Weekly Devotionals by Pastor Steve Rowitt, Th.M., Ph.D.
September 1, 2013 – God’s Deliverance
The term “deliver” has the connotation of being moved from one place or circumstance to another. Often warring factions would claim that their god delivered their enemies into their hands. This was true of pagans as the Philistines exalted over the capture and humiliation of Samson, Judges 16:24, as well as the blessing of Melchezedek for Abram concerning the defeat of Abram’s enemies during his rescue of lot, Gen. 14:18-20.
So deliverance implies an escape or rescue. Whether in a physical battle or a spiritual battle, deliverance can mean the difference between success and failure, life or death. When considering the ultimate “deliverance” we must always remember that we were all previously owned by Satan. Even the children of Israel’s religious leaders were called children of Satan by the Messiah, John 8:43-45. We were all born in sin, Psalm 51, and in need of deliverance from the penalty of sin which is death:
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, Rom. 6:23.
We can understand why the Psalmist would praise God as his fortress and deliver:
I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies, Psalm 18:1-3.
September 8, 2013 – True deliverance from the bondage of sin and death
As we have previously noted, we escape Satan’s kingdom through the Deliverer, our Redeemer and soon coming King. We are translated from the kingdom of darkness in the glorious light of Yeshua. Prophecy foretold all of this, Gen. 3:15; Gen. 49:9-12; Psalm 2:1-12, 110:1-4; Isaiah 60:1-3; Zech. 9:9, 11:12-13; Malachi 3:1 and it is these prophecies that validate that Jesus of the promised Messiah, I Cor. 15:3-4.
Jesus Himself noted that His primary ministry was to save, not to condemn:
Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that sees me sees him that sent me. I am come as a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world, John 12:44-47.
So our ultimate deliverance must come first and foremost in the spiritual realm. We need to be bought back, redeemed from the ownership of the enemy. Our enemy usurped mankind’s rightful place in God’s creation through deceitful lies, Gen. 3:1-24. By this supreme act of manipulation, Satan became the god of this world, II Cor. 4:4, the prince of power of the air, Eph. 2:1-3, the tempter of the righteous, Matt.4:3. He is referred to as a roaring lion on the prowl.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert, your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, be firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world, I Peter 5:6-9.
September 15, 2013 – Our enemy, though mortally wounded, remains dangerous
We have often looked at this analogy for instruction how to avoid being wounded by the enemy of our souls. We must always remember that lies are the M. O. of our archenemy. The war is already over and ultimate victory is ours, however our enemy, like the Japanese of WW II who were hold up in the mountains of the Philippines and unaware of Japan’s surrender, kept on fighting and had to be exterminated by the allied forces.
Satan is a wounded creature and, therefore, even more dangerous. We are told that he knows his time is short, Rev. 12:12. So what can we do as believers to safeguard ourselves (and our loved ones) from his schemes?
Be students of God’s Word. Understand your identity in Messiah is the full armor of God, Eph. 5:10-20.
Respect your Pastors and receive instruction as wise children of God, Prov. 9:8, 13:18, 15:31-32.
Admonish the idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be kind and patient with all, I Thess. 5:12-15.
Recognize how lions hunt. They go after the weak, the wounded, stragglers and the loners. They use fear against them.
Satan and his demonic hordes are not interested in the unsaved. They are his children and they will follow him without even realizing what they are doing, John 8:43-45. We are children of light and truth and we should be able to recognize the Devil’s lies, his fiery darts, before they can do any damage:
…above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one, Eph. 6:16.
September 22, 2013 – Be of sober spirit, be on the alert, your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour, I Peter 5:8
We must be mindful of this warning. It is there to benefit God’s blood bought children. We are in the world, but not of the world any longer. Our Deliverer, Messiah Yeshua, prayed a High Priestly prayer on behalf of all who would receive His deliverance by grace through faith in Him. Listen to His promises to the redeemed.
Joy promised –But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves, John 17:3.
God Word given –I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world, John 17:14.
Protected from the evil one – I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one, John 17:15.
Sanctified by God’s truth –Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth, John 17:17, 19.
Just the first section of the high priestly prayer of Messiah Jesus gives us the foundational promises that assure victory for all who place their faith in Him. We will continue to expound on the remainder of this great prayer next week.
September 29, 2013 – God promises victory in Jesus our great High Priest.
It is during the Messiah’s high priestly prayer in the gospel of John that the foundation for the victory of all who will place their faith in Him is secured. We continue from last week with these great precious promises that assure our success as God’s beloved children:
All future believers are included – “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; John 17:20.
Bonded together in Messiah –that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me,John 17:21.
Glorified in Messiah –And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:John 17:22.
Made perfect in God’s unity and love–I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me, John 17:23.
Will eventually be in God’s presence eternally –“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. John 17:24.
Kept secure in God’s love – And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them,” John 17: 26.
The great deliverance that was accomplished on our behalf by Jesus of Nazareth is so enormous, so all encompassing, that we will forever be praising Him for it. He is worthy to praised and that is one of the great heavenly songs that are sung in the heavenly throne room:
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice:
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth
and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:
“Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!” Rev. 5:11-17