2019-11-11 – Colossians 3:17
Verse of the Day Devotion: Colossians 3:17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Let us first look at Colossians 1:7. “just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit.” Colossians 1:7-8. Paul refers to himself as a bondservant of Christ. The Greek word for bondservant is ‘doulos’ which translated is servant or slave. And since we are slaves to Christ, we are His and not our own. For we became His when we accepted the work of Christ on the cross and the Spirit of God entered in and lives within us. “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 And we were bought with His blood. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:20.
We are not our own. When a slave does anything, it is at the command of his owner and master. Anything we do for God we do because He has commanded us to do so. It is not because we chose to do it, but we chose to obey Him. This is important, for in reality not only does He command us what to do, but also helps us by working in us to do it. “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13. His Spirit who resides in us will do the work He has called us to do, what we must do is submit to Him, and listen to Him so that we know what to do and how to do it.
And because He is our Lord and Master, anything we do must be in His name and not our own. He is all knowing, and He knows exactly what is needed to fulfill His will not only in our lives, but in the lives of those He brings our way. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. So, if He leads people to us, we must listen and allow Him to not only command us what we are to do, but also to submit to Him and allow Him to work in us to accomplish His good purpose.
So, as our focus verse tells us, whatever we do, whether it be in word by what we say, or in deed by what we do, we must do it in the name of Jesus. This entails every outward thing we do. And if we do it in Jesus’ name, then it must be what and how He would do it. That is why we must submit to Him and allow His Spirit to guide us. We must be humble enough to realize it is not our work, but His work that He does through us. The knowledge we have is from Him. The opportunities we have are from Him. The timing of each work we do for Him is from Him. And finally, the method by which we do this work is from Him.
We should be thankful to God every time we are given a task to do in the name of our Lord Jesus, for in accomplishing this task, we glorify Him in our submission to His Spirit and His will. This is the greatest honor we could ever receive, being used by Him.
2019-11-12 – Job 9:10
Verse of the Day Devotion: Job 9:10 Who does great things, unfathomable, And wondrous works without number.
This verse speaks to God’s all-powerful ways. What Job is saying here is that there is nothing He cannot do. This is important to remember when we go through difficult times, especially when there is nothing we can think of to get out of the terrible situation. There is nothing He does not know, there is nothing He cannot do, and there is no place He is not present. And because of this, what Job declares is absolute truth.
First, God is omniscient. He knows everything. “Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure” Isaiah 46:10. From the very beginning of the universe, and even before it’s creation, He knew us. He knew when we would be born, and everything about us. He knew we would sin, and He provided the means for reconciliation before the world and everything was created. “For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.“ 1 Peter 1:20. He knows when we will be troubled or forlorn and is there to encourage us. He knows when we will praise and lift Him up and will be there to receive it. Nothing surprises God because we cannot be surprised by what we already know. There will never be a time when He is late or never shows up.
Next, He is omnipotent. He is all powerful. “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 He created everything that exists. “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” John 1:3. He has created all things we see and will never see. No matter what we are going through, He will bring us through. No one can defeat Him, and no one can prevent Him from doing anything or make Him do anything. He divided at least two bodies of water such that His people walked across on dry land. He saved the Israelites from many empires and will eventually deliver us from this world and take us to live with Him forever.
And finally, He is omnipresent. He is everywhere. “Am I a God who is near, declares the LORD, And not a God far off? Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the LORD. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 23:23-24. Wherever we go, God is there.
Wherever we are not, God is there. There is never a place He cannot hear our cries or our thoughts. Moreover, He is in us as Christians. He is never too far away that we must wait for Him to get to us.
Since God is all powerful, all knowing and everywhere at each moment, there is no reason we should be fearful, anxious, or worried. This is why we can trust Him in everything. “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 3:6. What a great life we can live if we take our focus verse to heart and be fully content no matter what.
2019-11-13 – Matthew 5:29
Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 5:29 “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
This verse comes from Jesus’ sermon on the mount. Let’s look at the two verses prior to our focus verse. “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28. These two verses are introductory to what he says right after that. First, He quotes a command in the law. “You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14. It is probable that the Pharisees taught this as regarding the outward act only for this is predominantly how they saw the law. However, Jesus clarifies this when He told them that just lusting after a woman is adultery, as an inward act of the heart through desires.
Then He goes on to declare the following. “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.” Matthew 5:29-30.
Now, this is not necessarily to be taken literally. What He is alluding to is that whatever it is that causes us to commit adultery must be removed. If looking at a woman causes it, then we must not allow ourselves to be tempted by what we see. The general idea here is that whatever it is that causes us to sin, we must either get complete control over It or get rid of it. For example, if we see some money on a table at a restaurant and we have a strong desire to take it, we must either get control of our desires and go on about our business, or if that is not possible, then we need to leave and remove our self from the temptation.
We must address this immediately, for the longer we allow the temptation to continue, the greater the probability we will give in to our desires. With theft, it is in stealing what we want or coveting what another has. With adultery, we will either do the deed, or we will lust after the person. And as Jesus said above, simply lusting after anything will cause us to sin. It is not enough to not act it out, but we must not desire to act it out.
I want to encourage us all to be in fervent prayer that we will all be able to keep our desires in check. We must not allow temptation to cause us to sin. God will help us in this area, and we need to rely on Him when we struggle with it. Remember, it is not just the act that is wrong, but it is the lust and covetousness that goes along with it. We must control both so that we can honor and please God with all we have and all we are.
2019-11-14 – Psalm 16:11
Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
This is a very encouraging verse. David here is speaking to the Lord and thanking Him for the goodness of the life to come. First he is saying that God has shown to Him the path of life. What he is referring to is that even though he may die in this life, God will not keep him in this state. He would be brought back to the living world, that which is life everlasting. David believed in the resurrection from the dead. He believed that God had for Him a life that will no end. “He asked life of You, You gave it to him, Length of days forever and ever.” Psalm 21:4. We see this same idea from Daniel. “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:2-3. The idea of everlasting life for the righteous is found in various places in the Old Testament, and David took comfort in this truth. Note, Daniel was after the time of David, however, it shows this truth carried forward to his time.) Regardless of this, David rejoiced in knowing he would be resurrected when the end came.
He then says that in the presence of God is fullness of joy. This is not a partial nor imperfect joy, intermingled with pain and sorrow. This is a joy that completely satisfies the soul not in conjunction with anything that may minimize it. This is not a joy as we experience here, but an unimaginable joy that will never lessen, nor will it end. It will not be diminished by the idea we have in this life that all earthly joy must come to an end. It will be a joy that will be understood as everlasting. This is the joy we will experience in the next life. “So the ransomed of the LORD will return And come with joyful shouting to Zion, And everlasting joy will be on their heads. They will obtain gladness and joy, And sorrow and sighing will flee away.” Isaiah 51:11.
And lastly, David says that in His right hand are pleasures forever. God’s right hand is the place of honor, where the saints will be throughout eternity. It denotes that he would be raised up to exalted position; one filled with eternal happiness and exalted honor. And this happiness will be forever. This is not happiness as we find here in this life that comes and goes. We will reside forever in happiness, for there will be nothing that can take it away.
This is the life we look forward to as Christians. First, we will be raised from the dead to a life that is infinitely different from this one, and God will guide us into this new life, we will be in His presence forever where our joy will be full and never ending, and there will be great pleasure because of our exalted position in Christ. And this will never end. What more could we ask for, and what could ever be better than this promise from Him.
2019-11-15 – Isaiah 53:6
Verse of the Day Devotion: Isaiah 53:6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
This is a very important verse for us to understand, especially when it comes to our ministry to both the saved and unsaved. It is important because of the first three words of this verse; ‘All of us.’ We must remember this in all aspects of our ministry. This picture of sheep is a popular one within the scriptures. “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, For I do not forget Your commandments.” Psalm 119:176. Also, “For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:25. And finally, this lesson from Jesus tells us, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying. If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.” Matthew 18:10-14
We all have gone astray from God. We all have walked away from Him and, as the verse says, have turned to our own ways instead of following after God. This started in the Garden with Adam and Eve. “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” Genesis 3:6. They listened to the lies of the serpent rather than the truth from God. And as it says in our focus verse, “… Each of us has turned to his own way …”.
We were not able, because of our iniquity, to resolve the issue ourselves since it required a perfect sacrifice, one without any spot or blemish. But the Lord had an answer, which was to send His Son, to live a perfect life, and then die, paying for the iniquities of the rest of us. The Messiah, the long-awaited promise, who came in human form as Jesus, paid the complete penalty for everyone, and we have our sins forgiven if we simply believe in Christ, and declare Him Lord. “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Romans 10:9-10. Also, there are times when we mess up and do things we should not. He has a solution for that as well. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
However, we must not think differently about others than we do ourselves, except that we look at them more highly. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 I have seen too often Christians who look down on others who do not have the knowledge or goodness they do. We cannot think this way, because we at one time were in the position, and it was only by the grace of God that we were restored. These learned the truth, and it is theirs and all of our jobs, as Christians to teach others and help them grow in Christ.
We must not decide there are people who are so bad or too low that we will not reach out to them. They may do horrible things, but they deserve to be reached out to as well as we did and do. Paul put it well, “Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.” Romans 12:16. We are called to go into world and make disciples of all men. We are called to go into the highways and byways and compel them to come to the Lord. Again, we all were lost. We all went our own way. However, someone came to us and showed us the truth and helped us understand. We were saved by the blood of Christ when we accepted Him, and so it is our job to help others be saved by accepting Him as well.
No one is too far gone for us to ignore. He has placed this calling on us, formerly sinners, who now understand. We must reach out to all whom God brings our way. It only takes one sin to corrupt, and we were corrupt. So, as someone did for us, let’s go out and do for others.