DAY 3 - THE END OF THE STORY
Updated: Oct 4, 2021
Read the Bible verses related to each devotion.
Then follow the actions and prayers for yourself and a nonbeliever at the bottom of the page.
Recently, a movie smashed the box office records and showed us that with the right “stones” and the snap of a finger, the eternal fate of the world could be changed. We know that this movie is completely fictional, and yet we flooded the movie theaters in record numbers, gorged ourselves on overpriced popcorn and soda, and watched every “little” detail of a three-hour movie. Why? Well, firstly, it was a story, and humanity loves a good story. Secondly, there was the “unknown,” we did not know what was going to happen and we really wanted to find out. (We really are curious people.) Lastly, there is a little bit of, “I want to be an overcoming person/superhero in all of us.” And the Avengers are nice (mostly nice), vulnerable, willing-to-risk-it-all-for-the-sake-of-the-cause kind of people. But, more importantly, the movie tugged on something deeper inside of us. What? The fight of good versus evil. Bigger still is the fight where God defeats evil, and we all live happily ever after. That is not a made-up story, it will actually happen when Jesus returns. So, it begs some questions. If God is so powerful, why doesn’t He just snap His fingers, defeat all evil, and bring us all into the kingdom come for a peaceful celebration? The answer may surprise you—it actually lies within the heart of your destiny. John, the beloved disciple of Jesus taught, “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12). You must have a personal relationship with Jesus to have eternal life. And your friends, family, and neighbors are crafted by Christ and called to have eternal life. God the Father desires an eternal family (both you and your neighbor). But what is hindering us from eternal life? (I assure you; it is not a scary guy named Thanos.) And again, why all the heartache? Why won’t God just snap His fingers and make everything perfect? Satan despises God and humanity and is constantly trying to destroy the life of man. He even tried to tempt Jesus, after a 40-day fast, with bread, authority over the kingdoms of this earth, and self-glorification and putting God to the test. Jesus, declared, “It has been said, You shall not tempt the Lord your God” (Luke 4:12). But satan has always been trying to defeat God’s will (in the beginning, as a snake in the garden). Today, he is viciously antagonizing God’s people day and night. Once, when Israel was leaving Egypt for the promised land, the people were tempted and complained against God. This results in snakes biting them and they perished. (Their complaining against God was choosing death and not life.) But God is rich in mercy—He made a way for them to repent and be saved, by lifting up a bronze snake. Those who came to the image were healed; they did not die (Numbers 21:4-9). (You may recognize this image as the symbol for the American Red Cross, an organization that can bring hope and healing in the midst of catastrophe.) Today, while in our humanity, deceptive sins bite at us, but we can look to the cross of Christ. Jesus said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so, must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:14-15). Again, why did God have them raise up a bronze snake for healing in the wilderness? Why not just snap His powerful fingers, make all things good and say, “I am inevitable”? Life is not like a movie. Jesus has a perfect will for your life, but He will not force you to serve Him. He chose His Father’s will and you should, too. Hebrews 12:2 earnestly proclaims, “looking unto Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Jesus is the Author. He created God’s will for you, but you could not enter into God’s perfect will for your life. Therefore, Jesus, who enjoys you and can’t wait to be with you forever (we are all family), died upon the cross, to pay the debt of your sin, but He did not stay dead. Instead, He rose again. But what is He doing? Hebrews 5: 8-10 perfectly displays that Jesus is a Priest. He is seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. (He is not retired, chillin’ in heaven, waiting for us to get our lives together.) In the movie, Thanos, after using the stones to destroy half the universe’s population, tried to retire and become a farmer. But God who is rich in mercy did not retire after He completed His selfless act of service. Instead, He willingly listens to the Father’s will day and night, and He prays (this is what it means to "make intercession") for you and me (and He is really praying for your neighbor). So how does this apply to you and me? Revelation 19:17-21 triumphantly declares that there is an “endgame” war! The forces of darkness will be defeated by God’s army. But God’s army is made up of voluntary lovers who have overcome sin and sickness and walk free in the power of God. God wants us to be a part of His overcoming kingdom. So, what about you, your family, or your neighbor? Assuming you are saved: Jesus joyfully went to the cross, paid for the debt of your sins, and He is at the right hand of God the Father, listening to His heart’s plans, His infinite will for your life, and Jesus, the High Priest, is praying for you—right now! He desires you to enter into the will of God today. So, when you pray the Lord’s prayer and get to the part where it says, “Your will be done,'' think about Jesus triumphantly sitting next to the Father saying, “Tell Me what is Your will for your children today. How can I be praying for them? Tell me how much You love them.” Wild! Jesus, the overcoming High Priest is praying for you. And did you know He is praying for your lost neighbor? Peter, the apostle that denied Jesus three times, was amazingly reinstated to love and humbly preached, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) God the Father’s desires for your unsaved friend, is that they may come to repentance. So, what can you do about it? I want to take you on a journey to see that one unsaved person or friend get saved. That’s right, I just want to help you walk one person to the place of salvation. But I want you to take your time. I want you to come up, sit with God in heaven, and hear the dialogue between the Father and the Son. (David did this lots of times; He wrote lots of Psalms that were just conversations between God the Father and God the Son [Psalm 2 & 110].) Paul taught that Jesus’ mercy and His blood are so powerful that we are seated together with God in heavenly places. So, let’s pull up a seat, and listen to Jesus ask the Father questions about your unsaved friend. And you (God picked you, and He always picks the right person) are going to pray the Father’s will. These 21 days are designed for you to be stirred in your own walk with God, while inspirationally praying for the lost. We will do this by: pondering Bible verses, answering questions, writing down our thoughts, and listening—lots of listening to what God is thinking and feeling. AND THEN WE WILL PRAY! That is when the divine happens; this is when heaven and earth are moved. ACTION4U: What is your biggest worry or fear (debt, past sin, grades, future, an enemy, your children, etc.)? Jesus said, “Do not worry.” Jesus defeated your worry of fear upon the cross. Today, give it to Him. Write down your worry or fear and then give it to Him. Tell Him, I give this to You. Take it. I was never made to carry this. Cross it off by writing J-E-S-U-S (write it in the space provided) PRAYER4U: “Father, You love me so much. You gave Your only Son to destroy sin and death. Father, today I give You __________ (write in your worry of fear.) I know that You defeat sin and sickness upon the cross. So, I ask today that You would make me now.” ACTION4ONE: Today, find out when their birthday is. If you can, ask them about their favorite birthday memories. PRAYER4ONE: “Father, today I ask that You begin to move in their heart. Open their eyes to see You. Open their mind to Your truth. Open their heart to feel Your love. Father set them free.” AND, Father help me not to be afraid to share my faith with others. (Pray for them for 10 minutes.)
Have you been blessed by this and want to be a blessing?