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Welcome to our 31-day corporate fast. Below you will find a devotional post for each day in the month of January to guide us together in discerning the voice of God. Bookmark this page to check back daily, and use the social buttons to share posts to others.

 

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The Ministry of Presence
Jan 07 3:17 AM

The Ministry of Presence

Jan 07 3:17 AM
Jan 07 3:17 AM

Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept.

Mark 16:9-10

The Gospels reveal that Mary Magdalene or Mary of Magdala continually shows up in the life of Jesus.  Luke 8:2 tells us that she was present when he went through every city and village preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God and that she also provided for Him of her substance.  Matthew 27:56 tells us that she was there at the crucifixion to witness the inhumane way in which he took his last breath. Verse 61 of that chapter reveals that she was present when Joseph of Arimathea gently wrapped him in clean linen cloths and placed him in his new tomb.  We learn from John 20 that early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, she went to the tomb, only to discover that indeed it is empty.  While she is still there weeping and wondering where he could be, he chooses to appear to her first.  In Mark 16:9 we see that she indeed was the first to run to tell the good news that He was risen! 

What sticks out to me the most in looking closely at what is known about this female disciple, is that she consistently showed up to fulfill her ministry, even though she came from a troubled past. In fact, the Bible states in Luke 8:2 that Jesus had delivered her from not one, but seven demons. All throughout the gospels we see the myriad of ways that demon possession affected the lives of people, causing tremendous suffering through sickness, disease, mental illness, and evil or strange behavior.  Now we don’t know what way her demonic possession manifested itself in her life, but due to the sheer number of demons, I am certain that it could not have been good! It is no wonder, the gospel writers repetitively remind us who she used to be. 

Actually, I’m amazed at how she did not allow her past experiences to prevent her from being present to minister to her Savior.  Even after His crucifixion and resurrection, she was the very first one present to proclaim the Good News!  I am often tempted to allow the issues from my past, or my personality flaws, to prevent me from being present and available to minister to others.  Sometimes I feel like the remnants of what God has delivered me from, still tries to define me.  Maybe you have this struggle as well.  Mary Magdalene gives us a great pattern to follow, and the Apostle Paul sums it up perfectly in Phil 3:13-14 (ESV) “… But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Let’s press on from our past, to be present for God to use us to minister in the lives of others!

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Yvette Nolan

Thank you for the wonderful Work and reminder that we are not defined by our path. I personally know someone who is still allowing their past to interfere in their live and work of ministry, but I continue to pray for them. God is able to heal.

Posted on Thu, Jan 7, 2021 @ 5:49 AM CST

Deborah Russell

There are some consequences of my life that cannot be erased or will never leave me, but God.

Posted on Thu, Jan 7, 2021 @ 7:36 AM CST

Contessa

Thank You Sister Botts- We must move forward and always remember who we are now and now who we used to be because our God has delivered us from our past life into this new and marvelous life, because of our faith and trust in Him. WE THANK YOU GOD AND YOUR PRAISE WILL CONTINUALLY BE IN MY MOUTH!!!!!

Posted on Thu, Jan 7, 2021 @ 7:39 AM CST

Natasha Cooper

This devotion resonated with me so much. One of my prayers this year is to be free from any residuals from my past; to receive a heart transplant and given the heart of Christ. To not allow the past to continue to hold me hostage and hinder me from being the woman of God I am called to be.

Posted on Thu, Jan 7, 2021 @ 7:42 AM CST

Elizabeth Clark

What wonderful insight! In these days of such uncertainty, you have reminded us of what we must do as follower's of Christ Jesus! Thank you!!! And be blessed Huge!

Posted on Thu, Jan 7, 2021 @ 7:58 AM CST

Ronald Gilliam

Thank you for the word today as we press on

Posted on Thu, Jan 7, 2021 @ 8:42 AM CST

Adrienne Aycock

Thank you for showing me the importance of not letting myvpast affect my desire to be in the presence of God daily.

Posted on Thu, Jan 7, 2021 @ 10:32 AM CST

Chandra Lemons

Awesome message!

Posted on Thu, Jan 7, 2021 @ 10:59 AM CST

Brenda Madison

Thank you for that devotion on Mary Magdalene. It allowed me to look at her life from a different angle. To not allow our past mistakes to hinder us from moving forward in what God has in store for us. I pray that God will continue to bless you as you share what He has placed on your heart.

Posted on Thu, Jan 7, 2021 @ 9:00 PM CST

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