Romans 10:15

Verse of the Day Devotion: Romans 10:15

“How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!” – Romans 10:15

There are so many people in this world have never given their life to Christ.  Some because they have heard the message and have decided to reject it.  However, there are a great number who have never heard the truth of the gospel; some never having heard it at all and some who have heard about Jesus but do not understand what the Christian life is about.

The verse just prior to our focus verse states, “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14. The reason we use the term unbeliever is because those who are not Christians do not believe Jesus is the Son of God and that He came to die for their sins.  So, Paul is asking a fair question.  How can they, who do not believe in Jesus, call out to Him?  Many people around the world have never heard about the God we serve.  They worship false gods that have been introduced to them by the people around them.  They are told that these gods are real, and they must please them through various ordinances laid out in their religious rituals.  So, if these are the only gods they know, why would they cry out to a God they have never heard of?

Now, at the end of verse 14, Paul asks the question, how can they hear about the true God and His Son Jesus if there is no one to tell them?  The answer is simple, they most likely will not hear about Him.  The religious leaders of their false gods will not tell them, mostly because they have never heard of Him as well.  Also, because they would never speak against the gods they serve for fear of losing their favor.  So, it is up to us, as Christians who know Christ intimately, to spread the word of Jesus and the gift of salvation He has provided.

Now, not all of us are called to be missionaries in a foreign country or even away from where we live.  But we are all called to reach the lost where God sends us.  Jesus said this to His disciples, and through His word, to us.  “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.  This is about evangelism and sharing the good news because you cannot make someone a disciple unless He is a Christian.  So, from our focus verse, we are the ones sent by God to the world.

Paul then, in quoting Isaiah when He says that how beautiful are the feet of those bring the good news to the lost.  We are all called to preach the gospel, whether in a foreign country, a distant city or only as far as your neighborhood.  When we fulfill that calling, our work with its message is a beautiful thing in the eyes of God.  It is why we are here.  Let’s make it happen and bring the message of salvation to all God brings to our path.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Psalm 119:105

Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 119:105

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:105

How do you see the Word of God?  It is so powerful and deep in the knowledge of God we will never be able to thoroughly see all that is in it.  We will never be able to exhaust the riches that are waiting to be discovered by us. However, many look at it as just a book that we must read simply because we are Christians.  If that is how we see it, we will miss are the beauty and wisdom that is found inside it.

God gave us the scriptures to aid us in every aspect of our lives.  He loves us and desires that we live a life that is not only pleasing to Him, but also the best for us.  It shows us what His perfect will is.  It shows us what is right and good, and what is wrong and evil.  It tells us such things as we are to love God with all our heart, soul,  mind and all our might.  (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Luke 10:27).  It says that we must love our enemies as we love ourselves. (Proverbs 25:21 and Matthew 5:44 ).  We are to be humble and not arrogant. (2 Chronicles 7:14 and James 4:10).  And lastly, we are to rely on God when things get difficult. (Psalm 55:22 and 1 Peter 5:7).  Note that I included an Old Testament and a New Testament verse.  God has not changed and everything He promised and expected in the Old are also promised and expected in the New.

Not only does He show us how to live a life pleasing to Him, He will also guide our lives so that we will not fall or wonder away.   He shows us what the way of righteousness is, for He is our guide.  One of the most famous passages of scripture shows us beautifully what this means.  “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.  He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23.  He is our loving shepherd and He will only guide us to the places that are good while supplying everything we need.  When are spirit is weary, exhausted or troubled, He will lift us up and encourage us.  And He will never lead us to a place of doom but will take us a straight way to Himself.  And though we walk in difficult and dangerous places, we have no need to be afraid for He goes before us providing protection which gives us much comfort.  And He will prepare a table for us to feast at, and though our enemies see us, and are with us, we still have what we need, for God ensures we are provided for.  Moreover, we can be assured that His goodness and love will always be with us, and we will reside with Him forever.  Is not this a wonderful picture of His perfect guidance and leading?

And while we are on this journey, He lights our way so that so that we need not stumble over things the enemy puts in our way, and He lights the way so that we will not leave the path He has chosen for us.  He will not guide us blindly, but will show us clearly that path, ensuring us that as long as we stay on the path, we are safe and will be brought through.  Now, there is always the possibility that we may need to give our lives in His work.  This is illustrated by Paul when the prophet Agabus told Him he would be arrested by the Jews and handed over to Rome.  “Then Paul answered, What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 21:13

God’s Word is more than just a list of commandments, although there are things we are commanded to do to show our true love for Him.  It is also a guide as to how we should live this life and the type of service we are called to.  It is also a source of encouragement and peace that whatever He calls us to do, we will never be alone.  “No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.” Joshua 1:5and “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” Hebrews 13:5.  God’s Word is used to teach us, lead us, guide us, protect us and show us the great and eternal love of God.  You do not need anything but His Word.  “For such is God, Our God forever and ever; He will guide us until death.” Psalm 48:14

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

John 13:14

Verse of the Day Devotion: John 13:14

“If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” – John 13:14  

While Jesus and the disciples were in the upper room just prior to His arrest, Jesus did something that totally surprised the disciples.  “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. Then He poured water into the basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” John 13:5. This was startling to them because Jesus, the Son of God, wanted to wash their feet.

First, washing of the feet was a normal practice in those days because sandals where the standard foot apparel and washing of the feet was normally the first thing done after a journey once they entered the home.  In the case of the average person, the owner would provide a bowl with water and the guests would wash their own feet.  However, in the home of the affluent in society, the guest’s feet were washed by a slave of the homeowner. This was normally the role of the lowliest of slaves for this was the most menial of tasks.

In our eyes, it would have been normal for Jesus’ feet to have been washed by one of them.  However, this would not have taught the lesson He wanted them to know.  Two of the things He wanted them to learn was servanthood and humility.  Jesus was showing them they need to desire to serve, not to be served.  Paul understood this and wrote to the Philippians the following.  “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. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:3-8.  Note that this was the attitude of Christ.

Another lesson concerning servanthood is stated in chapter 20 of Matthew.  There was a dispute by the disciples because the mother of James and John wanted her sons to have an exalted place in Jesus’ kingdom.  “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28.  He essentially said that what she was asking was the world’s way, but not the way of the kingdom.

Jesus gave Himself up for us because of His great love.  The second person of the trinity, the son of the Almighty God, came to serve and not be served.  We see this in His washing of the disciple’s feet as well as His statement to the sons of Zebedee’s mother and His willingness to die for the sins of mankind, His greatest service while here on earth.  He was telling them that if He came to serve, and they are to be like Him, then they were to humble themselves and serve, not argue about who was the greatest disciple.  And we are to do the same as children of God.

John puts it this way.  “The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” 1 John 2:6.  We are called to walk in the same way He did, in humility and servanthood.  We should be willing to lower ourselves to lift up another.  We should be willing to do anything that helps to further the cause of Christ.  And again as Paul wrote, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;” Philippians 2:3. We must not see anyone as lower than us, but we must be willing to help all.  This is what Jesus did, and this is what He showed by washing their feet.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Mark 7:25.

Verse of the Day Devotion.  Mark 7:25

“But after hearing of Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, immediately came, and fell at His feet.” Mark 7:25.  

Jesus now goes to the region of Tyre and Sidon. These were ancient cities of Phoenicia which are mentioned several times in both the Old and New Testaments. Jesus mentions Tyre and Sidon in Luke 10 in the context of judgments He was pronouncing against the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida. We read in Luke the following, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment, than for you.” Luke 10:13-14. They were considered some of the most sinful cities, however, it was said of both Bethsaida and Chorazin that it would be better for Tyre and Sidon, both cities known for their idolatrous ways, in the last days then for Bethsaida and Chorazin.

We read in Mark the following, “And from there He arose and went away to the region of Tyre. And when He had entered a house, He wanted no one to know of it; yet He could not escape notice.” Mark 7:24. There is no indication as to why Jesus did not want others to know He was there, but I believe He was so well known they could not keep this hidden. However, see what comes up next. “But after hearing of Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, immediately came and fell at His feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.” Mark 7:25-26. She heard that He was there, and undoubtedly knew about the great works He had done. Therefore she went to Him with the purpose of Jesus helping her daughter be freed from the demon. Now she was a Syrophoenician. She was not a Jew but was someone from the borders near Tyre and Sidon. According to Matthew, she was a Canaanite. And when she arrived, she fell at His feet, prostrate before Him, asking for help for her daughter. Prostration was an indication of both grief and reverence. And she did not stop asking Him, for she so wanted her daughter to be delivered.

Then in the next verse, we see His response to her. “Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” Mark 7:27. In the Greek the word for dog can refer to a ‘puppy’ or ‘dog’. Jews often used the word dogs to refer to Gentiles. Even though it seems out of character for him to have done so, Jesus almost certainly used it in the same way. The obvious meaning is that Jews took precedence over Gentiles during the ministry of Jesus. Even Paul later adhered to a similar principle. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16. But now notice her response, which shows the faith she had in Jesus. “But she answered and said to Him, Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.” Mark 7:28. The woman did not deny the precedence of Israel over the gentiles but commented that this did not exclude the Gentiles, for the leftovers were theirs. And she referred to Jesus as Lord. This would not have been as significant if a Jew had called Him Lord, but this was a gentile who used this eminent title for Him.

Jesus was astounded by her answer to His comment. “And He said to her, because of this answer go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter. And going back to her home, she found the child lying on the bed, the demon having departed.” Mark 7:29-30. Jesus commended the woman for her humility and, I believe, her faith. Although her faith is not explicitly mentioned, I am certain she trusted in Jesus that He could and would deliver her daughter. We need to see the power of coming in faith and humility to God as we are and letting Him make true His promises to those weak and unclean. If the woman had responded, who are you calling a dog, she would not have been humble toward Him and may not have received healing for her daughter. Her humble, faith-filled submission to Jesus brought the victory. This should be our attitude when coming to God. We must not order Him or come across as someone who deserves all we ask for. We must come to Him as someone who trusts God that He knows what is best and will bring what is best, according to His will, to fruition. God loves us. The question is do we love and trust Him enough to let Him decide what is best?

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Revelation 2:18

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Revelation 2:18 

“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:” – Revelation 2:18

Over seven days, I will be looking at what John wrote, by the inspiration of God, to the seven major churches in Asia Minor.  In these seven letters, God gives a message to each that is specific to each and speaks of issues that could fit the Churches throughout history.  It is important to look at these and examine our church and ultimately ourselves to see where we stand regarding these. 

We now come to the fourth church, the Church of Thyatira.  Thyatira was a wealthy town on the Lycus River in the Roman province of Asia Minor, or modern-day Turkey.  This is the only one of the messages to the seven Churches where the Jesus is called the Son of God. Its wealth no doubt came from the various industries that is found in the city, those being textile and clothing, coppersmiths, potters, tanners, leather cutters and bakers.  It was also a regional center in the Asian slave trade network.  An inscription mentions a slave trader who oversaw the public market at Thyatira and funded festivities for the imperial cult.  Worship in the city centered on the Greek gods Apollo and Artemis, the protectors of civic welfare.  They were originally Anatolian deities who were identified with Apollo and Artemis in the Greek pantheon.  In fact, the Greek gods were given great remembrance and honor among the people, which probably brought much difficulty to the Church in their work. 

The letter starts by, as in all the letters, declaring the good found in the Church.  “I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.”  Revelation 2:19.  The works of the congregation are specified in four ways: “Love (agape)” which includes love for God and acts of compassion for others.  It means giving oneself for others as Christ did.  “Faith”, which includes faith in God and Christ and faithfulness to God and his people. The faithful bear public witness to God in the face of conflict.  “Service” which probably included actions ranging from witnessing to the lost and providing for the needy.  And He adds that they have grown in the works they do, in that the works they do now are greater than when they started.

However, He has an issue with them as well.  “But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bondservants astray, so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” Revelation 2:20. Jezebel is a nickname that John gives to the woman at Thyatira in order to compare her to Queen Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab of Israel. “And it came about, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he married Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians and went to serve Baal and worshiped him.” 1 Kings 16:31.  This woman refers to herself as a prophetess, but her teachings are far from truth, specifically she seduces the servants of God to immoral conduct and to the eating of meats that had been sacrificed to idols.  He gave her opportunities to repent, but she did not. “And I gave her time to repent; and she does not want to repent of her immorality.” Revelation 2:21.  And since she did not repent of leading many astray with her evil teachings, “Behold, I will cast her upon a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with pestilence; and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” Revelation 2:22-23.  And as it says in the above verse, “I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of their ways.” Revelation 2:22b.

And to those who do not follow the ways of Jezebel but remain true to God He says, “I place no other burden on you. Nevertheless, what you have, hold fast until I come.” Revelation 2:24b-23. The faithful believers did not fall into Satan’s trap, and they only needed to remain faithful until Christ’s return.

Then Jesus lists His promises to the believers in Thyatira. “The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my father. and I will give him the morning star.” Revelation 2:26-28. At Christ’s coming the saints shall possess the kingdom over the whole earth.  These blessings include along with authority over the earth, victory over all the enemies, and the morning star.  And since Jesus is the morning star, this means He will give Himself to His Church, and be in fellowship with them forever. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.” Revelation 22:16.  Is not this a wonderful blessing to us who remain true to Christ and oppose the ways of Satan and his followers?

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Ephesians 6:15

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Ephesians 6:15   


I want to start with the several verses that introduce this idea Paul is putting forth.  “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:10-13.  He is telling us to put on the full armor of God for the following reason, that we can stand firmly against the powers of the enemy, namely the sly schemes of the devil. 

The next part of our armor is the feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.  The idea is that we will be prepared for any attack that comes our way.  A soldier in ancient Rome had to be prepared for battle when an enemy comes upon them.  He had to study how his enemy attacked and also when he went into defense mode.  He had to have studied their ways in order to be confident in his strategy.  In football, if a coach studies his opponents and finds a weakness in their offensive line, he will no doubt focus his attacks in that area in order to gain as much yardage as possible.  This is the idea here.  We must be ready for any attack of the enemy so that we can hold our ground. 

Back then, a soldier’s battle shoes were studded with spikes or nails, similar to cleats today.  This was done to help him keep his balance in combat.  It was well known that if he lost his footing and fell before his enemy, it would not matter how prepared he was for battle, the enemy now had the upper hand and  It would not matter all that much how well armored he was.  We must always be ready to fight the battle, to remain firm in our convictions, assist our brothers and sister in Christ when needed, and to spread the gospel when the opportunity arises. “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:1-2.

We must be ready to come against the enemy’s attacks in order to protect ourselves and anyone else we defend.  We must be assured of the calling God has given us no matter how difficult it is.  “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” 1 John 5:13-14.     If we have something negative happen to us and we are struggling heavily, we can stand firmly on His word where it says, “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.

If our feet are shod with the gospel of peace, then no matter what happens to us, being fully committed to God and His ways, and understanding that we are saved and under the protection of Christ, we can be at peace.  Isaiah put it best when he said, “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4.  Be steadfast and firmly footed in your confidence in God, for it is through this that peace resides.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.