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For His Name's Sake: A Daily Devotional Journal

For His Name's Sake: A Daily Devotional Journal

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For His Name's Sake: A Daily Devotional Journal

Lunghezza:
490 pagine
5 ore
Pubblicato:
Dec 2, 2016
ISBN:
9781620201770
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

God deals with us for His name’s sake. We fail God because we live for our own reasons and desires. The purpose of this devotional journal is to help you live a victorious Christian life by listening to God explain to you who He is. Each day, He reveals to you the meaning of one of His Holy names. Come to Him with a humble heart and read, listen, pray, meditate, and write down your reflections on the implications of His name for your life. As you apply God’s leading to your life, obey and live that day by bringing glory to His name. This practice will make you a lover of God’s Word and take you into a deeper relationship with Christ. And hence you will live as a child of God.
Pubblicato:
Dec 2, 2016
ISBN:
9781620201770
Formato:
Libro

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For His Name's Sake - Nancy Cretacci

FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE

© 2013 by Nancy Cretacci

All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America.

ISBN: 978-1-62020-125-1

eISBN: 978-1-62020-177-0

Unless otherwise indicated, THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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Scripture taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. Public Domain.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture taken from the Good News Translation in Today’s English Version- Second Edition Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL READER’S VERSION®.

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Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication

Preface

January 1

January 2

January 3

January 4

January 5

January 6

January 7

January 8

January 9

January 10

January 11

January 12

January 13

January 14

January 15

January 16

January 17

January 18

January 19

January 20

January 21

January 22

January 23

January 24

January 25

January 26

January 27

January 28

January 29

January 30

January 31

February 1

February 2

February 3

February 4

February 5

February 6

February 7

February 8

February 9

February 10

February 11

February 12

February 13

February 14

February 15

February 16

February 17

February 18

February 19

February 20

February 21

February 22

February 23

February 24

February 25

February 26

February 27

February 28

February 29

March 1

March 2

March 3

March 4

March 5

March 6

March 7

March 8

March 9

March 10

March 11

March 12

March 13

March 14

March 15

March 16

March 17

March 18

March 19

March 20

March 21

March 22

March 23

March 24

March 25

March 26

March 27

March 28

March 29

March 30

March 31

April 1

April 2

April 3

April 4

April 5

April 6

April 7

April 8

April 9

April 10

April 11

April 12

April 13

April 14

April 15

April 16

April 17

April 18

April 19

April 20

April 21

April 22

April 23

April 24

April 25

April 26

April 27

April 28

April 29

April 30

May 1

May 2

May 3

May 4

May 5

May 6

May 7

May 8

May 9

May 10

May 11

May 12

May 13

May 14

May 15

May 16

May 17

May 18

May 19

May 20

May 21

May 22

May 23

May 24

May 25

May 26

May 27

May 28

May 29

May 30

May 31

June 1

June 2

June 3

June 4

June 5

June 6

June 7

June 8

June 9

June 10

June 11

June 12

June 13

June 14

June 15

June 16

June 17

June 18

June 19

June 20

June 21

June 22

June 23

June 24

June 25

June 26

June 27

June 28

June 29

June 30

July 1

July 2

July 3

July 4

July 5

July 6

July 7

July 8

July 9

July 10

July 11

July 12

July 13

July 14

July 15

July 16

July 17

July 18

July 19

July 20

July 21

July 22

July 23

July 24

July 25

July 26

July 27

July 28

July 29

July 30

July 31

August 1

August 2

August 3

August 4

August 5

August 6

August 7

August 8

August 9

August 10

August 11

August 12

August 13

August 14

August 15

August 16

August 17

August 18

August 19

August 20

August 21

August 22

August 23

August 24

August 25

August 26

August 27

August 28

August 29

August 30

August 31

September 1

September 2

September 3

September 4

September 5

September 6

September 7

September 8

September 9

September 10

September 11

September 12

September 13

September 14

September 15

September 16

September 17

September 18

September 19

September 20

September 21

September 22

September 23

September 24

September 25

September 26

September 27

September 28

September 29

September 30

October 1

October 2

October 3

October 4

October 5

October 6

October 7

October 8

October 9

October 10

October 11

October 12

October 13

October 14

October 15

October 16

October 17

October 18

October 19

October 20

October 21

October 22

October 23

October 24

October 25

October 26

October 27

October 28

October 29

October 30

October 31

November 1

November 2

November 3

November 4

November 5

November 6

November 7

November 8

November 9

November 10

November 11

November 12

November 13

November 14

November 15

November 16

November 17

November 18

November 19

November 20

November 21

November 22

November 23

November 24

November 25

November 26

November 27

November 28

November 29

November 30

December 1

December 2

December 3

December 4

December 5

December 6

December 7

December 8

December 9

December 10

December 11

December 12

December 13

December 14

December 15

December 16

December 17

December 18

December 19

December 20

December 21

December 22

December 23

December 24

December 25

December 26

December 27

December 28

December 29

December 30

December 31

Contact Information

To Michael

I deal with you for my name’s sake

and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices.

EZEKIEL 20:44

PREFACE

DURING THE CHRISTMAS SEASON OF 2008, my previous Pastor Karl Eastlack, preached a sermon series on the names of God. It inspired me to read the Bible by focusing on God’s names and their meaning in my life. While listening to the message on I Am Peace on the Sunday morning of December 14th, I sensed the Spirit calling me to write down my reflections on the Lord’s names. He led me on a journey of asking God each day to teach me how to live for the glory of His name. To my surprise, I could clearly hear His loving voice when I focused on knowing Him. That changed my life! Gradually, the Bible became a treasure box to me. Each morning I could not wait to open it and find out what God had prepared for me. I also never thought that journaling could make such a difference in my spiritual growth and through this practice, His name became alive and personal to me. He was no longer just the Prince of Peace; but He became my Prince of Peace.

The benefit that I gained from this exercise motivated me to do two things. First, I started to contribute to our church annual Advent Devotional. Second, I started buying a devotional journal for my husband each Christmas. He loved each one of them and told me that it helped him to focus on the Lord each day. One day, he complimented my writing in the Advent Devotional and that encouraged me to publish this devotional book. He also read every sentence of the manuscript before it was sent to my friendly editor Brenda Covert.

The title for this devotional, For His Name’s Sake was derived from Ezekiel 20:44. It is designed so that the reader can meditate on one name per day. The purpose of the devotional is to help the reader live each day by and for, God’s name. I arranged the order of the names based on the One Year Bible (except Holidays such as Child from Matthew 2:11 for Christmas). The devotion is written as if God were speaking directly to the reader. Each day’s reading has about 200 words. The NIV translation is used unless otherwise specified.

I pray that you too will hear God’s sweet voice each day. May God meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in the name of Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

—Nancy Cretacci

JANUARY 1

God

In the beginning God . . .

GENESIS 1:1

YOU CALL ME GOD. BUT do you live for the meaning of My name? God tells you the priorities of life.

Today is the start of a new year, and many pen new resolutions for themselves. Your resolutions will be meaningless without the revelation: I must be first in everything because I AM your beginning. Any change in your life must start with Me. I made you, therefore only I can remake you. It is your relationship with Me, not your resolution, that changes your life. Are you having relationship issues? Begin with getting closer to Me. Are you not satisfied with your career? Begin with pleasing Me instead of yourself by focusing on who you are instead what you do. Do you want more joy and peace? Begin your day by spending time with Me. Are you trying to be a better parent? Begin teaching your children about Me. Are you a newlywed? Begin your marriage with fulfilling the vow to Me. Are you drowning in troubles? Begin asking Me for help. Are you sick? Begin praying to Me for healing.

Stop trying to fix your life and begin relying on Me to transform you. Trying to find the meaning of life without Me is like studying light by ignoring the sun. My dear child, I long to be with you so you can have the life I intended you to have. Are you ready to embark on a new journey with Me? Behold, I am making everything new! (Revelation 21:5).

JANUARY 2

Creator

So God created mankind in his own image.

GENESIS 1:27

HERE IS THE ULTIMATE TRUTH about your life: you are created in My image. It is the image that defines the value and meaning of your being. When you wake up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see the image of Me in you? If not, then you need a new mirror that will reflect exactly who you are in My eyes. That mirror is the incarnation of Me—My Son Jesus. When you look at Jesus, you see what was in My mind when I created you.

Stop looking at yourself through the worldly view of shame and failure. Step into the light of My grace through Jesus that shows the dignity and beauty in you. Do you want to know who you are and what you are made for? Then remember your Creator (Ecclesiastes 12:1). In remembering who I AM, you find your true self. As your Creator, I not only gave you life, but I also want to renew your life.

Start each day with this prayer: Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).

JANUARY 3

Offspring of the Woman

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.

GENESIS 3:15

THIS VERSE SUMMARIZES ME WELL: My sovereignty, My judgment over the sin, My mercy for the sinners, and My salvation plan for man. The first sin Adam and Eve committed made you My enemy and Satan’s pawn. But My sovereignty will not allow Satan to claim his victory.

I created mankind to be My friends and children. I will let nothing demolish My plan. Satan lured man to sin against Me, and I will use Satan to set man free from his power. I will bring you back to Me by putting hostility between Satan and you. Such is the reality of life: Satan is your enemy. To become My children, you must defeat Satan. And the only way you can defeat Satan is through He—the Offspring of the Woman—who will crush Satan’s head. He is My only Son, the last Adam, a life-giving Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45). He is the One who has overcome Satan by rebuking him with the words, Away from me, Satan! (Matthew 4:10).

In this declaration, Satan’s grip over you is loosened. You are reconciled with Me since Jesus hung on the cross and cried, "It is finished" (John 19:30). He defeated Satan for you with the cross, which is also Satan’s stick to strike His heel. That is My plan for the salvation of man.

If you want to have a victorious day, you must plan your day upon My plan.

JANUARY 4

Jesus (1)

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

MATTHEW 1:21

YOUR NAME IS GIVEN BY your earthly parents to show your character. My Father chose My name to reveal My nature. Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, meaning the LORD is salvation.

My name shows My identity as well as My mission. Even before My birth, My name prepared My earthly parents’ hearts: Mary went from being troubled to singing to the LORD (Luke 1:26-56) and Joseph went from wanting to have Mary put away to taking her home as his wife (Matthew 1:18-24). From My name, they knew I was the Son of God. They did not fully understand how God’s Spirit could make Mary pregnant. And they had not seen Me and all the miracles I had yet to perform. But My name was enough to convince them because My name also told them My Father’s will: to save His people from their sins. Mary and Joseph knew they were two of those people who needed a Savior. They remembered God’s promise of a Messiah. That is the power of My name.

Is My name adequate for you today? Does it make you as joyful and courageous as Mary and Joseph?

JANUARY 5

LORD

At that time people first began to worship the Lord by name.

GENESIS 4:26, NLT

THE FIRST STEP MAN TOOK to know Me was through worship—not study, reason, or requests for miracles. It was worship that opened the channel of communication between Me and man. At that time, man did not have a Bible, sermons, prophets, or denominations. They simply worshipped My name. They did not have fancy languages, buildings, or instruments. They simply knelt down, bowed their heads, raised their hands, and worshipped.

Now, you call yourselves more civilized and advanced. Your relationship with Me has become complicated. You study, research, and debate to make sure that you are comfortable before you submit your heart to worship Me. You gradually forget the meaning of My name. My name is not a mystery for you to solve. LORD is not a religious term. It reminds you that you are merely man and have been created to worship Me. I did not give you the right or duty to do otherwise. It is your nature to worship Me only. But if you worship other objects, it shows your nature is corrupted.

Are you My worshipper?

JANUARY 6

Reward

Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.

GENESIS 15:1

I AM YOUR REWARD. ABRAHAM was rewarded because he sought Me. Living in a pagan land and constantly facing famine and enmity, Abraham never forgot his oath to Me. That is why he did not accept a gift from the king of Sodom (Genesis 14:22-24). Abraham knew that worldly rewards have strings attached. It would have jeopardized his walk with Me. His dedication to Me made Abraham the father of all nations. Nowhere in My Word does it say that Abraham prayed day and night for protection, wealth, and children. All Abraham did was to obey and honor Me.

I want you to learn an important lesson here: I reward those who seek Me only, not what I can give, neither what the world may offer. Seeking worldly rewards keeps you away from My blessing. You fail to receive My full blessing when you focus on the blessings but ignore Me, the Giver. You often fall into that pit without even realizing it. I want to reward you with Myself. Do not ask for less.

JANUARY 7

The One Who Sees Me

I have now seen the One Who Sees Me.

GENESIS 16:13

A SLAVE GIRL FLEEING FROM her angry mistress called Me this name. In the desert, exhausted and hopeless, Hagar encountered Me. Before that moment, she had only heard about Me. You may live a comfortable life today, just as Hagar did when she lived in her master’s house. On the surface, you seem to be free. But deep down in your heart, you are still a slave. Why? It is because you do not truly know Me, even though you claim to be a Christian. Your social issues often prevent you from having a direct relationship with Me. I am your God; I am always watching over you. It takes the experience of a desert to know that truth. So do not be disheartened if you find yourself in the helpless situation. Here in the desert, stripped of pride and the noise of life, you will meet Me, the living God, in person. Yes, you can only see the One who sees you when I have your full attention.

My dear child, be thankful for the desert experience because it will transform you from a slave to a free man. Do you think Hagar returned to her master’s house as the same person? No! She submitted to her mistress by obeying her new Master. In her heart, she was set free forever.

Which Hagar are you: the one before, during, or after the desert incident?

JANUARY 8

Provider

God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering.

GENESIS 22:8

ABRAHAM DID NOT CALL ME his Provider when I gave him Isaac. Only when I asked him to sacrifice his son and he passed My test did he realize the Lord will provide (Genesis 22:14). Each test serves a purpose, which is to reveal to you who I AM. Do you think it is ironic that I promised Abraham numerous descendants and yet wanted him to sacrifice the only son I had given him? But Abraham obeyed. Yes, Abraham simply obeyed even though it did not make sense. That is why he is called the father of faith.

Without obedience, faith is not real. Without faith, obedience is impossible. Both are based on knowing Me as the Provider. I richly bless you, but you often take it for granted and claim ownership of what is given to you, including your life. When you deny My ownership, you deny My provision. Life therefore becomes a constant labor and burden. Each test is designed to remind you that I AM the Owner and Provider of all.

May you pass all the tests today and declare with confidence, as apostle Paul did, My God will meet all my needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

JANUARY 9

Refuge and Stronghold

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

PSALM 9:9

THIS IS FAITH: YOU BELIEVE in Me not because I can make all your troubles disappear but because I enable you to face trouble with courage. What word captures your attention in this verse? You may say, does it matter? It matters a great deal! It determines whether you will be the winner or loser today. Fixing your attention on the words trouble and oppressed will make you a loser. However, the words refuge and stronghold will make you a winner. The words I and poor me are not there. They are hiding in the Refuge and Stronghold. You win the battle against trouble and oppression by hiding in Me. You lose your fight because either you do not believe the power of hiding in Me or you take refuge in the wrong place.

The world tells you hiding is an act of cowardice; the world does not know the hiding place that will give you victory. The Bible, however, assures you that He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1). Here is My promise to you: because you love me, I will rescue you; I will protect you, for you acknowledge my name (Psalm 91:14). Do you acknowledge My name? If you do, you are a conqueror today!

JANUARY 10

Eternal God

And there he called on the name of the LORD, the Eternal God.

GENESIS 21:33

DO YOU SEE THE RELEVANCE of My eternity to your life? Eternity is just a calling away, because I am eternally present and personal. I never said, I will send the angels to be with you. Neither did I say, I will be there when you need me, or I will leave you when you displease me. The Bible is filled with stories of godly people crying out to Me because they did not feel My presence. King David repeatedly lamented about My remoteness. Even My Son cried out on the cross, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46). They showed you the power of sin. It drives you away from Me.

When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they hid from Me; it wasn’t the other way around. When you feel abandoned by Me, examine your heart first, confess your sins, ask for My forgiveness, and repent. Start to praise and worship Me. Give thanks for My mercy and faithfulness. And My promise to Joshua will become real and personal to you: The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).

Call on My name, I will make eternity a reality for you today.

JANUARY 11

King

The LORD is King for ever and ever.

PSALM 10:16

MY KINGSHIP DEFINES YOUR ETERNAL royal status as a Christian. You may say, I don’t feel like the child of a king. Then you do not realize you are part of a real story that sounds like a fairytale. It goes like this: you were captured by the King’s enemy and sentenced to death. The King sent His only Son to rescue you. He defeated the enemy by giving up his life. The King adopted you as His child for His kingdom because you acknowledged His saving grace through His Son.

My Son made you a prince or princess. I, the King, see in you My Son’s obedience and sacrifice. Thus, you can approach My throne with confidence (Hebrews 4:16). Here is how I treat you: I run to embrace you and call a celebration party for your homecoming (Luke 15:11-32). I turn your wailing into dancing. I remove your sackcloth and clothe you with joy (Psalm 30:11). I crown you with glory and honor (Psalm 8:5). I anoint your head with oil; your cup will overflow (Psalm 23:5). And you will dwell in My royal house forever (Psalm 23:6). Meditate on these facts today, and you will start to feel and behave as My royal child.

JANUARY 12

Vindicator

God has vindicated me.

GENESIS 30:6

IF I AM YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, then I AM also your vindicator. The only reason you would attempt to vindicate yourselves is that you still believe you are righteous. Remember how King David treated his enemies? His vengeance was his prayer: Vindicate me in your righteousness, O LORD my God (Psalm 35:24); Save me, O God, by your name; vindicate me by your might (Psalm 54:1). What made David so sure that I would vindicate him? It was not because he felt that he was right and they were wrong. For David, I was his vindicator because he trusted My righteousness, My name, and My sovereignty.

I vindicate not for your sake but for My righteous name’s sake. I want to release you from the burden of revenge. Remember that I said It is mine to avenge; I will repay (Deuteronomy 32:35). If it is My job to avenge, then you are acting as God when you take revenge. When you trust Me for justice, you become less sensitive to how you are treated but more sensitive to how My name is glorified. Glorify Me by trusting Me to be your vindicator today.

JANUARY 13

Disgrace Remover

God has taken away my disgrace.

GENESIS 30:23

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY Adam and Eve, before they sinned against Me, felt no shame even though they were both naked (Genesis 2:25)? It was because they were conscious of nothing but Me. The original plan when I created man was to give him the full honor of seeing Me only. As the Bible tells you, I made man a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor (Psalm 8:5). Sin caused man to shift his gaze from Me to himself. Adam and Eve immediately became aware of their bodies and felt shame. The result of eating the fruit of good and evil did not help them to become more like Me. Instead, the instant consequence was to know shame. Satan knows the power of shame. He uses that weapon to smudge My image in you. That is always the tactic he uses to pull you away from Me—by tempting you to sin and thus make you feel ashamed of yourself. But you are My child; shame was not part of your life when I created you.

I want to remove all your disgrace and replace it with honor. I accomplished that plan of restoration by sending My Son to die on the cross for your sins. Do not you see that all of your disgrace was nailed to cross? Do not continue to grieve My heart by feeling ashamed of yourself. I want to crown you with honor. Wear that crown well today.

JANUARY 14

God of Israel

There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel.

GENESIS 33:20

DO YOU KNOW WHY JACOB called his altar God of Israel? It is because his new name, Israel, signified My grace. From being a deceiver fleeing from a furious brother to becoming the man I promised would become the father of a nation, Jacob knew nothing but My grace. When his brother Esau asked, Who are these with you? It was no surprise that Jacob answered, They are the children God has graciously given your servant (Genesis 33:5). For Jacob, I was a gracious giver. My grace changed his life from a deceiver to a receiver—a receiver of My full blessing. Jacob set up this altar in the new land I had given him to make sure that his descendants would never forget who I AM.

The name God

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