- ReadJoin In
August 9, 2022
Romans 15:30-33 NIV
“I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there, so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed. The God of peace be with you all. Amen.”
Intercession is supernatural, therefore it can do many different things. It would be inaccurate for us to get one picture of what intercession looks like, how it’s accomplished, and what it gets done. In Romans 15 and in just about all of Paul’s letters we can find a prayer request. Paul was constantly asking for prayer. In his request, he doesn’t ask his readers to do something for him. He doesn’t ask them to pray because he doesn’t have faith or has run out of strength. When Paul requests prayer, he asks the readers to join him. He’s already praying. He’s already stepping into the supernatural to carry out the task Jesus gave him, but because of the scope of that task, he invites others to join him.
When you ask someone to pray for you and with you, it takes humility. Sometimes in our pride, we don’t want anyone to know what we’re going through, so we keep quiet. And because of that we walk alone, and it may take us longer to get to the place God has promised us. Intercession can also be seen as walking beside someone right up to the Throne of Grace. Agreement is simply that. Agreeing. We can join our faith with our sisters and brothers in Christ agreeing that the Word of God is powerful and active, and what they are in need of has been supplied through Jesus’ sacrifice. Intercession is encouragement for those that are standing in faith on the promise God gave them. Intercession is covering them with our shields of faith as they run past the fiery darts of the evil one to get into the Throne Room of God. So as you pray today, remember to join in with those that trusted you with a request. Join in with those who stood in need of prayer on Sunday, and as you pray, see yourself walking beside someone, or covering someone with your faith. See your prayer as actively working on behalf of others. Remember, this is supernatural.
Thank You Lord for the privilege of praying today. Show me who needs my agreement or support today. Show me who needs to be covered with my shield of faith as they pray and walk in faith. Thank you for making me righteous and causing my prayers to be powerful and effective. In Jesus’ Name…
Deidra B. Johnson, PhD
August 8, 2022
Ezekiel 22:29-30 NIV
“The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice. “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.”
Our theme this month at TCM is Intercession. Pastor Eric gave several definitions of intercession yesterday. Here are two that stood out to me. Intercession is the action of intervening on behalf of another. It is prayer in favor of another. Intercession puts the person we are praying for in front of God. It is an action in and of itself, and when we intercede for others, the Lord will show us what actions we need to take in the natural. Our natural actions could not have success without our supernatural intercession.
In Ezekial we see that their world is much like ours. Extortion, robbery, oppression, mistreatment and denial of justice can be found in our society. If God was looking for someone to stand in the gap back then, He probably would appreciate it if He could find someone to stand in the gap today. That’s what Abraham did on behalf of Sodom. It didn’t save the city, but it did save his relative. Instead of talking about the state of our society and living in fear of the next awful thing, we could use the power that God has given us and intercede. As you pray, see yourself literally carrying that person, situation, institution or cause right up to the feet of Jesus. He has already torn the veil, so we can approach the Throne of God boldly. And this time, we’re coming on behalf of someone else. Are you concerned about the school year? Intercede. Stand in the gap. Close off the opening for the enemy to enter in. Are you concerned about violence in your neighborhood or city? Intercede. When we pray, we step in supernaturally. We cause the Lord’s attention to come to that space, and we know that Jesus told us that if we ask anything in His name the Father would do it. Intercede today. Ask for safety, success, and provision. Pray for salvation and deliverance. You know where the gaps are. Step in and stand before the Lord on their behalf.
Thank You Lord for this awesome privilege to intercede. I want to stand in the gap today. There are people and situations on my heart that I lift to you today. I pray for Back to School across the nation and for safety in our cities. Open my eyes to the gaps so that I can pray. I ask for Your Kingdom to come and Your will to be done in all of these situations. In Jesus’ Name…
Deidra B. Johnson, PhD
- ReadBless the Lord!
August 5, 2022
Bless the Lord , O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The month of August is the eight month and the number eight represents new beginnings, and at the end of the first week of August, I want to take some time to praise God. He is doing new things in us and for us. We have new opportunities, new understandings, new cars, and some of us will soon have a new address! We have started new jobs, and after Camp Meeting we have a new outlook. It is the start of a new school year that will have new experiences for those going off to college or simply entering a new grade. So let’s bless the Lord. All of the good we are experiencing is because of His great love for us.
If you can’t perceive the new things God is doing in this season, you still have reasons to praise. Go to verse one and and allow the Psalmist to remind you of the benefits you have because of the Lord. We are forgiven, healed, redeemed, and satisfied. We have been given good things and our youth is renewed, and that’s just the beginning. God is good to us and His goodness is running after us! So as you move into the weekend, and our last weekend of summer, bless the Lord. He is good!
God, I praise You because You are good. You have been good to me. Thank You for every good thing in my life. Thank You for every good experience. Thank You for the good that I will experience this weekend. Thank You for the new opportunities You are preparing for me. I bless You with everything in me. All of my praise belongs to You, and I want to continue to live in your goodness. In Jesus’ Name…
Deidra B. Johnson, PhD
August 4, 2022
Isaiah 43:19 NIV
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
We know that the Lord is the Creator. We know that He causes things to work on our behalf. We know that He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. We know that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is the same Creator. He is the same one working on our behalf. Over the years the church has sometimes fallen into a rut of believing God will only work one way or God will only show up one way or God will only save or deliver one way. Sometimes we actually say it, and other times we show what we believe with our actions or even our order of service. Do we believe that God could save someone before we get to the altar appeal part of the service? Do we believe God will show up if we alter the way we do things? Do we believe we can only honor God by doing the same thing the same way we’ve been doing it for 50 years?
In the book of Isaiah God asks if we perceive what He is doing. When you perceive something you are aware of it. You understand or realize what’s going on. God has continued to do a new thing since the time of the prophet Isaiah. The question is do we perceive it? Are we aware of the nuances of His Spirit? We sing songs like, “Holy Spirit Thou art welcome in this place”, but what are we welcoming Him to do? Are we open to the Holy Spirit? Reading through the book of Acts, when He shows up He does things His way and none of them fit an order of service I’ve ever seen. He showed up at Cornelius house and Peter was still preaching his little sermon. Before the people could pray a prayer or go get baptized they were baptized in the Holy Spirit, praising God and speaking in tongues. (Romans 10) Would you welcome Him if He came like that? Would you be aware of God doing a new thing or would you fuss and fight about how that’s not right because you’ve never done it that way before? If you want to be a follower of Christ you have to follow Him into new experiences. If you don’t go where He leads, then you’re being disobedient. The new things of God are springing up all over. We need a new thing from God to be able to bring the Kingdom of God to this generation. If you are not perceiving it, then ask God to show You what He’s up to today.
Lord, I don’t ever want to be stuck in yesterday’s blessing. I thank You for it, but if You provided fresh manna for disobedient children in the wilderness under the Old Covenant, I know you have something fresh and new for me as I walk in obedience to You. Have Your way in my life. Help me perceive what You’re doing today so that I can join in with You. In Jesus’ Name…
Deidra B. Johnson, PhD
- ReadSteadfast Love
August 3, 2022
Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Jeremiah penned these words when his heart was breaking. Life would never be the same for him or his nation. God’s people had disobeyed Him and were paying the consequence by being uprooted and displaced in another country, yet in the midst of that heartbreak we find these words. In the middle of a lament are words of praise.
The Christian life is not about living from one sad thing to another until we get to Heaven. It is not about living through the many afflictions waiting on deliverance or expecting the next trouble to come our way. The Christian life is a new way of living on earth. It is about being more than a conqueror and knowing that all things work together for your good. It is understanding that Jesus Christ always leads us into victory, and when we know that we can stand in the middle of a hard time and declare the truth about the steadfast love of the Lord. The truth is we always win. The hard times and afflictions are simply deceptions and distractions to try to get our eyes off the One who is always faithful. You may have a heavy heart today or you may have a joyful heart. It really doesn’t matter. What matters is that the love of the Lord never ceases. He will never stop being faithful, so today we are either speaking that in faith or shouting it in thanksgiving. Here’s the scripture in a song so that you can carry it in your heart all day long.
Thank You Lord for loving me and being faithful. In the circumstance I am in today I declare that Your love never ceases and that You are faithful to me. I love You and I trust that Your will is being done in my life and that You are causing good to happen on my behalf. I love You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name…
Deidra B. Johnson, PhD
- ReadThe Love Acts of God
August 2, 2022
Romans 6:4 TPT
Sharing in his death by our baptism means that we were co-buried with him, so that when the Father’s glory raised Christ from the dead, we were also raised with him. We have been co-resurrected with him so that we could be empowered to walk in the freshness of new life.
Why did Jesus go to the cross? Why did He die? Why was He raised from the dead? According to Paul, it was all for us. The Gospel is very personal. Yes, God did so love the world that He sent His Son, but this was not a general delivery. God did not send Jesus hoping to save who He could. His love for us has always been personal. When God so loved the world, He loved each and every individual for all time. God’s love is so large, yet so personal that it goes beyond our comprehension. The reason God can do that is because He is love. Love does not exist without God. It is His nature, His make up. He could not stop loving if He tried.
And what is even more interesting is the way God demonstrates His love. The Gospel is all about the love acts of God, and when God acts through His love, He empowers. Remember what Paul told Timothy? “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7. God didn’t love us to make us fearful or timid. Out of His love He gave us His Spirit which always has power, love and a sound mind accompanying Him. Jesus brought the Kingdom of God here to earth. He preached for years saying the Kingdom of God was here, and now He has empowered us to live in this new kind of life. This Kingdom life. For the next few days we will spend some time in Matthew chapters 5-7 looking at the instructions Jesus gave us to live in this new life. As you look into the Word remember that it is all to empower you for life, not restrict you. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand and receive what God has given you and then have enough courage to go and live it.
God, Thank You for loving me with all my flaws and failures. Thank You for loving me enough to change me and give me the opportunity for Your way of life. Holy Spirit, I ask You for more understanding. I want to see what You have for me, and I want to have the courage to live it out every day. In Jesus’ Name…
Deidra B. Johnson, PhD
- ReadNewness of Life
August 1, 2022
Romans 6:4 English Standard Version
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
I remember learning a song at Youth Camp. The words were, “I want to be a follower of Christ. I want to be one of His disciples. I want to walk in the newness of life, just let me be a follower of Christ.” That phrase, “the newness of life stands out.” What is the newness of life? How do we walk in the newness of life? Well, it’s apparent that the song came straight from the verse. Paul connects it to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. That’s the Gospel. The Gospel’s end result is the ability to walk in the newness of life.
When we volunteer to put to death the we way we see life and the way we have experienced life for God’s kind of life, we are resurrected like Jesus into this new way of life. The Amplified says that we, “might [habitually] live and behave in newness of life.” Our habit becomes living and behaving in a new way. We move from living like everyone else to living by faith. We live to expect the supernatural. We do things God’s way. We live, “not my will, Your will be done.” When we become a disciple of Christ we have access to the newness of life. Are you ready to habitually live in a new way?
Lord, I want to follow You and be Your disciple. Teach me about the newness of life. I want Your way of life to be the way I live habitually. I want to walk by faith and live supernaturally. I want to be Your instrument in this world as You cause Your Kingdom to come and Your will to be done. In Jesus’ Name…
Deidra B. Johnson, PhD
- ReadQuietness and Confidence
July 29, 2022
The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
Take a moment and think about how you have experienced the Lord and what you have learned from the Lord this month. We took time to prepare ourselves for a powerful time at Camp Meeting. We poured in the Word of God and set our expectations in faith. We fasted and prayed and God did not disappoint. Not only were we blessed, but there are reports of people that were blessed around the country. Our worship service at TCM was dynamic and powerful. We have been refreshed! This week I’ve been meditating on the word confidence, and I want to wrap up this week and this month with this scripture.
Here Isaiah refers to “that” righteousness. I encourage you to go and read the whole chapter, but this is talking about the righteousness of God. This righteousness shows up after the Spirit is poured on us from on high (verse 15). I would definitely say that we had that experience at Camp Meeting and at church on Sunday. A result of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit is righteousness. We know that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21). Isaiah is letting us know that there is fruit that comes from that righteousness. When we live as the righteousness of God, when we live doing things the way God declares is right, there is fruit. There is evidence that we are in right standing. The evidence that you are the righteousness of God is peace. Live righteously and peace has to show up. How do you know peace is there? Because there’s a quietness or calmness all around your life and your heart regardless of the chaos going on, and you have confidence. There is no expiration date on any of these qualities. We get them forever. So choose to live as the righteous. Be right. Do Right. Please God. And for those of you that have been doing this, go look for your evidence. I guarantee that peace and all of its effects have been surrounding your life. Praise God for His faithfulness!
Thank You Lord for Your righteousness. I know that mine was like a filthy rag. Lord, I don’t want to just know churchy words like righteousness. I want to live them and see the benefits of them. Teach me to live like the righteous every day. Thank You for the peace that comes from that position. Thank you for quietness and confidence in my life today. In Jesus’ Name…
Deidra B. Johnson, PhD
- ReadComplete Confidence
July 28, 2022
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
I can be confident that if God started a good work in me, then until Jesus comes back, He will work that work in me. What is the foundation of that confidence that God is working a good work in me? Well, John 14:12-14 says, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.“ That’s the foundation. Jesus Himself said that we would do even greater things then He did. Jesus has a vested interest in the good work that we do because we are working on His behalf, and we can ask Him for whatever we need to do the work.
As believers, we yield ourselves to Jesus, so the work we do is not for us or about us. Everything in our lives is about Christ. When we make that commitment, He starts working in us and He causes His will to be done through us. When we get a task from Jesus whether it is to start a new church, care for the homeless population, or simply be kind to the cashier at Walmart, we can be confident that He will make sure that task is completed. He will work in us and through us, we simply need to yield to His Spirit and His will. When we live like that we can be confident.
Jesus, I believe Your promises. I yield myself to You and to Your will. Thank You for working in me and through me to cause Your Kingdom to come here on this earth. I declare that I am confident because You are carrying out your work through me. In Jesus’ Name…
Deidra B. Johnson, PhD
- ReadSee the Goodness of God
July 27, 2022
Psalms 27:13 NIV
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. '
Have you ever wondered how David got this kind of confidence? How could he be so confident that he would see the goodness of the LORD in this world? Let’s explore a few reasons David gives us for his confidence. Psalms 27 starts with, “The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?” Did you notice the way LORD is spelled? Whenever it is written in all capital letters it is a translation of the Hebrew word Yahweh, the name of God. In English we say Jehovah. So, the first reason for David’s confidence is that he knows God by name. He doesn’t just know about Him, he knows Him.
David then describes his relationship. Yahweh is the light, salvation and stronghold of David’s life. David recognized that he could only see when God was his light. He chose to live there in the light of God. He declares God as his salvation, not just his savior. Even though David didn’t have the benefits of the New Covenant, he understood that the work Jesus came to do wasn’t just to be our savior, but to allow us to live out salvation. Salvation is all about living in the Kingdom of God while we’re here on earth. Salvation provides peace, deliverance, healing, and provision. It doesn’t matter if we claim Jesus as our savior if we refuse to have Him as our salvation, if we refuse to live out salvation. David also knew God as his protection, the stronghold of his life. This is such a reality to David that he’s not afraid of anyone. If we know the LORD the way David did, then we can live everyday with the same confidence. We will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Lord, I want to know you. I want to experience you so that I can have the same confidence David did. I want to live in your goodness here on earth, so reveal Yourself to me. Help me know You better. In Jesus’ Name…
Deidra B. Johnson, PhD