2019-07-15 – James 1:22
Verse of the Day: James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
This is a very important verse. There are many people who merely go to church, listen to a good sermon, read the bible verses with the Pastor, sing the songs during worship time, then go home. There is nothing wrong with any of these things. The problem is when this is all there is.
If, when we go to church or a bible study, there is no change in our lives that cause us to be evermore devoted to God, then the question I have is, what is our purpose for going? James is very clear here. It is not enough to just hear His word; it must become who we are. Jesus said it this way. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus basically said that if you do not do His will as seen in His Word, you really do not know Him, you only know about Him.
I want to challenge us to look at how we approach God and His Word. Do we take it seriously? Do we allow it to change us into true servants of God? Examine your ways and if you find yourself falling short, go to God and confess it, and then submit yourself fully to Him. Take His word and let it change you. You will find there is no other life worth living.
2019-07-16 – Jeremiah 17:7
Verse of the Day: Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.
There are many things that we place our trust in. Sometimes we trust other men to bring us through trials. Other times we trust the law to bring about appropriate compensation for a wrong done. And of course, there are times when we rely on ourselves. Also, there are many who create their own gods and place their trust in them. The problem with placing our trust in any man or man-made solution, such as a false god, is that we cannot always trust that the solution will work.
In today’s verse, the truth is that placing your trust in God will be a blessing to you. You see, in the verses 1-4, God convicts the Jews of the sin of idolatry and shows them that any confidence in these idols will not be good. Let us look at the next two verses. “Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.” Jeremiah 17:5-6 He now says that anyone who trusts man aside from God has placed his trust in the wrong things.
The idea here is that we are to understand that God is to be who we trust. He will never fail us, even when it looks like things are going all wrong. He will never let us down or cause us to wander aimlessly for a solution. As the writer of Proverbs said, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6. Acknowledge that the one you trust in any situation is God, and you will be guided straight to where He wants you. And that place is God’s best for you.
2019-07-17 – Colossians 2:6
Verse of the Day Devotion: Colossians 2:6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
Paul here is encouraging the church in Colossae to live life as it is intended as followers of Christ. He specifically says, ‘as you received Christ Jesus the Lord walk in Him’. Not as you received the doctrines of God, walk in them. He is being very explicit here.
When we accepted Christ as our savior, we received the Spirit of Life in Christ. This is His spirit residing in us. We will have this Spirit in us if we are truly saved. Paul says later in a letter, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” Romans 8:9 If we are saved, we do not live in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in us. If He does not dwell in us, then we are not truly Christians.
So, if we have received the Spirit of God in us, then we are saved, so we must walk in Him. To walk in Him means in this context, to conduct ourselves in the way Christ did and desires us to live. The Law does not save, but it shows us the character of God and thus how we should live. In the same faith, love and holiness He did. Now we will occasionally fail in this, but when we do, we confess it to God and turn back to the life we should live.
The proof of our salvation is the life we live as a result of it. Do we live totally committed to God, or not? Paul is telling us that Christ gave it all for us. We should desire, because of the Spirit that lives in us, to do the same for Him.
Verse of the Day Devotion: Act 4:20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
Peter and John had been arrested by the Jewish leadership for teaching the people about Jesus, proclaiming that He had been raised from the dead. This, of course, upset them because this would turn the people away from their teaching. So Peter and John were put in jail while the leadership discussed the matter.
After a time, they were released, but with a warning, “And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.” Acts 4:18. Here is Peter and John’s response, which we should take to heart. “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20.
When we find ourselves in a position where we are told to stop speaking the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is important that we show the absolute truth of our message. The idea that we cannot stop speaking because the eternal lives of all depends on this message. I want to encourage us all to be bold in reference to God’s message to this world. Jesus, the Son of God, gave His life for us so we could receive the salvation that comes through believing the message and receiving His grace. Are we willing to give our lives for this purpose?
Verse of the Day Devotion: 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
Peter here is answering a question coming from those who are mocking the Christians, in this case focusing on those who state the following, “and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:4. You can hear the mocking attitude in these statements. ‘You keep saying He’s coming, but where is He?’ they might say.
However, Peter answers this with verse 8. “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.” 2 Peter 3:8. Time has no affect on God. He is eternal, both past and future. Because of this, a day is like a millennium and vice-versa. In fact, He resides outside of time, for time does not exist outside of this created universe.
In the focus verse, Peter is saying that God is not slow concerning His promises. He is not delaying anything. He will come back at the appointed time. He is patient toward us. He is slow to bring the punishment because this shows proof that He desires all to come to repentance. He is not rushing His return but giving enough time for all to be saved. Men will not have any excuse. This shows His loving kindness. He knows the end from the beginning, but His slowness is a sign to us.
God does not want any to be condemned and thereby perish. He loves us too much. He gives everyone the opportunity. It is up to us to accept Jesus’s work providing justification. He gives us all the time we need.