Evening Came, and then Morning

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Day 15

Today’s Mission, from The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn:  “What darkness is in your life, the darkness of fear, of sin, of problems, of gloom?  Today, turn away from it and to the light of day.”

S (Scripture) – Genesis 1:3-5, Psalm 30:5, Ephesians 5:8, 1 Peter 2:9, 2 Peter 1:19

“Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light ‘day,’ and He called the darkness ‘night.’ Evening came and then morning: the first day.”

“For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor, a lifetime.  Weeping may spend the nightbut there is joy in the morning.”

 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light—”

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession,
so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

“So we have the prophetic word strongly confirmed.  You will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dismal place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”

O (Observation) – Lord, today’s lesson talks about how the world recognizes that each day begins with the dawn and ends with the night, whereas You meant for the day to begin in the evening and then end with the sunset of the following day (which is why all Jewish holidays begin at sunset; You followed this pattern during creation).  The way of the world is that everything is darkening – the young become old, what is once strong becomes weak, and what is young eventually dies.  However, Your order is different – in Your world, we “go from darkness to light, from weakness to strength, from despair to hope, from guilt to innocence, from tears to joy, and from death to life…and every night in our lives will lead to the dawn.”

A (Application) –  Glorious Father, You bring life to those who need it, healing to the brokenhearted, freedom to those who are bound, and there is none like You.  Isaiah 61:1 proclaims,”The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners;”  Instead of hiding things from You as if You somehow missed something we did, may we run to Your light so that You can shine Your truth on the matter and deal with our hearts.

P (Prayer) – Lord, I don’t ever want to try to hide anything from You.  I want You to shine Your light on me and expose anything in me that is displeasing to You.  Thank You that You are in the business of restoration, and that all we have to do is ask and You will heal Your children.

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The Divine Kiss

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Day 14

Today’s Mission, from The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn:  “Today, draw near to God in worship, in love, in joy, in the deepest of intimacy.  Learn the secret of kissing God.”

S (Scripture) – Psalm 42:7-8, Song of Solomon 1:2, John 4:24

“Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls; all Your breakers and Your billows have swept over me.  The Lord will send His faithful love by dayHis song will be with me in the night—a prayer to the God of my life.”

“Oh, that he would kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!  For your love is more delightful than wine.”

“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

O (Observation) – Lord, we learned today that the Greek word used to describe worship in the New Testament, proskuneo, means “to kiss.”  A most intimate act, given from the heart and not under compulsion.  To kiss another is an expression of love and joy that comes from an overflow of our heart.  To worship You is an intimate act in our spirit as it connects with Yours…not just singing a song with our voices.

A (Application) –  It sounds crazy to think that mankind can somehow engage in such intimacy with You.  It’s more common to believe that You are “somewhere up there” and we are down here, and that by singing worship songs to You that we are somehow reminding ourselves of how great You are, which is supposed to make us feel better because You love us.  Worship is so much more of an experience – when we can just move out of our own way and allow ourselves to be in Your presence…we will experience intimacy with You like never before.

P (Prayer) – Father in Heaven, You are “up there” on Your throne, but You are just as much in our hearts, and right here in front of us if we would only open our eyes.  I’m reminded of an old favorite worship song that says, “I don’t want to talk about You like You’re not in the room…I want to look right at You, I want to sing right to You.  Come be the fire inside of me; come be the flame upon my heart; come be the fire inside of me…until You and I are one…”  May that be my prayer today – to learn to just be one with You…that’s what worship is supposed to do.

As Far as the East is from the West

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Day 13

Today’s Mission, from The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn:  “Today, take time to ponder and take in the love of God that removed your sins as far as the east is from the west – and live accordingly.”

S (Scripture) – Leviticus 16:14, Psalm 103:10-12

“He is to take some of the bull’s blood and sprinkle it with his finger against the east side of the mercy seat; then he will sprinkle some of the blood with his finger before the mercy seat seven times.”

He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve or repaid us according to our offenses.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His faithful love toward those who fear Him.  As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

O (Observation) – Lord, today’s lesson tells us that You chose the words “as far as the east is from the west” because it is an infinite amount of space that never ends – unlike the north and south pole that have a definitive “spot,” there is no end to the east/west corridor because the earth is always in rotation.  That is how far away You have cast our sins away from us.  It is impossible to comprehend the tremendous gift of forgiveness You have offered us.

A (Application) –  Lord, there are so many people out there that feel that they have done too much wrong in their lives in order to ever be forgiven by You.  As a result, they continue to drift further and further away from Your presence, blaming their own mistakes as strongholds that keep them from being able to even look in Your direction.  Your word says quite the opposite!  What they are believing is a lie from the pit of hell.  Your forgiveness is infinite – for those who call on the Name of Jesus to be forgiven.

P (Prayer) – Heavenly Father, thank You for Your endless amount of grace that pours out over Your children.  We reach our hands into the air and gratefully receive it.  I pray for any man, woman, or child that is believing he or she is too far from You to be loved because of wrong choices that have been made.  Shatter this lie with the truth that Your love is so great and Your forgiveness is so complete that their sins will never be seen or mentioned again following a heart of repentance and submission to You.  Isaiah 1:16 says, “Come, let us discuss this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will be like wool.”

Love One Another

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Day 12

Today’s Mission, from The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn:  “Today, practice the divine and cosmic love.  Put yourself in the place of another – your feet in their shoes, your heart in their heart.”

S (Scripture) – John 15:12-13, Romans 5:6-8, Philippians 2:5-9

“This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you.  No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.”

“For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly.  For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die.  But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!”

Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesuswho, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.  Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men.  And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross.  For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name,…”

O (Observation) – Lord, today’s lesson from Cahn define’s love as “putting yourself in the place of another, to feel their feelings, walk in their shoes, weep with their tears, rejoice in their joys, take upon yourself their burdens, and give to them your life.”  It goes on to remind us that You are love, and as such, You have manifested the ultimate expression of love through sending Your Son to live among us, bear our burdens, and put Him in our place on the cross.  Nothing we say or do can change Your love for us – rather, we are the ones who can be changed by Your love.

A (Application) – Loving other people well is hard work.  It is easy to say we care – and maybe we really do care.  But ultimately, loving people the way You love us takes an intentional focus.  It takes time.  It takes energy that we may have very little of after just getting through our own day.  We need to empty ourselves, humble our spirits, and walk in obedience as Jesus did.

P (Prayer) – Lord, show us what it looks like to love others like You love us.  Give us the eyes to see and ears to hear when You may be bringing people into our path that need to be encouraged, prayed for, and comforted.  Give us the words to say and a heart to understand those seeking to be understood.  Thank You that You never, ever give up on Your children – even when I was far from You, You pursued my heart and would not relent until You had it all.  Give me that passion for others.

What You Sow

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Day 11

Today’s Mission, from The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn:  “What is it that you seek from life and from others?  Today, make it your goal to give to others the very thing you seek.”

S (Scripture) – Proverbs 27:19, Luke 6:37-38, Galatians 6:7-10

As water reflects the face, so the heart reflects the person.”

Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over—will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

“Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked.  For whatever a man sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.  So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.”

O (Observation) – Lord, today’s lesson reminds us that whatever it is that we send out into the world, that is what we can expect to receive.  If we are bitter, judgmental, unforgiving, stingy, and angry, then we can expect that type of energy and response back from others in our lives.  If we are loving, kind, forgiving, generous, and giving others the benefit of the doubt, we can expect to reap what we sow.

A (Application) – Father, You do not promise us that we will have a comfortable life without any problems as long as we are nice to other people.  This world is messy, other people have free will, and it seems like there will always be a storm brewing no matter our disposition.  What we can be confident of, however, is that as a general principle, the measure that we use in any capacity – forgiveness, judgment, kindness, etc. – is what we can expect to receive.  We should be generous with our love, encouragement, thankfulness, forgiveness, and we should withhold our judgment, condemnation, and anger.

P (Prayer) – Holy Spirit, fill me up.  It’s so easy to fall into a mode of blaming others, scrutinizing their mistakes, and attributing any and all failure in a situation to their misdeeds rather than examining my own.  Take away any tendency in me to jump to conclusions too quickly without understanding the whole situation.  Help me to love others like You love me, forgive others as You forgive me, and to use my words to build others up instead of tear them down.

You Have Overcome

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Day 10

Today’s Mission, from The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn:  “In the face of whatever evil, trouble, attack, or sin you’re dealing with, don’t give in.  Don’t give up.  But press on in the good.”

S (Scripture) – Isaiah 54:17, Matthew 24:13, John 1:5

“‘No weapon formed against you will succeed, and you will refute any accusation raised against you in court.  This is the heritage of the Lord’s servants, and their righteousness is from Me.’ This is the Lord’s declaration.”

“But the one who endures to the end will be delivered.”

“That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.”

O (Observation) – Lord, today’s lesson talks about how snakes are cold-blooded, and anything that is cold-blooded is limited in its ability to endure and to keep going.  The creature is a symbol of evil as it twists and turns, much like the twisting of a lie and of what is pure.  Cahn reminds us that all evil is cold-blooded and cannot endure over good in the end.  You remind us in Your word that no weapon formed against us will succeed, that we will be delivered if we stand firm to the end, and that no darkness can overcome the light of Jesus.

A (Application) – No matter how bleak we may see the world or how broken we may feel it is, we can have unwavering hope that though evil may have its day, Your victory is assured.  There is no overcoming what is true, and You are true.  There is no escaping judgement, and all evil that has not been forgiven and covered by the blood of Jesus will be punished.  It’s hard to feel that justice is being served when we see all of the atrocities occurring around the world, but our hope is not in man’s ability to capture and prosecute criminals…our hope is in the One who sees and knows all things and will one day face all of us as we give an accounting of our lives.

P (Prayer) – Father God in Heaven, You are the victor over sin and death.  You are the victor over brokenness and sorrow.  We cling to You because our hope is in You and Your ability to overcome anything, no matter how desperate the situation may seem.  Nothing is too hard for You.  Help me to keep my eyes focused on the endgame – Jesus returning to set up His kingdom and to rule in righteousness.  Revelation 21:4 says, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.  Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away.”  As one of my favorite worship songs says, “Hallelujah, You have won the victory!  Hallelujah, You have won it all for me.  Death could not hold You down.  You are the risen King!  Seated in majesty, You are the risen King!”

The Spiritual is Infinite

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Day 9

Today’s Mission, from The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn:  “What are your possessions?  Today, let go.  Free up your heart of its earthly possessions.  And fill it up with the spiritual and heavenly.”

S (Scripture) – Isaiah 55:9, Philippians 4:8-9

“For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these thingsDo what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”

O (Observation) – Lord, today’s lesson talks about how the heavens are infinite, uncontainable, and have such a sense of mystery and possibility.  Whereas, the tangible of what is right in front of us (our possessions) are so finite.  That which is finite cannot fulfill us.  Only the spiritual – the infinite – can fulfill our longings.

A (Application) – We cannot leave this world completely and live apart from the finite – we are in the world…but that doesn’t mean we need to be of the world.  May we not become consumed by the pursuit of worldly success and gain of more in search of fulfillment.  Instead, may we crave the spiritual because You are longing to satisfy that deepest part of ourselves with Your presence.

P (Prayer) – Lord, cultivate my heart and prune away any lust for material things.  Owning nice things is not inherently wrong, as long as those nice things don’t own me.  Help me to hunger and thirst for righteousness, because You promise to fill me (Matthew 5:6).  Help me to guard my heart and keep my appetite healthy for the things of Heaven.  “As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God .