WONDERS IN THE DEEP

WINNING EACH DAY DEVOTIONAL
2 Cor 2:14 And thanks be to God who ALWAYS causes us to triumph…

January 20, 2017

WONDERS IN THE DEEP

Psalm 107:23-24 AMP

23 Some go down to the sea and travel over it in ships to do business in great waters;

24 These see the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep.

 

 

Mark Twain was referred to as the “greatest American humorist of his age”. He wrote the timeless classic ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’. Its sequel ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ is known as the Great American Novel. It was the first masterpiece that employed the simple language of the commoner. Not surprisingly, Mark Twain has been dubbed “the father of American literature”. What some people perhaps don’t know is that Mark Twain wasn’t his real name. He was born as Samuel Langhorne Clemens.

The in-thing for writers of the 19th century was to have pen names and for Clemens who was a sailor on the Mississippi River, Mark Twain was that name. To understand the meaning of “Mark Twain”, we need to travel back about 300 years. Sailors of old had no technology to know the depth of the ocean. What they used was a rope which they would dip into the ocean and the level of wetness would tell the ocean depth. The rope was called a “line” and a weight called “lead” was attached at the base. Therefore, a sailor would swing the “lead line” into the water and if the wetness reached 6 feet, that was “one measure” or “one mark”. At that shallow depth, if they tried to move a boat fast, it could spoil the underside and the boat could sink. However, if the lead line went deep enough, reaching 12 feet, that was “two measures” or “two marks”. The old word for “two” is “twain”, and so the sailor of old would cry out “Mark Twain!” to signal to the crew that the ship was deep enough to get going on the ocean.

SOME go down. Not everybody goes. Not everybody decides to take things deeper with God. Some go DOWN to the sea, but that is their way up in life. It looks to the world like they’re going down when they sow seeds, going down when they stay back to hear from God, going down when they invest in God’s Kingdom, but they are actually bearing roots downward and in no time, will shoot upward, their profit appearing unto all. Mark Twain! It’s time to take your boat deeper, so you can get going. It’s time to dream bigger, reach higher, achieve greater. Stop staying at the shallow end of fear, unbelief and self doubt. Those who do business with God are the ones who see wonders in the deep.

 
CONFESSION: I am one of those who are planted in God’s House. I am fresh and flourishing. I am one of those who are followed by signs and wonders.

PRAYER: Father, I desire a deeper walk with You this year. I go for it; I have it!

FURTHER READING: 1 John 1:1-3, Job 42:5, Psa 92:14.

EXPLOITS ON THE FIELD

WINNING EACH DAY DEVOTIONAL
2 Cor 2:14 And thanks be to God who ALWAYS causes us to triumph…

January 19, 2017

EXPLOITS ON THE FIELD

Colossians 3:23 NCV

In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people.

  
To find his purpose, Todd Dulaney had to walk away from baseball. For Ben Zobrist, it was quite the opposite. Ben’s purpose was connected to baseball; Ben’s purpose was baseball. Ben started playing baseball as an eight year old boy and always wanted to play on the professional level. He enjoyed a good spiritual heritage from childhood. In his senior year at high school, he went to God in prayer and turned it all over to him — including his desire to play baseball in college. He was willing to let go of baseball if it wasn’t God’s will for him. Sure enough, he got called by a Christian college that was scouting for solid Christians with undeniable skill in baseball. Around the same time, he attended a church meeting tagged “Keeping the door of your life open to what God may want you to do, regardless of what it is.” After the programme, he was offered a full scholarship for his university education. Recognizing that as a sign of favour, he saw God prompting him to go ahead. At that point, Ben knew that God’s purpose for him was baseball.

Ben Zobrist has been described as a missionary in the fields of the Major Baseball League (MLB). He has an influence on his colleagues and is not hesitant to attribute his victories to God at interviews. He is good at what He does. He is a great defender and also a switch hitter; he is simply a super utility player. In 2014, Ben earned his 1,000th career hit. He’s married to Juliana, a Christian singer and they’ve authored a book “Double Play”. Ben also played himself in a 2013 movie. Juliana does everything to make sure they see on a weekly basis, even if it means catching flights with the kids to go see Ben when baseball takes him around the country.

God’s Word says we are blessed in the city and in the “field” (Deut 28:3). God wants us to express the blessing in our field of endeavour. For Ben, that field is the baseball field. His dad is a pastor, but for Ben, his pulpit is on the pitch. Wherever your own field lies, God desires that you do exploits on the field.

  
CONFESSION: I represent His wherever I go. My status is changing, my influence is rising, God’s fragrance is spreading through my exploits.

PRAYER: Lord, let Your glory be all over the earth.

FURTHER READING: Gen 1:28, Dan 11:32, Prov 11:30.

VICTORY BELONGS TO JESUS

WINNING EACH DAY DEVOTIONAL
2 Cor 2:14 And thanks be to God who ALWAYS causes us to triumph…

January 18, 2017

VICTORY BELONGS TO JESUS

1 Corinthians 15:57 MSG

But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three – sin, guilt, death – are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!
You will deliver, you’re a provider
I find my victory in you
Forever victorious, forever we win
I find my victory in you
Victory belongs to Jesus…
— Todd Dulaney
As a young kid, he understood the thrill of victory on the field of play. He showed promising talent in baseball and was quite a spectacle to watch. There were people who watched him play in college, including his parents. One day, however, some people in plain clothes watched this 5′ 10″ player from the stands. Absorbed in the game, he didn’t think much to it. Unknown to him, they were from the New York Mets, an American professional baseball team. After one of the games, amidst the boisterous buzz of spectators, they asked his mum: “Is that your son?” It was the opening of a conversation that sparked his lifelong dream of playing baseball on a professional level. The Mets actually came to his house to negotiate the terms. Boy, that felt good! So began the career of Todd Dulaney.

Starting in 2002, he played baseball in the minor leagues. However, by 2005, for the first time, something in him started growing beyond his passion: it was his purpose. His relationship with God had become richer and so he had a clearer picture of the future, and what he was meant to be doing in the present. He felt God calling him into music, which upset his parents because they had invested into his sporting career. Taking a leap of faith, he ventured into the music scene and has been sensational ever since.

Touring with Smokie Norful, he had the opportunity to work with
Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, and Michelle Williams. His songs have topped the charts. Now 33, he’s experienced success not only in his career but also in his marriage which started on a very rocky note but is now built on the Rock. With his wife, Todd believes every marriage needs laughter, intimacy and communication. The victory he’s seen is what Christ made available. Like a stroke of the bat, Jesus won in “a single victorious stroke of Life”. The good news about the victory of Jesus is that He gave it to us. We find our victory in Him and therefore boldly say: Victory belongs to Jesus.
CONFESSION: I am already victorious in 2017. In my health, finance, marriage, career, I do not fight for victory; I fight from victory.

PRAYER: Let Your Holy Spirit guide me into all truth. I have clarity of purpose and enter into prosperity.

FURTHER READING: 2 Cor 2:14, Rom 8:37, 1 Cor 15.

THEORETICAL VICTOR

WINNING EACH DAY DEVOTIONAL
2 Cor 2:14 And thanks be to God who ALWAYS causes us to triumph…

January 17, 2017

THEORETICAL VICTOR

1 Timothy 4:15 TLB

Put these abilities to work; throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone may notice your improvement and progress.

  
Baron Münchhausen, also known as the “Baron of lies” was a soldier who was born on May 11, 1720 in Hanover, Germany. His full name was Hieronymus Karl Friedrich von Münchhausen. (In English, his name is often spelt as “Munchausen”). He rose through the ranks, first of all serving as a page, then as a cornet, later promoted to lieutenant, at which time he was with a Russian regiment that fought two wars against the Turks. Finally, he became a cavalry captain. The flame of his timeless fame, however, wasn’t sparked during the times of war, but rather, afterwards. He retired in 1760, an affable country gentleman. He started telling tales of war that were impossible and inexplicably incredulous. He had ridiculous reflections on his time as a soldier, sportsman and hunter, and his aim was entertainment, not deception. Munchausen was such a great story teller that people of nobility were drawn to his ability, and they travelled to Hanover to hear his fantastic fabrications.

One of those who took keen interest in the tales was Rudolph Erich Raspe, who expanded the stories and published them anonymously, misrepresenting Mauchensen. Accordingly, the book was a disfavour to Mauchensen whose reputation was tarnished and character brandished as a liar. However, the deed had been done and the fantasies caught the fancy of Europe, with translation into other languages springing up. Mauchensen, a man of wit, had unwittingly inspired people from seemingly unrelated walks of life, from his day to this day, namely: radio comedians, Hollywood actors, British and Russian directors, scientists, and there’s even a medical condition named after him. There’s no way the stories could’ve happened. After all, it’s unlikely that the Baron Munchausen arrived at the war front on a cannonball, or bounced up to the moon to pick up something he forgot there, or rode on a horse that had only front legs. The super tales were simply false and fabulous!

The retired Baron could sit in his home and describe how he won victories in the battlefield, but that wouldn’t change the reality. You could sit in your home and describe prophecies in the Bible, and it still wouldn’t change the reality of your experience if you don’t take the right steps. There are abilities in you already. Apostle Paul said: “Put these abilities to work”. The AMPC explains how to do this: “Practice and cultivate and meditate upon these duties; throw yourself wholly into them…” You need to “CONTINUALLY practice these things, immerse yourself in them…” (MOUNCE translation). Be a doer of the Word and not a theoretical victor.

  
CONFESSION: I receive the manifestation of all the prophecies said to me. All the promises of God in Christ are fulfilled in my life. My destiny mirrors the description of greatness in the Bible. I have arrived to do the exploits written concerning me in the volume of the Books!

PRAYER: Lead me Lord into perpetual victories this year. I do not toil; I thrive.

FURTHER READING: Jam 1:23-24, John 13:17, Prov 26:19.

THINK ON THESE THINGS

WINNING EACH DAY DEVOTIONAL
2 Cor 2:14 And thanks be to God who ALWAYS causes us to triumph…

January 16, 2017
THINK ON THESE THINGS
Philippians 4:8 KJV

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

 
Hailey Bartholomew had a good life. At least that’s what everyone else could see. She had a loving husband and two adorable daughters, and so found it inexplicable that she wasn’t happy. Her heart was sad but her mind couldn’t find the words for it. Unable to reason through the foggy bouts of depression, she decided to see a nun who told her that the secret to happiness is reflection and gratitude. The nun gave her a ten day assignment, which as a photographer, she decided to do everyday for a whole year.

Hailey’s 365 Day project was to take a picture a day of something she was grateful for. She began noticing magical moments that would have slipped by had she not been looking out for them. The simplest things warmed her heart, like the different shades of green, how red brightens up in sunlight, plants swaying in the breeze as you drove past, and having pancakes on Sunday! Hailey used to think her husband wasn’t romantic, but when she began the project, she noticed that he put the bigger pie in her plate when they ate. On TED talk, Hailey admitted that “My expectations of people prevented me from seeing who they really were, namely my husband.” After the project, her husband felt as though he was finally enough for Hailey.

Hailey’s story is a blessing that brimmed beyond the borders of her own life and became an inspiration to many people around the world. What she discovered was something that pulsated with Bible truth. Apostle Paul was in prison when the letter to the Philippians was written, and he kept telling them to rejoice. You can choose happiness. Whether you use plenty Polaroid film or put pen to paper, look out for the things that inspire and gladden your heart. Take mental pictures of gratitude and photos of praise. Exploits are first explored in the mind. Whatever is noble and admirable, lovely and exciting, great and gratifying, pleasant and pure, think on these things.

 
CONFESSION: I have joy in my heart and in my life. Happy days are here for me and my family. No more worries; depression days no more! Thanksgivings will pour out of the windows; laughter will spill through the doors. Things will get better and better.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for an atmosphere of joy all around me. I’m grateful for the things You have done, including the ones I’m yet to see.

FURTHER READING: Jer 30:19 MSG, Isa 12:3 NKJV, Rom 14:17 NIV.

Resident Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, Kwara.