Whyte House Family Devotions #356 (05/12/18): “He Changes Us,” by Billy Graham


My family and I have had morning devotions, or family altar as some people call it, every day ever since my wife, Meriqua, and I were married 30 years ago. We have prayed and read the Bible together as well as other devotional books as a family, and it is the only reason why this family has stayed together, and the only reason why God has blessed our family and used our family in ministry all of these years. We read Ephesians 5 and 6 every morning as it relates to the role of each member of the family and how that we need to put on the whole armor of God to fight against the devil who is seeking to destroy our family and all Christian families, churches, and Christians. So, now after 30 years of doing this in our home, we are opening this up to others who don’t have a family to pray with, who don’t have a spouse, or who are single by choice, and to encourage all families who are still intact to go back to the family altar and have devotions together every morning. In these devotions, you may hear me deal with a temptation I’m facing in my life, you may hear me rebuke my wife about not doing what she should be doing, or you may hear me get on one of my children’s cases about something they’re doing. Don’t be shocked; this is real life.

SING “DOXOLOGY”

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here below
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost
Amen

Billy Graham said, “Life can become unbalanced, and in the process God gets pushed to the fringes. Instead of staying at the center of our lives, Christ gradually gets relegated to the shadows. Don’t let this happen to you!”

——

RECITE: THE NEW NICENE CREED

We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made;
of the same essence as the Father.

Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
and was made human.

He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered, bled, died, and was buried.
The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
He was seen alive by Mary Magdalene and the other women, the disciples and over 500 other brethren;
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again with glory
to judge the living and the dead.
His kingdom will never end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life.
He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
He spoke through the prophets.

We believe in one holy universal and apostolic church.
We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and to life in the world to come. Amen.

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EPHESIANS 6:12-13

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stephen J. Cole writes in his commentary on this passage: “Paul emphasizes the spiritual authority and power of these foes. He calls them ‘rulers,’ ‘powers,’ ‘world forces of darkness,’ and ‘spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places.’ His repetition of the word ‘against’ in each case underscores the complete incompatibility and the entrenched opposition between these evil powers and God’s people. The spiritual authority of these demonic powers is indicated in an incident in the life of the prophet Daniel, in which an angel told him that he would have arrived sooner, but ‘the prince of the kingdom of Persia’ had withstood him for three weeks. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, had come to his aid. This story gives us a brief glimpse into the unseen world of angelic conflict. Apparently certain demons have authority over entire nations or kingdoms. They are so powerful that even this impressive angel could not break through until he received help from Michael, the archangel! The story of Job also shows that Satan has the power to instigate murderous terrorist attacks; to send lightning to hit specific targets; to send a tornado force wind on a particular house; and, to strike a man with painful boils all over his body. He could have killed Job if God had so permitted. You don’t want to mess with this powerful enemy or underestimate his strength!”

——-

PRAYER

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DEVOTIONAL PASSAGE: Psalm 139:13-16

13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Regarding this passage, Matthew Henry writes: “The believer cannot be removed from the supporting, comforting presence of his Almighty Friend. Should the persecutor take his life, his soul will the sooner ascend to heaven. The grave cannot separate his body from the love of his Saviour, who will raise it a glorious body. No outward circumstances can separate him from his Lord. While in the path of duty, he may be happy in any situation, by the exercise of faith, hope, and prayer.”

———

PRAYER FOR THE ESTATES
1. Family
2. Clergy (church)
3. Government
4. People (citizens)
5. The press (media)
6. New media/Online journalists

PRAYER FOR THE FAMILY

PRAYER FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP

GOVERNMENT LEADERS

1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

President Donald Trump and his administration
Vice President Mike Pence
First Lady Melania Trump
Second Lady Karen Pence
All White House staff including: Special Counsel to the President Ann M. Donaldson
All leaders of federal agencies including: United States Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa
All state governors including: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
All city mayors including: Crescent City, FL, Mayor Joseph Santa
All members of Congress including: Florida Representative Ted Yoho
All law enforcement officials including: Crescent City, FL, Police Chief Angelo Damiano
All military leaders including: Defense Secretary James Mattis / Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley
Leaders of nations around the world including: The Netherlands King Willem-Alexander and Prime Minister Mark Rutte
The peace of Jerusalem

PRAYER FOR THE PEOPLE / CITIZENS

PRAYER FOR THE MEDIA

PRAYER FOR CURRENT EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD

– For the comfort of the families of 7 people killed in a mass shooting in Australia
– For the safety of the people of Kenya who are suffering from extreme flooding; for the comfort of the families of those who have been killed
– For the safety and protection of the people of Congo where a new ebola outbreak has been reported.

PRAYER REQUESTS

Rajiv
please bless their ministry to children who lost their parents to HIV and bless the church planting outreach, school, widows ministry, Gospel meetings, pastors conference, and social work; enable them to reach all of Odisha state with the Gospel and turn all of India to You

Bhima
please provide them with the money they need to build orphanages and plant churches; bless the seminary students and teachers with all that they need

Bushebi
Please bless the reopening of their Bible school and protect the students; protect and provide for the people suffering in Kenya and Somalia because of floods; help Timothy to recover completely

THOSE WHO HAVE ACCEPTED CHRIST AS SAVIOR

Frank
Joshua
Lucas

THOSE WHO HAVE RECOMMITTED THEIR LIVES TO CHRIST

Anne
Celestino
Bryce

DEVOTIONAL READING: “He Changes Us,” by Billy Graham

Ephesians 6:19 says, “That I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.”

“The word ‘mystery’ means beyond human knowledge or understanding. God’s mysteries baffle the unbelieving, but bless the believer. The mystery of righteousness, like some of the other great mysteries of God, we cannot comprehend, but we know it works. We stand amazed at this great mystery which enables God to change the human heart, its attitudes, its desires, and its nature.

“God, a holy God, who loves righteousness and hates wickedness, through a process of redemption has refashioned us in the image of Himself. How marvelous! For generations He has been applying His righteousness to the hearts of men. Even in our time, with its complexities of living, God is in the business of changing men and women by the mystery of righteousness.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Until next time, May the Lord Bless You!

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