Today I am reading day 360 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:
Born To Die So That You Might Live
Luke 2:12 12And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
You are probably familiar with the story of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. The Bible says that when the time had come, Mary “brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger”. (Luke 2:6–7) But have you ever wondered why the angel told the shepherds that the Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger was a “sign”?
A manger is actually a feeding trough for livestock. Do you know what a feeding trough in those days looks like? I have seen a similar one at Solomon’s stables in Meggido, Israel. It is basically a big rectangular block of stone with the trough hewn out of it. So baby Jesus, who was wrapped in swaddling cloths, was placed in such a stone trough.
But why was that a sign? Because if you have seen the empty tomb of Jesus at a place called The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, you would have noticed that the place where His body was laid, inside a tomb hewn out of rock, resembles a stone trough. The Bible says that after Jesus’ crucifixion and death, Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus’ body, wrapped it in linen and laid it in a tomb hewn out of a rock. (Mark 15:43–46)
Can you see the similarities? Wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger, baby Jesus would one day be wrapped in linen and laid in a tomb. That was the sign the angel was referring to. It pointed to Jesus’ death.
Jesus was the only child in all of humanity born to die. Once you realize that, you will realize how much God loves you. You will realize that He gave up His Son for that one purpose, and that His Son willingly came for that one purpose — to die for your sins and mine.
Beloved, can you imagine living your life knowing that you are just qualifying yourself to die on the cross to save the world? That was the life that Jesus lived. He lived to die, so that we might live and enjoy life abundantly today!
Thought For The Day
Jesus was born to die and He lived to die, so that we might live and enjoy life abundantly today!
Today I am reading day 349 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:
You Have A Strong Kinsman-Redeemer!
Jeremiah 50:34 34Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is His name. He will thoroughly plead their case…
Ruth, a young, poor and childless widow in the Old Testament, lay at the feet of Boaz, her potential kinsman-redeemer. (Ruth 3:7) As a rich and close relative of her in-laws, Boaz had the power to redeem her from her plight.
Ruth was simply obeying Naomi, her mother-in-law, who had told her to go and lie down at Boaz’s feet. In the Jewish custom of those days, this was a posture that said, “Please redeem me for you are a close relative.” Notice Boaz’s response to Ruth: “And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request…” (Ruth 3:11)
Beloved, Boaz is a picture of Jesus who is our kinsman-redeemer. He is our kinsman, having been born into this world as one like us. And He is our Redeemer because He redeemed us at a great price when He shed His blood for us on the cross.
As your Redeemer, not only is Jesus willing, but He also has the power to restore to you all that you have lost. That is why you can go to Him and say, “I blew it and now my family is suffering. My finances are dwindling fast. But I come to You, my kinsman-redeemer…” And you will find that He will redeem you because your Redeemer is strong. The Lord of hosts is His name. He will thoroughly plead your case, causing only blessings of wisdom, deliverance, restoration, provision and liberty to come out of your situation!
Just as Ruth lay at Boaz’s feet, the feet of Jesus is the place of redemption and blessings. Both Jairus the synagogue ruler (Mark 5:22) and the Syro-Phoenician woman (Mark 7:25–26) fell at Jesus’ feet. And there at His feet they received healing for their daughters.
When you take your place at Jesus’ feet, looking to Him for help, expect to receive His blessings. There is nothing to fear knowing that as Boaz did for Ruth, Jesus, your heavenly Boaz, will do for you all that you have requested!
Thought For The Day
As your Redeemer, not only is Jesus willing, but He also has the power to restore to you all that you have lost.
Today I am reading day 285 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:
Jesus Is Your Qualification For God’s Blessings
Deuteronomy 28:2 2And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you…
God loves to bless you. He has even declared that “blessings shall come upon you and overtake you”. This means that you can’t run fast enough to escape them! When you turn one corner, there is a blessing waiting for you. When you turn another corner, you run smack into another blessing!
Now, you may think that you don’t qualify for God’s blessings because of the preceding verse that says that these blessings will come to pass only if you diligently obey God’s voice and keep all of His commandments. You know that no matter how hard you try, you just cannot keep all of God’s commandments. In fact, the Bible says that if you fail to keep just one commandment, you fail to keep all. (James 2:10)
My friend, I have good news for you: Jesus is the one who qualifies us for every single blessing because He has kept all of God’s commandments. When He died for us on the cross, He not only fulfilled all of God’s commandments, He also redeemed us from the curse of the law. (Galatians 3:13) Note that He did not redeem us from the blessings of the law, so the blessings are still ours today!
As you read the list of blessings in Deuteronomy 28, starting with “Blessed shall you be in the city… in the country… the fruit of your body… your basket… when you come in… when you go out…” (Deuteronomy 28:3–13), I believe that Jesus is saying to you, “Like the blessings? Then take them by faith!”
You may say, “But I don’t deserve them.” Yes, you don’t deserve them, but you still get them because of Jesus. That is God’s grace! The law says, “You must deserve the blessings.” But the law is no longer here. Grace is here. So take the blessings by grace through faith. Believe God for the blessings.
Today, it is no longer a question of how much or how well you have kept God’s commandments. It is a question of how much you can believe God for His blessings. All the promises of God in Christ are “Yes”, and because you are in Christ, you can say “Amen!” to His blessings! (2 Corinthians 1:20)
Thought For The Day
Jesus is the one who qualifies us for every single blessing because He has kept all of God’s commandments.
Today I am reading day 271 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:
Which Righteous Man Do You Want To Be?
Genesis 24:1 1Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.
The Bible says that Abraham was righteous. But do you know that his nephew Lot was righteous too? (2 Peter 2:7–8) Yet, both men lived very different lives. Although they both lived under God’s grace some 400 years before the law was given, Abraham was very blessed, whereas Lot lost a lot!
Both men had large herds and flocks. When their herdsmen started quarrelling over space, Abraham took the initiative to make peace. He even let Lot pick the lands that he wanted. Both men were righteous, but one was more gracious than the other.
Lot picked the well-watered plain of Jordan, where the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were. He dwelt there and pitched his tent as far as Sodom. Eventually, he lived in Sodom. Now, Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible represent a sinful lifestyle. Some Christians think, “Since I am righteous by faith and under God’s grace, I can live a sinful lifestyle.”
Well, let’s learn from Lot. He first saw Sodom, then his feet walked toward it and finally he went into it. I like what a great man of God said: “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and cost you more than you want to pay.” What did Lot end up paying?
He was captured when four kings plundered Sodom and Gomorrah. And even after Abraham rescued him with the help of God, he did not learn his lesson. He went back to Sodom. Some Christians live from one bailout to another. God delivers them from, say, debt, and they go right back to borrowing money or gambling! Sodom and Gomorrah were eventually destroyed. Lot escaped with only the clothes on his back and even lost his wife in the process.
Beloved, you are the righteousness of God in Christ. When you truly understand what Jesus did to make you the righteousness of God, it will cause you to fall out of love with sin and fall in love with God. Then, it will not be hard to have a heart for God, as Abraham did, and like Abraham, be blessed in all things!
Thought For The Day
As the righteousness of God in Christ, choose to live a life that pleases God, and like Abraham, you will be blessed in all things!
Today I am reading day 226 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:
Every Curse In Your Life Destroyed
Galatians 3:13 13Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),
Many believers probably know that when Jesus died, our sins were forgiven because He shed His blood. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. (Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 9:22) But why did Jesus have to die on the cross, since the capital punishment of Israel during the time of Christ was stoning and not crucifixion?
Jesus hung and died on the cross because He knew the law, which says that “he who is hanged is accursed of God”. (Deuteronomy 21:23) He wanted to redeem us from every curse of the law, so He went to the cross, “having become a curse for us”. Jesus took all our curses at the cross, so that we can take all His blessings!
The moment you received Jesus, every curse in your life was destroyed. And the way you experience this is to simply believe and confess what Jesus has done for you. Say, “Because of Jesus, I am blessed.” The more you say it and believe it, the more you will experience it.
So if there is an area in your life in which you feel oppressed, for example, a skin condition that refuses to heal, say, “Christ has redeemed me from this skin condition. I refuse it and reject it in Jesus’ name because by His stripes I am healed!” (1 Peter 2:24) Believe it and say it until you see it!
“But Pastor Prince, my father died of cancer. His father died of cancer. And I have been told by my doctor that there is a likelihood that I might get it too. It’s in our blood!”
My friend, the blood of Christ shed at the cross has redeemed you from all curses, including diseases like cancer! God put the curse of cancer on Jesus at the cross. And He put all the blessings of Jesus on you. Therefore, expect only the blessings of Jesus to come upon you and overtake you!A228
Thought For The Day
The moment you received Jesus, every curse in your life was destroyed.
Today I am reading day 207 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:
Standing On No-Curse Ground
Genesis 8:4 4Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat.
For 40 days and nights, it rained so hard that the whole world perished, except for Noah and those who were with him in the ark. At the end of 150 days, on the 17th day of the seventh month, the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat.
In Hebrew, the word “Ararat” means “the curse is reversed”. The waters of judgment receded, causing the ark to rest on the mountains of Ararat, on new ground where the curse is reversed. And it happened on the 17th day of the seventh month on the Feast of Firstfruits — the exact date that Jesus rose from the dead 4,000 years later!
When Christ rose from the dead, we were raised together with Him. (Colossians 2:12).We who are in Christ our true ark stand on resurrection ground where the curse has been reversed (Galatians 3:13), where diseases, poverty and failures have no right to operate!
A church member shared how God delivered him from cervical spondylosis, a medical condition which causes the neck section of the spinal cord to deteriorate. An X-ray taken four to five years back showed that that area of his spinal cord was deteriorating fast. He was in pain and had to take medicine to manage the condition. And whenever he had a relapse, he would get depressed.
During his last relapse, he went to the doctor, trusting God that he was already healed, had another X-ray taken and was given some medication. He took the medication, still believing God that he was healed. The following morning, the pain in his neck was gone and he was able to turn his head. When he finally collected his X-ray results a week later, his doctor actually told him that his spinal cord looked better than the doctor’s own! The doctor was very surprised because patients with this condition usually don’t get better. God had reversed the curse of cervical spondylosis for him!
My friend, as a believer, you are on no-curse ground. You stand in the blessings zone where it is very easy for God’s blessings to rain all over you!
Thought For The Day
We stand on no-curse ground where diseases, poverty and failures have no right to operate!
Today I am reading day 204 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:
Believe Your Debt Is More Than Paid!
Hebrews 10:22 22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
I would like you to imagine this scenario: You borrow a huge sum of money from a friend and promise to pay him back in six months’ time. When the time comes, you feel really bad because you cannot repay him as you don’t have the money. A year rolls by without you repaying a cent. Now, you feel extremely guilty. You try to avoid your friend because you are too embarrassed and ashamed to see him.
Let’s say that your best friend hears about your plight. Out of the goodness of his heart, he goes to your creditor and says, “Look, I understand that my best friend owes you money.”
“Yes, he owes me US$50,000.”
“Here is US$100,000. I am paying you on his behalf.”
Your creditor says, “No, no, no! He owes me only US$50,000.”
Your best friend says, “I know. But take the US$100,000 so that you can never say that he still owes you money.”
Now, your debt has been paid, in fact, more than paid. But if you don’t know or believe this, that debt will still be on your conscience. You will still be afraid to see your creditor. And you will avoid him because he reminds you of your debt.
My friend, you need to know that Jesus was an overpayment when He offered Himself as your sin offering, because of the quality and worth of the Man Himself. My friend, He overpaid for your sins when He became your sacrifice on the cross.
But if you don’t know or believe this, you will suffer as your unbelief will rob you of assurance, joy and peace. You will still have debt on your conscience. Even though God is not imputing sin to you (Romans 4:8), sin is still on your conscience. And as long as sin is on your conscience, you won’t dare to draw near to Him.
Beloved, the truth is that your sins have been more than paid for. Jesus was an overpayment. So draw near to God today with no sin on your conscience!
Thought For The Day
Jesus was an overpayment when He offered Himself as your sin offering, so draw near to God today with no sin on your conscience!
Today I am reading day 200 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:
Who Do You Say Jesus Is?
Mark 8:29 29He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”
Do you know that how you see Jesus determines what you receive from Him? If you see Jesus as your healer, you will receive healing. If you see Jesus as your refuge and fortress, you will receive protection.
The people of Nazareth, Jesus’ hometown, saw Jesus in the natural. They said of Him, “Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us?” (Matthew 13:55–56) They saw Jesus in the natural. They did not see Him as God in the flesh. As a result, He could not do many mighty works there. (Matthew 13:58)
Today, many people, including some philosophers, see Jesus of Nazareth as a good person who led an exemplary life. They feel that if all of us could live our lives like Him, the world would be a better place.
They don’t see Jesus as the bread of God who came from heaven to give life to the world. (John 6:33) They don’t see Him as the one who came to give them living water, so that they would never thirst again. (John 4:14) They don’t see Him as the Lamb of God, who took away the sin of the world. (John 1:29) They don’t receive from Him what they need because they don’t esteem Him rightly.
Jesus did not come just to set a good example for man to follow. He came to be our Redeemer. (Galatians 3:13) He came to be our righteousness. (1 Corinthians 1:30) He came to be our shepherd, so that we will not lack anything. (Psalm 23:1)
Jesus asked His disciples once, “But who do you say that I am?” How you answer this question depends on how you see Jesus. And how you see Jesus will determine how and what you receive from Him. So see Him as your God, as everything He claims to be in His Word, and He will do mighty works in your life!
Thought For The Day
How you see Jesus determines how and what you receive from Him.
Today I am reading day 98 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:
Your Advocate Always Wins Your Case
1 John 2:1 1My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
If you want a glimpse of some real-life celestial drama, picture this: God the Father sits as Judge of the universe with Jesus Christ at His right hand, who is not only your High Priest, but also your Advocate.
When your accuser, the devil, comes along and says, “You have done this wrong and you have not done that right,” Jesus says, “Father, the devil is right, but My blood has paid for what the devil is accusing him of.”
Then the devil adds, “You have also not been reading the Bible or praying enough. And this morning, you told a lie.”
Again, Jesus will say, “Father, the devil has indeed reported correctly, but My blood has paid for all these failures.”
God the Father will then slam the gavel on the sound block and say, “Case dismissed! Next!”
You need to understand that God can justly declare you innocent and completely righteous because Jesus took your place at the cross, and shed His blood to pay for your sins and condemnation. (2 Corinthians 5:21) God is simply being faithful and just to what Christ has done.
When Jesus rose from the grave, He rose as your Advocate, your lawyer. But unlike most earthly lawyers who take on cases because it serves their interests and wallets, He is a lawyer who is personally interested in your happiness and wellbeing. Unlike earthly lawyers who are not caught up in the feelings and sufferings of their clients, Jesus went through great sufferings for you and paid with His own life so that you can receive all the blessings of God.
As your Advocate today, Jesus ensures that what He died and suffered to give you, you get! In heaven today, He defends and represents you to ensure that the healing, wholeness, protection and other blessings that He died to give you are enforced in your life. Beloved, have confidence in and rest in the ability of your Advocate!
Thought For The Day
As your Advocate today, Jesus ensures that you get what He suffered and died to give you.