2019-12-09 – Galatians 6:10
Verse of the Day Devotion: Galatians 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
There is much that is involved regarding this Christian walk. There is spending time with God in prayer, praise and worship. There is reading and studying His word, as well as teaching about this life to those that are new in the faith. But this verse lays out the heart of this life, doing good to others out of love.
In fact, we are called to do good. “As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.” 2 Thessalonians 3:13. Also, “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:19. We must always be willing and ready to do good to all we come across. There are many out there that struggle with making ends meet, having enough food on their table or have no way to get somewhere they need to go. You will be doing them a great favor by helping meet their needs.
Also, there are times when we will go through sadness, grief or disappointment. If we know someone who is experiencing this, pray fervently for them, visit them to encourage them and maybe just be there with them. It is amazing how healing it is for someone to just be there with us. These are beautiful times where we get to exhibit the love of God with people who need to feel it.
And who are we to exhibit this to? To everyone. For those who are Christians, God can work through us to reveal His love and purposes for them. He can show them, through us, there is a purpose to the hard times they are in, and that He will never leave or forsake them. Life is not always as we desire, even as Christians, but whatever happens, we can always be sure He has a good purpose. And for the unsaved, it may be what God knows will open their hearts to the knowledge of His love and forgiveness which will bring them to salvation; either immediately or sometime down the road.
In closing, never weary of doing good. The verse just before the focus verse says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9. We should always do all we can to help, encourage, uplift and walk along side everyone who we come across. Who knows what their needs are, and how we could make a difference in their life if we do? And besides, though not being the reason, when we do good, we will reap a reward from God. Not a bad thing.
2019-12-10 – Revelation 21:1
Verse of the Day Devotion: Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
This is a prophecy of what will happen at the very end of this age. This speaks of a time after all the judgements have occurred. “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-15
This is what we look forward to as Christians. The old heavens and earth will pass away for they have been tainted because of man’s fall in the garden. Only that which is good and pure and lovely will even exist. It is beyond our ability to even imagine what it will be like. “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’—” 1 Corinthians 2:9. Now, this is a quote from Isaiah which says, “From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.” Isaiah 64:4. This verse includes the idea that no eye has seen, nor ear heard of a God like our God and the actions He performs. The gods known of man were powerless, they were idols created by man. But the true God is all powerful, and thus can do anything, including recreating of all that is. Remember the first verse in Genesis, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1.
This new life will be amazing. We will see the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven, prepared for us, His bride. There will be no more tears and no more death. There will be no mourning or pain, for the causes of these will be no more. Our lives, for all eternity, will be perfect for we will be always in the presence of God, for we will live forever with Him. There will be nobody or nothing that will change this. In Revelation 22, we see the river of the water of life flowing from His throne. We will have access to the tree of life, and the fruit that comes from it. There will be nothing that is cursed, but the throne of God and His Son will be there, never to leave. There will be no more night, and we will need no lamp or sun, for the Lord our God shall be our light. And, He will reign for all eternity, us being loved and cared for by Him forever.
What a wonderful future we have to look forward to. And this life is assured to us. “And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.” Revelation 22:6. This is infinitely superior to this life we now live. Therefore, look forward to this new life. And, tell others who have no clue of what is coming. It is our calling to spread this word. And it is a word worth sharing.
2019-12-11 – Numbers 11:6
Verse of the Day Devotion: Numbers 11:6 But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.
In Exodus 16, we read the story of how the Israelites complained about the food that God provided for His people. “They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Exodus 16:1-3. After God had freed them from Egypt where they were slaves, they now complain to Moses and Aaron about the food that was provided to them by God. It seems they had plenty of meat and bread while in Egypt, which makes sense so that they had the strength to work as hard as was required. Now they complained because they did not have the food they had there, even though they were now free.
Next, we see how what God did to provide them plenty of food. “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” Exodus 16:4-5.
After a while, they tired of what God provided. “Now the rabble that was among them had a strong `craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.” Numbers 11:4-6.
Then God gives them meat, but it was not as they thought it would be provided. “And say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat, for you have wept in the hearing of the LORD, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat? For it was better for us in Egypt.” Therefore, the LORD will give you meat, and you shall eat. You shall not eat just one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, but a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the LORD who is among you and have wept before him, saying, ‘Why did we come out of Egypt?’” Numbers 11:18-20. He gave them meat, but they were required to eat it every day until they got sick of it. God gave them manna, but they wanted something else.
It is important that if we ask God to provide something for us, we should be content with what He gives us. If He provides a hamburger, we should not complain it is not steak. If He provides an old pickup truck, we should not complain because it is not a Lexus. God will provide our every need. The apostle Paul put it this way, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19. And whatever He supplies, whether it be old or new, plentiful or just enough, we must be thankful. “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” Philippians 4:11-12. God will provide our needs, but not always our wants. We need to be satisfied with whatever He gives us, for everything else is not necessarily a need. Trust Him, for He knows us, and our situation better than we do ourselves.
2019-12-12 – Ephesians 5:20
Verse of the Day Devotion: Ephesians 5:20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
God has done, and is doing, so much for us. Much more than we could ever imagine. We often give thanks to God when a great thing happens that gives us joy. Some examples are when we win a wonderful prize, when someone we enjoy fellowshipping with comes and visits us, when a miracle happens in that we are either healed of a terrible disease or we are delivered from a very trying issue. We give thanks for the food we are about to eat, and for the day we are about to rise from our sleep and enjoy.
But what about for other times? What about when we go through difficult situations? Paul says regarding this thought. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. This can be difficult to do, but let’s look at this closer. We are to rejoice at all times, in all situations and circumstances. It is easy to see why we would rejoice when wonderful things happen to and for us; and even when it is just an ordinary event. But what about being thankful during hard times? Yes, we should be thankful to God even during these times.
Why should we be? As the above verse states, ‘for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us.’ Whatever God does or allows to happen, we know it is for our good. If He chooses for us to, for instance, lose our job, He has a purpose for it. If He allows us to become disabled in any way, then He also has a reason for it. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. Everything that happens to us, God has a reason for it. This is what we must remember during these times. I remember when I was blind for around three months. Yes, it was hard, but it helped me understand even more His love for me.
Also, I have been able to help others in the same situation. As Paul also said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. Sometimes, what God allows is not for our benefit but for another’s. However, we benefit because we now have the knowledge and the compassion to help others through very similar situations.
In closing, every situation and circumstance we find ourselves in is something to be thankful for, whether we perceive it as good or not. And the reason is that God either caused it or allowed it. If there was not a ‘good’ reason for us to be placed in a situation, God would not have allowed it. Remember, all things work together for our good. We may never know or understand what that good is, but we must trust Him that it is for our good. And a lot of times, these trials may be the means to draw us to Himself.
What an amazing and loving God.
2019-12-13 – Hebrews 3:13
Verse of the Day Devotion: Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
One of the things we should focus on is to exhort and encourage our brothers and sisters. And, as the writer of Hebrews states, we should do it on a daily basis. And we should do it as long as we are living here on the earth. Being a Christian can, at times, be difficult. It is our responsibility to help us all remain true to the faith and faithful to God.
There are many ways we can exhort the brethren. Temptation can be difficult to endure, especially if we are already in a difficult place. It is important that we take the time to encourage people who are struggling. If we are struggling, we would want someone to help us with kind and loving words. In regard to temptation, help each other, through prayer and encouragement that this temptation can be resisted and beaten through the Spirit who lives in us. Take the time to check on each other, especially those who would be considered the weak in the faith.
Be willing to encourage people in any way necessary. As described above, we sometimes need to be encouraged not to do what is wrong. However, there are times we need to be encouraged to do what is right; what is a good thing. I have known people who do not believe they are competent or ready to go out evangelize to the lost. Anyone who is saved, in my opinion, is ready. What they need is some ideas on how to do it effectively. The best way to exhort someone in this way is to stand with them till they become comfortable.
There are times when we need to be encouraged that God loves us. This can happen when some circumstances occur that cause us to not love ourselves, which we then turn to ‘God does not love me’. I have been there myself. But a good man spent time with me, and he showed me that God will never reject us. Peter put it this way. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7. No matter what we do, God will always care for us. His love is everlasting. We can always go to Him, and He will be there. There are more reasons we sometimes need encouragement than we can ever know. One way we can show the love of God with our brethren is to encourage them and exhort those who need it. It may help them keep from giving up and walking away. So, if you see someone who needs encouragement, or who need help fulfilling a calling, take the time to lift them up, in prayer, and in helping accomplish the good God has called them to do. This will help us all to grow in the love of God and honor Him in all we do. It will also keep us all from being hardened and defeated by the deceitfulness of sin.