12 – Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of [his] brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.   …

  Ephesians 4:32 – And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

  Colossians 3:12-14 – Put on therefore, as the elect of God, Holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;   …

  James 1:19-20 – Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:   …

  Luke 6:31 – And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

  Romans 2:1-4 – Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.   …

  Ephesians 4:26 – Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

  Romans 2:6-8 – Who will render to every man according to his deeds: …

  Mark 11:25 – And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Please continue to Pray for Brother John LaPorte’s roommate, Brother Freddy, whose commitment to Christ caused his wife to separate from him for 6 years. The couple have 2 daughters and stayed single all this time. Within the recent past, it appears his wife, Arlene, has been Saved and the couple are beginning the reconciliation process. They are planning to reunite the family again under one roof in the next few months.  Please Pray for their total reconciliation with God at their helm. 

Please continue Pray for our President and ALL our government leaders of both parties. Pray they would submit their authority to His Authority and ask for His Wisdom in directing the affairs of our nation.  Please Pray that God would open their eyes and they would be obedient to His Will. 

Please continue to Pray for a group of well-known Southern Nevada commercial real estate brokers and associates recently in a one-car accident. The occupants had all been drinking alcohol.  One passenger died leaving 3 young daughters, one suffered serious head trauma, two had mild trauma, and the driver has been charged.  Please Pray for the driver and all those effected by this tragedy …that God would direct their eyes to Him, The King of Mercy, Grace and Salvation. 

Please  continue to Pray for Brother Frank Sun, a Taiwanese, that owns several businesses in China and Taiwan.  He recently preached the Gospel in his Taiwan company inviting his employees to accept salvation. He says that half of his Taiwan staff are now Christians. Please Pray Frank will continue to be bold in his sharing Christ in all his companies and that he will be faithful to disciple the new Believers. 

Please continue to Pray for Brother Walt and His Friday Bible Study.

Please continue to Pray for the Women’s Resources ministry in Las Vegas that they would lead women to the Lord and save babies. 

Please continue to Pray for Dave Ubank and his family. They are ministering and rescuing children and families in Syria directly affected by  Isis – Pray for their protection and their ministry.  For a short 2 minute video about Ubanks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_htIgIvgDM[/embedyt

Please continue to Pray for Jim Nelson and family ministering in China. 

Please continue to Pray for our Brothers’ and Sisters’ struggling with various addictions. Pray that God would reveal Himself to them that all things are possible through Him… He can Cure any addiction … He is our Great Creator, He is our Savior, He is our Healer …He is our All and All!  

Please continue to Pray for Sister Fabiola and her children in Mexico. And, please continue to Pray for her church caught up in the tragedies surrounding the murder of her husband, x-husband and one of her children.

Please continue to Pray for Alejandro Corral, his son Alejandro Jr., and his aunt Josefina. 

Please continue to Pray for Brother Steve Venable dealing with ALS. 

Please continue to Pray for our Persecuted Brothers and Sisters and their families that are suffering and giving their lives for our Faith.  10 WAYS TO PRAY FOR OUR PERSECUTED CHRISTIAN FAMILY.. Pray our brothers and sisters will:

1. Sense God’s presence (Heb. 13:5) 

2. Know we are praying for them (2 Tim. 1:3) 

3. Experience God’s comfort (2 Thess. 2:16–17) 

4. See God open doors to evangelism (Col. 4:3) 

5. Boldly share the gospel (Acts 4:29) 

6. Mature in their faith (Col. 1:28–29) 

7. Be granted wisdom in covert ministry work (Acts 9:23–25) 

8. Remain joyful amid suffering (Acts 5:41) 

9. Forgive and love their persecutors (Matt. 5:44) 

10. Be rooted in God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:16–17)

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Stand with your Brothers and Sisters in Prayer and Support. (See: The Voice of the Martyrs: https://www.persecution.com)

Please continue to pray for Biblical “headship” in families.

Please continue to Pray for all our children. 

Please continue to Pray that there would be a resurgence of Biblical “Fear of the Lord” in the church and in each of us… “to fear the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.”

Please continue to Pray for our nation that God would open all our eyes to the sin that is drowning us. Abortion, sex outside of marriage, hatred & divisiveness, greed, pride, only to name a few.  Please Pray and Fast for our nation to turn from this evil that is enveloping us.   

II Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Please continue to Pray for Brother Ron Brink’s son who had 3+ military tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and who is now suffering brain damage and PTSD.  Pray for God’s Healing Power to fall upon Johnathon. (Ron is a 20 plus year missionary in Mexico with Touch Baja… for info on Touch Baja and how to touch the Mexican people for Christ, see http://www.touchbaja.com.)

Please continue to Pray for the Sharon India Foundation (“SIF”) to assisting the poor of India.  Through SIF: Widows have received medical treatment and been given quality sewing machines and training on how to use them to make a living. Orphans have been given free education in their neighborhood slum areas.  After natural disasters relief has been provided in the nature of medical, food items, blankets, clothing and building materials.  Bore wells have been successfully dug to provide fresh water to affected areas.  Water purification systems have also been given out on a limited basis. Special shoes have been purchased for lepers with ulcerated feet.  Thousands of books have been translated to assist in the ever growing discipleship outreach of E-Squared (Evangelism and Edification/Disciples).  Sharon India Foundation has no administrative costs and 100% of all donations go directly to the Indian pastors and their ministries. (Let’s reach India and beyond for Christ…see how you can help: https://sharonindia.org.)

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