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Devotionals

The breath of the enemy

Separating yourself out breeds selfishness and greater feelings of emptiness and aloneness—a perfect place to be devoured by the enemy. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the […]

A Friend

A Friend Proverbs 18:24 “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Do you have a lot of friends? Do you long for companionship? Proverbs 18:24 tells us the secret to having and keeping friends. “A man who has friends must himself be […]

Dead on.

“Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.” Acts 14:19–20, […]

The Holy Spirit said

“As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate out for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Acts 13:2; NKJV Barnabas and Saul were back in Antioch after bringing much needed assistance to the church in Jerusalem. As they were serving the Lord, […]

A testy situation.

“He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.” John 6:6; NIV2011 For some reason, lately, the Lord has been speaking to me through obscure scriptures. These are those which would normally be classified as “fly over” or “transition” scriptures. John 6:6 is an example. […]

Answered prayer, yeah, right.

“‘But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!’ Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, ‘It is his angel.’” Acts 12:15, NKJV Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11:24, NKJV) The […]

A great congregation

“Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.” Acts 12:5, NKJV Constant prayer. The word means to be eager or act in earnest. It is prayer that is so intense that it will not be stopped until the answer is received. Charles H. Spurgeon said, […]

Sleeping God?

“One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out.” Luke 8:22 (NIV2011) I like how the NIV2011 puts this. It was just “one day.” The disciples had no clue what was about to happen. But Jesus did. […]

Consumed

““Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;” (Matthew 6:19, NKJV) Investments are important, but where you invest is particularly important. After a stock market crash, a young executive leaped from the 24th floor of his posh apartment building at 1 Wall […]

FORMIDABLE FAMINE FORSEEN

“And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.” (Acts 11:27–28, NKJV) In Greek, the name Agabus means “Locust.” […]

A CHRISTIAN FIRST

“Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” (Acts 11:24-25; NKJV) CHRISTIAN: The proper meaning of […]

WILLING TO DO YOUR WILL

“When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”” (Acts 11:18, NKJV) It’s funny how things end completely different than the way they start. A fight. Accusations fly. People take sides and there is division. Wouldn’t it be amazing if […]

OH, THAT KIND OF FAITH.

“And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends.” (Acts 10:24, NKJV) Four days earlier, Cornelius, a Roman Centurion, was praying. He was a good man, wanting to please God and do what is right for others—a just man, and a man […]

STONED

“We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God. “ Acts 14:22 Paul said this after he was drug out of town and stoned at Lystra. No, not that kind of stoned. Anyway, a man was there who couldn’t walk, but seemed to believe every word that Paul spoke. Paul said to him, “Stand […]

WHO ARE YOU, LORD?

“So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:6, NKJV) Saul was full of zeal routing out religious heretics called, “The people of The Way” — Christians. […]

JUST AN EVERYDAY ANYBODY.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28, NKJV) In Acts 8 we see the beginnings of what Jesus told his disciples to do in Acts 1:8. Up to this point, the apostles and the […]

MISSED IT BY THAT MUCH

But there was a certain man called Simon… (Acts 8:9, NKJV) Simon could amaze people by demonically inspired tricks that made them believe that he was the power of God. After the martyrdom of Stephen and subsequent persecution by Saul, Philip went to Samaria to preach the gospel. While there, the Spirit moved upon him […]

A GREATER BLESSING

“And God gave him no inheritance in it, not even enough to set his foot on. But even when Abraham had no child, He promised to give it to him for a possession, and to his descendants after him.” (Acts 7:5, NKJV) Although Abram was given the land in promise, he was not given the […]

WEARING THE MASK

“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet.” (Acts 5:1–2, NKJV) Hypocrisy is defined as someone who wears the mask. In Greek plays, […]

NEED WE SAY MORE?

“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.” (Acts 4:32) The early believers were of one heart and one soul. They were unified together for a common purpose, […]

NO OTHER NAME

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12, NKJV) Peter had been asked by what name or authority he was preaching in. He told them it was the name of Jesus and said that there is salvation […]

EXCLUSIVE INCLUSIVITY

“And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.” Acts 2:5, NKJV These were in Jerusalem for the Passover feast. They were Jews, but they represented people groups from everywhere in the known world. The most famous verse in the Bible is John 3:16. It says that God loves the […]

THE GOD WHO SEES

“Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive. ” Genesis 11:30 The Hebrew statement here is: עקרא שרי ומרי ולד לה עינ. The word עינ is the Hebrew word for eye. So, the verse could be translated “Now Sarai did not see a child.” Now read Genesis 22:14 – “So Abraham called […]

TURN ON THE LIGHT

Romans 13:8-14 “Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the […]

REACHING YOUR CROWD

Luke 5:27-32 Jesus did not just randomly call Levi out of the crowd. Levi was a tax collector, and to reach tax collectors, you need a tax collector to be the ambassador. There are at least three ways I see Jesus working here. Tax collectors were despised by the people. They worked for the occupying […]

ALL HOPE IS LOST

“When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.” Acts 27:20; ESV Ever notice that God always waits until there is no hope, then helps us? It happens in the scripture. Lazarus’ sisters were both upset because Jesus […]

CONFIDENCE

July 22, 2015 Steve Marquez “The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1 What is confidence? Said William Penn: “Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.” Confidence is knowing what is right and standing […]

OUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED

Steve Marquez July 1, 2015 “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 Wisdom is knowing our limitations. I remember a few years ago that I played basketball with some young men at Calvary Chapel Bartlett. After a few minutes I was completely exhausted. I had […]

CASTING STONES

Steve Marquez “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” John 8:7b There are two verses that are thrown around often by people who attempt to justify their actions. One, I quoted above. It is usually coupled with, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1). I’d […]

DO GOOD AND SUFFER

2 Chronicles 32:1 Steve Marquez Hezekiah, from the beginning of his reign sought the LORD. He cleansed the Temple, set up Temple services with sacrifices and offerings, and held a Passover celebration for all the Children Of Israel, including those in the north. He made sure the priests and Levites were provided for in order […]

HUMBLED BEFORE OUR GOD

Steve Marquez “Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. But he did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel.” 2 Chronicles 33:1-2 How could this happen?! His father […]

BLESSED ATTACK

2 Chronicles 14 Steve Marquez Asa, the king of Judah, had experienced nothing but peace in his kingdom for the first ten years. He built fortified cities, made sure his kingdom was pure, raised up an army of 580,000 men, and sought the LORD. It has been my experience that I am entering a trial, […]

STUPID

“After this he (Sampson) loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.” Judges 16:4 Chapter 16 begins with Sampson visiting a prostitute. Earlier in Judges 14, he wants a Philistine girl because she was “right in his eyes.” And now we see him in the valley of Sorek, which means, “grapevines”. […]

TRUSTING IN MAN

“When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has […]

CONSEQUENCES

“Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?” ” 2 Kings 20:19 Hezekiah was sick. While laying in bed he was told by Isaiah, the prophet, that he should get his house […]

NOT ENOUGH

Steve Marquez March 16, 2015 “For you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong.” Joshua 17:18b Everything was going well. Joshua was handing out land like candy. The children of Israel were finally getting a land of their own. The tribe belonging to one of the […]

BULLDOG

Steve Marquez March 14, 2015 Read Joshua 14:6-15 Caleb was one of only two of the original spies to survive forty five years wondering in the desert. After all that time, he never forgot about the promise of God. He was promised land, and he believed that God was going to give it to him. […]

COVETING

Steve Marquez March 13, 2015 “And Achan answered Joshua, “Truly I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I did: when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took […]

THE SCARLET CORD

Steve Marquez March 10, 2015 Read Joshua 2:17-21 Joshua had sent out two spies into Jericho to see the strength of the city. The spies went into the house of Rahab, a prostitute, whose house was on the city wall. Why would they go into such an unclean house? Perhaps they thought they would be […]

FIERY SERPENTS

Steve Marquez February 27, 2015 “And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.” Numbers 21:7 The people had sinned. They grumbled against Moses’ and […]

HEALING IN HIS WINGS

Steve Marquez February 6, 2015 “…a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years…” Luke 8:43 This woman had begun a discharge of blood. It was nothing to be too concerned about at first. It was normal. Then it wouldn’t stop. The blood continued to flow to the point where she began to be […]

Gnats, The Finger Of God

Steve Marquez January 20, 2014 “The magicians tried by their secret arts to produce gnats, but they could not. So there were gnats on man and beast. Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” Genesis 8:18-19 Think about the hilarity of this situation. In order to prove that Moses and Aaron […]

Bereaved

Steve Marquez January 16, 2015 “And Jacob their father said to them, “You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and now you would take Benjamin. All this has come against me.” Genesis 42:36, ESV In October of 2014, I was walking with a weak left leg […]

For The Glory Of God And My Good

Steve Marquez January 12, 2015 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” John 12:27-28 ESV In The Valley Of Vision, “Living By Prayer” says, “I can only succeed when I pray according to […]

Until God Is Done

January 12, 2015 Steve Marquez “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.” Genesis 28:15 It has been said that we are invincible until God is done […]

Divine Justifier

January 6, 2015 Steve Marquez It is interesting how Abraham intercedes for Sodom in Genesis 18:22-25. Of course he is doing so because of his nephew, Lot and his family. If there were only 50 or 40… or even 10 righteous people left in the city the question is asked, “Will you then sweep away […]

And So They Laughed

When God told Abraham he would have a son with Sarah, this was his response. “Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” And Abraham said to […]

Sorrow

“He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matthew 26:37-38 There are times when life is difficult. There are times […]

Unusual Ways

God doesn’t always do things the way expect. I don’t know why that’s the case. Perhaps he wants to keep us on our toes, waiting, following, seeking. One time Jesus opens the eyes of a blind man by putting mud in his eye. That is unexpected. Another time, Jesus picks a paralyzed man out of […]

The Touch

“A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. …” Matthew 8:2-3a In his book, “The Lord is my Shepherd”, Robert J. Morgan writes about sheep that become “cast down.” They lay down in […]

Mourning Into Dancing

“And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years. (Luke 1:6-7) How could this be? They were righteous and blameless according to the law, but Elizabeth was barren. I […]