Daily Prayer for November 3
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5, NIV
Lord our God, rule over us in strength, and grant us your light. Let your Spirit be with us to confirm what has already taken place in our hearts, so that we have joy and trust even under all the strain and stress of this life. Shine into the darkness of the world. Shine for all people. May we be shown more and more clearly what we have been created for. Strengthen our faith for the future, our faith in everything good, for however hidden the good may be, it must at last come to the light. May we and all the world bring praise and honor to you. Amen.
In today’s world situation it is essential that here and there among people there continue to exist rays of light and hope, spiritual realities by which the unity of God’s peace and the brotherliness of true justice are recognized. This is our only task.
Source: God’s Revolution
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If you have loved ones who do not yet know, Jesus, today‘s message contains a word of hope. Taken from my book: “Forty Days of Faith.”
The Master’s Touch
And wherever He came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored Him that they might touch even the fringe of His garment. And as many as touched it were made well. Mark 6:56 ESV
As we knelt down to pray, my friend had mixed emotions of fear, anger, uncertainty, and questioned whether Jesus was even real. We had played music together for the last few months. He didn’t go to church, but knew that I went to Bible college. What we had in common was that most weekends, we were playing in a bar together. I had prayed about leaving it, and the Lord told me to stay. It paid my way through school and a couple of people got saved along the way.
I didn’t look down on them, I was just one of the band, but they watched me. My friend broke down one night and in tears said: ‘You are different from the others. I want what you have.’ He met Jesus. When we came up from prayer, he had a glow about him and smile from ear to ear. His doubts were gone. He was touched by the Lord Jesus and he was never the same.
The touch of the Lord can melt the hardest of hearts, but you have to initiate it. You have to reach out for Him. He is a gentleman and will not force His way into your busy schedule, though He is always close. Stop a moment and invite Him to be a part of your life. If you do not know Him, start your relationship now with: ‘Lord Jesus, save me.’ The rest will come from the Master’s touch.
Prayer: Come into my heart, Jesus. Forgive me of my past and guide me from this day forth. I want to have a relationship with You! I surrender Lord. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and work Your perfect will in my life.
Bible Fun Fact: John The Baptist wore clothes made from camel hair (Mt 3:4).
What Jesus Did! ‘Seeking the Lost’
Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
Father, I know you longed for me to be your child even before I had begun to seek after you. Thank you for finding me and bringing me into your family through the gift of your Son. In Jesus’ name, I praise and thank you for your grace that has brought my salvation. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
Passion for Praise: ‘Good People See’
Spiritual Warfare: ‘Following God Isn’t Always a Smooth Journey ‘
God’s Power for Our Battles
In the second year after Israel’s departure from Egypt — on the twentieth day of the second month — the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle of the Covenant.So the Israelites set out from the wilderness of Sinai and traveled on from place to placeuntil the cloud stopped in the wilderness of Paran.
A Year with Jesus: ‘You Don’t Have to Have an Apostle’
Note from Jesus
I appointed My apostles as My emissaries to the world. I commissioned them to take My message everywhere to everyone. The original apostles, except for Judas, of course, had all seen Me alive after My resurrection. They knew with certainty that the Father had raised Me from the dead. I entrusted them with authority to lead My early church. They mentored others to speak My message. They did signs and wonders to confirm their message about Me. My apostles were a special group.
That being said, I want you to realize something that is very significant to your faith. You don’t have to have a living apostle personally teach you for you to have received the truth. Living thousands of years after My resurrection and after the death of the last of My apostles, I know there are times when you long to be able to witness Me do miracles and teach the crowds. I know you would love to know an eyewitness and an apostle personally. But, dear child of the Father, you need to be confident that you have received and believed the truth.
The apostle Paul made clear what this message of truth is when he wrote the Corinthians:
Let me remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I preached to you when we first met. It’s the essential message that you have taken to heart, the central story you now base your life on; and through this gospel, you are liberated — unless, of course, your faith has come to nothing. For I passed down to you the crux of it all which I had also received from others, that the Anointed One, the Liberating King, died for our sins and was buried and raised from the dead on the third day. All this happened to fulfill the Scriptures; it was the perfect climax to God’s covenant story. Afterward He appeared alive to Cephas (you may know him as Simon Peter), then to the rest of the twelve. If that were not amazing enough, on one occasion, He appeared to more than 500 believers at one time. Many of those brothers and sisters are still around to tell the story, though some have fallen asleep in Jesus. Soon He appeared to James, His brother and the leader of the Jerusalem church, and then to all the rest of the emissaries He Himself commissioned. Last of all, He appeared to me…
(1 Corinthians 15:1-8)
Paul reiterated these same basic principles when writing to the Christians in Rome about the gospel and baptism:
Did someone forget to tell you that when we were initiated into Jesus the Anointed through baptism’s… washing, we entered into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him through this baptism into death so that just as God the Father, in all His glory, resurrected the Anointed One [Jesus Christ], we, too, might walk confidently out of the grave into a new life. To put it another way: if we have been united with Him to share in a death like His, don’t you understand that we will also share in His resurrection? We know this: whatever we used to be with our old sinful ways has been nailed to His cross. So our entire record of sin has been canceled, and we no longer have to bow down to sin’s power. A dead man, you see, cannot be bound by sin. But if we have died with the Anointed One, we believe that we shall also live together with Him. So we stand firm in the conviction that death holds no power over God’s Anointed because He was resurrected from the dead never to face death again. When He died, He died to whatever power sin had, once and for all, and now He lives completely to God. So here is how to picture yourself now that you have been initiated into Jesus the Anointed: you are dead to sin’s power and influence, but you are alive to God’s rule.
Paul emphasized that this message, this good news, should not be compromised by anyone. This simple message is still the gospel that you must believe in your day. It does not need some special new novel knowledge, fresh revelation, or deep philosophical additions to make it true, relevant, and effective. What makes My message trustworthy in every generation is the content of the message.
However, people in the first century struggled with this gospel being so simple and clear, just as some struggle to accept it in your day. This struggling was a problem for the people in My church in Colossae. Paul had not preached the gospel there. They heard the message from one of their own, a man named Epaphras. Since he was one of them, he was no one special in their minds.
Some false teachers inserted themselves into My church in Colossae. They taught certain forms of asceticism (denying the body and only eating certain foods), celebration of some days as more special than others, and worshiping angels, and they claimed to have secret wisdom that was necessary to be a spiritual person. Since the Colossians had not received their message from an apostle, they thought maybe they hadn’t heard the whole gospel. They were being persuaded away from the gospel Epaphras had taught them.
Paul specifically addressed the problem this way:
Make sure no predator makes you his prey through some misleading philosophy and empty deception based on traditions fabricated by mere mortals. These are sourced in the elementary principles originating in this world and not in the Anointed One (so don’t let their talks capture you).
I want to warn you about the same kind of danger. There is a dangerous hunger in the fallen human appetite for something new and secret. Satan and his false teaching partners prey on people using this fallen appetite. Don’t be misled by the faddish practices endorsed by some churches today. Don’t buy into special seminars that claim to reveal things that make people more spiritual. My gospel, the good news about Me, remains as true and relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. You don’t have to have an apostle teach you the gospel to have the truth!
Verses to Live
Before beginning tomorrow to look at Hebrews, I want you to read some more things that Paul wrote — things to reinforce the fact that the truth and importance of the gospel message come from the content of that message, not from the one who delivers it.
Frankly I am stunned. I cannot believe that you have abandoned God so quickly — even after He called you through the grace of the Anointed One — and have fallen for a different gospel. Actually there is only one true gospel of the Anointed, and you — because of divisive prodding by others — are accepting a distorted version which is not the gospel at all!
No matter the source of the false gospel, even if it is preached by us or a heavenly messenger, ignore it. May those who add to or subtract from the gospel of Jesus be eternally cursed! Listen again: if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than what you have accepted, may he find himself cursed!
Paul, an emissary of Jesus the Anointed serving at God’s pleasure, along with our brother Timothy to you, dear holy and faithful brothers and sisters in the family of the Anointed who live in Colossae. May grace and peace from God our Father [and the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One] envelop you.
As always, we’ve been praying for you, thanking God, the Father of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, ever since we heard of your faith in Jesus the Anointed and your love for His holy ones — a faith and love that emerge from the hope you have heard about in the word of truth — the gospel — the very hope that awaits you in heaven. The same gospel that was brought to you is growing and bearing fruit all over the world, just as it has been growing among you since the day you heard and took in the truth of God’s grace from our beloved fellow servant Epaphras. (He is a faithful minister of the Anointed on our behalf.) He was the one who told us how you demonstrate your love in the power of the Spirit. Since the day we got this good news about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We ask:
Father, may they clearly know Your will and achieve the height and depth of spiritual wisdom and understanding. May their lives be a credit to You, Lord; and what’s more, may they continue to delight You by doing every good work and growing in the true knowledge that comes from being close to You. Strengthen them with Your infinite power, according to Your glorious might, so that they will have everything they need to hold on and endure hardship patiently and joyfully. Thank You, Father, as You have made us eligible to receive our portion of the inheritance given to all those set apart by the light. You have rescued us from dark powers and brought us safely into the kingdom of Your Son, Whom You love and in Whom we are redeemed and forgiven of our sins [through His blood].
This battle I am facing is huge. And I want you to know I do it for you, for all those at Laodicea, and for everyone else (even those who have never seen my face). I’m working hard to comfort and encourage them so that they will be knit together — that many hearts would become one through His love. I do it so they will be rich in understanding and have full knowledge of God’s mystery, which is the Anointed One Himself — in Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are concealed. I only tell you this to warn you about those who would try and deceive you with their arguments. They seem plausible enough; but in the end, they are false. Even though I cannot be there in the body, my spirit is with you; and I’m happy to know of your good order and your solid commitment to the Anointed One, our Liberating King.
Now that you have welcomed the Anointed One, Jesus the Lord, into your lives, continue to journey with Him and allow Him to shape your lives. Let your roots grow down deeply in Him, and let Him build you up on a firm foundation. Be strong in the faith, just as you were taught, and always spill over with thankfulness. Make sure no predator makes you his prey through some misleading philosophy and empty deception based on traditions fabricated by mere mortals. These are sourced in the elementary principles originating in this world and not in the Anointed One (so don’t let their talks capture you).
Epaphras, another one of your hometown fellows and a servant of Jesus the Anointed sends his regards and wants you to know how passionately and sincerely he speaks to the Lord about you. He prays for your spiritual journey, that you will continue to mature and stand tall in the kind of confidence that comes from knowing God’s will. I can testify to his zeal for you and those in Laodicea and Hierapolis.
Response in Prayer
Father, forgive my wandering and sometimes unconfident heart. Keep me from chasing fads that are distortions and perversions of Your simple good news message in Jesus. Help me be alert to false gospels that end up trusting in human achievement and human knowledge rather than relying on Your grace delivered in Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and appearing. Thank You for this powerful, precious, and simple message that brings salvation. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Sarah’s Scribbles by Sarah Andersen