Day 24 Devotional Before United Prayer: (about 2:19 min reading)
The 1888 Message
The 1888 message was a message of righteousness by faith. It called God’s people to look to Christ for pardon, complete justification, and full sanctified obedience to God’s law through Christ’s power. The believer was to have Christ’s righteousness imputed to their account and declared righteous by God. Also, believers were to have Christ’s righteousness imparted to their daily lives as they learned how to let Christ live out His life in them. The early-rain baptism of the Holy Spirit would do its work in preparation for the latter rain of the Spirit.
As you come to understand and experience this blessed truth of righteousness by faith, you will be allowing Jesus to live out His life in you every moment of every day. The victory is His. You are simply choosing to let Him manifest His virtues in and through you. That is your part—to choose, to give your will to God concerning a particular temptation. Yet, you are always free to not make that choice and focus on the temptation. When that happens, the sinful desire is conceived and will bring forth the sin (James 1:14-15).
Victory over Bitterness
Perhaps someone has hurt you deeply. Sometimes in such situations we can experience what I call a “dark pleasure” by holding onto the anger and choosing not to forgive him or her. We feel that he or she don’t deserve to be forgiven for the terrible thing he or she did to us. However, the Christian knows that God commands us to forgive those who have wronged us (Mark 11:25-26) and to love them (Matthew 5:44). It is for our own good that we forgive. Holding onto anger and not forgiving someone is like taking poison and waiting for the person we are angry at to die. Anger, bitterness, and lack of forgiveness will ultimately destroy us spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
Because of our sinful nature, the reality is that we are unable to forgive and love our enemies. We may do it intellectually, but our pride and selfishness will not allow us to forgive from the heart. In these cases, the same principle of deliverance must be followed. Jesus got the victory over the temptation not to forgive and His victory can be ours. Jesus was also victorious over the temptation not to love those who abused Him. This victory can also be ours as well.
How can we allow Jesus to live out in our lives forgiveness and love toward someone who has hurt us deeply? Let’s use the example of a person named Jim who has hurt you. You can simply say, “Lord, I am a sinner and cannot forgive Jim or love him. So I give up trying. I ask You to manifest Your forgiveness and love toward Jim through me. I trust You, and rest in the fact that You are doing this right now. Thank You Lord for the forgiveness and love you are manifesting in me at this very moment.”
If you do this, you will experience Jesus’s forgiveness and love in your heart. This will happen without any struggle to gain the victory. Remember, the victory was already gained by Christ’s perfect life and death on the cross. You simply have to choose to allow Jesus to manifest His victory in and through you, and believe that He will. I can also say from experience that you will feel the compassion of Jesus for the person you are asking Him to forgive and love through you. You will feel within yourself the desire to pray for him or her and perhaps even with tears. In this manner, Jesus’s character, love, and virtues become an integral part of your life.
In the case of forgiving someone who has hurt you deeply you may have to follow the instruction in the previous paragraph whenever that person comes to your mind. Also, it is essential you not think about or talk about what they did to you. It may take some time for the full forgiveness and love of Jesus to manifest in your heart toward that person. However, if you continue to look to Jesus for His victory to be manifest in your life it will happen. You will come to the point that whenever you think of that person or saw them you would feel no animosity toward them, and if you heard that something bad happened to them you would feel sad for them.
Choose and believe—that is the Christian’s part in obtaining the victory over every temptation and sin. Choosing means we give God our will on any given temptation. Where most Christians err is that they think giving God their will means they are to also exert their “will power” in order to obey. We are to give our will and let God provide the power by Christ living in us and manifesting His righteousness in and through us. We have a “will,” but we don’t have the “power” in and of ourselves to be victorious.
Day 24 Prayer Focus: Pray for
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
- Revival for yourself and the church
- God to lead the church to understand and experience complete victory over temptation through faith in Christ’s righteous obedience in your life
- Those on your prayer list
Day 24 Going Deeper Discussion Questions: (based on pages 80 to 83 of “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith [pages 100 to 103 of the PDF version])
- True or False: We are able to love and forgive our enemies.
- How do we allow Jesus to help us forgive and love someone who hurt us?
- What is the role of righteousness by Faith? What choice must you make in claiming victory moment-by-moment and day by day? (Page 101)
- According to the author, what is the ‘dark pleasure’ we sometimes experience when someone hurts or injures us? (Page 101)
- Read Mark 11:25-26, Matthew 5:44. What is God’s command regarding those who have hurt us? (Page 101)
- Why is holding on to unforgiveness so dangerous to the believer’s health spiritually, emotionally, and physically? What may be the ultimate consequence of holding on to bitterness? (Page 101)
- How can we allow Jesus to live out forgiveness in our lives and to love someone who has hurt us? (Page 101)
- What is the benefit of not thinking nor talking about the evil deeds of others towards you? (Page 102)
Day 24 Heart preparation/challenge:
- Throughout the day ask God to remind you what He is speaking to you in today’s reading and going deeper discussions and to help you to apply them in your life.
- Read “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith pages 83 to 86 (pages 103 to 106 of the PDF file) in preparation for Day 25.
- Prayerfully answer Day 25 discussion questions in preparation to share on Day 25 Going Deeper segment of united prayer.