WaterBrook Press News Waterbrook Press News RSS

DEVOTIONAL: Hope by Brenda Spahn


Hope

The biblical definition of hope is “confident expectation.” Webster defines hope as “to expect or desire or trust something could happen with anticipation.” Hope is a major part of spirituality that we often don’t recognize the importance of having. The scriptures teach us that hope is confident expectation. Romans 8:24-25, ESV: “For in this hope we were saved.  Now hope that is not seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”   

When I think of hope, I think of one specific counseling session at the Lovelady Center in which I asked this particular woman just what had been the greatest thing to happen to her to enable the remarkable change in herself and her life. Just what had been the greatest gift Jesus gave her that could make such an overwhelming difference. As I was eagerly awaiting her remarks, she startled me by this one word: HOPE.  She had no hope and through meeting Jesus, she had found hope for the future.  All of the change in her began with the birth of hope in her spirit of the living God—He has all anyone needs if they will just accept it. She even quoted Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Each woman, each conversation at the Lovelady Center strengthens my faith and teaches me anew that all things are possible through Him. All we need is a little hope to get us started and miraculous things happen. Just watching the Lord work in the lives of these women has forever changed me.

I don’t know where you are today, but I do know this—Jesus is our hope.  He is our rock to climb on and hold onto when the water is rising in the floods of life.  He is our hope. 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13, ESV

Original devotional from Brenda Spahn, author of Miss Brenda and the Loveladies

DEVOTIONAL: Forgiveness by Brenda Spahn


Forgiveness

Not many words can raise the emotions and quicken one’s heart beat more than the “f” word in the world of dysfunction we live.  We are taught that we need to “get even,” revenge is good.  People need to get “what they have coming.”  Most media outlets promote this mentality every day.  Our very souls and spirits desire for a “payback” to others.  To the wounds which are not so deep, some can immediately let go, but we tend to tuck deep wounds inside our soul and hold onto them. It’s not intentional, we just do it.   These are the kinds of grievances we have to learn to deal with or else our spirit will go through life with spiritual infection.  We need to realize that by whatsoever measure we forgive, we will be forgiven.  If we fail to forgive we limit the Lord’s moving in our lives.

I must confess that most of the women that come to the Lovelady Center have lead such tragic lives that I often find myself wondering how they could possibly forgive or forget. With each woman I stress how impossible it is to get the mountain of grievances and mistakes—inflicted both by others and by themselves—without the Lord with us.  We pour over the scriptures and pray and eventually, out of obedience to the Lord, they find the strength to forgive through faith. 

Matthew 6:14-16, ESV: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, you Father will not forgive you.”

 

Mark11:25, ESV: “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” 

 

No matter how big the sin, forgiveness is a must for all of us.  We cannot allow ourselves to be in bondage to the sin that can destroy us from the inside.  When we refuse to forgive we cannot subject ourselves totally to God because we are being controlled by another.  Forgiveness is a choice we make in obedience to the Word of God.  Freedom cannot happen with a heart full of bitterness. So when anyone offends me, all I do is reminder my beloved Loveladies and I have no trouble forgiving them.  Our example is Christ and His lessons of forgiveness but sometimes when we see Him working in others, it gives us strength.

Luke7:47-48, ESV: “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many are forgiven-for she loved much.  But he who is forgiven little, loves little……… And He said to her, Your sins are forgiven.”

 

Original devotional from Brenda Spahn, author of Miss Brenda and the Loveladies

 

DEVOTIONAL: Spiritual Warfare by Chuck Black


 Spiritual Warfare

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

In Cloak of the Light, Drew begins to understand that there are two factions of invaders that are at war. Although the Bible doesn’t give us a lot of details about what spiritual warfare looks like, it is referenced from Genesis to Revelation. The war began when Satan (Lucifer) became prideful and rebelled against God.

·         Isaiah 14:12-14 – “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!  For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’”

Many theologians believe that the reference in Revelation 12:4 refers to Lucifer convincing a third of the angels to follow him in his rebellion against God.

·         Revelation 12:3-4 – “And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.”

Satan and his demons seek to destroy all people.

·         1 Peter 5:8 – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

As children of God, we are called into the battle as well.

·         Ephesians 6:10-13 – “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

The Bible is silent on many aspects of spiritual beings and spiritual warfare. For example:

·         What might their weapons be?

·         Where would demons get weapons if they have them?

·         In any war there is a risk of loss. What might be the risk of loss for angelic beings?

·         Do angels and demons feel pain?

·         Can they be injured?

·         Can an angel lose a fight with a demon?

Whatever the answers are to these questions, it is important to know that God has already determined the end of the war. God is victorious and we will rejoice on that day.

·         Revelation 20:10 – “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

·         Revelation 21:3-4 – “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’”

Reflection:

Spiritual warfare is real but we don’t have to fear it. God gives us power through Jesus Christ to overcome all attacks from the Enemy. The technique for defeating Satan is actually very simple. James 4:6-7 says, “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” The next time you face spiritual attack, humble yourself, submit to God, and resist the devil.

SNEAK PEEK: Greater DVD Participant’s Guide by Steven Furtick


sneak-peak_1852

Are you ready to open your imagination to the possibility that God has a vision for your life that is greater?

Click here to download the first chapter of Greater DVD Participant’s Guide now.

In the Greater DVD, Pastor Steven Furtick draws on the biblical story of Elisha to empower you to:
• Take a God-given dream from idea to reality
• Stretch your limited resources and abilities in ways you never thought possible
• Replace the images of yourself that keep you feeling stuck in the past
• Make a significant impact with your life starting today, rather than making endless plans for tomorrow that you never get around to

If you’re tired of being ordinary, it’s time to dream bigger. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about where to begin, it’s time start smaller. It’s time to ignite God’s Greater vision for your life. Check out the DVD Participant’s Guide to enrich your experience of the DVD and the book.

Click here to download the first chapter of Greater DVD Participant’s Guide now.

DEVOTIONAL: Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert


Do you know the harshest, snowiest winters produce some of the prettiest wildflowers in the spring? What a beautiful picture of how God uses the hard times in our lives to produce something beautiful in us.

That truth is woven throughout Katie Ganshert’s debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter and is near and dear to her heart. Delve a little deeper with Katie in this devotional that she’s shared with us.

Download Wildflowers from Winter devotional.

Learn more about Katie and her faith journey here.

You can learn more about her book here and even more, here.

SNEAK PEEK: Espresso for Your Spirit by Pam Vredevelt


sneak-peak_1852

It’s no secret that parenting is overwhelming and often exhausting. Nothing will ever change the daunting struggles parents face and the tears they often shed. The daily grind of dirty diapers, soccer games, fund-raisers, and bloody knees leaves parents needing a resource that will lift their spirits, charge their batteries, and refocus them on the source of their true strength. In engaging, humorous, and often poignant vignettes, bestselling author Pam Vredevelt serves up cup after cup of energizing espresso to encourage the spirit and souls of decaffeinated parents.

Click here to download the first chapter of Espresso For Your Spirit now.

SNEAK PEEK: The Power of Knowing God by Kay Arthur


sneak-peak_1852

The 40-Minute Bible Studies series from the teaching team at Precepts Ministries International tackles the topics that matter to you. These inductive study guides, designed to be completed in just six 40-minutes lessons with no homework required, help you discover for yourself what God says and how it applies to your life today. With the leader’s note and Bible passages included right in the book, each self-contained study is a powerful resource for personal growth and small-group discussion.

Click here to download the first chapter of The Power of Knowing God now.

SNEAK PEEK: Breaking Free from Fear by Kay Arthur


sneak-peak_1852

The 40-Minute Bible Studies series from the teaching team at Precepts Ministries International tackles the topics that matter to you. These inductive study guides, designed to be completed in just six 40-minutes lessons with no homework required, help you discover for yourself what God says and how it applies to your life today. With the leader’s note and Bible passages included right in the book, each self-contained study is a powerful resource for personal growth and small-group discussion.

Click here to download the first chapter of Breaking Free From Fear now.

SNEAK PEEK: Daily in His Presence by Andrew Murray


sneak-peak_1852

Revive Your Spirit

Click here to download chapter one of Daily in His Presence.

One of the most powerful voices of the past two hundred years, Andrew Murray wrote extensively about this age-old struggle. This treasury of 365 gems of biblical wisdom is presented here in contemporary English by best-selling author Bruce Wilkinson.

Each day will lead you deeper into God’s presence. Your spirit is yearning for it. Don’t delay. Let these timeless secrets of a more meaningful spiritual life invigorate your soul.

Click here to download chapter one of Daily in His Presence.

DOWNLOAD: Weekly Devotional to Prepare for Easter


pdf_1002

Refresh your heart and spirit with fasting and prayer, and gain a greater passion for God’s Word.

This week: 
Springtime of the Soul.  Identify obstacles that are standing in your way of a passionate relationship with God. Includes Bible readings from John. 
Download now!

Buy now from Waterbrook Multnomah

  • Format:
  • ISBN:
  • Our Price:
  • Quantity:

...Or Choose Another Retailer

See more online stores