The Word of Grace Devotion for the week of December 28, 2015
THE NEW YEAR
JOSHUA 1:7-8, “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 8This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Beloved, a New Year is soon upon us. Looking back at 2015 we cannot undo a single action or take back a single word. Yet before us is a New Year, 2016, a year full of hope and promise if we so desire.
In a sense, Joshua was facing a new year. The Israelites had been wandering in the desert for forty years and were finally about to enter the Promised Land. Moses had passed away and Joshua had taken over command of the Israelites. It was a new challenge filled with hope and promise and yet with difficulties as well. How could Joshua take over for a man described, as the most humble of all, Numbers 12:3, “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.”
In Joshua 1:7-8 we have the blueprint for a new challenge and a new year. Beloved, your success for the New Year is based on your focus to the Word of God. We do not know what the future holds so we must prepare for anything. In the New Year there will be victories and defeats, and there will be blessed times and stressful times. But in all of it, if we focus on God’s Word we will be prosperous and successful as Joshua 1:8 says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Beloved, in order to meet the challenges of the New Year I would implore to take time each day and devote it to God’s Word. Joshua had a great challenge and he was told to focus on God’s Word. We must do the same!
I pray that you will have a blessed week. I love you and I will be praying for you!
The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of December 21, 2015
A Timely Visit
Isaiah 9:6-7, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”
Merry Christmas Beloved! This week we celebrate the birthday of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus came to earth at the right time, the exact time that the Lord had determined His visit as Galatians 4:4 says, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law.”
In the Prophecy from the Book of Isaiah we read of a time when the people walked in darkness, (not unlike our time). They were weary and looking for a Savior and yes, the Savior would be sent to them at the right time. Christ’s visit to earth was a timely visit. God always shows up at the right time. He is never late but always on time.
We need to remember this truth as we approach Christmas. There are those of us waiting for the Lord to show up as we walk in a darkness of fear or stress or worry. Remember, Jesus is never late. It may seem that He arrives late but even as Mary and Martha awaited Christ’s arrival to heal their brother Lazarus, though he had been three days dead, Jesus was on time, His time, and Lazarus once again rose.
Beloved, this Christmas, remember that Jesus knows your situation and has taken it to heart. Trust Him to show up on time, His time. This Christmas Eve we will explore what it means for Jesus to come at the right time, His time. I pray that this Christmas Jesus would come into your life and light it up with His presence and power!
I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you! Merry Christmas!
The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of December 14, 2015
Matthew 1:21- “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Beloved, I sometimes get asked what does the name Jesus mean? Thankfully Scripture tells us what it means in Matthew 1:21, “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Yes, Jesus is Savior! Theologian J. C. Ryle describes Jesus as Savior in this way: “The name Jesus means "Savior." It is the same name as Joshua in the Old Testament. It is given to our Lord because "He saves His people from their sins." This is His special role. He saves them from the guilt of sin, by cleansing them in His own atoning blood. He saves them from the dominion of sin by putting in their hearts the sanctifying Spirit. He saves them from the presence of sin, when He takes them out of this world to rest with Him. He will save them from all the consequences of sin, when He shall give them a glorious body at the last day.”
Beloved, as we draw near on the celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ we reflect on our wonderful Savior who has saved us from our sin. The following verses have reassured me that my salvation has been completed!
Isaiah 1:18- “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”
Psalm 103:11-12, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”
Beloved, Jesus means Savior. Is He your Savior?
I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you!
Proverbs 3:27 "Do Not withhold Good." on this week's Word of Grace Devotional with Pastor Joe Marquez.
The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of December 7, 2015
Do Not Withhold Good
Proverbs 3:27- “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”
Beloved, my daily devotion found me in Proverbs 3, which is full of great promises. I was tempted to write my weekly devotion from Proverbs 3:5-6 which has become a beacon of light for so many of us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
My mind then took me to Proverbs 3:9-10 which says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” This is another truth, which unfortunately so many avoid to apply to their lives. I have always believed that if you teach your child to give to the Lord, the Lord will always take care of that child. You can send them to the best school, train them in the best field but nothing takes the place of honoring the Lord, nothing. But I’ll leave that verse for another day.
No, the Lord led me to Proverbs 3:27, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” Beloved, there are times that the Lord has led me to bless another person with my time, talent or treasure in addition to my first devotion to the Lord.
I would encourage you that during this season of giving, ask the Lord to place on your heart someone that you can bless. It may be one person or it may be a family. You may say, Pastor, apart from my tithe I have no extra to give. Beloved, the blessing does not have to be monetary. It can be a blessing of time or of talent. Imagine volunteering to babysit so that a Husband and Wife can spend some much needed time alone. How about going to someone’s house to help tidy up the place without speaking about how messy they may keep their house or how about praying for a family everyday for a month and watching the Lord do great things in their lives.
Beloved, I pray that we would not “withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in y(our) power to do it.” Our example is our Heavenly Father who displayed his goodness in John 3:16- “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you!
Zechariah 14:3-5 "The Return of the King." on this week's Word of Grace Devotional with Pastor Joe Marquez.
The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of November 30, 2015
The Return of The King
Zechariah 14:3-5, “Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. 4On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward. 5And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.”
Beloved, this coming month we celebrate the birth of our King, Jesus Christ. Jesus first came as a Savior and servant. As we celebrate our Savior’s birth we also look forward to His return. One day Jesus will return- not as a suffering servant but as a King ready to take back what Satan has taken away.
Zechariah 14 prophesies the return of the King. The Lord will fight against those fighting against His own (Israel) and then return as He left, physically and visibly as described in Acts 1:11- “And said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Zechariah 14:4 details it as such, “His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.”
As Jesus returns in power the Israelites are told to flee for safety, Zechariah 14:5- “And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.”
And then we come into the picture as mentioned in Zechariah 14:5- “Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.” Beloved, I believe that this verse reveals our future. It is kind of crazy to think about it but we will one day return with the Lord to rule and reign in the Holy City (Jerusalem).
Yes the King will return and we also will be returning with the King. Revelation 20:6 says it this way, “Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.”
Beloved, in this day of terror we have a great hope to hold onto to, Jesus Christ! When times get tough, look to Him and cry Maranatha! Come quickly Lord!
Beloved, I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you!