Sabbath Devotional—Crowns and Robes for the Righteous

Sabbath Devotional Reading and Podcast—Crowns and Robes for the Righteous

“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…’ ” —Matthew 25:34

We are not only in a continuous struggle against spiritual warfare but must also fight against the inner desires of our hearts. Satan promotes the pleasures of this world because he knows his destiny. His goal is to prevent us from receiving our crown, robe, and eternal life.

Our situation may appear hopeless because we failed to overcome spiritual warfare and the battle within from inheriting deceitful and desperately wicked hearts. Yet, we are not in a losing predicament because we have a Savior, Jesus Christ.

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” —Deuteronomy 31:8

As our Heavenly Father, Jesus protects us from the many satanic attacks that we know nothing about. Christ has assigned His army of angels to fight our spiritual battles [seen and unseen]. To receive Divine help in our activities of daily living, we place our thoughts and strategies aside by praying every day for God’s Divine Intervention for guidance and protection.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me, you can do nothing.” —John 15:5

The word, “Abide” may be a mystery to us. What does it mean to abide in Christ? Self-reliance is not included in the Plan of Salvation. Throughout the Scriptures, we read that Jesus stayed connected to God by praying without ceasing. He always sought to do His Father’s will even unto death. To abide in Christ is to surrender ourselves and rely on Him through prayer and consecration.

Total Obedience is required to receive our crown and robe. We were created to be spiritually dependent on God. Without the human effort of staying connected to Jesus by surrendering ourselves in faith, trust, and obedience, we do not have a fighting chance of overcoming the temptations which are designed to make us sin. Pray to stay connected to Christ!

“If you love Me, keep my commandments.” —John 14:15

A relationship with Christ is based on love. And from our love for Him, we make a covenant to become a disciple. We are followers of a Savior who created us from love. Jesus was aware that Adam and Eve would fall. Yet because of His love for all of humanity, He gave His life—for us to overcome sin and live eternally with Him in the New Heaven and New Earth.

The Apostle Paul tells us, I die daily. And we must also commit to die daily to the sinful desires and temporary pleasures of this earthly life. To remain steadfast requires the strength of Jesus Christ. Our commitment is renewed every day through our prayer of surrender.

Starting the day off with God requires our first prayer to be one of surrendering to God’s will. In humility, we admit our weaknesses and ask for the anointing, power, presence, and guidance of the Holy Spirit. “Lord, I belong to You, please reveal Your will for me today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

The Holy Spirit gives us Divine strength to overcome covert temptations. Yet, we must put forth the effort to live holy and acceptable lives that are pleasing to the Lord by rejecting sin. Staying on the Path of Righteousness is not easy! Never limit the times you pray throughout the day and evening! We may have to pray several times a day to gain victory over sin. In prayer, present even the little things to Christ for His Divine guidance.

For today’s Christians, Satan is using another obstacle to prevent us from receiving our crown and robe. Worrying and feeling anxious about the declining status of our global economies distracts us and diminishes our faith in God. Violence, famine, social injustice, and climate change are not in our power to change.

This is our Father’s world! Biblical prophecies forewarn us of the changes which indicate we are moving forward toward Jesus’ Second Coming. Study Matthew chapter 24 and 2nd Timothy chapter 3.

Facing opposition is harder when our minds are overwhelmed with life’s challenges. Nor can we focus on Christ when constantly thinking about the pending status of the future. We do not have to watch or listen to every newscast. Yes, the global economy is failing. Without warning, we may lose our jobs and earthly possessions. Worrying about our lives and the future prevents preparation for eternal life. Jesus says, “Take no thought for tomorrow.”

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles [Unbelievers] seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:31-34).

Many lose out on their blessings of daily strength and the gift of peace because they are overthinking tomorrow, the next month, and the next year. Never allow the vicissitudes of life to make you lose sight of receiving your crown and robe. Verbalize your faith, “Today, I will have Victory through Christ!”

The Apostle James gives us wisdom on the downside of making plans for the future without God’s Divine blessings.

Do Not Boast About Tomorrow [The Sin of Presumption]

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow;’ we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil (James 4:13-16).

Two important aspects of living as a follower of Christ are our love for Him as demonstrated by our daily Prayer of Surrender and living day-by-day. The future belongs to God. Faithfully trust and obey the guidance of the Holy Spirit for this day.

Tomorrow is not promised to us. One future event requires intentional focus, preparation, and joyful anticipation—the Second Coming of King Jesus. Surrender and Faithful Obedience to Christ will be rewarded with a forever Crown and the Robe of Righteousness.

Scriptures: “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” —1 Corinthians 15:51-52

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” —1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” — James 1:12

Prayer: God, we are inundated with the worries of tomorrow. Lord, our faith is weak. We desperately need Your Divine Intervention to change our focus. Today, we surrender ourselves to You. We pray for the anointing, power, and presence of the Holy Spirit. Please give us peace and spiritual direction. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.

© 2023 Woman, You Are Loved by God Ministries

Think About It First

They say what the world needs is love, sweet love. Although I wholeheartedly agree, I would like to add another character trait that is in short supply and that is patience. Most of us are victims to the “hurry up with it, I have other things to do” mindset. Even so, I came across some profound advice, “Unless it is an emergency, think about it for at least 24 hours and the possible consequences that may follow from you making that decision.”

For the believer in God, every decision that we make is either for God or against God. Within that 24 hours, we must go to God in prayer and ask for His will. There are few absolutes in life. We can know this for sure that we can never hurry God. And there is one more absolute truth, every mistake that we have made in our lives is because we did not ask God or we did not wait for God’s answer.

And for those like myself who lack the virtue of patience, God has no problem letting us make the mistake. He knows that when we are drowning in the Sea of Consequences, we will pray the SMS–Save My Soul prayer. Thankfully, He forgives us with loving grace and mercies. Still, we may suffer the full impact from our disobedience.

Last night during worship, it was the Holy Spirit who taught me this profound fact of life. Every decision that you make is either for God or against God. The imagery was the train crossing with the flashing red lights with the barrier coming down warning of the pending train traveling at an unknown speed. I am thankful that our Heavenly Father’s love is overprotective.

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourself this day whom you will serve. Joshua 24:15

Prayer: God, we ask for forgiveness for excluding you from our lives. We are suffering the consequences of misguided decisions based on impatience. Please come to our rescue. We ask this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers Ministry

Receive Your Sabbath Blessings

God, we thank you for the blessing of the Sabbath day. We pray to receive peace as we extend agape Love to others. We pray for each individual that is in conflict regarding the 7th day Sabbath. We love you. Please accept our worship of humility and gratitude. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Witnessing that Jesus is Coming

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20

The Era of the Voices

The Christians of former years, Dr. Martin Luther King, Billy Graham, Robert W. Shambach, E. E. Cleveland, Charles E. Bradford, and Esther E. Johnson used their voices to preach God’s plan of Salvation for humanity. Certainly, there were many other obedient disciples, not limited to these men and woman of God, just identifying the persons who had an impact on my life. And in those days, Christian believers never had a worry, anxiety, or fear. No, we knew that it was our duty to God to have die-hard faith and complete, unwavering trust in God. And we believed and prepared every day for the Second Coming of Jesus. Back in the day, our voices were lifted with joy. Our priorities were to walk from door to door in the communities passing out tracts, inviting people to church, and witnessing to anyone, to everyone who would listen.

The Century of Silence

Now that we live in the last days and have the convenience of global social media platforms, we are silenced. Our voices shout in excitement for football games, and we use our high-tech skills to create visuals that defy our perception of reality. We stash our money away as we check our financial portfolios, contently sitting in our magnificent homes, smiling and telling ourselves, “Yes, you have done well for yourself.”

As the seconds become minutes that transition into days, we have reached the 21st century–the Last Days. Instead of the fervency that would be expected due to fulfillment of biblical prophecy, we have become the Church of Laodicea [Revelation 3]. Giving only to God what we think He deserves. Once or twice a week, we attend church, give tithe and offerings, or donate to non-profits like OXFAM, and we applaud ourselves because we feel, “at least I did my part in serving God.”

The Culprit Responsible for Silenced Voices

We console ourselves by blaming the pandemic. After all, we are in the second year of the pandemic that has ruined many of our plans. How can we safely witness to others? Yes, the Coronavirus and its variants are still attacking and consuming human life. But let us face the truth, we are still conducting our activities of daily living because life must move forward. Put on your mask, gloves, grab a handful of tracts, purchase low-cost Bibles, and do a walk-through up and down the supermarket aisles, or choose a Wal-Mart, or any store parking lot. We will never know who is despondent and planning to end their hopelessness. Doing our part by giving them a tract or Bible would change the course of their lives.

It is not just the duty of the dedicated Pastors who are preaching the biblical truth [with few members] to “feed the sheep.” The mega churches have their agenda which rarely matches that of God’s divine purpose. Accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior includes an obligation. “The Great Commission,” is a requirement that all disciples of Jesus Christ must fulfill. Using our social media is an excellent method to spread the Good News that a Savior died: His name is Jesus, and He will give you a peaceful life. He has plans of immortality in a New Heaven and New Earth. Read John 14:1-3 and Revelation chapters 21-22. Yes, the scoffers will readily post their comments attempting to sabotage and make you feel defeated. Use the tool, Delete and Block. And keep going!

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Turn up the Volume! Lift up your voice and proclaim the precious gift of Salvation. Tell them the Son of God, Jesus Christ who wore a crown of thorns is coming back this time with a crown of majesty and glory as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Let us do our part and the Holy Spirit will complete the work in every person that accepts the Jesus as their personal Savior.

Prayer: God, we have lost our desire to serve you as a dedicated disciple. We ask for forgiveness for giving so little of ourselves. Please reveal to us the plan and purpose that you have for our lives so we may witness to others. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers Ministry