Day 11/20 – Doing Hard Things

Eternal Word  – II John‬ ‭1:2‬ NKJV  “because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever:” II John‬ ‭1:2‬  ‬ 

Miracles: “There may be times when your heart longs for outward manifestations of His power.  Remember, if they are for you, you are asking Him to let you walk by sight rather than faith, and the degree that He shows Himself mighty on your behalf, you will be that much more accountable in the day of judgement.”    Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt H”) 

——://///

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

——://///

Doing Hard Things

Day Three Hundred Twenty-four

“Son of man, behold, I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you at a stroke; yet you shall not mourn or weep nor shall your tears run down.  Sigh, but not aloud; make no mourning for the dead. Bind on your turban, and put your shoes on your feet; do not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of mourners.” Ezekiel 24:16-17

Our Lord asks His servants to do hard things.  He commanded Abraham to offer his only son Isaac as a human sacrifice on Mount Moriah.  He told Hosea to marry a worthless whore and be faithful to her.  God took the wife of Ezekiel’s youth, “the delight of his eyes,” and forbade him showing any emotion.  The Lord commissioned  Jeremiah with the task of telling his nation to freely surrender to the Babylonians, for Babylon was God’s tool of judgment.   Israel was to submit to

Babylon and allow them to take them captive.  This was Judah’s supreme test of believing God, and Jeremiah had to play the role of a traitor.

Sometimes God told His servants why He wanted such sacrificial obedience, as was the case with Hosea and Ezekiel.  But sometimes He kept His reasons to Himself, as was the case with Abraham.  Knowing why God wants you to do something may satisfy your curiosity, but only by knowing the character of God can you develop the courage to be obedient.

Think of the hardest thing that God could ask you to do.  Are you ready to do it? Our Lord does not promise that what He asks of us will be easy; He is not an easy God.  He is loving, gentle, patient, and caring, but not easy.

———/://///

Ezekiel 14-15 James 2 (New King James Version)

Ezekiel 14-15

Idolatry Will Be Punished

14 Now some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them?

“Therefore speak to them, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols.” ’

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations. For anyone of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who separates himself from Me and sets up his idols in his heart and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, then comes to a prophet to inquire of him concerning Me, I the Lord will answer him by Myself. I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of My people. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

“And if the prophet is induced to speak anything, I the Lord have induced that prophet, and I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from among My people Israel. 10 And they shall bear their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be the same as the punishment of the one who inquired, 11 that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me, nor be profaned anymore with all their transgressions, but that they may be My people and I may be their God,” says the Lord God.’ ”

Judgment on Persistent Unfaithfulness

12 The word of the Lord came again to me, saying: 13 “Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. 14 Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord God.

15 “If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they [a]empty it, and make it so desolate that no man may pass through because of the beasts, 16 even though these three men were [b]in it, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they would deliver neither sons nor daughters; only they would be delivered, and the land would be desolate.

17 “Or if I bring a sword on that land, and say, ‘Sword, go through the land,’ and I cut off man and beast from it, 18 even though these three men were in it, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but only they themselves would be delivered.

19 “Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out My fury on it in blood, and cut off from it man and beast, 20 even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

21 For thus says the Lord God: “How much more it shall be when I send My four [c]severe judgments on Jerusalem—the sword and famine and wild beasts and pestilence—to cut off man and beast from it? 22 Yet behold, there shall be left in it a remnant who will be brought out, bothsons and daughters; surely they will come out to you, and you will see their ways and their doings. Then you will be comforted concerning the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, all that I have brought upon it. 23 And they will comfort you, when you see their ways and their doings; and you shall know that I have done nothing without cause that I have done in it,” says the Lord God.

The Outcast Vine

15 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “Son of man, how is the wood of the vine better than any other wood, the vine branch which is among the trees of the forest? Is wood taken from it to make any object? Or can men make a peg from it to hang any vessel on? Instead, it is thrown into the fire for fuel; the fire devours both ends of it, and its middle is burned. Is it useful for any work? Indeed, when it was whole, no object could be made from it. How much less will it be useful for any work when the fire has devoured it, and it is burned?

“Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Like the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so I will give up the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will set My face against them. They will go out from one fire, but another fire shall devour them. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I set My face against them. Thus I will make the land desolate, because they have persisted in unfaithfulness,’ says the Lord God.”

Footnotes:

  • Ezekiel 14:15 Lit. bereave it of children
  • Ezekiel 14:16 Lit. in the midst of it
  • Ezekiel 14:21 Lit. evil

James 2

Beware of Personal Favoritism

My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in [a]fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in [b]filthy clothes, and you [c]pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not [d]shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; but if you [e]show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without [f]your works, and I will show you my faith by [g]my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is [h]dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made [i]perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was [j]accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Footnotes:

  • James 2:2 bright
  • James 2:2 vile
  • James 2:3 Lit. look upon
  • James 2:4 differentiated
  • James 2:9 Lit. receive the face
  • James 2:18 NU omits your
  • James 2:18 NU omits my
  • James 2:20 NU useless
  • James 2:22 complete
  • James 2:23 credited

———/://///

PRAYER REQUESTS 

Please Pray for Sister Kira a for travel mercies. 

Please Pray for  Sonia who is sick with stripped throat.  

Please Pray for Brother Stephen’s dentistry needs.

Please Pray for Brother John Laporte’s cousin, Jeff, who is recovering from having parts of his foot amputated due to diabetes and who does not know the Lord.  Pray Jeff will hear and receive the gospel that John is sharing with him. 

Please continue to Pray  for Miguel’s salvation, a confessed murderer and drug dealer, who lives in Mexico.  

Please continue to Pray for a Las Vegas woman that currently is working in an abortion clinic who is very discouraged with what she is doing and seeking counseling as to what to do.  Pray God opens her eyes and saves her.  Also, regarding the same abortion clinic, Pray God sends Godly women to that clinic daily to be available to minister to the women going in and out of that clinic daily.  

Pray for the salvation of Brother David Frear’s parents.  

Please Pray for Brad and  Regena Mitton and their family. Regina has been diagnosed with cancer and Brad has put his landscape business on hold to be with his wife.  Pray God will move in the Mittons lives and that He will be glorified.  

Please continue to Pray for Jeff from Oregon that has cirrhosis of the liver and has been given only five months to live.  He is unsure of his faith and trying to fill in his remaining days traveling.  Please Pray God awakens Jeff’s spirit to His Salvation.  (Like Jeff, we are all terminal…“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalms‬ ‭90:12‬)

Please continue to Pray for Larry who has leukemia.  Pray God would bring Larry and his love ones closer to Him and His Blessed Hope of Glory.  

Please continue to Pray for Lisa Long and her family.  Lisa has had for eye surgeries that have failed and she remains blind. Pray for God to direct her path for His glory. 

Please continue to Pray for Darrell Blalock who has Parkinson’s disease.  C ca Pray for Darrell to become closer to the Lord. 

Please continue to Pray for John LaPorte whose doing ministry at UNLV.  

Please Pray for a UNLV student named Tyler who is propaganda machine for the enemy.  Pray God will radically save Tyler and that our God will use Tyler to bring many to Christ.  

Please Pray for Bryce, a UNLV student, who recently received the Lord and came from an occult background and is engaging other students sharing and defending the Faith. Recently, Bryce has come under intense attacks and heckling from unbelievers on campus. Please Pray for God to Grow and Strengthen Bryce and use him in a Holy Mighty Way.    

Please Pray for Remington, another UNLV student, says he is a new catholic… not a Believer, yet, but says he is a seeker. Pray God reveals His Truth, His Salvation to Remington. 

Please Pray that our families and Brothers and Sisters in Christ will gather together to Pray… Jesus says in Matthew 18:20 (NKJV) “… For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Please continue to  Pray for our unSaved family members and those around us that we have relationships with.  Or, is that you? … Have questions &/or need Prayer?… If yes, please reply or call (702) 592-4098. 

Please continue to  Pray for family members and those relationships around you who say they are Saved, but their lives don’t show it. And, if that’s happens to be you, the Holy Spirit can change you into a New Creation, Christ in you… but, you must totally surrender everything to Him. (As long as you think you can do it on your own, He’ll let you; and, you will fail.) … Have questions &/or need Prayer?… If yes, please reply or call (702) 592-4098. 

Please continue to Pray for our nation that God would open all our eyes to the sins that are drowning us. Lukewarmness, abortion, sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, hatred & divisiveness, greed, pride, rebellion, covetousness, etc.  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.”

… AND YET, God is Sovereign and has called us to live in such a time as this and to be His Light in the darkness… to give Hope to some. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Please continue to keep Sister Fabiola and her children in Mexico in our Prayers. This Sister and her family, in a short time period, have been hit with a more tragedies (persecutions) than most of us have in our entire life time…  the murder of her husband, x-husband and one of her children. And, recently, her modest home (a shack by any American standard) was burnt to the ground. …Her neighbor’s house caught fire and due to the closeness of her home, it caught fire, too.  Brothers & Sisters, please Pray for God’s Holy touch on Fabiola and her family. 

Please continue to Pray for Geo, a banker, who was deployed by the military to the Mideast. Pray God would keep him safe and that God would bring Geo closer to Him; and, that Geo would share God with all his company and those who come in contact with him. 

+++

I’ve been told by one Geo’s co-workers, Lorraine Flores, who says she considers Geo a son, that the day Geo was deployed to the Mideast, his girlfriend delivered his new baby. Please Pray Geo would Walk in God’s Light and be a Godly husband and father. And, please Pray for Geo’s family. (Also, please Pray for both Lorraine Flores and her biological son that was deployed the same day as Geo, but to Africa.)

Please continue to Pray for Brother Mark Pedder, a missionary in the Philippines. Please Pray for Mark, Mark’s wife for strength in their trials, tribulations and persecution. 

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

Please continue to Pray for Brother Walt to be reconciled with his son and his son’s family. 

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. Both parents has stayed single all this time of separation… Within the recent past, it appears his wife, Arlene, has been Saved and the couple are beginning their 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 Pray for Scott’s salvation and healing. 

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 Brother Frank Sun, a Taiwanese, that owns several businesses in China and Taiwan.  Please Pray Frank will be bold in his sharing Christ in his companies and that he will be faithful to disciple the new Believers.  

AND, let each of us use Frank’s example and share the Love and Salvation of Jesus to our coworkers, employees, family, friends and acquaintances  … Invest in the Eternal!

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

Please continue to Pray for the Women’s Pro-Life ministries in Las Vegas that they would lead women to the Lord and continue to assist in saving babies’ lives. 

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

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 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 Alejandro Corral, his son Alejandro Jr.

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. 

+++

Please 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 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 and heads up Touch Baja.)

Please Pray for the Touch Baja ministry. Touch Baja is a Christian ministry based in Mexico touching the saved and unsaved lives of the Mexican people focused on real discipleship; truly changing lives through Christ.   From church planting discipleship ministries to half-way houses for the Mexican youth, Touch Baja needs our Prayers,  support and physical involvement.  One person can make a difference… whether an individual or a group, if you are interested in seeking an international missionary opportunity that’s not that far from home, here it is… you are needed and welcome.  Please check out Touch Baja and consider becoming a real partner and getting involved: http://www.touchbaja.com.  (I am personally available to share with you about the ministry… I have 20+ years of stories and history.)

Speak Your Mind

*