Irenaeus – Deliverance, Prophecy, Healing, and Resurrection in the Early Church

Irenaeus – Deliverance, Prophecy, Healing, and Resurrection in the Early Church

The Daily Devocast brings you daily encouragement. Today’s devotional message Deliverance, Prophecy, Healing, and Resurrection in the Early Church comes from Chapter XXXII of Irenæus Against Heresies Book II, which can be found in volume I of the Ante-Nicene Fathers.

Today’s reading comes from Irenaeus, a Greek bishop who lived circa 130 – 202 AD. He is best known for the development of Christian theology by combating heresy and defining the bounds of orthodoxy.

Irenaeus

This selection on signs and wonders in the early church comes from Chapter XXXII of Irenæus Against Heresies Book II, which can be found in volume I of the Ante-Nicene Fathers.

“Wherefore, also, those who are in truth His disciples, receiving grace from Him, do in His name perform [miracles], so as to promote the welfare of other men, according to the gift which each one has received from Him. For some do certainly and truly drive out devils, so that those who have thus been cleansed from evil spirits frequently both believe [in Christ], and join themselves to the Church. Others have foreknowledge of things to come: they see visions, and utter prophetic expressions. Others still, heal the sick by laying their hands upon them, and they are made whole. Yea, moreover, as I have said, the dead even have been raised up, and remained among us for many years. And what shall I more say? It is not possible to name the number of the gifts which the Church, [scattered] throughout the whole world, has received from God, in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and which she exerts day by day for the benefit of the Gentiles, neither practising deception upon any, nor taking any reward from them [on account of such miraculous interpositions]. For as she has received freely from God, freely also does she minister [to others].”

Prayer: Father, we read of numerous signs and wonders in the Bible and in the early church, but we don’t see them as often today. We continue to cry out for another great outpouring of your Spirit and pray that you’d empower us by your Spirit to move in deliverance, prophecy, healing, and resurrection to put on display the truth of the gospel and the advancement of your kingdom to the world around us. Amen.

Action Step: I know some of you have been told that the Holy Spirit is no longer active today and that the gifts of the Spirit were for a different era. If that is your belief, my challenge to you today is to leave a part of your heart and mind open to the possibility that your belief is wrong. If God’s people moved in signs and wonders by His Spirit in days past, why would it be any different today? Spend a few minutes alone with God today and ask Him to help you see more clearly His plan to use signs and wonders in our day. Write what He shows you in your journal.

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Arnobius of Sicca – The Worldwide Impact of the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit

Arnobius of Sicca – The Worldwide Impact of the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit

The Daily Devocast brings you daily encouragement. Today’s devotional message The Worldwide Impact of the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit comes from volume VI of the Ante-Nicene Fathers.

Arnobius of Sicca

Arnobius of Sicca

Today’s reading comes from Arnobius of Sicca, an early Christian apologist who lived from 255 – 330 AD. It is said that he was converted to faith in Christ through a dream.

This selection on the evangelistic impact of God’s power being dispersed across the globe comes from volume VI of the Ante-Nicene Fathers.

“Christ’s virtues have been made manifest to you, along with that unheard-of power…that was used over the whole world by those who proclaimed Him. It has subdued the fires of passion and caused races, peoples, and nations that are most diverse in character to hasten with one accord to accept the same faith. For the deeds can be listed and numbered that have been done in India, as well as among the Seres, Persians, and Medes.” (Arnobius, c. 305, ANF 6.438)

Prayer: God we turn our eyes to heaven and cry out for another great Holy Spirit outpouring. Unlock all of the spiritual gifts available to our generation and make flowing in the supernatural a normal part of our daily Christian walk. Amen.

Action Step: I want you to spend some time today asking God to give you an understanding of what He wants to accomplish in this generation. Find a quiet place and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a clear picture of the work of God that is unfolding both outside your front door and across the globe. Ask God to show you the part you get to play in all of it. Be sure to write down any visions or anything you sense or feel God is telling you in your journal.

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Ignatius of Antioch – The Holy Spirit Points Us to Christ

Ignatius of Antioch – The Holy Spirit Points Us to Christ

The Daily Devocast brings you daily encouragement. Today’s devotional message The Holy Spirit Points Us to Christ comes from Chapter IX of The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians.

Today’s reading comes from Ignatius of Antioch who lived circa 35 AD to either 108 or 140 AD. He is best known for serving as the third bishop of Antioch and for a series of letters he wrote that became an important part of the collection of early Christian writings known as the Apostolic Fathers. Multiple sources indicate that he died a martyr, being torn apart by lions in the Roman arena.

Ignatius of Antioch

Painting of Ignatius of Antioch from the Menologion of Basil II (c. 1000 AD)

This selection on the Holy Spirit is found in Chapter IX of The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians.

But the Holy Spirit does not speak His own things, but those of Christ, and that not from himself, but from the Lord; even as the Lord also announced to us the things that He received from the Father. For, says He, “the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s, who sent Me.” (John 14:24) And says He of the Holy Spirit, “He shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever things He shall hear from Me.” (John 16:13) And He says of Himself to the Father, “I have,” says He, “glorified Thee upon the earth; I have finished the work which, Thou gavest Me; I have manifested Thy name to men.” (John 17:4, 6) And of the Holy Ghost, “He shall glorify Me, for He receives of Mine.” (John 16:14)

Prayer: Holy Spirit, we ask that your presence would become more apparent to each of us today. Speak to us about the things of Christ, making His work in our lives bigger, brighter, and more beautiful. Amen.

Action Step: I want you to spend some time today developing a greater comfort level with the Holy Spirit. Find a quiet place and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you in a new way. Write down anything you feel, sense, hear, or experience in your journal.

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Psalm 3:8 – Victory Begets More Victory

Psalm 3:8 – Victory Begets More Victory

The Daily Devocast brings you daily encouragement from God’s word. Today’s devotional message Victory Begets More Victory is based on Psalm 3:8.

Victory comes from the Lord—may he bless his people.

(Good News Translation, Psalm 3:8)

This reading marks the last encouraging word of this month-long devotional journey. I’m so proud of you for being diligent and seeing it all the way through to the end.

My hope and prayer is that throughout the past month you’ve experienced a series of breakthroughs both big and small. I know that God will use these victories as a springboard to spur you to more growth and an ever-deepening relationship with Him.

Prayer: Father, we thank you for partnering with us on the 31-day journey that we’re finishing today. We ask that you’d bring to mind all of the victories you’ve helped us to achieve in this past month and that you’d empower us to dream of even great victories and breakthroughs in the months ahead. Amen.

Action Step: Spend some time alone with God today and ask Him to help you to recount the biggest breakthroughs you’ve experienced in the past month. Make a list of those in your journal and refer back to them every so often to remind yourself that God is actively working your life every single day.

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Psalm 92:1-2 – The Importance of Finding a Daily Rhythm of Praise

Psalm 92:1-2 – The Importance of Finding a Daily Rhythm of Praise

The Daily Devocast brings you daily encouragement from God’s word. Today’s devotional message The Importance of Finding a Daily Rhythm of Praise is based on Psalm 92:1-2.

1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High.

2 It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening,

(New Living Translation, Psalm 92:1-2)

When we find ourselves in a time of coming up against the feelings of fear, anxiety, and worry, often our last inclination is a move to praise. Even though it’s the one thing we don’t feel like doing, it’s literally the most important thing for us to turn to when we’re feeling down and out. When we encounter life’s inevitable challenges, we need to get to the place where we’re no longer being driven by our feelings, but by what you might call spiritual habits or spiritual best practices. The way we make this a reality in our life is to be very intentional about adding prayer and Bible reading our plan for each day, taking our cue from Psalm 92:2 where it says, “to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening.”

Prayer: Father, help each of us to find our own daily rhythm of praise. Make it such a critical part of our faith journey that we desire it as much as air, food, and water. Make it so ingrained in our day to day practices, that the next time we come up against fear, anxiety, and worry, we automatically find comfort by turning to praise. Amen.

Action Step: It’s time to shore up your daily devotional plan. If you haven’t already, make sure you have a set time and place each day for focused prayer and Bible reading. After you finish your evening prayer and Bible reading, make sure that space is all set with everything you’ll need for the following morning’s time with God. These small investments in your spiritual growth each day will pay off huge dividends over the course of your life journey.

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Psalm 40:1-2 – Persistence and Patience

Psalm 40:1-2 – Persistence and Patience

The Daily Devocast brings you daily encouragement from God’s word. Today’s devotional message Persistence and Patience is based on Psalm 40:1-2.

1 I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.
2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.

(New King James Version, Psalm 40:1-2)

Some roads to healing and wholeness are rather long journeys. Even though we live in a quick fix, microwave fast sort of world, we don’t always see the results we desire immediately. When results are slow in coming, we need to be both patient and persistent in our pursuit of bringing our concerns before the Lord. We know that He hears us and that His heart is to bring us up out of the dark pit we’re currently enduring, but the question remains, why is there a delay.

Perhaps, like Job the angel assigned to respond to you is being delayed or maybe there’s a divine timing and alignment of circumstances that needs to happen first. It’s OK to bring this concern over delay to the Lord and ask Him to show you why there is a delay.

Prayer: Father, thank you for always hearing our prayers. For the things that are weighing most heavily on us, it can seem like you are slow to respond. When we encounter those times, help us to not lose hope or faith, but to draw closer to you and I ask that you’d encourage us to boldly come before you and inquire about what it is that’s causing the delay. Amen.

Action Step: Is there a specific need in your life where it feels like you just aren’t getting an answer to your prayers. Spend some time alone with God today and ask Him to show you the specific circumstances or reasons that are behind this delay. Be sure to write down what He shows you in your journal.

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