In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him. -1 Samuel 18:14
2016 - 2017 Awards Devotional
Isaiah 43:1-2 Israel’s Only Savior
1 But now, this is what the Lord says he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
Matthew 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Mark 9:23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.”
1Corinthians 9:24-27 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we van imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
1Timothy 4:8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
1Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Hebrews 12:11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Proverbs 25:27 It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.
Romans 5:3-5 (3) And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; (5) and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Psalm 71:14-16 (14) But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. (15)My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. (16) With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (1)If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (2) And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (3) If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Colossians 1:11-12 (11) being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you have great endurance and patience, (12) and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his people in the kingdom of light.
James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test , that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.
Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Proverbs 3:5,6,7,8 (5)Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (6) in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (7) Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. (8) It will be healing to your flesh[b] and refreshment[c] to your bones.
John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
John 14:15 If you love me, keep my commands.
1 John 4:4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
John 6:40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
Matthew 22:37-39 (37) Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ " (38) This is the first and greatest commandment. (39) And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Love in Action
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Phillipians 4:4-8 Final Exhortations
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
THE 49 Commands of Christ
John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
Keeping the commands of Jesus begins with recognizing what they are. Following is a collection of 49 of Jesus’ commands. As you read through them, ask God to help you observe these words, apply them, and faithfully follow them throughout your lifetime.
1. Repent (Matthew 4:17)- “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”.
2. Follow Me (Matthew 4:19)- 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” .
3. Rejoice (Matthew 5:11–12)- 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
4. Let Your Light Shine (Matthew 5:16)- 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[b]they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
5. Honor God’s Law (Matthew 5:17)- 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
6. Be Reconciled (Matthew 5:23–25)- “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift”.
7. Do Not Lust (Matthew 5:28–30)- 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
8. Keep Your Word (Matthew 5:37)- 7 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
9. Go the Second Mile (Matthew 5:38–42)- 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic,[h] let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
10. Love Your Enemies (Matthew 5:44–46)- 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers,[i] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
11. Be Perfect (Matthew 5:46–48)- 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers,[i] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
12. Practice Secret Disciplines (Matthew 6:1–18)- “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
The Lord's Prayer
5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray,go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.[a] 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done,[b] on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread,[c] 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.[d]
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret.And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
13. Lay Up Treasures (Matthew 6:19–21)- 19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[e] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
14. Seek God’s Kingdom (Matthew 6:33)- 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
15. Judge Not (Matthew 7:1–3)- “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
16. Do Not Cast Pearls (Matthew 7:6)- 6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
17. Ask, Seek, Knock (Matthew 7:7–8)- 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
18. Do Unto Others (Matthew 7:12)- 12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
19. Choose the Narrow Way (Matthew 7:13–14)- 13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
20. Beware of False Prophets (Matthew 7:15–16) A Tree and Its Fruit- 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
21. Pray for Laborers (Matthew 9:37–38)- 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
22. Be Wise as Serpents (Matthew 10:16)- 16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
23. Fear Not (Matthew 10:28)- 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
24. Hear God’s Voice (Matthew 11:15)- 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
25. Take My Yoke (Matthew 11:28–30)- 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
26. Honor Your Parents (Matthew 15:4)- 4 For God commanded,‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’
27. Beware of Leaven (Matthew 16:6)- 6 Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
28. Deny Yourself (Luke 9:23–25)- 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?
29. Despise Not Little Ones (Matthew 18:10)- 10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
30. Go to Offenders (Matthew 18:15–17)- 15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
31. Beware of Covetousness (Luke 12:15)- 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
32. Forgive Offenders (Matthew 18:21–22)- 21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
33. Honor Marriage (Matthew 19:4–6)- 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said,‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
34. Be a Servant (Matthew 20:26–28)- 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,[c] 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,[d] 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
35. Be a House of Prayer (Matthew 21:13)- 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
36. Ask in Faith (Matthew 21:21–22)- 21 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
37. Bring In the Poor (Luke 14:12–14)- 12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers[b] or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
38. Render to Caesar (Matthew 22:19–21)- 19 Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20 And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21 They said, “Caesar's.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.”
39. Love the Lord (Matthew 22:37–38)- 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.
40. Love Your Neighbor (Matthew 22:39–40)- 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
41. Await My Return (Matthew 24:42–44)- 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
42. Take, Eat, and Drink (Matthew 26:26–28)- 26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the[c] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.”
43. Be Born Again (John 3:5–7)- 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
44. Keep My Commandments (John 14:15)- 15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
45. Watch and Pray (Matthew 26:41)- 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
46. Feed My Sheep (John 21:15–16)- 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
47. Make & Baptize my Disciples (Matthew 28:19-20)- 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
48. Receive God’s Power (Luke 24:49)- “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high”
49. Let your heart not be Troubled- 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”