Spiritual Discipline

FOLLOWING THE MASTER – A Lenten Devotional

21st Day of Lent

March 4, 2016

Spiritual Discipline

Copyright 2016 Monica Hernandez

ABut be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves@ (James 1:22).

Someone once asked me: AWhy practice spiritual discipline?@ and further emphasized that we cannot work for our salvation, for followers of Christ are not “under the law but under grace.”

I quickly pointed out that developing spiritual discipline does not mean we are working for our salvation but by being under grace, we are enabled by the Spirit of God to develop right attitudes and activities toward God, ourselves and others. And we should take responsibility and accept this enablement and work with it.

Our foundation text for today tells us plainly that if we are only hearers of the Word and not doers of it, we deceive ourselves This reminds us of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in which he taught “…whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man who built his house on a rock

Yes, followers of Christ are living under grace through Him, but without the spiritual disciplines of meditation, prayer, Scripture reading and following through with the spiritual principles given in the Scriptures, we will not grow beyond the need for spiritual milk into the use of spiritual strong meat.

Practicing spiritual discipline in our everyday activities helps us to be doers of the Word. And one of the most trying areas of exercising discipline is in our dealing with other persons, but the spiritual life is built on developing discipline: knowing what is right to do and doing it for God, ourselves and others.

Think about practicing this reflection: AToday, I remind myself that God wants me to be a doer of the Word and this involves trust and obedience. This means I must make effort to be patient and kind with others in thought speech and action, to be sensitive and respectful to the rights of others, to be watchful for ways to be help others, and most of all, to rule my spirit under trying circumstances.@

SUGGESTED READINGS: Matthew 7:24; 1 Corinthians 3:1-3; Hebrews 5:12-14; James 1:22.

PRAYER: A Dear God, help me today to be not only a hearer of your Word but a doer as well. Amen@


A spiritual discipline is any activity that would bring us closer to God. He wants our discipline to take responsibility for changes in our attitudes toward Him, ourselves and others.

Our Companion-helper Is Within

FOLLOWING THE MASTER – A Lenten Devotional

20th Day in Lent

March 3, 2016

Our Companion-helper Is Within

Copyright 2016 Monica Hernandez

AGo ye therefore and teach all nations...And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world…@ (Matthew 28:20, KJV).

Jesus has promised us His presence even to the end of the world, and this we can be sure of for His promises are true. However, we are the ones to take the initiative to keep that sense of companionship strong. And in faith, we can do it.

In Old Covenant times, the children of Israel treasured the sacredness of the ark of the covenant, believing its presence to be the presence of God. And, confident that they would win their battles if the ark of the covenant was with them, they took it with them into battle and other difficult situations, and actually won.

Many followers of Christ cannot yet relate to the truth that they should face difficulties in everyday living, but Jesus has told us that at times, it would be so,. However, He encouraged us, telling us to be of good cheer because He had overcome the world. And we can be sure that with Jesus, as our Indwelling Companion, He will help us overcome the challenges we face, just as He did.

When we would recognize the Lord=s living presence within us and invite Him into the midst of our troubles, we would have greater confidence in our day to day challenges and, like the children of Israel when they had the ark of the covenant with them, we would win.

The Scriptures tell us that AGod always causes us to triumph in Christ...@ And when we think of that privilege, we would appreciate God=s unending grace and be thankful.

In your day to day challenges, do you take the presence of Christ with you? When you are called upon to stand trial in a court of law, do you take the presence of Christ with you? When you go to the workplace where you know you have to deal with strife and discord, do you take the presence of Christ with you?

SUGGESTED READINGS: Psalm 23:4; Psalm 91:1; Isaiah 43:1-2; John 16:33.

PRAYER: "Heavenly Father, I affirm that wherever I am, you are with me. Help me to build a deeper understanding of this truth, and walk me through my difficulties to victory in you Amen."

Jesus Christ, our Master is our everlasting Companion-helper.

Silver and Gold Have I None

FOLLOWING THE MASTER – A Lenten Devotional

18th Day in Lent

March 1, 2016

Silver and Gold Have I None

Copyright 2016 Monica Hernandez

"Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk@ (Acts 3:6).

Peter and John were about to enter the temple called Beautiful and met a lame man at the gate, asking alms. When the lame man asked Peter and John for an alms, Peter said to him: "Silver and gold have I none, but…in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."

What was the basis for Peter=s confidence in the name of Jesus to heal the lame man?

Firstly, it was Peter's understanding of the mystery of the Kingdom of God as Jesus had taught it to him and other disciples and secondly, it was the authority given by Jesus to use His name when asking anything of our heavenly Father.

Jesus had taught His disciples how to be in alliance with the Kingdom of God through use of His name. This was in order that they become channels for the essence of the glories of the Kingdom of God to be poured into the lives of the sick and the needy they would come in contact with.

It meant that whenever they ministered to people they would be standing in for Jesus and His power. In the Hebrew, the name Jesus is Yeshua which means Saviour, and when we ask, pray or declare truth in the name of Jesus we would be honouring Jesus for whom He is and calling forth His nature and manifest presence.

When we call on the name of Jesus we are calling on His nature which is peace, truth, salvation and redemption to be made manifest.

In Old Covenant times, the psalmist gave honour to the name of the Lord by declaring: "O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth
@ and Solomon in his Book of Proverbs gave honour to the name of the Lord by saying “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it and is safe.” How great and wonderful is the name of the Lord.

Praying and decreeing in the name of Jesus helps us maintain a deeper relationship with Him. And whenever we ask our Father for anything in the name of Jesus, we bring a bit of heaven to earth.

Will you make it a practice to pray in the name of Jesus?
SUGGESTED READINGS: Matthew 1:21; Mark 4:11-12; John 16:23.
PRAYER: "Heavenly Father, thank you for giving your Son, Jesus to be our Saviour. Amen."


There is strength, power and healing in the name of the Lord.

Be Not Anxious

FOLLOWING THE MASTER – A Lenten Devotional

19th Day of Lent

March 2, 2016

Be Not Anxious

Copyright 2016 Monica Hernandez

"...Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on" (Matthew 6:25, KJV).

When Jesus taught that we should take no thought for our lives, what we shall eat and drink, or what we shall wear, was He saying that we should not be concerned with our own well being and comfort? Was He intimating that we should go through life carelessly and aimlessly without plans for the future?

Jesus knew and still knows that we need food, drink and other basic requirements for this life, however, He is here teaching two simple principles we are to live by: one, that we be not over anxious about the supply of our needs because our heavenly Father knows our needs and has already provided that for us, and two, that the spiritual quality of our life is more important than that of our natural existence.

Does Jesus' teaching disallow planning for the future? Jesus is not against our having plans for the future, for He is the same one who taught that we are to Aask, seek and knock@ for the things we would like to have in our lives. He also taught that Awhatsoever things we desire, when we pray, we must believe that we receive them.@

On examining Matthew, chapter six, verse twenty five carefully we discover that the Greek word translated for "thought" means "to be over anxious" or "very careful." In other words it means "undue worry." Therefore, Jesus is here saying: "Do not be over anxious or very careful about these things: food, drink, clothing, and whatever else you need."

Our heavenly Father knows our needs and has provided for them, and Jesus says we are to “ask, seek, and knock,” and maintain an expectation and hope for those needs to be met, yet eliminate worry and anxiety about them.

Are you anxious and stressed about the affairs in your life today? Are you worrying about your future? This shows you need to remind yourself that our God neither slumbers nor sleeps and is preparing you for your highest good, even at this moment.

SUGGESTED READINGS: Psalm 121:4; Proverbs 29:18; Mark 11:24; Romans 4:17.

PRAYER: ADear Father, in all the changing scenes of my life, help me never to worry or be in doubt and despair, but keep me steadfast, seeking you and trusting you for the bringing forth of my needs and desires as long as they are right in your sight. Amen.@

Becoming over anxious and worrying over our needs show a lack of trust in God. Worry and anxiety do not solve our problems but prayer does.

Timeless Guidelines For the Blessed


33rd Day of Lent

March 18, 2016

Timeless Guidelines For the Blessed

Copyright 2016 Monica Hernandez

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” (Psalm 1:1, KJV).

Psalm one, verse one gives us timeless guidelines that show how the blessed are to walk: one, he does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, for example, those who speak against God, two, he does not stand in the way of sinners, for example, those not standing in uprightness, and three, he does not sit with the scornful, for example, those who doubt or scoff at God.

These three examples of what not to do give us a clear picture of what God wants us to do in order to receive His blessings. And this all speaks of obedience to God.

Walking in obedience to God is a blessed life, and to be blessed is to experience the presence of God: at least a touch of God’s favour in your life. When we receive and apply the Word in our lives we experience blessings from God in the city, in the field, in the workplace and everywhere.

Verse two tells us that those who are blessed “delight in the law of the Lord and meditate in it day and night.” When we meditate in the Word day and night we are destined for God’s highest favours here on earth. And true meditation in the Word leads us to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. Again, this all speaks of obedience to God.

Verse three speaks of the benefits of the blessed: he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that “brings forth fruit in its season; his leaf shall not wither; and whatsoever he does shall prosper.” This gives a full and clear picture of the life that blessed ones would enjoy.

A tree that brings forth fruit in its season is a well-functioning tree. It is a productive tree. This speaks of timely success, not only of “material growth” for example, in the natural realm, but “spiritual growth” as well; it speaks of spiritual maturity and fruitage. His leaf shall not wither speaks of worthwhile projects that will not fail. This speaks of an infusion of life, and prosperity.

We can also find this picture in Jeremiah 17:7-8, which indicates success in all undertakings.

Can you picture a tree bringing forth fruit in its season and parallel that concept to your life? Can you remember your mindset and spiritual awareness one year ago, maybe even six months ago? What was the condition of your spiritual life one year ago?

SUGGESTED READINGS: Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Psalm 37:16; Psalm 119:11.

PRAYER: “Heavenly Father, today I vow to walk in thy ways. Help me to be steadfast in your Word and obedient to your ways. Thank you for your blessings in my life and keep me steadfast in your love. Amen.”


For a blessed life, walking in obedience to God is the way to go.