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A Way Of Escape

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Today I am reading day 342 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:

Day 342

A Way Of Escape

Psalm 23:5 5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.

The table is set. The bread and wine are there, and Jesus says to you, “Come, My child, partake.” But you tell Him, “Lord, I am unworthy!” You are afraid to come to the Lord’s table perhaps because you have been taught that if you partake in your “unworthy” state, you will come under God’s fiery judgment.

My friend, Jesus has washed you whiter than snow and qualified you with His own blood, so you are as worthy as worthy can be! The most humble thing you can do now is to acknowledge His perfect sacrifice and accept His invitation with gladness.

In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul tells the church how to partake of the Lord’s Supper so that they will not drink judgment to themselves. The word “judgment” in verses 29 and 34 is krima in the original Greek text. It refers to a divine sentence. And in the context of this passage, the divine sentence refers to sickness.

But when was this divine sentence of sickness passed? It was passed when Adam sinned. (Genesis 3:19) When he sinned, death entered the world (Genesis 2:17), and man would grow old and weak, fall sick and die.

So it is not that God is passing sentences of sickness on people today. How can that be when Jesus said, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17) God is not in the business of condemning but saving. And the Greek word for “saved”, sozo, also means to preserve, heal and make whole.

God does not want you to suffer the divine sentence of sickness that is already in the world, so He has given you a way of escape, paid for by the blood of His Son. He wants you to be healthy and whole, without the diseases of the world, and He has made this possible for you through the Holy Communion.

So don’t be robbed of this tremendous blessing any longer because of erroneous teachings that have put fear in your heart. Come boldly to the Lord’s table today and receive afresh His health, strength, wholeness and life!

Thought For The Day
God wants you to be healthy and whole, without the diseases of the world, and He has made this possible for you through the Holy Communion.

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Healthier, Stronger Each Day

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Today I am reading day 239 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:

Day 239

Healthier, Stronger Each Day

Acts 2:46 46So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

Back then in the early church, Christians would meet each other every day, either corporately in the temple or from house to house in smaller groups. And when they met in their homes, the Bible tells us that they would break bread. That’s the Holy Communion, and they took it every day!

Now, I am not saying that you must take the Holy Communion every day. But if you feel led to and you want to, go ahead! The thing about taking the Holy Communion daily is this: If you are sick, you can be made well on a gradual basis. This means that you get healthier and stronger from day to day — first thirtyfold, then sixtyfold, then a hundredfold!

You see, while you can receive healing through the prayer of faith (Mark 11:24), it sometimes puts pressure on you because it requires you to believe that you receive it all — complete healing — the moment you pray. There is nothing wrong with the prayer of faith, but you may find yourself saying, “I must believe I receive it all, now! I must believe I have it all, now!”

But the Holy Communion allows you to receive a measure of healing every time you partake in faith, so that you get better and better. The more you take it, the better you become. There is no pressure to believe that you receive it all at once. Isn’t God good? He meets you at your level of faith!

Now, there are cases I know of in our church, in my family and in my own life, where the manifestation of healing is immediate and complete. If it happens that way, praise God! But if not, don’t worry. The more you partake, the better you will become.

I know of people who take the Holy Communion three times a day, just like they would medicine! Why not? My friend, if you are very sick and you are diligently taking your medication three times a day, why not give the Lord’s Supper the same amount of attention? Why not boost your recovery rate? And the next time you eat the bread and drink the cup, you may just find your disease totally gone!

Thought For The Day
If you are diligently taking your medication three times a day, why not give the Lord’s Supper the same amount of attention?

Jesus Is Still Jehovah Rapha

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Today I am reading day 157 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:

Day 157

Jesus Is Still Jehovah Rapha

Exodus 15:26 26… I am the Lord who heals you.”

Do you know that the first compound name that the Lord revealed to the Israelites after they came out of Egypt was Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals you? It was as if He was telling them, as they began their new life with Him, that He had already healed them of all the diseases and pains they suffered when they were in bondage in Egypt. Indeed, when He brought them out of Egypt, “there was none feeble among His tribes”. (Psalm 105:37)

Today, just as the Israelites were delivered from their bondage in Egypt and from slavery to Pharaoh, you have also been delivered from the bondage of sin and sickness, and from slavery to the devil, by the blood of the Lamb. And the Lord, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, still says to you, “I am the Lord who heals you.”

A church member, who was experiencing pain in her womb for several months, looked to Jesus as her healer even as she went to see a doctor, who performed an ultrasound scan on her womb. When told that she had two big tumors and several blood cysts in her womb, she continued to look to Jesus as her healer. The doctor then had her blood tested to see if the tumors were cancerous.

Three days later, she saw the doctor again and was told that the tumors were not cancerous. Not only that, but a second ultrasound scan also showed that all the cysts and one of the tumors had completely disappeared! The other tumor had also shrunk. Although she had taken medication, the doctor told her that based on the original size of the tumor, it should have taken months to shrink that much. He commented that this was the quickest healing he had ever seen!

Beloved, if the doctor has given you a bad report regarding your health, don’t despair. Look to Jesus and expect healing for your body. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is still Jehovah Rapha — the Lord who heals you!

Thought For The Day
Look to Jesus and expect healing for your body. He is still the Lord who heals you!

Receive By Grace Through Faith

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Today I am reading day 90 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:

Day 90

Receive By Grace Through Faith

Galatians 3:5 5Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?…

Imagine that you are at a healing service. An alcoholic walks into the church reeking of alcohol. He sits behind the pianist, a nice elderly lady who has been serving in the church for 50 years. Both of them are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The healing power of God is present. In an instant, the alcoholic, who has never been in church before, gets healed. The pianist does not.

Most people, on hearing stories like this, would get upset and confused. They might ask, “Shouldn’t God heal this nice, old lady who has been serving Him faithfully all these years, and not that debauched drunkard?” You see, many people still believe that God heals only the deserving.

But that is not how God works. God looks at faith, not works. His power is made manifest in those who trust His goodness instead of their good behavior. So if we go back to the above example, God wants to heal both the alcoholic and the nice elderly pianist. All they need to do is to receive by grace, or unmerited favor, through faith.

You see, we cannot earn the blessings of God. We receive them by believing God’s love and grace toward us. If we receive the greatest blessing—salvation—by simply believing that Jesus did it all for us and not by working for it, what makes us think that the other lesser blessings can be obtained by our works?

So if my daughter Jessica falls sick, I don’t go to the Father and say, “Father, heal my daughter because I am Pastor Joseph Prince and I preach healing to the people.” No, I go to Him by the blood of Jesus and say, “Father, I thank You that 2,000 years ago, Jesus bore Jessica’s sickness in His body. On that basis alone and by Your grace, I pronounce her healed in Jesus’ name.”

When you simply believe that you receive your blessings based on Jesus’ finished work and by His grace alone, you will receive your blessings!

Thought For The Day
God’s power is made manifest in those who trust His goodness instead of their good behavior.

Maintaining Physical Health

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Today I am reading day 359 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Maintaining Physical Health

1 Corinthians 13:7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Psalms 127:2 It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.

Psalms 119:73 You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands.

1 Corinthians 6:20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

Love is exhausting. It’s work to really love. Most people don’t understand that their physical condition has a strong impact on their relationships and their ability to love.

What happens to your relationships when you’re run down? Little issues become big problems when you’re tired. You’re more cranky, defensive, and critical when you’re physically low.

What are some habits the Bible says will physically refresh you?

Rest – “It’s senseless for you to work so hard from early morning till late at night. God wants you to get your proper rest.” (Psalm 127:2 LB) Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is just get some rest. It’s amazing how much better things look after a good night’s sleep. Many of you are too tired to love your kids, too tired to love your husband, and too tired to love your wife.

Balanced Diet–“You made my body, Lord, now give me the sense to head your laws.” (Psalm 119:73 LB) It’s a no-brainer, but choosing fruits and vegetables over chips and cookies will give us more sustained energy.

Regular Exercise–“Honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:20 NIV) Our bodies were made for activity. In Bible times they didn’t have to exercise; they walked everywhere, they did physical work. But most of us have sedentary lives, and we drive everywhere. Yet, you really only have two choices in life: fatigue or fitness. Fitness involves regular exercise.

Commit to Regular Exercise

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Today I am reading day 37 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Commit to Regular Exercise

1 Timothy 4:8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

One of the ways we train for godliness is by maintaining our physical health. The truth is, your body was not designed for inactivity. God created you to be active. Even a daily walk will make a difference in your physical well-being and your spiritual well-being.

One thing I have noticed is that most of us are convinced but not committed. We know that exercise is good for us. We are convinced of that, but that doesn’t mean we are committed to exercise.

What is the common excuse? “I don’t have the time.’

Let me ask, do you have time to be sick? If you don’t make time for exercise, you’ll probably be forced to make time for an illness. Is that how you want to spend your time?

What is the common mistake? We overdo it at the start. We’ve been looking at how physical health will help us reach our destiny during the next decade. Some of you might have already said, “I’m going to get in shape if it kills me!”

We have the philosophy that if something is good, then more is better. We’ve been out of shape for several years, but then we try to get in shape in one week! And so we work ourselves to death, get totally exhausted and, as a result, we wear out quickly and give up.

The key is training not straining. If you want to get in shape fast, exercise longer, not harder. And that will help you stay committed to a consistent, regular exercise program.

He Who Laughs, Lasts

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Today I am reading day 36 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

He Who Laughs, Lasts

Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

As I’ve mentioned in these devotionals, many people think the Bible is only filled with commands labeled “Thou shalt not” They assume the Bible is all about restrictions and making you lead a boring life.

But this should put a smile on your face: Having fun is good for your health.

God tells us in his Word that life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22 NIV)

I like to put it this way, “He who laughs, lasts.” Learn to laugh at yourself, put some play in every day, relax, chill out, have some fun.

Confession Keeps You Healthy

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Today I am reading day 34 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Confession Keeps You Healthy

Psalm 32:3 When I did not confess my sins, I was worn out from crying all day long.

We’ve looked at the importance of trusting God and letting go of resentment, worry, and fear to maintain good health. This leads right into the second biblical factor for good health.

Confessing my sin is good for my health — Any psychologist will tell you this – it’s good to clear your conscience and get things off your chest. Your body is not made to hold it in. When you hold guilt inside you, it’s like shaking up a soda can with the top on. It will blow eventually.

David says it this way in Psalm 32:3-5, “When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone” (NLT).

David internalized his guilt and it physically affected his body. If you don’t talk out your problems, your guilt, your bitterness with God, you’re going to take it out on your body.

Doctors say a lot of people could leave the hospital today if they knew how to get rid of guilt or resentment over things they’ve done to others and things others have done to them.

Spend a few moments in prayer today asking God to forgive you for the things you’ve done to others. Then pray about any resentment and bitterness you are holding against people who have hurt you. Ask God to help you forgive those people so you can move on to better health.

Trust Leads to Good Health

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Today I am reading day 33 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Trust Leads to Good Health

Psalm 116:7 Be confident, my heart, because the Lord has been good to me.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know.

Proverbs 14:30 GNTD Peace of mind makes the body healthy, but jealousy is like a cancer.

God has given you the gift of your body and it comes with an owner’s manual – the Bible. In it are all the instructions you need to take care of yourself and live a long life.

You already know the basics – proper nutrition, exercise, a good night’s rest. Today I want to look at the first of four health factors you may not have thought of for living long and well.

Trusting God is good for your health — “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5 NIV) Why is trusting in God good for your health? When you trust Him then you don’t worry.

Psalm 116:7 says, “I said to myself, “Relax, the Lord is going to take care of you'” (NCV). If you really trust in God, you’re going to be less stressed.

You have a choice – You can either worry or worship. You can either pray or panic.

The more you pray, the less you’ll panic. Relax, because God will take care of you!

The Bible says in Proverbs 14:30, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones” (NIV). It’s not just what you eat that matters, it’s what eats you. You can have all the right macrobiotics and organic food, but if your body is filled with resentment, worry, fear, lust, guilt, anger, bitterness, or any other emotional disease, it’s going to shorten your life.

God’s Prescription for Good Health

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Today I am reading day 32 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

God’s Prescription for Good Health

Proverbs 3:1-2 My child, don’t forget what I teach you. Always remember what I tell you to do. My teaching will give you a long and prosperous life.

Proverbs 3:5-10 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way. Never let yourself think that you are wiser than you are; simply obey the Lord and refuse to do wrong. If you do, it will be like good medicine, healing your wounds and easing your pains. Honor the Lord by making him an offering from the best of all that your land produces. If you do, your barns will be filled with grain, and you will have too much wine to store it all.

If I had a pill that could promise to add years to your life, you’d probably pay a lot of money for it. But what if I told you, as a Christian, you already have the key to a long life and it’s free?

God has given all of the principles for health management in his Word, the Bible. The Bible is the owner’s manual for your body. As David says, “You made my body, Lord; now give me sense to heed your laws.” (Psalm 119:73 LB) And in Deuteronomy, it says, “These instructions are not mere words – they are your life! By obeying them you will enjoy a long life in the land .” (Deuteronomy 32:47 NLT) God says, “If you do what I tell you to do with your health, you will enjoy a long life.”

What are the commands we should keep in our hearts? “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing .” (Proverbs 3:5-10 NIV)

These verses highlight some factors that you probably don’t think about, but they will keep you healthy: tranquility, trust in God, integrity, humility, and generosity. These things will cause your health to be better because your physical health is influenced by your spiritual health.

Being in Shape is a Spiritual Discipline

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Today I am reading day 31 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Being in Shape is a Spiritual Discipline

1 Corinthians 6:15 You know that your bodies are parts of the body of Christ. Shall I take a part of Christ’s body and make it part of the body of a prostitute? Impossible!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but to God; he bought you for a price. So use your bodies for God’s glory

Keeping your body in shape is a spiritual discipline. It’s not just about losing a few pounds, wanting to live longer, or trying to look nicer.

God created your body, Jesus died for it, the Holy Spirit lives in it, your body is connected to Christ, and it’s going to be resurrected one day. When it is, God’s going to hold you accountable for how you managed what he gave you.

My body is connected to the body of Christ — “Don’t you know that your bodies are a part of Christ’s ?body?? So should I take a part of Christ’s ?body? and make it part of a prostitute? Absolutely not!” (1 Corinthians 6:15 HCSB) God considers sins against the body to be in a special class because your body is connected to the body of Christ.

The Holy Spirit lives in my body – “Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you .” (1 Corinthians 6:19 HCSB) Your body is God’s temple. Would you ever consider vandalizing a temple? When you don’t take care of your body, you are vandalizing God’s temple.

Jesus bought my body on the cross – ” You were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:20 HCSB) If you want to know how much you’re worth, look at the cross. Jesus with his hands outstretched says, “This is how much you’re worth to me. You’re worth dying for.” You are infinitely valuable.

Take Care of Your Body

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Today I am reading day 30 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Take Care of Your Body

Your physical health is an important part of making your life count. Today and tomorrow I want to look at the right motivation for getting healthy – what God’s says about the importance of your body in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 (HCSB).

1 Corinthians 6:12-20 GNTD

Someone will say, “I am allowed to do anything.” Yes; but not everything is good for you. I could say that I am allowed to do anything, but I am not going to let anything make me its slave.

Someone else will say, “Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food.” Yes; but God will put an end to both.

The body is not to be used for sexual immorality, but to serve the Lord; and the Lord provides for the body. God raised the Lord from death, and he will also raise us by his power.

You know that your bodies are parts of the body of Christ. Shall I take a part of Christ’s body and make it part of the body of a prostitute? Impossible! Or perhaps you don’t know that the man who joins his body to a prostitute becomes physically one with her? The scripture says quite plainly, “The two will become one body.” But he who joins himself to the Lord becomes spiritually one with him.

Avoid immorality. Any other sin a man commits does not affect his body; but the man who is guilty of sexual immorality sins against his own body. Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but to God; he bought you for a price. So use your bodies for God’s glory.

God expects me to manage my body – “”Everything is permissible for me,’ but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible for me,’ but I will not be brought under the control of anything.” (v12) Your body is a gift from God. He loans it to you and it’s your responsibility to manage it well. What are you doing with what He’s given you?

My body is God’s property — “The body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord .” (v13) Our culture teaches us that we can do whatever we want with our bodies. But God created our bodies, so we don’t have a right to share them with anybody we want.

My body will be resurrected after I die — “God raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.” (v14) God never wastes anything. One day he’s going to resurrect a new version of your body.

My journey with Christ

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