The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

John 15:16 — Verse of the Day for 08/17/2017

It is easiest to understand fruits of faith by comparing the spiritual to the natural. When the fall harvest season comes, it’s nice to see bright, fresh fruit ready to be picked. Some of our apple trees have good fruit, others are bad fruit. Some look good on the outside but have worms inside. We want fruit that is good from the inside out. 

Just like fruit trees produce good fruit, faith also produces good fruits. What does this mean? We can have peace in our hearts because we have confessed our sins and believe in Jesus as our Savior. As we grow in faith, we live out fruits of faith, such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that Paul mentions in Galatians 5:22. These fruits are gifts from God in heaven.

The Lord wants you to bear abundant fruit. Jesus explained this to His disciples. John 15:16You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. [1]

The Jailer who Came to Faith Showed Fruits of Faith

Paul and Silas cast out a demon from a woman who was a slave and a fortune teller. Because the woman could no longer make money for her masters they were thrown into prison. Paul and Silas began to sing praises to God about midnight even though they had been beaten and now were in the dungeon with their feet in stocks.

Suddenly there was an earthquake, and the prison doors came open and the chains of every prisoner came off. The jailer was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. Paul called out to him telling them they were all there so the jailer did not harm himself.

Acts 16:29 The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.”[2]  

The jailer believed and placed his faith in Jesus. Acts 16:32 And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. 33 Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. [3] Something happened to the jailer, and he began to show the fruits of faith by washing their wounds and caring for them.

You Can Bear Much Fruit

The Lord has created you to make an impact in this world for His Kingdom. He has a plan for your life that is just for you. Your heavenly Father has placed desires in your heart that only He can fulfill. He knows for what purposes you were created and longs to lead you along a spiritual journey of good works that will change you and those around you.

To hear more about the fruits of faith, listen here:

[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

The Condition of Salvation • FaithEquip

What must I do to be saved? This is a question many people have asked over the centuries. Perhaps you are asking this question today and the Lord has led you to this devotional. The world tells us that all roads lead to heaven, but that is simply a lie by satan our enemy.

Jesus says this about satan. John 8:44He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. [1] Satan does not want people to have a relationship with Jesus and therefore uses lies and deception to lead people away from Jesus to destroy them.

Having Faith in Jesus is the Only Way to Heaven

Jesus told his disciples who He is.John 14:6I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.[2] The enemy says there are many ways to heaven, but Jesus tells us He is the way. Jesus always tells the truth but the enemy The enemy brings death while Jesus brings life. Jesus tells us in John 10:10The thief’s (satan) purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. [3]

Jesus Expresses His Deep Love for Us

John 3:16 For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. [4] The love Jesus has for you is beyond our comprehension. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins all our sins were placed on Him, and none of them were left out. Jesus now calls us to place our faith in Him and when we do, He gives us the free gift of salvation.

The Jailer Asked How Can I be Saved?

While Paul and Silas were in jail there was a great earthquake sent by the Lord that freed them of their chains. The jailer thought the prisoners had escaped and was going to kill himself until Paul called to him and told them all the prisoners were still there.

Acts 16:29 The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” 32 And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household.[5]

Prayer of salvation

Lord Jesus, for too long I’ve kept you out of my life. I know that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. No longer will I close the door when I hear you knocking. By faith I gratefully receive your gift of salvation. I am ready to trust you as my Lord and Savior. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to earth. I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank you for bearing my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life. I believe your words are true. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and be my Savior. Amen.[6]

What must I do to be saved? Listen to hear more:

[1-5] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.


2020 Theme - Praise Center Church Of God In Christ

Praise is a spiritual weapon. Have you ever thought about that? God has more for you and wants you to learn today about the power of praise! Psalm 149:6Let the praises of God be in their mouths, and a sharp sword in their hands.[1] This verse tells the saints to praise the Lord and this praise is as sharp as a weapon in battle.

The walls of Jericho were not brought down by weapons of war, but by shouts to the Lord, and the blowing of the ram’s horn. Joshua 6:20 When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it.[2]

Paul and Silas Praised God in Their Pain

Paul and Silas had been beaten and thrown into prison because Paul had cast out a demon from a fortune telling slave girl. This angered her owners and ended the income. So, they brought false charges against Paul and Silas. Acts 16:22 A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods.[3]

Suffering from their wounds did not turn Paul and Silas away from God, but to Him as they praised the Lord. Acts 16:25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off![4]

You Can Use Praise as a Weapon

Something happens in the spiritual realm when God’s children praise Him. This takes on special importance when we are in a situation where praise is the last thing on our mind. Perhaps you are in a difficult situation where the Holy Spirit is prompting you to praise Him.

You may be asking the Lord “Why?” The praise that comes from our mouth when we are in the muck and the mire is precious to God. Praising God during difficulty is counter cultural. Everyone can praise the Lord when all is going well, but it takes the work of the Spirit inside of us to praise the Lord during hard times.

Take some time and think about the pestilence that has affected us all. How have you been fighting this battle? Give the battle to God by praising Him for who He is and what He has done for you. When you do, notice how your focus goes from looking down to looking up. Psalm 121:I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! [5]

Praise is a spiritual weapon, to learn more listen here:

[1-5] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Power in the Name of Jesus - Capazin

I remember praying for a young woman at a crusade in Honduras for a long-term physical ailment. Because of the power in the name of Jesus, I prayed a command prayer. I commanded this ailment to be gone in the name of Jesus. The next evening, our mission team was eating at a restaurant. This woman recognized me and came over to me and told me that Jesus had healed her. Praise the Lord!

The crippled beggar in Acts chapter three was also healed by the powerful name of Jesus. Acts 3:6Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. [1] Jesus has more for you and others and wants to use you. He has chosen you as a child of God to pray for others in the name of Jesus.

The Lord Has Given You Great Authority in His Name

As we turn to the Scriptures, the Lord tells us about the authority of praying in His name Colossians 3:17And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.[2] The authority that Jesus tells us about is delegated authority. We are not healing others in our own strength,

but in the authority granted to us from Jesus as children of God.

Paul Cast out the Demon in the Name of Jesus

Paul was confronted by a slave girl who was possessed by a fortune telling demon. Acts 16:16 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” 18 And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour. [3]

Paul was able to deliver the girl of the demon by the authority and name of Jesus. Jesus makes it clear that His name is the key to all authority:  John 14:13And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.[4]

The same authority that Peter used to heal the crippled beggar and Paul used to drive out the demon is the same authority that belongs to every believer. There is power in using the name of Jesus! To hear more about the power in the name of Jesus, listen here:

[1-4] The New King James Version. (1982). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Corrie ten Boom Quote: "The first step on the way to ...

God has more for us, and He does not want us to fall into spiritual traps that derail His plan for us. Recognizing the enemy’s traps is important to stay out of trouble.

I was in my office one day when our pre-school teacher dropped off a young woman who was getting a divorce. This was an unexpected visit and I had never met this woman before. It was not long into this conversation when I sensed a strong warning by the Holy Spirit. I should not meet with this woman by myself again.

I set up the next counseling session with a more experienced pastoral counselor and me. The more experienced pastor then took over the remaining sessions. I did not recognize the danger of the situation, but the Holy Spirit did. By listening to the Holy Spirit, I did not fall into a trap. 

Paul Recognized the Traps of the Enemy

On his way to a prayer meeting Paul met a fortune telling slave girl. Paul recognized the woman for who she was and cast out the demon within her. Many times, the enemy attacks us before we begin a spiritual activity in attempt to stop us.

Over time I have I have experienced this several times, which tells me this is a typical tactic. The enemy wants to stop you before you get started. Adam and Eve were just beginning their spiritual journey when they were deceived in the Garden of Eden. The enemy used fear against Jeremiah so he would not proclaim the words the Lord gave him. Nehemiah faced opposition before they started rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.

How to Recognize the Traps of the Enemy

  • Pray for wisdom: James 1:If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. [1] Pray on a regular basis that God would give you a keen awareness of the enemy’s plans and being used against you. The Lord wants you to be able to recognize the enemies’ traps and avoid them.
  • Spend time in God’s word: When we spend time in God’s word we are being built up and we become familiar with God’s truth vs satan’s lies. Also, as we spend time in God’s Word, we see how other people overcame the traps of the enemy. 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.[2]
  • Be open to being led by the Holy Spirit: We may not recognize a trap of the enemy, but God does. When we spend time with God, we are better able to recognize his voice. John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—[3]

To learn more about recognizing the traps of the enemy, listen here:

[1-3] The New King James Version. (1982). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

What Does Ephesians 6:12 Mean?

God has more for you and that is why the enemy opposes you spiritually each day. Several years ago, I was a pastor of a church and when I preached the message it seemed like my words were coming back in my face. I was facing spiritual opposition. This went on for several months before my wife and I started praying through the sanctuary each Saturday evening.

After several months of praying in the sanctuary each Saturday, this eventually seemed to go away. From that time on we always prayed through the sanctuary each week. Ephesians 6:12For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. [1] Paul makes it very clear that the real enemies are in the spiritual realm and are not the people of the earth.

Silas and Paul Faced Spiritual Opposition

Paul and Silas were on their way to a place of prayer when they were harassed by a woman fortune teller who had a demon in her. Acts 16:16 One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future. She earned a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.” 18 This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her. [2]

The enemy had a plan to disrupt Paul and Silas, and he also has a plan to disrupt you. Ephesians 6:10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.[3]

The demon possessed woman not only harassed Paul and Silas as they went to a prayer meeting, but also spoke out truth. Why was speaking the truth so dangerous? Why would she tell people Paul and Silas were servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved? Part of spiritual opposition is mixing truth with lies. She was speaking truth to prepare people for the lies that would come later. Truth mixed with lies is a common enemy tactic to draw people in and then to deceive them.

You Are in a Spiritual Battle

We are in a real spiritual battle. Remember that God has given you spiritual authority. Therefore, protect yourself with the whole armor of God so you can stand against all the strategies of the devil. Paul also tells us that the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh. 2 Corinthians 10:For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.[4] Be persistent in your prayer and ask the Lord for wisdom, strength, and courage to win the battle.

To hear more about facing spiritual opposition, listen here:

[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

[4] The New King James Version. (1982). (2 Co 10:4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Please allow me to make the most out of my time, oh Lord ...

Will you let the Lord use you? It is an amazing to think that God wants to use us. Think of the blessings the Lord wants to bestow on you as He uses you to build His Kingdom. Sometimes when God uses us it may not seem like a blessing until afterwards like in the case of Simon of Cyrene. Matthew 27:32 Along the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.[1] Only as time passed was Simon aware of the blessing that the Lord gave him to carry the cross. Only one person in the history of the world would be given that privilege and it was given to Simon.

The Lord Uses Lydia to Reach her Entire Household

The Lord was at work in the heart of Lydia as she worshiped the Lord outside the city of Philippi. As Paul proclaimed the good news of Jesus, the Lord opened her heart to accept what he was saying. The good news of Jesus had such a profound effect on Lydia that she shared this with her entire household.

Acts 16:15 She and her household were baptized, and she asked us to be her guests. “If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we agreed. [2] Lydia used her gift of hospitality to invite Paul and Silas to stay at her home. Later a church was started in Philippi. Was Lydia part of it? The Scripture does not say, but we can assume she continued to let the Lord use her throughout her life.

Letting the Lord Use You is Exciting

Only on this side of eternity can we allow the Lord to use us to build His Kingdom on this earth. Only here can we be fishers of mankind. God has more for us, and He wants to use us to better the lives of others.

It has been my observation that when we help others it also changes us for the better. As the Lord uses us, we must look to Him for guidance and direction. Our focus must be on God and not ourselves. This allows God to lead us to something greater. As people we desire to do something significant with our lives. There is nothing more significant in life than the Lord using us to build His Kingdom.

How has the Lord used you along your spiritual journey? How did that change you? What effect did this have on others? One of my mentors has an expression, “Are you available?” It is my prayer that you will take great steps in being available to God.


Heavenly Father, I pray that You would give me assignments bigger than myself to stretch me and to build Your Kingdom. Help me Jesus, to look up to You for guidance, direction, and affirmation. Give me a willing heart to pick up the cross, like Simon did when I don’t even understand the blessing you have given me. Amen.

Will you let the Lord use you? Consider this:

[1,2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Matthew 16:26 - KJV - Bible verse of the day -

Your soul is valuable to God. Have you ever thought about that?  Jesus gives us insight into the value of the soul as He speaks to his disciples. Matthew 16:26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? [1]

Your soul is the most valuable possession you will ever have in life. It is so valuable that Jesus died for our sins so our soul could be redeemed, and we could be called to faith. Jesus called Peter to be a fisher of men in Matthew 4:19. In reality, Jesus was calling him to be a fisher of souls.

The Souls of Lydia and her Household were Important to God

Paul was given a vision to go to Macedonia and minister to the people there. Paul and Silas obeyed this vision and soon they were teaching the people about the good news of Jesus.

Acts 16:13 On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there. 14 One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. 15 She and her household were baptized.[2]

In the Lord’s perfect timing Paul and Silas encountered a worshiper of God named Lydia. The Lord opened her heart, and she became a believer along with her entire household. There must have been much joy in the hearts of Paul and Silas when Lydia and her household were baptized as their souls were saved. 

The Lord Wants a Personal Relationship with You

God has more for you than you could ever imagine. As the Lord draws us to faith, this is just the beginning of our relationship He desires for us. The Lord wants to transform us through His word and the work of the Holy Spirit. Romans 12:2Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. [3]

As our souls are transformed, and we seek out God’s plan for our life, doors begin to open for us. Not doors to the things of this world, but doors to growing in faith and building the Kingdom of God. God wants to use us to fish for people and build His kingdom. Thank you, Lord, you have such wonderful plans for our life. Your soul is valuable to God, find out more here:

[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

"Finding Where We Belong" — John 15:1 (What Jesus Did!)

Have you ever had an opportunity to have a garden? My wife loves to garden, and it takes a lot of work. She must prepare the soil, plant, and then continue to weed to get a good harvest. The Lord is the gardener of our hearts.

Jesus tells us in John 15:1 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.[1] God has more for us and for that to happen we must allow Him to work as the gardener of our hearts.

The Lord Was at Work on the Heart of Lydia

Long before Paul ever came to Philippi, the Lord was already at work in the heart of Lydia. On a Sabbath day she and others gathered outside the city to pray. Acts 16:14 One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. 15 She and her household were baptized.[2]

Lydia, like many of us, is a work in progress. God had acted as a gardener to lead her to faith, continue to worship and then to be baptized. Think about how much time the Lord put into Lydia along her journey. But God loves to be with His children. Imagine how joyful the Lord was when she took a step of faith and was baptized.

The Lord is at Work in Your Heart

As you read this, the Lord is also working on your heart! Our Lord, the gardener is always at work, and it is not by accident that you are reading this devotional. The Lord wants to make you aware of how much He loves you and how He enjoys gardening your heart. He loves when you pray and read His word because it has such an effect on your heart.

Philippians 1:And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. [3] What would your life be like if God was not the gardener of your heart? We can be so thankful for such a gracious God who takes daily initiative to draw us close to Him.

Jesus is not only our gardener, but, also, our Savior who gave His life for us on the cross so we could be called to faith. Take time and tell others about this wonderful gardener who changes hearts and transforms lives. God loves to use us to tell others about the work of the Master Gardener.

To hear more how the Lord is the Gardener of our hearts, listen here:

[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

#S4-028: How God Communicates By Dreams And Visions ...

God can communicate in visions. Many people are interested in this topic. Have you ever had a dream or vision from the Lord? What was the Lord telling you through this dream or vision?

I find dreams and visions to be one of the most interesting areas of the Bible. Many times, visions and dreams are symbolic which requires us to seek the Lord for their meaning. Paul received a vision from the Lord about going to minister in a different area.

Paul’s Vision

Acts 16:That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10 So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there. [1] God was calling Paul to minister in Macedonia.

The Lord Still Gives Dreams and Visions Today

God still uses dreams and visions today to get our attention, to warn us about something, to bring instructions, to make His ways known, and to tell about the future events. Paul’s vision gave direction.

 Acts 2:17In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. [2] We consider the time after Jesus ascended into heaven to be the last days. Therefore, we are in the last days so dreams and visions are one way the Lord communicates to us.

God Uses Dreams and Visions to Open Our Ears

God, also, uses dreams and visions to communicate to us in a special way. As people, we may not take the time to spend with the Lord in prayer and His word so God bypasses our busyness. When we have a dream or vision from the Lord, it is God who is in control of the message and how it is constructed.

Paul was on his second mission trip but first trip with Silas when the Lord prevented them from preaching in the province of Asia. Not long after that, the Lord gave Paul a vision and direction where to minister to next, which was Macedonia. Prayer is the key to any dream or vison; ask God the meaning of the dream or vision.

Does what you believe God is telling you match up with God’s word? If it does not match up with God’s word don’t move forward but go back to the Lord in prayer. Only when you sense from the Holy Spirit and the direction matches up with God’s word should anyone move forward.  

God can communicate in visions. Find out more here:

[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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