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Message Scripture:

“But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)

Introduction:

Good Evening Everyone. Many of you know that Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke is someone I really respect, admire, and I’m really to announce that we’re going to be able to walk with him through a devotional of his. All of the messages are going to be from “Daily Fire” a devotional written by Reinhard Bonnke, and I’m excited to be getting into this devotional. I hope it helps all of us develop a deeper and more intimate relationship with the Father, Amen!?!

God First:

Since the calendar turned to 2016 I’ve been focused on giving God His rightful place in my life…first. I’ve worked at spending more time at His feet, and that’s led to me not really writing as much or as often as I thought I would.  In fact, I left off with the second of five messages in the “Give God First Place” teaching series over on Christlike Ministries NWA Blog, and I haven’t really been able to get back to it.  I promise to get back to work on it soon because Lizzie’s going to be in school a couple of days a week, and that will help give me time to focus on writing more often.

In the mean time, I’ve seen that the viewership of both blogs have continued to be steady, and I’m thankful for that. There are nearly 500 messages between the two blogs for you to read and catch up on until I’m able to work at writing and posting new materials.  So, let’s see what the Lord has to say to us through this devotional penned by Reinhard Bonnke.

“Today I stand on God’s promise that He will never leave me or forsake me. Therefore, I whole-heartedly put my trust in Him!” – Reinhard Bonnke

You know what I love about God?  The formula for success is the same whether it’s Reinhard Bonnke or Jimmy Swaggart or Clayton Jennings or your local pastor or you or even me.  The basic formula for success in the kingdom of God boils down to these simple words: Trust In Him.

It doesn’t matter who you are, how long you’ve been saved or how long you’ve been in ministry. What makes us all successful is the same thing that God counted to Abraham as righteousness…trusting in Him to do what He says He will do in, with, and through our lives if we will just simply trust Him and let Him do it and get out of His way.  The Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God, that without us abiding in the Vine we can do nothing, and one of the most well-known Proverbs tells us that if we will trust Him with all our hearts and acknowledge Him in all of our ways He will direct our paths…and with God leading us that means we will be successful.

God has promise that He will NEVER leave us or forsake us, but so many of us are working so hard to gain the approval of our Heavenly Father that we already have because we have accepted His Son as our Lord and Savior.  If we are whosoever’s that have called upon the name of the Lord to be saved we have the blessed assurance that God will NEVER leave us or forsake us. We may walk away from Him from time to time and if you’re feeling distant from Him I have news for you…He isn’t the one that left the relationship…we did.

The first step in trusting God is to take Him at His Word.  We have to get to a place where we believe what’s in the Bible because what’s in the Bible was and still is Holy Ghost breathed.  The Bible is God’s Word to all of us, and when we read His Word if we’re listening we can hear the very voice of our Shepherd.  It’s because of that trust in Him that we can know if we will seek Him first…He will take care of the rest.

I still remember one of the first things God spoke to me when I lost my job, and I was getting ready to be a stay at home dad.  He simply said; “If you will take care of my business I will take care of yours.”  Now, that doesn’t mean that we’ve lived in the lap of luxury.  There have been lots of times we didn’t have things we wanted because we had to pay for things we needed.  There were many times we didn’t get to watch our favorite television shows because we couldn’t pay the bill, and there have even been times we had to use a few of the food pantries to help us out.  We got notices about our water, our electric, our internet, and of course the television being shut off…but somehow God took care of those things during the last two and a half years…and we’re coming out of it on the other side after having been faithful a little better off today then we were when this all started.

God has been faithful. He has kept His promise not only to not leave or forsake me, but to take care of me (and my family) as I have been faithful to walk in the vocation in which He’s called me to walk.  So, I can also say that I whole-heartedly trust God because He’s shown Himself to be faithful in my life…even when I’m not quite as faithful to Him as He is to me.

“Prioritizing God sounds simple, but the pressures of our lives try very hard to push Him out of the way…and sometimes we find ourselves in that difficult place of suddenly stopping, reevaluating our lives, and realizing that we’ve somehow lost that all important first love. What better way to start a new year than with a fresh commitment to put God first in your life!” – Reinhard Bonnke

You know one of the things that I’ve found the hardest these last few months is being disciplined to sit at the Lord’s feet. I can be honest enough with y’all to say that I did not and have not done it perfectly. There are times that I’ve shoved everything aside to spend some extra time watching Disney with my daughter, and there are even times I’ve shoved everything aside to do simply nothing.  As I have shared with y’all I got bit by the slothful bug, and I think that came from being disappointed that I found it so easy to be more like Martha than Mary…but that’s the way it always is.

If the devil can’t get you mad…he’ll get you busy.  He does that because as long as you aren’t fully focused on that one needful thing that Mary discovered at the feet of Jesus…then he knows he has skewed your focus just enough that you’re not really a threat to him.

Now, on the eve of the day my daughter is starting school there’s a feeling that I could’ve spent more time playing with her and less time in front of this computer. I feel like I could’ve sat and watched a few more episodes of the same Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with her just to sit and watch them because she enjoys being in my presence…and I enjoy being in hers.  But, just as I have a sense that I could’ve spent more time with her I have this feeling that I could’ve spent more time at the feet of Jesus as well…just enjoying being in His presence.

See…there’s the reason why God told me when Lizzie was born to adjust my priorities because my ability to slow down and enjoy life depends on my having my priorities in the right order.  Now, I’m sitting here tonight hoping that I spent enough time with Lizzie, hoping that I didn’t allow her to feel like something was more important to me than her, and I have that gnawing that many parents have that I could’ve done more, I could’ve done better, and in some ways I’ve probably sent the wrong messages at times.

Don’t you know that I can sit and think the same way about my relationship with God?  I know without a shadow of a doubt that I don’t spend nearly enough time with God in His presence.  I know that I can’t do nothing, but sit in His presence all day, every day…but if I still feel like I could’ve spent more time with Him.  I know that I’ve pushed Him aside for things that really weren’t important, but I made them more important to me than time at His feet.  I always have that feeling in my heart that I could’ve done more, I could’ve spent more time with Him, and I think that’s a good thing to feel when it comes to God.  I think if we ever get the feeling that we’re spending too much time in the Lord’s presence that means we’re taking it for granted…and I don’t know about you…but I’ve taken God for granted enough.

So…the secret to success isn’t really that much of a secret.  It begins and ends with these simple words: Trust In Him.

Let’s Pray:

Thank You, Lord for Your Word that never returns void.  Thank You that You are just as faithful to us as You are to Reinhard Bonnke. Thank You for giving us such a simple, yet difficult thing to do when it comes to success. You tell us in Your Word at least once for every day of the year that we can trust You. Help us, Lord to trust You more and in ourselves less. Help us to keep You as our first priority, and forgive us when we place other things in Your rightful place in our lives. To You we give all the honor, all the glory, and all the praise. In Jesus name. Amen.

Final Word From Pastor B:

I don’t know about you, but I think I’ve already said enough. I don’t think we can ever be reminded enough that God’s rightful place in our lives isn’t what’s left or when we have the free-time to do so…but first.  I can’t help but get Jesus’ words to Martha out of my mind as He spoke of how Mary had found the one needful thing that so many of us (myself included) need to partake of more often. I’ve never heard anyone say they’ve spent too much time at the Lord’s feet or in His presence. I’m kind of glad that I never really feel like I spend enough time in His presence because I think there should always be a longing in our hearts to spend more time with Him than we do.

After all, in His presence is where that intimacy with the Father is found, and in His presences is also where He can do the most in our lives so that He can do more with and through our lives, Amen!?!  Let’s always remember that if we’re too busy to sit in His presence…then we’re too busy, and we need to slow down and adjust our priorities so that we can restore Him to His rightful place in our lives, Amen!?!

Blessings & Grace ~ Pastor B

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