Praying as You Read The Scriptures

Stressed businessman

In just a few days we will be entering the month of December. A number of you committed to read through the book of Psalms and Proverbs with us this year and I trust it has been a blessing to you.
I am always looking for ways to keep my quiet times fresh and exciting. I have seen a number of great resources that I will share with you as we prepare for 2017, but resources that you can start right now.
I recently read a blog by Kristen Wheterell and she suggests 22 ways to pray as we read through the Bible based on principles from Psalm 119. I am using them in my quiet time and commend them to you:

  • Pray for wholehearted seeking: Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways (vv. 2-3)!
  • Pray for protection from sin: I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you (v. 11).
  • Pray for opened eyes: Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law (v. 18).
  • Pray for spiritual strength:  My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word (v. 28)!
  • Pray for delight and longing: Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!…Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life (vv. 36, 40)!
  • Pray to fight lies: Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise; then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word (vv. 41-42).
  • Pray to live with trust in God’s promises: This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life (v. 50).
  • Pray for quick obedience: I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments (v. 60).
  • Pray for good judgment and knowledge: Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments (v. 66).
  • Pray for God’s comfort: Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant (v. 76).
  • Pray for endurance against the enemy: All your commandments are sure; they persecute me with falsehood; help me (v. 86)!
  • Pray to depend on God’s enduring Word: Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens….I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts (vv. 89-94).
  • Pray for continual meditation: Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day (v. 97).
  • Pray for God’s light to guide you: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (v. 105).
  • Pray for fear of the Lord: My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments (v. 120).
  • Pray for trust in the Lord’s justice: I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies! It is time for the Lord to act, for your law has been broken (vv. 125-6).
  • Pray for victory over sin: Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me (v. 133).
  • Pray for joy in trouble: Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight (v. 143).
  • Pray for God to hear you: Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O Lord, according to your justice give me life (v. 149).
  • Pray for mercy: Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to your rules (v. 156).
  • Pray to abhor falsehood: I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law (v. 163).
  • Pray for a soul of praise: Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me (v. 175).

Pretty cool, huh? I trust they will be helpful to you. I’d love to hear from you. Send me an email at Trust you had a great Thanksgiving.

Resource: Kristen Whetherell blog

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 28; Proverbs 28

Daily Quote: The louder Satan roars, the more proof you shall have of Christ’s love. ~C.H. Spurgeon

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7

Let’em Eat Stuffing!

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 22; Proverbs 22

Daily Quote: “We tend to take all the gifts and pleasures and happiness and the joy without saying much to God. We take our health and strength, our food and clothing and our loved ones, all for granted; but the moment anything goes wrong we start grumbling and complaining and we say ‘Why should God do this to me, why should this happen to me?’ How slow we are to thank and swift to grumble.”—Martyn Lloyd-Jones

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. ~II Corinthians 5:6

Finalizing Your Battle Plan

knights, pawns and other wooden chess pieces on the chessboard

Here is the last step in preparing to fight temptation in your life. I trust that these steps have been a help to you in your daily walk.

Don’t Go There – Take the Way of Escape

I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. Psalm 119:30

a. Stop thinking about it. The battle starts in the mind.

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. James 1:12-15

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

Do not look at temptation with a wandering eye if you do not wish to be taken by it, not allow your mind to dwell on that which you do not want lodged in your heart. William Gurnall

b. Purpose where you can and cannot go. Strategize ahead of time. If you don’t plan in advance where you can and cannot go, you have set yourself up for failure. Recently a good friend of mine had to miss a family birthday party because he knew going there would be a big step toward relapse. He chose to stay home and for him. That was a good move. c. Take the way of escape that the Father ALWAYS provides for you.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Can you ever think of a time when you faced temptation where God did not provide a way of escape?

d. Don’t boast about temptations. “I don’t struggle in this area …” “I can’t believe he blew it in that area … how could they be so stupid?”

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12

e. Find someone who will hold you accountable. Ask the tough questions, hold your feet to the fire, not be afraid to get in your face.

d. Play the tape to the final conclusion. What the consequences if I do this? How will this all unfold/unravel? What about my wife? My kids? My ministry?

O what desperate madness it is to accept the wrath of God for joy that lasts but an hour! William Gurnall


Today you are not alone against temptation because the One who is your Savior is also your fortress, your hiding place, your defense.

Today you will fight temptation, but not alone because a Warrior Spirit lives inside you and fights on your behalf. Dr. Paul David Tripp

I am a fellow struggler. I am in this journey with you. But with God’s help and a strategy, we can be more than a conqueror.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 21; Proverbs 21

Daily Quote: The Bible characters never fell on their weak points but on their strong ones; unguarded strength is double weakness. —Oswald Chambers

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. ~II Corinthians 5:6

Past Performances

Moment of rest

He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. ~Psalm 23:3

Not many of us learn from our mistakes, if we’re honest the truth is we usually are creatures of habit. A habit is defined – as a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. Our reputation is based on our past performance as well as how we may react or conduct ourselves given the current circumstances. What we need is our souls restored. There are times when we can surely say “my soul is satisfied”. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

The transformational healing message of the Gospel is that we no longer have to react according to our past performances. Our next move or reaction will be determined by whether we are walking in the Spirit or the flesh. I am someone who can be overwhelmed by anxieties usually brought on by fear, so when I find myself in a situation where I’m about to react, there’s an uncomfortable knot in my stomach that is ready to explode. It’s then I have a choice, a pure antidote for putting the deeds of the flesh to death is scripture. I can recite certain verses such as

“The LORD is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul”

To be able to allow God to “Restore my soul” is a sure fire way to step out of your typical “Past Performance” and walk according to the Spirit. I love when I am out of character especially when the character displayed resembles Jesus. I have often walked away from a situation thinking to myself, “that wasn’t me.” No, I would have not handled that well apart from the help from God.

I was in church recently and one of the songs during our worship time we sang “God with us, God for us, nothing can come against, no one can stand between us”. I was reminded of the passage in Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

There is a truth that we need to be reminded of and that is we belong to God. When I commit myself to God’s word it allows the Holy Spirit to restore my soul. I then respond to things according to the Spirit.

What are your anxieties today? What are you fearing? I believe God is waiting for you to come to Him so He can do what only He can do.

Our poor past performances no longer define us, we can walk in a newness of life when we commit ourselves to Jesus. Amen

Written by Rob Russomano: Rob is married to Terri, he is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events. You can contact him at


The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 17; Proverbs 17

Daily Quote: The greatest tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer. ~F.B. Meyer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.– Philippians 3:10-11


Satisfied with work done

“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned” (Roman 5:12)

Paul reminds us that humanity wasn’t originally sinful, however as a result of the fall we are now born in sin. And here we are with our fleshly nature and the ripple affects from the fall. The flesh is conditioned very contrary to our new identity in Christ; it rears its roaring head around us. I see this in my 3 year old.

For instance, Olivia comes down the steps with her hands behind her back and I ask her what are you doing? With makeup smeared on her face, She responds nothing and continues walk passed me. Reminded me of Adam, in the garden, trying hide from God, as His Creator ask ‘where are you.’ Adam and and Eve both try to fix the problem on their own.

Like Olivia and Adam, we are all in some type situation and our nature tendency is manage through the circumstances with own logic and or reasoning. Instead of instantaneously going to God, we slide and hide. However, when we were dead in our addictions, problems, uncontrollable situations, in state total depravity we cried, and God saved us.

Has self-sufficiency lead your back in a corner? Have you been managing through life fixing things with your own resources?

He is the same source to all of our resources. Let’s go back to trusting in One that holds the world in place, the Savior, the Redeemer; ‘the rock that is higher than I’

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)

Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 16; Proverbs 16

Daily Quote: When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don’t, they don’t. ~William Temple

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.– Philippians 3:10-11

He Pursued Jesus With His Voice

Man with megaphone in hand on the white background
“When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” ~Mark 10:47-48 (NLT)
In Matthew’s account of this story he tells of two blind men alongside the road between Jericho and Jerusalem. They cry out “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David”, but the crowd that is hanging with Jesus tells them to be quiet. It’s a multitude of people you see and they are on a mission with Jesus so you two “undesirables” need to know your role, sit there and beg in the quiet of your misery. Yeah right, like that was gonna fly with them. So, they yell out (just a wee louder) a second time, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David”, and with that Jesus stops and asks them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
In Mark’s account of this story it’s focused on one of these two and when Bartimaeus cried out the second time, Jesus acknowledges him. “When Jesus heard him, He stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.” So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, He’s calling you!” (Mark 10:49) But the question doesn’t change, “What do you want Me to do for you?” In both accounts the restoration of sight is given to the blind from Jesus Christ Himself. Matthews account say’s He was moved with compassion and Marks says it was shown by faith, I believe it was both or it wouldn’t be in the Bible as such.
Funny how this comes right after two of Jesus’ disciples and their mother have this little discussion about who gets to sit with Jesus in the Kingdom. The NASB put it this way, “And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to Him, saying to Him, “Teacher, we want you to do us whatever we ask of You.” And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Now notice the difference here. We don’t have these two brothers addressing Jesus with reverence, oh no, we got two brothers who might as well went up to Jesus and said, “Yo Dude hook us up” before they asked this question, “Grant that we may sit in your glory, one to right, and one to your left.”
Now these were two guys that Jesus picked to follow Him. They see what Jesus does as far as miracles go, they hear His teaching straight from Him, He warns them about His death and rising and yet they wanna sit with Him in glory. Bartimaeus and his buddy aren’t privileged like this. They sit on the side of a road putting their hope in the generosity of others for provision. They probably struggle to get to synagogue to hear the writings of Isaiah, “Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot— yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.” (Isaiah 11:1)
All Bartimaeus wants to do is run into Jesus and when he does all he has is his voice to pursue Jesus with…and what was in his heart. Now I could easily go into a deep discussion on how the High Priests, like Annas and Caiaphas, couldn’t see Jesus as that new branch as they recited Isaiah to those in synagogue or the implications that involved John and James as they thought themselves worthy of the seats to the right and the left of The Son, but both pairs of men thought themselves above guys like Bartimaeus so why bother giving it further mention.
Because I see myself like Bartimaeus, sitting on the side of the road at one time in my life, waiting for life to throw its scraps at me so I could exist. When I came to that point where I yelled out, JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME, He was just and true and removed those spiritual scaled from my eyes. When they were opened, I could finally see the grace and mercy that is Jesus Christ. The cool part of the blind man’s story is this, “Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.” (Mark 10:52)
Ya know, I think Jesus was gonna be cool with healing Bartimaeus and getting on down the road to Jerusalem. But He left the blind man with a choice and what did he choose? He chose to follow Jesus. Sometimes in the complexity of reading the Gospel we miss this simple thing…when the heart desires the things of Jesus, then we are to follow Jesus. Even if it means that we are following Him on the road to The Cross. I think, maybe Bartimaeus saw that for himself. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 15; Proverbs 15

Daily Quote: “We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts” — A.W. Tozer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. – Philippians 3:10-11

I Think It’s Time to Call It Quits

Depression in young age

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keeping yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. Jude 20-21

What I am about to share reflects the struggle that I am facing increasingly as the President of America’s Keswick. What I am about to share my shock you and I trust that you will prayerfully hear my heart.

I really am at the point where I think our Board should call it quits and get out of the addiction recovery ministry. We are fighting a losing battle.

We have a record number of men who are graduating that are overdosing on heroin. Dying after one injection. Men who have graduated from the program who are relapsing in 48 hours and many of them are calling to come back to the program.

But there is an even greater concern. We have been encouraging our grads for years to connect with Bible believing churches so that they can grow in their walk with the Lord and continue to walk in victory.

Sounds like a great plan, doesn’t it? But in many cases, I owe the men a huge apology for setting them up for failure.

I just heard a report of a Christian addiction recovery ministry that raised $100,000 to help men and women come out of addiction. The money was raised by selling alcohol which was sold by young female bartenders that were asked to volunteer their services. So apparently we need to encourage men who are alcoholics to get the victory, but apparently one of the best fundraising tactics is to get people to sell the addictive –home/life destroying product and find people who want to help see addicts free to “contribute” by buying the product.

Yesterday I read an article about a new group of churches being raised up that are setting up shop in bars. The new evangelism initiative is called “Jesus and Beer.” The plan is to invited seekers to attend a “service” in a bar, serve the best beer, and have dialog about Jesus.

So I guess if we are going to be able to most effectively serve our grads in transitioning back to the “real” world, we need to educate them that it still isn’t ok for them to go to a bar and drink on their own and with their old friends. It is ok to go to the bar and drink as long as you are joining other Christians who have learned to drink responsibly and at the same time are able committed to studying the Bible and sharing Christ.

I have yet to see a post of Facebook posted by my Christian friends that shows them in the bar gathering for church or a Bible study. I have rarely been in the company of “Christian” drinkers where someone hasn’t left the party inebriated and out of control.

But even more disturbing is that the with this new norm we’ve swung the pendulum the other way in that you can’t hold a different position. It doesn’t matter if you have a history of alcohol in your background, it doesn’t matter is you choose to not drink, it doesn’t matter if you are concerned about offending a weaker brother or sister, you either join on or you are ridiculed.

I have left several functions where people have been in my face because I wouldn’t drink a beer. After all, if I am not at America’s Keswick, who is going to know? Really? So what happened to the passages in the New Testament about the weaker brother/sister or not doing something because it might hinder ones testimony? Or suppose your insistence on someone drinking leads them on a downward spiral or even worse, they do leave the party under the influence and face getting a DUI all in the name of “I’m free in Christ to do this so you need to do it too?”

This is a hot button topic and I am sure that I am going to get some humdinger responses. I welcome your comments. But I believe that we have opened the door to some pretty serious issues that are already coming back to bite us.

The same Pastors that refuse to preach both sides of this issue because they can’t nail total abstinence from the Scriptures, and I agree, are the ones that are ticked off at us when a believer in their church has lost everything because of the effects of alcohol, and “What do you mean there is waiting list?” We have a problem, guys.

I will write more about this in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, the next time I am at Applebees, I plan to take a picture of me and the guys enjoying our unsweetened iced teas and diet sodas.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 129; Proverbs 10

Daily Quote: Liberty is turned to license by self. – Walter Chantry

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. ~2 Corinthians 4:16

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King Nebuchadnezzar and Zedekiah

“King Nebuchadnezzar sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: “Peace and prosperity to you! “I want you all to know about the miraculous signs and wonders the Most High God has performed for me. How great are His signs, how powerful His wonders! His kingdom will last forever, His rule through all generations.” ~Daniel 4:1-3 (NLT)

Humility can come to us in many forms. For Brother Lawrence it came from working in a priory kitchen but for Nebuchadnezzar it came from eating grass. The difference between these two men are as such, one was a soldier and fought in the “Thirty Years War” received an injury and went on to become a monk, the other was a mighty king who had a statue formed from gold to honor his favorite god. Some say it was of himself, some say it was of Bel (the popular god of the time period) but none the matter, El Elyon (The Most High God) wasn’t having any of his nonsense and took this King Nebuchadnezzar and reduced him to some crazy dude hanging out in the fields eating Babylonian grass…like a cow.

Now Nebbie’s story starts off with the decimation of what was left of Israel and exiling its people back to Babylon. He has this dream and only one of those exiles, Daniel, interprets its meaning. And without going into some deep eschatological perspective Nebbie musta been so egotistical that when Daniel said, “You are the head of gold” his little ego voice said within himself, “YEAH! WHAT HE SAID!! THAT’S RIGHT!!! So not too long after this comes a statue, rebellion to its worship, a fiery furnace complete with divine intervention and then this statement…

“Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. “Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.” (Daniel 3:28-29)

Then came another dream and once again Daniel makes an interpretation. “Nebbie hate to tell this but now you’re a tree being cut-down. Repent, turn and acknowledge the Kingdom of El Elyon or get your grazing gear on ‘cos you’re doomed to become a cow.” Twelve months go by and thus says Nebbie, “I done built me a pretty good spread here, how great I art!!” Mooo… So what’s to be gleaned from this for ourselves today? Glad you asked.

Well first of all Nebuchadnezzar did NOT stay like a cow forever, he does come to his senses. He gets over his slight case of lycanthropy by pretty much finishing up the sentence that El Elyon told him he would have to serve for singing all that “How Great I Art” stuff then lifting his eyes up towards the kingdom of Heaven.

The second thing to glean is that there is repentance no matter how far gone your concept of self-praise is. Brother Lawrence found joy in the pots and pans that he considered privileged to wash…all to the glory of God. That kind of humility is rare these days. These days we have to be reduced down to eating grass and having our lives removed from its comfort zone (or for 4yrs of historical record like Nebuchadnezzar) before we will even take that first glance towards the Throne of Grace. There is an example to follow however….

“Jesus knew that the Father had given Him authority over everything and that He had come from God and would return to God. So He got up from the table, took off His robe, wrapped a towel around His waist, and poured water into a basin. Then He began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel He had around Him.” (John 13:3-5) If THE King of kings and Lord of lords can humble himself to wash the feet of a bunch of misfits then who are we not to follow the example? Even the biggest misfit of the bunch knew this enough to pen this, “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)

Secularland needs to see divine humility in these self-indulgenced days…why not take a chance and be the one who shows it to them. Amen?

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 123; Proverbs 4

Daily Quote: “No tree can grow except on the root from which it sprang. Through all its existence it can only live with the life that was in the seed that gave it being. This truth, in its application to the first and Second Adam, can greatly help us to understand both the need and the nature of the redemption there is in Jesus.” —Andrew Murray

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.~2 Corinthians 4:15

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I Love Me - sign
“And [Jesus] was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

Have you ever stopped to think about how much time we spend thinking about ourselves? Welcome to a new week of Freedom Fighters. I am glad that you are joining me on this journey of walking in victory.

Remember the scene in Finding Nemo when the seagulls converge and start screaming, “Mine, Mine, Mine?”

The concept of dying to self is not one that we hear much about in sermons today. We live in a culture that is bent on meeting our every need. We find ourselves getting in a snit if things don’t go our way. We are living in a day when all that matters is my needs, my desires, my rights. Just listen to the news and watch the commercials.

But Jesus said that if we are going to truly be Christ-followers, we need to learn how to die to self daily, and take up His cross.

This summer I picked up a little card from Pastor Harold Vaughn’s book table. It is called “Dying to Self.”

Listen to this …

When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don’t sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy being counted to suffer for Christ, THAT IS DYING TO SELF.

When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient, loving silence, THAT IS DYING TO SELF.

When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, any lack of punctuality or any annoyance, when you can stand face to face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility … and endure it as Jesus endured it … THAT IS DYING TO SELF.

When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendation, when you can truly love to be unknown, THAT IS DYING TO SELF.

When you can see your brother or sister prosper and have his needs met, and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstance, THAT IS DYING TO SELF.

When you receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself, and humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart, THAT IS DYING TO SELF.


You need to understand that what I share with you is so often what I am preaching to myself. I really needed that today. What area of your life has God pin-pointed today where you need to DIE TO SELF?

Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 122; Proverbs 3

Daily Quote: God will never come to his right unless we are totally reduced to nothing, so that it may be clearly seen that all that is laudable in us comes from elsewhere. John Calvin

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.~2 Corinthians 4:15

CLICK HERE to sign-up to receive this devotional via email each morning!

The Confidence to Witness

Couple of young men talking on the stairs

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

There’s a deeply spiritual lady in our church called Caroline. Sadly, she has a social phobia (the exact opposite of confidence) that cripples her life. In spite of this, she has brought more people to church and to ‘Alpha’ courses than anyone I can think of. I find that inspiring. She recently told me that at a conference two years ago someone shared a word from God that ‘Two men will pull you out of this.’ She’s been waiting for these two men. I told her that she should really only be waiting for one because her husband, Steve, is the other. Steve is a convinced atheist but he’s also a wonderful guy. He teaches college math. He’s kind and funny. He loves his wife deeply and has hung in there for all this time. Then it occurred to me that as her pastor, I must be the other. So I got Steve to meet me for coffee.

I shared testimonies of God working in my life in ways that are unexplainable apart from the supernatural. I told him that there was power in togetherness and that my idea was to pray together with him for his wife. He said, “You’re asking me to pray to a brick to make my wife better and in all sincerity I can’t do that.” I asked him if he would do anything to make his wife better including praying to a brick. In the end he said, “I’ll do it for you, Chris. It’s not for Caroline and it’s not for me, but I can see that it’s important to you.” So right then and there I prayed a short prayer and squeezed out an ‘amen’ from Steve. The next day I heard from Caroline. In her e-mail she said:

“Thank you for meeting up with Steve. I’m so glad he was able to talk to you about my illness. He said he’s never had anyone to talk to and it felt good to open up. He also came away questioning himself about what makes him so sure that there is no God, and that if God was to reveal himself to Steve, then he would accept him.”

This testimony is still unfolding but I believe in Caroline’s healing. I believe in Steve’s salvation. I believe in God’s goodness and power, and I believe that if we boldly witness, then we can not only have confidence in our own futures, we can even change the future for others.

Written by Rev. Chris Thompson: Chris is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and Pastor of Enderby Mission Church in Leicester, England.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 121; Proverbs 29

Daily Quote: Fervent prayers produce phenomenal results. ~Woodrow Kroll

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. ~2 Corinthians 4:8-11

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